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Day trip

Color wheel

Fall's vibrant colors may be fleeting, but interest in seeing the Illinois countryside at its colorful best endures.

Photo essay: Animal attraction

What's your favorite animal at the zoo? The lion? The tiger? Or perhaps the okapi, a close relative of the giraffe?

Freelance photographer Tim Murphy of Springfield takes us on a road trip this month for a photo essay of the Saint Louis Zoo.

Splash around in Wisconsin Dells

The world's waterpark mecca, Wisconsin Dells, is a five-hour drive from Springfield.

In 1946, boat trips to Witches Gulch landing and the Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial on World War II boats known as DUKWs (or "ducks") was the big thing in Wisconsin Dells. Since the 1950s, the Tommy Bartlett ski show has wowed visitors to the area. But it was Stan Anderson's idea in 1994 that kick-started the waterpark wave.


It's a dog's life

They say all dogs go to heaven, but if I were a Yorkshire terrier or a golden retriever or even a toy poodle, I'd want to spend my time on Earth on the Paradise Coast in southwest Florida.


Scenic getaway

You don't travel 900 miles from Springfield to Kiawah Island, S.C., for the nightlife. Unless you count sunset hikes under a sea of constellations or drinks in the grand lobby bar of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

You come to quiet Kiawah Island for the 10 miles of uninterrupted beach. 


San Antonio beyond the Alamo

The cry "Remember the Alamo!" has inspired generations from 1836 to the present. And this year, with many events planned to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo occurring in San Antonio, it's the perfect time to visit the place The History Channel named one of America's top 10 historic sites.


Weekend trip

The many sides of Memphis

Like an old blues singer, Memphis sometimes shows it age, but it still has appeal. 

Jamming in the Windy City

For a quick weekend warmup, head to Chicago for some of the finest, hottest jazz anywhere.

Grasping Independence

The ghost of the inimitable Harry Truman looms large over the town of Independence, Mo. — his modest, two-story white home is newly renovated and open again for tours; the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum just underwent a $22 million renovation, and Clinton's Soda Fountain, where young Harry got his first job, still serves up scrumptious ice cream sodas and hand-dipped shakes on historic Independence Square.

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