Looking back at 2013 in travel

ATLANTA — As the world looks ahead to 2014, here’s a quick look back at some of 2013’s biggest travel news chronicled on Sightseers’ Delight.

Sequestration, government shutdown and terror plots topped headlines

Concerns about what impact sequestration would have on national parks and travel dominated headlines earlier this year. In the end, it turned out to be more of an exercise in political posturing.

In August, the Department of State warned Americans to remain vigilant for possible al Qaida terrorist attacks in the Middle East and North Africa and issued a global travel warning to Americans asking them to “adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.” Luckily, there was no attack.

Then there was the government shutdown. However, the bark turned out to be bigger than the bite, though it did cost states 2.2 billion in lost tax revenue, according to one estimate.

New Bush library among new attractions

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened in April to rave reviews. The 14,000-square-foot museum features a 9/11 exhibit and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office among its exhibits.

In June, the Atlantis space shuttle exhibit opened to great fanfare at Kennedy Space Center. The 90,000-square-foot, $100 million exhibit pays tribute to NASA’s 30-year space shuttle program.

Later in the year, the Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange, Ga., unveiled its new Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery. The gallery includes more than 300 artifacts from the Bronze Age through the late Byzantine Period on permanent loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

Dallas commemorates 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

In November, Dallas commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza benefited from the anniversary, the city of Irving capitalized in the renewed interest by turning the Ruth Paine house into a new museum.

Odds and ends

Other places Sightseers’ Delight explored in 2013 include: the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute in Waco, Texas; Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas; the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia; and the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Fla.

Happy New Year. Here’s to great traveling in 2014.

Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 77 Articles

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.