Charlottesville: Three Must-See Presidential Estates

Charlottesville

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Virginia is an American hotspot for historical sites and is a great location to experience early American history, legendary personas and to check out impressive monuments. Located in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville in particular has a rich historical and cultural legacy, including ties to three of the nation’s founding fathers, all of whom would later become U.S. presidents.

ash lawn highland

Indulge in presidential history by first visiting Ash Lawn-Highland, home to James Monroe who was the fifth president of the U.S. This 550-acre estate recreates the working farm atmosphere of its original use, and tours of both the house and gardens are available. Of particular note are the recently restored interiors, the 200-year-old boxwood gardens and views from most directions on the grounds. Special events throughout the year also help to bring history to life at this unique abode, including activities like Yuletide festivities and James Monroe’s birthday celebration.

Montpelier

In nearby Orange, continue the presidential journey with a visit to Montpelier, home to James Madison, the fourth president and the Father of the Constitution. James Madison and his wife Dolley were quite social and regularly invited guests to the estate, the focus of which was the central mansion. Today, visitors can tour the first floor, including the entertaining spaces that were frequently filled by the Madisons and a presidential library filled with the books and treatises that highlight the genius of James Madison. The Montpelier grounds also offer 2,650 acres of rolling hills and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a great place to experience old growth forest and formal gardens, as well as hands-on archeological demonstrations.

monticello (1)

Perhaps the crowning jewel of Charlottesville’s historic landmarks is Monticello, home to Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the U.S. The estate is world-renowned and very closely reflects the aesthetics and architectural ideals of Jefferson himself. Jefferson designed the main mansion based upon neoclassical principles but incorporated his own unique design solutions. In fact, he spent 40 years designing, dismantling and reimagining the estate, which he referred to as “his essay in architecture.” Monticello is also known for its extensive gardens which Jefferson, an avid horticulturist, painstakingly designed, tended and monitored.

Begin an amazing historical tour through American presidential history with a convenient SkyWest Airlines flight, operating as American Eagle, from Chicago O’Hare. The best fares can be found at aa.com.

Explore Winter Fun in Hibbing, Minnesota!

Hibbing City Hall

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Hibbing is the largest city located within Minnesota’s Iron Range, an informally named area of the Northeastern part of the state known for rich, iron ore deposits. Hibbing itself boomed as a center for mining and was even relocated in its early days when a vein of iron ore was discovered immediately beneath downtown, which carried more value that the town itself! Today, the original streets, street lamps and foundations can still be seen in a park straddling the open-pit mine.

While Hibbing holds its position as an early 20th century economic hot bed, today it is also a center for recreation, especially when it comes to the treasure trove of winter sports available to visitors and residents alike.

Hibbing is home to the largest curling club in Minnesota, and a great place to view and to try this Olympic winter sport, which involves sliding stones along a sheet of ice towards a target area. A great deal of teamwork, skill and strategy go into curling and is why the sport is often referred to as “chess on ice.” The Hibbing Curling Club hosts the largest curling tournament in the United States with more than 120 teams competing annually.

Hibbing Curling

Hibbing is also the perfect epicenter to begin outdoor winter fun with several resorts nearby. Ski Magazine named Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort the number one Minnesota ski resort and is a top five pick in the American Midwest. Located a convenient 45 minute drive from Hibbing’s Range Regional Airport, Giants Ridge offers 35 downhill runs, more than 37 miles of Nordic trails, show shoe trails and a fantastic snow tubing park that’s appropriate for the whole family. Plus, all of this is offered in breathtaking scenery adjacent to the Superior National Forrest.

Giants Ridge Ski

Winter Frolic is an extremely popular scholarship/pageant event for young women that has expanded into an area-wide winter festival spanning two weeks in late January and early February. Activities include a sliding party with the scholarship candidates, a city-wide treasure hunt, an illuminated ski night and fishing contest. All of these activities finally culminate in the crowing of the new Winter Frolic Queen.

Find out first-hand what the area’s winter wonderland is like by booking a convenient SkyWest flight, operating as Delta Connection, with non-stop service between Hibbing and Minneapolis. The best fares can be found at www.Delta.com.

 

SkyWest Flight Attendant Bests Breast Cancer

SkyWest_Pink_Logo

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

In 2014, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. and approximately 40,000 women will die from this disease according to the American Cancer Society. And SkyWest people are out making a difference! From participating in walks and fundraising cook-offs to sporting pink awareness attire, our people are taking action to raise awareness and funds to help fight breast cancer.

Julie Bruno, a Denver, Colorado-based flight attendant, shares her story of survival and explains how the diagnosis helped motivate her to accomplish her dream of joining our InFlight Department. The following is Julie’s brave and determined account!

Julie Bruno

I started my career with SkyWest in Colorado Springs, Colorado as a customer service agent in October 2006. After getting some experience in Customer Service, my plan was to transfer to InFlight in the spring, but I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2007.

I will never forget that day. I went for my annual mammogram like I did every year. After the exam, I was told that the doctor wanted to speak with me. The nurse shuffled me into his office and all I saw were my X-ray films hanging on a white screen. The films were lit up from behind as to not miss a single detail. Nothing was said. The silence made my blood run cold. The doctor finally said, “You have cancer.” The only thing I could think to say was, “Am I going to die?”

That day my world had blown up and would never be the same. Things happened so quickly; trying to get a hold of my emotions was nearly impossible. My decision to have surgery and reconstruction was one of the toughest. Over the next seven months, I cried a lot, laughed a lot, loved a lot, prayed a whole lot and found people that have become my very close friends. I look at my world much differently now than before, and with good reason. My family, my faith in God, and a positive attitude got me through my toughest and darkest hours. I told myself that when I recovered I was going to make that jump to InFlight, which I did in August 2007.

I have been cancer-free for more than seven years now, and I would like to share my story with other women and their families who have experienced breast cancer. Many of us and our families (mine included) have been touched by cancer. We can benefit from each other’s personal stories which give hope and encouragement for a bright future. I hope we can all take this month, and every month, to bring awareness to breast cancer research and prevention.

Customers Rave About Our Amazing People

SkyWest Employees Group Shot

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

While SkyWest is known for operational and fiscal savvy, the true essence of our success has always been our people. The following are just a few examples from passengers who took the time to write in and recognize some of the above-and-beyond efforts of our fantastic employees.

I have flown with SkyWest for many, many years and love your service and staff. I have actually chosen my carriers based on who keeps SkyWest under contract. Conversely, I have stopped flying with carriers or choosing routes that you are not part of.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that SkyWest is the carrier for the Moab, Utah (CNY) air service. We have already flown numerous times with you out of Moab and loved it! It’s the same exceptional service I’ve experienced over many years flying out of Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT) and other areas you service.

Most recently, on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, I had the great fortune of flying out of CNY on Delta Air Lines flight 7432 and Paula Eichbauer – a flight attendant out of SLC – was our attendant. I want to tell you that this gal is a star in your staff of flight crews. I have enjoyed, without exception, every SkyWest crewmember I have flown with, but Paula’s level of quality, caring service is extraordinary. So much so that I really wanted to write to you in recognition of this amazing employee.

So thanks for bringing your fine services to our little neck of the woods here in Moab. It’s beyond wonderful to be able to fly SkyWest even more with you here. Thanks to you all and especially to Paula for such extraordinary kindness, professionalism and care.

Sincerely,
Jayne Dillon May

My name is William F. Walsh IV, and I am a firefighter living in the city of Vista in the northern part of San Diego County. Last week, I attended the Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My cousin, Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr., was killed in a fire in Boston in late March of this year. Needless to say, it was a difficult trip.

I wanted to comment about my return flight and your crew on Flight 6275 operated by SkyWest, from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles on Sept. 21. The girls were outstanding, especially Iris Kozisek. Both she and Amanda Beatty made my return flight very enjoyable with their personalities. It truly took the edge off of a rough trip. Please acknowledge your fine employees for a job well done. Thanks again.

William Walsh

Thank you to our passengers for taking the time to point out some of the amazing work our people do to provide a great travel experience on more than 1,700 daily flights! Visit www.SkyWest.com to learn more!

Experience First-Class Fun in Wichita, Kansas!

wichita-kansas

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

With approximately four million visitors each year, Wichita, Kansas is a great destination with first-class attractions for everyone in the family! More than 1,000 restaurants representing a wide array of cuisines, including craft beer, wineries and French patisseries dot the city landscape, while eclectic shops, antique stores and open malls offer premium shopping opportunities. Take advantage of cultural exhibits and museums that offer art, Western history, botanical gardens and more. And at night, the city stays alive with in-theater dining, dancing and live music venues.

Wichita Riverfest

Wichita is serious about bringing people together and is home to the largest festival in Kansas! RiverFest began in 1970 in an effort to build community and focus on town pride all while showcasing the natural beauty of the Arkansas River. Early festival-goers participated in antique bathtub races, canoe races, antique auto shows and a moonlight river parade. Modern-day participants enjoy more than nine days of incredible festival fun with everything from a 10k RiverRun to concerts featuring entertainers like Daughtry, Huey Lewis and Nick Lachey. Staying true to its roots of affordability, the festival is only five dollars for more than a week of family fun.

Wichita Center for the Arts

For more than 90 years, the Wichita Center for the Arts has provided comprehensive visual and performing arts experiences. The Center believes in providing artistic education and performances that also engage patrons in interactive cultural experiences. A class like Fine Art for the Wine Heart is a great example of what’s available at this special facility. Participants have the chance to recreate a classic painting with individual flair while relaxing with one’s favorite glass of vino. Everything needed for the class, including the wine glasses, is provided except for one’s favorite bottle and the painting goes home students at the end of the class!

Wichita Old Town Farmers Market

While dining options run the range of international cuisines normally found in much larger cities, the Old Town Farmers Market is a must to visit. The market, located in beautiful Old Town Wichita, not only offers a bountiful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheese, but there is also an exciting array of prepared foods from fresh local ingredients. Delight in farm-produced jams, salsas, honey and handmade craft items. Live music and chef demonstrations make this market a truly unique and entertaining experience.

Enjoy the big city offerings of Wichita by booking a convenient SkyWest Airlines flight, operating as American Eagle, from Chicago. The best fares can always be found on aa.com.

Explore St. Cloud in the Heart of Granite Country!

St-Cloud-Minnesota

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Welcome to St. Cloud, Minnesota in the heart of Granite Country USA! Experience the good life where all four seasons are filled with events, celebrations and family fun. Residents of the area claim a superior quality of live with nearly 100 parks, sparkling lakes, the Mississippi River, recreational and cultural opportunities, distinctive shopping, unique dining and quaint lodging.

Munsinger Gardens

The St. Cloud area is a theater of the seasons. Enjoy a riot of living colors in the spring or the stark, crystalline beauty of the hoarfrost and beautiful snowfalls during the winter months, along with everything in between. These distinct seasons also act as a stunning backdrop to outdoor recreational opportunities of all kinds. Summer offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the dual attractions of Munsinger and Clemens Gardens. Clemens is comprised of six different exhibits and attracts 2,000 to 3,000 people per day from around the world, including amateur gardeners and professional horticulturists. Munsinger is located just below Clemens along the Mississippi River beneath towering hemlock and pine trees. This shade allows for a stunning array of colorful flowers and flora unseen in other locations. Quarry Park is another natural haven for outdoor lovers and offers serene woodlands, open prairie, hiking trails and unquarried bedrock areas just a few miles west of the gardens.

WInter NIghts and Lights2

St. Cloud offers celebrations and events year-round to delight and entertain family members of all ages. Enjoy Granite City Days in the summer with a grand parade, Lemonade Arts Fair, a symphony concert and spectacular fireworks display. Winter offers one of the brightest traditions in the area with the Winter Nights & Lights parade as downtown St. Cloud is transformed into a sparkling scene that would be right at home in a Charles Dickens novel.

granite city food and brewery

All the activity on a visit to St. Cloud is sure to stir the appetite. Don’t miss a visit to Granite City Food & Brewery, a concept launched in St. Cloud that has become so popular it has expanded to 30 locations in 13 states! Enjoy one of the in-house microbrews and the casual American cuisine that is focused on fresh, from-scratch preparation. For an upscale experience, visit locally owned and operated Ciatti’s Restaurant which offers fresh, Italian-inspired dishes. Indulge in this 100 percent from-scratch menu and even register for a four-course, on-site cooking class from Executive Chef Mark Marthaler!

Visit St. Cloud any time of the year for a truly remarkable experience by booking a convenient SkyWest Airlines flight, operating as United Express, from Chicago O’Hare. The lowest fares can be found at united.com.

Duluth: “America’s Best Town”

Duluth Hilltop

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Outdoor Magazine has named Duluth, Minnesota as the Best Town in America for 2014 and it’s no wonder why! Built on a 700 foot hill overlooking Lake Superior, particularly proud citizens call the town “Little San Francisco” thanks to its thriving tourism, antique shops, exceptional restaurants, inviting inns and scenic views. Duluth’s big city feel and seaport flavor make this destination a must for families, outdoor enthusiasts, city sophisticates and everyone in between.

Duluth itself lines the shores of Lake Superior for 26 miles which, as the world’s largest fresh water lake, offers boundless recreational opportunities. Enjoy sailing with experienced charter companies like Carriage House Charters Sailboat Rides or Moon Shadow Sailing that will tailor each voyage to participants’ experience and wishes. Take a Sunday drive along the North Shore, which offers spectacular views of the Superior National Forest on one side and Lake Superior on the other. Cap the lakeside adventure with a visit to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center located in Canal Park or stroll through the Lakewalk, a boardwalk complete with bike paths and a trail for carriage rides.

Duluth Sailing

Historic treasures are located throughout the city’s expanse and offer a glimpse into early 20th century life. One of the highest-rated historical sites in the area is Glensheen. The historic Congdon Estate was home to one of Minnesota’s wealthiest families. A tour of the impressive property includes seven acres of manicured landscapes on Lake Superior with formal gardens, trails and a pier to take in the lakeside views. Visitors are able to continue inside to view the architectural gem that encompasses 39 magnificent rooms in this historic manse.

Glensheen Duluth

Family friendly attractions are also abundant in Duluth. Try a visit to Duluth Children’s Museum which has educated and amazed children for more than 80 years. The fifth oldest such establishment in the United States, the museum strives to spark creativity and curiosity about the world at large and includes exhibits like a Mayan adventure set, nanoscale science and an open area for kids to create. For another educational and inspirational adventure, take a walk on the wild side at the Lake Superior Zoo. With hundreds of exhibits located on 16 acres of sweeping hillsides and beautiful Kingsbury Creek, there is always plenty to do.

Explore the all-season adventurous city of Duluth today by booking a convenient SkyWest flight from Chicago, operating as United Express. Find the best fares today at united.com.

Redmond: Oregon’s Exciting Central Hub!

Downtown Redmond, Oregon on Independence Day, 2010

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

As one of the fastest growing cities in Oregon, Redmond is home to Central Oregon’s only commercial airport. It’s also the gateway to an array of natural wonders, and the charming and eclectic experience of a beautiful downtown area. Whether hiking the high mountain trails at Smith Rock or shopping for art and antiques downtown, there is an activity for everyone who visits this high-plains gem.

Redmond Downtown
While it is relatively small, Redmond offers big-city experiences that include high-caliber dining and unique shopping destinations. Stroll through Redmond archway and spend a lovely day exploring the newly remodeled downtown that offers charming and rustic shops that are run by locals. For local gifts or mementos to commemorate a visit, check out Cornerstone Book & Gifts. Fine fashions can be found at The Blvd or at Bottoms, Boots, Bags and Bling, while a treasure trove of antiques are waiting to be discovered at The Old Creamery Antiques. During the holiday season, downtown is awash in lights and cheer, and offers activities like the St. Charles Redmond Starlight Parade “Run Rudolph Run,” while the Holiday Village Market offers holiday crafts and food items in a European-styled setting surrounding the Redmond City Christmas Tree.

7th Street Brew House
The Pacific Northwest is known for farm-to-table cuisine and Redmond is no exception! Sample artisan pub food that’s made from scratch with local ingredients or one of the largest selections of meads and ciders in Central Oregon at Smith Rock Brewing Company. 7th Street Brew House came into existence as a result of the wildly energetic reception of Cascade Lakes Brewing Companies craft beers in the region. From the mug club membership to taco night, 7th Street describes itself as “the hometown favorite in Redmond.” The venue is cozy and welcoming in both warm cold seasons with garage doors that elevate to keep cool and fire pits to warm patrons on winter nights.

Smith Rock
Venture outside of town for an unparalleled experience at Smith Rock, one of the birth places of American sport climbing. Thousands of routes winding up the towers of volcanic ash attract climbers from all over the globe, including those heading out on more than 1,000 bolted routes. Routes are available for all levels of climbers. For those not climbing, there are also hiking and mountain biking opportunities in the park where it’s common to spot golden eagles, prairie falcons, river otter and beaver.

Newberry National Volanic monument

Newberry National Volcanic Monument is another recreational playground for thousands of visitors each year and offers two alpine lakes – home to trophy-size brown and rainbow trout, as well as kokanee and Atlantic salmon. On top of that, there are seven different campgrounds in the crater that offering group, shoreline, or horse camping, along with boat ramps. During the winter, the crater is also a great destination for snowmobiles and cross-country skiing.

Explore the Central Oregon crossroads of Redmond by easily booking a SkyWest-operated flight from San Francisco, operating as United Express. Find the best fares today at united.com.

Hays: Small-Town Charm and Big-Time Fun!

Hays Kansas Welcome

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Hays, Kansas is known as a place with small-town charm and big-time fun! And the friendliness of those who call Hays home is evident to travelers who are enjoying a family vacation, business trip, sporting event or even just passing through.

Those making their first visit to this historic frontier town will definitely appreciate the many low- or no-cost attractions that are available, including the chance to learn about Hays’ often dangerous early days when the town was filled with railroad workers, desperados and other notorious characters. The city also offers historic downtown tours and shopping, a look into frontier military history, annual festivals and sporting events, art studios and performing art, and much more!

In its early days, Hays developed a reputation for lawlessness and as a tough “end of the tracks” town. During several months in 1869, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok served as an interim sheriff to quell the almost constant homicides, bloodshed and feuds. Visitors can experience some of this history with a trip through time on a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Twenty-five bronze plaques mark the route where some of the most famous and notorious characters lived and walked.

The Fort Hays Historic Site offers a glimpse into a soldier’s frontier life in this unique location that was founded to protect settlers from native resistance. Today, visitors can see the original blockhouse, guardhouse and officers’ quarters, and the information center provides exhibits and artifacts about the fort and military history.

Hays House Hays Kansas

In town, there is always something exciting and interesting happening throughout the year, including 12 annual German festivals and events that celebrating the Hays area’s German immigrant heritage. Sample the finest German lager at Oktoberfest or participate in Lanternfest where families and children make handmade candle-lit lanterns. There are also rodeos, car racing events, 5K runs, country music concerts, and an exhilarating fireworks display at the Wild West Festival. December’s FrostFest offers horse-drawn wagon rides, a baking contest, a visit with Santa, vendors, decorating cookies, children’s arts and crafts, storytelling and the Main Street  illuminated holiday parade.

Downtown Hays, the oldest part of the community, has recently seen great revitalization that is helping preserve history and pride while also creating a bustling old-fashioned-main-street atmosphere. The area currently features more than 100 thriving businesses that include dining and entertainment options, antique stories, art shops and many other services.

Downtown Hays

When it’s time to dine, try the award-winning house brews and frontier cooking of Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Company, named by the Huffington Post as “the one thing you must do” in Kansas. It’s less than 10 minutes from the airport and is just blocks away from Fort Hays State University.

Get started on an historical adventure to Hays aboard one of the two daily SkyWest Airlines flights, operating as United Express from Denver. The best fares can be found at united.com.