Known primarily for the political hustle and bustle that surrounds the Iowa caucuses, Des Moines has a whole lot more to offer house sitters by way of arts and theater, architecture, historical exhibits, parks and gardens, festivals, events, sports, shopping, dining and entertainment.
A Gold-plated dome and a Bonobo campus
You can begin by marveling at the 23-karat gold-leaf dome of the State Capitol building. Aside from housing the governor’s offices and the state legislature, it has the famous “Westward” mural, a five-story law library, a scale model of the battleship U.S.S. Iowa, and a collection of First Lady dolls. On the Capitol grounds are war memorials and monuments as well as a promenade and landscaped gardens that are part of a 10-acre park. Continue reading
If you’re a shopping fanatic, try getting a house sitting job in Bloomington or nearby Minneapolis and St. Paul. It’ll give you all the time you need to explore and enjoy this magnificent shopping mall.
“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” ~Bo Derek
That wouldn’t be a problem at all for the 40 million people who visit the Mall of America every year. Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, the MOA has an area of more than 95 acres, twenty-five per cent larger than Salt Lake Stadium, the second-largest non-racing stadium in the world. It employs more than 12,000 workers in a wide range of retail and entertainment establishments. Continue reading
Whether it’s sports, cultural performances, historic exhibits, parks and gardens or just plain fun, Indianapolis has everything you’d want to make your house sitting stay a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, is the home of the Indy 500, considered the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and one of motorsports three most important races. It also hosts the Brickyard 400 and the National Hot Rod Association Nationals making the city a world center of motorsports racing.
But it isn’t just cars that will get your heart racing in Indianapolis. Ranked one of the Top 10 Downtowns by Livability, the city is Continue reading
If you want to take a trip to the Ice Age, try house sitting in Los Angeles. There are many house sitting opportunities there that can make it easy for you to visit, learn from and enjoy the many discoveries of the La Brea tar pits and the Page Museum.
Right by Wilshire Boulevard, America’s erstwhile Champs-Elysées, lies the burial ground of prehistoric animals like mammoths and saber-toothed tigers as well as that of a woman dating back to 10,000 years BP. They were all found in the La Brea Tar Pits, in Hancock Park, in urban Los Angeles. First recorded by the Portola Expedition in 1769, tar seeping up from the ground trapped many animals in the pits preserving their bones for history.
Plants and animals from the Glacial Period
Among the mammal fossils that have been discovered in the tar pits are those of mastodons, giant bisons, American camels, stilt-legged llamas, dire wolves, short-faced bears, ground sloths and many more herbivores and carnivores. Even fossils of extinct and extant birds have been found in the tar pits. Among these are the teratornis, La Brea stork, and California condor. Fish, amphibians and reptiles as well as arthropods have also been trapped in the pits. Continue reading
Baltimore, the inspiration for the country’s national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was dubbed The Monumental City by no less than US President John Quincy Adams. Its unique skyline of church spires and monuments are some of the samples of different architectural periods from over more than 200 years of the city’s existence. But, house sitting in Baltimore is more than just being surrounded by old and famous buildings.
Also known as Charm City, Baltimore is the center of organizations and companies that are world-famous in the performing arts. It is also home to famous schools and universities, professional sports teams, museums and historical attractions.
Architectural firsts by the masters
Starting with the brick and form-stone rowhouses that are a trademark of Baltimore, the city is peppered with structures designed by famous architects like Benjamin Latrobe, Mies Van Der Rohe and I.M. Pei. Famous among these are the Baltimore Basilica, the oldest Catholic cathedral in the USA and the Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, which has been described as a “treasure of art and architecture”. The Peale Museum was the country’s first structure specifically designed as a museum. Continue reading
The United States isn’t all about the Washington Monument, Niagara Falls or Disneyland. In a large country with over 300 million people, house sitters are bound to find a lot of unusual attractions all over the place. Get ready to chuckle at some of these.
Toilet Seat Museum
No. 1 on almost every list is the Toilet Seat Museum in San Antonio, Texas. Set up and curated by Barney Smith, it’s been voted the wackiest attraction in the USA. There are over 900 toilet seats in the large garage (which doesn’t have a toilet) decorated with decals of all sorts, many inspired by Barney’s trips around the world. The museum draws over 1,000 visitors every year.
In different points along the 32-mile highway in North Dakota, you’ll find the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures. Built and maintained by artist Gary Greff, it now has 7 sculptures (and 1 in progress) of subjects like The Tin Family and Grasshoppers in the Field. Some works are 50 – 60 feet long and 12 feet high. Continue reading
If you are in to music and would like to explore New Orleans, finding a house sitting job is a good way to do it. Right in the heart of the French Quarter, you’ll find 13 blocks that are an unusual mixture of history, unique architecture, shopping, dining and revelry. Bourbon Street, known throughout the world for its Mardi Gras parades and street celebrations is a string of historic buildings, souvenir shops, restaurants, nightclubs, strip joints and gay bars. All together, they form a powerful magnet that attracts thousands of tourists from around the world out for a good time
A hodge podge of architectural styles
Buildings on Bourbon Street and throughout the French Quarter are a mixture of Spanish, French, Creole and American styles. Walled courtyards, cast iron balconies, porches, plastered walls and single chimneys reflect the different cultural influences of the place from the founding of New Orleans in 1718. Among the structures worth visiting on or around Bourbon Street are Gallier House, the Royal Sonesta Hotel, the Old Ursuline Convent, and Madame John’s Legacy. Continue reading
Water, a lot of it, can make house sitting in Minneapolis a really cool experience. With the Mississippi River running right through it, Minneapolis has more than twenty lakes and wetlands aside from creeks and waterfalls, earning for itself the name “City of Lakes”.
The Chain of Lakes
Minneapolis has the best-designed and best-maintained park system in the United States. Seven lakes and Minnehaha Creek are connected by parks with paths for biking, running and walking. You can swim, fish, and go boating, and ice skating in the parks. The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway is another pathway going around the city connecting the parks.
Mall of America
With an area of 390,000 square meters, this is one of the largest malls in the USA. The Mall has three anchor department stores, Macy’s Nordstrom and Sears, and more than 520 stores in four different zones, each with its own décor. There are novelty shops, food courts, entertainment areas and stores of all sorts to satisfy every shopper’s taste. Continue reading
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From sea to shining sea, the United States has some of the best hiking trails in the world. One interesting way to see many of them is to take a house sitting job in cities where the trails starts and passes. You can choose the best times to go hiking without having to worry about accommodation along the way.
There are hiking spots through majestic mountain ranges, and others by exciting bodies of water. They can be relatively short like the 26-mile Old Croton Trail in New York or as long as the 6,800-mile American Discovery Trail going from coast to coast. Here are some great routes for your restless feet.
This is a 22-mile hike on a 100-year old trail from Whitney Portal to the peak and back. The hike will take you through river crossings, hairpin turns, and slippery boulders. It’s not an easy hike and only about half of the people who try it every year reach the peak. Continue reading
In a city that combines the NASA Mission Control Center with a 17-block Theater District, house sitting must be an unforgettable experience. Houston, is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the USA. You’ll find the headquarters of more Fortune 500 companies in Houston, second only to New York City.
Houston has an active and diverse cultural scene, reflecting the cultures of its more than 1 million foreign-born residents. The city has museums, almost 350 parks, and centers for dance, movies, music, dining and entertainment.
Space Center Houston
This is where you go to visit the NASA Space Center and experience mind-boggling adventures in space. Space Center Houston features exhibits, theaters and other attractions like a replica of the Space Shuttle Explorer. You can enter the capsule and get a feel of life inside the space shuttle. Continue reading