Photo of the Day (8.16.09)

With Summer comes the road trip. That inevitable urge to get out on the open road in search of adventure and fun. And let’s not forget, the chance you might come upon a quirky roadside attraction or sign? It’s this perfectly posed roadside T-Rex that got us looking at Flickr user Peter Rivera’s shot today. Peter captured this strange beast near Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Did you check out our roadside attractions day on Gadling? If not, make sure to take a look.

Have any of your own travel photos to share with the world? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick yours as our Photo of the Day.

$452 million to be invested in Disneyland Hong Kong

The Walt Disney Co. said on Tuesday that it will be investing US$452 million in park expansions, seen as necessary to compete with a planned rival park in Shanghai.

The expansion will include three new “lands,” and thirty new attractions. A source familiar with the plan stated that two of the new lands will be exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland for five years after opening. The park will have exclusive rights in Asia to the third new land for five years, the source said.

The first area will take three years to complete and the next two will begin over the following two years with the entire expansion set for completion in 2014.The much larger Disneyland rival in Shanghai is also expected to be complete in 2014, assuming that it receives approval from the Chinese government.

So Disney fans, start making plans – and for the ultra-dedicated you might have to reschedule that ultimate park-hopper pass.

North Dakota Heritage Center

Before hitting Bismarck, ND we were told by the hotel staff to keep moving towards South Dakota (our next stop). The river boat tour, also the main attraction in Bismarck, was closed for the season and the only thing of interest for the locals was hitting up a bar at night. Not the type of thing we were going for and to piggy-back on what the locals have to say – they are very correct when stating there isn’t a whole lot to do. We managed to spend around four hours in the area after our night stay checking out the North Dakota Heritage Center and the Capitol building though. If you’re into North Dakota history you’ve just found two of the best spots to soak it all in and the best part is they are both FREE! The North Dakota Heritage Center sits on the State Capitol grounds and reflects all areas of the state history in addition to housing permanent collections: North Dakota Remembers World War II and Emigrants from the Empires.

Take a stroll outside on the grounds and you’ll discover flower gardens and sculptures. One of the most notable finds includes a large bronze of Sacajawea and her son just outside of the Heritage Center. In short it’s a very, very cool large place for both children and adults to learn a lot of information about the state.

The North Dakota Heritage Center is located at 612 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck, ND 58505. Ph. 701.328.2666. Hours are 8 AM-5 PM, Mon-Fri., 9 AM-5 PM Sat., and 11 AM-5 PM Sun. Summer hours, May 16 to Sept. 15, are 8 AM-5 PM daily.