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It’s easy to figure out why there’s a National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio. The Packard brothers started out in Warren in 1899. Within a decade the company, known for its high-quality cars, was based in Detroit and neither Packard sibling was associated with it. But their legacy lives on in their hometown in northeast Ohio.

National Packard Museum Packard logo on tailfin
The snazzy two-toned tailfin on a 1956 Packard Caribbean

The museum hosts Packards built from 1900 to 1956, ranging from a 1900 Packard Model B (the second-oldest surviving Packard) through a rare assemblage of three 1956 Packard Caribbeans. (Two of which are seen at the top of this story.) A sentimental favorite is the 1941 Packard LeBaron chauffeur-driven limousine that was owned by Mrs. James Ward Packard. (Shown below.)

1941 Packard LeBaron limousine

Packards are also know for their elegant hood ornaments, two of the more elegant versions are shown below:

The 1953 Henney-Packard Ambulance (shown below) served at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Inside there was a large medicine cabinet, lifesaving equipment and seats that converted to beds. They saw service globally by the U.S. military.

1953 henney Packard ambulance

There’s an extensive collection of archives from the Packard family and the Packard Electric Company (which still exists as part of Delphi Automotive), memorabilia, and a handful of Packard marine engines. Check their schedule for annual events that include a Packard legacy weekend (devoted to the car whose motto was “Ask the man who owns one”) and a motorcycle show.

Visiting the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio

Number of vehicles: 30, plus special exhibits throughout the year.    

Highlights: 1900 Packard Model B (the second-oldest surviving Packard); 1911 Model 30 Detroit Fire Department Squad Car; 1927 Sterling Knight (the last car made in Warren, by a short-lived venture); 1956 Packard Caribbean Push-Button Automatic Convertible.

Location: 1899 Mahoning Avenue N.W., Warren, OH 44483. About 60 miles southeast of Cleveland.

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Phone: (330) 394-1899     Web: www.PackardMuseum.org

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Other things to do in Warren, Ohio

If you’re visiting Warren, there are a few attractions that may interest you. In addition to classic cars, the small town offers several sights related to a few of our key interests: space exploration and rock-and-roll.

Site of Neil Armstrong's first flight in Warren Ohio

Neil Armstrong went on his first airplane ride in Warren when he was only six years old. Bitten by the aviation bug, just thirty-three years later he was kicking up lunar dust as the first man on the moon. The airfield from which he took off in a Ford Tri-Motor is long gone; to paraphrase Joni Mitchell, “they paved paradise and put up a McDonald’s parking lot.” But in a corner of the lot “First Flight” park commemorates the historical site with a replica lunar module occupying pride-of-place in the center.

Dave Grohl alley drumsticks Ohio

Warren must have something for commemorations with a fast-food connection. Drive just three miles southeast from the lunar landscape to a Burger King at David Grohl Alley. It’s hard to miss since it’s decorated with the world’s largest pair of drumsticks (they’re each 23 feet long) that are set up like a teeter-totter. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana and is now the frontman for the Foo Fighters. The town where he got his start remembers him with this small street that is decorated with dozens of rock-themed murals in addition to the jumbo drumsticks.

Visitor information:

Warren is located in Trumbull County. www.ExploreTrumbullCounty.com/

Changes in Longitude Larissa & Michael Milne at Arctic Circle

We’re Larissa and Michael, your typical middle-aged couple from Philadelphia who’ve been traveling the world full-time since 2011, seeking off-beat, historic and tasty sights. To receive updates and valuable travel tips subscribe to our free travel newsletter here.

August 5th was the birthday of a person who will be remembered centuries after the memories of pop stars and sports figures have faded: Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died in 2012.

While his achievements are honored around the world,  Read more

Cincinnati chili is one of those things you either get it or you don’t. Among national food critics it’s developed a love it or hate it reputation that brings out the snark. As with many regional food favorites, it helps to have grown up there. But I didn’t and I still like it, if I eat it at the right place. Whenever we visit family there I ask my brother-in-law John, where is the best Cincinnati chili?

Camp Washington CHili interior (800x544)

Cincinnati chili is redolent with spices not normally found in what most people think of as chili. That’s thanks to its inventors, Tom and John Kiradjieff who, starting in 1922, sprinkled it with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cumin and chocolate. Not a typical batch of chili. The other thing that makes Cincinnati unique is that it’s served over spaghetti. This being the Midwest it’s not quite the al dente pasta of my Italian-American upbringing in New York but it seems to work.

skyline chili hat (257x350)With regional chili chains like Skyline, Gold Star and Empress ladled all over the Queen City and environs, it’s easy to find a bowl of the hometown brew in ordinary strip shopping centers. (And surprisingly enough, you can also find it on the west coast of Florida, where many Cincinnatians retire.) If you want to start a heated debate, just ask a local which is their favorite chili parlor. The man to the left doesn’t just wear his love for Skyline Chili on his sleeve, he also wears it on his hat.

camp washington chili mural (210x350)When you’re in Cincinnati you should trek a bit farther into the heart of the city and grab a booth at Camp Washington Chili. It’s easy to find right below a building-sized mural of the peripatetic George Washington dressed, for some reason unknown to me, as a courtesan. I’m guessing he once camped here, bestowing his name on the humble neighborhood that has become a foodie destination.

With its homemade quality, the chili served at Camp Washington is several notches above the chains. To do it right get a 5 Way, which is chili, spaghetti, beans, onions and cheese. If you’re watching your carbs, or just really want more meat, you can skip the spaghetti and have them ladle it over hot dogs; these are called Coneys. Named after Coney Island but definitely something you won’t find at its namesake neighborhood in Brooklyn.

camp washington chili coneys (800x600)

Somewhere under all that cheese and chili you’ll find a few hot dogs.

Visitor information

Location: 3005 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45225

Phone: (513) 541-0061

Hours: 24/6, closed Sundays

Web site: www.CampWashingtonChili.com

Side trip to Toledo

Rudys hot dog chili cheeseburger Toledo Ohio (800x653)

Ohioans must love chili. We made it to Rudy’s hot dogs in Toledo (a family tradition since 1920) to try their famous chili. The outstanding chili was different than in Cincinnati with more traditional spices. I tried it on the Rudy Burger (cheap at $2.20) which I have to admit, is a tremendous amount of meat for one sandwich. Since the chili was so good I think next time I stop in I’ll order the chili on its own. For more information go to: Rudy’s Hot Dogs.

We’re global nomads who have been traveling the world since 2011 seeking off-beat, historic and tasty sights. To receive monthly updates and valuable travel tips subscribe here.

Recently I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. For some reason I hadn’t expected much but it far surpassed my expectations. What I had not predicted was how it would be such a religious experience. There is a special exhibit featuring the music of Bruce Springsteen. The title of the show is “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land.” That should have been my first clue.

Among the most devoted fans in all of music are those who worship at the altar of the Boss. I’ve seen him perform live three times so I count myself among them. The exhibit sprawls over two floors. At one point visitors climb a circular staircase to visit a room at the top.

Just like at the Lhasa Monastery in Tibet, the holy Buddhist site, visitors climb in a clockwise direction as they rise closer to heaven. The walls of the stairwell are inscribed with lyrics from Springsteen songs, much as Bible quotes are imbedded in the stained glass windows of medieval cathedrals.

Once I arrived in the top room I saw a crowd standing before a framed object on the wall. It struck me that I had witnessed a gathering similar to this once before. It was at Chartres Cathedral in France, where they have displayed in a glass box a cloak supposedly worn by the Virgin Mary. There the faithful genuflect before the garment and express their adoration.

Springsteen born in the USA album cover

So it was in Cleveland. Bruce worshippers stood mesmerized before the framed shadow box that held the torn jeans worn by him on the cover of his Born in the USA album. Since the album photo was taken from behind so to speak the throngs were staring at the business end of a pair of old jeans with a torn and tattered pocket.

I wonder if centuries into the future this holy relic of the rock-and-roll age will be as similarly worshipped as that ancient blue cloak in Chartres.

What are some of your Springsteen memories?