Show Dad you appreciate him this Father's Day by visiting a place where the greatness of others is also recognized. Dave Blevins, author of Halls of Fame: An International Directory and The Sports Hall of Fame Encyclopedia, to be released later this year, shares his list of recommendations with Kathy Baruffi for USA TODAY.
Recreational Vehicle/ Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame Elkhart, Ind.
"Dedicated to preserving the history and honoring the pioneers who have made significant contributions to the RV and Manufactured Housing industries, exhibits here include the nation's oldest existing RV, a 1913 travel trailer, and Mae West's 1931 Ford House Car," Blevins says. 800-378-8694;rvmhhalloffame.org
Automotive Hall of Fame Dearborn, Mich.
"Adjacent to the Henry Ford Museum, this hall of fame honors the heroes of the auto industry while providing a great dose of automotive history, from manufacturing and design to suppliers and engineers," Blevins says. You'll also see a working replica of the Benz three-wheeler, the world's first patented automobile, and NASCAR racer Richard Petty's trademark cowboy hat and sunglasses. Save time for a visit to Fair Lane, the Henry Ford estate, 10 minutes away. 313-240-4000; automotivehalloffame.org
National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum Leadville, Colo.
Men and women, including financiers, inventors, rascals and miners, are honored here. "Twelve rooms in this Victorian schoolhouse are dedicated to mining-related displays, models, historic photographs and handcrafted dioramas. Artifacts include old-time lamps, machines that were used for drilling and a crystal room full of geodes and rocks," Blevins says. Explore the replica mines, where the sound of explosives will make you feel like a real prospector. 719-486-1229; leadville.com/miningmuseum
American Police Hall of Fame & Museum Titusville, Fla.
Sit in an electric chair, take a helicopter ride and visit an indoor shooting range. Those are only a few of the options at this hall of fame and museum. "It's also the nation's first police memorial dedicated to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty," Blevins says. "Interactive displays, simulators and 11,000 artifacts educate the public about the history and current trends of American law enforcement." 321-264-0911;aphf.org/museum.html
World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame Long Beach, Wash.
"This facility is the only American museum dedicated exclusively to the 2,000-year history of kites and tethered flight. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to kiting, including George Pocock. He used kites to pull carriages in 19th-century England," Blevins says. 360-642-4020; worldkitemuseum.com
Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum Eunice, La.
"The reason for this hall of fame is to recognize musicians who would otherwise be forgotten," Blevins says. "Located within a converted one-room country store, the facility includes handmade accordions and fiddles made locally." Hear live Cajun music on Saturday nights down the street at Liberty Theater. 337-457-6534; www.lsue.edu/acadgate/cajunmus.htm
National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum Hayward, Wis.