Veteran heritage travelers know a little secret they like to pass on to folks who share their love of exploring the state's byways-sometimes the best way to learn about the history of a place is to visit the local church. You needn't be a member of the denomination to do so or show up for Sunday service. Often, church doors are open other days (not just Sundays) for individuals to enter according to their personal spiritual needs, offering heritage travelers a great opportunity to see beautiful stained-glass windows, altars, reliquaries, and religious icons, as well as examples of superb architecture constructed of local materials such as massive timbers and native stone. Our churches are frequently the single most important cultural record of a town or village, a place where families are forged and laid to rest and where reflection often inspires good works that can be seen manifested in the local community. So next time you're traveling and taking that after-dinner walk through town, pass by a church and take a peek inside. Just remember to be courteous and silence that ringtone.