In Virginia, history is literally around every corner. The James River, which flows from the Chesapeake Bay to western Virginia, is the “road” along which Virginia’s history, and thereby America’s history, was founded. Beginning with Jamestown in 1607, this river and the land surrounding it has been the site of many significant historical events, including Native American villages, Colonial towns, and battles from 3 wars. A unique and socially-distanced way to view this historical area with your family is to bike or walk along the Virginia Capital Trail. It is the perfect place to have a family-friendly outing, especially during the cooler fall months. Read my new review today! Don't forget to sign up for my new newsletter - follow the "newsletter" link on my website!
Did you know that many historic sites have outdoor camping and walking trails that are especially appealing during this time of social distancing? One of the most historic sites in Virginia is First Landing State Park, where the English colonists first landed in 1607 before settling at Jamestown. This location in Virginia Beach is now a huge state park with trails, camping sites, a beach, and more. This is a perfect site for a fall family outing that is socially distanced and historically significant!
Henricus Historical Park near Richmond is the site of one of the oldest settlements in America. The site was founded in 1611 by English colonists as the second settlement in Virginia (the first was Jamestown). Today the site is a living history museum with recreated English and Native American structures. It has reopened after being closed for the coronavirus pandemic, and since it is mostly outside, it is a great place to visit with your family. Read my new review today!
One way to learn more about the history of the Civil Rights struggle in America is to visit the moving National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. The museum is built beside the preserved Lorraine Motel, which was where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his last night. The museum is an important and must-see site for families, especially with the current challenges facing our country. Read my new review today!
Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, VA is a place with a storied history that dates back to the beginning of America. It was on these grounds that the first enslaved African-Americans came to the English colonies in 1619. This site was also known as “Freedom’s Fortress” during the Civil War, as thousands of contraband slaves who made it to its walls were given their freedom by Union Gen. Benjamin Butler. 155 years ago this month, it served as the prison for the former Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. The fort continued to be used by the military for another 140 years before being decommissioned in 2011. Today, the fort’s lovely grounds and buildings are open to visitors, including the Casemate Museum where Davis’ jail cell was located. It makes for a fun day trip, even in the midst of the pandemic closures. Read my new review today!
Virginia is the birthplace of our nation, and its state library, the Library of Virginia, was created in 1823 as a repository for all of its original documents and manuscripts, dating back to Jamestown’s founding in 1607. Its online resources are vast, and with the current health crisis keeping our kids from attending school, this is the perfect time to explore the documents, artifacts, and manuscripts available. There is even a way for your kids to potentially get their volunteer hours through the Library’s Making History: Transcribe program. Read my new review today about visiting the Library, both in person and virtually!
If you are visiting Washington, DC, you will likely spend time in several of the Smithsonian museums, most centered around the National Mall. One of the most interesting museums is the National Museum of American History. This museum contains many priceless and meaningful artifacts from America’s past, and you can spend hours in its galleries. March is Women’s History Month, and with the museum’s new exhibit on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, this is the perfect month to visit. Read my new review today!
February is Black History Month so it is a perfect time to plan a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. This new museum, located on the National Mall, is an important must-see museum on any trip to DC. While the historical story it tells is one of pain and loss, it is also a hopeful celebration of courage and perseverance. Every American should plan a visit to see this amazing museum. Read my new review today to plan your trip!
Winter is the perfect time to visit a state’s history museum for some educational and indoor fun! Most of these museums are located in the state’s capital and are low-cost or even free. In today's review, I encourage you to visit the North Carolina Museum of History, a good addition to any trip to the state capital of Raleigh. Read my new review today!
The Historic Triangle in Virginia is one of the most important places in American history. I have already reviewed two of the three sites in the Triangle (Yorktown and Jamestown) and today I am reviewing the last site in the triangle, Colonial Williamsburg. There is enough to see and do in Colonial Williamsburg to justify spending several days there. It is a great place to bring the whole family to learn about life in America during colonial times. From seeing a fife and drum marching band to playing colonial games, your kids will have a fun time in the place “where history never gets old!”