After writing about the Virginia Capital Trail last week, I’ll be reviewing many of the stops along the trail in the coming months. Several battlefields and historic homes are along the route, including the home of our nation’s 10th President, John Tyler. In my quest to visit all of the Presidential and First Lady historic sites, I knew I had to see it in conjunction with the Capital Trail. His home, named Sherwood Forest, is a peaceful place for your family to take a break while on a bike trip. Read my new review today!
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!
The small town of Gettysburg, near Pennsylvania’s border with Maryland, seems an unlikely spot for a battle of significance. However, in the summer of 1863, Union and Confederate forces clashed here, in what is called by some historians as the turning point of the Civil War. Whether you agree with that statement or not, there is no doubt of the battle’s effect on history. Now a National Military Park, Gettysburg’s location in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania makes it the perfect place to take a fall socially-distanced educational trip with your family.
Read my new post today about the place where George Washington spent the formative years of his youth, Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, VA. Did he really chop down a cherry tree here? Learn more about the site and why it would make a great fall family outing!
If you live in the mid-Atlantic region, you may not realize that you are probably within a few miles of a historic Civil War battleground or site. With hundreds of battles fought in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee, almost every county or city has a Civil War historical site. As we are all doing more staycations thanks to the travel restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic, this might be a perfect time to check out these historical sites in your own backyard!
There are over 100 Civil War battlefields in Virginia, and almost 50% of the total number of battles in the entire war were fought here. One of the easiest battlefields to visit during the heat of the summer and during this time of social distancing is the Petersburg National Battlefield. Most of the battlefield can be seen during a driving tour, with stops along the way at various interest points. If you’re looking for a new place to take a drive with the kids, Petersburg National Battlefield is a great choice. Read my new review today!
With the resurgence of interest in Alexander Hamilton, thanks to the popular Hamilton the Musical’s recent release on Disney+, many families would like to plan trips to take their little Hamilfan to Hamilton-related sites. My new post is a comprehensive list of Hamilton sites in several states and the Caribbean. Read it and plan your in person or virtual visit today!
As I stated in my review of Yellowstone last year, national parks are wonderful places to combine history education with outdoor activities. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many families are not able to travel to the best known national parks this year. However, right now is the best time to begin planning for summer 2021. Many of the hotels, restaurants, and activities sell out 9-12 months in advance so you will want to start planning your dream trip 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!