Outdoor Virginia Presidential Sites (Virginia)

The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have prevented me from traveling to any new Presidential sites this month. However, several of my previously reviewed Presidential sites in Virginia have reopened their extensive hiking trails and gardens. With many parents looking for a place to let their children play in the outdoors, these sites make a perfect place to visit during the pandemic! Read my new review today to plan a safe and fun visit.

Tuckahoe Plantation (Richmond)

My quest to visit Presidential and First Lady sites has been hampered by the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.  However, since I live in Central Virginia, an easy drive from many of these sites, I decided to check out a Presidential site in my own backyard, Tuckahoe Plantation.  It's a lovely site to visit, even during this pandemic. Read my new review today!

Fort Monroe (Virginia)

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!

Andrew Johnson’s birthplace and Bennett Place (Raleigh/Durham)

155 years ago, the United States was in turmoil. President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated, his killer, John Wilkes Booth, was on the run, and some Confederate forces had not yet surrendered. While Gen. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox effectively ended the Civil War, there were still soldiers in North Carolina and in states and territories out west that didn’t lay down their arms until weeks or even months after Appomattox. Not only was North Carolina a pivotal place in these last few weeks of the war, it also served as the birthplace of the 17th President, Andrew Johnson, who was negotiating the peace. Read my new review today about the historic sites around Raleigh/Durham where you can learn more about President Johnson and the largest surrender of soldiers during the Civil War.

Virtual Tours of Presidential and First Lady Sites

With our current quarantine situation due to the COVID-19 health crisis, no one will be traveling for a while.  Hopefully the situation will improve shortly but until then, virtual travel is our best bet.  In researching Presidential and First Lady sites for my checklist, I found that many sites have online virtual and video tours.  It would be a fun project to tour each site with your kids!  We are picking one a day to "tour."  If we can’t check off the sites in person, we can at least visit virtually!

Library of Virginia (Richmond)

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!

Smithsonian National Museum of American History (Washington, DC)

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!

The White House (Washington, DC)

The ultimate Presidential site to visit is the White House in Washington, DC.  Every President since John Adams has lived in the White House, making it the most historic home in America.  From its burning during the War of 1812 to its complete renovation in the 1950s, the importance of the White House building has remained constant.  If you are planning a trip to Washington, DC, you need to take your family to see the “people’s house.”  Read my new review today to learn how to visit with kids.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, DC)

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!

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh)

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!