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!

Kilmainham Gaol (Dublin)

While Alcatraz may be America’s most notorious former prison, Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin is Ireland’s most evocative and meaningful former prison.  We recently toured it on our way out of Dublin to the Ireland countryside, and it was easily the most impactful historical site that we saw during our whole trip. Read my new post today to see why you should add this tour to your itinerary while in Dublin!

Alcatraz (San Francisco)

No visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to the most infamous prison in America, Alcatraz, known as The Rock.  This former prison sits in San Francisco Bay, with the lights of San Francisco beaming ever so close but out of reach for those prisoners who were incarcerated here. Taking your kids to Alcatraz is a fun way to step back in history.  Even though it is not a prison anymore, the site is still very creepy and really gives you the feeling of being in a wind-swept, isolated place.  Don’t worry, though, it is still kid-friendly, and its history as a scary place shouldn’t keep you from visiting with your family! Read my new post today to see why you should add this tour to your itinerary while in San Francisco!