If your student loves history, you need not travel across the country to participate in a vacation that he or she will enjoy. Day trips can inspire and educate, while also accommodating your busy schedule.
tThese adventures are frequently available nationwide, and an internet search may uncover several in your region.
1. State capitals
t These sites contain a wealth of information about your specific state’s history and government. Many offer guided tours, as well as museums that include statues, murals and artifacts unique to your state. Each state capital is different, so consider visiting two for the purposes of comparison, if at all possible.
2. Presidential libraries
t Presidential libraries contain numerous items from a former president’s time in office. Generally, the libraries are similar to museums, with displays, outreach programs and tours. They preserve historical materials from a period in our nation’s history, emphasizing the political issues and triumphs of the day.
3. History museums
t Certain history museums focus on a very particular topic, such as Apache history, the history of baseball, Holocaust history, the history of medicine or the history of your state. Large cities maintain large-scale history museums, but small collections, celebrating local heritage and history, are often closer, more community driven, more numerous, and less expensive.
t A wonderful way to explore history is to personally experience a piece of it. Locations like Colonial Williamsburg allow your student to meet individuals who can tell them about the time period while in character. Portions of the country hold battle reenactments from the American Revolution or Civil War, where visitors are encouraged to watch from the sidelines. Renaissance fairs (note that the level of authenticity varies) also offer your student a chance to participate, and they generally occur during the summer.
5. Birthplaces and homes of famous figures
t Many important locations in the lives of historical figures have been converted into small museums. Investigate Frank Lloyd Wright’s house, Graceland, the Lincoln Tomb, and Walden Pond. Not only do these sites provide an insight into the person as well as his or her life, work, and family, they also discuss the related time period.
t Although they stand as memorials of great tragedy, battlefields offer a glimpse into the darker moments of American history. While certain battlefields may be marked solely by a memorial or plaque, others like Gettysburg have tour guides, reenactments and museums that discuss the causes and repercussions of conflict.
7. Train voyages
t Passenger train rides are offered across the country, and they can last several hours to several days. Many strive for historical accuracy, with steam engines and era-appropriate cars. Some journeys trace the paths of settlers or travel along the same tracks utilized during the Gold Rush. With their scenic views, these trips can be an informative and relaxing way to spend your day.
t The seven suggestions above represent a mere sampling of the historical day trips available to you and your family. With just a bit of research, your history-loving student can explore to his or her heart’s content.
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