Although the U.S. is a relatively new country in comparison to its neighbors across the pond, North America is full of a rich, vibrant history. Truly, in the U.S. there are so many adventures waiting. From the Northeast coast to SoCal, and everything in between, you’ll discover fascinating destinations where you can celebrate the past while enjoying the present.
Bringing kids along for a family vacation can sometimes be a challenge, especially with the notoriously short attention spans of little ones. Fortunately, the U.S. is chock-full of incredible cities and states that have interactive and fun historical hot spots to indulge their imaginations. Kids can ask “real” pilgrims questions about their food near Boston, they can see where civil rights struggled to take hold at an Arkansas high school or learn about the evolution of American art in New Mexico. Kids will love the family-friendly attractions, while everyone will learn a thing or two about this great nation and how it has become what it is today.
Virginia is for (History) Lovers
Williamsburg has an iconic colonial recreation that makes for a great day in sunny Virginia, observing period architecture and taking part in fun historical games. Learn a new trade in town and try some glassblowing — older kids love this hands-on endeavor. Then, after surrounding yourselves in history, you and your family can take a break at Water Country theme park or Busch Gardens.
Visit the Rock
Go back to America’s roots and take a trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Located an hour outside Boston, this charming bayside town brings opportunities to find out how the ￼first European settlers made their way over to the New World. Stroll down the Plymouth waterfront for a look at the Mayflower II — a recreation of the strong ship that made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Sneak a peek at the nearby Plymouth Rock — now encased in a grand marble memorial — which is said to be the very spot where pilgrims landed nearly four centuries ago. Then venture down the road for the Plymouth Plantation. This historical complex features a village, Native American settlement, and live actors in full costume and character!
Head South for History
Often overlooked for its coastal neighbors, Arkansas is a veritable playground of culture and history, especially in the Little Rock area. Check out the Clinton Presidential Center for some insight into one of the nation’s previous leaders, or spend time at South on Main to listen to some classic Southern tunes performed live.
Teach your children about the effects of the Civil Rights Movements in the 60’s with a guided tour of Little Rock Central High School, where the “Little Rock Nine” began the journey of a lifetime and changed the nation. When this school was integrated in 1957, nine African-American students were allowed by federal law to enter, but still were met with much negativity and even violence. Roam the hallways and hear stories of these brave young individuals – you might even get the chance to hear them from the Little Rock Nine’s siblings, who stop by occasionally to accompany the tours.
Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?
The artsy and colorful community of Santa Fe is one of the oldest in the Southwest. Find out more about its rich, centuries-old religious traditions by seeing some amazing, intricate churches, or take a local pottery lesson and connect with this ancient trade. Most art galleries in town will host old masterpieces from recent history, including those by Georgia O’Keeffe.
Concentrate on one state or visit them all — you can discover history in every corner in the U.S. But for the best experience, stick to historical U.S. destinations that offer a variety of wonderful points of interest, so you and your family can appreciate the United States’ historical art, cuisine, faith, politics and much more.