What are the best American historic sites east of the Mississippi
August 16, 2013 8:02 AM Subscribe
My husband and I want to carefully plan a series of American History field trips for our family, to take place over the next 3-6 years. We live in Northern New England and are, ourselves, pretty conversant in US History. Can you help us plan what we should see and -- most importantly -- what order we should see it in?
posted by anastasiav to travel & transportation (36 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Our son is currently 7. We plan to start this November with a trip to see the Mayflower and Plimoth Plantation (with suitable reading before-hand). Yes, we are aware that Jamestown is earlier, but Plimoth is closer. If we're going to make the trip to VA, we'd prefer to tie it to Williamsburg -- and this is a perfect example of the balance that we are trying to strike in planning the order in which we do things.
As much as we'd like to follow the trail of Lewis and Clark, we're trying to stay east of the Mississippi.
Things on our list so far, in general order:
Fall 2013: Plimoth
Winter: Read a lot about the colonial period and the start of the revolution.
Spring 2014: Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg (and possibly Mt Vernon and Monticello, although there is an argument for holding them until later), with a stop in Philadelphia on the way home. Also possible First State National Monument in DE.
Spring/Summer 2014: Boston/Freedom trail; Fort Ticonderoga;
- Valley forge (ideally in the late fall or winter)
- Adams Family Homsestad in MA
- Site reflecting First People's story, although we don't know what that would be (Plimoth again?)
- Washington DC (to see the sites, but also to talk about the War of 1812)
- Fort McHenry
- A southern plantation museum (again, argument for doing Mt Vernon here, although it's late) in conjunction with Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center (Maryland)
- Railroad Museum (Rail museum of PA, probably)
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park/Ohio and Erie Canal (would probably do St Louis & discuss Lewis and Clark on same trip)
(Then we have a big gap)
Then we'll start a second group that covers the Civil War through to the Gilded Age, but that's far in the future.
So, what say you? What other great sites on the Eastern Seaboard help bring history alive, and, most importantly, where would you put them on our itenerary that makes sense?