While children have been going back to school, there’s still plenty of time to plan a short weekend getaway. Why not also mix in some history and education with the enjoyment of vacation? Here are some of the most iconic Southern historical sites that you can visit and learn about the past.
1. Mount Vernon
Learn more about the nation’s first president by visiting his former home and plantation located in Alexandria, Virginia. Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington and his family. Visitors can tour the land, see various educational exhibits, browse the on-site museum, and sit in the theatre for unique presentations on Washington’s life. In addition to educational programs, visitors will also enjoy strolling through the four flowering gardens that can be found on the property. It’s also near Washington D.C., so if you’re visiting the Capitol then you should add this to your itinerary.
2. The Alamo
Located in San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo was originally called the Misión San Antonio de Valero and was founded by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 18th century. Known for the Battle of the Alamo which was fought over a few days in early 1836, Mexican soldiers defeated soldiers from the Republic of Texas. One of the more famous commanders from this battle was the early frontiersman Davy Crockett. Though the Texans lost this particular battle, it became a symbol to resist oppressive forces and always fight for independence.
It’s easy to become attracted to the land as you tour the city. Search sites such as rentals.com for houses for rent in San Antonio to find a place that fits your lifestyle and budget.
3. Arlington National Cemetery
Located in Arlington, Virginia, this is one of the most well-known cemeteries in the United States because it honors those brave men and women who died in service to our country. Thousands of white headstones can be found on the 600-plus acre land, paying tribute to these fallen heroes. Walking the land, visitors can see graves dating back to the American Civil War and moving forward through today. Famous sites include seeing John F. Kennedy’s grave as well as the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
4. Colonial Williamsburg
Interested in colonial life, prior to our nation’s independence? If so, then head to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia to see how early colonists lived, worked, and interacted with each other. Visiting this area is like stepping back in time. There are so many museums and educational attractions that share information on the life and times of colonial life. There are also a wide range of performances and reenactments, with cast members walking around and engaging as if part of that time period. It’s like being part of a living museum when you’re there.
5. Antietam National Battlefield
Located in Sharpsburg, Maryland, this battlefield remains a significant part of Civil War history as it led to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and stopped the advancement of the Confederate Army into the North. On these grounds, 23,000 soldiers died during this 12-hour battle.
6. Campground church and cemetery
The campground has been visited by travelers and settlers since the 1800s. At that time, there were only trees and wooded areas and travelers used to use them for resting. This was a famous resting place because of the nearby five springs. You could rest and relax there and also enjoy the scenery there.
Afterward, in 1834, a man named “George Hileman” took land patent of that area. In addition to this, he also built a church there and a cemetery. So if you wish to look around at such a place, you should give it a try. It would be a worth visiting destination.
7. Custom House Museum
This is a governmental building and of course a historical one. This old and historic custom house is located in the downtown area of Cairo, Illinois.
It was built in the year 1869 to 1872. The design of this building has an Italianate style and was done by the designer Alfred B. Mullet. You will observe amazing features of the architecture that include rounded windows and bracketed cornices.
And of course, there is a museum where you will get to see different objects. So if you really want to enjoy the beautiful art pieces surrounded by amazing architecture, this is the place.
8. Mercer Williams House Museum
This house is located in Savannah, Georgia. It was private property, to begin with. However, now it belongs to the public. Therefore, anyone can go and visit it.
Just like the previous one, this house museum also has Italianate architecture. Therefore, you can see the beautiful aspects of design.
But this is not the main part. You might be thinking about the reason for its popularity. It was actually the best-seller story of 1994, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. This bestseller took the popularity of this house to its peak and the house got international recognition. Afterward, it gained a huge number of visitors.
So you will not only get to see the amazing specimen but also a beautiful piece of architecture.
Biltmore is private property but you can make a booking and visit it. Or you can also arrange public tours because it is open for visits. It is located in Asheville in North Carolina and was opened for the first time in 1895.
In addition to being a tourist attraction, it is also the biggest private property in America. You will get to see the amazing mountains of Asheville through it. Furthermore, you will see a French style in the architecture.
And if you want to make a booking for a group of people, you can do so. This house has a total of 250 rooms. Out of which, there are 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. Furthermore, there are also fireplaces. So you will get to observe a historic lifestyle there. And most importantly, it is not completely vacant. The descendants of the first owner are still living there.