Historic Sites and Events
If you are looking for an insightful, educational, and often beautiful day trip, historic sites and/or events may be just your thing. Nearly every area has some sort of historic site that you can visit, whether it’s a plaque about the town’s founder or a Civil War battlefield. Here are some ideas for historic day trips.
Native American Celebrations
Native American celebrations, or powwows, are a fun and colorful way to experience a bit of history. Participants usually wear native clothing and perform traditional dances. Often, visitors to the powwow can participate in the dancing and other events. Food and souvenirs are typically available as well. This is a day trip that works great with or without kids.
If you live near a war memorial, visiting it can be a profound experience. If you have to drive a few hours to get to one, it will be worth it. Just plan your meals and make it a whole-day trip. If you live close by, you can still make it a day by doing some sightseeing as well. There is often a park or place to walk near such memorials.
Another profound experience is to visit a battlefield. In the eastern United States, Civil War battlefields abound, and even earlier battlefields from the Revolutionary War are along the eastern seaboard. If you plan your day trip accordingly, you may be able to tour several historic battlefields in one day.
Many historic towns have re-enactments, and they do not always revolve around the Civil War (although seeing a Civil War re-enactment would be a great day trip). Some communities put on plays that pay tribute to a prominent historic figure, and there are historic sites that are set up to look like various times in history. There are colonial towns where staff dress in period clothing and the buildings are all constructed according to the era.
Re-enactments are great for adults and kids alike; you feel as if you are really witnessing history.
Does your town have an historic district? If not, maybe a nearby town does. Some areas offer walking tours or bus tours where you can walk or ride through old neighborhoods. Sometimes there is a person who acts as a guide and information-giver, and sometimes you simply pick up a pamphlet and/or map and go on your own. Historic districts can be fascinating for those interested in architecture and/or local history.