The Ultimate Source for Historical Travel in the U.S.

| June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
I’m supposed to be doing something else right now, but I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to share Drum from Antietam Battlefield Visitor Centerthis with you! I just stumbled on the ultimate travel source for interesting historical sites in the U.S. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before. Do you like Maritime History, American History or Archaeology? Then check out the National Park Service Heritage Travel website.
Two of the best things about this site:
  1. Their detailed map of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places – You can zoom in on the map as close as needed to find a precise location.
  2. Also an extensive list of over 60 Travel Itineraries covering more than 3000 locations – The itineraries spotlight different communities, geographic regions and themes across the country. You can sort the list of itineraries by state as well.
My husband is a huge history buff and I truly enjoy visiting these sites too. If you’re like me when you plan a trip, you spend hours on end wading through pages and pages of search results for “Top Things to do in…a specific area” trying to find the little-known gems that you don’t want to miss. I’ve been doing this for years, and before it was web searches, it was travel books.
Even with all that research, there was inevitably a place that we’d miss, because we didn’t realize it was nearby until after we were on our way out of town. Now we won’t have to worry about that. We can go to this site and go straight to our destination on the map to see what’s close by, or we can explore the map to find a region that has sites that we’re interested in seeing. Also, if we’re driving, we can search along our route to see what might be worth a detour. Discovering new adventures close to home, would be another fun way to explore the map.
The entire site is such a wealth of knowledge! I’m forever in debt to the people that created it.
Links on the website also take you to more detailed information about:
  • Archeology Tourism
    Archeology is everywhere, and chances are good that archeologists can help you to look at an old place in a new way.

    • For example, the lower Chesapeake Bay Tidewater Region is rich in history and tradition. This region at the mouth of the bay, includes a shore shaped by “necks” and rivers. It covers many sites in Maryland and Virginia. The archeology of colonial tidewater areas reflects the stories of seafaring trade and transportation, enslavement, plantation and city life, religious belief, and politics.
    • So much of the history of America is about the struggle for liberty and equality. Many historic places evoke that struggle powerfully. Some are well known and are part of a past we learn about from textbooks. Others require that we keep learning, in and out of school. Our African American past is a rich and complex part of history that archeology helps us discover. Visit sites across the nation to learn how archeology of African American sites reveals the lives of households and communities from the earliest colonies to the recent past. Also see the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery to learn more about enslaved Africans and their descendants living in the Chesapeake, Carolinas, and Caribbean during the Colonial and Ante-Bellum Periods.
    • Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia is an excellent example of our rich past, where African American history is being studied and new articfacts are unearthed every day.

Williamsburg Living History Slavery Reenactment

  • Historic and Cultural Parks
    National Historical Parks and National Historic Sites preserve places and events, and activities important in the nation’s history. This site also includes other National Parks.

    • We’ve visited many sites on this list. It’s hard to pick a favorite.
    • Touring the Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC with a National Park Ranger was an insightful look into a tragic time in our history.

Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial Washington DC

View from Perry's Memorial Put-in-Bay Ohio

  • National Heritage Areas
    National Heritage Areas and their partners are reviving historic downtowns, preserving battlefields and telling our nation’s history.

    • One example is the “Journey Through Hallowed Ground” from Charlottesville, Virginia to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, including Harpers Ferry (pictured below)

Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Be sure to check out these helpful sites and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear how you use this resource for upcoming trips too.
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