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Vacationing in Historic Cities Can Have Lasting Benefits

Updated on September 11, 2011

Now that school has resumed and all of our thoughts are on the three R’s again, short excursions and family outings are probably among the things you will be considering doing during those long weekends and short school breaks over the next nine months. Why not combine the family trip with some fun education by visiting some of our country’s historical cities? Our country’s past is so rich with historical events and the historic cities in which they happened and these cities and events shaped our great nation and the freedoms that we currently enjoy. The subject of history can be dull and boring for any of us, but if you can associate something you’re reading and studying about with a place that you’ve actually seen, or with an event that you may have experienced or witnessed, then the learning process can be so much more fun and long lasting. Let’s look at five important historic cities:

Let’s take Boston for example…as one of our early settled cities; this historical city boasts historical events that affected our freedom from England’s rule. Everyone has heard about Paul Revere’s ride, warning the settlers that the British were indeed coming. Without his courageous ride through this and other historical cities, many people would have been caught unprepared for the British invasion. Taking a trip to the historic city of Boston would enable you to see Paul Revere’s home and the areas that he traveled on that special night. You can even participate in the Freedom Trail and its many walking tours to bring this momentous event into perspective.

What about Williamsburg, Virginia? This is one of many historical cities along the eastern seaboard that is considered to be the birthplace of our American Revolution. Located between Richmond and Virginia Beach, this city is the home of Colonial Williamsburg. In historic Colonial Williamsburg, one can experience many facets of our American Revolution through re-enactments of various events. The actors are decked out in period costumes and you can experience many demonstrations of that era. If you’re into architecture and historical buildings, then your appetite will be well-satisfied as you tour though the shops, taverns and many other restored buildings in the historical city of Colonial Williamsburg.

And, you really can’t take a trip down memory lane without a stop in the historical city of Charleston, South Carolina! The picturesque antebellum architecture and the old southern style hospitality continue from the era of the American Revolution to present day. From the tours through the slave markets to the horse-drawn carriages to the local artisans selling the Gullah arts and crafts, in this historical city, you’re bound to feel the connection to your ancestry and the huge price they paid for our present day freedoms.

One of my personal favorite historical cities is Philadelphia. Did you know that Philadelphia was the first capital of our great nation? Or, that it has been called the “Cradle of Liberty”? It doesn’t seem to me that you can get more historical and American than that! This historic city and the surrounding countryside saw some pretty heavy combat during the American Revolution and if you’re anywhere near Gettysburg, be sure to take the auto tour through the battlefield. It is an experience well worth the trip and one that you and your family won’t likely forget. You can see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Betsy Ross’s house, too, in Philadelphia. In this historical city, you will find that these are truly bits of our battle for independence that one must see to appreciate what our country stands for.

And, of course, our current capital, Washington, DC is another of the great historical cities worthy of visitation. We have many of our National Monuments visible in our country’s capital as well as museums that tell all of the history surrounding the founding and development of our great country.

We could go on and on about city after city in which you can find rich representation of our history…historical cities like Savannah, Georgia; San Antonio, Texas and Baltimore, Maryland just to name a few. Each and every one of these historical cities in our great country has contributed in some way to the freedoms we enjoy today; whether those contributions were battles, or monuments, or architecture, or museums or inventions or simply able-bodied men and women who fought battles, made clothing, planted, nurtured and harvested food or built the weaponry used to fight those battles. Each and every one of these historical cities felt the loss of men, women and children; felt the loss of homes and businesses; felt the loss of cattle, horses and other farm animals and felt the emotional loss of brother fighting against brother and the breakup of the families involved in many of those battles.

These historical cities show, without question, that this great country was built on the blood, sweat and tears of many brave men and women over the years. It seems such a loss that so many of our young people and our children don’t appreciate what came before. Being able to see some of these historical cities and experience some of the past events of our great country could help them put what they are learning into better perspective. It could help them understand some of the political positioning that takes place in our government, both then as well as now. With just a little bit of imagination, one can picture what the areas in these historical cities looked like then, before the pillaging, burning and plundering took place. Just a little bit of imagination…that is all it takes to take these historical cities and sites and recreate the scenes of yesteryear. Just a little imagination is all it takes to gain some genuine appreciation of the freedoms we enjoy today and the prices that were paid for us so long ago.

Yeah…family vacations and mini vacations are great adventures filled with anticipation but when you can build on the education of your kids, and eventually their characters, by making those trips truly meaningful, the rewards are huge, not only for you as parents but also for you as citizens of a great country. These trips to the hundreds of historical cities of our great nation and the awareness they can create could literally change the future of our country. Are you up to the challenge?

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