There are a ton of reasons to go on vacation. In fact, there are more reasons to go on vacation than there are to go to work. At least, that’s how Monday morning strikes me, and I’ll wager it strikes you that way too. The warm summer days fairly reach into your soul with beckoning fingers. Your GPS includes every adventure known to man. But, where to go and what to do? That’s what Gildshire Travel and Nature is all about. We have more ideas for a great vacation than there are cookies in a box of vanilla wafers. A recent trip a friend took to Civil War battlefields brought history to mind. So, let’s take a history trip this summer! Every state has at least one, so we chose some of our very favorites.
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: This is where George Washington’s newly formed Continental Army (pictured above) camped out during the brutal winter of 1777-78. Revolutionary War history is everywhere you look in this lovely small town.
Dahlonega, Georgia: Sing with me, “Lived a miner, 49er, and his…” Ah, yes, who can forget the song about America’s first gold stri…Wait! Did you know there were gold rushes long before the California Strike of 1849? Dahlonega was the site of this country’s first gold strike. It happened in 1828. Historic downtown Dahlonega is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and you can still pan for gold while enjoying your history trip.
Vicksburg, Mississippi: We can debate the most important battles of the Civil War, but for Gildshire Vicksburg is the one. After a 47-day siege, the Confederacy surrendered on July 4, 1863, and Vicksburg remained in the Union after that. The battlefield site is a sobering vacation spot you will never forget.
Dodge City, Kansas: Dodge City began its existence as a water stop on the Santa Fe Trail. When cattle became king, it became the west’s most-prominent cowtown. It was home to almost as many saloons as townspeople, and the gunslingers that became lore congregated here, as well. Today, the historic Dodge City is recreated daily for tourists and history buffs.
Plymouth, Massachusetts: If you are of Euro-mix or European extraction, Plymouth is your hometown. Its where the Pilgrims slapped Plymouth Rock and said, “Let’s do this thing.” In Plymouth is the famed “Plimoth Plantation.” It’s a real-life recreation of pilgrim days. (A popular question to ask the actors is “How do you go to the bathroom?” The answer is, of course, “Outside.” So, now you don’t need to ask.)
Mackinac Island, Michigan: Gildshire touched on Mackinac Island a while back in our article about places where cars are not found. But, there is a lot of history there, in addition to being a car-free zone. Victorian-era buildings line the streets in a “Land That Time Forgot” sort of vibe, especially for lovers of historical architecture.
Narragansett, Rhode Island: The Narragansetts were a powerful Native American tribe that once occupied this portion of North America. Today, the town of the same name features a beautifully maintained historic district with more than a dozen entries in the National Register of Historic Places.
Jonesborough, Tennessee: This was the first town built in what would become Tennessee and the one that would call President Andrew Jackson a native son. Jonesborough draws thousands of visitors a year. They come for the historic buildings, tobacco farming and production history and the Appalachian storytelling culture that lives on today. Don’t you believe us about the storytelling? Pictured to the left is the International Storytelling Center, located in Jonesborough.
Williamsburg, Virginia: Founded in 1632, today’s historic Williamsburg is a modern small city, dressed up in time machine garb. Visitors can step back into 18th-century Colonial days. While there, they will meet scullery maids and blacksmiths. Later, they can dine and sup at George Washington’s favorite tavern.
Taos Pueblo, New Mexico: Other towns on our list have “recreated history.” Taos Pueblo is the real thing unfolding before your eyes. It is a living Native American community that is more than 1,000 years old. UNESCO called it a World Heritage Site.
That’s ten history trips awaiting your exploration. Are there more? Indeed, there are history trips in your state. A little research, and a close look at Gildshire and The Greatest Road Trip Ever Taken will lead you to them.