You might think getting the family fired up for a “historical vacation” is a difficult task. However, with the right planning, trips to historical sites can be action-packed and engaging. Plus, your vacation will have a sense of purpose, and you’ll feel good about educating the kids—or just yourself—along the way.
The Lewis and Clark Trail provides a goldmine of cross-country vacation ideas, with hiking, camping and rafting as just a few of the options. Other historical vacations include Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia; Machu Picchu in Peru, with its ancient mystery and culture; the ruins of ancient Rome; or the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
The important thing is to instill a sense of historical importance when you visit these sites. Children love imagining battles and historic events, or seeing them reenacted, and will appreciate visuals to go along with textbook knowledge. Wherever you go, chances are you’ll feel satisfied—and smart—at the end of your historical vacation.
Take a day trip from Washington, D.C., to Alexandria, which offers charming historical landmarks and popular boutique shopping.
Teach your kids, and yourself, about Atlanta’s role in American history, as well as in the classic film “Gone With the Wind.”
Beijing sights offer cultural insights from old to new, from historical sites to futuristic Olympics venues.
There are plenty of additional historic and cultural attractions worth your while, but if visiting Beijing for the first time, here are 10 must-see sights to get you on your way.
Experience rural Belize and explore ancient Mayan ruins when you stay at these top jungle lodges.
Explore Mayan civilization on your Belize vacation with tours to ancient ruins like Caracol, Lamanai and Altun Ha.
Get local expert tips on how to make the most of your tour to these 16 historic sites that trace America’s colonial roots.
Our local expert shares her tips to help you plan your vacation to Beantown and discover its many wonderful historic neighborhoods.
One family’s visit to Langa, a black township in Cape Town, offered an education in cultural exchange.
Pre-Revolutionary War homes and sprawling antebellum plantations highlight this popular historical destination in South Carolina.
Visit historical locations and personal favorites of the 44th president in his hometown of Chicago.
Explore the diverse neighborhoods of D.C. during your college visit.
Discover Egypt’s historic waterway in all its grandeur with a cruise along the world-famous Nile River.
Historical landmarks, world-class museums, incomparable pubs and abundant shopping are just a few of the draws in this capital city.
From the Colonial East to the Wild West, step back in time at some famous—and not-so-famous—destinations.
Tour the tiny, coastal villages of Chesapeake Bay for a glimpse of the past and a refreshing respite from the modern metropolis.
Tour Westchester’s grand old estates, including the former homes of Nelson D. Rockefeller and Washington Irving.
Visit Buddha’s birthplace to observe—or partake in—holy rituals and one raucous celebration in honor of third-century religious figure, Gautama.
Head to Mackinac Island for famous fudge, historic forts and the great outdoors.
Insider advice from a former White House staffer for planning your trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the inauguration of the 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama.
Visit these famous U.S. war memorials this Veterans Day to honor American soldiers and learn about the history of this important holiday.
The town made famous by a popular Eagles song transformed Winslow, Ariz., from merely lyrics to a major tourist destination.
Tour the famous battlefield and stand in the spot where President Lincoln gave the “Gettysburg Address.”
Read our tips for taking in the best vistas and historic sites of this national treasure, one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
Havana has so much more than old cars, listening to wizened musicians play live music and drinking rum.
Learn about this African-influenced culture and the people who have helped preserve it in the Carolina Sea Islands.
Lincoln bicentennial exhibitions, events and activities honoring the 16th President of the United States.
Let your taste buds lead the way. Experience Honolulu’s eclectic Chinese-inspired culinary scene and open-air markets that define this culturally diverse neighborhood.
London’s great, but why not experience the rest of England—even if only for a day.
A practical travel guide by our local expert to a historic city with modern verve.
This famous university town is a welcome respite from hectic London and a great place to teach the kids a history lesson or two.
From New England history to maritime culture to classic Atlantic beaches—what not to miss during your vacation to this idyllic, historic island.
The iconic monument is a work of art, a symbol of American freedom and a lesson in our country’s history.
From Pompeii to Herculaneum, step back in time at the several archaeological sites near the city.
Check out these lesser-known New York sightseeing gems, from Manhattan’s last natural salt marsh and 18th century farmhouses to a remote Buddhist museum.
Learn about Hawaii and explore Oahu’s natural wonders on these affordable kid-friendly excursions.
Need a break from bustling Buenos Aires? Consider a jaunt across the Rio de la Plata to historic Colonia del Sacramento.
Discover this tiny Mediterranean island nation, which offers legendary history, luxurious hotels and beautiful beaches.
The French capital lives up to its hype, with world-class museums, restaurants, shopping and historical sites. Check out our local expert’s recommended favorites.
From its historical sites and enclosing wall to its French-influenced culture and cuisine, Québec City offers enticing options for all ages.
Everyone has heard of the catacombs, but these early Christian tombs are only the beginning of Rome’s subterranean world.
From the toppled columns of the Forum to Vatican City to the cobblestone streets of Trastevere, Rome has something to appeal to everyone.
After seeing the Alamo, head to nearby Missions National Park to see four additional historic Spanish missions, all still active churches.
Explore this Southwestern city beyond the famous Alamo. Don’t miss the San Antonio River Walk, its Tex-Mex culture, the Fiesta festival and more.
San Diego isn’t just about surfing and Legoland. There are plenty of other outdoor adventures sure to excite the entire family—and they’re all less than an hour from the city.
Choose from historic inns to stylish, modern boutique hotels when you stay in Savannah.
Georgia’s historic coastal islands offer everything from haute to honky-tonk and a pristine national seashore.
Savannah’s remarkably well-preserved historical buildings and celebrated contemporary arts scene offer an elegant feast for the eyes.
Take in some Southern charm and explore the history and architectural treasures on a specialized Savannah sightseeing walking tour.
Learn about this fine U.S. colonial city’s beautiful historical sites as well as its cutting-edge contemporary attractions.
Visit key sites in Nelson Mandela life, from his youth to his freedom from jail.
Visit Tampa’s Latin quarter for a taste of Cuban cuisine, entertainment and history.
One teen hikes the Great Wall on her family vacation and takes a memorable zip-line flight off its edge.
Williamsburg theme park passes and hotel discount package, free Orlando and San Francisco hotel gas card offers, Bahamas Wyndham Nassau resort discount.
It’s been four centuries since this Dutch explorer discovered the Hudson River. Check out the events slated for the year-long celebrations throughout New York State.
Chill on gorgeous beaches, ply Caribbean waters, tour historic attractions and shop duty-free on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John—while leaving your passport at home.
Insider info from our local expert on where to go and what to see on your next trip to D.C.
Don’t know which Washington museums are best for kids from tykes to teens? Read here for age-appropriate recommendations.
With the upcoming inauguration, learn about the history and lives of our previous commanders in chief by checking out these top presidential attractions in Washington, D.C.
Retrace U.S. colonial history on your next vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia.
Complete your authentic family vacation to Williamsburg with an overnighter at one of 26 historic guesthouses.
Treat the kids to an 18th century dining experience in a traditional colonial-style restaurant in Williamsburg.
When visiting nearby Colonial Williamsburg, take a break from the crowds and plan a day trip to this historic settlement.
Learn about the original 13 colonies or factoids about each of the 50 U.S. states with these two travel books, one geared for adults, the other for kids.
Discover “Top 5” lists of things to do in Vegas or read up on haunted historic sites to catch a glimpse of ghosts, including Elvis, lurking around Sin City.
Two Washington guidebooks highlight capital attractions in an interactive format for kids.
Our Fourth of July coverage tackles all things Americana: from Colonial Williamsburg and historic Mt. Rushmore to traditonal U.S. summer vacation destinations and kitschy festivals.
Old meets new, East meets West in this ancient city that has been transforming itself for the XXIX Olympiad, just a week away.