Many families are taking to the road this summer in lieu of crowded vacation spots. National parks are a popular destination, but national historic sites are often overlooked. What’s great about visiting national historic sites is that they can often be a last-minute day trip as well as a more detailed and planned vacation.
While there are many amazing national historic landmarks and sites throughout the U.S., these are some of our favorites::
- Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park- Seattle played a large part in commerce during the Klondike Gold Rush and this park is where you can learn all about it.
- Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site - Visit America’s only Nobel Prize-winning playwright’s home in Northern California.
- Rosie the Riveter / WWII Home Front National Historical Park - Learn about daily life (the sacrifices and efforts) on the homefront during WWII.
- War in the Pacific National Historical Park - This park commemorates those on the frontlines and in the campaigns of WWII.
Mid West Region
- Lincoln Home National Historic Site - Visit our sixteenth president’s home and learn about Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency.
- Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site - Learn about the people who changed history and ended legal segregation in public schools.
- Harry S. Truman National Historic Site - Learn about President Harry S. Truman from childhood through his later years.
Rocky Mountain Region
- City of Rocks National Historic Reserve - This “silent city” of rocks has lots to offer in outdoor adventure and geologic study.
- Chimney Rock National Historic Site - One of the most famous and recognizable landmarks for pioneer travelers on the Oregon trail and other migration routes.
- Golden Spike National Historical Park - Enjoy learning about the transcontinental railroad at this location where the last spike was set in the 19th century.
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park - Enjoy the advanced buildings of the Ancestral Puebloan people that demonstrate their understanding of engineering.
- Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park - Discover LBJ’s life from his ancestors up until his death.
- Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park - This battle shaped the map of the U.S. and Mexico. Find out the causes and consequences of this battle and the U.S. Mexican war.
North East Region
- Boston African American National Historic Site - Boston site was home to some of the leaders of the Abolition Movement and this site is a great way to learn about them.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site - Learn about JFK’s early life at his childhood home.
- Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site - This site was both the home of Henry W. Longfellow (one of the world’s most prominent 19th-century poets) and the site of General George Washington’s Headquarter during the Siege of Boston.
- Harriet Tubman National Historical Park - Discover all that this amazing leader did for equal rights.
How to Record Your National Historic Sites Excursions
National historic sites are a great way to get out of the house and enjoy U.S. history (and often while getting some sunshine!). They’re perfect for family adventures and school or homeschool field trips. But there’s so much to see, folks often forget what they have learned.
That’s where a National Historic Sites Bucket Journal comes in! This bucket journal gives you space to fill in the interesting information you learned on your trip. It also has space for planning your trip, from site hours to things you want to see.
It’s the perfect travel companion for history buffs. What is your favorite way to record your family trips?