Condensing the study of American history into something manageable can be extremely difficult and time consuming. Sometimes the best way to really learn about a specific person or time period is by visiting a museum or house dedicated to that person or era. Here is a list of 24 fabulous historical sites that you and your students will love visiting.
Note: Due to the fallout from Covid, most of these sites are functioning differently which can entail complications. If it is easier for your family to stay home, most websites offer virtual tours, lectures, and exhibits.
The Freedom Trail | Boston, MA
This “trail” stretching 2.5 miles across the historic city of Boston spans 16 different historical sites of significant importance. You won’t regret taking this fantastic field trip with your students.
Due to Covid, some of the sites are closed or have different hours. Here is a link to a virtual tour if you would rather see this beautiful city from the comfort of your own home.
“You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it.”– John Adams
Carter House Plantation | Franklin, TN
Known by various names, the Civil War cost our country a great many things: freedom, old Southern culture, and human life. Tour the Carter House in Franklin, Tennessee to see what this destructive war did to civilians.
Despite Covid, Carter House is open for tours. Book yours today here.
Carnton Plantation | Franklin, TN
The sister plantation to Carter House, Carnton provides more insight about the war and its impact on those who lived through it. Both houses survived the Battle of Franklin, a battle that never should have happened.
Schedule your tour here or look around the website to see what events are coming up.
The Hermitage | Hermitage, TN
One of the loveliest presidential homes, The Hermitage was Andrew Jackson’s residence was many years. This plantation showcases the beauty of Tennessee and explains the complicated man who was our 7th president.
Click here to look at the website since the Hermitage is open for tours.
The Holocaust Museum | Washington DC
World War 2 is a complex puzzle of events and people. One of the most disturbing is the Holocaust, the official name of the genocide of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Considering our culture today, each and every student should see what happens when sin takes over and evil people are elected to positions of power.
Unfortuantely the museum is closed, but click here for a virtual tour.
“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”– Martin Niemoeller (German Theologian; Pastor)
Gettysburg National Military Park | Gettysburg, PA
The battle that turned the tide of the Civil War… despite the numerous bloody and important conflicts of this war, this specific fight is particularly important. It was the bloodiest conflict of the war and, like another battle, was never supposed to happen.
The park is open for tours, so click here to view the website.
Jamestown | Jamestown, VA
One of the fist colonies established in North America, Jamestown provides lots of entertainment and accurate historical representations for you and your students.
Click here to schedule your tour.
Williamsburg | Williamsburg, VA
Another important colony in American history, taking your family on a field trip to Williamsburg should be a must in the homeschool community. You and your students will love the skits, tours, gift shops, and more.
Schedule your tour by clicking here to view the website.
American Village | Montevallo, AL
If Williamsburg and Jamestown are too far away, try this instead. American Village offers similar entertainment showcasing what early American life was like.
The Village is open for tours, so click here to go to their website.
Monticello | Charlottesville, VA
Visiting Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful Virginia home is a perfect field trip. The house of our 3rd President and author of the Constitution, Monticello provides a fascinating visual look into who Jefferson really was.
The house is open for tours, but they are coming down hard on Covid regulations, so click here to access the website and see what the specific changes are.
“I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”– Thomas Jefferson
Fort Sumpter National Monument | Charleston, SC
This unassuming military fort is the starting point for the bloodiest war fought on United States soil. In 1861, Confederate troops fired on the Fort and so began the Civil War. This is a definitely a must see for every homeschool family.
Sections of the Fort are open, but check the website before scheduling a trip.
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum | Cheyenne, WY
Most Americans don’t realize this, but the Wild West was a purely American time period. There is no other country in the world who has an era of history like this in their past. Everyone in your family will really enjoy this field trip.
Like other places on this list, only specific parts of the museum are open. Check the website before scheduling your trip.
“Wild Bill was a strange character, add to this figure a costume blending the immaculate neatness of the dandy with the extravagant taste and style of a frontiersman, you have Wild Bill, the most famous scout on the Plains.”– General George Custor, writing about Wild Bill Hickock
St Augustine Discovery Field Trip | St. Augustine, FL
Surprisingly, the oldest city in the US is not on the upper east coast: it is in Florida. Tour the city of St. Augustine on trolleys to visit museums and historical sites with your students.
Click here to view the website.
Harry Truman’s Little White House | Key West, FL
Following the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, president during World War 2, vice president Harry Truman was tasked with the seemingly impossible job of stepping in his shoes. This house was where Truman spent many winter months during his presidency.
Check out the website to view the different tours.
Roosevelt’s Little White House | Warm Springs, GA
The 32nd president built this house while governor of New York because of the warm springs that helped soothe his paralyzed legs due to polio. He used this house constantly throughout his long presidency. You can view it today just as he left it at his death in 1945.
Click here to schedule your trip.
Adams National Historical Park | Quincy, MA
Visiting the birthplace of John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams, the 2nd and 6th US presidents is an easy field trip. It is definitely worth walking around the beautiful park, even if just to see the grounds surrounding the houses.
The park is open to visitors, but there are Covid restrictions in place. Click here to see what they are.
First Ladies National Historic Site | Canton, OH
One of the more unique museums on this list, this site is a tribute to the women who have dutifully served our country alongside their more prominent husbands. Your students will love exploring different time periods through the viewpoint of the First Ladies.
Like many other museums, this site has strict Covid regulations so make sure to check the website before scheduling a tour.
Independence National Historical Park | Philadelphia, PA
This park showcases America’s founding ideals by displaying various symbols of our country. These include the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.
Check the park’s website before scheduling a trip to see the different tours and exhibits.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”– Benjamin Franklin
Montpelier | Montpelier Station, VA
James Madison, our 4th president, lived the rest of his life in Virginia home like so many other presidents did. The house is beautiful and well worth a trip east.
The house and gift shop have different hours so click here to check the website.
Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
The home of our first president, George Washington, should be visited by every American. It is a stately, lovely house, surrounded by luscious grounds, and only a few miles away from D.C. This should definitely go to the top of your field trip list.
The house is open now, but things change frequently so make sure to check the website.
“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”– George Washington
Ellis Island | New York, NY
Seemingly small and insignificant, this island welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States in her early years as a country. Visiting Ellis Island not only entails viewing documents and photographs, but also the Statue of Liberty.
Click here to view the website.
Plymouth Plantation | Plymouth MA
After arriving on the Mayflower, the Pilgrims established the colony of Plymouth, one of the first successful colonies in America. Your students will love exploring this colony and learning about what our ancestors endured in order to survive.
The site is open for tours but check the website before scheduling anything.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum | Oklahoma City, OK
Like the museum in Wyoming, this unique museum will give your students a well rounded understanding of the Wild West. It is full of historic paraphernalia that will spark your students’ interest in this specifically American culture.
Click here to access the website.
The House of Betsy Ross | Philadelphia, PA
Betsy Ross is one of the most famous women in American history. Thanks to her, our country’s flag was born. Touring her house will bring this incredible contribution to life and provide insight into who Betsy Ross really was.
The house is open for tours. Click here to access the official website.
“When we honor our flag we honor what we stand for as a Nation – freedom, equality, justice, and hope.”– Ronald Reagan