Traveling with the kids can be a lot of fun and when there is a chance they will learn a little something without even realizing it? Well, that is just a bonus! Here we take a look at some history tours in the southeast United States your kids will enjoy, too.
Early American History
A terrific place to start is in St. Augustine, Florida, known as the “Nation’s Oldest City” and the longest continually inhabited European-founded city in the United States — founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles. But before Don Pedro settled in, Juan Ponce de Leon stopped by in 1513 on his quest to discover the Fountain of Youth. Castillo de San Marcos, the large Spanish stone fortress found here, was built in the late-1600s and still stands today.
A fun way to learn about history is to step back in time and experience life as it was, as much as we can. Living history museums and experiences throughout the United States allow us to do just that and one of the best is Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, with loads of hands-on activities and its costumed reenactments and interpretations. In North Carolina, The Lost Colony has recounted the English settlement on the Outer Banks’ Roanoke Island for 80 years, and in East Tennessee, the Buttonwillow Civil War Dinner Theater performs a theatrical account as well, though about the Civil War.
A country’s history is about its people, too, and the Southeast is full of rich characters that made their mark on American history.
Thought the Wright Brothers hailed from Dayton, Ohio, their dreams of taking flight took them to Kitty Hawk in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where their first successful airplane flight — albeit 12 seconds long — happened Dec. 17, 1903. The Wright Brothers National Memorial tells their story.
American novelist Ernest Hemingway spent a lot of time in Key West, Florida, the southernmost point in the United States; his home is open for tours and you may even spot a descendent of his famous six-toed cats on the property!
Elsewhere in the Southeast, your family can visit spaces dedicated to authors who may spark an idea for the next great American novel — the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia; Connemara, the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina; or the Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center in Henning, Tennessee.
If you’re traveling through Alabama, make plans to stop in Tuscumbia to see Helen Keller’s home where learned to communicate through a well pump, and the Rosa Parks Library and Museum at Troy University, dedicated to the Civil Rights icon.
Another Civil Rights icon, Martin Luther King, Jr., is memorialized at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee; he was assassinated at the motel in 1968. Elsewhere in Memphis, follow Elvis’ footsteps from his recording at Sun Studio, the “Birthplace of Rock N’ Roll,” to his home at Graceland.
These are but a few ideas that may give your brood some ideas on where to plan your historic family journey in the Southeast.
Overshadowed by nearby Portland and overlooked by tourists bound for the popular coastal towns of Camden and Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick is not on the radar of most family travelers in Maine. But couples looking for a cozy getaway will find fine dining, antiques, art and quiet streets for strolling, many lined by distinguished homes and well-kept gardens.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Not quite ready to say goodbye to summer? If the weather is forcing you to head indoors, you can still take advantage of a few opportunities to splash around in the waves, without even being that far from the beach — thanks to the world’s largest indoor beachfront waterpark, which opened this summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.