President’s Day weekend is often filled with sales from your favorite stores to your local motorhome dealers. Instead of shopping, a great way to spend President’s Day Weekend is traveling! The country is filled with some amazing destinations that are reminders of the people and events that made our country the great place it is today. Here are a few places you might want to visit this President’s Day.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois
Located in Springfield, Illionois, Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the home of this country’s great sixteenth president and several structures in the general vicinity. The historic site spans about 12 acres and is a prime tourist spot, visited by hundreds of thousands of curious people every year.
The highlight of the site is the home of the former president, which offers an in-depth look at the life of a man who was a husband, father, neighbor, and politician and the seventeen years that the Lincoln family spent in the house. Touring the Lincoln home is free but tickets are handed out on a first come, first served basis with only 15 people to a tour.
Outside of the home, you can tour the neighborhood. The buildings and homes surrounding Lincoln’s home have been restored to look the way they did during the time Lincoln lived in the area. Learn about the neighbors, many of whom were Lincoln’s closest friends and confidantes. The new Heirloom Garden, located behind the Dean House, offers a look at what Lincoln might have eaten at the time.
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Virginia
Take your used motorhomes from Lincoln’s simple life at home to the war he lived through. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park was created only recently to protect historical locations in Shenandoah Valley in Northern Virginia. The valley saw some of the most dramatic moments of the Civil War, most notably the Battle of Cedar Creek, and was also home to the Belle Grove Plantation. Even prior to the Civil War, the area had a rich heritage, from the Native Americans that shaped the land and the pioneers that eventually settled there.
There are a ton of things to do here. The list of programs is long and packed with interesting bits of information.
- For a quick, interactive orientation, take part in the “Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box” program, which uses the lush landscape and a helpful box of props to tell the story of the park.
- “To Battlefield and Beyond” will give you a look at how the Civil War’s many battles and campaigns impacted the Valley and its people.
- “From Back Country to Breadbasket” offers a look at Shenandoah Valley’s early history leading up to the eve of the Civil War.
- For a truly in-depth look at the infamous battle, the Battle of Cedar Creek Tour offers two hours of information regarding major events in the fight and stops at key battlefield areas.
George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia
Last but certainly not least, take a trip to the birthplace of America’s first president and founding father. RV dealers in Florida, California, Arizona, and beyond are sure to recommend a visit to the George Washington Birthplace National Monument. The entrance to the grounds is marked by a Memorial Shaft obelisk, a one-tenth scale replica of the Washington Monument in D.C.
The park has skillfully recreated the environment that Washington grew up in, erecting farm buildings and surrounding the area with gardens, livestock, trees, and crops of wheat and tobacco. The area’s centerpiece is the Memorial House, replete with furnishings and items of the time. Other attractions include the historic birthplace home area, hiking trails, the Kitchen House, picnic areas, the Visitors’ Center, The Colonial Living Farm, and more. In the Kitchen House, you’ll find re-enactors demonstrating the creation of soap and candles. You can also take a tour of the Burial Grounds, which contain the graves of 32 members of the Washington family.
This President’s Day weekend, take a moment to delve into this country’s rich history. You’re sure to be rewarded with a better understanding of how we came to be and the ideals that still live strong today.