But there are many people who make it a point to relive at least a small part of our nation’s past by spending their vacation celebrating it. History takes on a new meaning when you follow the path of those who have come before us, from the path of the Underground Railroad (at right) or the battlefields of the Revolutionary War. Granted, Sacajawea didn’t get to take a break from all of the hiking with a good soak and a night’s rest at the Comfort Inn, but by following the trial of Lewis & Clark, even by car, you get a sense of manifest destiny. History is far more than words in a text book. Feeling the breeze, smelling the air, imagining the chutzpah it took to brave the unknown—that is something to remember.
“Historical” sites can be open to broad interpretation. There are folks who make it a goal to visit every baseball stadium in the United States, making note of the players and barriers broken at each field. The Tenement Museum and Ellis Island can be a very personal historical journey for those whose own relatives braved the unknown to come to America. Sure, places like Washington, DC and Williamsburg, Virginia, are great history vacations; our friends at Family Circle magazine have compiled a list of 15 best historic sites for kids. The National Museum of Play has a treasure trove of the toys and games that have treated generations to play.
But if you were going to follow the footsteps of history, what trail would you take?