Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park (Appomattox)

It never ceases to amaze me how awestruck my kids are when we visit places where historical events that shaped our nation have taken place. Its surreal for them and I must confess it is equally so for me as well. Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park was one of those places where our minds were truly blown. It's a bit off the beaten track, but if you are headed to Monticello it's well worth the trek to … [Read more...]

Arlington House (Arlington)

If you are planning to visit Arlington, you are most likely going to follow the signs from Arlington National Cemetery that lead up to the house on the hill with the extraordinary view. If you visit during the summer like we did, your are likely to experience some extreme heat and humidity, so the chance to get into some shade indoors will feel like a welcome break. Arlington House is the former home of General … [Read more...]

Historic Tradegar/American Civil War Museum (Richmond)

Tradegar was by far one of the most important factories making weaponry namely canons for the civil war effort.  There is not much left of the original factory, but the original brick building has been transformed into a civil war museum filled with interesting relics and amazing large scale photos. The first thing we noticed was the large gear wheel at the front which we learned about about a Hagley was used to … [Read more...]

Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center (Spotsylvania Courthouse)

  Making the pilgrimage to Gettysburg, by far the most famous battleground of the Civil War will undoubtedly draw you in making you feel the enormity of the loss. But honestly, it's the less famous battlefields that will most likely touch your heart and leave you fascinated and heartbroken at the same time. We would have missed Chancellorsville had it not been for Joel screaming at me to pull over as we … [Read more...]

Harpers Ferry National Park (West Virginia)

This was our last and final stop and the place where we actually completed visiting all 50 states.  It was such a momentous moment we forgot to capture it on film...Ugh..I will regret that till the day I die. Just a word of warning though, when using your GPS make sure it knows you want Harpers Ferry National Park in West Virginia. It's important to note that this is where the states Maryland, Virginia and West … [Read more...]

Gettysburg National Military Park (Gettysburg)

There is nothing that can prepare you for the solemnity and enormity of Gettysburg National Military Park. Visiting here was something I had looked forward to ever since taking on our goal of seeing all 50 states 13 years ago. But I could never have imagined what an incredible experience it would be with kids in high school-particularly enrolled in A.P. U.S. History. My kids and I would agree it was the highlight of … [Read more...]

Fort Sumter (Charleston)

Fort Sumter (Charleston)

One of the highlights of our visit to Charleston and an absolute must see for anyone visiting is a tour of Fort Sumter.  We made our reservations well in advance and you should too to make sure you get a good time that works for you  as these tours do fill up quickly.  The whole tour takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes with about 1 hour spent at the Fort, the rest of the time is spent on the boat heading from the … [Read more...]

Rhode Island State Capitol Building (Providence)

Rhode Island State Capitol Building

Sometimes state capitol buildings can hold the most amazing treasures.  These are usually quick stops as my kids love to quickly run in check out the rotunda and the dome and check for interesting artifacts, but sometimes you want to go a little deeper when you see something truly fascinating.  So when we walked in to the Rhode Island State Capitol building we saw cases of battle worn flags from civil war … [Read more...]

Connecticut State Capitol Building (Hartford)

Connecticut State Capitol Building

While most state capitol building mimic our nations's capitol with the traditional dome, occasionally some dare to be different.  The Connecticut State Capitol Building is one of those that breaks tradition with it's unique and original architecture.  It's kind of hard to describe, but I'd say it seemed like a cathedral crossed with a bavarian castle.  Inside there are tons of bronze sculptures, some pretty … [Read more...]