No matter what your politics, it’s pretty undeniable: We Americans live in a country with a vibrant and fascinating history. From the Boston Tea Party to the Civil War, these rolling hills and stunning coastlines have seen some serious stories over the years.
And talk about beauty and diversity! Grab any map or guidebook — the Rand McNally Road Atlas is a favorite of ours — and you’ll find there’s literally no end to the enchanting and fascinating sites to see in these United States of ours.
Besides, what better way to take pride in your nation than to go and see the very places where some of those legendary moments went down? (Especially when you can save 50% on your campground fees with your Passport America membership?)
When it comes to patriotism in America today, few activities come close to a good, old-fashioned RV camping trip. Think about it: when you head out on the road in your RV, you’re expending time and energy to get out there and experience the country, rather than being satisfied with only your home town or state. Even if you’re just cruising down the highway, you’re immersed in the unique beauty of this land that inspired our founding fathers so many years ago.
And if you’re looking for United States historical sites to visit along the way, that just adds even more to the experience. Although the kids might initially balk and wonder why historical sites are important, once they actually touch the Alamo with their own hands or see the Liberty Bell with their own eyes, their questions will be answered.
So, which historical heritage sites should you put on your not-to-be-missed list?
Here are our favorite patriotic sites for the camper looking for a patriotic US history trip guide.
US History Road Trip
When it comes to American history vacations, these destinations can’t be missed.
1. Boston, Massachusetts
From the arrival and influence of the Puritans to Paul Revere’s midnight ride, there’s so much more to Boston’s historical records than the Tea Party… although you’ll certainly want to pay the harbor a visit, too. Did we mention this town is the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin?
Don’t forget to take a trip south to see Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims landed hundreds of years ago and celebrated the first Thanksgiving.
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Talk about patriotism: This town is where the Declaration of Independence was signed, sealed, and delivered, and thus is the birthplace of our country (not to mention its first capital).
It’s also home to the Betsy Ross House, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and, of course, the famous Liberty Bell. Its crack may have rendered it silent, but sure is still impressive!
3. Jamestown, Virginia
As the first permanent English settlement in America, Jamestown has some very important history to discover, much of which is contained in the 22-acre Historic Jamestowne park, where archeological recovery and research is still being performed to this day.
Best Historical Sites in US
Bring those textbooks to life by visiting these famous national locations.
4. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Perhaps the most famous of all US Civil War battle sites — and certainly one of the most influential — this central Pennsylvania city is also simply a beautiful place to camp. With rolling green hills and a host of fun educational activities administered by the National Park service, this patriotic destination is a no-brainer.
5. Williamsburg, Virginia
Actors and historians make a trip to this colonial town fun and educational at the same time. Take a carriage ride, fire a musket, or brave a spooky ghost tour at the park dedicated to keeping Williamsburg’s history alive.
6. St. Augustine, Florida
You might not have heard of this one in your history books, but it’s actually the oldest city in America! The only difference is, it was settled by the Spanish rather than the English.
With its 1565 founding date, St. Augustine was around a full 55 years before Plymouth Rock and 42 years before Jamestown. So if you want to see the closest thing to “ancient” America has to offer, it’s time to head a little further south than Virginia and Massachusetts!
Best National Monuments to Visit
Here are some monuments to put on your list.
7. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, this breathtaking stone monument isn’t just a classic historic site to visit… it’s also deep in the heart of a perfect camping landscape! Enjoy wooded walks or fishing in nearby Horsethief Lake, all under the watchful gaze of four of our country’s most important figures.
8. National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York
If you were born before 1990, chances are you remember where you were on that fateful September morning. A trip to the 9/11 Memorial that’s been constructed at the site of the twin towers is sure to be somber, but as we all decided that day: We’ll never forget.
While you’re in New York, of course, you can also pay a visit to Lady Liberty. Although she was made in France and is technically in New Jersey’s waters, she’s one of the most iconic symbols of our country’s freedom, generosity, and potential.
Famous Burial Sites
Want to pay your respects to some famous American heros? Here’s where to go.
9. Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
If you’re looking to visit the gravesites of famous American heroes, you could easily make a whole trip out of it — and just look at how many destinations you might have to visit. And while that certainly sounds like an enjoyable project, Arlington National Cemetery is a great place to start.
First of all, it’s situated in the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., so you’ll have plenty of other patriotic and historic sites to visit while you’re there. Secondly, it’s the final resting place of dozens of famous and influential American citizens, from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Thurgood Marshall.
Obviously, this list is just the start of all the beautiful and patriotic spots you might visit in your RV. If you’re looking for even more great destinations, check out the latest version of the Rand McNally Road Atlas — it’s updated yearly and includes tons of fantastic, off-the-beaten-track itineraries. You can also check the National Register of Historic Places to find more cities and buildings that are historically significant.
Enjoy your trip through this beautiful country of ours. They don’t call it the land of the free for nothing!
This post may contain affiliate links.