capital_building_at_sunset

8 Patriotic Places to Celebrate President’s Day

Can you name all 45 presidents in order? How about backwards? OK, neither can we, but that won’t stop us from celebrating their legacy this President’s Day weekend.

In honor of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and all our commanders in chief, check out these eight presidential destinations.

1. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

mount_rushmore

Amidst the forests and streams of the Black Hills mountain range are the towering, granite faces of four great American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Stand in their shadows and marvel at these representations of the birth, growth, development, and preservation of our country.

And since entry is free all weekend long at national parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges, there’s a great excuse to visit the nearby Badlands.

2. Freedom Trail, Massachusetts

Though never our nation’s capital, Boston played a crucial role in its founding. Walking the cobblestone-lined, red brick Freedom Trail is the best way to take it all in.

Starting in the Boston Commons, you’ll pass 16 revolutionary sites and 300 years of American history in one two-and-a-half mile walk.

3. Dealey Plaza, Texas 

dealey_plaza

The site of J.F.K.’s assassination in Dallas is now a memorial to this beloved president and the fateful day our country lost him.

Check out exhibits on the president’s life and legacy, as well as information and artifacts from the investigation at the neighboring Sixth Floor Museum.

4. Rapidan Camp, Virginia

Before Camp David, there was Rapidan Camp. This summer retreat was established by President and Mrs. Hoover during his depression-era administration. After his presidency, Hoover donated the property to the Commonwealth of Virginia and in 1935, it officially became part of Shenandoah National Park.

Three of the thirteen original buildings still stand, including “The Brown House,” President Hoover’s former cabin which has been restored to its 1929 appearance.

5. Independence National Historical Park, Pennsylvania 

libery_bell

This national park in Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell, an icon of freedom whose inscription has inspired Americans for centuries, and Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were drafted. What’s more patriotic than that?

6. Federal Hall National Memorial, New York 

federal_hall_new_york

In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office as our first president at this historic site on Wall Street. The original building has been demolished, but the U.S. Customs House that took its place is now a museum that commemorates America’s earliest days.

You can even see the Bible that Washington was sworn into office with.

7. The Hermitage, Tennessee

Known as “the people’s president”, Andrew Jackson was the first president who wasn’t born into wealth. Get a peek into his life at this plantation-turned-museum where he and wife Rachel lived until his death in 1845.

You’ll only need a half-day to tour the grounds, gardens, and onsite exhibits, leaving plenty of time to experience the other attractions in music city.

8. The National Mall, Washington D.C.

lincoln_memorial

No list of presidential destinations would be complete without a trip to our nation’s capital. The Capitol building, Lincoln Memorial, and National Museum of American History are sure to inspire national pride.

And don’t miss the chance to see the White House while you’re in the neighborhood.

For more inspiration or to find a presidential destination near you, check out the National Park Service’s American Presidents Travel Itinerary.

wu-icon-like-active1 wu-icon-ms0

More about Life & Travel