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Historical Locations You Can Visit in an RV

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Road trip concept; Young man sitting on RV holding American flag

RVing from Sea to Shining Sea

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Learning about history is important. It helps ensure we continue to move forward as a society and avoid repeating mistakes over and over again. That said, learning about historical events from a textbook can be tedious and dull, something that history should never be. Instead, people should be introduced to history through experiences

Actually visiting historical locations, talking with people who know what life would have been like all those years ago, and seeing artifacts up close are all much more likely to leave an impression than any dry history class might.

Fortunately, there are tons of amazing places that offer these kinds of hands-on immersive learning experiences all across the United States. Why not pick up the RV and head out on the ultimate history lesson this summer at one or more of these top historical U.S. locations?

Related: Bucket List RV Trips for 2021

Independence Hall North Side

Independence Hall

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is chock-full of amazing historic sites, and you’re bound to see at least a few of these while visiting the city. That said, if you only see one thing, make sure it’s Independence Hall. This is where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the tour of this place is absolutely phenomenal.

Related: Make RV Trip Planning Easy

Mesa Verde National Park, Ancient Pueblo Cliff Dwelling, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde, Colorado

If you find yourself in Colorado, we highly recommend a stop at the beautiful Mesa Verde National Park. Yes, this has all the lovely views and wonderful hiking trails of a typical national park. However, it also features a good amount of history about the native people of the area, including some seriously cool homes built into the sides of cliffs.

Related: Don't Miss 19 of America's Most Underrated National Parks

cannons at Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Most Americans are well aware of what an important role Gettysburg has played in our nation’s history. Visit this fantastic park to learn all about the battle that took place here, as well as the historic Gettysburg Address given by President Lincoln after the battle took place.

Related: The Top 16 Military Campgrounds & RV Parks in the U.S.

Historic Triangle sign
Wikimedia Commons

The Historic Triangle

Williamsburg Area, Virginia

If you want a whole lot of history in one place and can’t make it to Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Virginia is the place to go. This is the location of the Historic Triangle, a group of amazing living history museums including Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, and Yorktown.Other fantastic sites in the vicinity include Historic Jamestown and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in Virginia

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site - Atlanta

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Atlanta, Georgia

Looking to learn more about the amazing MLK? Look no further than the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. This place is run by the NPS and features the home where King was born, as well as some absolutely wonderful exhibits about his life and his work.

Related: 12 Things You Didn't Know About Martin Luther King Jr.


Alcatraz Island

San Francisco, California

Those interested in the strange and creepy side of history will appreciate Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. This island was once home to a fort, a military prison, and then a federal prison. Learn about these things and more on a guided tour of this unusual and intensely interesting historic site.

Related: 31 Historic Places Across America That You Can Tour Virtually

Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York City

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

New York City, New York

Another historic site located on an island (though on the opposite end of the country), the Statue of Liberty is perhaps the most iconic site in all of the United States. This enormous statue has a rich history behind it that is well worth learning about during a visit to Liberty Island.

Ellis Island is another New York Island that deserves a visit. This was once the busiest immigration inspection station in the country. During this time, the island welcomed more than 12 million immigrants. It now features a fantastic museum that helps visitors envision what the immigration process would have been like.

Related: 15 Types of People Who Shouldn't Visit New York City

French Quarter, New Orleans

French Quarter

New Orleans, Louisiana

Rich with colorful culture and history, New Orleans boasts historic sites and museums around every corner. This is especially true in the French Quarter, which we recommend visiting multiple times in order to get the full experience. Enjoy a beignet and chicory coffee at Cafe du Monde, listen to some real jazz music at Preservation Hall, explore one of the many history museums around town, and be sure to check out Jackson Square, Saint Louis Cathedral, and the other historical locations.

Related: 26 Best Cheap Or Free Things To Do In New Orleans

The Lorraine Motel Sign at the National Civil Rights Museum in the city of Memphis

National Civil Rights Museum

Memphis, Tennessee

Another fantastic place to learn about Martin Luther King Jr. —as well as other civil rights activists and events — the National Civil Rights Museum is a must-see. The museum is well put-together, easy to follow, and incredibly touching. Many leave it with a completely new perspective.

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in Tennessee

Washington Monument and National Mall

National Mall

Washington, D.C.

The National Mall in Washington, D.C. is home to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and a beautiful grassy area for strolling. We highly recommend a visit to this area of D.C. during your time there.

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The White House
Orhan Cam/shutterstock

The White House

Washington, D.C.

Of course, if you’re visiting Washington, D.C., you should definitely check out the White House. Built starting in 1792 and completed in 1800, our nation's presidential residence and workplace has, as might be expected, been the location for an enormous number of historic events. Learn about these things and more by scheduling a tour.

Related: How Presidents (and First Ladies) Changed the Look of the White House

Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park

St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch is a memorial to westward expansion and an excellent place to go to learn about this period of our nation’s history. Be sure to visit the museum under the arch as well as the museum in the Old Courthouse for the full experience.

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks St. Louis

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine, Florida

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

St. Augustine, Florida

Touted as the oldest city in the United States, it should come as no surprise that St. Augustine is home to an amazing historic site. The Castillo de San Marcos is a fort that was originally built by the Spanish, but actually changed hands quite a bit through the years. A visit to this fascinating place is sure to reveal some interesting tidbits.

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in St. Augustine

The Alamo

The Alamo

San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo is one of those historical locations that everyone should see at least once in their lives. Oddly situated in the middle of downtown San Antonio, this historic fort is incredibly well preserved. It holds some amazing stories from the past, and is well worth visiting to expand your knowledge of Texas and U.S. history.

Related: 50 Tourist Traps That Locals Still Love

American Civil War Museum in Richmond.
Alexandre Tziripouloff/istockphoto

The American Civil War Museum

Richmond, Virginia

The Civil War marked a turning point in our nation’s history. It was a complex war, and many details are left out of the typical history book. Learn those details as you dive into the interesting history of the Civil War at the American Civil War Museum.

Boston downtown

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Tea Party was also a huge turning point in American history. Learn about the motives behind the individuals who tossed tea overboard on that fateful night of December 16, 1773. Put yourself in their shoes, board the Tea Party ships, and experience first hand what this night might have been like.

Related: 20 Things You Never Knew About New England

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Springfield, Illinois

President Lincoln did a lot for our country. For this reason, we feel it is necessary to include the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in our lineup of historical locations. This amazing museum follows the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and is one of a number of Lincoln-related attractions in the area.

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Plymouth, Massachusetts

There’s nothing like a good living history museum to put you in the shoes of the people of the past. One of the very best living history museums in the country is Plimoth Plantation.

No, this isn’t the original site of the Plymouth settlement. That said, the museum has done an incredible job reproducing the city, and the interpreters are absolutely phenomenal at portraying historic individuals, having conversations without ever breaking character.

Monticello, House of Thomas Jefferson in Virginia, USA

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Charlottesville, Virginia

Ever wonder how the presidents of the past lived? Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello offers an excellent peek into the way Jefferson might have lived day-to-day. Tour the president’s home and learn about his many pastimes. Walk the lovely grounds and take in the beauty of the area. You’ll also want to make sure to visit the exhibits on the people Jefferson’s enslaved, a topic that is definitely not glossed over at this site.

Related: The 10 Best RV Trips to Take in Virginia

Slave Quarters at Mount Vernon George Washingtons Home on the Banks of the Potomac USA
Brenda Kean/istockphoto

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, Virginia

Another fantastic president’s home and one of our favorite historical locations is George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Here, you can take a guided tour of Washington’s home, learning fun facts about the man’s life both at home and at work.

Related: Cheap American Presidents Throughout History

Fort Sumter, South Carolina, USA

Fort Sumter National Monument

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a city worth seeing and is home to several historical locations. Fort Sumter is one of the best sites to see while you’re there. This fort is built on an artificial island. It was started in 1812 when the British invaded Washington by sea, and it was still not complete in 1861 when it was used during the Civil War’s Battle of Fort Sumter.

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in Charleston

Greenfield Village

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village

Dearborn, Michigan

Want a museum about the innovation of America? The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is for you. Here you’ll learn about the history of transportation, technology, and much more in engaging and interesting exhibits that are sure to entertain as they educate. When you’re finished in the museum, head right outside to visit Greenfield Village, a cool living history museum that represents a variety of time periods.

Smithsonian Institute National Museum of American History Behring Center in Washington DC,USA

National Museum of American History

Washington, D.C.

An all-encompassing museum that helps put pieces of American history into some sort of order, the National Museum of American History is one of our favorite Smithsonian Museums. Admission is free, and one could easily spend an entire day here. 

Want more history from the Smithsonian Museums? Try the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Air and Space Museum.

Related: 30 Beautiful Road Trips That Celebrate American History

Florida: Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Merritt Island, Florida

Space exploration is a cool and important part of our country’s history. Learn all about our space exploration history at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. If you time it right, you might even be lucky enough to see a rocket launch!

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in Florida

National Museum of the United States Air Force
Wikimedia Commons

National Museum of the United States Air Force

Dayton, Ohio

If air and space history interests you, you might also be interested in the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This museum includes a bit on the history of flight in general, but mostly focuses on the history of flight in the U.S. military. Admission to the museum is free.

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in Ohio

National September 11 memorial waterfalls

9/11 Memorial and Museum

New York City, New York

The events of 9/11 were tragic, and they reshaped our country forever. Learn about how the events unfolded and how they affected various individuals, as well as our country as a whole, at this poignant and well-done memorial and museum.

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Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming