One of the greatest things about traveling the country—whether in an RV or otherwise—is the opportunity to see all of the amazing historic sites our nation has to offer. Sure, our country may be young. However, we’ve had a lot going on in our short history, and it is fascinating to witness the sites where incredible historic events took place.
My family and I love exploring historic places and history museums of all kinds. We’re especially fond of two types of historic learning opportunities: living history museums and presidential sites. Today we’re going to talk about the latter.
From libraries and homes to museums and national parks, there are dozens of super cool presidential sites across the US. These are all awesome ways to look back on some of the most influential people in our country’s history. The give us a chance to learn more about how they thought and what they believed.
Of course, some of the historic sites are better than others. Therefore, if you have only a limited amount of time, you will need to pick and choose. Below I’ve compiled a list of our top 6 favorite presidential sites in the US. If you’re limited on time, pick one of these and rest easy knowing you absolutely cannot go wrong with any option on this list.
1. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library – Simi Valley, California
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is an amazing place to dive deep into the life of our 40th president. Tour the Air Force One used by Reagan and step foot in a life-size replica of the Oval Office.
View a piece of the Berlin Wall, and check out hundreds of artifacts that represent the life of a very interesting actor and president.
2. Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage – Nashville, Tennessee
One of many gorgeous presidential homes, Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage offers some truly interesting history lessons. The award-winning exhibit, Andrew Jackson: Born For A Storm, is the perfect way to learn about the life of Andrew Jackson.
Meanwhile, the guided tour of the mansion really helps you see and feel what life must’ve been like at The Hermitage.
Those who are really interested in learning about Jackson may appreciate the VIP tour option. This includes a 90-minute private guided tour.
3. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello – Charlottesville, Virginia
This may be my favorite presidential site so far. Not only does it tell the story of Thomas Jefferson very well, but it does so without bias—something you don’t always find at historic sites.
Additionally, the tour guides were very entertaining and well informed. This made the whole experience very engaging, even for our 6-year-old.
Of course, the house tour is a must, but you’ll also love walking the beautiful grounds, taking the garden-focused tours included in the price of a ticket, and spending time in the hands-on room.
4. JFK Presidential Library and Museum – Boston, Massachusetts
John F. Kennedy was a fascinating man. He led an interesting childhood and became one of the most well-known presidents in history.
As you might guess, the presidential library and museum dedicated to this man is very intriguing and has much to offer in the way of exhibits. Anyone who visits this site is sure to leave with a newfound interest in politics and a special place in their heart for the memorable and well-loved JFK.
5. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum – Springfield, Illinois
This museum and library combo is very well done. The two buildings contain so much information that you could easily fill two whole days here.
The multimedia presentation is amazing—even on par with things we see at Disney World—and the collection of artifacts is incredible. Best of all, they even have a section dedicated to kids, something our little one really appreciated.
6. George Washington’s Mount Vernon – Virginia
Finally, this list definitely wouldn’t be complete without the home of the first president of the United States. Mount Vernon is full of amazing history that simply isn’t found in history books.
It’s the perfect addition to any historical tour of Virginia, and a wonderful way to expand upon your knowledge of early American history. I highly recommend visiting this site just before seeing Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
While these are my favorite presidential sites, they are far from the only ones. In fact, this is just a small example of all the awesome historic sites out there. Go ahead and explore these, but when you’re done, keep those RV wheels rolling and see what other amazing sites you can find. Come back and let us know your favorites!