Spring break is just around the corner, so it’s time to start making plans and figuring out the best sights to see. And if you’re into history, there are a lot of places you can check out to learn about historic events such as the Civil War or different cultures like the Puebloans in the Southwestern United States. It might be tempting to relax and do absolutely nothing for an entire week, but you’ll be glad that you took the time to learn more about your interests and find stimulating activities while creating new experiences. Here are some great spring break ideas for high school history buffs.
Check out the museums in Washington, DC.
The nation’s capital is home to a number of the country’s best museums, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian. There’s even the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. Check out some dinosaur fossils or the Hope Diamond. Learn about the chronological journey of African American history. See the Hall of Mammals or check out George Washington’s portrait. Look at works by Georgia O’Keeffe and check out Julia Child’s actual kitchen.
Take a Civil War road trip around Mississippi.
The best part about going on a road trip is the fact that you can make multiple stops along the way. Plus, there’s plenty of downtime, so you can still feel relaxed while on your break. While you’re in Mississippi, you can take a Civil War driving tour and see the Site of the White House, the Site of Battery Powell, or the Oak Home. These are landmarks that were essential to the Civil War. For example, the Oak Home was used as the personal headquarters of Confederate General Leonidas Polk. The White House was the house that served as a hospital for any wounded soldiers. Check out any of these stops and learn more about how the United States came to be what it is today.
Visit the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico.
If you want to learn more about Native American culture, then check out the Acoma Pueblo. It’s part of the U.S. National Historic Landmark District and covers approximately 60 miles west of Albuquerque. It’s an area the Acoma tribe has inhabited for over 2,000 years, and there are several communities within the village: Sky City, Anzac, McCartys, and Acomita. This is one of the oldest inhabited communities in the entire country, and you can take a walking tour with one of the local tour guides. They’ll tell you all about the village and its traditions. Feel free to admire all of the unique rock formations and support the local artists in their community.
See the infamous Alcatraz Island.
The site had previously been a lighthouse, a military fortification, and a prison that housed famous mobsters. Then, in 1969, the island was occupied by a group of Native Americans. In 1972, it became a national historic landmark and is now managed by the National Park Service. It’s the oldest lighthouse in the Western United States. Today, you’ll find a visitor center with a bookstore, an orientation film, and several exhibits. You can simply take a 15-minute ferry ride to access the island, and some nonprofits are even allowed to stay overnight. Spots to sleep there overnight are given out via lottery.
Take a break from applying to scholarships for high school juniors or practicing SATs. Check out the best historic locations and take a road trip to see Civil War sites or visit Alcatraz for an eerie adventure. There are plenty of ways to witness history on break.