Presidents Day means more than a 3-day weekend and department store sales. Some of the best celebrations of our country’s earliest leaders take place over the weekend, and the extra day off from work means you can travel to some of the most historic sites in America – Philadelphia, D.C., and Virginia.
Check out our planes, trains and automobiles guide and transportation links to help you plan and book your weekend getaway.
Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
Mount Vernon, Va.
About 4 hours outside of New York City, the former home of George Washington will pay tribute to our first president by, among other things, serving his favorite breakfast – hoecakes in butter and honey. Spend the weekend on the bank of the Potomac River learning about his life and attending various other events – including a “surprise” birthday party on Monday. Admission is free on Monday, Feb. 21.
Getting There: For detailed transportation, driving directions and rental car information, check out the Mount Vernon’s Official Web Site .
George Washington Birthday Parade
The country’s largest Presidents’ Day Parade takes place on Feb. 21 in Old Town Alexandria – marching through the same streets Washington once walked. The town also honors the first president’s birthday by offering free admission to six different museums and exhibits.
Getting There: For detailed transportation and rental car information, check out the parade’s official Web site.
101 Visitor Center Drive
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185
This trip is a bit longer – it’s about an 8 hour drive from NYC – but as most people who have visited will tell you, the Colonial Williamsburg experience might just be worth the travel time. Throughout this Presidents’ Day weekend, the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia offers theatrical programs telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women.
Getting There: Amtrak serves the Williamsburg Transportation Center with a connecting train from Washington, D.C.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy free programs sponsored by the National Park Service at the White House Visitor’s Center. The Center features games, crafts and theatrical performances designed to celebrate historical information about the presidents.
Madame Tussauds’ in D.C. is opening a new U.S. Presidents Gallery this week, featuring wax figures of all 44 U.S. Presidents.
Walk through founding father stops by visiting the Independence Historical Park, Visitor Center, located at Sixth and Market, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Here, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. You can also visit the site of presidential homes of George Washington and John Adams.
Getting There: A Greyhound Bus ticket to D.C. which will cost you about $40 per ticket. Amtrak is a bit more expensive, with rates closer to $100. Megabus is your cheapest option for public transportation to D.C. – the accommodations aren’t ideal (little leg room, one bathroom for the entire double-decker bus), but you can get a round trip ticket for under $40.
The National Constitution Center
Independence Mall, 525 Arch Street
This President’s Day, visitors will learn about the Commander in Chief and President’s role throughout our country’s history. Take a walking tour of historic Philadelphia, visit the Liberty Bell, or check out the interactive Freedom Rising exhibit.
Getting There: The drive is relatively easy at just under 2 hours from NYC. As for public transportation, the Constitution Center suggests Amtrak, which provides service to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station at 30th and Market Streets.