As we prepare to honor our country’s fallen veterans with the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, why not plan a historic getaway? The East coast is home to many historic sites – plenty within driving distance of New York. Which trip is best for your family? Here are some of our favorite historic getaways near New York.
Check out our planes, trains and automobiles guide and transportation links to help you plan and book your weekend getaway.
Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
About 4 hours outside of New York City, the former home of George Washington has over 1 million visitors each year. At Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, you can take an informative walking tour with Martha Washington, catch a ride on one of the sightseeing cruises, and visit the paddock animals.
Getting There: For detailed transportation, driving directions and rental car information, check out the Mount Vernon’s Official Web Site.
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 the year the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia offers walking tours and many museum exhibits.
Getting There: Amtrak serves the Williamsburg Transportation Center with a connecting train from Washington, D.C.
The Washington Monument is still closed for repairs due to the August 2011 earthquake, the National Mall is still worth a visit — and while you’re there, you can walk over to the Lincoln Memorial. The cherry blossoms won’t be blooming yet, but the Smithsonian is offering several new exhibits in honor of Black History Month.
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
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.
New England Air Museum
If you or your young ones are into planes, the New England Air Museum, about three hours north of the city, is a great bet. Walk through the museum’s three large hangers displaying planes like the B-25 Mitchell that flew during World War 2.
Hop on a buggy for a ride around the countryside or take a guided tour through an 1840’s Amish farmhouse. Visitors will learn the rich history of the Amish and get a taste of traditional country-style cooking.
Getting there: For a list of directions for cars and trains visit their website.