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Old 01-10-2012, 07:18 PM   #43
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Not wasted Speaking for me, when I go to Disney, I expect Disney (but only AT Disney)....I hate it when other places are so groomed and controlled, actually (big pet peeve).
You can go to Yorktowne. You know, where the battle was or you can see the Yorktown Experience. The is The Jamestowne Settlement and then there is the actual Jamestowne.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:24 PM   #44
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May I suggest starting out in Williamsburg/Jamestown, VA heading north/west to Richmond, VA then up and over to Charlottesville, VA. While in that area you can take in many of the founding fathers childhood and adult homes then head north/west up into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for much of the history about the Civil War, there you would head back north/east to Hapers Ferry, WV then north to Gettysburg, PA.

If done right, that will take at least two-four weeks or more and your children will know more about the first 100-125 years of this country than many people with four year degrees in history!

Though understand, being from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia we have great pride in the history of the America.

Charlottesville, Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richmond, Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Virginia Presidents - Virginia Is For Lovers

Shenandoah Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Enjoy,
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:39 PM   #45
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Although having gone to Williamsburg many times, I don't claim to be a pro about the history. However, I thought that the Magazine and maybe Burton Parish Church were the only true original buildings. I seem to remember hearing on the various tours that building X was reconstructed on the original foundation, building Y was gutted by a fire and only the fireplace was still standing, etc.? Basically most of the town has been reconstructed using period techniques and materials, I think.
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I went to Williamsburg about 15 years ago when I was on an extended trip from the UK. I was a little disappointed that the houses weren't original but I don't remember there being any great deception; there was even a display about the rebuilding process. From a Brit's point of view I have always admired how Americans "do" history; always brought to life and always fully accessible. In the UK we often take history for granted; there's plenty of it but it's rarely as well done as it is in the US (I make an exception for Warwick Castle, a recommendation for anyone visiting England).

Once I'd settled into the fact that the place was a rebuild, I was much happier and had a great day out. Being in full vacation mode I have to say that I didn't really notice the cost of things there, except that it was way cheaper than Disney. Lots of Americans we spoke to said that they did feel it was expensive so I guess 62Overlander has a point.
Please visit the attached website (and its imbedded links) Then, enjoy your trip to Colonial Williamsburg and its many "Original" Buildings mixed in with those that were restored and or rebuilt.

Having been to the UK quite a few times I was always in awe of the history. Buildings that have been around for centuries longer than the United States has been in existence. And son of a gun, many of those old castles were destroyed or damaged by fire and then rebuilt or restored. Doesn't take a thing away from them as far as I am concerned..

But yes... like everywhere else, the gift shops are there...

http://www.history.org/Foundation/ne...ings-ALPHA.pdf
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:51 PM   #46
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Although having gone to Williamsburg many times, I don't claim to be a pro about the history. However, I thought that the Magazine and maybe Burton Parish Church were the only true original buildings. I seem to remember hearing on the various tours that building X was reconstructed on the original foundation, building Y was gutted by a fire and only the fireplace was still standing, etc.? Basically most of the town has been reconstructed using period techniques and materials, I think.
Almost all of the homes are original, but the Capitol is not. However, when I worked for the Legislature, I learned it is nevertheless revered. True, it was reconstructed with knowledge of the 1930s--would it be reconstructed differently today?--Probably. But it still was the site of the founding of the oldest continuous representative legislative body in the world. Plus, the museum is cool--the colonial craft workshops really do a great job of maintaining almost lost skills.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:21 PM   #47
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Thumbs up Old Sturbridge Village

This 3-day weekend we are hitching up and going north to Old Sturbridge Village once again. We're going to stay winterized and use the campgrounds facilities. I started coming here many decades ago with my grandfather and now I get to see it all again through my young son's eyes.

"Old Sturbridge Village is one of the country’s oldest and largest living history museums, depicting early New England life from 1790-1840 with historians in costume, antique buildings, water-powered mills, and a working farm. Visitors can view antiques, meet heritage breed animals, and enjoy hands-on crafts. The Village is open year-round, but hours change seasonally."

Old Sturbridge Village | Our Museum | Our Museum
Old Sturbridge Village | Explore & Learn | Online Tour
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:51 PM   #48
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I second visiting Monticello, if you can make it to the Harvest Festival it's fantastic and there's lots of hands on stuff for the kids to do. Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello . We also just went to Montpelier and they have lots of events there as well including Constitution Day celebrations, civil war weekends and archaeology programs. Calendar of Events | Visit - James Madison's Montpelier... Restore Montpelier, Rediscover Madison
We've enjoyed Gettysburg, DC, Dulles Air and Space Museum, The Battle of Bull Run and Mont Vernon between the festivals.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:39 AM   #49
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I think that any of the living history museums would be fascinating for children, also places like Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains that show kids how people lived 150-200 years ago.

The commercialization of some of these is nauseating, IMO, and detracts greatly from their appeal. Some can be very expensive, so be aware.

Cades Cove is simply the price of admission to the park, and you'll probably have a park pass. We took grandkids there a couple of years ago, and they were fascinated. It is busy, in terms of vehicles going through, but unspoiled otherwise. We also saw bear and deer---firsts for them other than in a zoo.

There are also lots of small, local museums out there, with artifacts from the area and lots of information for generally a very small cost.

We loved this place, where you could spend a day and picnic. The buildings are furnished with real, local items.

http://www.museumofappalachia.org/


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Old 01-11-2012, 07:16 AM   #50
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It is so strange. I grew up in Virginia and the history on the East coast is just so amazing. But then you move away and get used to where you are. I think after reading this thread I want to do an East Coast tour as well!
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:07 AM   #51
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Chicago, don't miss the Museum of Science and Industry. The Adler Planaterium, and The Filed Museum of Natural History are both excellent as well.

Indianapolis has the Indy 500 Museum

Richmond, VA has the Civil War Museum right downtown next to the river, and there are many battlefields around as well. Monticello and Mt. Vernon are not to be missed.

One of our family hobbies is traveling around the country going to museums, so if you want send me a PM once you have a short list and my family will be happy to send a critique of the ones on the list we have been to.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:33 AM   #52
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I'm so green with envy of your year-long trip through American History east of the Mississippi that I'm turning NEON! I see little mention of Boston, so don't rush by... so much to see and reflect upon. Safe and happy trails to you and your family. I love the blend of fun and learning you are embedding in your trip--not that the two can't be one! ~G
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:43 AM   #53
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I'm so green with envy of your year-long trip through American History east of the Mississippi that I'm turning NEON! I see little mention of Boston, so don't rush by... so much to see and reflect upon. Safe and happy trails to you and your family. I love the blend of fun and learning you are embedding in your trip--not that the two can't be one! ~G
I am sure neon is a beautiful color on you! I will add Boston to the list.


looks like i'm going to be adding another page to my list of research. You guys are awesome..... now I just need to get into planning mode....
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #54
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I am sure neon is a beautiful color on you! I will add Boston to the list.


looks like i'm going to be adding another page to my list of research. You guys are awesome..... now I just need to get into planning mode....

One of the things we have done when exploring a state or area is to take a paper map (you can get a free one at any visitor center or from AAA if you use them) and use a highlighter for the spots we want to be sure to cover. Then, connect the dots as you like.

We like to plan our days only one or two at a time, and to change those plans on any given day if we take the notion to. Easier for us this way, to look at where we want to still go and drive accordingly.

If you are doing back roads, this may work better than a GPS.


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Old 01-11-2012, 12:12 PM   #55
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Adirondack Museum - Visiting the Museum

http://www.mysticseaport.org/


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Old 01-11-2012, 02:32 PM   #56
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Complete with the vary same gift shop in the beginning and end of each and every building just like our forefathers shopped when they toured the very streets. In the past 10 years Williamsburg has become an experience much like going to Disney(which I know many of you love so my point is wasted) where the entire experience is controlled. Every opportunity to squeeze a dollar is taken advantage of too.
I have to agree with Frank on that one. They have more signs for the shopping - the pottery and the outlett malls - than they do for that one historical street, and it seems every other building is either a gift shop, or a tavern (though the food is pretty good, and has a somewhat authentic flavor) We live only an hour away, and it still seems to be more like going to the mall, which is why I suggested Henricus. However, it really is a good place to go just once.
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