Looking for sites and hotels
Our family (Mom, Dad, 12yr Son)'s road trip Summer 2004 will be heading east. I would love any suggestions for places to visit or stay along our (very tentative) itinerary. This 3 week (June) trip was planned because Son studies US history the next year and I would love it to come alive for him because he's been there!
Denver to KC (big bro lives in Warrensburg), two days visiting and then to
St Louis to see the arch. Then to
Great Smokey Mtns NP (one of my must see items), spending 2-3 days in the park and then to
Chapel Hills, NC (cousin with BIG house) for a couple of days Then the NC coast (know nothing about this area) then up to
Alexandria VA (childhood friend who's always saying come visit.) Plan to spend a week here seeing sites in and around DC., including Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry etc.
Shenandoah NP starts the trip home. Maybe
Mammoth cave in KY. The ending is really up in the air. Any ideas are welcome. We do relatives and hotels, preferably with a pool, but not necessary. Good local restaraunts are needed, too.
Thanks for your help. I really like this site!
Shenandoah, Mammoth Cave, and NC Coast are all wonderful places. You'll find lots of history in all the areas. Shenandoah is packed with Civil War history (too many places too mention, but they're not too hard to find), as is the NC Coast. Shenandoah - Wright's Drive-In and Shorty's Diner. Haven't sampled the more upscale establishments there. NC Coast (Cape Hatteras): Dolphin Den -reasonable to moderate, Bubba's BBQ -very affordable.
While in Alexandria, check out Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. There is a short walking tour at Spotsylvania that really allows the visitor to envision the campaign that took place here. DC is really easy to get to all the sites by riding the Metro. The stations are clean and well lit, and the directions are very easy to follow. No real tips on places to eat here.
Mammoth Cave is one of several caves in the area worth checking out. If you're up for a long walk there is a four-hour tour that shows a good portion of the cave. It's worth it, just for the sheer magnitude of this formation. As far as eats, don't "Eat at Joe's Diner". Trust me.
You could stop at the first winter Lewis and Clark camp (winter 1803-04). It is across the river from St Louis, near Alton, IL, at Wood River. The Corps of Discovery spent the winter there before embarking on their voyage up the Missouri River in spring of 1804. There is an interpretive center, a replication of some of the buildings, and a memorial on the site. As 2004 will be the bicentennial commemoration year of the expedition, there will be many special activities scheduled along the route. Since the expedition was a pivotal point in American history, it is important for kids to understand what it was all about and this is a most opportune time to take a look. In a sense, the Corps of Discovery set the stage for all of us and defined who we were and who we became as a nation.
Second, PLEASE stop at the Abraham Lincoln sites around Springfield, IL (Lincoln's only owned home, tomb and early adulthood home at New Salem) and in southern Indiana (boyhood log cabin home, where his mother died and was buried). Every American, in my opinion, should have an appreciation for who Lincoln was and what he did for the nation.
There are many other sites, but these are some of my favorites.
you may also want to stop at antietam national battlefield in sharpsburg, md. its pretty interesting. bloodiest battle of the civil war. good tour.
that sounds so fun! I'm planning a trip from the NC coast to arizona (following US-64), but not for a while, so I haven't figured out all the places to stay, things to see, etc. DEFINITELY check out the NC coast if you can make it that far, it's really nice. Also, if you can drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mtns, its gorgeous. Asheville is cool, I'd say go to Chapel Hill, but you've already planned that. I guess most suggestions I could give are about NC and Chapel Hill, so your cousin there can help ya out with that. I'd just like to give Chatham County a big endorsement, (wink wink), it's beee-yoo-tiful, especially if you like rolling countryside and farms. But i'm a little prejudiced. Anyway, when I do my trip (the opposite direction), I'm gonna make sure to go to Nashville, so if you have the chance I'd suggest driving thru there. All I can say is, NC is a great state to include, there's a ton of history and it's gorgeous and a great place to be a student, I can vouch for that! Good luck!