The America’s Birthday Road Trip

Happy Birthday, America! On July 4th, people throughout the country will gather together to celebrate our nation’s special day in many different ways from cookouts to fireworks and everything in between. These traditional festivities are usually single day events hosted on July 4th or the surrounding days, but there is one festivity that can be done to honor America’s birthday that lasts more than one day and allows you to see historic places throughout our beautiful country.

The America’s Birthday Road Trip is a great way to commemorate, as well as, learn about and experience our nation’s 247th year firsthand. This road trip focuses on places related to the birth of the United States and the Revolutionary War, as we recognize these events on America’s birthday. Whether you are driving, flying or taking another mode of transportation, don’t forget to have the soundtrack of the Broadway play, “Hamilton” playing in the background. Here are the spots you should include on your America’s Birthday Road Trip. 

First, let’s start right here in North Carolina with the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro. On March 15, 1781, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse occurred between the army of British General Charles Lord Cornwallis and the Continental army under Major General Nathaneal Greene. By the time the two-hour battle ended, more than 25 percent of the British troops were killed, wounded or captured. 

Next, head north, out of North Carolina, to Williamsburg, Virginia. Historic Williamsburg was the capital of the Virginia Colony from 1699 to 1780. During the Revolutionary War, the city was a huge supporter and provided goods and services to help soldiers fighting. Lastly, Williamsburg forms the “Historic Triangle” with cities Jamestown (the home of the first permanent English settlement in North America) and Yorktown. Speaking of Yorktown, Virginia, it should be one of your next stops on the road trip. It is famous for, well, the end of the Revolutionary War and being the spot where America’s independence was won from the British. At the Yorktown Battlefield in fall of 1781, General George Washington surrounded General Cornwallis’ British army, causing Cornwallis to surrender and the American Revolution came to an end. Other places to visit in Virginia include Mount Vernon (the home of president George Washington), Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s home) and the Arlington National Cemetery, which is actually located in Arlington, Virginia, right across the river from Washington, D.C. Arlington National Cemetery is one of the most peaceful and solemn places I have ever visited, and I highly recommend adding it to your road trip. The cemetery was built during the Civil War on land named Arlington Estate, which was confiscated from Confederate Army general Robert E. Lee due to tax issues. 

Continue heading north to Washington, D.C. Of course, you can’t go to our nation’s capital without a stop by the White House, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. Also, take time to visit the memorials for the various wars, including World War II, Vietnam and Korea. As for the American Revolution, visit Constitution Gardens which is a memorial island, honoring the signers of the Declaration of Independence and explores the history of the U.S. Constitution. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is our last destination. The city of brotherly love, cheesesteak and the birthplace of America has a significant site on almost every corner. While in the city, go to Independence Hall, the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the United States Constitution was debated. You will get chills walking the floors and seeing where the Founding Fathers stood as they officially gave America its freedom from England. Next, you can’t miss visiting the Liberty Bell and Valley Forge National Historical Park, which is northwest of Philadelphia. 

For your road trip, you can also head to Delaware, New York, New Jersey and other states for revolutionary stops. These aren’t the only attractions you and your loved ones could visit on America’s Birthday Road trip, but just a handful of what’s available. These sites are filled with history and a sense of pride, as visitors learn about what our Founding Fathers and those in that time period experienced as they fought for America’s independence, which fast-forward 247 years, we are still celebrating. 

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