The United States is a relatively young country, yet it’s home to more historic splendors than you’d be able to see in a lifetime. We’ve compiled seven of our favorite U.S. travel ideas to consider as you start your summer RV travel plans. Whether you are looking for U.S. travel destinations for you next vacation, or you’re living a full-time RV lifestyle and want learn as much as possible along the way, think about making a stop at these iconic landmarks:
The National Mall in Washington D.C.
We recommend reserving at least two or three days for exploring the National Mall in Washington, D.C. If you have to pick and choose which sites to see at our Nation's capital, however, be sure to include the following:
- The Lincoln Memorial is simply breathtaking. This 98-foot monument successfully captures the earnestness and strength of our 16th president.
- Visit the nearby Korean War Memorial to view the life-like stainless steel statues of Korean War soldiers, collectively representing a squad on patrol.
- Within walking distance is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where you can read the names of fallen servicemen etched in walls of beautiful gabbro.
- Lastly, pass through the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, where you can experience the power of the civil rights leader’s sermons and speeches.
Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia
This historical park in Philadelphia is home to a collection of sites that were important to the American Revolution. As you stroll through, you’ll pass by the place where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were debated, Benjamin Franklin’s residence, and the iconic Liberty Bell. Be sure to pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn of the Independence Hall.
Alcatraz Island in San Francisco
Located in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was a maximum-security federal prison from 1933 to 1963, and housed some of the most notorious gangsters and criminals in American history. It was also the site of a major wave of Native American activism (and an ancient indigenous site) in the 1970s. What’s more, the island is also the current home to colonies of the elusive seabird. To get to the island, catch a ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf. Upon entering, make sure to pick up the audio tour headset to hear narrations by actual prisoners and guards who lived and worked in the prison.
Montezuma Castle National Monument in Camp Verde, Arizona
The ancestors of the Pueblo people, who inhabited the area from around 1100 to 1425 CE, cut these cliff dwellings into stone. The five-story, twenty-room structure is attributed to the Sinagua people, and is thought to have been completed over the course of three centuries. This exceptionally well-preserved site gives us a glimpse into the rich history of the North American continent before the arrival of Europeans. There are plenty of places to park your RV near the site, so give yourself a few days to fully explore its many wonders.
Ellis Island, New York and New Jersey
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free...” These words, written by poet Emma Lazarus in 1883, and immortalized at the base of the Statue of Liberty, have become emblematic of the U.S. immigrant experience. Ellis Island, where over 12 million immigrants were granted citizenship, is home to the National Museum of Immigration where you can hear the tales of early immigrants, and view artifacts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Redwood Forest, Northern California
Along the coast of Northern California is a forest of some of the oldest living things on earth. These massive trees, known as sequoia sempervirens, or Coastal Redwoods, are the largest trees on Earth, reaching up to 379 feet and 29.2 feet in diameter. Whether you're driving north toward Crater Lake in Oregon, or passing south to San Francisco, be sure to stop to see these remarkable giants.
Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Kansas
Completed in 1926, the Liberty Memorial commemorates the men and women who served during World War I. The centerpiece of the memorial is a massive pillar that rises 265 feet into the skyline and emits a flame effect using light and steam. Today, a museum dedicated to World War I accompanies the memorial and is a great educational resource and way to reflect upon the War to End All Wars.
Whether you’re looking for RV travel ideas for your next vacation, or living the RV lifestyle, these locations will inspire you to explore the diverse history of our nation. Make sure to stay tuned to our blog for more travel, and other RV topics.
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