Love Learning? Here Are 7 Educational Vacations to Take This Summer
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Though summer may be a break from school, it doesn't have to be a break from learning. Travel is a great way to continue to expand your horizons while having fun.
You can find historical and educational moments pretty much anywhere you travel — out in nature, when visiting zoos or museums, and while exploring cities. History is all around us, and our world can be a learning experience.
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Ready to Start Your Journey?
We've compiled a list of seven educational vacations for you to consider this summer.
1 Washington, D.C.
The country's capital is ripe for educational adventure. It may be the most obvious destination on our list, but for good reason — Washington, D.C., is home to a variety of museums, historical landmarks, and educational tours.
Some must-see spots include:
- National Museum of American History
- United States Capitol Building
- Lincoln Memorial
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- United States Botanic Garden
- Library of Congress
Perhaps the biggest perk to vacationing in the District of Columbia is that most museums and attractions are free.
2 National Parks Tour
Road-tripping to several national parks can be an extremely educational experience.
Students can learn plenty by hands-on adventuring in some of the country's most beautiful outdoor landscapes. When visiting national parks, you can explore educational topics like geography, ecology, biology, history, astronomy, and botany.
Some iconic national parks to consider include:
- Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
- Zion National Park in Utah
- Redwood National Park in California
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico
- Yosemite National Park in California
- Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado
- Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland
3 Boston, MA
One of the oldest states in the country, Massachusetts is home to an array of historical and educational landmarks and attractions.
Arguably the most notable destination is Boston's Freedom Trail. These 2 miles of bricked pathways wind through the city and connect historical landmarks, including the Paul Revere House, the Boston Common, Granary Burying Ground, the Massachusetts State House, the USS Constitution, and many more.
Another historical staple in Boston is Fenway Park, one of the oldest and most iconic American ballparks. Fenway Park still houses the same number of seats it did when it opened in 1912.
A few other places to add to your Boston tour:
- Trinity Church
- Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Boston Public Library
One last tip: Dining in Boston's Little Italy is sure to offer a cultural education fit for any foodie.
4 Oahu, HI
A tropical vacation to Hawaii can provide ample educational opportunities when it comes to the island's unique culture, nature, and history. Some popular historical destinations include:
- Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
- Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Bishop Museum (home to the first planetarium in the Polynesian Triangle)
Oahu's Polynesian Cultural Center is a living museum showcasing the traditions and heritage of the Pacific Islands. You can participate in traditional activities and enjoy an authentic luau.
Alternatively, take a trip to Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Preserve to learn about Hawaii's film history, farming operations, and ancient aquaculture. At the ranch, you can see all the tropical fruit and foliage that call Hawaii home, like cocoa and papaya. You can also immerse yourself in the taro fields and make poi.
5 East Coast Road Trip
A road trip along the East Coast is an ideal way to hit up some of the United States' most popular historical landmarks. It may sound overwhelming to track across multiple states in one vacation, but many destinations are just a few hours apart.
Tour the old mansions of Rhode Island; roam the haunted streets of Salem, Massachusetts; examine the crack in the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and explore the Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown, Virginia.
You can even step back in time at Mount Vernon, George Washington's home and estate in Virginia, or walk an infamous battleground at Gettysburg National Park.
6 London, England
The streets of London are paved by centuries of history, architecture, and culture. Take a chilling visit to the Tower of London, snap a selfie with Big Ben, or spark your sense of adventure at King's Cross Station.
Fans of literature can tour Shakespeare's Globe, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Poet's Corner, and the Charles Dickens Museum.
Fascinated by British royalty? Consider a visit to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, or Westminster Abbey.
Perhaps the most impressive display of historical and educational artifacts is the British Museum, which hosts over 8 million works — one of the world's largest and most comprehensive collections.
7 New York City, NY
The Big Apple is full of attractions and opportunities — especially opportunities for an educational vacation. Explore our country's history at the Federal Hall National Memorial, the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and the Statue of Liberty.
Enjoy a cultural experience by viewing a play or musical on Broadway. Or visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere with over 2 million works.
You can also explore architectural feats like the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park.