3 great American cities for history buffs and patriotic travelers this summer

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Memorial Day weekend is widely considered the unofficial kickoff to the summer season, which means backyard barbecues, baseball games, beach trips and road trips to capture the patriotism of our great nation – as well as time to honor and remember those who made their gave life for our country.

Summer offers a unique opportunity to travel with children or grandchildren and introduce them to important US history lessons

If you're a history buff or want to share important adventures with your family or friends, three American cities offer a mix of historic sites, museums, American tributes and national treasures.

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Leslie Carbone, a travel blogger at Sancerres at Sunset based in Virginia, said Colonial Williamsburg – the first location listed below – “is the largest living history museum in the world. It is a place that everyone who loves America should visit at least once,” she says. told Fox News Digital.

These three locations can promote learning opportunities and relaxing history lessons – and create memories to last a lifetime. Read on for more details.

1. Williamsburg, Va

When you plan a visit to Williamsburg, you will learn about and be surrounded by America's history.

Spring is a great time to visit, Carbone said. “The weather is pleasant, the gardens are blooming and the crowds are still manageable,” said the travel blogger.

Williamsburg was the first planned city in America, founded in 1699 as the capital of the Virginia Colony. Today you can explore the streets of a living history museum portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg.

The historic Governor's Palace is shown in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. (iStock)

While you're there, you can discover historical reenactments, archaeological digs, historic taverns, and enriching museums.

Also make time to stroll through the iconic shops of notable Merchants Square—and venture beyond Colonial Williamsburg to the enjoyable Williamsburg Tasting Trail, where you can enjoy standout craft beers, local wines and mead, plus spirits.

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After a day of history lessons, settle into the Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection, which offers Southern elegance and colonial-era décor.

As your journey takes you back in time, try culinary delights such as Traditions at the Williamsburg Lodge or the city's famous Cheese Shop.

The Secrets and Untold Stories of Williamsburg Tour tells the true story of the Americans who helped found our country.

For a history-focused dining experience, consider Kings Arm Tavern, a “sophisticated chophouse experience,” as the website notes.

Also take a tour of the historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg, organized by Baptists in 1781 under the leadership of Rev. Gowan Pamphlet, an enslaved man in Williamsburg.

Another one not to be missed is the Secrets and Untold Stories of Williamsburg Tour, the true story of the Americans who helped found our country.

2. St. Augustine, Florida

As the oldest city in the United States, this coastal location in northeast Florida is a must for history buffs.

The city features attractions such as military forts, castles, charming lighthouses, scenic nature trails and more. Be sure to visit museums, go on scary ghost tours or take part in historical reenactments.

Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine

Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida, which is “a thriving multi-generational congregation… committed to Christian unity amid diversity,” its website says. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

For history buffs, you can visit Castillo de San Marcos, a fortress built by the Spanish between 1672 and 1695.

According to Visit Florida, it is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.

Then wander through the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, an iconic 1874 lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

You will learn about maritime heritage and the lives of the lighthouse keepers in the region.

Here you will learn about the maritime heritage and the lives of the lighthouse keepers in the region. You can even climb to the top and capture breathtaking views.

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Tim Schmidt, a Florida travel expert and author, told Fox News Digital that St. Augustine is a hidden destination for history buffs.

“I live in South Florida, so I am fortunate to have visited this incredible city many times. There is nowhere else in the US that makes you feel like you have stepped into the past like St. Augustine,” said Schmidt. , Who manages AllWorld.com.

“There's nowhere else in the U.S. that makes you feel like you've stepped into the past like St. Augustine.”

Schmidt said he discovers new things every time he visits.

“Every time I wander through the pedestrian-friendly historic district, with buildings dating back to the 18th century, I am overwhelmed by the feeling that I have traveled back in time. You don't just read about the history here – you can reach out and touch .”

Bridge of Lions

The regal Bridge of Lions crosses Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine. The city is filled with many historic buildings and is the first settlement in the US by Spaniards on the coast of Florida. (Nik Wheeler/Corbis via Getty Images)

Be sure to schedule time for the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, considered the oldest Catholic parish in the United States, per Visit Florida.

To enter, walk down St. George Street, a pedestrian street in the heart of St. Augustine's historic district, lined with shops and restaurants.

For folklore that goes beyond history, visit the Archaeological Park of the Fountain of Youth, where legend has it that Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León discovered the Fountain of Youth in Saint Augustine in 1513.

St. Augustine, Florida

An aerial view of historic St. Augustine, Florida. “You don't just read about the history here – you can contact it and touch it.” (iStock)

For an enjoyable dining experience, try Raintree Restaurant, Salt Life Food Shack, or St. Augustine Seafood Company.

When making travel plans, the Rodeway Stay Inn is conveniently located within walking distance of some of St. Augustine's famous historic sites.

3. Independence, Missouri

This Midwest destination is best known as the home of President Harry S. Truman.

During your visit to the city, visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, which provides an in-depth look at his life and legacy.

Harry S Truman

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) was the 33rd President of the United States. (MPI/Getty Images)

The site was recently renovated in 2020 and is also located on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail when Truman desegregated the U.S. military, according to the Missouri Tourism Office.

In addition, the City of Independence has put together a Truman Historic Walking Trail to showcase locations and monuments important to the president.

Independence was a starting point for thousands of American pioneers as they moved west along the Oregon, California and Santa Fe routes.

“Independence is a great vacation destination for history buffs,” said Katie Blake, spokesperson for the Missouri Division of Tourism. “It was enormously important to American pioneers and President Harry S. Truman once considered it the 'center of the world.' Its rich history is still evident today in its fascinating museums and attractions.”

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Another landmark worth a visit is the Vaile Mansion, built in 1881. It was once known as “the most princely house and the most comfortable house in the whole West,” according to the Kansas City Times in 1882.

Independence, Missouri

Independence, Missouri, on June 16, 2023. Afternoon sun shines on the historic core of downtown Independence. (iStock)

Independence is also known as the “Queen City of the Trails” because it was a starting point for thousands of American pioneers as they ventured west on the trails in Oregon, California and Santa Fe.

Visitors to Independence can learn about this part of the city's history at the National Frontier Trails Museum and Pioneer Trails Adventures, a mule-drawn covered wagon tour.

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Another attraction is the Englewood Station Arts District, with charming shops, art galleries, restaurants and more.

A few restaurants to consider include Vivilore, which serves American cuisine using local ingredients; Gates BBQ, a famous Kansas City barbecue spot that has evolved into Independence; and Courthouse Exchange, a historic pub.

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Two lodging options for a getaway in Independence are the Stoney Creek Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Independence.

For more lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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