Located an hour south of Washington DC and an hour north of the state capitol Richmond, Fredericksburg began as a tobacco seaport until the Civil War, when, in December of 1862, the area became synonymous with a battle that took the lives of 12, 000 thousands soldiers. Today, visitors come for an education in Revolutionary War and Civil War history and a chance to explore the numerous museums and historical sites.
Mount Vernon, home to George and Martha Washington and their family, is the most popular home in America- over one million people visit each year. The home, located twenty minutes outside downtown Washington DC in Mount Vernon, Virginia, was originally a 8,000 complex with five farms: Dogue Run, Muddy Hole, River, Union, and Mansion House Farms. Washington also built a gristmill and distillery on the property, which is on the banks of the Potomac River, with Maryland on the other side of the river. Washington took possession of the home in 1739 and completed a major renovation by 1787. After George and Martha died in 1779 and 1802 respectively, the home was passed on to family until 1860, when the home was open to the public. The now 50 acre site includes over two dozen areas to explore. We’ve included ten spots children will most enjoy.
Called the “Niagara of the South” and known as the “Waterway to the West”, Great Falls Park is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which is 32 miles long, encompassing two wildlife refuges and several historic sites and recreational areas over 800 acres. It’s located 12 miles from Washington DC but will transport visitors to a world of outdoor adventures. On the Maryland side is the C&O National Historic Park, Each year over half a million people explore Great Falls Park.
This week marks 5 years since we started this family travel blog. We started road tripping in summer 2012, so it’s a double celebration of 10 years of road tripping and 5 years of sharing our adventures on our little corner of the ‘web.
We’re proud to share that we’ve gained a LOT of followers and readers over the past two years (since we last did a Google analytics deep drive) and we thought this week would be a perfect time to share a blog recap.
Our family is fortunate enough to live just a short train, or car ride from Manhattan. We can be in “The City” in under 90 minutes any day of the year. We try to take advantage of this opportunity frequently and have explored so many great places (see this index, this collection of rainy day activities, and this collection of holiday activities). Of course, whenever we’re in The City, we stop for at least one meal. Over the years, we’ve found several restaurants we keep coming back to: good food, good prices, good ambience, and attentive staff. Here are places, as a family with children, we especially enjoy:
Alexandria was established as a town along the northernmost part of the Potomac River in 1749, named after the Alexander family whose land formed the majority of the area. It was considered the first major seaport of British America. Known for its 18th and 19th century architecture (we could have spent days just walking the neighborhoods and checking out window boxes and front doors), it is a nationally designated historic district.