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    Ever wonder what the United States has looked like throughout the past? It might be easier to find out than you think. Many cities across the U.S. still hold historical gems that have been restored and maintained to their original state. Travel back in time and hone up on your U.S. history with a trip to these fascinating historic destinations:

    Paul Revere’s House: Boston, Massachusetts

    On April 18, 1775 Paul Revere left his small home in Boston’s North End and set out on his legendary ride to warn that the British were coming. Today, that small wooden home is still standing and visitors can tour the inside and see what it might have looked like while the Revere’s lived there from 1770 to 1800.1 The house is downtown Boston’s oldest building and has become a national historic landmark.

    Independence Hall: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    As the birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, nothing holds the history of the United States like Independence Hall. In 1776, 56 men came together in Pennsylvania’s State House to defy the King of England and sign the Declaration of Independence. Eleven years later representatives from 12 states gathered in the same spot to shape the U.S. Constitution, creating one unified nation. A guided tour of Independence Hall takes visitors back in time to view the courtroom, George Washington’s “rising sun” chair, and the original inkstand used to sign the Declaration of Independence. An original draft of the Constitution is also on display.

    Fort Sumter: Charleston, South Carolina

    On April 12th, 1861 the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter, and thus began the American Civil War. Fort Sumter is a poignant part of U.S. history – the start of the bloodiest and most divisive conflict in American History.2 Decades of growing tension between the North and South exploded in civil war when Confederate soldiers opened fire. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Today you can visit and tour Fort Sumter, now a national monument. There is also a Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center nearby that tells the story and history of Fort Sumter leading up to the Civil War.

    Howland House: Plymouth, Massachusetts

    Visit the last surviving home in Plymouth where Pilgrims actually lived. The original 17th century home was owned by John Howland and his wife and then sold by their son Jabez in 1680. The home was a private residence until 1912 when it was purchased for a museum. After extensive restoration, the museum opened and includes period furniture and artifacts from the 17th century. Letters and documents from famous descendants of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are among the artifacts at Howland House.

    Colonial Williamsburg: Williamsburg, Virginia

    If you want to truly take a step back in time and experience the day-to-day life of colonists in the 18th century, visit Colonial Williamsburg. Historical interpreters and actors re-create life of the colonists as they prepared for the Revolutionary War.3 Explore firsthand the challenges of everyday life and make history by joining the colonists in key events leading up to the Revolutionary War.

    Sources:
    1: http://www.paulreverehouse.org/about/paulreverehouse.html
    2: http://fortsumtertours.com/history-of-the-fort/
    3: http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/do/revolutionary-city/

    Tips for Traveling Over the Holidays

    Story 2 Image November

    Holiday travel is around the corner, which can mean longer airport lines and larger crowds to navigate. Whether you’re traveling to visit family or taking a much needed vacation, these tips can help keep your travel plans running smoothly this holiday season:

    The Bad Date
    Many of us have been there – we show up with hope, only to be disappointed. No, we’re not talking about your high school prom date. We are talking about the worst dates to travel during the holiday season. The worst dates are usually the weekends right before and after a holiday.1 The best days to travel? Try on the holiday itself, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years Eve. 2

    Book Early, Save Money
    Traveling over the holidays but not psyched about spending a ton of money on airfare? The old adage “early bird gets the worm” holds true for flight booking. It’s wise to book at least a month or more in advance of your expected departure date if you want to get the best deals. A great way to simultaneously compare airfare for the best price is to use an airfare aggregator site.

    Go Crazy for Carry-On
    Looking for ways to make your travel experience go smoothly? Try packing a carry-on for each member of the family. You’ll be able to arrive at your departing gate more quickly and can avoid the hassle of waiting for your checked luggage upon your arrival. Plus, carry-on luggage often costs nothing as compared to checked luggage which can cost over $25 per bag.

    Shop Online and Ship
    If you’re like most people you’re not looking forward to airport security carefully scrutinizing and even unwrapping each gift you packed in your suitcase. Eliminate the hassle of traveling with gifts by doing holiday shopping online and have each item shipped to your final destination.

    Lots to Lose in Parking Lots
    Airport parking garages can be chaotic. If possible, have a friend drop you off at the airport to avoid congestion and delays getting to your departure gate.

    Ship Gifts Home Gift giving is a great holiday tradition for many. But, once the merriment has passed, how do the gifts get back home? An option for some might be to pack an extra, empty suitcase. But why lug around the extra bulk (and pay for yet another piece of checked luggage)? Ship all of your gifts home to save you time and hassle.

    Do you have any holiday travel tips that help make your travel go more smoothly? Share them with us on Facebook!

    Sources:
    1: http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/none/10-tips-for-holiday-travel
    2: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/02/us-travel-picks-festiveseason-idUSTRE7B11OC20111202

    Where in the World?


    Where in the World November

    Where in the world can you find this quaint home?

    Answer:
    This is the only home ever owned by the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln and his wife purchased the home in 1844 and it is located in Springfield, Illinois.








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