Although classed as a relatively young nation, America has a rich and diverse history and, unsurprisingly, cultural and heritage tourism is fast becoming a lucrative sector within the country’s tourist industry. Every year an increasing number of visitors are flocking to key historical sites to enjoy the myths and stories that have shaped and defined American culture. This boom in popularity is due in part to the efforts of the Part-ners in Tourism, an organization that devised effective and innovative methods to improve the growth of her-itage tourism throughout the US.
If you’re planning a trip to experience American heritage, it’s always advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Making sure you have comfortable accommodation to serve as a base for the duration of your holiday is crucially important, especially if you’re bringing the kids. Follow Bluegreen Resorts for more information on how you can make the most out of your visit and choose a location that fits with your plans. With more than 60 resorts across the US and Caribbean, you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular destinations and the reasons why tourists are putting them at the top of their vacation itineraries.
For travelers who want to discover the dark side of American history, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary is an ab-solute must on the holiday agenda. Situated on Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco, this infamous prison is open to tourists for day or night tours, allowing them to experience the facilities where some of the most infamous criminals, such as Al Capone, were incarcerated.
With over 1.3 million visitors per year, the former prison buildings are being conserved and upgraded while further additional areas are opened to the public, and existing safety hazards are being removed.
As one of the oldest American cities, this East Coast college town is brimming with history and attracts over 20 million visitors per year. It’s also home to many American firsts: the first large free municipal public library, the first subway system, the first public school and the first public park. For those that appreciate museums, don’t miss the Museum of Fine Arts.
Columbia, also known as the ‘Gem of the Southern Mines’, was founded in 1850 during the gold rush and has modern-day tourists captivated with its authentic charm. Quaint streets lined with historic saloons, craft shops and perfectly preserved buildings give visitors a true experience of the sights and sounds of nine-teenth century America in the midst of the gold rush. This destination is perfect for families because of its novelty factor and chances to pan for gold or take a ride down the high street in a century-old horse-drawn carriage.
America’s capital city is shrouded in history, boasting numerous sites of interest for history buffs who want to walk in the footsteps of presidents. The National Mall alone receives around 24 million visitors every year and is home to significant monuments including the Lincoln Memorial. It also has a number of noteworthy museums, such as the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History, as well as several museums dedicated to war and conflict. Outside of this impressive park, Washington DC is most famous for its presidential residence, and the White House can be toured via pre-arrangement.
Steeped in history, Williamsburg was founded a way back in 1632 and, alongside Jamestown and Yorktown, forms part of the ‘Historic Triangle’, which attracts over four million visitors every year.
The Colonial Williamsburg theme park really stands out as the most memorable attraction, allowing tourists the chance to delve into heritage in an engaging and interactive way. With period buildings, dramatic enter-tainment, first-class museums, and taverns and theaters galore, it’s a novel way to come face to face with some of America’s most famous historical figures such as Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Smith and Pocahontas.
By ensuring these historical sites are both preserved and accessible for all the ages, America’s history will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.