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Top Ten & More Places Kids Should See while on a Suntan Vacation | Under the sun fun



Vacations should be fun, exciting, relaxing and memorable for each member of the family, I agree. However, we are firm believers that every time you take a child somewhere – anywhere; it should be a learning experience also. There are some extremely important places in our United States of America every child should see and experience for themselves. Some of these locations are for the older child, understandably, but nevertheless should be considered “must see before graduation from high school” places to visit. Some will be breathtaking, awesome and wondrous and some may even help with the understanding of how our nation was created and the history of it. We have compiled a list of places that every kid should see (no particular order). It is possible we may have left out a place or two and you may not agree with us on others. However; if you think our list is ‘right on the mark’, we would love to hear that too! No matter how you feel, please send us your comments to the Suntan Crew.


1. The Alamo: The Alamo was originally named “Mission San Antonio de Falero”. It was home to missionaries and Indians for almost seventy years. The construction was begun in the mid 1720’s and by the 1790’s Indian residents farmed the fields at the mission thus contributing to the growth of the community of San Antonio, Texas. The facts surrounding the fall of the Alamo have been greatly debated over the years, but we do know that the final assault hit the Alamo just before dawn on March 6, 1836. The Mexican soldiers stormed the fort and once inside, it was all over. Many visitors come to see The Alamo every year to remember the heroic struggle against impossible odds and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.



2. Colonial Williamsburg: The very beautiful town of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia covers over 301 acres of land showcasing 88 original 18th century structures that include houses, shops and public outbuildings. These buildings have been lovingly reconstructed on their original foundations. Those buildings that are open to the public have a flag out front because some are actually private residences and administrative offices. There is so much to see while here; including the Governor’s Palace, the Capitol, gardens and landscaping, the smithy and more. You’ll be able to meet preachers, servants, farmers and craftsmen and hear their stories. Twenty trades in all are represented by people who enhance your day by answering any questions you may have, keeping in character at all times. There is also a ‘rare breeds’ program which populates the pastures and pens with rare sheep, cows, horses, oxen, chickens and other fowl. Imagine meeting and conversing with Benjamin Franklin or one of our other Founding Fathers! Step back in time and make history real for your kids and you too.


3. Disney World: Disney World opened its gates on October 1, 1971 in Central Florida. It is the most visited largest recreational facility in the world! It boasts four theme parks, two water parks, twenty-three themed hotels and many places to go shopping, dining and enjoy live entertainment. Epcot opened its doors eleven years later to the day. Disney’s Hollywood Studios followed almost seven years later on May 1, 1989 and Animal Kingdom opened nine years after that on April 22, 1998. We would like to give you a few hints regarding your plan to visit Disney. First, choose what you want to see and create an itinerary because unless you’re going to be staying for two weeks, you probably won’t get to see everything! Get on line and get your customized Park maps delivered to your home. The “Backstage Pass” will send you monthly updates, special offers and more. Sign up for “Disney’s Magical Express Service” and use online check-in before you go.


4. Ellis Island Museum: Imagine this, between the years 1892 to 1954, over 12,000,000 immigrants came to America by way of Ellis Island which sits in New York Harbor. In other words, for 62 years about 193,548,000 people entered the United States each year! Even before the island became the site for an “immigration station”, Ellis Island was historic in another way. Indian tribes had called it “Kioshk” (Gull Island). In fact, the island was called by many different names over its long history. During the Dutch and English colonial periods, it was known as Oyster Island because of the plentiful oyster beds.


5. Freedom Trail: The Freedom Trail is 16 historical sites that are all linked by three miles of red painted ribbons. If you begin at the Boston Common, where most people choose to start, you’ll be able to catch a guided tour put on by the National Park Service beginning at the Visitor Center. Just to name a few sites you’ll see there’ll be the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house, where the Boston Massacre took place and more. The trail ends at the 212 year old U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship in the world still in use. Pretty impressive!


6. Gettysburg Battlefield: There are several ways to explore the Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Tour the site in the comfort of your car using an auto tape-tour or hire a guide to ride with you. The more adventuresome walk, and/or ride a bike; some even choose to ride horseback through this historical site. Ten Civil War related museums await you and/or take a tour through an authentic Civil War house with a haunted ghost tour at night! Wander through this live theatre where you can talk to soldiers in camps and watch reenactments. When you need a break from all that interesting history, take a train ride through the countryside of the beautiful State of Pennsylvania or ride on miniature horses!


7. Grand Canyon National Park: This national park in Arizona welcomes close to five million visitors each year. The Grand Canyon National Park received federal protection in 1893; however, it did not receive “National Park” status until 1919. The river that runs through the canyon is 227 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and 1 mile deep. As you can imagine, archeologists have found many artifacts with the oldest human artifact found being nearly 12,000 years old! In fact, the park has recorded nearly 5,000 archeological resources in only 3% of the park. The Grand Canyon is one of 45 National Park Service areas that take part in the Vanishing Treasures Program. The goal of this program is to conserve architectural remains through research, documentation and preservation treatment. Life abounds in this very unique place – within the canyon, in the Colorado River and along the rims. In 1930, an architect by the name of Mary Colter was hired by the railroad to design a gift shop and rest area at Desert View Point. The Watchtower opened in 1933 and has the widest possible view of the Grand Canyon!


8. Ground Zero Museum Workshop: “Ground Zero Museum Workshop” is located in the “Meat-Packing District” of New York City. The museum was opened in 2005 by Marlon Suson, a professional actor/playwright who on 9/11 became a photographer. In December he was asked by the Uniformed Firefighters Association to be the “one-time” official “Photographer at Ground Zero” with the project ending when the recovery was finished. Tourists from all over the world take daily guided tours viewing the amazing photographs of the months of recovery efforts following this event. Survivors groups and 9/11 families are often hosted by the museum. His photos are heartbreaking but true, allowing you to get a feel for the respect and care with which these people conducted this unpleasant work. This was a period in United States history that should not ever be forgotten. A trip to this location in New York City is essential for every American and foreign ally.


9. Independence Hall: Located on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Independence Hall is where our leaders debated and eventually adopted the Declaration of Independence. It was also the place where the Constitution was signed and now houses the Liberty Bell. Construction of the building, originally named the Pennsylvania State House, was started in 1732 and completed in 1753. This building was also the primary meeting locale of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783. At the highest point it is 135 feet tall and was initially inhabited by the government of Pennsylvania as their State House.


10. Monticello: This 5,000 acre plantation was the Virginia home of Thomas Jefferson, our third President of the United States and had been inherited from his father. For more than forty years, he lovingly designed, redesigned, built and rebuilt Monticello. Construction began in 1769 and was not completed until 1794. There are a total of 43 rooms and eight fireplaces in the 11,000 square foot Monticello. The magnificent gardens were a showpiece, as well as, a source of food. Home to not only the Jefferson family but also to workers black and white, enslaved and free; the Monticello plantation was a center of agriculture and industry.


Want to see more on our list of Places that Kids should see?

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