I must admit that I was originally going to keep this a top 10 list, but as I researched cool historical places for veterans to visit, I realized that I could not keep it at only 10.
As a matter of fact, it was difficult separating out 20 places from the immense historical locations.
It is my opinion that every veteran and their families should set a goal to visit each and every one of these historical sites. And, not only veterans…all Americans should do so.
These sites will provide a look at the reason veterans have fought bravely for the U.S. military and for all United States citizens.
Let’s take a look at the 20 coolest historical places you should visit. They are in no particular order because they are all highly significant.
1: American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
In an effort to honor all the disabled veterans who bravely sacrificed so that we can live a free life, this memorial was dedicated by President Obama in October of 2014. It is in our nation’s capital at 150 Washington Avenue.
You can have a virtual tour here.
2: Andersonville National Historic Site
This historic Civil War site is near Andersonville, Georgia. Camp Sumter was here and it was a POW prison for Union soldiers. Many of those soldiers died from the terrible conditions.
You can see the Prisoner of War museum here too.
See more about this site here.
3: Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Many do not know that George Washington at one time surrendered. It was during the French and Indian War that Colonel Washington was leading British soldiers. In Pennsylvania at Fort Necessity, the French surrounded the area, and Washington agreed to withdraw. The French burned the Fort, but it has been somewhat restored for the public’s viewing.
4: Milwaukee Soldier’s Home
It was a location in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for soldiers to recuperate from the Civil War. Some wanted to destroy this landmark, but many veterans and lovers of history protested to keep this location sacred. It is believed that veterans from recent wars can gain new life by visiting this historic location.
5: Cowpens National Battlefield
This was the site of a major Revolutionary War battle with Brigadier General Daniel Morgan’s troops successfully defeating the British led by Lieutenant Colonel Banestre Tarleton.
It is located in South Carolina near Gaffney and close to the North Carolina border.
You can visit this link to learn more.
6: Independence National Historic Park
This is the preserved history of the Revolution that every American should see at some point in their life. Located in historic Philadelphia, at the forefront is Independence Hall where you can view the Declaration of Independence.
You can also see the Liberty Bell and many other sites that can take a full day if not several.
See this link for more information.
7: Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
This is a scenic wonder and was used by Patriots to travel to battle for the United States independence. There are 57 miles developed for the public use, and you can envision what the Patriots saw while traveling for the freedom of all Americans.
This trail is in the States of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.
See more about this historic trail here.
8: National Infantry Museum
Since my MOS was 11 Bravo, I have a strong devotion to the infantry. This is a museum worth visiting near Fort Benning, Georgia. Fort Benning is the home of the infantry so it is only fitting that the museum is located there.
You can learn all about infantry through the years.
Just visit this link to know more.
9: Valley Forge National Historic Park
Located in Pennsylvania, General Washington had his troops spend a long and difficult winter here. You can see cabins built by Revolutionary War soldiers and gain an appreciation of what these troops did for us.
Visit this link about Valley Forge.
10: Arlington National Cemetery
I believe that every veteran…no every American citizen should visit this location just across the river from Washington D.C. It is the burial place of many soldiers and officers who gave their lives for our wonderful nation. It is also the location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Old Guard (3rd US Infantry Regiment).
11: Fort McHenry
This historic landmark is in Baltimore, Maryland on the Baltimore Harbor. If it doesn’t come to you what makes this Fort so worth visiting, consider Francis Scott Key. It was during the War of 1812 when Baltimore was defended from the British Navy. This is when Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner.
Visit this link about Fort McHenry.
12: U.S.S. Arizona Memorial
It is not on the mainland…you will have to make the trip to Hawaii to see this historical place. It marks the place where a high number of U.S. military personnel were killed as Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor.
I believe every veteran and their families should find that moment to visit this site.
Visit this link to see more.
13: Fort Scott
This historical fort in Eastern Kansas was the Army’s point of protection for those traveling West to seek fortune. Visitors can see what Cavalry soldiers lived in while protecting settlers from Indians.
Learn more about Fort Scott here.
14: Vietnam Veterans Memorial
This wall in Washington D.C. lists all the service members we lost in Vietnam. While many cities have made smaller versions, I believe that veterans should visit this great memorial.
You can visit this link to know more.
15: African American Civil War Memorial
On the intersections of U street NW, Vermont Ave and 10th street in Washington D.C. is a great memorial to the African Americans who fought gallantly in the Civil War even when they were treated with disrespect.
16: Korean War Veterans Memorial
While you are visiting Washington D.C., you should also go visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The statues are tremendous and will move you to remembrance of those who served in Korea.
You can find out more here.
17: Gettysburg National Military Park
This park is the location of a Civil War battle that turned the tide of the war in the Union’s favor. It is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and will give you an idea just where and what happened on this battlefield.
18: National World War II Memorial
Over 4 million people visit this memorial annually. Have you? You should. It is also in Washington D.C. and honors all those who served in what has seemed the War of all wars.
This link tells you more.
19: Fort Laramie National Historic Site
This Fort was used as a staging area in the battles against the Indians in the Old West. It can take you back to the days of bows and arrows, buffalo and the wild West. It is located in Wyoming.
This link tells you more.
20: Little Bighorn Battlefield Historic Site
It was the demise of George Custer and the 7th Cavalry. This battle ground shows the significance of the Indian Wars. It is a must see and means a trip to Montana.
See this link for more.
Which of these sites have you visited? There are still a few I need to see, but they are a great thing for veterans and their families to see.
Feel free to share any other sites you think should be seen.
You can leave all comments and questions below. Thank you.