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Teach & Travel has Fresh Ideas for Student Travel

Youre back. The class trip is over. You can breathe a sigh of relief since all went well and everyone had a fabulous time. You dont have to think about fundraisers and permission slips again until the fall except that youve already started thinking about it! You always plan your student travel to the same destination- parents expect it, administration expects it and students expect it. Heck, you inherited the trip from the teacher in your position before you! Wouldnt it be great to shake things up a bit? There are so many incredible, student-friendly destinations. Maybe its time to test the waters and try something different. Teach & Travel magazine is the perfect springboard when youre ready to dive in!

Top Student Destinations

While youre relaxing poolside this summer (ha- like teachers ever get to do THAT), take a minute to check out the most recent issue of Teach & Travel. Teach & Travel is the official publication of the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) and packed with valuable information for anyone planning student travel. The May 2018 issue highlights the top ten U.S., North American and international destinations for students. If youre ready to change things up, this is an excellent resource with which to begin.

Planning Tips and Ideas

Teach & Travel is a quintessential powerhouse of student travel ideas, statistics and solutions for your most challenging travel dilemmas. It provides great new intel on the places you think you already know and offers excellent alternatives when you want to try something new. Published five times a year, Teach & Travel always provides you with the most current travel industry updates, fresh ideas and important planning tips.

Student Youth Travel Association

As the primary publication of SYTA, Teach & Travel reaches 40,000 educators and SYTA member tour operators annually, ensuring its position as “Educators’ #1 Source for Everything Student Travel.” The digital copy is free to access online and makes for great poolside reading! Put Teach & Travel on your required summer reading list and youll be refreshed, inspired and ready for a new adventure in the coming school year!

Chicago Shakes Up The Usual Student Trip Itinerary

Years ago, as a freshly minted professional working for a non-profit, I was asked to attend a conference in Chicago. My colleagues were jetting off to fabulous locations like Cancun, L.A. or Scottsdale for their conventions, so I was a bit disappointed that my destination was Chicago. In the middle of January. Ugh.

Fast forward a couple of decades and Chicago remains one of my very favorite cities ever! Ive been back many times (and in every season), as Chicago is a chameleon of adventure. If youre ready to shake up the usual student trip itinerary, consider Chicago- recently named one of the Student Youth Travel Associations Top Ten Student Destinations in the U.S.

From the moment you hop off the El, Chicagos vibrant energy draws you in to explore all her nooks and crannies. Start on the shoreline of Lake Michigan at Navy Pier, a 50-acre playground packed with fun. Get a birds eye view of the lake and the city as you soar 200 feet in the air on the Centennial Wheel. Then splash down with an incredible tour of the lake or the Chicago River on a cruise departing from the pier.

Once the group is back on land, continue exploring at Millennium Park, boasting a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art (all free!) and a fresh spin on the town square. So much fun! Stroll down Chicagos renowned Magnificent Mile for some upscale retail therapy or a slice of that famous deep-dish pizza.
Thrill-seekers will rejoice with a visit to the Skydeck Chicago in Willis Tower. Theyll step outside the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at a height of 1,353 feet and onto the Ledges glass boxes, which extend 4.3 feet out from the Skydeck. Oh my. As more of a low-altitude girl, I prefer to enjoy this attraction from street-level!

The Museum of Science and Industry is another extraordinary attraction unique to Chicago. Open since 1933, MSI is one of the largest science museums in the world and dedicated to bringing science to life for children of all ages.

When the kids are ready to get their fun on, a Blue Man Group show is a must. Wide eyes, blue bodies, paint and percussion are at the core of this unique performance. The silent humor is infectious, the drumming loud and the toilet paper abundant; a perfect recipe for entertaining teenagers.

The Great Escape Room Chicago is another awesome way to spend an hour as your group works together to solve puzzles and scavenge for items necessary to escape the room. You can choose the level of difficulty and the experience, ensuring that all have an amazing time. Once successfully liberated, its just a few steps to a Chicago staple, Stans Donuts and Coffee. Yum!

Whether its January, December, or any month in between, Chicago is a phenomenal destination for students. My nave twenty-something self just didnt recognize the distinct style and flair of Chicago prior to that first visit. The slightly older and much wiser version knows a good thing when she visits – and so will your student group!

Kaleidoscope Adventures: Educating Students Through Travel

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Chicago trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

WonderWorks Will Turn Your Group Plans Upside Down!

Planning a student trip. Planning a homeschool trip. Planning a scout trip. Planning a family or faith-based trip. If you can check any of these boxes, be sure to check this one:

? Include a visit to WonderWorks in your plans!


WonderWorks is an experience (or experiment!) in fun like no other. As soon as the building is visible, its clear that things are not as they seem! The upside-down faade is explained to guests as a once top-secret laboratory located in the Bermuda Triangle in which an experiment gone wrong landed it in its current destination- upended!

Inside, the atmosphere at WonderWorks is charged with fun, excitement and more than 100 interactive displays and exhibits at your disposal. Science is at the heart of the experience, and all the activities are geared for maximum play. Lie on a bed of nails, conquer the indoor ropes course, or move at the speed of light. Challenge your mind, body and imagination in the Wonder Zones or dazzle your senses with the mystery of magic. Take in a 4D-XD (or 6D in Myrtle Beach!) movie or light it up in a black-lit laser tag arena. Theres so much to do in this world of edu-tainment!

WonderWorks loves groups of 15+ and promises an incredibly wacky adventure for all! WonderWorks has locations in six great group destinations. Each is uniquely engaging and offers guests a completely unexpected and upside-down approach to fun. When planning your group travel, be sure to check this one off your to-do list!

 

Steeped in History and Mystery, Gettysburg is a Great Student Destination

Growing up in PA, I spent many wonderful summers exploring Gettysburg. It didnt occur to me that a national treasure was practically in my backyard. I took for granted that a day trip tromping through battlefields was practically a rite of passage for Civil War enthusiasts. Steeped in history and mystery, Gettysburg is a great student destination as well.

THINGS TO DO

Gettysburg National Military Park
If you are traveling to Gettysburg with students, a stop at the Gettysburg National Military Park is probably at the top of the trip checklist. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War and the inspiration for Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg Address. Programs are available for all ages, as well as free, ranger-led tours of key battlefield moments. Theres really nothing quite like the experience of walking on these hallowed grounds to truly make history come alive for students!

Gettysburg Diorama
A fully-narrated light and sound show, the Gettysburg Diorama has the entire 6,000-acre battlefield in one place. Students will be amazed by the incredible detail of the display during the 30-minute presentation of the three-day battle.

Songs and Stories of A Civil War Hospital
Christ Lutheran Church is the oldest building in Gettysburg in continuous use for worship and served as a hospital from the first day of battle and for 5 weeks. True stories of soldiers (Union and Confederate), doctors and nurses who worked valiantly to save lives are presented through readings of soldiers journals and a citizen-nurses diary, live civil war music, poetry of Walt Whitman (who served as a civil war nurse for 3 years) and passages from the Lincolns 2nd Inaugural Address (the Gettysburg Address). Students are given the name of a soldier who was a patient at the hospital and whose fate is revealed at the end of the program (did he live or die?)

Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours
Dont miss a chance to get up close and personal with some of Gettysburgs best haunts and eerie sightings! The Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours have been around since 1994 and are based on true stories from Mark Nesbitts Ghosts of Gettysburg book series and have been featured on Unsolved Mysteries.

Shriver House Museum- The Civilian Experience
The Shriver House gives students a different lens through which to view the battle- a civilian perspective. This 1860 home in the heart of the historic district has been meticulously restored and frozen in time, and features members of the Shriver family sharing their experiences of life before, during and after the war.

PLACES TO EAT

General Picketts Buffet
If you need a quick, home-cooked meal to fuel those insatiable teen appetites, General Picketts Buffet is a perfect choice. Reasonable group rates (which include beverages and gratuity), two complimentary meals per bus and great food make General Picketts a group favorite. It also has a gift shop to satisfy students needs to spend ALL their trip money (goodness knows they wont take any home!).

Historic 1776 Dobbin House Tavern
Historic 1776 Dobbin House Tavern provides comfortable group accommodations, gracious hospitality and delectable dishes in a charming and historic setting. Students can tour the oldest and most historic home in Gettysburg, check out the secret underground railroad hideout or visit the Country Curiosity Store.

PLACES TO STAY

Courtyard by Marriott Gettysburg
If you want a clean and comfortable property that knows how to cater to student groups, Courtyard by Marriott Gettysburg is a great choice. Close to popular Gettysburg attractions and featuring an indoor pool, Courtyard by Marriott fully understands the needs of student groups and has the experience to make your group stay a breeze.

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Gettysburg trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

Believe It or Not – Ripleys Attractions Are Everywhere

Believe it or not (see what I did there?!) Ripleys attractions are everywhere. More than 100+ locations worldwide means that odds are good youll find a Ripleys to meet the needs of your student group trip.

Ripleys Believe It or Not Attractions are an astonishing collection originating from the private coffers of Robert Ripley (1890-1949). Ripley spent 35 years traveling to 201 countries seeking the odd, the unusual, and the unexplained. Hmmm sounds like he could have just planned a trip with middle school students! These unique acquisitions are the foundation of the Ripleys attractions Odditoriums, Aquariums, Mirror Mazes, WaxWorks, 4D Moving Theaters and many more.

Locations can be found in most U.S. student travel destinations and feature every macabre or ridiculous item conceivable, as well as many that you wont be able to wrap your brain around! Each Ripleys Odditorium is housed in an unusual structure and typically includes between 400 700 exhibits. Displays are a careful conglomerate of the strange, the shocking, and the beautiful- you may find a shrunken head, a micro-miniature sculpture or a 22-foot tall car parts robot. Students will love the interactive nature of the displays and the unexpected surprises around every corner. Its so much fun to wander through the space and imagine what Robert Ripley must have been thinking when he encountered some of these treasures! He once noted I have traveled in 201 countries and the strangest thing I saw was man. I think thats a sentiment to which most of us can relate!

Ripleys Aquariums offer students an opportunity to come face to face with fascinating underwater life. Found in the Smoky Mountains, Myrtle Beach and Toronto, Canada, these state-of-the-art facilities allow visitors to glide on moving platforms into an aquatic world filled with captivating fish and other sea creatures. Each aquarium location is distinct and will keep your student group enthralled.

Ripleys attractions are everywhere and can be a cornerstone of your student group trip. Even the most jaded middle school students will find something to peak their interests- and we all know thats a rare and surprising find in itself!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your student group trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

Philadelphia Is A Top Trending Student Destination

The 2018 Super Bowl was an epic battle between two cities claiming the title of Cradle of Liberty. Since my beloved Steelers werent in the running, I was thrilled that the Philadelphia Eagles brought home the championship. As a history geek, I was even more thrilled to listen to the revolutionary commentary flying back and forth in the weeks prior to the big game. Both Philadelphia and Boston are ideal destinations for students looking to raise their history games, but this Pennsylvania girl is going to focus on the home team! Philadelphia is a top trending student destination for a reason. Historically significant and brilliantly modern, there are endless attractions and activities for students to appreciate.

Take a self-guided stroll through the home of the symbol of American independence (the Liberty Bell), followed by a guided tour of Independence Hall. Visit the National Constitution Center or Congress Hall and stand where the foundation of America was laid. Tour Franklin Court (the site of Benjamin Franklins home) or the Franklin Institute for a glimpse of scientific genius.

The Museum of the American Revolution is a new and exciting treasure in a city packed with historically significant venues. Opened in April of 2017, this museum is dedicated to telling the indelible story of the American Revolution. Of particular note is the centerpiece of the museums extensive collection, George Washingtons original headquarters tent. Truly awe-inspiring!

If a quirkier itinerary peaks your students interests, be sure to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site for a glimpse of Al Capones cell- a luxurious home away from home. Edgar Allen Poe had a Philly address- and you can visit the Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site in the Spring Garden Neighborhood. Call ahead for this one; hours are limited. If the slightly macabre is more your students thing, be sure to include a visit to the Mtter Museum on the itinerary. Located in Center City, this museum boasts a collection of medical oddities and implements guaranteed to make you glad you live in the 21st century. Yikes!

Finally, no trip to Philadelphia is complete without a run (cue the music!) up the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art made famous in the movie Rocky. After celebrating your physical prowess with a cheesy (and unintelligible) shout, make your way to South Philly for a taste of the cheesy rivalry between two Philadelphia staples- Genos or Pats!

Philadelphia is an historical hot spot and a uniquely exciting destination for students. Whether youre planning a quick trip or an extended stay, your students wont be disappointed by the breadth and depth of all there is to do. Score one for the home team!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Philadelphia trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

Plan Your Student STEM Trip to Birmingham for Great STEM Attractions

If you are planning a student group trip, chances are good that your district will require a STEM component. You may even be planning an exclusively STEM trip. If youre not competing in a robotics competition, where do you begin searching for a destination that meets your requirements? Birmingham, Alabama is a great starting point! Rooted firmly in the 19th century steel industry and evolving into a city undergoing a renaissance, Birmingham has an extensive and varied offering of outstanding STEM-related attractions. Below are some highlights to consider as you plan your student STEM trip to Birmingham.

Photo Courtesy of Art Meripol and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
Built in 1881 and operational by April 1882, the Sloss Blast Furnace was a technological marvel of its era. Today students can tour the site of this monument to the industrial revolution and learn how the furnace worked, the historical significance of the plant in Birminghams development, and what it was like to be a worker during production. Theres even an opportunity to make a piece of cast iron art!

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Vulcan Park and Museum
Follow your visit to the Sloss Furnaces with a trip to the Vulcan Statue and Museum. Created by Giuseppe Morettti, the Vulcan depicts the Roman god of fire and forge and stands 56 feet tall. This cast iron statue reflects Birminghams steel and iron heritage and allows for spectacular views of Birmingham. The museum below is an interactive museum highlighting the history of both the city and the Vulcan.

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

The McWane Science Center
The McWane Science Center will quickly take your students from the 19th to the 21st century. Exhibits at this state-of-the-art center are designed to challenge, inspire and encourage interest in the sciences. Take in multiple levels of hands-on STEM activities perfect for kids of all ages!

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Barber Vintage MotorSports Museum
Opened in 1995 by retired race car driver George Barber, this unrivaled collection of restored-to-racing condition motorcycles constitute the worlds largest motorcycle collection (more than 1400!). The bikes represent 200 manufacturers from approximately 20 countries and were even part of a display at The Guggenheim. Its an unusual and unique look at some pristine machinery!

Photo Courtesy of Art Meripol and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Southern Museum of Flight
The Southern Museum of Flight is a regional gem dedicated to sharing the history of aviation in the south. Exhibits include civilian, military and experimental aircraft and memorabilia. There are more than 100 aircraft on display, as well as a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen.

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The word STEM often connotes thoughts of technology or robotics. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens will have you thinking outside the flower box! They offer fabulous educational programs and workshops that dig in to the science of horticulture. Admission is always free, the gardens are open year-round, and they even have the only public horticultural library in the U.S.

As you begin to plan your STEM adventures, keep Birmingham in mind for a one-of-a-kind trip. Theres so much to see and do beyond these few suggestions. The kids will love the engaging attractions, history and southern hospitality. Youll love that youve met your curricular requirements in one amazing city!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Birmingham STEM trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

Oh, What A Knight!

The term medieval conjures up some pretty powerful images. Princesses, castles, plague (lets skip that one) and, of course, blade-wielding, powerful and chivalrous knights. Its enough to make a frequent reader of historical romances like myself swoon! Imagine the pageantry, the clashing of swords, damsels in distress and wondrous feats of horsemanship. Wouldnt it be wonderful to travel through the ages to such a gothic era?

Fortunately, we dont have to time travel- simply visit the nearest Medieval Times for a dining and entertainment experience like no other. Medieval Times is a spectacular evening of food and showmanship that will have you leaping to your feet and cheering on your favorite knight!

The Medieval Times experience begins the instant you enter the castle doors. The atmosphere is charged with excitement, and royal decrees are shouted from balconies as it is determined which gallant knight will be representing you in the tournament. The energy continues as you are seated for an exquisite, four-course meal fit for royalty. Service is exceptional and incredibly efficient. Once the guests appetites are satisfied, the main event begins!

Knights dressed in varying colors and their stalwart mounts enter the ring, preparing for the tournament. Steel clashes with steel and sparks fly as the tournament gets underway. Viewers hold their collective breath as they watch in wonder as noble knights and their equestrian counterparts parry and thrust with unrivaled skill. Its a thrilling display of brawn and grace, while spectators are drawn into the action by the honorable and gallant knights. As the evening rolls out, the knights and their steeds join forces for the ultimate good of the kingdom, bringing the crowd surging to their feet and thundering applause.

Medieval Times is an experience that touches all the senses and inspires the audience with dazzling displays of might and metal. It is an especially outstanding venue for groups of all sizes, including student groups, scout groups, homeschool groups, family reunion groups, and more. An 11th century castle is an outstanding platform for both entertainment and education. Grab your shield and join in the revelry!

 

Let Your Inner Star Shine in Nashville

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Nashville, Tennessee. My husband was attending a conference that highlighted Nashville as a great student destination and we stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Not only did we stay at the Gaylord, we stayed in the presidential suite at the Gaylord. Wow. It was bigger than my house and certainly more impressive!


Truly, that was my overall impression of Nashville wow! Everything is larger than life and so very impressive. Energy seems to pump out of each little honkey tonk and the people are wonderful, warm and welcoming. If youre looking for a unique student, performance or homeschool trip, Nashville should be at the top of your list!


History, science and, of course, music are at the heart of this lively capital city. For a glimpse of southern living at its historical best, visit the Belmont Mansion, the largest house museum in Tennessee. Step into the Hermitage, a jewel of the antebellum south and home of President Andrew Jackson. Backtrack just a bit further in time to The Parthenon, a full-sized replica of the Greek original built in 1897 for Tennessees Centennial Exposition.


For a more educational slant, be sure to stop at the Adventure Science Center, with interactive exhibits and award-winning programs guaranteed to inspire any budding scientist. Explore the exquisite Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum for beautiful gardens and galleries. Take in the Nashville Zoo, a 200-acre zoo and historic plantation farmhouse just outside of Nashville. So much fun and so much to learn!


At its core, however, Nashville IS the Music City! The sights and sounds of country music are the essence and soul of this town. The Ryman Auditorium, known as the Mother Church of Country Music, is a must-see. Take in a show or tour and youll feel the history of the place. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum for a nitty gritty exploration of the roots of country music. Sidestep over to the Wildhorse Saloon for outstanding grub AND line dancing lessons! Of course, you cant visit Nashville without a backstage pass to the famed Grand Ole Opry– you never know who youll run into!


Perhaps best of all, you and your students can be stars for a day on the Historic RCA Studio B tour! Walk the iconic halls of the recording studio of Elvis Presley and other music industry giants and spend time in the studio at the legendary microphone with a professional sound engineer. Very cool!


All of these incredible attractions are student friendly, easily accessible and just scratch the surface of what is available. As a destination, Nashville is as on fleek as they come (hmm I will have to ask my ten-year old if I used that term correctly). If you are looking for an exceptional travel opportunity for student, performance or homeschool groups, consider Nashville as an outstanding option. Much like the Gaylord, it is larger than life and very impressive!

Find out more about planning a student trip to Nashville by contacting the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures, specializing in student and performance trips for more than 20 years! Call 800-774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com. Kaleidoscope Adventures will handle all the details of your trip with precision and personal attention.

 

An Adventure in American History- Coastal Virginia

Bright sunshine, warm sand and the relaxing sounds of the ocean thats my idea of a perfect vacation. Roadside markers, historical sites and guided tours thats my husbands idea of a perfect vacation! Fortunately, our visit to Coastal Virginia met the mark for both of us (the kids had a fabulous time, too!). If you havent had the chance to visit this stunning and historically significant region, its time to plan a trip. Coastal Virginia is a top trending destination guaranteed to please all the travelers in your group!

 

Photo courtesy of Visit Norfolk

Norfolk is a hub for all things maritime-related. One of the first shipyards in America and host to the battle of The Monitor and Merrimack, Norfolk is now home to the largest naval base in the world. Anyone with an interest in nautical happenings will fall in love with Norfolk! Take a tour of the Nauticus National Maritime Museum and visit the Battleship Wisconsin, one of the largest and last battleships built by the U.S. Navy. Be sure to stop at the MacArthur Memorial, final resting place of General Douglas MacArthur and home to award-winning exhibits. Finally, any trip to Norfolk must end on the water! Sail the beautiful harbor in style on an American Rover Cruise (you might even get to take a turn at the helm!).

Photo Courtesy of Newport News Tourism Development Office

Just a quick jaunt up the road is charming Newport News, settled in 1621. The Mariners Museum and Park is a must-do in this lovely piece of Virginia real estate. Youll have the chance to experience the Monitors story in a way that history books cant do justice! The Virginia War Museum sheds light on the history of the American military with unique, personal artifacts, weapons and other fascinating pieces of war memorabilia.

Photo courtesy of Newport News Tourism Development Office

If southern living is more your thing, youll definitely want to check out the Lee Hall Mansion- a picture of the antebellum south frozen in time. The Virginia Living Museum gets you up close and personal with Virginias natural heritage and beauty with interactive exhibits and discovery centers. Theres much to do in this little slice of heaven!

Photo courtesy of Virginia Beach CVB

Now that weve (momentarily) satisfied the history-seeking wanderlust in my husband, its time to relax on that sun-soaked beach. which I enjoyed for 2 glorious hours before we were off on our next adventure!

Virginia Beach is truly a magnificent place for walks on the beach, casual beach front lunches or breath-taking sunsets. Our kids love the energy and excitement of the boardwalk and I love tucking myself under the beach umbrella with a good book while the waves crash around me. However, Virginia Beach is so much more than just the beach!

Photo courtesy of Virginia Beach CVB

When you are ready to shake off the sand, a trip to the Virginia Aquarium Marine Science Center is a great option for cool, indoor fun! More than 10,000 animals are featured and countless interactive exhibits are available. Follow your wildlife encounters by taking to the tree tops as you climb and zipline your way through Adventure Park. What a view!

Photo Courtesy of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

Just about an hours drive from Virginia Beach is the ultimate destination for history buffs. As my husband certainly qualifies as a buff, Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement top the list of required stops.

Colonial Williamsburg is the worlds largest living history museum. As you step onto the gravel roadways, you are stepping back in time to the 18th century. Visit the apothecary, talk to the artisans and craftsman of the era, and engage in political discussions relevant to the day as the colonists debate a war of independence. Its an experience you wont soon forget (especially if you manage to land in the stocks!!)

Photo Courtesy of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

The historic Jamestown Settlement provides a glimpse into the lives of settlers in the first permanent English settlement in America, as well as their Native American counterparts. Almost everything is interactive, and kids (and adults) are encouraged to take part in village activities as well as climb aboard reproductions of the three ships that delivered the settlers in 1607.

Our family loved our trip to Coastal Virginia- its exciting, educational, and yes, even relaxing for Moms (at least for an hour or two!) It’s also a great trending destination for student groups- check with the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to plan your trip! Call 407-345-4899 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.