Connect with the nation's history through Civil War sites, museums and other attractions that bring history to life and provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the country's past.
Day one: Walk hallowed ground at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Stand in the footsteps of "Stonewall" Jackson and envision the troops marching along the open land during two Civil War battles. Watch a 3-D movie that documents the battlefield after the soldiers left or visit the park's visitor's center to see the 45-minute "Manassas: End of Innocence" film narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. Enhance your Civil War tour with a trip to Ben Lomond Historic Site. Just a few miles from the battlefield, Ben Lomond features a slave quarter and a historic home that was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Read the graffiti soldiers left behind, handle the instruments doctors used to treat patients and hear the stories of the family who lived on the property.
Day two: Explore Old Town Manassas, which features historic sites, unique shops and restaurants where visitors can dine al fresco. In Old Town, visit the Manassas Museum, which interprets Northern Virginia Piedmont history through artifacts, documents, videos and images. Don't forget to pick up a souvenir at the museum's gift store, Echoes. Visit the old Manassas Courthouse-the site of the 1911 Peace Jubilee- then venture just outside Old Town to Mayfield Earthwork Fort, which Confederate troops used to defend the vital railroad lines at Manassas Junction.
Day three: Explore Leesylvania State Park where history and nature unite. This park was once home to Henry Lee III, a Revolutionary War hero who fathered Civil War Confederate General Robert. E. Lee. Situated on a peninsula,
Leesylvania is known for its excellent fishing and canoe opportunities. Or, hike to a scenic overlook to see the remains of a Civil War Confederate gun battery. Discover what it's like to be a Marine at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Land a helicopter in Vietnam, experience boot camp and test your shooting skills at the M-16 laser rifle range. After, grab lunch at Tun Tavern or the mess hall. Continue your trip through history at the Weems-Botts museum in Dumfries. Home to Parson Mason Weems, biographer of "The Life of Washington," visitors can learn the true story behind the tale of the cherry tree.