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Where to go, right now: Discover history in these 3 places

Where to go, right now: Discover history in these 3 places

The number of Americans flying is the highest since March, according to statistics released by the Transportation Security Administration.

For a history-filled fall getaway, consider the following three destinations. All are open to visitors right now.

Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, is part theme park and part open-air history museum. | Dennis Lennox

Colonial Williamsburg

With 301 acres the largely open-air Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a perfect destination in this age of social distancing.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the most important chapter of U.S. history — history that more often than not is ignored these days.  

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The history continues at nearby Jamestown, where English-speaking America started, and Yorktown, where independence from Britain was secured in 1781. In Yorktown, be sure to visit the excellent American Revolution Museum. Also nearby is Berkeley Plantation, the location of America’s first Thanksgiving.

For the full colonial experience book one of the authentically reproduced colonial homes. This also gives you unique, all-hours access to the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg.

The old Spanish colonial-era city gates in St. Augustine, Florida. | Dennis Lennox

St. Augustine

The Spanish, British and American flags have all flown over St. Augustine on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Founded by Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565 the present-day city holds the distinction of being the oldest European-established city in the mainland United States.

St. Augustine’s history-filled downtown radiates from Plaza de la Constitucion or Constitution Plaza, which is marked by an early 1800s Spanish colonial-era obelisk. The square is also the starting point for taking in the 3 million-plus Christmas lights that are illuminated every night during the annual Nights of Lights. This year’s festivities run from mid-November through the end of January.

Consider staying at the aptly named 44 Spanish Street Inn. As its name suggests the upscale bed-and-breakfast inn is located at 44 Spanish St., which is within walking distance of everything to do and see.

The Chapel at the Hawaiian Royal Mausoleum State Monument in Honolulu. | Dennis Lennox

Honolulu

Hawaii reopened to tourists earlier this month, though visitors will have to go through cumbersome protocols that include pre-departure coronavirus testing.

Honolulu, the Aloha State’s biggest city and capital, offers much more than Waikiki Beach. In particular, Hawaii’s history is among the richest of all the states, not least because it was a monarchy until the overthrow of 1893. The coup d'etat was supported by the United States, which later annexed the islands.

Among the notable sights is the Gothic Revival Cathedral Church of St. Andrew. While today it belongs to Episcopalians, it was built in the late 1860s when the then-Church of Hawaii (Anglican) was the state church of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Be sure to also visit the Chapel at the Hawaiian Royal Mausoleum State Monument, Iolani Palace (the former royal palace) and Bishop Museum.

Honolulu’s best hotel is the Halekulani. Unfortunately, it’s closed through July 2021 for renovations. A solid alternative is the Trump International Hotel Waikiki.

Spires and Crosses, a travel column exclusive to The Christian Post, is published every week. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter and Instagram.

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Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics and religious affairs. He has been published in the Financial Times, Independent, The Detroit News, Toronto Sun and other publications. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter.

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