Thanks to a dedicated bunch of history buffs around the country, you don't have to imagine what great battles and turning points in history would have been like. You can see for yourself in one of these destinations where historical reenactments take place.
Gettysburg Reenactment Weekend
Reenactment at Gettysburg — Photo courtesy of sabianmaggy
Gettysburg was one of the most notoriously bloody battles of the Civil War and also the site where Abraham Lincoln delivered his infamous Gettysburg Address. Each year in early July, reenactors gather on the fields of Gettysburg to recreate the largest military engagement fought on US soil. Besides the battles, you'll also see field demonstrations and have a chance to explore a Living History Village to see what camp life was like for soldiers fighting in the war. Volunteers at Gettysburg National Military Park also host Living History Weekends throughout the year.
Boston Tea Party Reenactment
Crates of tea being thrown into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party reenactment. — Photo courtesy of Lee Wright
The Boston Tea Party was one of the most pivotal moments in US History, and you can see it for yourself with a visit to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum in December. When the 16th rolls around, hundreds of people show up to watch as the re-enactors dramatize the event that sparked the American Revolution back in 1773. If you can't make it for the event, you can still toss tea overboard on a visit to the museum, just like the Sons of Liberty did hundreds of years ago.
Battle at Yorktown preparation at Colonial Williamsburg — Photo courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Colonial Williamsburg takes reenactment to a new level with an entire town filled with re-enactors living in the 18th-century capital of Virginia. Each day, visitors get to witness important historical events, like the messenger arriving from Lexington to announce the start of the war or a general addressing his troops before the battle of Yorktown.
Patriots Day at Lexington and Concord
Minuteman statue on the Green at Lexington — Photo courtesy of Rob_sg
Each April, Massachusetts residents celebrate Patriot's Day, a state holiday commemorating the battle of Lexington and Concord that marked the start of the Revolutionary War. The entire holiday weekend is filled with reenactment events, including the capping of the Bedford Liberty Pole, the capture of Paul Revere and the reenactment of the early morning engagement with British troops at Lexington Green.
Meet Benjamin Franklin in Philly — Photo courtesy of B. Krist for GPTMC
Few cities in the United States have played witness to as many key historical events as Philadelphia, and Historic Philadelphia takes guests on guided tours with opportunities to interact with 18th and 19th century citizens and history makers, like flag-maker Betsy Ross or Benjamin Franklin.