Top 10 Cultural Exploration Vacations in North America
Outside of Mexico, North America has not had the rich groups of ancient ruins and historical sights littering the landscape like other regions of the world. That said, the continent is home to its fair share of historical sites. From the battlefields of the Civil War to the cave dwellings of Native Americans to a giant earthwork, there is more than enough to keep the average historian busy.
- Gettysburg Battle Site, Pennsylvania
This Civil War Battle was the most deadly in the Civil War and considered a major turning point in the conflict. Four and a half months later President Lincoln stood on the battleground and gave his Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches in American history.
- Chichen Itza, Mexico
The towering Temple of Kuklkan, also known as El Castillo, dominates this major Mayan site in the central Yucatan. Temples, palaces, stages, markets, baths, and ballcourts can also be found in the vast archeological complex.
- New York City, New York
Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Ground Zero plus museums, historic architecture, the Five Points, and many other sites fill one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
- Anasazi Cave Dwellings, New Mexico
The cliff or cave dwellings of the Anasazi built during the Pueblo III period are one of the most recognizable Native American historical sites.
- Palenque, Mexico
Although not the largest Mayan site in the region, some of the finest sculptures, architecture, and bas-reliefs of the civilization can be found here. The vast complex in the state of Chiapas is filled with many large palaces and temples.
- Washington D.C.
The capital of the United States is lined with monumental buildings and the sites of historic events such as the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, National Cemetery, Smithsonian, War Memorials, White House, and Ford’s Theater.
- Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
This military installation hosted one of the most significant events of WWII when Japanese war planes bombed it in 1941. The memorial of the sunken warship the USS Arizona is the most important site associated with the day.
- Great Serpent Mound, Ohio
This more than 1,300 foot serpent shaped effigy mound created by the Adena culture in southern Ohio is one of the most important remaining Native American earthworks.
- Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawaii
This 1160-acre park on the Big Island of Hawaii is the site of an ancient native Hawaiian settlement with fishponds, petroglyphs, and religious sites.
- Tulum, Mexico
While the name Tulum is now associated more with the nearby resort town of the same name, this temple complex facing the Caribbean Sea is one of the best preserved coastal Mayan sites.