With Memorial Day set for Monday, May 29, we thought a round-up of some of the best military museums in the U.S. might be in order for a road trip idea. Originally known as Decoration Day, a Civil War veteran requested a special day to decorate the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country. He chose May 30 as it was not a day of any Civil War Battle. It gradually became known as Memorial Day and is now designated to be recognized on the last Monday of May.
1. Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center: Located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, this is the site of the Battle of Gettysburg which saw the largest number of casualties for the entire Civil War and the battle was considered a turning point in the war. Visitors here can tour the battlefield and see iconic spots such as the Copse of Trees, which was the focal point for Pickett’s Charge. Also here is the Eisenhower National Historic Site which was owned by 34th President Dwight Eisenhower. Visit gettysburgfoundation.org to see the various tours as well as exhibits offered here.
(Nearest campground is Drummer Boy Camping Resort.)
2. USS Midway Museum: This museum is set aboard the historic naval aircraft carrier, the USS Midway. More than 60 exhibits are displayed as well as 29 restored aircraft. Flight simulators, immersive films, and a special Remembrance Wall are also part of this San Diego attraction. For details visit midway.org.
(Nearest campground is Thousand Trails Pio Pico.)
3. National Museum of the Pacific War: Located in Fredericksburg, Texas, the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz who served as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas during World War II, visitors can learn about the history of the World War II battles in the Pacific. Permanent exhibits include “Pearl Harbor” and “Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb.” More details can be found at pacificwarmuseum.org.
(Nearest campground is Thousand Trails Medina Lake.)
4. First Division Museum at Cantigny: Located on the grounds of the beautiful 500-acre Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, the museum offers visitors a unique “Tank Park” which has roughly a dozen tanks, from World War to Desert Storm, that visitors can climb on. There is also a fleet of historic military vehicles including a “Huey” C helicopter used in Vietnam and a standard military truck from World War I known as a “Nancy.” For information, visit fdmuseum.org.
(Nearest campground is Thousand Trails Pine Country.)
5. Tuskegee Airmen National Museum: Billed as a “repository of the oral and written history of the Tuskegee Airmen,” the famed group of African-American military pilots and airmen who fought in World War II, the museum holds the largest collection of Airmen artifacts in the world. Videos and photographs also help tell the story of the Airmen. For details on visiting, go to tuskegeeairmen.org.
(Nearest campground is Thousand Trails St. Clair.)
- Fire up the grill and celebrate this grilling staple! May is National Burger Month and these burger recipes are a great way to honor this American favorite.
- This month, we celebrate mom, and we put together a list of ways to celebrate moms who love the great outdoors.
- Travel like a tourist and hit these famous hot spots across the country this summer. They’re popular for a reason!
- Are you someone who likes to hit the road on two wheels? Take your bicycle for a spin during National Bike Month and visit these great trails.
- Explore the Thousand Trails Camping Pass and the Thousand Trails Cabin Pass.
- Find more campgrounds at ThousandTrails.com.