The Taj Boston
makes a perfect home-away-from-home during a family trip to the birthplace of the American Revolution. Kids will be fascinated to learn about America's young rebellion against their British "parents." After a morning cup of tea in the hotel's Café restaurant, travelers can start the day with a visit to one of the ships from which protesters threw 92,000 pounds of tea into the harbor at the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum. Next, follow the Freedom Trail with sixteen stops at such locales as Boston Common, the Benjamin Franklin statue, Old State House, Paul Revere House, Bunker Hill Monument and Faneuil Hall ("the Cradle of Liberty"). Those with energy at the end of the day can head to Frog Pond rink in the Boston Common, adjacent to the Taj.
A visit to Philadelphia, with a stay at downtown gem Rittenhouse Hotel
, affords parents the opportunity to teach their children about America's first steps into nationhood. Visit Independence Hall, birthplace to the United States' two most important documents: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, then cross the street to see the Liberty Bell with its iconic crack. The Franklin Institute contains an esteemed science museum, and also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. For a lesson in American flag–making, head to the Betsy Ross House, where the stars and stripes were first sewn together.
Few people realize how deep New York City's American history roots run. In fact, many battles of the American Revolutionary War took place in the New York Harbor, and George Washington took his presidential oath in Federal Hall in 1789. Even though much early historical action took place in today's Financial District, most families opt to check into a hotel uptown thanks to the proximity to some of the country's best museums. American art history lessons, from the Hudson River School through Andy Warhol, are easily accessible when based at a deluxe trio of hotels, the exquisite Mark
and Hôtel Plaza Athéneé
. All are just blocks away from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Frick Collection.
A visit to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia is like time traveling to the 18th century. The 88 lovingly preserved and accurately reconstructed historic buildings include churches, taverns, markets, family homes and a theater. Inside many of them, visitors will find actors in period dress performing and ready to explain their crafts (the blacksmith and printer's workshops are favorites). Staying at the timeless Williamsburg Inn
and eating at its Regency Room continue the sense of era and place.
California has a history that's marvelously distinct from the other 47 continental states. Kids will be fascinated to learn about the Gold Rush; the Spanish, Mexican and Asian influences; and the cinematic history of Hollywood. Start a West Coast trip in San Francisco and check into the Taj Campton Place
, in easy touring distance to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz. Then drive a convertible down the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara's Canary Hotel
, which has a fabulous rooftop pool for relaxation. En route, stop at the expansive grounds of the famous Hearst Castle and choose a tour that includes some of the property's famous swimming pools. As a final stop, the whole family will love exploring the old-Hollywood glamor of Los Angeles, a city whose bustle and traffic require a calm hotel. Top choices are Santa Monica's ocean-side Casa Del Mar
, and Shutters on the Beach
with its easy, Vineyard-Nantucket style.