Wherever you live in the continental United States, chances are, you're close enough to drive to a point of interest on the Lewis and Clark journey. You don't have to do a cross-nation, epic road trip to introduce your children to U.S. history. You can plan a weekend and hit a couple museums. Tell them about the explorers before you go. It's a great way to make history come alive for your children, and to give them a greater interest in history.

Points of Interest

Great Falls, Montana

In Great Falls, you can take a guided canoe tour along the same paths Lewis and Clark took. Your kids will never think of history as boring again, re-living this exciting experience. Also, it gets them away from the video games. You can check out the interpretive center that was opened just along the falls, with hands-on exhibits and displays.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has a Lewis and Clark exhibit, highlighting the nearly 300 types of plants and animals that Lewis and Clark discovered on their trail, which were unknown to science previously. If you have a child interested in animals and wildlife, this may be a great way to get them excited about studying the world around them.

Onawa, Iowa

Every second weekend in June, Onawa hosts the Lewis and Clark Festival and Keelboat in the Lewis and Clark state park. It offers films about the expedition, historic presentations, characters dressed in authentic clothing from the era, and bluegrass music. The keelboat is a replica of the boat they used, built with authentic tools from the time.

Walla Walla, Washington

The Fort Walla Walla Museum has over 14 buildings built to the era of the 1850s, and offers living historical enactments every Sunday and Saturday, through the summer. With artifacts from pioneers, military, and agriculture, you'll be sure to get your fill of history here.

Pasco, Washington

Give Sacajawea some love and check out the Sacajawea State Park and interpretive center. It's a day use state park focusing on three subjects, in particular: the history of Native Americans, the life story of Sacajawea, and the journey of the Corps of discovery. There is also a river beach for the kids, and a playground.

Astoria, Oregon

Not only is Astoria where a lot of family movies were filmed, it is also where Lewis and Clark reached their destination. If it weren't for Astoria being explored by Lewis and Clark, and subsequently set up as a fur trading post by John Jacob Astor (hence, the name) the West may have looked very different than it does today. With Russian and French interest, it may have easily become part of a different country altogether.

Astoria is the oldest settlement west of the Rockies, and at one point was called the "New York of the West." It rivaled San Francisco in size and money, until the fur, salmon, and logging trades dwindled. Fortunately, there are still charming reminders of it's former glory, without all the traffic. With the bicentennial being celebrated in 2011, there are lots of events for your family to discover.

There are so many towns that are significant to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Check out the complete list of cities to visit and find out which ones you can do.

This summer, have a historical adventure!

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