When we think family vacation, many of us automatically think of a beach. But as awesome as a relaxing beach vacation can be, don't forget that a family vacation can also be used as a learning experience for parents and kids alike. This summer, why not visit one of these patriotic vacation destinations and allow your whole family to honor our great country — and learn something new in the process?

Washington, D.C.

You can probably guess why our nation's capital is considered a patriotic vacation spot, but do you know what you should see when you visit? If you're lucky enough to be visiting Washington D.C. over the Fourth of July, you won't want to miss the Independence Day festivities, or any time of the year is the perfect time to tour the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and, of course, The White House.

Mount Rushmore

A family vacation in… South Dakota? Yep! There's a lot more to see and do in this oft forgotten land than you might expect, particularly if you're looking to be patriotic. Not only can you visit Mount Rushmore and pay homage to some of our nation's most beloved presidents, but you can also participate in the many amazing, family-friendly outdoor activities and attractions that the Black Hills have to offer.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum

Most parents raising a family today are old enough to remember the tragic events of 9/11, but many of our children are not. So why not plan a family vacation to New York City? You and your children can enjoy the rich cultural and artistic diversity that the city offers, and more importantly, take time to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum and pay tribute to the victims.

While you're in New York, also be sure to visit The Statue of Liberty, another amazing symbol of our national pride.

Colonial Williamsburg

Learn about America's earliest colonies with a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Modern-day amenities and colonial experiences collide in this family-friendly vacation destination, where you can train to be a militia soldier, tour Historic Jamestown and explore America's earliest beginnings.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg may not be the most thrilling place to visit for a family vacation, but as the site of the battle that marked the turning point in the Civil War, it is one of the most patriotic spots you can visit in our country. And fortunately, there are many, many Things to Do in Gettysburg, including hands-on attractions designed specifically to get kids interested in the area's fascinating history.

Pearl Harbor

Who says you can't take a patriotic vacation and go to the beach? If you're able to splurge on a trip to Hawaii, visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center on the island of Oahu. Your family can learn firsthand about the horrific attack that took place on American soil, and hear survivors' accounts of the terrifying experience.

And if you do make it to the beach, hopefully your kids will have a better appreciation of the freedoms we enjoy, and a better understanding of why so many people take so much pride in being American.