If you could take your class anywhere, where would it be? For Gehrig Justice of River View High School, the answer wasn’t one location. It was the northeastern United States! Justice designed an AP US History trip for his class that covered many locations that the class studied during the year including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Valley Forge, and Gettysburg.
Justice dreamed of his students seeing the Old North Church, crossing the Delaware River in the footsteps of George Washington, and standing on the battlefield of Gettysburg. He wanted his students to go beyond reading about historical events and instead to experience first-hand the places that shaped the history of the United States.
Justice worked with our tour-planning team to design an AP US History trip that aligned with his educational focus and interests, while working within his budget and timeline. To maximize their time, the AP US History trip would go for 4 days in June after school let out. In the end, Justice refined the itinerary to visit Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and New York City, all of which are certainly rich in history.
AP US History Trip: Day 1
Start at the Gettysburg National Military Park‘s Visitor Center. Set the stage to your visit at Gettysburg by watching the film, “A New Birth of Freedom”, narrated by award winning actor Morgan Freeman. Take in the restored Gettysburg Cyclorama, which depicts the final fury of Gettysburg- “Pickett’s Charge”.
Next, explore the Gettysburg battlegrounds with a 2-hour guided battlefield tour. See Devil’s Den, the Peach Orchard, the High Water Mark, and more.
Then, enjoy a hearty lunch in the historic town of Gettysburg.
Depart for Philadelphia.
Take in the sights of the city of brotherly love, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Chinatown. Don’t miss taking a class picture with the statue of Rocky Balboa!
After enjoying a sit-down dinner, check into your Philadelphia accommodations for the night.
AP US History Trip: Day 2
Start your day with a tour of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed.
Following the tour, take time to explore the historical sites of the Liberty Bell Center, the First and Second National Banks of the United States, and Old City Hall. Old City Hall was home to the United States Supreme Court between the years of 1791 and 1800.
Enjoy lunch at the Bourse, the first commodities exchange in the United States.
After eating, visit the house of Betsy Ross. It is believed that Betsy sewed the first American Flag in this home.
Then, visit Christ Church, which is known as “The Nation’s Church” because of the famous Revolutionary-era leaders who worshiped here. These leaders include George Washington, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin, among others. Sit in the pew of George Washington and visit the grave of Benjamin Franklin at the graveyard in historic Philadelphia.
For dinner, taste the food of Phildelphia legend, the cheesesteak!
Depart for Trenton, NJ to cross the Delaware River. Think about the George Washington’s icy and snow-filled crossing of the Delaware on Christmas day in 1776.
Settle into your accommodations in New Jersey for the evening.
AP US History Trip: Day 3
New York City
Depart for West Point, New York.
Tour the United States Military Academy at West Point. General George Washington considered West Point to be the most important strategic position in America due to its high plateau on the west bank of the Hudson River. View the West Point campus virtual tour.
En route to Central Park, drive by the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant. This mausoleum is the largest in America.
Explore Central Park, the first public park built in America. This park is the most visited urban park in the United States.
Then, take in the grandeur of Grand Central Terminal before heading to your sit-down dinner.
After dinner, take in the lights of New York City from the heights of the Empire State Building, one of the most famous landmarks in the world.
AP US History Trip: Day 4
New York City
Begin with a Statue of Liberty Harbor Cruise. See Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, Governor’s Island and more.
Disembark at Battery Park. Here Dutch settlers landed in 1623 to establish New Amsterdam. It is named for the rows of cannons (artillery batteries) that stood to protect the early settlement.
After lunch, visit the 9/11 Memorial. View the two 1-acre waterfalls and reflecting pools set within the footprints of the original twin towers.
Then it’s time to explore Lower Manhattan. Take in Wall Street, the financial district of New York City and the financial center of the United States. Wall Street got its name from a wall built in 1653 by Dutch colonists to protect their settlement. Take a picture in front of Federal Hall, home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. This is where George Washington took his first oath as President of the United States. Afterwards, visit the burial site of Alexander Hamilton at Trinity Churchyard and drive past the United Nations Building.
In the evening, enjoy dinner and a baseball game at Yankee Stadium.
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