Washington, DCSean Pavone/Shutterstock
Why visit: The seat of the US government is a perfect place to start exploring American with your family.
What to do: Be awed by the towering Lincoln and Washington Memorials. Stop in any Smithsonian Institution that catches your kid’s fancy, from American History to Space Exploration to Native American to African American to Art—they’re all free. Plan ahead and you’ll be able to visit the White House and Congress too. Round out a visit with a trip to the stellar zoo and then up to Adam’s Morgan neighborhood to sample a cornucopia of international cuisines. Did you know there was a typo in the Lincoln Memorial?
Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaSean Pavone/Shutterstock
Why visit: Walk in the footsteps of our founding fathers.
What to do: Head to Independence National Historic Park, called “America’s Most Historic Square Mile,” to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, along with the Betsy Ross House, Benjamin Franklin Museum, and National Constitution Center. Older kids will love the walk-through heart at Franklin Science Institute, younger kids the hands-on Please Touch Museum. Everyone will want to try the frozen treats at Franklin Fountain, a vintage-style ice cream parlor. Here’s more of what to see and do in Philadelphia.