Guide

Heritage Destinations for Spring

Take a weekend, or even a week, to wind along scenic byways from Maryland to Texas. Explore art festivals and wineries, climb a lighthouse, or visit where the Pony Express originated. This section features cities and towns, main streets, and outdoor activities that connect you with history while highlighting amenities and experiences for the modern traveler—all of which are included in Preservation magazine’s Spring 2022 issue as part of the "Heritage Destinations" advertising special.

  1. Photo By: Courtesy Visit Central Florida

    Central Florida

    Situated in the heart of the Sunshine State, Florida’s Sweetest Spot is filled with epic outdoor adventures, thrilling attractions and natural beauty. This Central Florida destination is home to LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and the new Peppa Pig Theme Park. Families can also see wild animals at Safari Wilderness Ranch, explore history at Bok Tower Gardens or skim across the water while wakeboarding at Elite Cable Park. Art lovers won’t want to miss the Florida Southern College Campus. It’s home to the Polk Museum of Art and the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world. So, if you want to get off the beaten path while staying in the heart of everything—give Florida’s Sweetest Spot a look. You’ll like what you see.

  2. Photo By: St. Johns Cultural Council

    St. Augustine, Florida

    In 1513 explorer Ponce de Leon landed near St. Augustine and claimed La Florida for the King of Spain. Five hundred years later, St. Augustine remains an important place to experience America’s cultural history. Home to two national monuments, the nation’s oldest port, and the first free African American settlement in North America, St. Augustine boasts five centuries of stunning architecture, ranging from Spanish Colonial homes to Gilded Age palaces featuring the world’s largest collection of Tiffany stained glass. Today, you can enjoy a vibrant arts and culinary scene surrounded by beautiful landscapes and carefully preserved buildings.

  3. Photo By: SeeQuincy

    Quincy, Illinois

    Mid Mod Quincy Self-Guided Driving Tour. Explore 30 Mid-Century Modern marvels! Complete your getaway on the Mississippi Valley Wine Trail. 800.978.4748. More Architecture: Abundant Architecture Guide. 48-point tour of the city with four National Register Historic Districts.

  4. Photo By: Ashley Brown

    Calvert County, Maryland

    Located on the picturesque Chesapeake Bay, Calvert County is your gateway to outdoor adventure steeped in culture and history. Take a hike along the beach, enjoy a boardwalk stroll, unwind at a local gallery, indulge in waterfront dining or simply enjoy a unique shopping experience.

  5. Photo By: Cecil County Tourism

    Cecil County, Maryland

    Located between Philadelphia and Baltimore on I-95, Cecil County’s vibrant small towns, waterways, foodie destinations, and scenic countryside provide a perfect get-away escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Experience history, family friendly outdoor recreation, specialty shops, horses, farms, waterfront fun, and more!

  6. Photo By: Garrett County Chamber of Commerce

    Garrett County, Maryland

    Explore our historic small towns, museums, and cultural sites in the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area. Plan your visit using our newly designed website or download our mobile app with great tour suggestions including local trails, barn quilts, and so much more!

  7. Photo By: Visit Montgomery, Maryland

    MD Tourism

    Be Open for a Historic Vacation. Have fun discovering Maryland’s history with these three handpicked vacation ideas. Historic National Road Scenic Byway: Trace America’s oldest road through cobblestone-paved city centers, breathtaking mountains and everything in between. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad: Follow in the footsteps of the most iconic conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman. Explore the secret network of trails, waterways and safe houses that helped enslaved people flee to freedom. Chesapeake Country: Soak up the famous Chesapeake Bay by enjoying vibrant waterfront villages, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and mouthwatering seafood along the Crab & Oyster Trail. Be Open For It.

  8. Photo By: Mark Sandlin

    Talbot County, Maryland

    Talbot County is a quiet area of fields, forests, and more than 600 miles of tidal shoreline. Picture-perfect small towns mix hospitality and history in a way few destinations can. Whether you’re here for a week or a weekend, you will leave with art, antiques, clothes, memorabilia—and many special memories. For more information, visit TourTalbot.org or call (410) 770-8000.

  9. Photo By: Visit Annapolis

    Annapolis, Maryland

    If you’re looking to make the most out of a weekend away this spring, Historic Downtown Annapolis has everything you need. With more original 18th century buildings than any other U.S. city, Annapolis is brimming with history, architecture, and Colonial Charm. Take a walking tour of the city. Stop by and walk through the homes of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence. Wander through the United States Naval Academy for a history lesson. Once you’ve had your fill of history, head to Main Street for picturesque views of the waterfront and a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants. Or, stop into centuries-old pubs once frequented by names like Jefferson and Washington. It’s all here in Annapolis.

  10. Photo By: Courtesy Visit Frederick

    Frederick, Maryland

    Downtown Frederick is home to a bustling historic district full of specialty shops and celebrity-chef culinary experiences. History buffs can explore Civil War battlefields, learn about healing and compassion at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and walk in the footsteps of Francis Scott Key. Venture outside the city to see three historic covered bridges, and hike, bike or paddle in Frederick County’s state and national parks. Relax and drink in the view at a local winery, brewery, or distillery.

  11. Photo By: Visit Montgomery, Maryland

    Montgomery County, Maryland

    With three National Parks, outdoor activities are abundant in Montgomery County (situated next door to Washington, D.C.). Explore the C&O Canal National Historical Park, the Clara Barton National Historic Site, and Glen Echo Park, then connect with farm breweries and vineyards along the Tastemakers Trail. The county’s rural side comes alive in the 93,000-acre Agricultural Reserve where you’ll find plenty of agricultural experiences and heritage sites.

  12. Photo By: Visit Natchez

    Natchez, Mississippi

    Natchez, MS, is known for its unique history, architecture, and Southern hospitality. With over 1000 structures on the National Register of Historic Places, there are phenomenal one-of-a-kind architectural treasures, ancient American Indian Mounds, 4 National Parks sites, preserved museum properties, a wide variety of events all year round, and much more. So, pack your bags and leave your baggage behind! Latest travel updates at visitnatchez.org/responsibly.

  13. Photo By: Maddie Ogden

    Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

    History Is Just the Beginning. Plan a getaway to historic Ste. Genevieve with original 18th century French Colonial architecture, National Historical Park, unique shops, delicious dining, beautiful wineries, a golf course, B&Bs, hotels, museums, state parks, and more. South of St. Louis on I-55.

  14. Photo By: St. Joseph, MO Visitors Bureau

    St. Joseph, Missouri

    Explore Mo’ Jo!—You can easily spend a couple of days exploring St. Joseph. Home to 14 unique museums, a thriving arts and music culture, quaint shopping and dining in historic buildings, outdoor recreation throughout our 26-mile Parkway, and incredible architecture listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Find your MoJo in St. Jo!

  15. Photo By: Peter Bloch/EarthAerial Productions

    Canterbury Shaker Village

    Experience a centuries-old legacy of Shaker design, entrepreneurship, and simple living. Access authentic buildings infused with rich history and intriguing artifacts. Explore 700 acres of forests, fields, gardens, ponds, and nature trails. Guided daily tours available May through November.

  16. Photo By: Tom Harmon

    Belhurst Castle, New York

    Named a World’s Best Wine Hotel by Wine Enthusiast, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and voted most romantic getaway in the Finger Lakes, Belhurst offers three unique hotels, two restaurants, a Winery and Gift Shop and a Spa-Salon.

  17. Photo By: Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools

    Gillespie County Country Schools Driving Trail, Texas

    The Driving Trail links 16 former country schools to the Vereins Kirche, the first Gillespie school built in 1847 in Fredericksburg. The 120-mile Trail directs visitors into the nearby countryside to see one, several, or all schools. All schools are on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit website for monthly special activities.

  18. Photo By: Creative Dog Media

    Red Hill-Patrick Henry National Memorial, Virginia

    Patrick Henry’s Red Hill is the final home and burial place of Founding Father, American Revolution hero, and five-time Governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry. Visitors can tour the breathtaking beauty of over 1,000 of Patrick Henry’s original acres.

  19. Photo By: VA From Above

    Staunton, Virginia

    Five decades of historic preservation have led to a nationally acclaimed downtown—anchored by eclectic architecture, independent shops and restaurants, fascinating museums, six historic districts, and two Historic Hotels of America. The American Shakespeare Center presents dazzling live performances in the stunning Blackfriars Playhouse year-round. Staunton is the perfect base from which to explore Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, historic Blue Ridge Tunnel, Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, and the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.

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The National Trust's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund has awarded $3 million in grants to 33 places preserving Black history.

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