Each year, thousands of students come to Washington DC to learn more about their country’s heritage.While there is no shortage of sites to check out, it is important to prioritize which of the venues is most important to visit and organize the amount of time spent at each one.
Students do not have to be participating in a government or history class in order to participate in a class trip to Washington DC. For many students, a trip like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the nation’s capital and the locations that hold a real historical significance for the country. Trips can last anywhere from three to ten days and can usually be customized to make sure students see a variety of different venues.
The White House and Congress
What student would not want to see where the President of the United States lives with his family? The President’s residence is a popular choice for most participants on educational school trips to Washington DC. While a travel company will be able to arrange transportation to and from the White House, teachers need to arrange the actual visit with their state representative. Depending on the current level of security and the number of people going on the trip, this can take some time. Consider talking with a local official as soon as possible to get the arrangements started. A visit to a local congressman’s office can also be pre-arranged.
As the home of former president George Washington, Mount Vernon is an amazing experience that every students should enjoy. The 50-acre plantation is breathtaking and includes over a dozen original structures. Students can walk through the mansion with a tour guide and get a better look at life was in the 1700’s. The Greenhouse and Blacksmith Shop are also popular locations for students to walk around, with demonstrations taking place every single day. After a day of exploring, groups often get lunch at the
Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant complete with fireplaces, historical cuisine and authentic atmosphere.
Museums are one of the best ways to customize a student trip to Washington DC. There are so many tochoose from and groups can pick and choose which ones to see depending on the amount of time
available. Older students will gain a real appreciation for difficult times in the Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is a solemn experience that really gives students the opportunity to think about what it would
be like to live during one of the most difficult times in history. On a lighter note, the International Spy Museum brings to light some of the most important figures in espionage and information. The Smithsonian Museums are also an amazing experience however it could take days to enjoy all of them.
Going to Washington DC is about more than just sightseeing. There is real historical significance in the city and students get a real balance of both the past and the future. With so much to do and see, it is possible to bring a student group to the area more than one time and see different sites and participate in different activities each time.
Steven Rhines writes regularly on educational school trips to Washington DC for a range of travel and education websites and blogs. He believes the bringing history alive is one of the best ways for students to gain both a love and appreciation for the past. He often consults for tour guide companies to help plan special events and trips for high school students.