History Travel

Nerdy History Vacations – 5 of the Best!

If you’re a history fiend then taking a vacation that combines your love of anything to do with the past with sightseeing has got to be the ultimate, right? Well read on, because we’ve put together five of the best destinations to head to if that’s what you’re after – so whether it’s paying a visit to see the workings of the ‘Hollow Earth’ cult in Florida or taking a glimpse into the life of the US military at Fort Irwin, there’s sure to be something here that will appeal to you.

Koreshan State Historic Site

Based out in Estero, Florida, you’ll find the Koreshan State Historic Site. The story goes that in 1894, a “hollow Earth” cult developed. It was called the Koreshan Unity Foundation, and they settled on ground that’s now in Naples, Florida. People who joined the cult believed firmly the Earth was round but hollow and that humans lived on the inside. They also believed that the sun was at the center of the earth! The site is now a relatively small state park, which is reserved for the pleasure of curious visitors who want to experience what life was like there.

*We’ve checked this off our list! There is RV camping here, for larger units, and it was amazing. Tons of trees draped in Spanish Moss, a great walking path around the whole place, and canoe rentals for the slow moving Estero river. You can explore the fully independent town remains built by the settlers, who moved there to escape religious persecution in the North East US. After the leader of the movement passed away the 305 acre site was donated to Florida by the 4 remaining members in 1961. 

Fort Irwin National Training Center

Over in Fort Irwin, California, there’s a chance to experience life in the military as part of an action packed learning holiday. Prior to any combat deployment, US military units go to spend time at Fort Irwin, which is a base in the Mojave Desert. It’s a large center, about the size of Rhode Island. Troops training there will will learn to simulate combat and many other facets of tough military work. Visitors to the site can watch the action unfold in a specially built town that’s been constructed from eleven shipping containers.

*Best Nearby RV Park: Calico Ghost Town – 106 RV sites with most hookups

New London, Connecticut

Steeped in rich history, a walking tour of New London is a must for anyone with a passion for the history of the USA. Nearly all of New London was raised to the ground by anti-American forces in 1781. They were led by a man called Benedict Arnold a General during the American Civil War. Today you can view the buildings that survived the huge blaze, as well as other architecturally significant structures from the mid to late 1800’s.

*Closest RV Park: 4.5 out of 5 stars on on Trip Advisor, Seaport Campground is a sure bet. 

Berkeley Pit, Butte, Montana

Taking a trip to the Berkeley Pit isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s a highly contaminated and  flooded open-pit copper mine located in Butte, Montana, but it’s not a story without positivity. About 20 years ago, two chemists Donald and Andrea Stierle discovered that something called ‘extremophiles’, basically microorganisms that developed to overcome seemingly impossible conditions are actually decontaminating the site’s billions of gallons of contaminated waste. They’re now isolating those microorganisms for possible use in the world of medicine. Visitors taking a trip to the site can only look at it from a viewing platform, but it is an extremely interesting place to get to!

*Friends of ours have visited and they say it is one of the saddest but most interesting places to visit. They have to shoot off cannons all day long to keep birds from landing in the toxic lake. It’s a natural disaster and proof of why we need the EPA and regulations on mining corporations, but hopefully something good will come out of it.  Recommended RV Park: Indian Creek Campground in nearby Deer Lake – a bit of a drive to Butte, but worth it!

Wilmington, Delaware

At first, this might seem like a pretty unprepossessing place to take a trip to – but Wilmington, Delaware is home to the DuPont Family, who can trace their roots back to the French Royal line. Pierre Samuel DuPont was going to have his head chopped off whilst in service to King Louis XVI. He managed to escape Revolutionary era France with his two grown sons, Éleuthère Irénée and Victor and made it to the USA (as it was in its infancy). The former of the two sons eventually went on to establish the DuPont company, that were responsible for taking the original Chinese “recipe” for gunpowder and improving it. A trip to the Hagley Museum will thrill anyone interested in early industrial life in the USA – and a must is to watch the skilled craftsmen there actually create Gunpowder as we know it today!

*Closest RV Park: Timberline RV Park. Central to Wilmington and Philadelphia. 

Anyone else have a favorite historic site they love to nerd out on?

Article thanks to a collaboration with a fellow traveler; Featured image thanks to @gooner

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