Four high scores on my Gameboy and seven years ago, my family piled in the car and drove to Gettysburg for a day trip to learn about one of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War.
In July of 1863, Union and Confederate troops ascended onto the small town of Gettysburg, where over the course of three days, thousands fought and died in a battle that became a turning point for the Union victory.
At Gettysburg today, you'll find more than 40 miles of sprawling battlefield, a cyclorama, the Eisenhower farm, a lookout tower, cemetery and a visitor center with teeny-tiny Confederate and Union uniforms that will make you want to go on a hardtack-only diet.
You can explore the battlefield by car, bike, walking tour or horseback if you're cool. Audio guides are provided, as well as ranger guides. Kids can become junior rangers. (Unfortunately, there's an age limit -- you have to be younger than 10.) (...Sorry, Dad.)
As for the rest of the Gettysburg area (only an hour and a half away from D.C.), the charming town is home to Gettysburg College and the historic Lincoln Diner. Browse the historic district's unique antique shops, and for a truly authentic historic experience, try to pretend there aren't tons of outlet stores nearby.