These destinations provide more than just family fun. They bring America to life.
By Peg Rosen
Historic Hot Spot: Boston, Massachusetts
Start with a guided adventure along Boston's red-brick Freedom Trail. Take the Walk into History tour; the Freedom Trail Foundation's guides adopt personas of characters like Margaret Kemble Gage, daughter of a businessman and herself a suspected spy. She'll share inside info about Revolutionary Boston while leading you through 12 sites, including the Granary Burying Grounds, where John Hancock and Paul Revere were laid to rest ($12 adults, $10 students, $6 kids ages 6 to 12; thefreedomtrail.org). The walk stops at Faneuil Hall Marketplace; come back later for a breather and a bite. On your own, continue to Paul Revere's home, the Old North Church, or the famous battleship the U.S.S. Constitution. Need a break from the past? Catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park (the country's oldest ball field), grab dinner in the Italian North End, or meander along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, a mile-long ribbon of parks that takes you through Chinatown and the harbor area (bostonusa.com).
Take a day trip to Lexington and Concord. At Minute Man National Historical Park, stand on the Old North Bridge, where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. In Concord you can tour the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson and visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the final resting place for Louisa May Alcott and other literary luminaries.
Where to Stay
The elegant Omni Parker House Hotel is offering a special Family Circle rate of $199 through 2010 (800-THE-OMNI, code FMCRCL). The Midtown Hotel is very quiet and has an outdoor pool (midtownhotel.com, from $139).