An east coast road trip for the American history buff, our Savannah to Killington road trip provides the opportunity to learn more about the people, places, and movements that have shaped the history of our nation.
To drive directly from Savannah to Killington this trip would take around 18 hours at 1071 miles. However, this is a scenic drive that will take you through some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, as well as some unique hidden gems along the way. Learn more about the American Civil War and our forefathers' fight for freedom and liberty, with stops including Gettysburg, Washington D.C, Fort Sumter, and even the chance to see Lady Liberty herself. It would be particularly well suited to a group of friends, a couple, or anyone with a passion for the past. Whether you are traveling in an RV, motorhome, or trailer, we have also highlighted places to spend the night along the way; with the trip taking around seven or eight days in total.
As always, we advise making any necessary bookings in advance for any attractions and campgrounds that require a reservation. Also, make sure you pack some emergency supplies and a first aid kit and let someone know your itinerary and where you are planning on staying just to be on the safe side!
The first stop on your American history road trip is Fort Sumter. This Sea Fort began construction in 1829 as part of a series of fortifications to protect the harbors. On April 12, 1861, Confederate artillery fired upon the US garrison inside the fort as a response to Lincoln’s election victory; marking the first shots of the American civil war.
Located in Charleston SC, this incredible landmark was decommissioned in 1948; since becoming a national monument which welcomes more than a million visitors each year. There are several guided tours available, as well as a museum which is the perfect place to learn more. This small but informative center is filled with exhibits and interactive attractions, providing in-depth information about Fort Sumter’s significant role in American history. The fort is only accessible by ferry boat, with boats departing from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center or Patriots Point and taking approximately 30 minutes.
Situated on the banks of the Congaree River in downtown Charleston, the South Carolina State Museum is the next stop on our history packed trip. This riverside attraction is the largest museum in South Carolina, with four floors filled with art, cultural history, science, and technology. Discover an array of permanent and temporary exhibits, and learn more about the people, movements, and events that have shaped the history of the Palmetto State.
The newly constructed digital planetarium opened in 2014, and this 55-foot dome has a fantastic array of interpretive programs, light shows, and more. The building itself is impressive from an architectural perspective. Designated a National Historic landmark, it was once the first fully electric textile mill in the world. If you would like to spend the night in the area, there is a great choice of campgrounds nearby and so much to do across this beautiful city.
Once again, history comes to life with the next stop on our journey being the influential Appomattox Court House. After visiting the start of the American Civil War (1861-1865), you may like to check out one of the locations that were instrumental in the war ending.
The Battle of Appomattox Court House was fought on April 9, 1865, and it was the final engagement of Confederate General Robert E Lee. The McLean House was the site of the surrender meeting, a brief and civil dialogue that resulted in the emancipation of four million slaves and changed the course of history for the better. Here you can find out more about the surrender, as well as exploring the outbuildings, including the slave quarters, exterior kitchen, and outhouse.
With more than a dozen buildings, a museum, theater, store, and more, you should definitely start with a trip to the Visitor Center which is located in the courthouse building in the center of the village. Discover more about the immense history of the region, as well as finding out more about the places you should check out.
Discover the subterranean underground at one of the East’s largest caves and caverns, Luray. These enormous caverns are truly spectacular. Filled with stone columns and crystal clear pools, stalagmites and stalactites, and all manners of geological wonders under the earth’s surface. Follow the lit paved walkways through the towering stone formations, with a variety of guided tours to choose from.
One of the highlights of this trip has to be the world’s only Stalacpipe Organ, a rock formation that is able to create music of symphonic quality. This is also one of the only caverns that provide full accessibility, with step-free entrance to the paved walkways. Plus, entrance to the Luray Caverns also includes entrance to an array of other attractions, including the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum, Shenandoah Heritage Village, and the Toy Town junction. You may also wish to take the opportunity to get lost in the Garden Maze, an ornamental garden that is one of the largest hedge mazes in the country.
In memory of the 16th President, the Lincoln Memorial was built in 1914 as part of the rehabilitation of the Mall in Washington DC. It was then dedicated to Abraham Lincoln on Memorial Day 1922. The famous statue was created by leading American sculptor Daniel Chester French and it has since been the site of so many famous historical speeches.
It's difficult to choose just one historical location in the capital, with so much to see and do here. With such an extensive range of museums, memorials, and monuments, a tour of the city is a great way to get your bearings and ensure that you see the highlights. Whilst you are in the area, you may also want to visit the most popular domestic location in the States, the White House. However, if you are looking to tour the president's home, you will need to submit a request to your member of congress at least 21 days in advance. If you are not a resident of the US, contact your local embassy to find out more.
The battle of Gettysburg was one of the most significant turning points in the American Civil War and the next stop on our journey is these iconic battlefields. This shrine to the Union and Confederate soldiers that lost their lives here contains over 100 monuments and cannons along 40 miles of scenic roads, with both bus tours and walking tours available. You will definitely want to check out the Museum and Visitor Center, which is home to thousands of exhibits and artifacts.
Providing the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of the nation, a trip to Gettysburg is both educating and entertaining. For those looking to spot one of the spectral residents of the battlefields, ghost tours are also available on a nightly basis. You may also want to check out the National Military Cemetery, the place where Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg address.
Erected in 1886, this neoclassical sculpture is situated on Liberty Island in New York Harbor and depicts the Roman goddess Libertas who represents liberty. Designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework by Gustave Eiffel, the statue stands at 305 feet (93 meters) tall. At her feet are broken shackles representing the abolition of slavery. In her right hand, she is holding a torch that represents the enlightenment and in her left, she carries a tablet inscribed with the date of the Declaration of Independence.
After its construction, ‘Lady Liberty’ has become iconized as a symbol of freedom; welcoming migrants arriving by sea. Although no cost is required to enter the monument, a cost for the ferry service from Liberty State Park or the Battery may apply.
New York State Capitol has been described as one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in North America and located in Albany, the New York State Capitol was constructed over a period of 32 years and was completed in 1899. This neo-Renaissance and Romanesque revival style building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1979 and offers official guided tours run throughout the week excluding weekends. Ghost tours are also available in October, as the Capitol is allegedly haunted by a night watch guard named Samuel Abbott who died in a fire.
The impressive interior of the building contains intricate stonework and the most prominent features are the three major staircases. The Great Western Staircase, for example, required the meticulous artistry of over 500 stone cutters. Whilst you are in Albany, the New York State Museum is also worth a visit for those interested in archaeology and paleontology.
The final stop on your trip is Hildene, the historic home of the Lincoln family located in Vermont. Constructed in 1905, the outer facade adopts a grand Georgian Revival style and inside contains an impressive collection of artifacts belonging to Robert Todd Lincoln and his parents.
Composed of meadows and wetlands, the 412-acre estate holds 14 historic buildings including the home, formal garden, and observatory. Additionally, you can take a step back in time and explore the restored 1903 Wooden Pullman palace train car or the ’Many Voices’ exhibit which delves into the expansive labor history of the Pullman company. From the welcome center, there are also 12 miles of walking trails over a variety of landscapes. For example, the farm trail leads to Dene Farm accessible via a floating boardwalk through the Battenkill Wetland.
Here ends your exciting East-Coast road trip and as you arrive at your destination, Killington provides the perfect place to relax and unwind amongst picturesque scenery. Visiting in the winter promises first-class skiing and other such sports whereas Gifford Woods State Park is spectacular from spring to fall. We advise taking the trail to Thundering Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in New England. With lots to do in the town, an excellent array of campgrounds and some of the best scenery in the country, we hope you enjoy your stay!