Not sure where to take your family on vacation? Looking for a little female inspiration? Pay tribute to these women by tracing the hard journeys that paved the way for voting rights, civil rights and more women entering new roles in the workforce. My hope is that by visiting and learning more, we’re honoring the sacrifices these women made, acknowledging the barriers that women continue to face (and break through!), and celebrating their achievements.
I pulled together a few destinations below that would be great family trips. It would be easy to weave these trips into other vacation destinations. The first three destinations on my list are all within an hour’s drive of each other.
Seneca Falls, NY
Activists Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Bloomer, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton helped spearhead the women’s suffrage movement that eventually led to the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. (Hmm, we’re coming up on the 100 year anniversary of that. Shouldn’t we be further along?). You could combine this trip with a trip to Syracuse or Rochester. Or, spend time at the Finger Lakes — fishing, camping, and wine tasting. Niagara Falls is only 125 miles away.
The Susan B. Anthony House was the center for the National American Woman Suffrage Association and where she was arrested after attempting to vote in the 1872 Presidential Election. She resided in the home for forty years and it’s a National Historic Landmark and includes a library of personal artifacts. The house hosts an annual celebration of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which when ratified on August 18, 1920, gave women the right to vote.
Harriet Tubman, a former slave, led 300 slaves to freedom on her Underground Railroad. But her work to help former slaves, particularly children and the elderly, did not end there. She acquired property from Governor William H. Seward and created the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged. Today the home is a National Historic Landmark.
Amelia Earhart made a huge impact in a notoriously male-dominated industry. Her childhood home, a cottage on the Missouri River, is a museum dedicated to her life, featuring aviation memorabilia. The Amelia Earhart Festival is held annually in July. If you ever happen to be in the family minivan doing a cross-country drive on Interstate 70 and cross thru Kansas City, just know that Atchison is a quick 45-mile side trip.
The Rosa Parks Library and Museum is a shrine to one of the landmark events of the Civil Right movement and the woman who became an accidental icon. There are artifacts in the museum from the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Any trip focused on learning more about the Civil Rights Movement would have to include Montgomery, but you could also possibly visit this as a side trip (2.5-hour drive) from a scheduled trip to Atlanta, Tallahassee or Pensacola.
I thought I visited every museum in DC, but I must have missed this one. I’ll remedy that on my next trip. The National Museum of Women in the Arts features 4,500 works of art from over 1,000 female artists from the 16thcentury through today, including Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe, and Mary Cassatt. Not as familiar with their work as you think you should be? Check out: 50 Women Artists You Should Know which includes biographies and color reproductions of their artwork.
While you’re in DC, perhaps there’s an opportunity to learn more about the four women who have served on the Supreme Court of the United States. Did you know you can self-tour the Supreme Court? Learn more, here:
There are so many important women that don’t have museums (yet!) but there are other ways to honor them.
If you’re visiting a museum of technology (dozens across the country), use it as an opportunity to learn more about the contributions of woman scientists, mathematicians, geologists, and chemists. A good place to start is “Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World“. Another fave? “The Book of Awesome Women – Boundary Breakers, Freedom Fighters, Sheroes, and Female Firsts“.
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