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Visit Historic Civil War Sites
Visit Historic Civil War Sites
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Category: Activities, Attractions, Family / Kids
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The Civil War: Right in Our Backyard

Outside the hustle and bustle of Washington DC lies historic Civil War sites right near the Aloft. Explore the various national parks and trails for some fresh air, or visit historic sites and monuments to brush up on your history. Or take a walk through the local towns and experience the many stores, restaurants, and activities with family and friends.

HIstoric Civil Sites  and Areas to Explore

National Battlefield Park , MAnassas, VA

  • The National Battlefield Park in Manassas was the site of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run, two of the most famous battles during the Civil War. Explore the  area's scenery and trails, or dive into history in the nearby museums. Manassas also boasts a variety of breweries and distilleries, retail stores, restaurants, and family-friendly entertainment such as the Signal Bay Waterpark.
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Stone Bridge, Manassas VA

  • Simply known as "the Stone Bridge," this bridge served as a key thoroughfare for both the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War. Its ability to allow passage over a steep sided stream gave it strategic importance. The bridge remained open to traffic until 1926. The Stone Bridge now serves as an east entrance to the Manassas Battlefield National Park.
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The Battle of Ox Hill, Chantilly, VA

  • The Battle of Ox Hill was a battle that lasted more than two hours and occurred during a thunderstorm so loud that was reported to have drowned out all the clamor of the battle. Today, the battle site lies a short ten minute drive away. Soak in the history the Ox Hill Battlefield Park, or explore the many shops, restaurants, breweries, and golf courses in the area.
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Ball's Bluff Battlefield Park, Leesburg, VA

  • Ball's Bluff Battlefield Park offers a variety of activities for guests to do, such as free guided tours from November through April, live history events, and camping. Other attractions include boating and fishing areas, hiking trails, the country's third smallest cemetery, and the bluff itself, which overlooks the Potomac River. 
     
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Morven PArk, Leesburg, VA

  • Wander the site where Confederate soldiers stayed for the winter after their victory at Ball's Bluff. Explore the recreated log huts that soldiers housed in as well as the estate's mansion, carriage house museum, and 1,000 acres of lawns, fields, and gardens.
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Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, Leesburg, VA

  • Encompassing 360 acres in scenic landscaping, the grounds include Greek Revival mansion, America's oldest restored propagation greenhouse, and magnificent four acre English terraced garden. Oatlands offers guided tours of the mansion, and self-guided tours of the grounds and garden.
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Did You Know? Women Spies of the Civil War

Thought that Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee were the only key players during the Civil War? Think again! Check out these courageous women who helped shape American history. Visit historic Fairfax sites such as Antonia Ford's home and the Old Capitol Prison to explore the many ways women partook in  19th Century espionage.
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Are you a fan of PBS's "Mercy Street"?
 

PBS's American drama Mercy Street was inspired by real people and events during the Civil War. Mercy Street tells the story of the civilians, doctors, female volunteers, soldiers, and African-Americans in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia in 1862. The PBS series has inspired visitors to tour the locations where the TV show was filmed, as well as explore Alexandria's historic sites and attend local exhibits and events.
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Are the Civil War Attractions open every day?
The Civil War attractions and historical sites are open 7 days a week, all year long, with the exception of major holidays. Check their websites for seasonal hours and holiday closures.
 
Do you need tickets to access these Civil War attractions?
Most of the attractions and historical sites do not charge entry fees or require tickets to visit. As many are open air parks, visitors often drive up, walk around the self-guided tours and potentially visit visitor information areas for more information. Check websites for traffic, directions, and parking information. 

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