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Heritage Sites and Museums to Explore in the Southwest

Heritage Sites and Museums to Explore in the Southwest

From historical reenactments to natural landmarks that have survived the test of time, students learn history through immersive experiences.

Many have traveled to the southwest region of America, exploring the big museums and country life. For those looking for more historical places with hands-on learning of the cultures and people that took root in America, try these places. Featuring historical reenactments and natural landmarks that have survived the test of time, these places have present learning through immersive experiences. 

USS Lexington student tour

USS Lexington student tour (Credit)

USS Lexington – Corpus Christi, Texas

In a carrier ship that saw battles during World War II in the Pacific, take an overnight in the crew barracks and explore the ship with ceremonies, a scavenger hunt and ghost stories onboard the Blue Ghost. Located in the bay of Corpus Christi, immerse students as crew members of this historic ship

Kwahadi Indian Museum traditional dance

Kwahadi Indian Museum traditional dance (Credit)

Kwahadi Museum – Amarillo, Texas

This museum offers hostel stays as visitors learn and discover artifacts of American Indians, with the opportunity to view a performance of Kwahadi traditional dance. Located in Amarillo, this small town museum has much to offer for students looking to discover native cultures.

Harn Homestead – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

A historical homestead in Oklahoma City holds immersive opportunities for learning. Through field trip programs such as life on a farm, historic schoolhouse learning, farmhouse pioneer life and guided tours, students explore pioneer living. Included on the property stands the first two-story house built in Oklahoma

Cherokee Nation Peace Pavilion story presentation with students

Cherokee Nation Peace Pavilion history presentation (Credit)

Cherokee Nation – Tahlequah, Oklahoma

In an educational tour experience the Cherokee capital Tahlequah. Traverse to different museums and historical sites such as the Ancient Village and the only surviving antebellum house of Oklahoma. This experience also offers tours for the Civil War and hollywood actor and political speaker Will Rogers. 

Aztec Ruins Trail

Aztec Ruins Trail (Credit)

Aztec Ruins – San Juan, New Mexico

Explore natural history in 900-year-old ruins from Pueblo society. This self-guided tour offers over 400 masonry rooms, a visitors center with a museum and film about the park. There are junior ranger activities to introduce students to the site’s historical significance and explore the nature around it.

Civil War Encampment – Pecos, New Mexico. 

At Pecos National Historic Park, this event demonstrates living history as soldiers of New Mexico interact with guests. Crafts for kids include making corn husk dolls as well as historical games. Experts share knowledge on life during the Civil War as students see the reenactment of soldiers and historic figures. 

Montezuma Castle With Creosote

Montezuma Castle With Creosote (Credit)

The Montezuma Castle – Camp Verde, Arizona

View a preserved home rested in a limestone cliff. A wonder against the harsh desert landscape that traces back to Sinagua culture. This national monument also offers a museum, trails with guided ranger programs and junior ranger programs. Learn about how it was to survive in the valley thousands of years ago. 

American Heritage Festival – Queen Creek, Arizona

In November, this annual three-day festival is open to school groups and the public. There are reenactments of the Civil War and American Revolution with historical demonstrations of music, culture, and fashion throughout. While interacting with actors in their time periods and historical figures, students will be immersed in the American past.