We are consistently asked what we think are the best 5 cities in the U.S. for Christian school tours. Over the last 30 years, we’ve watched thousands of young people develop a new passion for history and a desire to explore the meaningful faith heritage of the United States through student travel experiences. Many destinations offer immersive experiences, from iconic landmarks to preserved historic sites, each providing a glimpse into the faith, foundations, and figures that shaped our country’s history as one nation, under God.
Below, we’ll highlight five cities where we enjoy leading Christian educational school trips and why they continue captivating young faith-driven learners.
1. Washington, D.C.
As the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., is by far our top destination for students interested in American history, civics, and the faith foundations of our nation. The city is home to many iconic and historic buildings and memorials, most are easily accessible to large groups. It also features numerous historic churches and religious landmarks that provide a glimpse into our country’s Christian heritage. The National Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is a stunning architectural masterpiece where many U.S. Presidents and world leaders have worshipped.
With a Washington D.C. school trip that’s longer than a few days, we can add visits to George Washington’s palatial estate and resting place, Mount Vernon, or Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home at Monticello. In addition to perennial highlights such as the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and numerous other memorials, the Smithsonian museums are jam-packed with exciting displays and captivating exhibits that bring history to life, and admission is free!
But, among some of the best museums in the world is a must-visit – the Museum of the Bible. This modern and stunning multi-level museum is a highlight of the D.C. experience for Christians, with interactive displays and live encounters bringing God’s word to life in ways that cannot be duplicated in a book or video.
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, the birthplace of American liberty, holds incredible and rich historical significance, making it an incredible city for an educational school trip. Students can visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted. The Liberty Bell, an enduring American freedom symbol, is also on display in Philadelphia. Additionally, the city offers the Museum of the American Revolution, which provides an immersive journey through the country’s fight for independence.
Philadelphia has a diverse Christian history stemming from the city’s foundational role in establishing American religious freedom. Philadelphia is also home to Christ Church, where prominent figures like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin worshiped. Philadelphia’s Christian history is interwoven with its commitment to religious freedom, making it an essential destination for exploring the foundations of Christian liberty in America.
3. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, one of the oldest cities in the United States, boasts a wealth of historical landmarks that played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. Students can walk the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile path that connects 16 historically significant sites, including the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, and the site of the Boston Massacre.
Boston played a significant role in the early history of American Christianity. Puritan settlers established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 17th century, seeking religious freedom and establishing a Christian community based on their interpretation of the Bible. The city is home to several historic churches, including the Old North Church, where Paul Revere’s famous “Midnight Ride” began. Boston’s Christian heritage is intertwined with the city’s broader historical narrative, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in the early roots of American Christianity. Our school trips to Boston are truly unforgettable.
4. Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is our country’s living, breathing history museum. This quaint village offers a truly immersive experience for students interested in the colonial era. Colonial Williamsburg is a meticulously restored 18th-century city where actors portray historical and religious figures and recreate daily life during the American Revolution, including demonstrations of the religious practices and beliefs of the era. Visitors can attend reenactments of religious services, explore the historic churches, and engage in discussions about the role of Christianity in colonial society.
The nearby Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield provide further insights into the country’s early history. Williamsburg’s dedication to preserving and recreating the past makes it an invaluable destination for students seeking a tangible connection to colonial America and its role in promoting religious freedom and preserving Christian traditions through the Colonial Revival movement. The city provides a window into the Christian faith’s influence on the lives of early settlers and its lasting impact on American history.
5. San Antonio, Texas
One of the oldest cities in America, this South Texas destination has a rich Christian history, influenced by Spanish colonization and Catholic missions. The city’s historic missions, including the Alamo and the four missions within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, reflect the early efforts of Spanish Franciscan friars to spread Christianity to the indigenous population. The Alamo remains an important symbol of faith and heritage, attracting visitors from around the world.
School field trips in San Antonio give students the opportunity to see some of the oldest and most beautiful churches, such as San Fernando Cathedral, Texas’s longest continuously functioning religious community. San Antonio’s Christian history is intricately woven into its cultural fabric and architecture, making it a captivating destination for those interested in the region’s Christian heritage.
Let one of our Travel Advisors assemble a custom itinerary that meets your experiential and educational goals to explore these or any other historically significant domestic or international destinations with your school group.
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