The first president of the United States was not born at a spa, but you might think so from the tranquility and rejuvenation you’ll experience on a visit to his birthplace. This plantation situated along the Potomac River on the Northern Neck of Virginia appears as this week’s National Park Getaway as part of a Park Service series that helps people find new places to reconnect with nature, history, family and friends. George Washington Birthplace National Monument works like a cucumber facial or a soothing massage. Come here to relax among the stately cedars while viewing trumpeter swans, ruddy ducks, and the array of migrating waterfowl that escape winter here at Popes Creek.
Come here also to get away from life in 2010. Although the house in which George Washington was born is said to have burned in 1779, the Memorial House built in the early 1930s stands as an example of the home of a prosperous colonial planter and his family. Furnished in the style of the day with mid-18th century antiques, the house takes visitors back in time, as do the aromas of cornbread cooking in the Colonial Kitchen and the sights and sounds of wooden fences, tobacco plants, chickens and Devon cows on the colonial farm. The effect intensifies when special events bring guests in historical costumes to practice blacksmithing, cook 18th-century fare, play period music, and dance in the Memorial House hall. George Washington’s birthplace makes a great destination for history lovers, families, and anyone who could use the restorative effects offered by a scenic retreat. To find other spots where you can unwind and enjoy America’s landscapes and heritage, check out previous Getaways at www.nps.gov/getaways. by National Park Service