Celebrating National Road Trip Day/Memorial Day
In the United States, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and appreciation for all U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces. It also signals the start of the summer vacation and road trip season for many, so it’s easy to see why National Road Trip Day is celebrated this weekend as well. Whether you’re taking time to thoughtfully honor the lives of those who have served, driving up and down the coast in a car, or just camping out at home, we’ve handpicked some of the most enticing events happening at each one of the SCMAGLEV stops along our planned route (and most events listed aren’t exclusive to this weekend!). We can’t wait for the day when we can hop on the SCMAGLEV and visit each one of these cities for a day full of remembrance, relaxation, and fun.
We’re boarding the SCMAGLEV at our station in Washington D.C., but before we head out, the nation’s capital is a hub for holidays, culture, and art. The National Mall is complete with beautiful memorials and monuments that are wonderful places to pay tribute to fallen heroes. Don’t miss the National Memorial Day Concert, which is the free annual performance held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. It’s also streamed online and broadcast nationally if you can’t make it in person. The National Memorial Day Parade is also free, and features marching bands, youth groups, floats, performers, and of course, veterans up and down Constitution Avenue. But if you’re looking for something indoors, check out the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, which currently features the prolific work of Yayoi Kusama in an exhibit titled “One with Eternity.” This is a great option if you’re not in town for the weekend, since the exhibit is up until November!
Our next stop on the SCMAGLEV is the great city of Baltimore. Baltimore is home to the National Aquarium, a long-time favored attraction for families – which is why it’s the largest tourism attraction in the state! Not far from the Inner Harbor is the B&O Railroad Museum, where you can learn more about our favorite topic – trains! Find out how Baltimore was the birthplace of America’s railroad system in a site brimming with the legacy and experiences of American railroading. Another stop on the Baltimore museum bucket list is definitely the Reginal F. Lewis Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate that features information and inspiration about the lives of African American Marylanders. And, if you’re looking for an exclusive Memorial Day event, check out “A Musical Odyssey” happening at the Peabody Institute. Enjoy an afternoon of free world-class music in the one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and explore the ways in which music and literature interact.
Next up: Wilmington, Delaware. If floating on the SCMAGLEV has you inspired to learn even more about rail, be sure to visit the Wilmington Railroad Museum, where you can climb on a real life-size caboose and 100-year old steam locomotive. After that, if you’re still in the museum mood, don’t miss the “Remembrances, Recollections, & Retrospect” exhibition at the Delaware Contemporary. This enchanting exhibit ends this weekend and is a great opportunity to contemplate about the complexities of memory and time this Memorial Day. For something outdoorsy, Kayak the Christiana River and enjoy the unique view of the Wilmington skyline.
It’s no secret that Philadelphia is a city packed with history and happenings. One blog post can’t capture every exciting event or landmark to explore, so be sure to read up on all the Memorial Day Weekend events that the city has to offer here. We recommend watching The Philly Pops, Philadelphia’s accomplished and versatile orchestra, pay tribute to those who served during the Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute, with a fireworks display to follow. If you’re up for a drive, pop over to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to view their Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Collection, or view first-person virtual tours of equipment online. Or you can grab a free ticket to an outdoor movie screening at The Bowl at Clark Park; they’re showing “Sign o’ the Times.”
Are you ready for another rest stop? Consider visiting the Newark Public Library, where you can take a load off and get lost either in a book, or somewhere on the four floors of the city’s biggest public library. If you’re not a bookworm, be sure to stop by just to admire the architecture, a legacy of the renowned Rankin and Kellogg firm, one the most well-known for designing in the Beaux-Arts style. Another opportunity for rest and relaxation is at Military Park, Newark’s “Historic, Vibrant, and Cultural Town Square.” Aside from the park’s regular amenities, like chess, lawn games, ping pong, WiFi, and designated spots for meditation and Tai Chi, the location is home to plenty of activities, like yoga, adult watercoloring classes, and history tours. But if you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, be sure to book a distillery tour at All Points West Distillery, named after the Jersey Central Railroad that connected Ellis Island to “all points west.” Their tours promise a “distinctly American take on Old World distilling traditions.” Newark does claim, after all, the title of “America’s First Great Drinking City.” Who knew history could be so fun?
New York City
Our last stop on the SCMAGLEV Memorial Day Weekend trip is the one and only New York City. Home to the country’s largest rapid transit system, the NYC subway is a great way to get around within the city. In fact, you can even take it to go visit the New York Transit Museum, which is housed in a decommissioned subway station. But if you’re looking for an above ground experience, stop by the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and visit their conservatories, like the Desert Pavilion, Bonsai Museum, or the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Don’t miss what’s in bloom right now, with their Rock Garden bursting with azaleas, tulips, and columbines. NYC is home to a few different Memorial Day Parades, so take your pick before jumping back on the SCMAGLEV for a smooth hour-long ride back to D.C. But the fun doesn’t have to stop here; in the future, we hope to extend our SCMAGLEV road trip even further to cities like Boston, where we can only imagine even more amazing experiences and events!
Our team at Northeast Maglev salutes and honors those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and Memorial Day Weekend is an opportunity not only to commemorate these heroes, but to connect with loved ones and appreciate the small moments in life. Whether you’re traveling or not this holiday weekend, we hope you’re ready to explore the Northeast Corridor with greater ease than ever before, because one thing is for sure: time is better spent with family and friends than in traffic. Start drafting your bucket list, because the SCMAGLEV will be here before you know it, and we’ll be able to say goodbye to holiday traffic and hello to holiday fun.