Because Veterans Day, 2022 falls on a Friday, it’s likely that many people will take a vacation over the three-day weekend. Yet for many others, it’s a time to make plans to honor America’s military veterans. In this case, you have several places to consider visiting all across the country. For a few ideas, here are 12 of America’s best places to visit this year on Veterans Day.

12 Top Spots For Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, see a changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (credit: Randy Yagi)

Arlington Cemetery

1 Memorial Ave
Arlington, VA  22211
(877) 907-8585
www.arlingtoncemetery.mil

One of the most important places to honor American veterans is unquestionably Arlington Cemetery. The final resting place for more than 400,000 individuals, it covers over 624 acres, with a portion of it along the Potomac River. Each year, Arlington National Cemetery holds a wreath laying ceremony and observance program at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The wreath laying ceremony begins at 11 a.m., followed by the observance program. If you wish to attend this event, you should arrive at the designated viewing spot no later than 9:30 a.m. Prior to entering Arlington Cemetery, you must pass through a security clearance line.

Arlington National Cemetery Tour

If you don’t want to walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you can take a tour vehicle for a fee. You can buy tickets online or at the Visitor Center. General admission tickets for adults start at $17.95 and $7.95 if you’re a veteran. Uniformed military do not pay any fee to ride the tour vehicle.

Related: Five National Monuments In The San Francisco Bay Area

Gettysburg National Military Park

1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA  17325
(717) 334-1124
www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm

Unlike most other places on this list, Gettysburg is not within a major metropolitan area. To be clear, Baltimore the closet major city is about 54 miles away. On the other hand, there is no question on Gettysburg’s importance in American military history. In further detail, it was the setting of the single-most important battle of the Civil War. Moreover, its battleground was the setting for Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. On Veterans Day 2022, the Gettysburg National Military Park is hosting a Veterans Appreciation Day. During this time, veterans can receive free admission to the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience. Of course, the most important spot to see is the actual 6,000-acre battlefield, filled with memorials and monuments.

Independence National Historic Park

525 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA  19106
(215) 965-2305
www.nps.gov/inde

Philadelphia’s Independence National Historic Park will likely be quite busy on Veterans Day. After all, this is where the nation was founded and the location for several historic sites. Take for instance Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed. Of course, you can also see the iconic Liberty Bell at the Liberty Bell Center. Additionally, are more attractions within the Park, like the Benjamin Franklin Museum, Congress Hall and the National Constitution Center. Lastly, if you want to see Philadelphia’s Veterans Day Parade, it’s on Sunday November 6. Following the parade is the annual Veterans Festival, featuring food, live music and more. If that’s not enough, you can also see the Museum of the American Revolution on Third Street.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Pier 86, W. 46th St. and 12th Ave.
New York, NY  10036
(212) 245-0072
www.intrepidmuseum.org

Will you be in New York City on Veterans Day? If so, you’ll have several places to celebrate and honor America’s veterans. For one, you can see the nation’s largest Veterans Day event with the annual Veterans Day Parade and ceremony. However, you might also want to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86. Home to the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the Museum offers free admission daily to active military and veterans. That’s not to mention free or discounts to stores and attractions like historic aircraft and Space Shuttle Pavilion. Although details are not yet available, a special Veterans Day ceremony is likely to be held on November 11.

Sculpture of the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington DC
Vietnam Women’s Memorial (credit: Randy Yagi)

National Mall

Washington, DC  20004
(202) 426-6841
www.nps.gov/nama/index.htm

One of America’s most visited places on Veterans Day is most certainly the National Mall. Indeed, within this enormous park are many military memorials for you to visit on Veterans Day. In detail are the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and the WWII Memorial. Of course, the Lincoln Memorial will be quite busy as will be the Jefferson and FDR memorials. However, there are many other places within the National Mall that are worthy of your attention. That is to say places like the Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. That’s not to mention other nearby places, like the National Archives, US Navy Memorial and the iconic US Marine Corps War Memorial.

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National WWI Museum & Memorial

2 Memorial Dr.
Kansas City, MO  64108
(816) 888-8100
www.theworldwar.org

Just minutes from downtown Kansas City is a trio of military memorials. This includes the National WWI Museum & Memorial, Americas only public museum of its kind. Among the important artifacts to see are a 1918 Ford Model T ambulance and military equipment. In observance of Veterans Day 2022, the Museum is offering free admission all weekend. In addition, there will be a 50 percent discount to all other visitors. Kicking off the events is a Veterans Day Ceremony with live music and special guests. Among the other weekend events are a Vintage Vehicle Display and Vietnam-era Huey Helicopter Display. Lastly, you might also want to visit the Museum’s centerpiece Liberty Memorial Tower. For just $5, you get one of the best 360 degree views of the Kansas City skyline.

Other Kansas City Military Memorials

To complete your tour of Kansas City military memorials, visit the Missouri Korean War Memorial and 89th Division Memorial.  The former is in Washington Square Park while the latter is just south of the WWI Museum in Englewood Park.

Related: America’s Best Thanksgiving Parades

National WWII Museum

945 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA  70130
(504) 528-1933
www.nationalww2museum.org

One of the greatest American military museums you can visit is not in Washington DC. Instead, you must be in the Big Easy to visit the National WWII Museum. As a matter of fact, many say that this is the finest military museum in the entire country. To mark the occasion, the National WWII Museum is offering free admission to all veterans. On Friday, November 11, the Museum will host special events that include a performance from the American Legion Band. Following the band’s performance is a Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony. The ceremony will also feature a special guest appearance by Medal of Honor recipient and Vietnam veteran Jay Vargas.

Pearl Harbor National Memorial

1 Arizona Memorial Place
Honolulu, HI  96818
(808) 422-3399
www.nps.gov/perl

One of the most somber places to visit on Veterans Day is the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. However, if you do wish to visit on Veterans Day, you may not be able to get a reservation to see the USS Arizona Memorial. At this time, there are no ticket reservations available for a tour of the USS Arizona. However, you may be able to obtain tickets on November 10 beginning at 3 p.m. HST. On the other hand, if tickets are not available for the tour, you can see other sites at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. For example, you can see two exhibit galleries, Remembrance Circle and a Pearl Harbor program inside the theater. Lastly, if you need additional ideas, consider seeing the USS Missouri, USS Oklahoma, USS Bowfin and Aviation Museum. However, you must visit the respective websites for more information.

Soldier Field

1410 S. Special Olympics Dr.
Chicago, IL  60605
(312) 235-7000
www.soldierfield.com

You won’t be able to a Chicago Bears football game at Soldier Field on Veterans Day. Instead, you can enjoy Chicago’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony held on the field. If you go, you must enter through Gate O with the doors opening at 10 a.m. While the event begins at 11 a.m., you should also take time to see the Soldier Field Veterans Memorial outside the stadium. The suggested clothing to wear is either business attire or service dress uniform. The oldest NFL stadium, Soldier Field is named after veterans who died during World War I. Speaking of the Chicago Bears, they meet division rivals the Detroit Tigers on November 13.

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

In addition to Soldier Field, another great Chicago spot to visit on November 11 is the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. Just one block from the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum has a permanent collection of over 115,000 artifacts. Among its notable collection are items relating to Winston Churchill and WWI memorabilia. Additionally, you may also enjoy the Medal of Honor permanent exhibit. In November, the Museum is hosting a monthlong celebration to honor America’s veterans. This includes free admission for everyone on November 10 and 11. If you have children, they can send a card to servicemembers who are spending the holidays away from home.

Navy Pier

Don’t overlook Navy Pier if you’re in Chicago on Veterans Day. Named in honor of WWI Naval veterans, Navy Pier is easily one of Chicago’s most family friendly attractions. Although information is not currently available, there will be free or discounts for veterans. Among the likely freebies for veterans is a complimentary ride on the Centennial Wheel.

The Alamo

300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, TX  78205
(210) 225-1391
www.thealamo.org

Although the men who fought at the Alamo aren’t technically U.S. veterans, this historic mission is worth mentioning. After all, the most famous battle during the Texas Revolution was fought here in 1836. Moreover, the remaining members of the Texas Army did become members of the U.S. military when Texas became a state in 1856. On Veterans Day, the Alamo is hosting a Military Appreciation Family Day. Taking place at the Alamo Plaza and Gardens, this event will feature live music and activities that pay tribute to America’s veterans. If you wish to visit the interior of Alamo church, you must book reservations as soon as possible.

The Freedom Trail

Boston, MA
(617) 357-8300
www.thefreedomtrail.org

In Boston, one of the best things for you to do on Veterans Day is to see historic sites along the Freedom Trail. Extending 2.5 miles across a red brick path, the Freedom Trail features 16 sites with an important connection to the American Revolution. For example, you can see the Paul Revere House, Old North Church and the Boston Massacre Site. What’s more, you can stop by the Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution. While along the Trail at Boston Common, you may also want to see the Robert Gould Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial. The memorial is located near the northeast corner of Boston Common. Although Veterans Day is November 11, Boston’s Veterans Day Parade will be held on Saturday, November 5 beginning at noon.

USS Midway Museum

910 Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA  92101
(619) 544-9600
www.midway.org

With America’s largest concentration of military members, San Diego is certain to be a top destination on Veterans Day. You can start your morning off by watching or participating in the San Diego Veterans Day Parade. However, the city is also hosting Fleet Week from November 1 to 13, 2022. Despite all this, you will love visiting the USS Midway Museum for the Salute to Veterans celebration. Featuring live music, food and activities for kids, Museum is free to all active military and veterans. This event begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Coinciding with this event, the Museum is having a Veterans Day Blood Drive.

Insider Tip

Although you will likely see the 25-foot tall Kissing Statue inspired by the iconic 1945 photo in Times Square, there’s something else to see. Not far from the statue is the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military monument. Here, you’ll see a sculpture of Bob Hope as he tells jokes to sculpted military members. In all, there are 15 sculptures and includes some members in a wheelchair and on crutches. If you get closer, you can listen to a recording of Bob Hope telling jokes during a USO program.

Related: Historic Monuments To Visit On Veterans Day

About The Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC.com, NJ.com and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012. Lastly, Randy is a veteran of the U.S. Army