Traveling to see the Washington Monument? That’s so 1884.

By Caroline Hallemann
May 22, 2015
Credit: Bob Wick, BLM

After paying your respects to those who died while serving in the military, celebrate the holiday weekend by visiting one of the new national monuments designated by President Obama in 2015.

Browns Canyon National Monument

Browns Canyon’s 21,000 acres received monument status this past February as a measure to protect the land and its diverse wildlife and vegetation. The park, which is jointly managed by the Forest Service and The Bureau of Land Management, is open this weekend for hiking and whitewater rafting.

Honouliuli National Monument

Just a short drive from nearby Pearl Harbor, Honouliuli serves as a reminder of a dark period in U.S. history: the internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii during World War II.

According to Hawaiian senator Brian Schatz, the new historic site will “memorialize the strength and bravery of the many Japanese-Americans who faced discrimination and serve as a reminder to ourselves and future generations that we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Before you head to the site, give the park office a call, to ensure they’re accepting visitors.

Pullman National Monument

While the factory, clock tower, and Hotel Florence are currently closed for renovations at the Pullman National Monument, visitors can still explore the neighborhood, and see the façades of buildings recognized by President Obama earlier this year. The first planned industrial town in America, Pullman was built by the Pullman railroad empire, and served as the site of the first industry-wide strike in the United States, an event that helped spur on the labor rights movement during the 1890s.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.