The movies that took the top two spots this weekend were about as different as they come: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part Two) and Lincoln. Reaching out to different audiences, they’re both raking in the money. (Yet if you were to combine them into something like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, you get a flop. Go figure.)
If you’re a Twilight fan and want to see the series’s inspirations in real life, I’ve got no advice for you but to get yourself a plane ticket and head to Forks, Washington. If Steven Spielberg’s war drama has you all fired up about our sixteenth president, though, there are some ways to translate Lincoln fervor into some nearby daytrips.
First up, you can check in on the progress of the Lincoln Depot Museum at the corner of Water and Centre Streets in Peekskill. The museum isn’t officially open, but that’s okay — it’s the location that counts. That spot is where Lincoln, as a president-elect, stopped to give a speech as part of his inaugural tour. The eventual museum will explore Lincoln’s relationship to New York, and the state’s role in the Civil War.
Further north, you’ll find West Point — a key Civil War location if ever there was one. Inside, the West Point Museum — “the oldest and largest diversified public collection of miltaria in the Western Hemisphere” — has some exhibits devoted to two of its most famous graduates: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. You can also see the field glasses used by General G.K. Warren at Gettysburg.
Finally, take a short drive just over the New York border to Milford, Pennsylvania — a town we featured in our 2011 Fall Getaways because of its antique shops and the amazing Hotel Fauchère — and you’ll find the Pike County Historical Society at the Columns. That museum holds a dubious piece of Lincoln history, indeed: the Lincoln Flag, which is said to have been placed under the president’s head after he was shot. The bloodstained cloth is out on display for anyone who wants to see.
Have you been to any of these Lincoln-related landmarks? What did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments box below.