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Travel Tip: Hotel Historians

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Many hotels are so much more than brick-and-mortar—they’re actually embodiments of America’s history.

And many of them have access to historians who can take you on a tour of the past.

The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, was built in 1896, and once a week, a local historian leads tours of the property. In fact, the 90-something-year-old tour guide is known as Palm Beach’s “two-legged historical landmark.”

He recounts the stories of fires that ravaged the hotel and the rebuilding efforts, the hotel’s role as a WWII army hospital, and tales of the presidents, dignitaries, and movie stars who have stayed through the years.

The Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia dates back to 1778. Guides offer daily tours that detail the hotel’s role in the Civil War and WWII.

And there are tours of the underground Cold War bunker which was built to shelter members of Congress in event of nuclear war.

Four times a week guests can learn about the history of the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.

Guides from the local Historical Association share stories of the 120-year old landmark, which has hosted everyone from Charles Lindbergh to the Prince of Wales.

For more great experiences, visit the Cultural Travel section.

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