Did it ever come across your mind to visit a military academy just for fun? I know many people who get nervous when I tell them to come with me for visiting a military academy. It is not on everyone’s to-do list. If you ask me, they are missing a lot of things by not visiting a very exciting place just because they are nervous. Today I will be talking about visiting west point.
You might be wondering what “west point” refers to if you are not from the U.S. For your information, it is one of the names for the United States Military Academy (USMA). In the early 19th Century, there was a fort in the exact location where the military academy is located today. It is overlooking the Hudson River, which is about 80 km away north of New York.
If you are interested to know more about the history of the American war of Independence, this is the place for you to visit. Many of the old buildings and fortifications you will see here were used during the war.
A Brief History
The history of the United States Military Academy can be traced back to during the American War of Independence when fortifications were constructed on the west of the Hudson River in the later part of the 18th century. Some decades after the U.S got her independence, the third president of the country Thomas Jefferson signed an order to establish the United States Military Academy (USMA) on the site which is now known as the west point in 1802.
How to get admission in the academy
If you want to enroll as a cadet, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your age should greater than 23 but less than 17.
- Only U.S citizens are allowed to enroll.
- Good scores in your SAT or ACT.
- No pregnant or married women allowed.
- Just above average high school grades.
- One of the toughest parts is the physical aptitude test. This is required for all applicants so that the U.S army can get a glimpse of your actual physical fitness.
- A nomination from a member of the Congress or Senate of the United States.
Visiting the Academy a part of visiting west point
If you are not looking to apply for admission, you can always visit the place. Also, life in the army is tough. Very few people are interested to enroll in it. The best thing about this place is that it is open to everyone.
Here are some of my tips which you can look at before going there.
- Your first stop should be the Visitors Center in the academy. The museum at west point and the academy are open every day for visitors.
- You may get a guide for a tour anytime you want to visit the academy, except for if it is graduation day or the center itself closes early. My suggestion is to call the visitor center beforehand to ask them whether there is a chance of a tour getting canceled. It has happened many times to people who went there before.
- The academy does not allow children less than 16 years old to visit the place without an adult. Anyone above 16 needs to provide identification such as passport or Driver’s License.
- For foreign nationals, they should bring their passport and visa.
- Make sure that you are accompanying your children at all times.
Places to visiting west point
Do not miss these places if you are visiting West Point. They are given below:-
West Point Museum
This is where you will have a glimpse of the rich history of Hudson Valley. Book a luxury coach to have a tour in the Hudson Valley Region. Do not forget to visit the spot where George Washington issued a proclamation to signal the end of the American Revolution. This is your chance to pay tribute to the Huguenot Street, where the first German and English settlers first landed in America. You can also view many of the ancient artifacts kept in the museum such as old pistols used by George Washington and the sword of Napoleon. It also contains an artifact which belonged to Adolf Hitler but it is for you to find it out!
Bear Mountain State Park a part of visiting west point
If you are planning a picnic, this is the place for you. It has its own fishing areas and a swimming pool for taking bath during the hot summer.
Art Center near the Storm King Mountain
You will be amazed to see the largest collection of outdoor sculptures in this open-air museum. It is the home to the collections of famous sculptors such as Alexander Calder David Smith, Mark di Suvero, and many others.
The view of the Hudson River from this 18th-century castle is simply amazing. You can also take time to admire its wonderful 18th-century architecture.
West Point Cemetery
This is your chance to show your gratitude to the thousands of graduates from the military academy who has served their nation with dignity. If you are a tourist still you can show respect.
Just walk towards the east side of the Hudson River to locate the island. Get ready to be mesmerized with its beautiful grounds amazing gardens and historical fortifications. Drop by to the famous Warner House before leaving the place.
Trailside Museums & Zoo
Oh, did I forget to mention that there is a zoo in the vicinity? Just cross the Bear Mountain Bridge and you will see the zoo. You will love it for its geology & ecology and a huge collection of rescued wild animals.
Are you a fan of concerts and music shows? You can see live performances by renowned artists in the Eisenhower Hall.
I can assure you that the beauty, architecture, and history of the academy will not make your visit boring. There is something for everyone to enjoy. Maybe your son/daughter might be interested to enroll in the academy in a few years’ time as well! You May interested in visit Virginia beach