It is a relatively young country, but the United States has witnessed much more fascinating history. It has been shaped and transformed into a turbulent and surprisingly diverse past across the spectrum, from domestic settlements and colonial conquests to civil wars and struggles for independence, the impact of immigration waves, and diverse cultural influences on all sides.
For those who love to discover new things through the past, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 most historic cities in the United States. These destinations are full of heritage, culture, unique stories, and old-world charm, each with several fascinating historic sites to explore. If you’ve always been fascinated by the US history but have left the days when you used to discuss it in the classroom behind, know that reigniting your experience is just a visit away to these historic places. So, it’s time to go.
Top 20 Places you Must Visit
1. Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
Alamo is one of America’s most famous historic sites and attracts more than 2.5 million visitors each year. This is where the 13-day epic siege took place during the Texas Revolution. Dedicated to those who fought against the Mexican army of Santa Anna, including defenders such as Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, exhibits are describing the fort’s wartime role as well as the Native American cemetery and past as San Mission Antonio. It’s one of the coolest sites to see for San Antonio locals and visitors alike.
2. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Collinsville, Illinois
The state site of Cahokia Mounds, the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the pre-Colombian metropolis of Mexico, lies across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Louis, Missouri. It was the site of the most developed prehistoric indigenous civilization in northern Mexico between 700 and 1400 AD.
3. Washington DC
Washington is a travel paradise for history lovers, with an almost endless museum displaying art and artifacts from all eras of the United States, as well as a memorial that houses some of America’s greatest leaders. It’s home to dozens of historic sites covering everything from the civil war to citizenship, as well as great art galleries.
4. French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana
There are better places across the United States to experience history than the cobbled streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans. Walk through the area bordering the Mississippi River, Rampart Street, Canals, and Esplanade to see interesting structures such as Creole cottages built on columns, colonial houses covered in ivy, and majestic mansions.
5. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
51,000 unions and southern allies died here at the Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest war of the 3rd July 1863 Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln was shocked enough to praise the fallen soldiers in his Gettysburg speech, which became the most famous speech in American history four months later.
6. St. Augustine, Florida
The oldest European settlement in North America was founded by the Spaniards in 1565 after explorer Don Pedro Menéndez de Aviles landed on the shore and named after the Roman saint Augustine. Although the Timucua Indians previously settled here, St. Augustine was the first European settlement controlled by the British before Britain became part of the United States. Make sure to explore the unique Military Hospital Museum while you’re about and about in St. Augustine.
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
See Ben Franklin’s impact across the city for fraternity, including the Independence Hall and the Independence Hall where other colonial leaders met and wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Sure, you can borrow the famous Cracked Liberty Bell to eat the classic Philadelphia cheesesteak in southern Philadelphia, but to understand why this story still matters today, visit the National Constitution Center.
8. Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Spaniards lived in Santa Fe in 1607, which was 10 years ahead of the Plymouth colony. It was declared the capital of New Mexico in 1610 by Governor Don Pedro de Peralta, making Santa Fe the oldest capital city in the United States..
9. Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
On the northern outskirts of Taos, two hours north of Santa Fe, the Taos Pueblo is a collection of two to five-story adobe houses whose walls shine under the high desert sun. It is one of a group of settlements in the Rio Grande Valley and its tributaries and has survived to this day, providing a unique insight into early American culture.
10. Postpartum An, Puerto Rico
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unconsolidated territory in the United States. This means that U.S. citizens can travel there without a passport. Not only does it offer a typical Caribbean experience, such as relaxing and enjoying the beautiful beaches, history lovers will also love it. Old San Juan, a national historic site, is a walled city with cobblestones and Spanish colonial architecture.
11. Salem, Massachusetts
Salem houses the oldest permanent museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, which was officially known as the “Cabinet of Natural and Man-made Wonders”, which opened in 1799. The captain’s group established the East Indian Maritime Association by special decree to collect such specimens, and this fascinating museum is the heritage of this fascinating museum, home to 1.8 million Asian maritime arts, Africa, India, and peasants.
12. Plymouth, Massachusetts
The town of Plymouth was founded in 1620 and is best known in England as a landing site for pilgrims fleeing religious persecution. Visitors can see the Plymouth Rock, which marks their landing point, and while there is debate over the mountain and its importance, it represents a New England settlement and America’s second permanent colony.
13. Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, Virginia
These three cities form Virginia’s “historic triangle”. Jamestown is America’s first permanent residence site dating back to 1607. In historic Jamestown, you can explore the greenhouse to learn more about the country’s early industry, see the fort’s ongoing archaeological finds and thousands of primitive artifacts..
14. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado is home to some of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the United States, with about 5,000 within the boundaries, including 600 ancient homes at Cliff Pueblo. Trace the ancient ruins of the Pueblo who once lived here, including the Cliff Palace with 150 rooms and 23 arenas.
15. Boston, Massachusetts
The birthplace of the American Revolution is the city that hosted the first public parks, the first libraries, the first public schools, and the first subway system in the United States. On the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, you can see some of the most famous landmarks such as Fantail Hall, Old South Meeting House, and Old North Church, as you walk the cobbled streets of revolutionaries and purists. There’s also the Boston Museum and the Robinson Tea Chest to immerse yourself into (did you know that it’s the only known left unit from the 1773 Boston Tea Party?).
16. Charleston, South Carolina
With charming cobbled streets and carriages, Charleston is like a time capsule. Walking around the battery and looking at Fort Sumter from a distance, you can think of it as a return to the exciting world of war. Tour the homes of the Calhoun Mansion and Nathaniel Russell, take a look at the 19th-century high-class society, and see the living history of the historic MacLeod Plantation site dedicated to the lives of the slaves who worked here.
17. Annapolis, Maryland
This port is home to the U.S. Naval Academy, which was founded in 1845 and is a sailing center. The Annapolis Maritime Museum showcases the region’s rich maritime heritage, including how oyster farming has affected the region’s historical and cultural heritage.
18. Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, the state’s smallest capital, is most associated with maple syrup and acids but has a lot of history. Cozy at the foot of the Green Mountains, its center is the largest national historic site in the Vermont region..
19. Savannah, Georgia
The Savannah Historic Center is one of the largest areas in the United States and is a national historic landmark. At its center is the beautiful Forsyth Fountain. Forsyth Park is a stunning urban green space with a canopy of centenary oak trees covered in Spanish moss.
20. Hartford, Connecticut
Built-in 1635, Connecticut’s capital is a historical and cultural tycoon. Key attractions include Connecticut’s 18th-century Old State House and the 19th-century State Capitol with a glowing golden dome in Bushnell Park. The green park is especially beautiful in the fall.
With no shortage of breathtaking historic sites in the US, there is something to pique’s everyone’s interest. So the next time you plan to visit the US, think of these historical wonders and how they differ. No matter your preference, each site is sure to improve your understanding of the country’s rise to power, commonalities, history, and culture.