Most Historic Cities in America

As I watch bits and pieces of news outlets covering the major party conventions, I couldn’t helped but feel some very strong emotions. The outcome of this November’s presidential election will mean more to me than ever, especially since I now reside in the Washington, D.C., metro area and work as a civil servant for the federal government. It made me think about the most historic cities in America.

If you want to learn about the history of the United States, start your exploration in one of these cities. They tell the story of America from its inception as a colonial state to the independent nation we know today.

Most Historic Cities in America

Boston, Massachusetts

Early American history is very much alive in Boston. Some of the earliest and well-known incidents occurred here including the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773. In order to relive many of the city’s historical moments, follow the Freedom Trail where you can retrace the steps that led to the American Revolution passing by key locations such as Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, Granary Burying Ground, and the Old South Meeting House. Pay homage to the brave revolutionaries who fought at Bunker Hill and tour the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. Stop by Paul Revere’s House and learn about the life of Boston’s most famous revolutionary patriot or simply enjoy a relaxing day at the Boston Common, the green heart of the city.

The USS Constitution, Boston, Massachusetts USA
The USS Constitution

It may seem like a lot but those are just a part of what makes Boston one of the most historic cities in America. If you have a keen interest in the events of that led to the American Revolution, your best bet is to start here. Enhance your trip by booking a stay at one of Boston’s nine historic hotels.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There’s no way you can talk about American history without mentioning Philadelphia, the first capital of the newly formed United States and where the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. Visit Independence Hall and learn the trials and tribulations of the Founding Fathers. Set foot in the Assembly Hall, the same room where Benjamin Franklin once argued about taxation and where Abraham Lincoln’s body once laid after his assassination in Washington, D.C. After touring Independence Hall, head towards the Liberty Bell Center to get a glimpse of the famed Liberty Bell and learn about its journey back to Philadelphia.

Assembly Room at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Assembly Room at Independence Hall

New York, New York

The glittering lights of Broadway and the chaos of Wall Street can sometimes make us forget that New York City is one of the most historic cities in America. George Washington’s first inauguration was held there at Federal Hall and the famed Riker’s Island served as a military training ground during the American Civil War. Then there’s Ellis Island, where thousands of immigrants first set foot in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. More recently, it was the sight of Occupy Wall Street, a protest held against income equality that spurred similar protests around the world. Finally, the catastrophic events of 9/11 will always be remembered as one of the darkest moments in American history and one that changed the world in more ways than one.

9-11 Memorial, New York City, USA
9-11 Memorial

Washington, D.C.

The number of reasons supporting why Washington, D.C., lands a spot in this list of most historic cities in America is so large, it will occupy more than several sheets of paper and that’s just for the Lincoln Memorial alone. The capital of United States is where elected presidents have lived, governed, and died for over two centuries. Visit the White House and stand in the same room where the Queen and Prince Philip were entertained by this country’s first African American president. Set foot into the National Archives Museum where you’ll get to view the original “Star and Stripes” flag that was the inspiration for America’s national anthem and see the three original documents, all of which set the foundation of what became the United States of America.

National Archives Museum, Washington DC, USA
National Archives Museum

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Ask any American to name some of the most historic cities in America and you’re likely going to hear the tiny town of Williamsburg, Virginia mentioned at least a dozen times thanks in part to Colonial Williamsburg, where early American life is relives itself everyday.

Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, Virginia
Bruton Parish Church

Known as the Revolutionary City, it offers visitors over 20 guided tours of homes, public buildings, and legendary establishments that some of the most prominent Americans like that of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson visited themselves. What’s more, Colonial Williamsburg is also home to one of the oldest universities in the country and is open to visitors all year long.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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