The United States is a country rich in history, with a wealth of incredible historical sites that tell the story of its past. From the battlefields of the Revolutionary War to the landmarks of the Civil Rights movement, these sites provide a window into the country’s complex and fascinating history. In this list, we’ve highlighted 19 amazing historical sites that are definitely worth a visit.
1. The Statue of Liberty, New York
The Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, is a symbol of freedom and democracy. The statue was a gift from France to the United States in 1886 and has since become one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and climb to the top of the statue for stunning views of the city.
3. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Four American presidents’ faces are carved into the granite mountain at Mount Rushmore in the South Dakota Black Hills. It took 14 years to build the artwork, which represents American democracy and creativity. Take a guided tour of the location to learn about the individuals who sculpted the presidents’ histories.
4. Independence Hall, Pennsylvania
Independence Hall in Philadelphia is the birthplace of American democracy. It was here that the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were both signed. Visitors can take a guided tour of the hall and see the room where these historic documents were created.
5. Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and a turning point in the conflict. The park features over 1,000 monuments and markers, as well as the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address.
6. The Alamo, Texas
A representation of Texas independence is the Alamo, which is situated in San Antonio, Texas. A crucial battle took place at the mission in 1836, when a small band of Texans resisted Mexican forces there for 13 days before being routed. Visitors can now explore the location and learn about the troops who fought there as well as the battle’s history.
7. Ellis Island, New York
Ellis Island was the gateway to America for millions of immigrants between 1892 and 1954. Today, visitors can tour the island and see exhibits about the immigration process and the experiences of the immigrants who came through Ellis Island.
8. The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoo. The museums cover a wide range of topics, from American history and culture to art and natural history.
9. The Golden Gate Bridge, California
One of the most well-known and recognizable bridges in the world is the Golden Gate Bridge, which can be seen in San Francisco. The bridge has a length of 1.7 miles and is considered an icon of engineering and ingenuity in the United States. Crossing the bridge on foot or by bicycle affords visitors breathtaking vistas of the city and the bay below.
10. The USS Arizona Memorial, Hawaii
The USS Arizona Memorial is a tribute to the sailors and Marines who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The memorial is built over the remains of the USS Arizona, which sank during the attack. Visitors can take a ferry to the memorial and see the names of the men who lost their lives in the attack.
11. The Kennedy Space Center, Florida
The Kennedy Space Center is the site of many of America’s most historic space missions, including the first manned moon landing. Visitors can see actual spacecraft, take a tour of launch sites, and even meet astronauts. The center also features interactive exhibits that offer a glimpse into the science and technology behind space exploration.
12. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.
Opened in 2016, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. Visitors can see exhibits on everything from the slave trade and segregation to the Civil Rights movement and contemporary African American culture.
13. The National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington D.C.
The National Mall and Memorial Parks is a sprawling green space in the heart of Washington D.C. that features many of the country’s most iconic monuments and memorials. Visitors can see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, and many others.
14. The Freedom Trail, Massachusetts
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long trail that winds through Boston, highlighting 16 historically significant sites that played a role in the American Revolution. Visitors can see the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, and the site of the Boston Massacre, among others.
15. The National Civil Rights Museum, Tennessee
The Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968, now serves as home to the National Civil Rights Museum, which is situated in Memphis. The museum has exhibits on the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Selma to Montgomery March, and the life and legacy of Dr. King. It recounts the history of the Civil Rights movement from slavery to the present.
16. The Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Massachusetts
The Salem Witch Trials were a dark chapter in American history, in which 19 people were executed for witchcraft in 1692. The Salem Witch Trials Memorial is a tribute to the victims of the trials, featuring a series of granite benches with the names of the accused.
17. The Hoover Dam, Nevada/Arizona
On the boundary of Nevada and Arizona, the Hoover Dam is a feat of engineering that controlled the mighty Colorado River and produced Lake Mead. A guided tour of the dam is available for visitors who want to learn more about its construction and history.
18. The National World War II Museum, Louisiana
The National World War II Museum, located in New Orleans, is dedicated to telling the story of the war that changed the world. The museum features exhibits on everything from the home front to the battlefields of Europe and Asia, as well as immersive exhibits that put visitors in the shoes of soldiers and civilians alike.
19. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, Georgia
Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site honors the life and legacy of one of the country’s most significant civil rights activists. The historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King preached, as well as his birthplace and church, are all open to visitors.
20. The Jamestown Settlement, Virginia
The Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum that tells the story of the first permanent English settlement in North America. Visitors can see replicas of the ships that brought the settlers to America, explore a recreation of the fort, and see demonstrations of colonial life.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to learn more about the United States, these 19 incredible historical sites are sure to inspire and educate. From the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Grand Canyon to the poignant reminders of the Salem Witch Trials and the Civil Rights movement, these sites offer a glimpse into the people, events, and ideas that have shaped this great nation. So why not start planning your trip today?