The US, despite being a relatively young nation, has experienced its fair share of fascinating history. So for those who enjoy nothing more than discovering new locations through their past, we’ve identified the top five most historic US cities based on culture, heritage, stories, and beautiful historic attractions.
New Orleans, Louisiana
It was established as a French colony in 1718, and since then has experienced a range of fascinating events in history, and changing hands through the Louisiana Purchase and Spanish conquests. As a result, New Orleans is home to some of the most eccentric architecture in America. History enthusiasts should not pass up the opportunity to delve into the charming colonial heritage of the famous French quarter. Here you can visit the oldest church structure in the US; St. Louis Cathedral, or you can take a stroll around the Garden District where you can see a beautiful collection of antebellum mansions.
And don’t forget to pay a visit to New Orlean’s famous Bourbon Street; home to the liveliest nightlife in the country.
Washington D.C., District of Columbia
It’s home to a variety of famous landmarks, monuments, museums, and rich political history that attracts visitors from all over the world. Along The Mall, you can visit the Lincoln Memorial, The White House, Washington Monument, Capitol Building, and the Vietnam’s Veteran Memorial.
If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss The National Museum of American History which offers in-depth view of the country’s intriguing past through a collection of over 3,000 artefacts. Washington is also home to an array of underrated picturesque neighborhoods that harbour interesting stories of their own.
Charleston, South Carolina
This famous friendly city was established as an English colony way back in 1670, and it has since grown to become America’s most prosperous cities. You can explore the city’s culturally rich background and history through museums, colonial buildings, and even discover its past slave culture through old plantations. The McLeod Plantation Historic Site offers visitors an insight into the lives of slaves, or you can explore the beginnings of the civil war with a visit to Fort Sumter.
Charleston is renowned for its welcoming residents, easy-going nature, and southern charm. Experience its relaxed pace of life with a stroll through The Battery which is a beautiful waterfront park, or admire the extravagant 18th century buildings lining the cobblestoned streets.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is the country’s oldest state capital; it was established in 1697 and is home to the Palace of the Governors – the nation’s first public building. The San Miguel Chapel can also be found here; the oldest religious building in the US (dating back to 1610). Not to mention it’s the host to annual Santa Fe Fiesta which is the longest-running community celebration in the nation.
Santa Fe is absolutely brimming with original treasures that have been fantastically preserved, and the adobe architecture is a running theme throughout the city. Be sure to make a trip to its historic Plaza where you can browse a selection of Native American art and culture. Plus more in New Mexico’s History Museum.
If you really want to gain a thorough insight into the nation’s pre-civil war days, then Williamsburg is the perfect city. It’s been a hub for fascinating cultural and political events throughout history. Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museums; it functions as a massive outdoor theatrical theatre featuring live reenactments, recreations of colonial life, and loads of talented actors in period-appropriate costumes.
The area is teeming with traditional craft shops and farming demonstrations plus a range of quirky coffee houses in which you can try a range of 18th century dishes. And don’t forget to visit the second oldest college in America – the prestigious College of William and Mary.
So if you’re a lover of first class history, be sure to pay a visit to the most renowned historic US cities.