The Most Historical Cities in America
America may only be a babyÂ relative toÂ many other parts ofÂ the world. However,Â that certainly doesnâ€™t mean the country lacks an interesting history. Here are some cities in the United States with a rich culturalÂ heritage:
New York City, New York
Originally settled by the Dutch in 1625, New York was conquered by the British in 1664. New York has since played an important role in American history. An important strategic point for the early colonists, the city was the gateway to upper New York and the Hudson Valley. Since the American Revolution, New York has become the financial capital of the world and a majorÂ centerÂ of academia, fashion and culture.Â The BigÂ AppleÂ was alsoÂ the traditional arrivalÂ point for millions of immigrants. You can nowÂ visit Ellis Island and learn about the waves of immigration that made theÂ United States theÂ superpower it remains to the present day.
Founded in 1631 by British Puritans, Boston is one of the oldest cities in America. It has played a vital role inÂ many facetsÂ of American history -Â as the birthplace of Harvard, the American Revolution, aspects of the modern pubic school systemÂ and the burial site forÂ manyÂ Founding Fathers. Of note as well, Boston is theÂ birthplace to artistsÂ such asÂ The Cars,Â Aerosmith and shockingly,Â Boston.Â When in the city,Â walk the 2.5 mileÂ Freedom Trail for superbÂ historic sites.
As theÂ firstÂ capital of the United States, the City of Brotherly Love has a lot of history on tap.Â Philadelphia is the home of Benjamin Franklin, the Continental Congress (all of them), the signing of the Declaration of Independence and of course, the drafting of the American Constitution. Throughout Philadelphia, you can learn about the founding of America, the history of the original Quaker colony, see homes dating back to the 17th century and get a tour by “Benjamin Franklin” himself. It’s a window into 18th century and revolutionary America that is only rivaled by Boston.
Founded in 1607, Jamestown was the first English colony in the New World. The VirginiaÂ outpost almost folded due to conflict among early settlersÂ before the discipline ofÂ John Smith and the cultivation of tobaccoÂ got theÂ colony back in order. Jamestown subsequentlyÂ became the major center of trade in Virginia. Today, historic Jamestown provides a window into 17th century America.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is a major port city in the American South. It played a key role in the Civil War (the first shots were fired here at Fort Sumter) and is aÂ time capsule ofÂ the â€œOld South.â€ TheÂ juxtaposition of white aristocratic wealth and excessÂ againstÂ the hauntingÂ backdrop of slavery makes Charleston a fascinating place to visit.Â Much of the old plantation architecture has beenÂ wonderfully preserved andÂ a visit to the cityÂ is a great way to further understanding ofÂ pre-Civil War America.
One of few toÂ be sparedÂ from the ravages of theÂ Civil War, legend has it that General Sherman declared the city of SavannahÂ too beautiful to be destroyed. Tree-lined streetsÂ front iconic southernÂ architecture. Iron gatesÂ shield plantation-style homes onceÂ owned by the upper crust of southern aristocracy.Â From mere observation oneÂ can stillÂ imagineÂ conversations in the parlour aboutÂ the future of theÂ Union.Â All in all, Savannah is aÂ wonderful step back in time and notably, a great placeÂ to sample honest-to-goodness soul food.
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is the oldest settled city in the United States. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles named this site afterÂ discovering it on August 28th, the feast day of Augustine of Hippo. The city confinesÂ contain numerous reminders ofÂ SpanishÂ rule,Â the most notable of which isÂ aÂ classicÂ fortification. The mainÂ base of defenseÂ in Florida for the Kingdom ofÂ Spain at the time, Fort Matanzas National MonumentÂ is now under theÂ domain of the National Park Service.
Though not the first capital of America, this city has a wealthÂ of history as the political powerbase of the country. The result of negotiations between the first colonists (each state wanted it somewhere else), the city was sacked and burned during the War of 1812. Rebuilt to completion,Â today theÂ capital draws millions of tourists every year toÂ iconic monuments, memorialsÂ and the Smithsonian Museum complex.Â As the home of Congress and the White House,Â no other city can provide as much insight into the United States as Washington D.C.