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13 Best Historical Cities to Visit in the USA

December 20, 2023

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Use this list to plan your next visit to a destination rich in history. To determine the best historic cities to visit in the United States, US News considers each city's storied past, preserved landmarks, notable monuments and tourist-friendly services โ€“ as well as user votes.

1. Washington, D.C.

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America's capital is full of bargains. Washington Monument, US Capitol, White House

2. Boston

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Boston is a city of American firsts. The country's first public library, first subway system, first public school and first public park belong to Boston.

3. Gettysburg

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Gettysburg Battlefield, the 6,000-acre Civil War military park that witnessed the pivotal battle between Union and Confederate forces in 1863, is the star of any tour of this Pennsylvania town.

4. Philadelphia

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You can see Benjamin Franklin's name and influence all over the first capital city of the United States. Visit Independence Hall, where Ben and company signed the Declaration of Independence.

5. Williamsburg

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With its preserved colonial sites and costumed interpreters, Williamsburg, Virginia, is the definition of a living history museum.

6. Jamestown

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If you visit Williamsburg, you'll likely stop at Jamestown, where English settlers founded the first American colony in 1607.

7. Charleston, SC

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Walking around the Battery with Fort Sumter in the distance may make you feel like you've stepped back in time.

8. Plymouth

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This coastal city southeast of Boston boasts its fair share of historic homes, museums and monuments dedicated to the Wampanoag Indian Tribe and the men and women who founded the first New England Colony.

9. New Orleans

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Many come to New Orleans to party on Bourbon Street, but history buffs will delight in admiring sights like the French Quarter, Cabildo, and St. Louis Cathedral.

10. Salem, MA

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Salem was founded in 1626, luring travelers interested in everything from witches and pirates to colonial and maritime history.

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