The Top Historic Destination in Each State

Sunset moment at Horseshoe bend Grand Canyon National Park. Colorado River. famous view point.

The Top Historic Destination in Each State

While the U.S. is still relatively young as a country compared to other parts of the world, it’s full of historic sites. Over the last 248 years, the U.S. has been rich with landmarks and iconic places to visit. Whether you are an American who wants to explore other parts of the country or a tourist from overseas, there is no shortage of historical destinations. With this in mind, let’s jump right into the top historic destinations in all 50 states. 


16th Street Baptist Church Birmingham,Alabama
The 16th Street Baptist Church is a symbol of Civil Rights.

On September 15, 1963, a bomb was thrown into the 16th Street Baptist Church which killed four young girls. This solidified the church as a stark reminder of the Civil Rights movement.


Baranof Castle
In this spot, America took control of the Alaskan territory in 1867.

Make it a point to stop at Baranof Castle the next time you’re in Alaska. This site serves as a memory of when Russia handed over the Alaskan territory in 1867.


There are few places on Earth more impressive than the Grand Canyon.

It won’t come as any surprise the Grand Canyon is the best place to visit in Arizona. Featuring 277 miles of formation and up to 18 miles wide at its widest, there’s so much to see at this UNESCO World Heritage site.


Little Rock High School was one of the first Southern schools to desegregate.

In Arkansas, visit Little Rock High School, which was the first southern school to combine black and white students following the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.


The Golden Gate Bridge is a site to see in California.

First opened to the public in May 1937, the three-mile-long Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco and Marin County.


Mesa verde 2 094
The impressive construction of Mesa Verde National Park continues to wow visitors.

One of America’s most incredible locations, Mesa Verde National Park is worth a visit. It’s here that you can find over 600 Pueblo cliff dwellings. They serve as a reminder of life before America.


Mark Twain House and Museum was the home of Mark Twain from 1874 to 1871 with American High Gothic style in downtown Hartford, Connecticut, USA.
Visit Mark Twain’s house where he wrote many of his popular books.

The home of Mark Twain is the most notable place for history in Connecticut. A 25-room mansion, Twain lived here between 1874 and 1891.


Historic Old New Castle
Historic New Castle in Delaware is the highlight of its second oldest town.

When in Delaware, you have to visit Historic New Castle. Between the various houses and museums, the town dates back to the 1600s and is the second oldest town in Delaware.


Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine, Florida
Visit everything in St. Augustine with its rich European history.

You can’t visit Florida without taking a walk down history lane in St. Augustine. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, this is the oldest European settlement in the U.S.


Jefferson Davis
This spot represents where Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured.

Visit the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site the next time you’re in Georgia. This location marks where Davis was captured by Union Forces in 1865 ending the Civil War.


Aerial view of the USS Arizona Memorial at Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii Oct. 11, 2023.
No visit to Hawaii is complete without a USS Arizona memorial tour.

Of all the sites you can see in Hawaii, the USS Arizona memorial is the most important. The location commemorates the death of 1,102 sailors on board the ship during the Pearl Harbor attack.


Old Mission State Park
Mission of the Sacred Heart is the oldest building in Idado.

The oldest standing building in Idaho is the Mission of the Sacred Heart. Built in 1853, it’s inside a national park that is named for the Mission.


Exterior of Abraham Lincoln's home
The Illinois home of Abraham Lincoln is a must-visit stop.

Visiting Abraham Lincoln’s home in Illinois is a must for any fan of history. Lincoln and his family lived in this Springfield home for 17 years.


Indianapolis, Indiana, USA skyline over Monument Circle at dusk.
One of the most impressive monuments honoring soldiers is in Indianapolis.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is set up right in downtown Indianapolis. The memorial honors Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War and every battle since.


Sgt Floyd Monument
The nation’s first National Historic Landmark is in Iowa.

In Iowa you will find the nation’s first registered National Historic Landmark. An obelisk near Sioux City honors Sergeant Charles Floyd, the first U.S. soldier to die west of the Mississippi.


colorful orange fall foliage at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA
Fort Leavenworth is the oldest and prettiest still-standing army post.

When in Kansas, a visit to Fort Leavenworth is in order. Built in 1827, it’s the oldest Army post west of the Mississippi and has areas open to the public.


Fort Boonesborough State Park in Kentucky
Visit the historic Kentucky location named for Daniel Boone.

Fort Boonesborough calls to anyone who visits Kentucky. Named after legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone, you see what life was like centuries earlier.


You can’t make a trip to New Orleans without seeing the French Quarter.

A well-known area, the French Quarter is the most historic place worth visiting in Louisiana. It’s full of rich history including the area’s great jazz music, Jackson Square, and Cafe Du Monde beignets.


Historic Old Fort Western in Augusta, ME, on a cloudy day in Fall season
Maine is home to America’s oldest wooden fort.

Dating back to 1754, visit Fort Western in Maine anytime. A National Historic Landmark, Fort Western is America’s oldest wooden fort.


Fort McHenry from the air, Baltimore
The Star Spangled Banner was written in this historic location.

If you visit Fort McHenry, you’ll find the location where Francis Scott Key felt inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner. This song is now known as America’s national anthem.


Fairbanks House
Skip Plymouth Rock and visit the oldest wooden structure in the U.S.

Ignore Plymouth Rock and visit the Fairbanks House in Dedham. This is believed to be the oldest wooden structure in North America built in 1637.


Henry Ford Museum
The Henry Ford Museum is full of incredible history.

No trip to Michigan is complete without a visit to the Henry Ford Museum. The museum is home to any number of important collections like John F. Kennedy’s presidential limousine.


Historic Fort Snelling - view from tower on outer wall
One of the oldest forts, Fort Snelling looked to stop British fur traders.

Make it a point to visit Fort Snelling in Minnesota. Completing construction in 1825, this Civil War-era fort looked to stop British fur traders from expanding their reach.


LaPointe Krebs House
Make it a point to see the oldest structure in Mississippi.

The LaPointe-Krebs house is the oldest structure in the state. Built in 1757, this building is older than the Declaration of Independence.


Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, in the Ozarks, Missouri
One of the oldest Civil War battles was fought in this location.

In Missouri, stop at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. On this site, 5,400 Union troops fought against 12,000 Confederate soldiers and that was the oldest battle fought west of the mighty Mississippi.


Historic St. Mary's Mission in Stevensville, Montana, USA
This historic building is central to the founding of Montana.

If you visited Montana around the 1840s, Stevensville would be one of the only areas you were welcome. This location is often considered the foundation of Montana as a state.


Chimney Rock National Historic Site
At 480 feet high, this rock formation is Nebraska’s most important historical site.

You can’t visit Nebraska without stopping at Chimney Rock National Historic Site. Standing 480 feet high, this geological rock formation was a landmark for western expansion in the 19th century.


Hoover Dam is the must-see location in Nevada not named Las Vegas.

While not as old as some other locations, the Hoover Dam is a must see historic site in Nevada. There is no doubt it’s one of America’s greatest technological achievements.

New Hampshire

mountain landscape with cog railway steam train slowly driving up the mountain
Climb the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire.

As the first mountain-climbing railway system in the world, Mount Washington Cog Railway is New Hampshire royalty. You’ll take a three-hour ride up to almost 6,288 feet.

New Jersey

Sandy hook lighthouse
The Sandy Hook lighthouse has only gone dark four times in history.

The Sandy Hook lighthouse was erected in 1764 and has been a beacon for ships ever since. It only went dark during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and both World Wars.

New Mexico

Kiva Ruins at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Culture National Historical Park
This is one of the most important Pueblo sites in the country.

No trip to New Mexico is complete without seeing Chaco Culture National Historic Park. The Pueblo structures and ruins there have survived from as far back as 850 AD.

New York

Aerial view of Ellis Island, New York City.
Ellis Island is one of the most important places in the U.S.

If you make any stop in New York, make it Ellis Island. Over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954.

North Carolina

The Biltmore Estate is the largest private home in the country.

In North Carolina, there is no greater attraction than the Biltmore Estate. Open for tours, you can see every inch of the largest private home in America.

North Dakota

Some of the most important fur trading took place in North Dakota.

Take a step into the fur trading industry by visiting the Fort Union Trading Post. From 1828 until 1867, this site was critical for the fur trade.


Old Stone Fort
The Old Stone Fort is one of the oldest buildings west of the Mississippi.

Considered the oldest building in Ohio, the Old Stone Fort in West Lafayette is a must-see. Based on historical information, it’s believed the building was finished as far back as 1679.


Honey Springs Battlefield
The Union Army won a critical Civil War battle on this spot in Oklahoma.

Honey Springs Battlefield was the site of Oklahoma’s largest Civil War battle. Thanks to the First Kansas Colored, the largest African-American regiment, the Union won the day.


The Oregon Trail is far more than just a nostalgic computer game.

You can’t possibly stop in Oregon without seeing some part of the 2,000-mile trail best known as The Oregon Trail. From 1811 to 1840, this trail was how American pioneers moved west.


Independence Hall is one of America’s most important buildings.

Pennsylvania is full of historic sites but nowhere is more important than Independence Hall. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were ratified there.

Rhode Island

The Gilded Age is best seen through the mansions in Rhode Island.

The Breakers home once owned by the Vanderbilt family is the best place to stop in Rhode Island. It’s a reminder of the Gilded Age and the businessmen who helped grow America.

South Carolina

Drone View of Fort Sumter at Sunrise
Stop at Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.

In South Carolina, you’ll make a stop at Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began. Seeing this location is a sharp reminder of one of America’s most tumultuous times.

South Dakota

Mount Rushmore is an iconic place to stop in South Dakota.

It goes without saying that in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is the place to visit. It took 14 years to sculpt likenesses of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln out of the side of a mountain.


Sunset on Fort Loudon Lake
This iconic site is home to both a historical fort and park.

In Fort Loudon State Historic Park, you’ll see the 1756 fort built by the British to defend against the French and Indians.


The historical Mission San Antonio De Valero, known as The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
The Alamo is the most famous historical location in Texas.

Texas is full of history but “Remember the Alamo” by visiting this location. Heroes like Davy Crockett had a last stand against the Mexican army before Texas was won.


Final Meeting Point of the Transcontinental Railroad, Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah
This spot marks the completion of the first nationwide railroad.

Visit The Golden Spike National Historic Site any time you’re in Utah. On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was pushed into the railroad to symbolize the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.


Old Constitution House
Vermont declared itself independent in this building in 1777.

In The Old Constitution House, Vermont declared itself free from British rule as a free and independent state in 1777. It wouldn’t be until 1791 when Vermont joined the United States.


Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, in Charlottesville, VA
Monticello is the most iconic historical stop in Virginia.

When in Virginia, you’ll stop at Monticello. The home of America’s third president and founding father, Thomas Jefferson, it’s a step back in time.


She Who Watches
One of the most mysterious Native American sites exists in Washington.

Known as the “She Who Watches” pictograph, Tsagaglalal is the most Native American historic site in Washington. The symbols and burial location date back to AD 1700.

West Virginia

See the life of coalworkers at this exhibition in West Virginia.

Coal helped power the United States since the early 1800s, so a visit to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is in order. This location gives an inside look at what this grueling job has been like for generations.


Oswego Illinois Town Photos and Drone Little White School Museum
The Republican party first took shape in this small white building.

The Little White School in Wisconsin is known as the birthplace of the Republican Party. This location is now a self-guided museum.


A trip to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming means a stop at Old Faithful.

No visit to Wyoming is complete without a trip to Yellowstone National Park. America’s first national park, three million people annually see 3,500 square miles of breathtaking beauty, including Old Faithful.

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