Summer is the perfect time to visit some of the most iconic and significant historical sites in the United States. From the west coast to the east coast, numerous places will take you back in time and allow you to explore the history and culture of our great nation. With so many sites to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the list. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 historic sites to visit in the USA this summer.
1) Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Plymouth Rock is a symbol of the Mayflower’s landing in 1620 and the birthplace of Plymouth Colony. It stands as a reminder of the pilgrims’ voyage and the founding of what would eventually become the United States of America. Located on the waterfront in Plymouth, MA, it is a popular tourist destination and a must-see on any trip to the area. Visiting Plymouth Rock is a powerful experience that immerses visitors in the history of America’s earliest settlers and their legacy.
2) Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This historic building is located in the heart of Philadelphia and has been a symbol of American independence since 1776. It is the site where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution was debated and adopted. Inside, you will find various artifacts and documents related to the founding of the nation. You can also explore the grounds, including the Liberty Bell Center, which houses the famous bell. A visit to this special place is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
3) The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
Located in the heart of San Antonio, The Alamo is one of the most famous and significant historical sites in the United States. Built as a mission in 1718, the site gained worldwide notoriety during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, when Texas fought for its independence from Mexico. Now a museum, the grounds include artifacts from the battle, an auditorium, and a gift shop. There are also regularly scheduled tours and events to help educate visitors about the rich history of The Alamo and Texas.
4) Ellis Island, New York City, New York
This historic site is the gateway to America for 12 million immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Here, visitors can learn more about the island’s history, such as the New York Immigrant Depot and the American Immigrant Wall of Honor. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is also worth exploring to gain a deeper understanding of the nation’s diverse immigrant population. It’s a must-see when visiting the Big Apple.
5) Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nevada
A must-see for any US history enthusiast, Hoover Dam is an iconic structure built in 1935. Located on the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona, it stands 726 feet tall and 1,244 feet wide, making it one of the largest concrete structures ever constructed. It has become a popular tourist destination and offers educational tours, guided hikes, and a visitor center with interactive exhibits. Visitors can also take the popular “Dam Tour” to learn about the history of the dam and its construction. With so much to see and do, a trip to Hoover Dam should be at the top of your list this summer.
6) Mount Rushmore National Monument, Keystone, South Dakota
This iconic memorial is one of the most visited sites in the United States. It features the faces of four former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. And Theodore Roosevelt carved into the granite of the Black Hills. Visitors can take a ranger-led tour of the monument, and hike nearby trails. Or explore the interactive museum to learn about the history behind it. Whether you’re looking for a historical adventure or simply want to take in the awe-inspiring beauty of this national landmark. Mount Rushmore is a must-see destination.
7) Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
The site of one of the most decisive battles in the American Civil War, Gettysburg National Military Park is a must-visit destination. With over 1,300 monuments, memorials, and markers, visitors can learn more about the historic battle that took place in 1863. Explore the museum, take a guided tour, or wander the grounds on your own. With plenty of walking trails, there’s something for everyone at this historical site.
8) Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana
The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument commemorates the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn. It is the site of a famous victory by Native American warriors led by the great Sioux leader Sitting Bull against the US 7th Cavalry. Visitors to the park can explore the historic battlefield, the 7th Cavalry Memorial, and the nearby Indian Memorial. It is a unique way to understand the history of America’s Native American people. Be sure to add this to your list of historical sites to visit in the USA this summer.
9) Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, Missouri
Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Gateway Arch National Park is home to the iconic Gateway Arch. This 630-foot-tall monument stands as a tribute to westward expansion and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. Visitors can take a trip to the top of the arch via a tram ride and enjoy panoramic views of St. Louis and the Mississippi River. There are also multiple museums and historical sites located within the park grounds, allowing visitors to learn more about the region’s rich history.
10) Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii
Located in Oahu, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor is a site of great historic significance. It was here that the Japanese attacked the United States on December 7th, 1941, resulting in the death of 2,403 American servicemen and civilians. Today, visitors can visit the USS Arizona Memorial and pay their respects to those who died in the attack. There are also several other memorials and attractions, such as the Battleship Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum, to explore. A visit to Pearl Harbor offers a somber reminder of the cost of war and an inspiring look at America’s resilience.