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Best Historic Destinations in the USA

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Use this list to plan your next getaway to one of the most historic places in the United States. To determine the best spots in America for history buffs, U.S. News considered the storied pasts, preserved landmarks, notable monuments and tourist-friendly services in each city – as well as votes from users. Vote on your top picks for history lovers to help us determine next year's list. 

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#1 New York City

#1 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why Go: New York offers history at high speeds and high altitudes. Scale the Empire State Building, stroll across the monumental Brooklyn Bridge or hop the ferry to Ellis Island. Also, don't forget the city's most recent historical footprint – the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Read More »

Buzzing Times Square
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#2 Philadelphia

#2 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: You'll see Ben Franklin's name and influence across the United States' first capital city. Visit Independence Hall, where Ben and company signed the Declaration of Independence. Then, pay homage to the famously cracked Liberty Bell. Afterward, dig into a classic Philly cheesesteak in South Philly. Read More »

Ben Franklin in the Park
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#3 San Francisco

#3 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: San Francisco is a treat for history buffs. The myths of Alcatraz draw conspiracy theorists and schoolchildren, the architectural achievement of Golden Gate Bridge attracts gawkers and giddy engineers and the vibrant Mission District brings in social progressives. Read More »

Golden Gate Bridge
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#4 New Orleans

#4 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: Many come to New Orleans to party hard on Bourbon Street, but history lovers will take delight in admiring sights like the French Quarter, the Cabildo and St. Louis Cathedral. Should you desire a quieter place to visit, try the Garden District or Chalmette Battlefield. Read More »

Jazz in the French Quarter
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#5 Washington, D.C.

#5 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: America's capital is brimming with things to do. The Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the White House and the historic Lincoln Memorial anchor the National Mall, which boasts a variety of other attractions. Plus, exploring the Smithsonian museums won't cost you a dime. Read More »

Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool
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#6 Boston

#6 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: 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. Here, you can stroll the same cobblestone streets as the Puritans and revolutionaries. Kick off your city tour on the Freedom Trail. Read More »

Boston Harbor
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#7 Charleston

#7 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: Walking around The Battery with Fort Sumter in the distance, you may feel like you're in a beautiful antebellum world. Should you wish to catch a glimpse of the former 19th-century Southern high society, tour the Calhoun Mansion or the Nathaniel Russell House Museum. Read More »

Pineapple Fountain
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#8 Yosemite

#8 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: Each year, millions of people flock to this nearly 1,200-square-mile national park to learn about America’s natural history. Snap photos from the Glacier Point lookout and hike the Mist Trail to the base of the Half Dome for unbeatable views of the landscape. Read More »

Colors of Yosemite
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#9 Savannah

#9 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: Not so long ago, Savannah stood as the epicenter of Georgia's elite. The upper class built upscale townhouses around quaint squares. While some things have changed, much of Savannah has stayed the same. Explore Forsyth Park to catch sight of the antebellum world. Read More »

Forsyth park
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#10 Yellowstone

#10 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA

Why go: Ulysses S. Grant made history when he established Yellowstone National Park as the first national park in the world. Yellowstone hosts some of America's most remarkable natural attractions, including Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs. Read More »

Inspiration Point
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Chicago

Chicago Skyline

Chicago

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San Antonio

San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio

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Tucson

Saguaro Sunset

Tucson

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Santa Fe

Art for Sale

Santa Fe

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