Sure, the United States has some great places to party, watch a fireworks show and celebrate Independence Day. But what about all of the patriotic places you can go to experience a piece of history? Here are our best picks for history and fun.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
To feel transported back in time to the Revolutionary War, Colonial Williamsburg might be just the ticket. Experience the struggles of wartime in dramatic fashion.
Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama
Crossing the Alabama River in Selma, the Edmund Pettus Bridge played a critical role in the establishment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Act prohibits racial discrimination in voting. See where civil rights leaders marched across the bridge in peaceful protest, only to be attacked by armed police, determined not to let the protesters reach Montgomery.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
To really celebrate the United States, give solemn tribute to the thousands of tribes of Native peoples that lived on these lands. Built more than 800 years ago, the Cliff Palace was constructed by native Puebloans beginning in the late 12th century. It is the largest cliff dwelling in America. The Cliff Palace is a feat of architecture – a structure made up of 250 rooms, used primarily for ceremonies and gatherings.
Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston, South Carolina
This historic sea fort off the coast of Charleston is the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Today the island is a short ferry ride from Charleston. You’ll be treated to patriotic and solemn exhibits fit for any history buff.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
This iconic California attraction and symbol of American ingenuity has been overlooking the San Francisco Bay since 1937. It’s regarded as one of the most beautiful bridges on Earth, and was the world’s tallest and longest suspension bridge when built.
Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor
Probably the most iconic of all our monuments is the massive, Statue of Liberty. She was designed as a gift from France to commemorate the 1876 centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The 111 foot copper statue was publicly dedicated in 1886 and has been a symbol of freedom and democracy ever since.
Attu Battlefield, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Some Americans have a unique fascination with battlefields, and many travelers visit battlefields each year. Attu battlefield is little known and quite remote, so we think it’s a perfect bucket list item. The only land battle to take place on U.S. soil during World War II happened off the far western coast of Alaska in the Aleutian islands. The Japanese army invaded in 1943, and nearly 2,900 Japanese soldiers died during the 19-day battle.
National Mall, District of Columbia
The National Mall includes arguably the nation’s most patriotic sites. Visit the White House, U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. The grounds also contain a large number of museums and war memorials.
Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida
When you learn the story of the space race, you immediately feel a flush of pride. Kennedy Space Center serves as America’s main launching pad for human spaceflight since NASA’s Apollo program in the 1960s. Learn about America’s fascinating history exploring the universe at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts
It may not be much to look at, but few can deny the historical significance of Plymouth Rock. Today, the inscription on the nation’s rock reads “1620” to signify the date the Mayflower landed.