America might not seem like the best place to explore historic sites. After all, modern day America was only really established in 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed there and declared it for Britain.
As a European citizen, surrounded by buildings and cultural sites at almost every turn that we can date back thousands of years, it might be easy to initially turn our noses up at the idea that America has anything of historical interest for us. We’re spoilt for history, so what’s the point?
But that would be overlooking some of the most important historical sites in the world, giving us insights into everything from music to social movements. There’s so much to see in the US that we can barely scratch the surface, but here are our top three cities for a magical history tour:
Washington DC is the first and most obvious place to stop on an historical tour of the US. The seat of political power, it’s the beating heart of the American constitution. A visit to Washington DC can include a visit to gaze at the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Natural History Museum.
New York has a reputation as a very fast-paced, constantly changing city and a business capital, and that’s all very true, but it also has many historical sites sat alongside the trappings of modern life. Visit landmarks like Louis Armstrong House in Queens, the African Burial Ground in Corona, or Carnegie Hall in Manhattan for your share of social and cultural history.
A cultural Mecca for music-lovers, New Orleans is also steeped in important history. Visit the Cotton Exchange, and the United States Court of Appeals, which played a huge part in the civil rights movement. The St Charles Streetcar Line is the oldest continually running streetcar in the world, so ride a bit of history while you’re here, and head over to the French Quarter for some beautiful architecture.
Wherever you go in the US, make sure you get your ESTA application done in plenty of time, because you’ll need it to get into the country and see all these wonderful things. If you leave it too late, or you forget to fill out the application, your holiday plans could be history before they’ve even begun.