As the days pass and spring approaches, many people are already thinking about the warm weather that’s just around the corner. But if you’re looking for a way to pass the time between now and spring, why not start planning a trip with your friends?
Instead of going on your typical American vacation, why not make it somewhat educational and fulfilling? While the U.S. lacks much of the centuries-old history that European countries have, there’s still much to be seen in these five historic cities.
1. Charleston, South Carolina
If you’ve never been to Charleston, South Carolina, you’re missing out on a big piece of American history. You’ll find yourself immersed in a city that, at times, can feel like it’s straight out of the 18th century. Named after King Charles II of England (originally Charles Town), the city is frequently noted as one of the most friendly in the United States.
Historical Fact: “Charleston is frequently referred to as the ‘Holy City’ for a couple of reasons,” Strawberry Tours explains. “Firstly, because churches and cathedrals are so prominent in what is a fairly low rise city. Secondly because it was one of the few original colonies to accept all Christian denominations.”
2. St. Augustine, Florida
Much like Charleston, St. Augustine will transport you back in time. There are entire streets lined with beautiful 17th and 18th century architecture, large Spanish forts, and beautiful coastlines just waiting to be enjoyed. There’s also incredible food from restaurants that have sourced their recipes from the city’s rich history.
Historical Fact: Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine stakes claim to the title of oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city in the United States.
3. Boston, Massachusetts
If you want to be in a place of firsts, travel up the east coast to Boston. This proud city has so much character and tradition, you’ll feel guilty leaving it behind when your trip is over. Home to the country’s first public library, first public school, first public park, and first public subway system, history oozes from Boston’s core.
Historical Fact: After owner Harry Frazee traded Babe Ruth to New York in 1920, the Boston Red Sox failed to win a World Series championship for 86 years (breaking the streak in 2004). Bostonians called it “the Curse of the Bambino.”
4. Williamsburg, Virginia
Founded in 1699, Williamsburg is recognized as the first colonial capital of Virginia. The settlement actually arose after Jamestown’s poor location along swampy land forced settlers to move seven miles inland. Today, you can visit Colonial Williamsburg, which spans 301 acres and still features 80 of the original structures that were preserved from the development of the colony.
Historical Fact: Originally called Middle Plantation, Williamsburg was strategically chosen for it’s geographical placement between two rivers. This provided better access to water and more protection from Indian attacks.
5. New Orleans, Louisiana
While much of America’s history is rooted in English history, the city of New Orleans breaks away in a major way. Founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company and sold to Spain in 1763, New Orleans is heavily influenced by both French and Spanish architecture, food, and culture.
Historical Fact: Canal Street, which was once the widest in the world, was actually named for a canal that city planners were supposed to build on the street’s dividing median. It was never built, but the name stuck.
Hit the Road, Jack
Looking to head somewhere new this year but remain in the country? Plan on visiting a couple of these historic cities together with your family and friends. You can even go solo! You’ll have a blast – and might even learn a thing or two in the process.
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com