5 East Coast Destinations for American History Buffs

Experience history hands-on at these famous locations.

From the American Revolution to the Civil War, there is a lot of American history to learn about and plenty of historic sites to visit.

Here are a few destinations on the east coast to add to your next history tour.

1. Washington, D.C.

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The most obvious destination is the nation's capital. It's not quite as old as the other places on this list, but it is still a must for history lovers. The city's streets are many decades old and offers hundreds of monuments to various figures and events. The National Mall holds the oldest monuments, but plenty more are scattered throughout the city. There are also dozens of Smithsonian museums to visit — most of which don't charge admission. You can also take a tour of the Supreme Court, the Capital Building and even the White House (if you're lucky).

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Independence Hall is this city's most popular tourist destination. This is the very same building in which the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and later where the U.S. Constitution was crafted and signed. You can also take a look at the crack in the famous Liberty Bell. Visit the Franklin Institute, which is one of the oldest science museums in the country. Walk on the cobblestone streets and visit the National Constitution Center for more history on law and the U.S. Constitution.

3. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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Gettysburg is famous for a three-day civil war battle, which was followed by a succinct speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln. During your visit, you can participate in a battlefield tour and orientation. For more about this time period, you can also tour the National Civil War Museum. Many of the town's historic homes and inns have been featured on paranormal TV shows. You can visit them all with guided tours and detailed histories about the people who lived and worked there.

4. Williamsburg, Virginia

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The biggest attraction in the city is Colonial Williamsburg. This isn't just a museum. It's a performance. Explore recreated 18th century streets and interact with people dressed in fashion from the time period. You can also explore historic Jamestowne, which was the first permanent English settlement in America. If that's not enough, you can visit the Yorktown battlefield — the very same place the Revolutionary War was won.

5. Savannah, Georgia

Ron Cogswell/Flickr

Savannah is home to its historic district. The area is only 1 square mile, but is filled with history. Explore history through the architecture and preservation of decades-old buildings. Spend a day exploring the district and cap it off with dinner at the Olde Pink House. The restaurant is hosted inside a historically preserved house. While waiting to be seated, you can even participate in a tour of the mansion's history.


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