The Most Historic Landmark in Every State
Calling all history buffs! Step back in time at one of these significant sites in each state, from Revolutionary War battlefields to famous presidential homes.
Alabama: Ivy Green
At Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s birthplace in the town of Tuscumbia, you can wander the rooms where “America’s First Lady of Courage” grew up. If you visit during the week-long Helen Keller Festival in June, watch a live production of the award-winning play Miracle Worker, which was based on her life. Don’t miss the most charming small town in every state.
Alaska: Baranof Castle
On Alaska Day, trek to the top of Baranof Castle, more commonly known as Castle Hill, to experience a reenactment of the day that Russia handed the territory over to the United States on October 18, 1867. You’ll be standing in the exact spot where the transaction took place, and where the first 49-star U.S. flag was raised. Find out the best train rides to take across America.
Arizona: Lowell Observatory
For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Lowell Observatory, the spot where Pluto was first discovered in 1930. Now one of “The World’s 100 Most Important Places,” according to Time Magazine, it’s open for tours and nightly stargazing. When it’s your turn at the telescope, here are iconic constellations to look for in the sky. Trust us, you’ll be seeing stars.
Arkansas: Central High School
Maybe you haven’t heard of Little Rock Central High School, but you’ve likely heard of Brown v. Board of Education, the famous Supreme Court case that changed race relations in the United States by overturning the principle of “separate but equal.” And it all started with the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students who defied segregation and entered the halls of, yep, this Arkansas high school, which is now part of the National Park Service.
California: Alcatraz Island
What did Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Alvin Karpis (aka “Public Enemy No. 1”) all have in common? They were prisoners at Alcatraz, a former federal penitentiary that’s now a popular tourist attraction. Take a ferry across the San Francisco Bay to “the Rock” to spend a day exploring the abandoned cells which were full of famous criminals in the 1930s. You can even go on a chilling after-dark tour… no “get out of jail free” card required. Don’t miss the most historic hotel in every state.
Colorado: Mesa Verde National Park
While Mesa Verde National Park is full of striking sandstone structures and breathtaking views, the real highlight is the over 600 cliff dwellings nestled in the canyon walls. Known as Cliff Palace, you can take a guided tour of 150 of the rooms, which were built over 700 years ago by the Puebloans. And speaking of ruins, these are 13 of the weirdest discoveries archaeologists have ever made.
Connecticut: The Charles W. Morgan
All aboard! This wooden whaling boat, anchored in Mystic Seaport, is America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat. It may not be heading out to the high seas anytime soon, but the Charles W. Morgan, which set sail on its maiden voyage all the way back in 1841, is still open for touring. Walk through the port’s museum afterward to learn more about maritime history.
Delaware: Old Swedes Church
Built in the 1600s by the first European settlers, Old Swedes Church is now the longest continuously running place of worship in the United States. Tour the burial grounds where some of the original Swedish settlers are still buried, admire the 400-year old colonial architecture, or head to the chapel to ring the old church bell. Find out the oldest cemetery in every state.
Florida: Venetian Pool
The next time you find yourself in Coral Gables, take a dip in the country’s oldest and largest freshwater pool. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it started as a coral rock quarry in the 1920s and was later filled with 820,000 gallons of spring water and opened as a public pool. There are even waterfalls and hidden grottos to explore. Here are all of the best natural swimming pools in the country.
Georgia: Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
We have a dream…of visiting the spot where one of the country’s biggest dreams began. The historic district, located in Atlanta, includes the home where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived for the first 12 years of his life and Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he gave many a speech and sermon. Before you leave, stroll down the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.