You may not think the Unites States is a great country for history, since it’s only been a country since the end of the 18th century. However short, though, the United States is full of fascinating places to visit for history buffs. A few top cities should be on your list of historic places to visit, including Boston and Philadelphia, each which has its own storied past to learn from.

Whether your interest is battlefields from the Civil War, or the forming of the Constitution, you’ll find it plus more in these two historic cities. So which one is best for history buffs? Read on to discover the top reasons to visit each – then you can decide which is the one for you.

Historic Boston

USS Constitution in Boston Harbor

Boston plays a major role in America’s history, from its very beginnings as an early settlement. It was also where the American Revolution was started by the puritans who felt repressed by the British. Some of the major events of early American history took place in Boston. Although Boston is a very modern city, it does a fantastic job of preserving the history that makes it unique, from the architecture to the main sights of historic significance. Every good city offers a way to combine history with the food that defines it, and Boston is no exceptions to that rule. There are many tours that include discovering the food alongside the historical sights.

Boston's historical statues

The Freedom Trail

One of the top things to do for visitors to Boston is walking the Freedom Trail. The 2.5 mile walk is easy to do and is full of historical information along the way. The tour starts at Boston Common,  the oldest public park in the United States. The park was where British troops camped in preparation for the Revolutionary War. It also has a history for public hangings, and is the sight of the oldest community burial grounds in the city.

Along the Freedom Trail, you’ll also pass by the Paul Revere House, the statue of Benjamin Franklin, the site of the Boston Massacre, and the Bunker Hill Monument.

Boston Harbor

The Boston Harbor area is another ideal area for history buffs who are staying in the city for a longer time. You can explore the islands on your own or as a guided tour and you’ll see some Civil War sights, as well as the sight of the Boston Tea Party.

Plymouth, Massachutsetts

Just about an hour outside of Boston is another epicenter of American history, Plymouth, where the earliest settlers of America landed and began building a new life for themselves. The city is a living history to a time long ago and brings to life what it might have been like for early settlers to the area.


Historic Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has always been one of my favorite cities because of its role in United States history. The city was founded by William Penn in the late 1600s and has played a pivotal role in the shaping of America. There are many historical attractions in Philadelphia, making it one of the best places for family vacation. While Philadelphia has rapidly become a very modern and vibrant city, especially for foodies, the historical center of the city maintains its appeal for history buffs.

Not only can you visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in the historic center, you can spend a fantastic day wandering around the many iconic attractions and monuments, discovering a part of America’s past that helped shape into what it is today. The best area to stay in Philadelphia while visiting is the Center City, because of its proximity to the sights.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia's historic Center City

Liberty Bell & Independence Hall

While the Liberty Bell hasn’t been in operation for a very long time, it still remains a celebrated part of history, and it’s fascinating to learn its story and then see it up close. Just across the lawn is Independence Hall, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It should be a stop on everyone’s visit to Philadelphia. The visit includes a walk through the rooms where both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were written and signed.

Betsy Ross House

Ever wondered about the history of the U.S. flag? You can learn how it was made at the Betsy Ross House. Betsy Ross was an upholstery maker in the city, who was approached by George Washington and asked to make the first ever United States flag that would be a symbol of American freedom. The exhibit features a tour through the house as well as an actress dressed as Betsy Ross who will share with you all the knowledge she has of the event and her involvement in the making of the flag.

Museum of the American Revolution

In early 2017, the Museum of the American Revolution was opened. The main centerpiece of the museum is the tent used by George Washington during the war, but there are hundreds of other artifacts and information about the war that brought America’s independence at the museum.


Whether Boston or Philadelphia is the best city to visit for history buffs, both offer a unique and special learning experience for history lovers. You just have to visit both and decide which one is your favorite.

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