Knowing the history of one’s nation is important for the everyday citizen, and the United States has many places to offer outside of its capital to explore.
These cities are filled with the stories of how the United States came to be and how it got where it is today, as well as beautiful sites and many offerings outside that of the historical ilk to partake in.
Perhaps the most obvious, Washington DC is a top spot to explore, a city of monuments and museums paying homage to the people and events that founded the nation, as well as places that speak to where the country is at today.
The National Mall is a center point for many things: the US Capitol and White House; the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial; and the Jefferson Memorial, to name a few.
The Smithsonian Institution includes museums, research, and educational centers that include the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, American Art Museum, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and Asian Pacific American Center.
You can check out the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights at the National Archives, as well as a copy of the Magna Carta.
Given the enormity of things to do, there are a variety of walking tours available, many of which are free.
Just across the Potomac River from D.C. sits Arlington, a charming and walkable city filled with history. History buffs looking to live among the formative stories of the country will love checking out the Arlington real estate market for a place to make a home.
Arlington National Cemetery is 639-acres of land that serves as the final resting place of thousands of United States soldiers from as early as the Civil War. Be sure to catch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which happens every hour on the hour.
Like D.C., Arlington has many memorials to visit: U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, U.S. Air Force Memorial, and Military Women’s Memorial.
The Drug Enforcement Administration museum is a great place to go to learn about the role of drug law enforcement and the history of drug use in the country.
A unique thing to see is the Netherlands Carillon, a 127-foot-tall, 53-bell carillon given to the U.S. from the Netherlands in the 1950s as a way to say thank you for the country’s contribution to liberating the Netherlands from Nazi Germany.
The City of Brotherly Love has a rich historic district and is well-known as being the location of the Liberty Bell.
It is also the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can tour Independence Hall and Congress Hall, visiting the Assembly Room, which is arranged just as it was during the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
Betsy Ross is often credited with making the first American flag. You can visit and explore her iconic home.
There are many cobblestone streets in this part of the city, but none as renowned as Elfreth’s Alley, America’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street.