The Coolest Places to Visit from Colonial America

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It may only be about two and a half centuries old, but the United States of America has a lot of history. Wars, innovations, and civil revolutions are indelible parts of American culture, from before it was even a country. Before the Declaration of Independence, America was merely 13 colonies trying to survive under British rule. There were many times, places, and people that led to a break from Britain, and, luckily, much of that history has been preserved. Revolutionary War landmarks are all of the place, and they're part of our heritage.

But which ones do you absolutely need to check out while sightseeing? If you have an interest in American history but aren't quite sure where to go, scope the list; it's got all the essential early American sites for you, the ultimate primer for everything from the pilgrims to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 
Collection Photo:  Pam Roth
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    A settlement erected in 1607 by the English. Jamestown, VA is the place where John Smith and Pocahontas met and had their historic romance. It's also the origin of slavery in the colonies, and the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. So, lots of misery and death. But it's really old!
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    Boston Freedom Trail

    A two-and-a-half-mile route through downtown Boston that covers 16 sites important to the history of the United States. Points of interest include the Massachusetts State House, the site of the Boston Massacre, and Paul Revere's House. You also get to visit the ground where the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought. And it's Boston, so everyone's probably drunk.
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    A living history museum in a district of Williamsburg, VA. The area features an interpretation of the original colonial city with centuries-old buildings. It has actors in authentic costumes and many exhibits, to give tourists an idea what life was like in the colonies. Just go to Virginia, already. 
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    Plymouth Rock 
	is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Coolest Places to Visit from Colonial America
    Photo: rachemicah/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    The reported site where the Mayflower pilgrims made landfall in America. A ten ton rock on the shores of Plymouth, Massachusetts, of which only four tons are above ground. It may not be quite as epic as a battlefield, but it's an iconic American symbol nonetheless, and is visited by more than a million people every year. 
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    Fort Ticonderoga 
	is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Coolest Places to Visit from Colonial America
    Photo: Alex Flint/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    The site of a major early victory in the Revolutionary War, which gave the Continental Army an important supply of artillery. Perched on a hilltop in upstate New York, the fort offers gorgeous views of Lake Champlain and Vermont.

    In 1781, it was abandoned by the military and fell into disrepair. It has since been restored and acts as a tourist attraction, and hosts an annual haunted Halloween, featuring massive bonfires and creepy things moving in the depths of the ancient building. 
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    The New Amsterdam Trail

    The New Amsterdam Trail 
	is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Coolest Places to Visit from Colonial America
    Photo: OptimumPx/Public Domain
    If you're curious what New York City was like before it became a modern metropolis, there's a tour that takes you through parts of the original city, when it was a Dutch settlement called New Amsterdam. Starting at Castle Clinton and ending with Federal Hall, the trail gives you a complete excursion around the original settlement. You can take the tour with a ranger, or download it as an audio file and take it by yourself.
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    Roanoke, VA, is the site of a very early attempt (1590s) by the English to establish a settlement in the New World. However, during the Anglo-Spanish War the colonists disappeared, which gave the town the name "The Lost Colony." It has since become a thriving American town.  
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    Fort Necessity National Battlefield

    The site of an early battle in the French and Indian War, in Farmington, PA. Starting in 1754, this conflict was the breaking point of tensions between the British, French, and Native Americans. The battle ended with a British force led by George Washington surrendering to the French army. The fort was burned by the French, but has been reconstructed to honor the National Battlefield Site
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