The Best Historic Towns in all 50 States

by Megan DuBois

The Best Historic Towns in all 50 States

by Megan DuBois

From a dreamy Bavarian village in Washington to a seaside retreat in New Jersey, we've rounded up the best historic towns in all 50 states. Did yours make the list?

From a dreamy Bavarian village in Washington a seaside retreat in New Jersey, we've rounded up the best historic towns in all 50 states. Did yours make the list?

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Leavenworth, WA / Mark Lee/iStock
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Alabama: Mobile

Mobile was founded in 1702, 117 years before Alabama was recognized as a state. Take a self-guided tour through the Dora Franklin Finley African American Heritage Trail to learn more about the city's rich African American heritage. And, for a real party, plan your trip around Mardi Gras, which first started in Mobile back in 1703.

Mobile was founded in 1702, 117 years before Alabama was recognized as a state. Take a self-guided tour through the Dora Franklin Finley African American Heritage Trail to learn more about the city's rich African American heritage. And, for a real party, plan your trip around Mardi Gras, which first started in Mobile back in 1703.

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Alaska: Talkeetna

The town of Talkeetna has been a popular stop on the Alaska Railroad since its 1916 establishment. Today, it boasts a vibrant Main Street that's dotted with shops and restaurants. Mountain climbers and adventure seekers often come here to explore and unwind before continuing on to Denali Base Camp.

The town of Talkeetna has been a popular stop on the Alaska Railroad since its 1916 establishment. Today, it boasts a vibrant Main Street that's dotted with shops and restaurants. Mountain climbers and adventure seekers often come here to explore and unwind before continuing on to Denali Base Camp.

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Arizona: Douglas

Douglas is known for its rich history as a mining and ranching town. The small city is located right along the Mexico border, which makes it easy for travelers to savor authentic Mexican cuisine in the sister city of Agua Prieta. At the nearby San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, travels can spot animals like jaguars, bats, and hummingbirds.

Douglas is known for its rich history as a mining and ranching town. The small city is located right along the Mexico border, which makes it easy for travelers to savor authentic Mexican cuisine in the sister city of Agua Prieta. At the nearby San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, travels can spot animals like jaguars, bats, and hummingbirds.

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Arkansas: Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is best known for its abundance of natural springs. Now, visitors are drawn to the town's unique boutiques, museums, restaurants, and spas. The Eureka Springs Historic District – where travelers can marvel at the Victorian architecture and hop aboard a tram tour – is listed under the National Register of Historic Places. Before you leave, be sure to visit the Blue Spring Heritage Center to learn more about the area's Native American history. 

Eureka Springs is best known for its abundance of natural springs. Now, visitors are drawn to the town's unique boutiques, museums, restaurants, and spas. The Eureka Springs Historic District – where travelers can marvel at the Victorian architecture and hop aboard a tram tour – is listed under the National Register of Historic Places. Before you leave, be sure to visit the Blue Spring Heritage Center to learn more about the area's Native American history. 

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California: Buellton

As you cruise through Wine Country, you’ll likely come along the town of Buellton. Here, you’ll find the Mendenhall Museum, which features an impressive collection of vintage license plates, road signs, race cars, gasoline pumps, and globes. Visitors can admire the retro artifacts on a private tour of the museum. 

As you cruise through Wine Country, you’ll likely come along the town of Buellton. Here, you’ll find the Mendenhall Museum, which features an impressive collection of vintage license plates, road signs, race cars, gasoline pumps, and globes. Visitors can admire the retro artifacts on a private tour of the museum. 

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Colorado: Mancos

Mancos was founded in 1894 and is still thriving today. Don't miss the 1910-era Mancos Opera House (which has been restored to its former glory) and the Mancos Time Tribune building (which now serves as a community art center). When hunger strikes, head to the downtown business district, where you can eat and drink your way through town. The Columbine Bar & Grill – which is one of the oldest continually operating bars in the state – is a must.  

Mancos was founded in 1894 and is still thriving today. Don't miss the 1910-era Mancos Opera House (which has been restored to its former glory) and the Mancos Time Tribune building (which now serves as a community art center). When hunger strikes, head to the downtown business district, where you can eat and drink your way through town. The Columbine Bar & Grill – which is one of the oldest continually operating bars in the state – is a must.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Connecticut: Wethersfield 

The town of Wethersfield dates back to the 1600s. Embark on a walking tour with the Wethersfield Historical Society to learn about some of the town's charming buildings and centuries-old churches, as well as the witch trials that took place here. Wethersfield is also home to a handful of historic homes-turned-bed-and-breakfasts, including the gorgeous Silas W. Robbins House.

The town of Wethersfield dates back to the 1600s. Embark on a walking tour with the Wethersfield Historical Society to learn about some of the town's charming buildings and centuries-old churches, as well as the witch trials that took place here.  Wethersfield is also home to a handful of historic homes-turned-bed-and-breakfasts, including the gorgeous Silas W. Robbins House.

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Delaware: New Castle

New Castle is where William Penn first stepped foot into the New World from England. Red-brick row houses line the streets, and today, some of them are said to be haunted by former residents. For a real sense of how the town used to operate, visit the New Castle Court House Museum, the Dutch House Museum, and the Amstel House Museum
 

New Castle is where William Penn first stepped foot into the New World from England. Red-brick row houses line the streets, and today, some of them are said to be haunted by former residents. For a real sense of how the town used to operate, visit the New Castle Court House Museum, the Dutch House Museum, and the Amstel House Museum. 

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Florida: St. Augustine

St. Augustine was founded in 1565, making it America's longest continually inhabited, European-founded city. To learn more about the city's stunning Spanish colonial architecture, consider embarking on a guided tour. St. Augustine is also home to Castillo de San Marcos (the oldest fort in the continental US), the Colonial Quarter (a living history museum), and the Oldest Store Museum Experience (a recreation of an early 20th century-era general store). 

St. Augustine was founded in 1565, making it America's longest continually inhabited, European-founded city. To learn more about the city's stunning Spanish colonial architecture, consider embarking on a guided tour. St. Augustine is also home to Castillo de San Marcos (the oldest fort in the continental US), the Colonial Quarter (a living history museum), and The Oldest Store Museum Experience (a recreation of an early 20th century-era general store). 

 

 

 

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Georgia: Dahlonega 

Dahlonega is a former gold mining town, and travelers can learn more about its past by visiting the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site and the Crisson Gold Mine. After, grab a bite at Capers on the Square or 19° North Seafood & Grill. Oenophiles will want to check out The Dahlonega Wine Trail, as well.

Dahlonega is a former gold mining town, and travelers can learn more about its past by visiting the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site and the Crisson Gold Mine. After, grab a bite at Capers on the Square or 19° North Seafood & Grill. Oenophiles will want to check out The Dahlonega Wine Trail, as well. 

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Hawaii: Kailua Village

Kailua Village was once a quiet fishing village and retreat for island royalty. Today, visitors can check out the Ahu'ena Heiau temple (which was built by King Kamehameha in the early 1800s; he also died here) before heading to one of the many nearby restaurants for great food and live music.  

Kailua Village was once a quiet fishing village and retreat for island royalty. Today, visitors can check out the Ahu'ena Heiau temple (which was built by King Kamehameha in the early 1800s; he also died here) before heading to one of the many nearby restaurants for great food and live music.  

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Idaho: Wallace

Wallace is the world’s largest silver producer, and working mines can still be found across the town, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, you can tour the underground mines and visit the Wallace District Mining Museum. Following the museum, head to Downtown Wallace for its selection of eclectic eats, shops, and museums.

Wallace is the world’s largest silver producer, and working mines can still be found across the town, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, you can tour the underground mines and visit the Wallace District Mining Museum. Following the museum, head to Downtown Wallace for its selection of eclectic eats, shops, and museums.

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Illinois: Antioch

Antioch was first settled in the 1830s, and many early 20th century buildings still stand. The Historic Downtown District has more than 100 restaurants, antique shops, and boutiques to choose from. Finally, if you're fascinated by the history of Chicago gangsters, you'll love the fact that Al Capone and Bugs Moran both had summer homes in the area. 

Antioch was first settled in the 1830s, and many early 20th century buildings still stand. The Historic Downtown District has more than 100 restaurants, antique shops, and boutiques to choose from. Finally, if you're fascinated by the history of Chicago gangsters, you'll love the fact that Al Capone and Bugs Moran both had summer homes in the area. 

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Indiana: New Harmony

New Harmony is best known for its walkable labyrinths and the stunning Roofless Church (an open-air cathedral and public space). Its main strip is dotted with shops and restaurants, including MaryScott's Kitchen and Clementine's Eclectic Gallery. The town also hosts a slew of festivals and events, including the aptly named New Harmony Antique Show, which takes place each summer.

New Harmony is best known for its walkable labyrinths and the stunning Roofless Church (an open-air cathedral and public space). Its main strip is dotted with shops and restaurants, including MaryScott's Kitchen and Clementine's Eclectic Gallery. The town also hosts a slew of festivals and events, including the aptly named New Harmony Antique Show, which takes place each summer.

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Iowa: Dubuque

Iowa's oldest city is chock-full of activities. To start, ride the Fenelon Place Elevator — the world's shortest and steepest scenic railway — and gaze over the tops of buildings into three different states. The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, and The Mississippi Riverwalk are also worth mentioning. In terms of accommodations, opt for a hotel in the Old Main DistrictHotel Julien, which first opened its doors in 1837, makes a great home base for exploring.

Iowa's oldest city is chock-full of activities. To start, ride the Fenelon Place Elevator — the world's shortest and steepest scenic railway — and gaze over the tops of buildings into three different states. The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, and The Mississippi Riverwalk are also worth mentioning. In terms of accommodations, opt for a hotel in the Old Main District: Hotel Julien, which first opened its doors in 1837, makes a great home base for exploring.

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Kansas: Abilene

Abilene is home to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, which includes the former president's Boyhood Home and Place of Meditation. Additionally, Old Abilene Town offers live historical reenactments, while the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in nearby Leavenworth boasts the oldest operating Parker Carousel in existence. Thespians can buy tickets to a show at the Great Plains Theatre, the only live professional theatre between Denver and Kansas City on I-70. 
 

Abilene is home to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, which includes the former president's Boyhood Home and Place of Meditation. Additionally, Old Abilene Town offers live historical reenactments, while the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in nearby Leavenworth boasts the oldest operating Parker Carousel in existence. Thespians can buy tickets to a show at the Great Plains Theatre, the only live professional theatre between Denver and Kansas City on I-70. 

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Kentucky: Shelbyville

Kentucky is famous for its bourbon and horse racing, and Shelbyville — which is known as the American Saddlebred Capital of the World — does the latter exceptionally well. The Shelbyville History Museum, which is housed in an 1873-era building, is packed with historical artifacts. Meanwhile, adventure enthusiasts can check out the Hidden River Cave, where you'll find the world's longest underground swinging bridge. 

Kentucky is famous for its bourbon and horse racing, and Shelbyville — which is known as the American Saddlebred Capital of the World — does the latter exceptionally well. The Shelbyville History Museum, which is housed in an 1873-era building, is packed with historical artifacts. Meanwhile, adventure enthusiasts can check out the Hidden River Cave, where you'll find the world's longest underground swinging bridge. 

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Louisiana: Natchitoches

Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory. Here, you can visit the state's oldest general store, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile. Meanwhile, movie buffs will want to visit the Natchitoches Film Trail, which includes landmark filming sites from iconic flicks like Steel Magnolias and Man in the Moon.

Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory. Here, you can visit the state's oldest general store, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile. Meanwhile, movie buffs will want to visit the Natchitoches Film Trail, which includes landmark filming sites from iconic flicks like Steel Magnolias and Man in the Moon.

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Maine: York

York is one of the nation's earliest English settlements. It's also home to the iconic 19th century-era Cape Neddick Light (AKA Nubble Lighthouse) — as well as several colonial-era schoolhouses, prisons, and homes. Once you work up an appetite, grab a table at The Goldenrod, a charming candy store and cafe that dates back to 1896. 

York is one of the nation's earliest English settlements. It's also home to the iconic 19th century-era Cape Neddick Light (AKA Nubble Lighthouse) — as well as several colonial-era schoolhouses, prisons, and homes. Once you work up an appetite, grab a table at The Goldenrod, a charming candy store and cafe that dates back to 1896. 

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Maryland: Ellicott City

Ellicott City is home to the US' oldest surviving railroad depot, which is now known as the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum. (Fun fact: During the Civil War, troops were stationed there to help protect the railroad.) Old Ellicott City, a historic neighborhood teeming with shopping and dining options, is another must-visit. 
 

Ellicott City is home to the US' oldest surviving railroad depot, which is now known as the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum. (Fun fact: During the Civil War, troops were stationed there to help protect the railroad.) Old Ellicott City, a historic neighborhood teeming with shopping and dining options, is another must-visit. 

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Massachusetts: Stockbridge

Stockbridge has been welcoming travelers since 1739. Acclaimed American artist Norman Rockwell once resided here, and visitors can learn more about his work at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Alternatively, tour some of the town's stately, centuries-old homes (including Chesterwood and Naumkeag) before strolling down Main Street to shop, drink, and dine. When it comes time to unwind, head to your room at the Red Lion Inn, which dates back to 1774. 

Stockbridge has been welcoming travelers since 1739. Acclaimed American artist Norman Rockwell once resided here, and visitors can learn more about his work at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Alternatively, tour some of the town's stately, centuries-old homes (including Chesterwood and Naumkeag) before strolling down Main Street to shop, drink, and dine. When it comes time to unwind, head to your room at the Red Lion Inn, which dates back to 1774. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michigan: Coldwater

Theater fans will want to make their way to Coldwater to catch a live performance at the 1882-era Tibbits Opera House, while history buffs can hop aboard an authentic theme locomotive at The Little River Railroad. The Wing House Museum, an extravagant 19th-century mansion that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is also worth checking out.

Theater fans will want to make their way to Coldwater to catch a live performance at the 1882-era Tibbits Opera House, while history buffs can hop aboard an authentic theme locomotive at The Little River Railroad. The Wing House Museum, an extravagant 19th-century mansion that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is also worth checking out.

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Minnesota: Henderson

Henderson was founded back in 1852, and its historic charm remains intact. Along Main Street, you'll find Toody's Sweet Treats, which serves up old-school indulgences like malts, shakes, and floats. Henderson Antiques and Uniques is another highlight, especially if you love to go antiquing. Visit in the summertime to check out the Classic Car Roll-In.

Henderson was founded back in 1852, and its historic charm remains intact. Along Main Street, you'll find Toody's Sweet Treats, which serves up old-school indulgences like malts, shakes, and floats. Henderson Antiques and Uniques is another highlight, especially if you love to go antiquing. Visit in the summertime to check out the Classic Car Roll-In.

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Mississippi: Vicksburg 

This charming southern town is responsible for single-handedly changing how people drink Coca-Cola. In 1894, a local confectioner named Joseph Augustus Biedenharn decided to bottle the popular drink instead of just selling the syrup. Today, the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum aims to educate visitors on the drink's fascinating history. Alternatively, if you prefer something spookier, sign up for a ghost tour.

This charming southern town is responsible for single-handedly changing how people drink Coca-Cola. In 1894, a local confectioner named Joseph Augustus Biedenharn decided to bottle the popular drink instead of just selling the syrup. Today, the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum aims to educate visitors on the drink's fascinating history. Alternatively, if you prefer something spookier, sign up for a ghost tour.

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Missouri: Joplin

Joplin is a popular pit stop for those cruising down Route 66. While in town, be sure to visit the former apartment of notorious robbers Bonnie and Clyde. Grand Falls, Missouri's largest continuously flowing natural waterfall, is another popular draw. In the evening, make your way to 66 Drive-In for a movie under the stars (open seasonally). 

Joplin is a popular pit stop for those cruising down Route 66. While in town, be sure to visit the former apartment of notorious robbers Bonnie and Clyde. Grand Falls, Missouri's largest continuously flowing natural waterfall, is another popular draw. In the evening, make your way to 66 Drive-In for a movie under the stars (open seasonally). 

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Montana: Butte

Butte was a silver and gold mining camp back in the 19th century. Visitors can learn more about the town's past at the World Museum of Mining, the Mineral Museum, and the Historic Clark Chateau Museum & Gallery. Additionally, Butte was infamous for its small red-light district, Venus Alley, which was one of the last in the West. 

Butte was a silver and gold mining camp back in the 19th century. Visitors can learn more about the town's past at the World Museum of Mining, the Mineral Museum, and the Historic Clark Chateau Museum & Gallery. Additionally, Butte was infamous for its small red-light district, Venus Alley, which was one of the last in the West. 

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Nebraska: Aurora

Aurora dates back to 1887, and you can learn more about the region's early history and culture by visiting the Plainsman Museum. The lively Central Park Square is home to the historic 1895-era Hamilton Country Courthouse — along with several shopping and dining options like Susan's Books & GiftsRath's Cafe, and Lilie Jack Boutique

Aurora dates back to 1887, and you can learn more about the region's early history and culture by visiting the Plainsman Museum. The lively Central Park Square is home to the historic 1895-era Hamilton Country Courthouse — along with several shopping and dining options like Susan's Books & Gifts, Rath's Cafe, and Lilie Jack Boutique. 

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Nevada: Virginia City

Virginia City was established in 1859 as a mining town. Today, you can embark on a guided tour of one of the old mines, step inside one of the town's 19th century-era saloons, or take a ride from Virginia City to Gold Hill on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.

Virginia City was established in 1859 as a mining town. Today, you can embark on a guided tour of one of the old mines, step inside one of the town's 19th century-era saloons, or take a ride from Virginia City to Gold Hill on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.

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New Hampshire: Concord

This former European settlement is now bursting with shops, museums, and restaurants. Many of the city's historic buildings have since been restored, and the entire Downtown Concord Historic District has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Outdoor and adventure enthusiasts should plan on visiting during winter for ample skiing and snowboarding opps.

This former European settlement is now bursting with shops, museums, and restaurants. Many of the city's historic buildings have since been restored, and the entire Downtown Concord Historic District has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Outdoor and adventure enthusiasts should plan on visiting during winter for ample skiing and snowboarding opps.

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New Jersey: Cape May

Cape May became a popular vacation destination in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the city — which many consider America's oldest seaside resort — boasts one of the country's highest concentrations of Victorian homes, including the famous Emlen Physick Estate. The eye-catching, yellow-hued Congress Hall, which was built in 1816, makes a great home base for your trip.

Cape May became a popular vacation destination in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the city — which many consider America's oldest seaside resort — boasts one of the country's highest concentrations of Victorian homes, including the famous Emlen Physick Estate. The eye-catching, yellow-hued Congress Hall, which was built in 1816, makes a great home base for your trip.

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New Mexico: Taos 

The Red Willow people have called the Taos Pueblo home for over 1,000 years. Travelers can learn more about the indigenous culture by taking a guided tour of the Pueblo, which is considered a National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. After exploring, pop into Chokola, an award-winning chocolate shop that's famous for its handcrafted, small-batch chocolate bars.

The Red Willow people have called the Taos Pueblo home for over 1,000 years. Travelers can learn more about the indigenous culture by taking a guided tour of the Pueblo, which is considered a National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. After exploring, pop into Chokola, an award-winning chocolate shop that's famous for its handcrafted, small-batch chocolate bars.

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New York: Lockport

Lockport is just 30 minutes away from the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls. The Erie Canal winds through town, and visitors can learn more about it by embarking on a walking tour and underground boat ride (more info here). Cap off your visit with an outing to Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream, a local favorite. 

Lockport is just 30 minutes away from the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls. The Erie Canal winds through town, and visitors can learn more about it by embarking on a walking tour and underground boat ride (more info here). Cap off your visit with an outing to Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream, a local favorite. 

 

 

 

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North Carolina: Beaufort

Beaufort, a once-prominent fishing and whaling community, is one of North Carolina's oldest towns. The destination quickly gained popularity amongst pirates like Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and Anne Bonny. Today, you can browse some of Blackbeard's possessions at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Those looking to dive deeper into Beaufort's history can take a walking tour through town. 

Beaufort, a once-prominent fishing and whaling community, is one of North Carolina's oldest towns. The destination quickly gained popularity amongst pirates like Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and Anne Bonny. Today, you can browse some of Blackbeard's possessions at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Those looking to dive deeper into Beaufort's history can take a walking tour through town. 

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North Dakota: West Fargo

West Fargo is home to Bonanzaville, a living history museum that depicts the lives of early settlers. Here, you'll find a town hall, a blacksmith shop, a saloon that doubled as a hotel, and a courthouse. Bonanzaville is currently open seasonally; however, the local museum is open year-round on weekends. Meanwhile, aviation fans will appreciate a visit to The Fargo Air Museum

West Fargo is home to Bonanzaville, a living history museum that depicts the lives of early settlers. Here, you'll find a town hall, a blacksmith shop, a saloon that doubled as a hotel, and a courthouse. Bonanzaville is currently open seasonally; however, the local museum is open year-round on weekends. Meanwhile, aviation fans will appreciate a visit to The Fargo Air Museum. 

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Ohio: Hamilton

The town of Hamilton is named after — you guessed it — Alexander Hamilton. History fanatics can check out an 1804-era log cabin and visit the Soldiers, Sailors, and Pioneers Monument. Hamilton is also known as The City of Sculpture for its collection of 40-plus public works, delighting art enthusiasts of all ages. 

The town of Hamilton is named after — you guessed it — Alexander Hamilton. History fanatics can check out an 1804-era log cabin and visit the Soldiers, Sailors, and Pioneers Monument. Hamilton is also known as The City of Sculpture for its collection of 40-plus public works around town, delighting art enthusiasts of all ages. 

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Oklahoma: Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson is the oldest town in Oklahoma, dating back to 1824. Step back in time with a trip to the Fort Gibson Historic Site, where you can wander through exhibits, visit an old hospital, and tour the Cherokee National Citizen's Cemetery.

Fort Gibson is the oldest town in Oklahoma, dating back to 1824. Step back in time with a trip to the Fort Gibson Historic Site, where you can wander through exhibits, visit an old hospital, and tour the Cherokee National Citizen's Cemetery.

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Oregon: Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove is known as the Covered Bridge Capital of the West with its six beautiful covered bridges that are easily explored by bike or on foot. Art lovers can admire the town's 21 murals via a self-guided walking tour, while outdoor enthusiasts can visit Dorena Lake for plenty of swimming, biking, and boating. The town's Main Street — which is lined with centuries-old buildings that reflect the destination's rich mining history — is also worth a stroll. 

Cottage Grove is known as the Covered Bridge Capital of the West with its six beautiful covered bridges that are easily explored by bike or on foot. Art lovers can admire the town's 21 murals via a self-guided walking tour, while outdoor enthusiasts can visit Dorena Lake for plenty of swimming, biking, and boating. The town's Main Street — which is lined with centuries-old buildings that reflect the destination's rich mining history — is also worth a stroll. 

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Pennsylvania: Milford

As the birthplace of the American conservation movement, Milford is home to several historical attractions, including Grey Towers National Historic Site (the former home of Gifford Pinchot, the founder of the USDA Forest Service) and The Pike County Historical Society Museum (which displays an American flag with President Abraham Lincoln's blood from the night he was assassinated). The Milford Historic District is known for its stunning architecture, with styles ranging from Greek Revival to Italianate and beyond. 

As the birthplace of the American conservation movement, Milford is home to several historical attractions, including Grey Towers National Historic Site (the former home of Gifford Pinchot, the founder of the USDA Forest Service) and The Pike County Historical Society Museum (which displays an American flag with President Abraham Lincoln's blood from the night he was assassinated). The Milford Historic District is known for its stunning architecture, with styles ranging from Greek Revival to Italianate and beyond. 

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Rhode Island: Newport

Newport was founded in 1639, and, at one point, it was among our country's busiest seaports. (And, to top it off, the coastal city has more colonial-era homes than any other place in the US.) Today, Newport — which is known as the Sailing Capital of the World — is best explored on the water; however, those who prefer to stay shoreside can tour the Gilded Age mansions on foot.

Newport was founded in 1639, and, at one point, it was among our country's busiest seaports. (And, to top it off, the coastal city has more colonial-era homes than any other place in the US.) Today, Newport — which is known as the Sailing Capital of the World — is best explored on the water; however, those who prefer to stay shoreside can tour the Gilded Age mansions on foot.

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South Carolina: Georgetown

Georgetown is the third-oldest city in South Carolina. The region was one of the largest rice producers during colonial times, and you can learn more about it by visiting the Rice Museum. The Bethel AME Church, which was established shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation as Georgetown's first separate black congregation, is another must-see, as is the Stewart Parker House, which is one of the city's oldest homes. (Plus, President George Washington is rumored to have stayed here in 1791.) Before you skip town, stop by Front Street for some retail therapy.

Georgetown is the third-oldest city in South Carolina. The region was one of the largest rice producers during colonial times, and you can learn more about it by visiting the Rice Museum. The Bethel AME Church, which was established shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation as Georgetown's first separate black congregation, is another must-see, as is the Stewart Parker House, which is one of the city's oldest homes. (Plus, President George Washington is rumored to have stayed here in 1791.) Before you skip town, stop by Front Street for some retail therapy.

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South Dakota: De Smet

Little House on the Prairie fans will want to add De Smet — where Laura Ingalls Wilder called home for about ten years — to their bucket lists. Travelers can tour the Ingalls family's original home and visit the Ingalls Homestead to learn more about life in De Smet during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Little House on the Prairie fans will want to add De Smet — where Laura Ingalls Wilder called home for about ten years — to their bucket lists. Travelers can tour the Ingalls family's original home and visit the Ingalls Homestead to learn more about life in De Smet during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

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Tennessee: Jonesborough

Tennessee's oldest town boasts beautiful mountain scenery and a Main Street lined with mom-and-pop shops. The best way to soak up the town's history is by taking a guided walking tour with the Heritage Alliance. Every Sunday in June is dedicated to Main Street Brews and Tunes, where locals and visitors alike flock to listen to live music and sip on craft beer. The town also goes all-out for the holidays, with haunted cemetery tours complete with costumed storytellers and special Christmas programming. Consider staying at the Eureka Inn, a 1900-era bed-and-breakfast housed in a building that dates back to 1797.  

Tennessee's oldest town boasts beautiful mountain scenery and a Main Street lined with mom-and-pop shops and eateries. The best way to soak up the town's history is by taking a guided walking tour with the Heritage Alliance. Every Sunday in June is dedicated to Main Street Brews and Tunes, where locals and visitors alike flock to listen to live music and sip on craft beer. The town also goes all-out for the holidays, with haunted cemetery tours complete with costumed storytellers and special Christmas programming. Consider staying at the Eureka Inn, a 1900-era bed-and-breakfast housed in a building that dates back to 1797.  

 

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Texas: San Antonio

Tex-Mex food is typically the first thing that comes to mind when you think of San Antonio. However, the city features plenty of 18th-century architecture and history, including the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (which just so happens to be Texas' only UNESCO World Heritage Site) and The Alamo Mission. You'll also want to add La Villita, an arts and culture hub that dates back nearly 300 years, to your must-see list. 

 Tex-Mex food is typically the first thing that comes to mind when you think of San Antonio. However, the city features plenty of 18th-century architecture and history, including the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (which just so happens to be Texas' only UNESCO World Heritage Site) and The Alamo Mission. You'll also want to add La Villita, an arts and culture hub that dates back nearly 300 years, to your must-see list. 

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Utah: Ogden

Before becoming a popular ski spot, Ogden was a bustling railroad town. 25th Street was once a hub for illegal activities (think: gambling, prostitution, and so on). Today, the destination draws in locals and travelers with its array of shopping, dining, and entertainment offerings. Downtown Ogden is also home to the Nine Rails Creative District, where artwork abounds. 

Before becoming a popular ski spot, Ogden was a bustling railroad town. 25th Street was once a hub for illegal activities (think: gambling, prostitution, and so on). Today, the destination draws in locals and travelers with its array of shopping, dining, and entertainment offerings. Downtown Ogden is also home to the Nine Rails Creative District, where artwork abounds. 

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Vermont: Barre 

Barre has been harvesting granite for hundreds of years, and you can check out the Vermont Granite Museum to learn more about the town's history. The Rock of Ages guided tour (seasonal) is equally fascinating since it offers an inside look into the granite quarries. On Main Street, you'll find Studio Place Arts, a community arts center housed in a historic building that spans three stories.

Barre has been harvesting granite for hundreds of years, and you can check out the Vermont Granite Museum to learn more about the town's history. The Rock of Ages guided tour (seasonal) is equally fascinating since it offers an inside look into the granite quarries. On Main Street, you'll find Studio Place Arts, a community arts center housed in a historic building that spans three stories.

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Virginia: Williamsburg

The former capital of the Virginia colony is chock-full of attractions. Travelers are especially dazzled by Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that's home to the George Wythe House (the former home of George Wythe, who signed the Declaration of Independence), the Bruton Parish Episcopal Church (which dates back to 1674), and the Governor's Palace (where Thomas Jefferson once called home). The Muscarelle Museum of Art, which encompasses around 6,000 works, is also noteworthy.

The former capital of the Virginia colony is chock-full of attractions. Travelers are especially dazzled by Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that's home to the George Wythe House (the former home of George Wythe, who signed the Declaration of Independence), the Bruton Parish Episcopal Church (which dates back to 1674), and the Governor's Palace (where Thomas Jefferson once called home). The Muscarelle Museum of Art, which encompasses around 6,000 works, is also noteworthy.

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Washington: Leavenworth 

This postcard-worthy mountain town was once frequented by hunters, fishers, and gold miners. When the railroad came through (and eventually exited) Leavenworth, it became a virtual ghost town — that is, until it was transformed into a quaint Bavarian village. Now, Leavenworth draws in millions of visitors for skiing and other alpine fun. Try to plan your visit around the holidays, when the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, the Greater Leavenworth Museum, and the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm are all the more magical. Wine lovers can also visit one of the town's wineries or tasting rooms, including Icicle Ridge WineryRyan Patrick Wines, and d'Vinery Tasting Room. 

This postcard-worthy mountain town was once frequented by hunters, fishers, and gold miners. When the railroad came through (and eventually exited) Leavenworth, it became a virtual ghost town — that is, until it was transformed into a quaint Bavarian village. Now, Leavenworth draws in millions of visitors for skiing and other alpine fun. Try to plan your visit around the holidays, when the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, the Greater Leavenworth Museum, and the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm are all the more magical. Wine lovers can also visit one of the town's wineries or tasting rooms, including Icicle Ridge Winery, Ryan Patrick Wines, and d'Vinery Tasting Room. 

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West Virginia: Bramwell 

Bramwell was initially built as a private town for coal miners, and, in the late 1800s, it was home to the most millionaires per capita out of the entire country — and there are plenty of Victorian- and Tudor-style mansions to prove it. Many of these homes are now open to visitors who are looking to learn more about the coal industry and its early pioneers.

Bramwell was initially built as a private town for coal miners, and, in the late 1800s, it was home to the most millionaires per capita out of the entire country — and there are plenty of Victorian- and Tudor-style mansions to prove it. Many of these homes are now open to visitors who are looking to learn more about the coal industry and its early pioneers.

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Wisconsin: Cedarburg

Cedarburg dates back to the 1840s when it was founded by German and Irish immigrants. Today, the town — which is just 20 miles north of Milwaukee — is home to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts. Cedarburg also hosts a handful of annual festivals, including the Strawberry Festival, the Wine & Harvest Festival, Oktoberfest, and the Winter Carnival. The Cedarburg Grist Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is just one of several historic buildings here. Just down the road is the Hilgen-Wittenberg Woolen Mill, a former textile factory that's been transformed into Cedar Creek Settlement, where you'll find plenty of shopping, drinking, and dining options. 

Cedarburg dates back to the 1840s when it was founded by German and Irish immigrants. Today, the town — which is just 20 miles north of Milwaukee — is home to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts. Cedarburg also hosts a handful of annual festivals, including the Strawberry Festival, the Wine & Harvest Festival, Oktoberfest, and the Winter Carnival. The Cedarburg Grist Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is just one of several historic buildings here. Just down the road is the Hilgen-Wittenberg Woolen Mill, a former textile factory that's been transformed into Cedar Creek Settlement, where you'll find plenty of shopping, drinking, and dining options. 

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Wyoming: Cody

Cody was founded by Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody back in 1896. While the town has seen people come and go since then,  the lore of Buffalo Bill remains. In fact, there are plenty of museums and attractions around town — most notably the expansive Buffalo Bill Center of the West — that bring the stories of this famous pioneer to life. Other highlights include Old Trail Town (which takes travelers back in time to the days of Buffalo Bill) and the Cody Trolley Tour (which offers an hour-long guided tour of the city). Visit in the summertime to experience the Cody Nite Rodeo, which has been held every summer since 1919. 

Cody was founded by Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody back in 1896. While the town has seen people come and go since then,  the lore of Buffalo Bill remains. In fact, there are plenty of museums and attractions around town — most notably the expansive Buffalo Bill Center of the West — that bring the stories of this famous pioneer to life. Other highlights include Old Trail Town (which takes travelers back in time to the days of Buffalo Bill) and the Cody Trolley Tour (which offers an hour-long guided tour of the city). Visit in the summertime to experience the Cody Nite Rodeo, which has been held every summer since 1919. 

 

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