Historical places provide insight into our cultural fabric, how it was woven at these 10 monumental attractions

By Heather Dale

America is home to a slew of historic attractions that tend to draw a crowd. Here are 10 of the best attractions in the country for groups.

Experiencing the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum in Boston, MA

The Boston Tea Party was crucial in America’s fight for independence from Britain in the mid-18th century. Angered by newly imposed taxes on goods like paper and tea, English colonists fought back against “taxation without representation.” On December 16, 1773, American patriots defiantly dumped 342 chests of imported tea into the Boston Harbor as a sign of unwavering strength and unity against the British.

This American destination is a magnificent display of living history that dives into the facts. Guided tours led by costumed docents offer insight into the events on a full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessel. On permanent collection is the remarkable Robinson Tea Chest, the only known surviving chest from that fateful night.

Gettysburg Battlefield Photograph

Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania is an incredible historic destination.

Exploring the Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg, PA

The turning point in the Civil War occurred at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Three days of intense fighting between the Confederate and Union armies cost more than 51,000 lives. Today, the battlegrounds are considered one of the most haunted places in the world, an American destination fit for haunted history buffs.

Battlefield Bus and Car Tours offer unique battlefield tours exploring the Gettysburg National Military Park. The 6,000-acre hallowed grounds feature 1,300 monuments, markers and memorials dedicated to the soldiers and their efforts.

Jamestown Settlement History in Williamsburg, VA

A fascinating historical American destination is Jamestown, Virginia, where the first permanent English settlement in North America was established. Thirteen years prior to the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts, 104 Englishmen made it to Jamestown in 1607 after a treacherous sixteen-month-long high seas voyage.

Explore a living museum at the Jamestown Settlement, where 17th-century Virginia heritage comes to life. Take guided tours and hear stories from knowledgeable interpreters on the significance of Jamestown and the difficulties between colonists and Native Americans. Take part in interactive exhibits and life-size replicas of the three ships that carried the colony overseas.

Kennedy Space Center Photo credit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo credit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL

History encompasses many aspects of human existence. The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, highlights decades of innovative technological advances by NASA and their discoveries.

The KSC offers a gamut of space-themed attractions for early space travel pioneers and wonders of the universe. Interact with real astronauts in the Universe Theater or explore NASA’s operational facilities on a KSC Bus Tour.

Discover Apollo mission artifacts like Alan Shepard’s space suit still covered in Moondust. Feel the rush on the immersive Shuttle Launch Experience. With more than 30 space attractions, the opportunities are endless at a truly out-of-this-world American destination.

Learn More at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

The museum operates three facilities in D.C., Maryland and New York City and is a component of the Smithsonian Institute. At the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, step into a multifaceted world full of fascinating culture, artifacts, photographs, media and more.

View one of the most extensive collections of Native American history in the world and explore the heritage of Indigenous peoples. Visit Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations to understand the prolific impact Native American diplomats and leaders had on the relationship between Indian nations and the US.

Photo courtesy of Bob Howen

Photo courtesy of Bob Howen

Experience The Alamo in San Antonio, TX

The Alamo, known for being the site of the historic battle for Texas’ independence from Mexico, was originally a Catholic mission founded in 1716 to aid in the Christianizing of American Indians. Then, after being abandoned at the turn of the century, the disheveled edifice would sporadically be used as a refuge by Spanish troops.

To help showcase its 300-year history, the Alamo just opened the new Ralston Family Collections Center, a exhibition space with more than 500 artifacts including items donated from musician Phil Collins’ private collection. Upcoming is the Alamo Visitor Center and Museum, estimated to launch in 2026, which will include a 4D theater, event space, restaurant and more.

Educate Yourself at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN

A pivotal moment in American history was the violent civil upheaval in the nation’s protest for fundamental human rights. The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, captures centuries of prejudicial turmoil African Americans endured in the US and worldwide.

This groundbreaking American destination touches hearts and leaves an unforgettable impression. Learn about the Atlantic Slave Trade and look into early slavery and its global impacts. The black community’s powerful voice is heard through oral histories of the Jim Crow era and the establishment of the “Separate but Equal” law. Become part of the legendary Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 on a replica bus complete with 3D statues as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks to the crowd on that first night of protest.

Visiting Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is one of the most popular destinations in the country.

Visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Black Hills, SD

History is carved in stone at one of the most impressive American destinations with historical significance. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, etched into the Black Hills of South Dakota, is a jaw-dropping example of American pride and patriotism.

Absorb the dramatic scenery of the historical faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln along the Presidential Trail. Expansive photo-op views await through pine forests and granite outcroppings. Along the trail, stop at the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village, highlighting the many traditions and customs of local Native American tribes.

Visiting Ellis Island in New York, NY

In the late 19th century, the United States became the epicenter of the largest mass human migration in the history of the world. Immigrants from Northern European countries and elsewhere flocked to America to escape religious persecution, political unrest and financial instability.

By 1890, Manhattan was overwhelmed by the massive surge of people, creating the need for a new facility. In 1892, Ellis Island recorded the first family from Ireland to come into America through the new station. Over the next 62 years, they would process more than 12 million immigrants. View the preserved melting pot history of our national identity through artifacts, stories and essential collections at this American destination.

Exploring Alcatraz photo by Josepons

Exploring Alcatraz photo by Josepons

Explore Alcatraz in San Francisco, CA

Off the coast of San Francisco, California, is a museum full of haunted history. The island offers insight into the treatment of incarcerated individuals and Native American civil rights. Alcatraz served many purposes, including the site of California’s first lighthouse, an army garrison in 1859 and a military prison in 1861.

During the 20th century, the federal prison housed some of the most deranged criminals, including Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Today, visitors can take a ferry and explore the dark history. Learn about the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz by the Indians of All Tribes, which lasted a whopping 19 months.

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