Discovering the Oldest Tourist Attractions Across America


Many iconic landmarks and natural wonders in America have stood the test of time from coast to coast. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, colonial settlements, or breathtaking terrain, these oldest tourist attractions in every state offer a glimpse into the rich heritage of American history, culture, and heritage. Take a look as we explore the heritage and significance of these timeless treasures.

Alabama- Fort Morgan


Fort Morgan is located on Mobile Bay’s shores and is a glimpse into Alabama’s military past. It was pivotal during the Civil War and remains a popular tourist attraction.

Alaska- Sitka National Historical Park 

Sitka National Historical Park /Facebook

Established in 1910, Sitka National Historical Park preserves the cultural heritage of Alaska’s indigenous Tlingit people. Guests can scout totem poles, historical locations, and lush forests while learning about the region’s Native American ancestry.

Arizona- Montezuma Castle National Monument 

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Montezuma Castle, dating back over 800 years, is a remarkable example of ancient Native American cliff dwellings. Situated in the Verde Valley, this well-preserved archaeological locale offers insight into the lives of the Sinagua people who once called it home.

Arkansas- Hot Springs National Park

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Hot Springs National Park has drawn tourists for centuries with its natural thermal springs in the Ouachita Mountains. Native American tribes revered these healing waters, and today, people can enjoy the notable bathhouses and scenic trails.

California- Mission San Juan Capistrano


Founded by Spanish missionaries in 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano is one of California’s oldest and most exemplary landmarks. Known as the “Jewel of the Missions,” this historic area features stunning architecture, gardens, and cultural exhibits.

Colorado- Mesa Verde National Park 


Mesa Verde National Park preserves the legacy of the Ancestral Puebloans by housing ancient cliff dwellings and archaeological sites. Visitors can explore cliffside villages and learn about this fascinating civilization.

Connecticut- Gillette Castle State Park

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Early in the 20th century, actor William Gillette built Gillette Castle, a medieval-inspired fortress atop a hill overlooking the Connecticut River. Today, the castle and surrounding park offer vacationers panoramic views and recreational activities.

Delaware- New Castle Historic District

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As one of Delaware’s oldest towns, New Castle is home to a wealth of colonial architecture and historical sites. We recommend scouting the cobblestone streets, museums, and the notable New Castle Court House.

Florida- St. Augustine 


1565 marked the foundation of the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in the United States, St. Augustine, founded by Spanish explorers. Discover the city’s rich cultural heritage by strolling through its famous district and exploring old forts.

Georgia- Savannah Historic District

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Savannah’s Historic District, charming squares, oak-lined streets, and antebellum architecture are a glimpse into Georgia’s storied past. Established in 1733, this coastal city beckons excursionists with its Southern charm and timeless beauty.

Hawaii- ʻIolani Palace


Initially built in 1882, Iolani Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy until 1893, when it was overthrown. Today, the monarchy might be MIA, but globetrotters can view this famous landmark and learn about Hawaii’s royal ancestry.

Idaho- Old Mission State Park

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Established in 1842 by Jesuit missionaries, the Cataldo Mission is the oldest building in Idaho. It serves as a reminder of the state’s early history and offers guided tours and exhibits in the scenic Coeur d’Alene Mountains.

Illinois- Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site


Located just outside St. Louis, Cahokia Mounds is the most extensive pre-Columbian archaeological section north of Mexico. Built by the Mississippian culture around 1000 AD, this archaic city was once the center of a thriving civilization.

Indiana- Levi Coffin House 

Levi and Catharine Coffin House State Historic Site/Facebook

Dubbed the “Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad, the Levi Coffin House in Fountain City played a vital role in helping enslaved individuals escape to freedom in the 19th century. Today, visitors can view this respected home and study its abolitionist legacy.

Iowa- Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument/Facebook

Situated along the banks of the Mississippi River, Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves over 200 ancient earthmounds built by Native American cultures. These mounds, shaped like animals and symbols, offer insight into the region’s indigenous peoples’ spiritual beliefs and customs

Kansas- Boot Hill Museum

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Located in Dodge City, Boot Hill Museum celebrates Kansas’s Wild West era with exhibits, artifacts, and reenactments. In this noteworthy Old West town, sightseers can return to the days of cowboys, outlaws, and saloons.

Kentucky- Mammoth Cave National Park


Spanning over 400 miles, Mammoth Cave is the longest-known cave system in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are intrigued, this natural wonder’s underground chambers, limestone formations, and winding passageways beg to be scouted.

Louisiana- French Quarter

New Orleans’ French Quarter is a vibrant neighborhood steeped in history, culture, and Creole culture. Since 1718, this historic district has been flaunting colorful architecture, lively street performers, and world-renowned cuisine.

Maine- Fort Knox State Historic Site

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Situated on the Penobscot River, Fort Knox is a well-preserved military fortification dating back to the mid-19th century. Thanks to the security measures and preservation efforts put in place, folks can explore the granite walls, artillery batteries, and panoramic views of the surrounding locale.

Maryland- St. Mary’s City

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St. Mary’s City was the first English capital and was Maryland’s capital between 1634 and 1695. Vacationists can learn about Maryland’s colonial heritage through living history museums, archaeological points, and other notable locations.

Massachusetts- Plymouth Rock


Steeped in legend and lore, Plymouth Rock is said to be the location where the Pilgrims first set foot in the New World in 1620. Although its historical authenticity is debated, this notable rock symbolizes the spirit of Uncle Sam’s early settlers and remains a popular tourist attraction.

Michigan- Mackinac Island 

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In Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a picturesque retreat frozen in time. Visitors are not allowed cars, but they can tour the island’s Victorian-era architecture, horse-drawn carriages, and scenic trails, offering a glimpse into the 19th-century U.S.

Minnesota- Pipestone National Monument 

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Sacred to Native American tribes for thousands of years, Pipestone National Monument preserves a quarry where indigenous peoples mined catlinite, or “pipestone,” to craft ceremonial pipes. A visit to this historical area will provide vacationists with a chance to study the artistic and cultural traditions of Native Americans.

Mississippi- Natchez Trace Parkway

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The Natchez Trace Parkway traces a significant travel route used by Native Americans, pioneers, and traders. It offers scenic beauty and cultural significance. Despite their age, the historic sites, hiking trails, and picturesque overlooks along this 444-mile roadway remain pristine.

Missouri- Gateway Arch 

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Dominating the St. Louis skyline, the Gateway Arch is a towering symbol of Uncle Sam’s westward expansion. Completed in 1965, this noteworthy monument commemorates the Lewis and Clark expedition and offers stunning views of the Mississippi River and beyond.

Montana- Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument


This national monument at the infamous Battle of the Little Bighorn preserves the memory of the clash between the U.S. Army and Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors in 1876. Tourists can view the battlefield and pay tribute to those who fought and died there.

Nebraska- Scotts Bluff National Monument 


Native American tribes and pioneers on the Oregon Trail have used Scotts Bluff as a landmark for hundreds of years. It is a good viewpoint from which visitors can hike trails, scout notable areas, and enjoy panoramic views of the Nebraska scenery.

Nevada- Hoover Dam

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A marvel of engineering and ingenuity, Hoover Dam is proof of human achievement in adversity. Completed in 1936, this epochal structure harnesses the power of the Colorado River, providing electricity and water to millions of people in the Southwest.

New Hampshire- Strawbery Banke Museum

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Located in Portsmouth, Strawbery Banke is a history museum showcasing over 300 years of New Hampshire’s maritime ancestry. Globetrotters can explore restored homes, gardens, and exhibits that bring the colonial U.S. to life.

New Jersey- Ellis Island


Dubbed the “Gateway to America,” Ellis Island served as the nation’s busiest immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954. Today, visitors can trace their ancestors’ journeys, view interactive exhibits, and learn about the immigrant experience in the States.

New Mexico- Taos Pueblo


Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied communities in the United States. This UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves adobe structures, kivas, and traditional ceremonies of the Taos people.

New York- Statue of Liberty


The Statue of Liberty embodies freedom and democracy. Since its dedication in 1886, it has welcomed millions of immigrants to this nation’s shores. This paradigmatic monument stands tall in New York Harbor, serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration to people globally.

North Carolina- Wright Brothers National Memorial

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Perched atop the dunes of Kill Devil Hills, the Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first successful powered flight in 1903. The exhibits, replicas, and granite monument honoring their legendary achievements are open to visitors and aviation fans.

North Dakota- Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site


Situated along the Missouri River, Fort Union was a vital hub of the fur trade in the 19th century. Here, traders from various cultures exchanged goods and ideas. Today, this multicultural trading post’s reconstructed buildings are open to the public.

Ohio- Serpent Mound 


Dating back over 1,000 years, the Serpent Mound is an ancient effigy mound shaped like a serpent that stretches nearly a quarter-mile in length. This prehistoric earthwork is believed to have served as a ceremonial site for indigenous people in Adams County.

Oklahoma- Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center 

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The Spiro Mounds archaeological site in eastern Oklahoma was the seat of a powerful Native American civilization. Here, guests can see ancient earthworks, burial mounds, and artifacts dating back over 1,000 years. Some exhibits showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region’s indigenous populations.

Oregon- Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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In Pacific Northwest history, Fort Vancouver played a significant role as a fur trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Today, the reconstructed fort, gardens, and historical exhibits in Vancouver, Washington, can be toured.

Pennsylvania- Independence Hall

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Independence Hall in Philadelphia is where American democracy was born. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drafted and adopted here. Tourists can tour the iconic chambers where these pivotal moments occurred in Uncle Sam’s past.

Rhode Island- The Breakers

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Built as a summer retreat for the Vanderbilt family in the late 19th century, The Breakers is a stunning example of Gilded Age architecture and luxury. This grand mansion in Newport offers guided tours of its lavish interiors and sprawling gardens.

South Carolina- Boone Hall Plantation


Founded in 1681, Boone Hall Plantation is one of Uncle Sam’s oldest working plantations and an ode to South Carolina’s antebellum past. Tours of the legendary mansion, slave cabins, and lush grounds reveal the plantation’s rich history.

South Dakota- Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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The Black Hills’ Mount Rushmore houses four iconic portraits of U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. This national memorial attracts millions of tourists yearly to marvel at its grandeur and symbolism.

Tennessee- Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park skirts the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. It is one of the most visited national parks in the United States and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site offers guests a chance to check out scenic drives, hiking trails, and diverse ecosystems home to a wide range of wildlife.

Texas- The Alamo 


Steeped in legend and lore, the Alamo symbolizes Texas independence and resilience. This exemplary mission-turned-fortress in San Antonio played a pivotal role in the Texas Revolution of 1836, and today, guests can tour the battlegrounds and learn about the legendary heroes who fought and died there.

Utah- Bryce Canyon National Park 

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With its hoodoos, spires, and natural amphitheaters, Bryce Canyon National Park is a geological wonderland dating back millions of years. A breathtaking landscape awaits thrillseekers who want to hike trails stargaze and experience sunrises and sunsets with vibrant hues.

Vermont- Shelburne Museum

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In 1947, Electra Havemeyer Webb founded the Shelburne Museum, a unique cultural institution that showcases American folk art, decorative arts, and historic buildings. This eclectic museum offers a glimpse into Vermont’s artistic and cultural heritage.

Virginia- Jamestown Settlement 

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In 1607, Jamestown was the States’ first permanent English settlement and a pivotal chapter in the nation’s colonial past. Globetrotters can view living history exhibits, replicas, and archaeological grounds to know more about the struggles and triumphs of America’s earliest pioneers.

Washington- Mount Rainier National Park

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Mount Rainier is an iconic symbol of Washington state, Towering over the Cascade Range. It has been a designated national park since 1899. The pristine wilderness allows hikers to see old-growth forests, alpine meadows, glaciers, and waterfalls.

Wisconsin- Aztalan State Park


Home to ancient Native American earthen mounds and the remnants of a pre-Columbian village, Aztalan State Park offers a glimpse into Wisconsin’s early years. Sightseers can tour the archaeological areas and learn about the Mississippians who once lived here.

Wyoming- Yellowstone National Park 

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Established in 1872 as Uncle Sam’s first national park, Yellowstone is a natural wonderland of geothermal features, wildlife, and pristine scenery. Exploring this iconic wilderness will allow guests to see geysers, hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

West Virginia- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

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The charming town of Harpers Ferry is a significant national historical park that marks the location of John Brown’s raid. The park offers hiking opportunities, where you can tour celebrated buildings and enjoy scenic overlooks where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge.


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