America is full of awe-inspiring destinations and attractions, many of which feature iconic vistas and important historic landmarks. With so many places across the country that fill Americans with pride, it’s no surprise our list of the best patriotic destinations in America is a long one!
Old North Church – The Freedom Trail
If you are in search of one of the iconic places of American Patriotism, go by all means to Old North Church. The famous structure still stands as a witness of the resolve of the New England patriots who decided that they would resist the invasion of British troops. The signal came from the steeple, one if by land and two if by sea. You can visit the Old North Church as part of the Freedom Trail in Boston, a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads you to a series of 16 sites, including Old North Church, that are pivotal to the American Revolution.
Lexington and Concord
Lexington and Concord were the destinations of those British troops that went to quell the rebellion on April 19, 1775. These two amazingly charming towns were the scene of the bloodshed that began the Revolutionary War. See the Minute Man Statues in Lexington and in Concord, and the Old North Bridge spanning the Concord River. While in Concord be sure to see the places made special because of their associations with authors Louisa Mae Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau, there. These sights and scenes are living reminders of who we are as Americans.
The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
See the place where our cause was crafted and touch the bell that rang out the news. There are other great patriotic sites, chief among them a little red brick townhouse at 239 Arch Street where Betsy Ross sewed the American flag. Nearby see Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America. Philadelphia is the centerpiece of the United State’s beginnings. Do not miss Christ Church were many of the Founding Fathers worshiped and Benjamin Franklin contributed liberally to the building fund. Franklin’s house, now depicted in outline in a famous post modern museum designed by architect Venturi.
The National Archives and Arlington Cemetery
Washington, DC & Arlington, VA
You must see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with the Bill of Rights. The National Archives holds them, in such a way that you can see them and savor them. You will then want to see the flag that inspired The Star Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and any and all of the monuments memorials and scenes of government that stand today as the result of these amazing documents. Go out to the National Cathedral, and be amazed by its grandeur and remind yourself that this is a nation with faith at its centerpiece. End your day at Arlington National Cemetery, as you give thanks for all who have served this country faithfully, selflessly and well.
Colorado Springs, CO
There is no place where the theme, the hope and the potential of the United States is more clearly visible that up there where Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words to “America the Beautiful”. Ride the cog railroad from Manitou Springs. Yes the drive is one of those “I will talk about it forever” drives, but trust someone who has been there; you will enjoy the trip more if you take the train. Be prepared for chilly to downright frigid conditions even when it is sunny and warm down in The Springs. Stand on the edge of forever and read the inspiring words to the patriotic hymn that takes the view and makes it sing.
This was the turning point of the Civil War. Heroism and tragedy on both sides, stories of cannonballs still visible in walls of the historic buildings, monument after monument to the brave men in blue and in grey—see them all. This is the place where America was reforged into one nation. Lincoln said it best in his address, brief remarks offered here after Edward Everett gave an exhaustingly long speech. Stand on little round top, in the rocks of Devils Den, at the start of Pickett’s Charge. The peacefulness today is due to those harrowing three days in 1863.
New York, NY
The saddest day in American history is memorialized here, as well as at the Pentagon in Washington and Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The mood here is solemn as it should be, and the effect of the memorial is somewhat overwhelming, befitting the events of 9-11. Look up, then and be glad for One World Trade Center, also known as The Freedom Tower, reminding one and all that in spite of the worst that tyrants and terrorists might attempt, Americans have the resolve to go forward with grand and uplifting ideals that the whole world seeks.
Baltimore Harbor, MD
Our National Anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key as he was being held on s ship in the harbor. The flag is in Washington DC, but the song is in the hearts of every American. The setting of the fort is impressive. While you visit, take a moment of silence where you can not only for the role that Baltimore played in the War of 1812, but also for Baltimore today, that it may be a place known for the waves of freedom.
Woolworth Lunch Counter
A section of lunch counter from the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth’s store is now preserved in the International Civil Rights Center and Museum Greensboro, North Carolina. These swivel stools and low lunch counter which were familiar to every American in every town of size in the USA have a special meaning because of what happened on February 1, 1960. Freedom is hard won in ordinary and in extraordinary places. We are grateful for Joseph Alfred McNeil , Jibreel Khazan (born Ezell Alexander Blair Jr),Franklin Eugene McCain, and David Leinail Richmond, who took a position of nonviolent resistance in order to move our nation forward.
The Golden Spike
Promontory Point, UT & Stanford, CA
This last spike in the route across the continent symbolizes a different way to unite these United States. It is the ceremonial final spike driven by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the world’s first transcontinental railroad across the United States connecting the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point, Utah. You can see the spike itself at Stanford University’s the Cantor Arts Museum. Or you can visit its original location at Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Summit. Yes it was a commercial venture, and be glad that commercial ventures from the cotton gin and Fulton’s steamboat to the cars of Detroit and the steel of Pittsburgh, up to the personal computer and the smart phone have moved us forward as a nation. Not every act of patriotism is completely altruistic, and we think the Golden Spike represents all of those dreamers who made dreams real and in so doing forged whole industries to make America great. Be especially thankful for all of them who gave back to their communities and whose home town philanthropy continues to bless our nation today.
That other worst day in American history along with 9-11 is memorialized in one of the most gorgeous settings in all of America. Soon, there will be none who were present that day, as the greatest generation pass from our midst. Go, remember, and be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy because some gave their all, and all gave their best, there at Pearl Harbor.
We want to hear about your favorite Patriotic Destination. There are so many worthy destinations, it was so hard to not keep going and going. Remember that your court house, your city hall, your state house, your local cemetery with its veteran’s flags, the homes of our Presidents, all of these are treasures of patriotism.
Share your favorite Patriotic Destination with us in the comments below.