Some of the best historic attractions to visit in the U.S. are actually former residences. There is so much you can learn about an era or a famous historical figure by exploring the way they lived daily life. From modest abodes to expansive mansions, we love old homes! Learn about our favorite historic homes that you can visit and let us know which ones you love!
The Halsey House (Southampton, NY)
Built in 1648, the Halsey House is named for one of the first Massachusetts Bay settlers, Thomas Halsey. The fully-restored home is now a museum, so visitors can admire 17th- and 18th-century pieces that belonged to former local residents and imagine what life was like back then. The home was restored in 1959, but still retains all of the historic charm of its original state.
Monticello (Charlottesville, VA)
Thomas Jefferson’s former homestead is a must-visit for history buffs and architecture aficionados alike. Construction first began on the home way back in 1769, but it was redesigned shortly after, in the early 1800s. There’s so much to see here, from the 43-room house to the historic gardens that showcase gorgeous flowers. There are several different tour options available, including a “sunset pass” that allows you to enjoy the gorgeous views — both of the estate, and the evening sky.
Mark Twain House (Hartford, CT)
With 19 rooms and lots of beautiful Tiffany decor, this Hartford home was where the famous writer hung his hat for nearly two decades in the 1800s. He also penned some of his greatest works here during that time — Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, to name a few. A library, conservatory, drawing room, and billiard room are among the unique rooms you’ll get to observe, and the accompanying museum goes in depth about Twain’s family and life with both permanent and rotating exhibits.
Rosson House (Phoenix, AZ)
Heritage Square is probably one of my most favorite places in all of Phoenix, specially when it hosts the Phoenix Flea (@phxflea) I can’t get over how gorgeous the Rosson House is. . . . #historic #dtphx #igersphx #instagramaz #aztagram #arizonacollective #optoutside #seeforyourself #travel #explore #explorearizona #visitarizona #see_arizona #discoverarizona #adventure #discover #az365 #azcentral #arizona #beon12 #abc15 #art #architecture #shoplocal #phxflea #lb
Though they likely serve purely as decoration for most of the year due to the hot Southwestern climate, the 2,800 square-foot Rosson House includes five fireplaces, as well as ten beautiful rooms. The home, built in 1895 in the Queen Anne Victorian style, is open to the public for guided tours from Wednesday through Friday of each week.
Dumbarton House (Washington, D.C.)
A photo posted by Dumbarton House (@dumbartonhouse) on
This historic house-turned-museum was constructed in 1800 and originally occupied by the first Register of the Treasury, Joseph Norse, and his family. It’s not only a great example of Federal architecture, but gives a taste of the early years of our nation’s capitol and its key players. The house hosts both private and public events, and welcomes visitors from 11am to 3pm Tuesday through Sunday.