New York

8 American Historical Sites You Must See In New York State

There's lots of great history across the Empire State

New York State is an amazing place to visit thanks to its perfect mix of natural beauty, cities, and more. While many people who visit typically flock to New York City or another popular destination like the Catskills or Montauk, there are also many unique historical sites that are worth a visit. New York has a long history and was prominent in the American Revolution and important historical moments ever since. This results in many amazing historical sites scattered throughout the state that visitors will absolutely love. From impressive forts and military bases to opulent homes of prominent residents, there are plenty of places to experience the history of America and learn more about our past in New York. Here are eight wonderful American historical sites to visit while in New York State.

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West Point

A popular location to visit in New York that has ties to the American Revolution, yet still operates in a modern capacity, is West Point. This fortress was built during the Revolutionary War and was considered by George Washington to be a critical location. Thomas Jefferson eventually signed the papers creating the United States Military at West Point, and it serves as a military academy today. Situated on the beautiful Hudson River, guests who would like to visit West Point can enjoy a bus tour of the location including stops at the Visitor’s Center and West Point Museum. West Point is the perfect location to visit both to learn about the past as well as see how it has shaped the present day.

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Fort Ticonderoga

Visitors who spend time in the Lake George region of New York have access to several important historical sites including an impressive fort with a rich history. Fort Ticonderoga is situated on the border of New York and Vermont and played an important role in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Today, the fort is owned by the state of New York and offers unique tours for guests. Each day visitors can enjoy the Family Guided Tour, Guided Museum Tour, Key to the Continent Guided Tour, Cannon Firing Demonstration, Fife & Drum Corps, and more.

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Hyde Park

The town of Hyde Park, New York is home to a beautiful manor home that belonged to a popular president and his family. The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt is situated on the shores of the Hudson River and offers guests the chance to learn more about the prominent man and his family while enjoying beautiful grounds and views. Guided tours are offered and visitors can enjoy an orientation film New Deal Museum Store, and small bites from a charming café.

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United Nations

While there are plenty of historical sites to visit while in Manhattan, one of the most impressive can be found in midtown. The United Nations headquarters welcomes visitors who can enjoy an hour-long guided tour that brings them into areas including the General Assembly Hall and Security Council Chamber. Those visiting with young children can take the UN Kids Tour which is specifically tailored for children ages five to ten. There are also several exhibits to explore including Building on the Legacy of Nelson Mandela, My Planet, My Future: Space for Sustainability, and UN Headquarters: A Workshop for Peace.


The capital of New York is the city of Albany and the location is home to countless historical sites that date back to the 1800s. The New York State Capital can be found in downtown Albany and has been the center of the state’s government since the 1880s. The beautiful building is home to pieces of history that guests can explore as well as the impressive Plaza Art Collection. Families will enjoy exploring the New York State Museum which features special exhibits and events that teach about the history of the region.

Alan Strakey / Flickr

Ellis Island

An important American historical site that must be experienced in New York can be found off the tip of Southern Manhattan. Ellis Island was where millions of immigrants first passed through upon arriving to America from the late 1800s to mid-1900s. Accessible via a ferry, visitors can learn more about the immigration process at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Engaging exhibits such as The American Flag of Faces and The Journey: New Eras of Immigration can be explored before enjoying the beautiful views of lower Manhattan.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr

Liberty Island

Located right near Ellis Island is a landmark that is recognizable to nearly every individual and plays a prominent role in American history. Liberty Island is home to the Statue of Liberty which was officially dedicated in 1886. Accessible by ferry boat, those who wish to visit Liberty Island can decide how high they would like to climb with the lowest level being the Pedestal. The most spectacular views come from the Crown which requires an additional ticket, however the climb is worth it!

Kris / Flickr


Another family that has a long involvement in American history had a stunning home in the town of Sleepy Hollow. Kykuit was an estate owned by John D. Rockefeller in the Hudson Valley and four generations of the family called the location home. Visitors today can tour the home from Thursday through Sunday and choose between four experiences depending on where they would like to explore. In addition to enjoying the beautiful home and historical artwork and information, guests can also view the Pocantico River and the beautiful Hudson in the distance.

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