American Revolution Sites

If you’re looking to explore American Revolution sites and want to find the best places to view  American Revolution history then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

The American Revolution, or Revolutionary War saw the birth of the American nation. Disillusioned with their limited representation within the British parliament, many colonials believed that they would never achieve true equality within the existing system - the result was the American Revolution and the eventual overthrow of British rule.

A number of American Revolution historical sites still exist today, paying tribute to the momentous events that led to the break from Britain. These sites range from the most key engagements of the war to the silent graveyards that hold some of the most prominent figures of the time.

There’s a great selection of American Revolution sites and you can plan some fantastic things to see on your trips. Once you’ve explored the list of American Revolution sites and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring American Revolution sites.

Our database of historic places is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other American Revolution sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our Explore page.

You can explore the American Revolution sites by clicking on the links below:

American Revolution: Site Index

Bacon’s Castle

Built in 1665, remains British North America's oldest, extent brick dwelling and finest example of Jacobean architecture.

DID YOU KNOW?

Located in Surry, Virginia, Bacon’s Castle was built in 1665, the home of plantation owner Arthur Allen. Yet the name Bacon’s Castle refers not to its original master but to the anti-colonial uprising known as Bacon's Rebellion which banished Allen’s son and heir from the house in 1676.

Today, Bacon’s Castle is said to not only be Virginia’s oldest known brick house, but the last of example of Jacobean architecture anywhere in North America. Now managed by Preservation Virginia, the building and its gardens are open in parts of the year for tours.

Photo by Elliott Brown (cc)

Benjamin Franklin House

Benjamin Franklin House in London is the only surviving former residence of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

DID YOU KNOW?

Benjamin Franklin House in London is the only surviving former residence of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

A terraced Georgian house located close to Trafalgar Square, today the site operates as a museum and examines the time Franklin spent in London as well as his wider life and work.

You can read more about the history of Benjamin Franklin House at the London History Group.

Photo by Allie_Caulfield (cc)

Bunker Hill Monument

The Bunker Hill Monument commemorates the first major battle of the American Revolution in 1775 and is one of the most important American Revolution historical sites.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Bunker Hill Monument is a memorial of the Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place on 17 June 1775 between the British army and the militias of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island early in the American Revolution.

The British army was far more well equipped and well trained than the American militias, however, the famous order of "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" originating from this battle and attributed to an American colonialist demonstrates the tenacity with which the American militias fought.

The Battle of Bunker Hill, which formed part of the Siege of Boston, saw the British gain more ground than the American forces, however this was somewhat of a pyrrhic victory given the over 1,000 casualties of the British when compared with approximately 500 American casualties.

Bunker Hill Monument sits atop Breed’s Hill, on which most of the Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought, however, the battle is named after the parties’ objective goal, Bunker Hill. Bunker Hill Monument is an obelisk standing 221 feet high which visitors can enter and even climb to the top for stunning views from its observation deck. The only thing is, there are around 270 steps and no lift/elevator.

The nearby Bunker Hill Museum offers a detailed insight into the war, the history of Charlestown and the monument itself, with numerous exhibits and artifacts. Both the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum form part of Boston’s Freedom Trail. This site also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in the USA.

Photo by Library of Congress (cc)

Cliveden House

Cliveden House is an eighteenth century historic home in Philadelphia and the site of a Revolutionary War battle.

DID YOU KNOW?

Cliveden House is an eighteenth century historic home in Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighbourhood. Built from 1763 to 1767, Cliveden House was intended as the summer home of Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Chew and his family. In fact, it would go on to fulfil this role for seven generations of Chews, the main parts of the house remaining remarkably well-preserved.

One of the most important chapters in the history of Cliveden House took place on 4 October 1777, when it became the site of the Battle of Germantown, a clash in the Revolutionary War. Part of the Philadelphia Campaign, this battle was a victory for British troops under Colonel Thomas Musgrave against American forces under George Washington.

Cliveden House also has significance in terms of African American history. In particular, the Chew family owned plantations which employed slave labour.

Visitors to Cliveden House can learn about different aspects of the Chew family’s history as well as that of the site itself.

Photo by boboroshi (cc)

Colonial National Park

English Colonial America started and ended in the area now known as Colonial National Park.

DID YOU KNOW?

Colonial National Park encompasses the areas in which the English established their first permanent American colony in 1607 and the battlefield on which they surrendered to George Washington’s army in 1781, thus ending their rule.

Incorporating Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield, together with the Cape Henry Memorial commemorating the location of the first British landings in Virginia, Colonial National Park offers a comprehensive insight into English Colonial America with, amongst other things, ranger guided tours and exhibitions.

Photo by Tony the Misfit (cc)

Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall, known as the Cradle of Liberty, was the scene of protests leading up to the American War of Independence.

DID YOU KNOW?

Faneuil Hall in Boston was constructed in 1742 by wealthy merchant, Peter Faneuil and although it burnt down in 1761, was rebuilt the next year. Faneuil intended the brick building to be a centre of commerce, a function which it still fulfils today.

However, it was during the eighteenth century that Faneuil Hall served an important historical role in the build up to the American War of Independence.

Protest against British rule
As Bostonian discontent grew over British laws, protests took place and, in 1764, Faneuil Hall was the scene of the first of these protests, specifically objecting to the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act followed by further demonstrations against British legislation up to 1774.

Several famous Americans gave rousing speeches at Faneuil Hall, including Samuel Adams, whose statue stands at its entrance.

The weather vane
Faneuil Hall’s grasshopper weather vane is also famous in its own right, acting as it did as a test to check whether people were British spies during the American War of Independence. Only Americans were thought to have known its function and suspected spies were questioned about it. If they didn't know its purpose, they were considered spies. It remains a symbol of Boston.

Cradle of Liberty
Faneuil Hall is now known as the “Cradle of Liberty”. It underwent extensive renovations in 1806 and 1989 and today, much of Faneuil Hall is made up of shopping and social venues. However, many original features remain, including the meeting hall.

It is now part of the Boston’s Freedom Trail, which takes visitors through Boston’s history as it relates to the American War of Independence as well as forming part of the Boston National Historical Park.

Guided tours are conducted by the Freedom Trail organisation, but you can also visit independently. Historical talks take place every half an hour.

Fort Hamilton

Fort Hamilton is a Third System Fort, a US military base and home to the Harbor Defense Museum.

DID YOU KNOW?

Fort Hamilton is a US military base in New York built between 1825 and 1831 as part of the city’s Third System defences. The Third System forts were coastal defences built in the US following the War of 1812.

Even before its construction, the site on which Fort Hamilton was built had already proven a vital strategic point. It was here that, on 4 July 1776, American forces attempted, but ultimately failed, to stop British forces from bringing in ships to quell the American Revolutionary War. Then, in the War of 1812, this was where American forces repelled British ships from docking.

As a garrisoned post, Fort Hamilton hosted some of the most famous figures in US history, including Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. It would go on to become a Union fortification in the American Civil War and an embarkation site in both world wars.

Today, Fort Hamilton is an active military base as well as housing New York’s only military museum, the Harbor Defense Museum. At this museum, visitors can see a range of historic weaponry, uniforms and exhibits such as about the Battle of Brooklyn.

It’s worth noting that Fort Hamilton was only named as such in the twentieth century, its namesake being Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795, Alexander Hamilton.

Photo by luisvilla (cc)

Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern is a museum of colonial, revolutionary and early Republic US history.

DID YOU KNOW?

Fraunces Tavern is famous for being the site where (then General) George Washington delivered a farewell speech to the Continental Army after the British had left New York in the American Revolution.

Built as the home of an affluent merchant in 1719, Frances Tavern was turned into a working tavern in 1762 by its namesake Samuel Fraunces. The tavern thrived and became the meeting place of revolutionary groups. After the revolution, the government rented parts of Fraunces Tavern as offices.

Purchased by the Sons of the Revolution in 1904, Fraunces Tavern was restored to its colonial form and has since operated as a museum. Visitors to the Fraunces Tavern Museum can view exhibits about the history of New York and of the building itself, from Colonial times through to the Revolution and the early years of the Republic.

Photo by Directory of Boston (cc)

Granary Burial Ground

Granary Burial Ground is a graveyard founded in the 17th century and where many famous Americans are buried.

DID YOU KNOW?

Granary Burial Ground is a graveyard in Boston founded in 1660 and is the final resting place of many important figures from the American Revolution.

While Granary Burial Ground contains around 2,345 tombs and graves, the actual number of people buried here is estimated to be approximately 5,000, due to the use of mass burial sites, such as the Infant’s Tomb number 203, which is thought to include over 500 children.

Amongst its famous residents lie Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Robert Treat Paine, the three signatories of the Declaration of Independence, the lawyer James Otis, who spoke out against Writs of Assistance at the Old State House and Peter Faneuil, who was the wealthy merchant who built Faneuil Hall, the site of many pre-revolution protests.

The five victims of the Boston Massacre of 1770 are also buried at Granary Burial Ground as are Benjamin Franklin’s parents, whose tomb is furnished with a large obelisk.

Granary Burial Ground forms part of the Freedom Trail which highlights significant sites from the American War of Independence. Granary Burial Ground houses a fascinating mix of historic icons, ordinary Bostonians and modern dignitaries.

Photo by sarahstierch (cc)

Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne was the location of the first successful English colony in America in 1607.

DID YOU KNOW?

It was in Historic Jamestowne in 1607 that the English established their first successful colony in America. Previous attempts, notably that of Roanoke in 1587, had been made, but the colony the English formed in Historic Jamestowne was the root of what was to eventually become America.

Due to its strategic location, Jamestown was also vitally important during the American Revolution and the American Civil War.

Today, Historic Jamestowne forms part of Colonial National Park, a historic site which encompasses York Town Battlefield, Colonial Parkway and the Cape Henry Memorial. Through guided ranger tours, hikes, exhibits and self-guided tours, visitors can explore the place’s history and that of the country as a whole.

Amongst its many attractions, it is worth seeing the Jamestown Glasshouse, a recreation of the first industrial building of the Virginia Company, the London-based company that founded the colony. This site features as one of our Top 10 US tourist attractions.

Photo by amandabhslater (cc)

HMS Victory

HMS Victory was Vice Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar and the site where this heroic figure died.

DID YOU KNOW?

HMS Victory is one of the world’s oldest and most famous warships. No other surviving ship has served in the American Revolution, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, it was her role as the flagship of British hero Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson during his final battle of the Napoleonic Wars for which HMS Victory is most renowned.

Early Career
Launched in 1765 and commissioned by the Royal Navy in 1778, HMS Victory was a first rate ship of the line. Her first main role was during the American Revolution under Admiral Keppel.

In 1793, HMS Victory formed part of the fleet during the French Revolutionary Wars and under Lord Hood. HMS Victory was also the warship under the remit of Admiral Sir John Jervis in his victory against a Spanish fleet at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1797. However, it was her role in the Napoleon Wars which would define HMS Victory.

Battle of Trafalgar
On 21 October 1805, HMS Victory served under the flag of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar. This naval battle saw Nelson lead the British to victory against the French and Spanish, despite the fact that the British fleet of 27 ships was greatly outnumbered. This decisive victory confirmed the supremacy of the British navy and instilled Nelson as a national hero.

However, this success came at a great cost as Nelson was shot and mortally wounded at the Battle, living just long enough to learn that he had been successful.

HMS Victory Today
Today, HMS Victory is located at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where this well-preserved warship is now serves as a museum. Guided tours are available. HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose are also housed at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Photo by techfun (cc)

Independence Hall - Philadelphia

Independence Hall is the site where the The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were both signed.

DID YOU KNOW?

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the most important landmarks in US history, being the site where the nation declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on 4 July 1776 by signing the Declaration of Independence.

Completed in 1753, Independence Hall served as Philadelphia’s State House and the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress. Independence Hall was also the scene of debates and deliberations as to the Constitution of the United States as well the place where the Constitution was signed on 14 May 1787. Although the original copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are now both housed at the National Archives in Washington, visitors can still see the places where they were each signed.

Independence Hall is now part of Independence National Historical Park, which also encompasses a myriad of important sites such as Congress Hall and Liberty Bell Centre sprawled over 55 acres within the City of Philadelphia.

Visitors can choose from a variety of ranger guided walking tours as well as various indoor and outdoor activities. Across the road is the Liberty Bell Centre, housing the famous Liberty Bell, one of the most significant symbols of the American Civil War and formerly hung in Independence Hall’s tower. Congress Hall is next door to Independence Hall.

This site features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in the United States.

Photo by lindseywb (cc)

Independence National Historical Park

Independence Hall is the site where the The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were both signed.

DID YOU KNOW?

Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to a plethora of significant national landmarks in the US.

From Independence Hall which was the site where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed and Congress Hall, seat of Congress from 1790 to 1800, to the home of Benjamin Franklin, Independence Park offers visitors in-depth insight into the founding of the United States of America.

Independence National Historical Park is spread over 55 acres within the City of Philadelphia and offers visitors a variety of ranger guided walking tours as well as various indoor and outdoor activities.

Photo by redjar (cc)

Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man National Historical Park is the home of the first battle of the American Revolution.

DID YOU KNOW?

Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts, USA commemorates the start of the American Revolution.

The American Revolution began as a protest against the treatment of the Americans as British subjects and turned into an eight year war for American independence.

Minute Man National Park includes the Battle Road Trail, the site of the first battle of the American Revolution which took place on 19 April 1775. Visitors can hike this trail or drive parts of it and a guided walk starts every day at 12:30pm from the Minute Man Visitor Centre. The next site along the way is Hartwell Tavern, a traditional pre-revolution homestead followed by The Wayside, the former home of Louisa May Alcott and other literary giants. You can only visit the Wayside with a guided tour.

Also found at Minute Man National Park is the North Bridge, the site of a famous battle commemorated in a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson as the location of the “shot heard round the world”. Rangers are on hand here to offer a twenty minute talk.

Minute Man National Park is named after the Minute Men, the volunteer American militia who fought for their country. Visitors can plan their itinerary by starting their day at the Minute Man Visitor Centre, which also includes an introduction to the war via a multimedia presentation. There is also a North Bridge Visitor Centre, which holds a brass cannon called The Hancock. Guided tours and ranger programs are also available as are audio guides.

Old North Church - Boston

Old North Church played a vital role in igniting the American Revolution and is part of the Freedom Trail.

DID YOU KNOW?

Old North Church is Boston’s oldest church, having been built in 1723 in the Georgian style. Originally called Christ’s Church, Old North Church was also the tallest building in Boston at the time and thus came to serve an important role in the American Revolution.

In the eighteenth century, the British began confiscating American weapons in fear that increasing tension relating to their rule would lead to revolution. On 18 April 1775, British soldiers planned to travel via the Charles River to surprise suspected arms hoarders and confiscate more weapons. However, discovering the plan, silversmith Paul Revere was tasked with alerting his fellow Bostonians, which he did on his famous Midnight Ride.

Before Revere left however, the caretaker of Old North Church, Robert Newman, agreed to hold lanterns up from the church steeple as a sign just in case Revere was captured before he could deliver the message. Newman held the lanterns for just a brief time, but it was enough for both the Americans and the British to see, prompting an attempt to arrest Newman.

The events of that day served as the catalyst of the American Revolution. Today Old North Church is still an operating Episcopal house of worship as well as a museum where visitors can admire its architecture and see the window from which Newman fled from the British that fateful night. One can also hear the tolling of the oldest bells in America.

Old South Meeting House - Boston

Old South Meeting House was an important 18th century meeting place and the site where the Boston Tea Party began.

DID YOU KNOW?

Old South Meeting House started life in 1729, when it was built as a Puritan house of worship, with a congregation in which leaders such as Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin mingled with artists like the famous African American poet Phillis Wheatley.

A Forum for Dissent
As tensions grew about the British colonial government in the latter half of the eighteenth century, the Old South Meeting House became the home of free speech in Boston. As the largest building in the town, it was often used as an alternative to Faneuil Hall, which was the official town meeting hall. Therefore, in the 1760’s and 1770’s it came to be that the Old South Meeting House was the scene of many spirited protests against the British, their legislation and their stationed redcoats, sent in 1768.

The Boston Tea Party
On 6 March 1770, the day after the Boston Massacre, crowds gathered at the Old South Meeting House to object to the incident where British troops killed five citizens after shooting at a protest group. The culmination of these events and one of the most famous events in American history took place at the Old South Meeting House on 16 December 1773, during a heated debate over the British tea tax. Around 5,000 people had crowded into the hall to participate and, when the debate failed to reach a solution, Samuel Adams led the crowd to throw 342 chests of tea into the harbour at Griffin’s Wharf. This became known as the Boston Tea Party.

American Revolution and Beyond
During the American Revolution, the Old South Meeting Hall suffered devastating destruction when, upon occupying Boston, the British tore down most of the internal parts of the building and used it as a riding school. Since then, the Old South Meeting Hall has survived the 1872 Fire of Boston and escaped demolition, finally being purchased by the Old South Association in 1877. It now operates as a museum commemorating free speech and an audio tour which brings the dramatic pre-revolution meetings to life.

Old State House - Boston

The Old State House in Boston played an important role in the American Revolution and was where the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Old State House in Boston played an important role in the American Revolution and is now one of the sites included in the Freedom Trail, a tourist trail made up of sixteen sites relating to the American Revolution against the British.

Construction
The Old State House was originally completed in 1713 and served the multiple functions of being a merchant’s hall and the seat of the colonial government. However, a fire in 1747 meant that it had to be rebuilt to a great extent in 1748 and further restoration and changes were made to the Old State House in 1830.

Before and During the American Revolution
In 1761, in part of what is known as Paxton’s Case, the Old State House was the scene of James Otis Junior’s famous speech against Writs of Assistance, British warrants which conferred wide search powers on their beneficiaries. Otis’s speech failed to extinguish these writs, but did add to the increasing dissatisfaction which eventually led to the American Revolution.

The Old State House was also part of the Boston Massacre of 1770, as attested to by a plaque beneath its balcony which indicates that this was the location where British soldiers fired into a group of Bostonians. This balcony was the scene of happier times on 18 July 1776, when Colonel Thomas Crafts read out the Declaration of Independence to the public for the first time.

Visiting
Today the Old State House is a museum of Boston’s history managed by the Bostonian Society as well as being part of Boston National Historical Park. Guided tours of the Freedom Trail - of which the State House forms a part - are available, but you can also walk it independently. A visit to the Boston’s Old State House tends to take half an hour to an hour.

Paul Revere House

Paul Revere House was the Boston home of Paul Revere, a silversmith who played a vital role in the American Revolution.

DID YOU KNOW?

Paul Revere House was the home of goldsmith/silversmith Paul Revere and his family from 1770 to 1800. In 1774 and 1775, during the build up to the American Revolution, Paul Revere was tasked as an express rider on behalf of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety and the Boston Committee of Correspondence.

This role would lead him to perform one of the most famous rides in American history. On the eve of 18 April 1775, Revere was called upon to ride to Lexington, Massachusetts to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that British forces were on their way to detain them. It is Paul Revere whose famous words are said to have been “The British are coming!”, raising the alarm and allowing the Americans to prepare for battle.

Paul Revere was soon arrested himself, but later escaped and witnessed the Battle of Lexington. Purchased by Paul Revere’s grandson in 1902, Paul Revere House is now a museum about this patriotic icon, detailing his life and his famous midnight ride.

Paul Revere house has been reconstructed to look just as it would have in the eighteenth century and most of the architecture is original. Tours are self guided, with panels and explanations provided with plaques and illustrations. Paul Revere House also forms part of the Freedom Trail, a tour of all of Boston’s most famous American Revolution sites as well as being part of Boston National Historic Park.

Visits take approximately 30-45 minutes. Next door to Paul Revere House is the Pierce Hitchborn House, an authentic example of Georgian architecture.

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a tour through Boston’s historical sites relating to the American Revolution.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Freedom Trail takes visitors to Boston through a tour of sixteen sites in the city which were of importance before and during the American Revolution against British rule in the 18th century.

Boston played a central role in igniting the American Revolution, also known as the American War of Independence, and the Freedom Trail contains the sites which tell its story.

The Freedom Trail usually starts in Boston Common, where British troops camped during the 1775 Boston Occupation and goes to sites including the Old State House where the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, Faneuil Hall where many pre-war protests took place, to the place where the Boston Tea party was started, Old South Meeting House and to the site of the Boston Massacre of 1770.

Also included are Granary Burial Ground, a cemetery housing many famous Americans, Paul Revere House, the home of the famous silversmith who alerted his countrymen that the British were coming and the 19th century USS Constitution ship, the iron fastenings of which were made by Paul Revere.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile trip which visitors can either follow independently using the red pavement markings around the city or join one of the selections of guided tours, which last around an hour and a half. You can even download an MP3 audio tour from the Freedom Trail site to walk the tour without a guide, which costs $15. Many of these sites also form part of the Boston National Historical Park.

Photo by By cliff1066™ (cc)

Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield is the site of the final major battle of the American Revolution.

DID YOU KNOW?

Yorktown battlefield in Virginia is the location of the final battle of the American Revolution.

It was at Yorktown battlefield that, on 19 October 1781, the British surrendered to the combined forces of the French and American armies, under the command of General Washington. This dramatic action marked the end of the war and was the point at which the Americans attained independence.

Today, Yorktown battlefield forms part of Colonial National Park which encompasses Historic Jamestown, Colonial Parkway and the Cape Henry Memorial. Visitors to Yorktown Battlefield can learn about the history of the site and the end of the American Revolution with tours and exhibitions including visiting Moore House, where the terms of surrender were agreed. Aspects of the site also relate to the American Civil War.