Places to Visit

CT | DC | DE | GA | MA | MD | ME | NC | NH | NJ | NY | PA | RI | SC | TN | VA | VT
Place City Sort descending
George Washington Masonic National Memorial Alexandria The 333-foot memorial, dedicated in 1932, was built by Masons to honor their fellow Mason, George Washington; includes a museum of personal artifacts.
Christ Church Alexandria A Georgian-style church designed by James Wren and completed by John Carlyle in 1773. Still an active church, Washington's pew is marked with a silver plaque.
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Alexandria Built c. 1785 with adjoining hotel built in 1792 and one of the few colonial taverns still in existence; includes operating restaurant, ballroom, and museum.
Old Presbyterian Meeting House Alexandria The original Meeting House, build in 1775, was destroyed by fire in 1835; rebuilding completed in 1837 using the same Georgian-style architecture.
Scotchtown Beaverdam From 1771 - 78 this was the home of Patrick Henry, his wife, and six children.
Red Hill – The Patrick Henry National Memorial Brookneal The last home and burial place of Patrick Henry, who retired here in 1793. The extensive plantation has been reconstructed; includes a visitor center.
Shirley Plantation Charles City Founded in 1613, the present mansion was begun in 1723; with extensive grounds and a formal garden, the plantation includes multiple structures that can be viewed on a guided tour.
Berkeley Plantation Charles City Built in 1726 by Benjamin Harrison IV, it became the home of Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; includes period furniture, antiques, and extensive grounds overlooking the James River.
Ash Lawn-Highland Charlottesville A working plantation with a modest house, it was completed for James Monroe and his family in 1799; includes period furniture, personal artifacts, and extensive grounds.
Michie Tavern Charlottesville Following the war, Corporal William Mitchie established a tavern in 1784; operates both as a restaurant and living history museum.
Monticello Charlottesville Thomas Jefferson’s plantation and home which he designed, built, and rebuilt over 50 years.
University of Virginia Charlottesville Founded by Thomas Jefferson, who was also the original architect, in 1819.
George Washington Birthplace National Monument Colonial Beach Commemorates Washington’s birth at Popes Creek Plantation on 1732. The house is not original, but the cemetery holds over 30 Washingtons, including his father.
Poplar Forest Forest Thomas Jefferson designed and began building this octagonal second home in 1806, during his second term as president.
James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library Fredericksburg The fifth president of the U.S., Monroe fought at Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. The museum contains personal artifacts, furnishings, and papers.
Hugh Mercer Apothecary Fredericksburg Hugh Mercer was a Scottish immigrant doctor who fought and died in the Battle of Princeton (1777). The restored building provides a living history interpretation of Colonial medical practices.
Kenmore Plantation Fredericksburg Built in the 1770s, Kenmore was the home of Fielding Lewis and his wife Betty, George Washington’s only sister. The house is considered one of the best Colonial mansions in America.
Mary Washington House Fredericksburg Purchased in 1772 by George Washington for his mother, Mary Ball Washington, where she spent the last 17 years of her life.
George Washington’s Ferry Farm Fredericksburg George Washington’s boyhood home, Ferry Farm is an ongoing archeological site.
Gunston Hall Plantation Mason Neck George Mason’s home, a wonderful example of Georgian architecture, was completed in 1759; includes original artifacts, grounds, and a garden overlooking the Potomac River.
Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens Mt. Vernon Originally a cottage built on 2,300 acres by his father, George Washington expanded both house and acres, and lived there until his death; he and first lady, Martha, are buried on the grounds.
James Madison Museum Orange Commemorates the life and times of the founding father and fourth president; includes period furniture, personal artifacts, and papers.
James Madison’s Montpelier Orange Built c. 1764 by his father, this was James Madison’s lifelong home — which he expanded twice. Full restoration completed in 2008.
Wilton House Museum Richmond Built c. 1753 for William Randolph III, home to the Randolphs for more than 100 years, it is one of the best-preserved colonial mansions from the original 13 colonies. Includes period pieces and furniture, plus a few original artifacts; guided tours only.
Virginia Historical Society Richmond Both museum and library (free of charge), the signature exhibition is “The Story of Virginia.”
John Marshall House Richmond Built in 1790, this Federal-style house was where the great Chief Justice lived for 45 years; includes family furnishings and memorabilia.
St. John’s Church Richmond Completed in 1741, it was the first church in Richmond; in 1775, it was the site of the famous speech by Patrick Henry ending with “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Virginia State Capitol Richmond In 1780 Virginia’s capitol moved from Williamsburg to Richmond; Jefferson designed the new structure, modelling it after the Maison Carrée in France.
Stratford Hall Stratford Built by Thomas Lee in the late 1730s, Stratford was home to five sons who served in various ways during the Revolution. The 1,900-acre site includes nature trails, a gristmill, and formal gardens.
Colonial Williamsburg Williamsburg Historic first capitol of Virginia, now devoted to colonial America through living history and period architecture.
Wren Building, College of William and Mary Williamsburg Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1699; fully reconstructed in 1732 after a fire. It is the oldest academic structure still in use in America.
Colonial National Historical Park Yorktown Includes Cape Henry Memorial and Yorktown Battlefield.
Yorktown Victory Center Yorktown A museum of the American Revolution with indoor exhibits and outdoor living history that chronicles the history of the colonies through their independence.

The First Congress faced a unique challenge, and those congressmen and senators who gathered in New York in the spring of 1789 were awed by what lay ahead of them. Not only would members of the Congress have to pass some promised amendments to the new Constitution, but they would have to fill out the bare framework of a government that the Philadelphia Convention had created, including the organization of the executive and judicial departments. Some therefore saw the First Congress as something in the nature of a second constitutional convention.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)