The Top 10 Historical Sites in New York!

New York State played a pivotal role in U.S. history, with Manhattan, miles of Atlantic coastline, the crucial Hudson River, and access to the Great Lakes. Today, the state has ample sites for history buffs to explore. Here are 10 fascinating historical sites in New York State. 

1. Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY

Constructed in 1903 to relieve commuter train congestion, Grand Central Terminal has been called one of the most majestic buildings of the 20th century. Head to the main concourse, where you’ll be amazed by the constellations painted on the ceiling and the stunning opal-faced clock in the middle of the commuter rush.

2. Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Upstate New York, NY

The Erie Canal was a marvel of engineering during the 1800s, connecting the Great Lakes of the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast. Five-hundred miles of the waterway crosses upstate New York, and many areas are open to visitors. Museums, cycling, and boating are all available, allowing you to experience the canal up close.

3. Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, NY

This gorgeous fort on Lake Champlain’s eastern shore played a pivotal role in American history during the 1700s, namely the French and Indian War and The Revolutionary War. Today, the fort is a history museum, running tours, reenactments, and educational programs on the historic grounds.

4. Darwin D. Martin House, Buffalo, NY

Considered one of the finest early works of the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this six-building complex underwent a massive restoration project and is now open to the public. Completed in 1905 and considered his “opus,” the plans for the complex remained on the wall near Wright’s drawing desk for 50 years. Visitors today can roam the grounds and take tours of the interior. 

5. Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park, NY

Hyde Park was the lifelong home of FDR, one of America’s most influential presidents. On the 800-acre grounds, the former president held his famous Fireside Chats and had many important meetings. Today, you can see his home, “Springwood,” the Presidential Library and Museum, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Cottage.

6. Montauk Point Light, Montauk, NY

Built in 1797, this lighthouse on the easternmost tip of Long island is the fourth-oldest operating lighthouse in the country. Authorized by President George Washington himself, building Montauk Lighthouse was the United States’ first public works project. Today, visitors can climb up to the top and peer out over the balcony.

7. Phillipsburg Manor House, Sleepy Hollow, NY

This still-operating gristmill and farm was established in this mid-1700s by the Philipses, a family of prominent Dutch landowners. Today, the grounds are open to educational tours, where visitors can wander the 300-year-old manor house and partake in hands-on experiences like working flax into linen. 

8. United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

West Point, located along a curve of the Hudson River, was considered by George Washington to be the most important stronghold in America during the revolution. Since 1802, the United States Military Academy has been on the site, training and refining generations of the country’s finest members of the military. Visitors can tour the premises between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.

9. Playland, Rye, NY

This iconic amusement park has been in operation since 1928, with many of the rides still standing. Visitors to Playland can ride the famous wooden Dragon Coaster, which has been featured in many films and videos, see free concerts during the summer, swim in the Long Island Sound, and go ice skating at the Ice Casino.

10. Tenement Museum, New York, NY

This beautifully-restored tenement building on the Lower East Side pays homage to the housing conditions of countless immigrants in the city’s history. Immaculately designed, each room in the museum shows what it would have been like to be an immigrant living in New York City during the 1800s.

View more New York Historical Sites.
Select a New York town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Select your town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you:

Albany County

Allegany County

Bronx County

Broome County

Cattaraugus County

Cayuga County

Chautauqua County

Chemung County

Chenango County

Clinton County

Columbia County

Cortland County

Delaware County

Dutchess County

Erie County

Essex County

Franklin County

Fulton County

Genesee County

Greene County

Hamilton County

Herkimer County

Jefferson County

Kings County

Lewis County

Livingston County

Madison County

Monroe County

Montgomery County

Nassau County

New York County

Niagara County

Oneida County

Onondaga County

Ontario County

Orange County

Orleans County

Oswego County

Otsego County

Putnam County

Queens County

Rensselaer County

Richmond County

Rockland County

Saint Lawrence County

Saratoga County

Schenectady County

Schoharie County

Schuyler County

Seneca County

Steuben County

Suffolk County

Sullivan County

Tioga County

Tompkins County

Ulster County

Warren County

Washington County

Wayne County

Westchester County

Wyoming County

Yates County