traveling along the Atlantic coast of the United States mostly along U.S. Highway 1
Itineraries > North America itineraries > From Plymouth to Hampton Roads

From Plymouth to Hampton Roads is an itinerary along the Atlantic coast of the United States, showcasing the nation's early history, from the first Anglo-American settlements to the American Civil War. It mostly coincides with the U.S. Highway 1.


As for most American historical routes, it follows a chronology of migration and development, beginning with the first colonies in Massachusetts, along the Freedom Trail in Boston, following the relocation of the capital from New York to Philadelphia and finally Washington DC, ending with the Civil War battlegrounds in Virginia.


Map of From Plymouth to Hampton Roads
  • 1 Plymouth, Massachusetts. The place where the Puritan "Pilgrims" landed in 1620, and the site of the original Thanksgiving holiday. The oldest surviving colony in New England.
  • 2 Salem, Massachusetts. Among other things, known for the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s.
  • 3 Boston, Massachusetts. Much of the prelude to the 1770s War of Independence happened here, such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. The Freedom Trail will be of particular interest to Revolutionary War buffs.
  • 4 Concord (Massachusetts). One of the first battlefields of the War of Independence has been commemorated with the Minute Man National Historical Park.
  • 5 Watervliet Shaker Historic District, 875 Watervliet Shaker Rd, Colonie (Watervliet (New York)), +1 518 456-7890. February to October, T-Sa 9:30AM-4PM. November and December, M-Sa 10AM-4:00PM. Watervliet was the first Shaker settlement in the United States and Shaker leader Ann Lee is buried here. The site is owned by Albany County, which occupies most buildings. All but 8 buildings were demolished by the county in the 1930s. The nonprofit Shaker Heritage Society has renovated the meeting house, where it operates a gift shop. Guided tours available by appointment. Self-guided tour maps available inside the gift shop. Admission is free, suggested donation $5 per adult appreciated.
  • 6 Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, 202 Shaker Rd, New Lebanon (Take Darrow Rd off Rt. 20, entrance will be on right), +1 518 794-9100. While Watervliet was the first gathering of Shakers, the Mount Lebanon community was the first to be formally and deliberately organized into a communal living arrangement. At its peak, this was the largest Shaker village, comprised over 6,000 acres and 100 buildings. It was also the spiritual center of the Shaker movement. Now the village is mostly in ruins or demolished, but the shell of the massive stone barn still stands. Call or check web site for schedule.
  • 7 New York. Originally a Dutch colony, named Nieuw Amsterdam, New York was briefly the new country's capital from 1785 to 1790.
  • 8 Paterson (New Jersey). "The Silk City" was the nation's first planned industrial city.
  • 9 Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). The capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800.
  • 10 Baltimore (Maryland). During the War of 1812, Baltimore resisted a British attack. The battle was inspiration for The Star-Spangled Banner, the American National Anthem.
  • 11 Annapolis (Maryland). A colonial port city with many preserved buildings.
  • 12 Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1800, this city contains many artifacts from the Independence era. In particular, it is home to the original copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
  • 13 Williamsburg (Virginia). Includes the Jamestown settlement, the first British colony to survive in what's now the United States; Colonial Williamsburg; and other preserved relics from the colonial and revolutionary periods.
  • 14 Hampton (Virginia). Fort Monroe was important to the American Civil War. While Virginia joined the Confederacy, Fort Monroe was held by the Union throughout the war. In 1862, the Battle of Hampton Roads marked the end of the Age of Sail.
  • 15 First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. The first place where members of the Virginia Company landed. They went on to settle Jamestown.    

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