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Some of the oldest places in America everyone should visit

Brad Smithfield
John Wiley CC BY 3.0

Many people still believe that American history starts in the 17th century with the Pilgrim settlements or even worse, with the 18th century Revolutionary War. Of course, none of this is true.

If you want to understand the history of your own country, you need to dig deep back into the past of this land. You will be surprised to find out that there were prehistoric civilizations thriving on this soil many years before the early settlers arrived.

Three examples of Mississippian culture copper plates – Author: Herb Roe – CC BY 3.0

Three examples of Mississippian culture copper plates – Author: Herb Roe – CC BY 3.0

We’re talking hundreds if not thousands of years before the first colonizers arrived. For all of you who are not aware of the rich American past, here is a list of historical places that you can still visit today and learn more about your origin.


The remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico are preserved at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Within the 2,200-acre tract, located a few miles west of Collinsville, Illinois, lie the archaeological remnants of the central section of the ancient settlement that is today known as Cahokia.

Cahokia Mounds Historic Site is a pre-Columbian Native American city (600 – 1400 CE). The historic site lies in southern Ilinois covering 2200 acres. Cahokia is the largest and the most important settlement of Mississippian culture.

They had developed societies across what today we know as the central part of the United States. The Mississippian culture existed in this area 1000 years before the Europeans arrived on the American continent. The site contains around 80 mounds that can be visited today, while back in the day the whole park was much bigger.

Monks Mound – Author: Herb Roe – CC BY 3.0

Monks Mound – Author: Herb Roe – CC BY 3.0

Chumash Painted Cave

The walls of this small cave carved from towering sandstone boulders contain some of the finest remaining rock art created by Chumash Native Americans. A steep path leads to the cave entrance, which is protected by heavy iron grillwork. The meaning of these enigmatic images has been lost.

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park is a historic site in southern California. Native American people known as the Chumash lived in the area about 10,000 years ago left incredible drawings that represent Chumash cosmology.

The irregularly shaped sandstone caves contain numerous drawings that prove the existence of old civilizations on American soil.

You can visit the site today and get close to the cave on a steep path. Photographing with flash is not allowed, so don’t get disappointed. This site will be especially interesting for people who enjoy prehistoric cave art.

Chumash painted cave – Author: John Wiley – CC BY 3.0

Chumash painted cave – Author: John Wiley – CC BY 3.0

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is America’s oldest city, it was settled first by the Timucua Indians and then in 1565 the Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded the first European base on this continent and named it after a Roman saint, Agustine.

The city lay on the Atlantic coast in northeastern Florida and served as a capital of Spanish Florida for more than 200 years.

St. Augustine’s buildings are in good shape and can be visited today. Plaza de la Constitucion, the historic city gate and the Castillo de San Marcos, built in 1672 are some of the places you can see if visit St. Agustine.

Entrance to Fort Marion – Author: Samuel Coley

Entrance to Fort Marion – Author: Samuel Coley

Entrance to Fort Marion – Author: Samuel Coley 

These amazing historical sites are waiting for visitors to come and learn more about America’s past. If you are a curious traveler, then you will love these places.

Exploring any country’s history is always an amazing experience. But, the most important thing is to start with our own cultural heritage. Enjoy discovering your own country!