The United States of America is a big place with plenty to see and do. For those looking for the unique experience, there are many places that offer something different. One of the best ways to experience these unusual destinations is by visiting some of the oldest cities in the USA. The United States history is rich and diverse, with over 350 years of historical events that have shaped our nation. From battles to political movements, some of the oldest cities in America are worth looking at.
The USA is made up of 50 states, soon to be 51 states, each with its own unique history and culture. If you’re looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of New York or Los Angeles, then we’ve got you covered! Check out our list below to see some of America’s oldest cities with a brief description of what they are most known for.
- St. Augustine, Florida
- New York City, New York
- Jersey City, New Jersey
- Newport News, Virginia
- Hampton, Virginia
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Annapolis, Maryland
- Charleston, South Carolina
- San Antonio, Texas
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is one of the oldest cities in the US, dating back to 1565! Today it stands out as one of Florida’s most beautiful cities with modern buildings, well-paved streets, shops, and beaches. Even though an air of modernity permeates throughout the city, its rich history and culture make it one of the oldest and most notable cities on our list. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, St. Augustine is an essential part of Florida’s heritage today.
The place is filled with attractions and buildings that are older than the US constitution, and its museums have exhibits that outdate the nation itself. Many consider St. Augustine a treasure trove for history buffs since it boasts numerous historical landmarks and it is the longest continuously occupied European settlement in the US.
Aside from the historical attractions, St. Augustine FL, is one of the best places to live because of its convenient location, amenities, and family-friendly environment. The biggest industry in the area is retail, and it is closely followed by lodging & food services. With the help of real estate agents in St. Augustine FL, you can find a lovely home at an average price of about $272,000, which is a steal compared to the benefits you get from living in such a culturally and historically rich city.
New York City, New York
Despite being the most populous city in the United States, New York City is one of the oldest cities in the US. It was established by Dutch settlers as New Amsterdam in 1664, shortly after the British took over control of several small French fur-trading posts located along the lower Hudson River. The city’s history is renowned, and it is for a long time one of the most recognized locations on earth.
Its iconic landmarks such as Times Square, Broadway, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building are staples of culture and history. New York also has an ethnically diverse population of around 8.3 million people, and the city continues to reinvent itself while maintaining historic leadership in commerce, art, education, finance, and culture.
New York is much more than skyscrapers and subway tracks (which form the massive New York real estate); it’s about its rich heritage and an urban lifestyle like no other. The city also holds one of the most expensive housing markets, which is close to $650,000, and if you want to be part of its communities, reach out to our realtors in New York City NY, for more details about home prices and offers.
Jersey City, New Jersey
The present-day Jersey City is located on the land where Dutch traders established New Netherlands settlement in 1617. There is some controversy surrounding the history of Jersey City NJ, since many historians trace its beginnings to a Dutch land grant in 1630. Initially, the land was occupied by the Lenape People. Even though its population was well-established, after the American Revolution, the town was first incorporated in 1820 as the City of Jersey. It took about 18 years until it was reincorporated as Jersey City, and as of 2017, it was declared the second-largest city in the state.
Known in the past as a hub for shipping and manufacturing, nowadays Jersey City stands out for its rich and vibrant culture. The city is located between the Hudson River and Hackensack, and it stretches for about 15 square miles. With its large population and a median home value of about $500,000, you can be part of this vibrant city if you get in touch with our real estate agents in Jersey City NJ, who can guide you through the housing market.
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News VA traces its founding to the English, but only until 1880, the areas gained a lot of attention. At the time, the new rail lines started to bring Appalachian coal to the newly founded shipbuilding industry and got more development in the area, which favored Newport News’s growth. To this day, Newport News Shipbuilding remains one of the largest industrial employers in the region, producing aircraft carriers and submarines for the military.
Aside from the vital role the city played in the maritime history of the US, Newport News sits on a prime vantage point where the Chesapeake Bay and James River meet. This allows residents and tourists to enjoy the beach and several water-related activities such as boating, fishing, and others. Art centers are fairly prevalent in the area, and everything is accompanied by historical sites and about 36 natural parks. With so many leisure opportunities in a gorgeous city, there is no doubt that many would want to relocate here.
Reach out to the local real estate agents in Newport News VA, for more details about the housing market if you want to become a resident in a city known for its strong historical heritage. With a median house value of about $200,000, you will most likely find some good home deals in the area.
Like its neighboring city of Newport News, Hampton was founded in 1610 by the same English-speaking settlement. One of the first aviation research centers in the US was Virginia Air & Space Center, located in Hampton, and it was used as training grounds for astronauts. Hampton is also the birthplace of William Tucker, one of the first African descendants born in America.
The first public education system was instituted in Hampton, and it was the first town to start teaching African-Americans. The historical Hampton University is a well-respected institution in that regard, and the city holds a rich heritage and a vibrant culture. Hampton VA is part of a metro area of seven cities, and it is connected to the town of Norfolk through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, which is the first bridge-tunnel to artificial islands.
The city has gone through a major revitalization program in the 1990s, and many people were drawn to the area for better job opportunities and education. With leading industries such as aerospace, medical, telecommunications, and government, Hampton is one of our top choices for historic cities.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe holds the honor of being the oldest state capital in the US, as well as being New Mexico’s oldest city. In the 15th century, the “Kingdom of New Mexico” was owned by the Spanish and its capital San Juan Pueblo. Later on, in 1609, the Spanish colonists arrived in the area, which was occupied by Indigenous people. The One Pueblo village, founded around 900 A.D., was located in today’s downtown Santa Fe. Indigenous groups expelled the Spanish from the region, but in 1692 the rebellion was put down.
Santa Fe remained under the control of the Spanish until Mexico declared its independence in 1810. The city was part of the Texas Republic until 1836, when Santa Fe pulled away from Mexico. After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, the city became part of the United States in present-day New Mexico.
Today, Santa Fe is a thriving capital city with unique Spanish Territory architecture and some of the country’s oldest public buildings. The city also stands at about 7,000 ft above sea level, and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains make room for numerous outdoor activities, such as hiking, bike trails, golf courses, and many others. Millions of tourists visit Santa Fe every year, and the city puts great effort into preserving its historical sites as well as the environment through sustainability initiatives.
With a little bit of research and with the help of real estate agents in Santa Fe NM, you can find a lovely home to relocate to and enjoy all the perks of living in such a beautiful area.
In the early 1600s, the peninsula that would become Boston was home to the Native Americans until John Smith named the area New England to draw European settlers. By the end of 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established, and later that year, it was renamed Boston, similar to a small town in England. A couple of years later, the Harvard University and Boston Latin School were established, which turned Boston into an educational haven.
There is no shortage of things to do in Boston MA. The city is located along Massachusetts Bay, and it is known for the Boston Common, The Public Gardens, and Fenway Park. Famous for their baked beans, the Boston Marathon, and the bar from Cheers, Boston has many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.
Similar to New York in terms of housing prices, Boston has an astonishing median home value of about $665,000, and it is increasing. If you want to become a resident of this fantastic city, reach out to real estate agents in Boston MA, and they will guide you through the housing market in the area.
Originally called Providence, a religious freedom settlement in the Chesapeake Bay in 1649, the town grew to be the city we know today. Annapolis was renamed after Princess Anne, who became the queen in 1702 and later became a cultural and political hub, which earned its name the “Athens of America.”
Annapolis is also known for being the sailing Capital of the US, and 300 years after it was renamed, the city became famous for its Naval Academy, the Maryland State House, and its excellent seafood cuisine. The town became a National Historic Landmark District about 50 years ago because of its historical significance. Being one of the first planned cities in colonial America also makes it one of the most beautiful cities. Besides the academics in the area, Annapolis presents a lot of interest for tourists and visitors.
Aside from the historical landmarks which you can visit, you can enjoy the attractions provided by the Chesapeake Bay. Their wealth of rivers, creeks, and inland bays make it possible to explore these areas by boat or canoe, and recreational activities can be found at every step. Make sure you get in touch with real estate agents in Annapolis MD if you are thinking about relocating here.
Charleston, South Carolina
Aside from its historical value and the city’s age, Charleston was often ranked as one of the best places to live in the US. Its gorgeous scenery, along with the friendly communities and loads of attractions, makes it one of the best cities for both living and visiting. The area was initially colonized by English settlers near the Ashley River in 1670 and named their town, Charles Towne, after King Charles the second. Ten years later, the city was moved to where Charleston is today, and it became well known for indigo and rice. The cities role in the Civil War made it stand out, and it became an early supporter of state rights and slavery.
Aside from its rich cultural and historical heritage, the city of Charleston SC is booming, and its economy is sprawling, which is why many people relocate to the area. The cobblestone streets and the gorgeous antebellum architecture set up the mood for a romantic night. Even a walk in the downtown area is a memorable experience, and you will be greeted with their renowned restaurants and the endless miles of sandy beaches.
The laidback lifestyle is what most people are dying for and Charleston certainly delivers in all areas. With a median home value close to $370,000, most first-time homebuyers can find a lovely home to live that is budget-friendly. If that might interest you, get in touch with the local real estate agents in Charleston SC, and they will be able to help you with all your housing needs.
San Antonio, Texas
Lately, Texas has experienced one of the highest population growth. It seems that the affordable lifestyle, laid-back atmosphere, and job opportunities keep bringing more people into the state every year. San Antonio TX is no exception, and aside from its attractions and economic growth, the city is known for being one of the oldest cities in the US, with a rich history and culture. Founded in 1718 by the Spanish and named after St. Anthony of Padua, the city was originally the ground for the Mission San Antonio of Valero – also known as Alamo – which later became the city with the same name.
Nowadays, San Antonio is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and every year, millions of people travel to the city to visit the famous Alamo. Attractions are not the only thing that draws people to the area. San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country also because of its strong job market, affordable living, vibrant culture, hospitality, and great food. If you ever wondered why people love this city so much, it is because of all these things that make it an outstanding community to be living in.
With average home prices around $200,000, there is no wonder why so many home buyers are looking to relocate here. If you are one of them, get in touch with real estate agents in San Antonio TX, who can help you find the home of your dreams at affordable prices.
The unmatched historical heritage of the cities presented in this article is one of the main reasons we chose to put them in our oldest cities in the US. However, regardless of their age, you better be sure that modern times can not keep up with the charm, vibrancy, and thriving culture of these fantastic cities. Being part of these cities is an experience in itself, and we hope that our list inspired you to visit or even live in one of these stunning US cities.
Do you agree with our list of the ten oldest cities in the US? Which one do you think should make it on our list? Let us know in the comment section below. If you enjoy our content, make sure to show your support by sharing the blog on your social media platforms.