Broadway’s Hamilton the Musical has swept the nation, obliterating box office records at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York. Charting the rise and fall of the “ten-dollar Founding Father without a father,” this musical is nearly sold out and virtually impossible to get into unless you can drop some serious cash. The fact that it’s President-approved (Obama’s seen it twice) only makes snagging tickets that much more difficult. But, no worries — whether or not you’ve been one of the few thousands of fans to be in the “room where it happens,” we’ve compiled the best destinations to trace Hamilton’s footsteps and explore his legacy.
1. Alexander Hamilton House (Nevis Island, West Indies)
In 1755, Alexander Hamilton was born and then raised on the tiny island of Nevis, a 35.9 square mile enclave in the West Indies. Today, Nevis has come a long way with a booming tourism industry with nearly a dozen resorts, all the while maintaining its idyllic coastline views. To honor the Founding Fathers of the hour, a visit to Charlestown’s Alexander Hamilton House takes visitors through the life and famed duel death of Hamilton with artifacts, notes, and displays. The highlight here is the chance to step foot inside the house where Hamilton was born.
2. Hamilton Grange National Memorial (New York, New York)
Initially built on 32 acres of land in upper Manhattan, the Hamiltons commissioned John McComb Jr. to design a country house. Completed in 1802, just two years before Hamilton’s death, the Hamilton Grange (named after Hamilton’s ancestral home in Scotland) remains intact, having reopened to the public after a renovation completed in 2011 by the National Park Service. Expect to spend at least an hour exploring the house — exhibits fill the two stories of living quarters, detailing the storied life of Hamilton and his family in New York City.
3. Wall Street (New York, New York)
Wall Street was founded on many of the principles set forth from Hamilton’s masterful systems of finance, developed when he was the nation’s first Secretary of Treasury, so a simple walking tour through the Financial District of Manhattan naturally fits the legacy-exploring bill. Start with Trinity Church, the resting place of Alexander Hamilton as well as his wife and her sister Angelica Schuyler Church (one of Hamilton the Musical’s most endearing characters). Continue the tour down Wall Street to the Bank of New York, founded by Hamilton in 1789. It was designed by Ralph Walker and was the first stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1792. Finally, head to 48 Wall Street, where The Museum of American Finance stands as the only independent museum dedicated to the education of finance and the financial markets as well as to Alexander Hamilton’s life.
Want to visit these sites and other Hamilton-related landmarks in the Financial District with the help of an expert? In summer 2016, Urban Adventures launched a daily, two-hour Hamilton Happy Tour ($30) that’s led by an incredibly insightful guide. The experience begins at the end of this prominent figure’s life with a stop at his gravesite, where you’ll learn more about his early years. Next, a stop at Zuccotti Park raises the question of whether or not Hamilton would have approved of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
A few blocks over, fans of the musical will surely be delighted upon seeing 59 Maiden Lane, which was formerly marked as number 57. The house that once stood here is famous for being the one that had “the room where it happens” and is where Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton discussed the Compromise of 1790. Other highlights include Federal Hall, a glimpse of the New York Stock Exchange, 40 Wall Street, Hanover Square, and Pearl Street (the city’s first paved thoroughfare). Things wrap up at Fraunces Tavern, where Vice President Aaron Burr and Hamilton attended a gathering a week before their fateful duel.*
4. Burr–Hamilton Duel Grounds (Weehawken, New Jersey)
From NYC, hop on a ferry or a bus to Weehawken, just off the banks of the Hudson, to America’s most famous dueling ground: the spot where Hamilton met his match against Aaron Burr on July 11, 1804. The area is landmarked with a bust of Hamilton monument and Hamilton Park, a picture-perfect spot with panoramic views of New York City.
5. Hamilton Sculpture in Central Park (New York, New York)
Hamilton was an immigrant who made his name and claimed his fame in New York City, and his larger-than-life granite statue in Central Park is a sign that New Yorkers have never forgotten the great achievements he made for the nation’s largest city. The monument, between 82nd and 83rd Streets, features incredible detail of Hamilton’s colonial attire. For the art buffs: The sculpture was created by American artist Carl H. Conrads and donated to the park in 1880 by John C. Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton’s son.
6. US Department of the Treasury (Washington, D.C.)
An impressive Hamilton monument stands proudly in front of the stately Treasury, the nation’s headquarters of the governmental finance since 1842. After admiring his likeness in front of the building’s southern façade, facing The Ellipse, join a tour inside. They’re available on Saturdays, and advanced reservations through your local representative or senator’s office is required.
7. The American Cape (Hamilton, Ohio)
Founded in 1791, a town in southwest Ohio was named after Alexander Hamilton, a living legend at the time of the town’s establishment. Fast forward to 11 years ago, when The American Cape, an awe-inspiring 12-foot statue of Alexander Hamilton — the largest likeness of Hamilton in the States — was unveiled in downtown Hamilton. Located on Hight Street between Second and Third Streets, this version of Hamilton takes on an evocative stance, charging forward with a cape that extends up and back. Be sure to look down as well when you’re here; the sidewalk surrounding the monument is embedded with 18 granite diamonds, highlighting quotes from the Founding Father.
*Additional reporting by Christine Dayao