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50 Incredible Oldest Towns In The US

oldest town
Photo by Ty Wolf at Shutterstock

Oldest Towns

Some of America’s oldest towns have transformed into thriving cities that continue to grow, while others seem to have been forgotten by time yet still retain their history and charm. There have inevitably been disputes between towns over who was really “first,” but the places on our list are most likely the oldest.

The US is considered a relatively young country, but of course, plenty of these “oldest towns” and cities have been around for a very long time. By looking at the year settlers founded each town, we’ve figured out the oldest towns by state. Of course, we shouldn’t forget that before European settlers arrived on the land known as The United States Of America, Native Americans called these places their home.

Unfortunately, many towns that were “established,” expelled or wiped out Native Americans by colonizing settlers who claimed the land. Colonial America’s history often erases these stories. So even though it’s not always pretty, history is fascinating! Click “Next” below to see which 50 oldest towns made our list, some of them you might not even know about!

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27 thoughts on “50 Incredible Oldest Towns In The US”

  1. Hampton Virginia was established in 1610 and is the oldest, continuous English speaking settlement in the New World.

  2. Rendalynn Semans Simpson

    I sincerely want to thank you for description of Maryland. Maryland was settled as “The Free State,” for religious freedom. The democrat governor and failed president attemptee took away the free state slogan and made the official logo “The Old Line State.” Yes, it was the old line state, but it was for religious freedom before anything else.

  3. I lived in Astoria Oregon from 1957 to 1961. It was a thriving fishing town. The Navy had a base on the Columbia River. This was long before the bridge was built and ferries crossed the river to Washington. It was an interesting city. Small and friendly people.

    1. St. August, FL, is the oldest settlement of European origin in the US – established in 1655 and still going strong.

  4. I am a native Mississippian and have visited Natchez several times. Of all the things you COULD have said about Natchez (beautiful antebellum homes, Mississippi River town, casino, etc.), you chose to hang the “states most active slave-trading city” moniker around its neck. Is that the best you could do – perpetuate the city’s 200-years-ago history that no one is proud of today? Wouldn’t it have been better to describe it in a manner that would draw someone to the area? I thought that was the whole point of this article – to encourage people to visit the 50 oldest cities. That’s surely not likely to happen with that glowing (NOT) description of Natchez.

    1. Thank you for defending our wonderful Mississippi! I guarantee the racial divide is not nearly so wide here as in many other states. Mississippi is, for the most part, a deeply religious state, and we have learned from those terrible mistakes of the past.

  5. thank you so much my husband and i are retired and love to travel and we like to spend our $$$$$ in our country to keep our economy healthy so thanks again.

  6. I have been to Hawaii 4 times including Barbers Point and both Hickam Air Base & Pearl Harbor where I attended School 5th and 6th at Hickam and 7th at Pearl Harbor Intermediate. Lots of memories even at my age as you never forget the great times growing up.

  7. I Love Hawaii and still think it is the best place in the world as I have been there 4 different times with the first time growing up as I went to 5th and 6th grade at Hickam Air Base and 7th at Pearl Harbor Intermediate back in the 50’s.

  8. I lived in Providence,RI for many years. I’ve been to Connecticut a lot and also Massachusetts. I would definitely love to visit some more of the older states in my lifetime.

  9. Leonardo Francos

    I like đź‘Ť. I just retired and getting ready to travel and spend my money here in the US 1st many beautiful places to travel thank you.

  10. Been to Bath NC numerous times, as it lays across the Pamlico River where I reside in Chocowinity NC. A quaint town with no amenities that I’m aware of.

  11. Charles Michael Izzo

    Newark NJ might have been settled in 1666 but that was well after Burlington City NJ was settled in 1621.

  12. St. Augustine – oldest continuously occupied, but Pensacola was established in 1559 by Don Tristan de Luna and Spanish settlers and is America’s First (European) Settlement. The king and queen of Spain visited Pensacola in 2009 to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the 1559 Luna Expedition which established Pensacola. Magellan’s ship Elcano visited last year. Lots of heritage for both cities.

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