Re-live history with this one day itinerary!
The musical Hamilton revolutionized the way we look at history – instead of dates and old guys, it was now real people displayed through hip hop lyrics. I did not expect to be completely consumed into their lives, aching to know more about Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler, Aaron Burr, and even the writer/producer/star Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you’re engulfed, don’t worry, I’m with you!
I read a number of biographies on historical figures that, frankly, I just didn’t care about (sorry Mom, still not into history). Now I know more about the American Revolution and some of our founding fathers than I ever learned in school. So after two years of listening to music every day (and still do today), reading a number of books, watching almost every interview Lin-Manuel Miranda gave, my husband gave in to my obsession and got me tickets to see the musical for my birthday. Now that the Hamilton film is streaming on Disney+, you can enjoy the magic from home as many times as you want!
Of course, a simple night in New York City wouldn’t be enough – I went all out and planned a Hamilton-inspired day! Here are the top places to stop if you’re a fan of Hamilton the Musical! Enjoy this one day itinerary through Alexander Hamilton’s New York City.
Travel Tip: Be sure to read some of these historical fiction books set in New York City to inspire you!
Alexander Hamilton’s life is a quintessential New York City story. An immigrant orphan who came to New York to build a better life for himself. (Musical Quote: In New York, you can be a new man!) He ended up revolutionizing our government, creating the New York Post and the Coast Guard, and setting up the foundation for America today.
Fraunces Tavern: Hamilton’s Meeting Point
This tavern-turned-museum was once a central meeting point for revolutionary types (read: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr) They actually attended a dinner here a week before their legendary duel. Explore the museum and walk in the footsteps of our history before going to the tavern for lunch and a beer. The food is delicious and decently priced for New York.
Not-so-fun Fact: Lafayette, Laurens, Mulligan, and Hamilton never actually hung out like they did in “My Shot”.
57 Maiden Lane: The Room Where It Happened
This is THE “room where it happened”. Jefferson rented a house at 57 Maiden Lane. One night, Jefferson held a dinner party with Treasury Secretary Hamilton and James Madison (as well as other guests) which changed where the American capital would be. The capital was moved from New York City to Philadelphia for ten years before moving to the Potomac.
There were actually two historic buildings located at 26 Wall Street in the financial district. The first building was the meeting place for the Congress of the Confederation (our first Central government). It was named Federal Hall in 1789 when our federal government was established. It is also where George Washington was sworn in as president. The original building was demolished in 1812 and the current one was built in 1842. The second building was the Customs House & Treasury Building. Now it is a National Memorial for our nation’s past. There is a statue of George Washington outside to commemorate his inauguration. This is one of the best places where you can literally walk through history in Hamilton’s New York City
Fun Fact: Hamilton and his son Philip both graduated from King’s College – now Columbia University.
Hamilton Grange: It’s Quiet Uptown
A visit to Hamilton’s New York City home is a must. While he only lived in it for two years (it was built in 1802) Hamilton often mentioned wanting to live in a home filled with his children – this was his vision. Originally, the house sat on a 30-acre estate near 143rd and Convent Avenue. In 2008 it was moved to a more pastoral location in St. Nicholas Park. There are guided tours to the second floor every hour. You can walk through the first floor on your own to get a glimpse into the personal life of Alexander Hamilton. There is also a small gift shop so your nerd can come out!
Bayard House & 82 Jane Street (kinda)
A plaque at 82 Jane Street marks the spot where Hamilton lay mortally wounded. The house in Greenwich Village was built in 1886. The house that belonged to his friend William Bayard was on the north side of Jane Street close to Horatio Street which wasn’t mapped until 1817. So, it’s hard to figure out EXACTLY where he was due to the passage of time, but the plaque gives us a place to remember him.
Alexander Hamilton was buried at Trinity Church and his grave is well marked. Philip and Eliza are also buried next to him. The inscription on Alexander’s grave reads “the PATRIOT of incorruptible INTEGRITY.” Angelica Schuyler Church is buried on the other side of the church as well. (Musical Quote: She is buried in Trinity Church near you). Hercules Mulligan is also buried at Trinity Church. Take a few quiet minutes and reflect back on the hard work of the people who created the country we know and love today.
Travel Tip: Near Trinity Church is the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at the south end of Bowling Green Park
Richard Rodgers Theatre
While this one has nothing to do with Alexander Hamilton’s life, I feel like it has to be a stop on any tour. Rodgers’ theatre should definitely be a stop on your Hamilton Tour of New York, even if you’re not seeing it live. The musical made history by revolutionizing Broadway as we know it. From the cast to the lyrics, to set design and choreography, Hamilton brought Broadway back to the front of people’s minds. Below is Lin-Manuel Miranda reading the first pages of Ron Chernow’s book on opening night (August 6th, 2015 — also, my birthday! See, born to be BFFs). You can tell by the way he chokes up while reading this is his passion.
Bonus: Weehawken Dueling Grounds at Hamilton Park (Musical Quote: everything is legal in New Jersey)
While not in New York City, it’s a quick trip over the river to the famous dueling grounds in Weehawken. This is the location for the infamous duel of Hamilton and Burr, but also Philip Hamilton’s duel three years earlier. While the grounds are covered by train tracks, there is a monument you can visit, a bust of Hamilton, and the Rock of Death. The rock is supposedly where Hamilton rested before being rowed back across the Hudson.