Sure, you’re obsessed with Hamilton. Who isn’t? If you’re in the process of planning a vacay, cross Hawaii, Thailand and/or Iceland off the list, because really, if it ain’t Alexander Hamilton-related then it just won’t do. If you have the fever bad, get your “My Shot”-humming self on a trip that embraces the founding father (or the epic show based on his life and times) in one of these cool ways.
1. Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Your passion for Hamilton is pretty much the best excuse EVER for jetting off to the Caribbean and the island of Nevis. But this is far from a “forgotten spot.” Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755 or 1757 (it’s up for debate) on this itsy bitsy island, in its capital, Charlestown. At only about 36 square miles, the island is smaller than San Francisco. (Photo via Nevis Tourism Board)
Stay here: There are some pretty swanky places to stay in Nevis, but one of the best is the Golden Rock Inn that was established wayyyyy back in the early 1800s. This hotel is tiny (just like the island), with just six cottages. Anna Wintour stayed there, so it gets extra chic points. If it’s booked, you can try the Hermitage Plantation, with its cottages hidden amongst lush gardens, or the uber-plush Four Seasons.
Do this: Visit the Hamilton House near the Charlestown harbor, which is the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton and now houses a museum on the first floor. The stone building was built about 1680, destroyed in 1840 but restored in 1983, and now boasts of its most famous resident.
2. Christiansted, St. Croix
If you feel like you want a bit more action, then set sail for the more populated Caribbean Island of St. Croix, where Hamilton lived from 1765 to 1772 (age 8-15).
Stay here: For some 17th-century charm, you can stay at The Buccaneer located right outside of the capital, Christiansted, where Hamilton lived. The hilltop French house has a sprinkling of cottages across a 340-acre estate surrounded by three beaches. Yes, please.
Do this: The Christiansted National Historic Site — a seven-acre park near the harbor — published a brochure called “Alexander Hamilton’s Christiansted,” which contains eight Hamilton-related locations where he lived, worked and probably prayed. Visit those, plus Hamilton’s mom’s grave (she died there when Hamilton was just 13).
3. New Jersey
While Jersey isn’t usually a travel destination, for a Hamilton lover, it’s so not to be missed. Seriously. There are a few important Hamilton moments that happened in the “garden state.”
When Hamilton came to America, he attended Elizabethtown Academy, in Elizabeth, New Jersey (fun fact — Aaron Burr went there too). When he was “a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal” and not about to throw away “his shot,” he apparently attended two semesters at the school. New Jersey is also where Hamilton’s remarkable journey came to an abrupt end — the famous Hamilton/Burr duel took place on the banks of the state.
Do this: Visit the First Presbyterian Church (42 Broad St. in Elizabeth, NJ), where Elizabethtown Academy once was; it occupied a two-story building on the grounds. Then take a trip to the west bank of the Hudson River. There, on a rocky ledge in Weehawken, New Jersey, was where Aaron Burr had his infamous (and deadly) duel with Hamilton (dude, so uncool). Pay homage to the man by visiting the Hamilton bust that marks the site.
4. New York City, New York
Yes, New York City is “waiting in the wings for you.” Hamilton arrived in the Big Apple in 1772 and lived, worked and died there. Now, he is reincarnated in the form of one of the biggest Broadway phenoms ever!
Do this: See Hamilton, duh. But if you don’t have a couple of thousand to lay down for tickets, try your luck at entering their lottery. You could totes luck out and get a ticket for just $10. Yes, $10!!!! BUT the odds are tough. “On average, we have more than 10,000 people enter each lottery,” the Hamilton site states.
For a taste of history, visit Columbia University, which was where Hamilton went to school (when it was called King’s College). You can also visit Hamilton Grange, his Federal-style mansion in Hamilton Heights in upper Manhattan. The home was moved in 1889 and then again to St. Nicholas Park in 2008, where it stands today as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial.
If you want to see where Hamilton died, head to 80–82 Jane Street, where his friend William Bayard Jr. lived and where Hamilton spent his last hours. Then, swing by his grave at the Trinity Church Cemetery — you can also pay respects to the Schuyler sisters, Hamilton’s wife Eliza and her sister Angelica.
Eat here: For some serious old-school eats, head to Fraunces Tavern. Way back in 1785, the tavern was used by the Continental Congress and even housed Hamilton’s Treasury Department. A week before their duel, on July 4, 1804, both Hamilton and Aaron Burr attended a dinner there. Why couldn’t they just get along? Right?
5. San Francisco
If you live on the west coast and have the patience to get your Hamilton fix, come to SHN in San Francisco, where Hamilton‘s National Tour begins. The oh-so-anticipated run begins in March of 2017. There will probably be a few hotel package deals coming up, but really, a trip to San Francisco (Hamilton or not) is always worth it. Otherwise, you could head to Los Angeles, San Diego or Salt Lake City, among many other cities which are hosting touring performances.
Stay here: For one of the oldest parts of town, head to the Presidio and stay at the aptly named Inn at the Presidio. The area was established in 1776 (although the United States didn’t take over until 1848). It’s a bit far from the theater, but waking up in the beautiful area is worth the trip. (Photo via Inn at the Presidio)
(Photos via Getty)