You, like every other theatrically-inclined NYC tourist and resident, are dying to see Hamilton, the new musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that has drawn in what feels like the entire world. But unless you’ve got money to burn (rear mezzanine side seats for Wednesday matinees are on StubHub for around $400), a lucky streak (10 people win a pair of tickets in the pre-show lottery), or an incredible amount of patience (there are still tickets available for next July!), the forecast doesn’t look good.
Luckily, the Tri-State Area is a dejected Hamilton fan’s paradise, with a bevy of historic sites referenced in the show and once frequented by the Revolution’s key players. Cue up the cast recording, ready your vocal cords, and follow our slideshow to heal your heart with Hamiltunes.
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Hamilton Hall at Columbia University
Start your journey, as our hero does, at the onetime King’s College, where A. Ham matriculated in 1773. The spot directly in front of the Hamilton statue is ideal for a rendition of "My Shot," which you can sing somberly as you contemplate the fortunes of those lucky bastards who won the Ham4Ham lottery. You may get weird looks from judgey college kids, but stick it out long enough and chances are good a theatre major will eventually wander by to take over lead vocals.
City Hall Park
This corner of Manhattan was the site where New Yorkers and Washington’s army first heard a reading of the newly-penned Declaration of Independence. The crowd found these wise words (enterprising men quote ‘em!) so rousing, they quickly formed a mob, marched south, and toppled the statue of King George that then stood in Bowling Green. Later in the war, Hamilton and his crew were like, “Yo, let’s steal their cannons!” (that’s a direct quote, ask your history teacher) and managed to haul 21 of 24 British cannons from the Battery to City Hall Park while under fire.
The neighborhood takes its name from the bay itself, where British warships set up camp in September of 1776, sending American troops a-runnin’. It’s worth making a detour, if only so you can gleefully shout “WE’RE ABANDONING KIP’S BAY” as you leave. Your next stop should be obvious.
GOTTA RUN TO HARLEM QUICK! It’s the only natural place to go after an afternoon meandering Kip’s Bay. And luckily for you, it’s not as quiet uptown as it was in 1776, when the Continental army retreated to Harlem Heights to avoid getting decimated by British Admiral Howe and his 32,000 troops.
Hamilton Grange in Hamilton Heights
While you’re in the neighborhood, make a stop at Hamilton and Eliza’s Harlem home, where they moved following Philip’s tragic dueling death in Track 40. The home was built by Ezra Weeks, the brother of Levi Weeks, whom Alexander and Burr defended in America’s first documented murder trial. Though the house was moved from its original location (twice!), it’s been preserved as a historic site and both admission and guided tours to the site are free.
Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights
The Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest residence in Manhattan and was home to Washington and his officers for a month in 1776, during which time they showed those Brits what’s what in the Battle of Harlem Heights. Fifty-six years later, the ill-fated wedding of Aaron Burr (by then a widower and disgraced former Vice President) and Eliza Jumel (19 years his junior) was held in the mansion. They separated after only a few months, and their divorced was finalized four years later, on the day Burr died. Today the mansion is a museum open six days a week, with guided tours every Saturday.
Dueling Grounds in Weehawken N.J.
On a ledge overlooking the Hudson, a bust of Hamilton marks the spot of his historic 1804 duel with Aaron Burr (cue the music for "The World Was Wide Enough.") It’s the same place Philip Hamilton was killed by George Eacker three years earlier. Just to be clear: Everything is not legal in New Jersey, so duel reenactments are ill-advised, but the wide open space and sweeping city vistas make it a prime local for dramatically running up sobbing “IS HE BREATHING IS HE GOING TO SURVIVE THIS?!”
William Bayard House at 82 Jane Street
After his duel, Hamilton was rowed across the Hudson and eventually died at the home of William Bayard. There’s a plaque outside 82 Jane Street identifying it as the house in question, but the home itself was actually a block north—and it was torn down long ago. Stop by the plaque, then meander over to The Jane, collapse into a velvet-upholstered club chair, and drown your sorrows in liquor while gazing into the disco ball. It’s what Hamilton would’ve wanted.
See eight more Hamilton destinations on Travel + Leisure.
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