Defiance, sacrifice, and the spirit of a fledgling nation dwell in history books that detail the Revolutionary War (1775-83), a pivotal chapter that laid the foundation for the birth of the United States. The results don’t comprise your ordinary group tour suggestions; this is a rendezvous with the past—a pilgrimage to the must-see war sites that continue to resonate with the ricochets of rebellion. From the historic sites of the Freedom Trail to the strategic battlegrounds of Saratoga, each location offers a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs of the Revolutionary War.

As your group traces the footsteps of patriots down cobblestone walkways, encourage them to breathe the air that fueled fires of independence and unlock secrets held within the walls of iconic landmarks. In fact, their group tour journey begins at the very beginning, on the soil where heroes walked and first battles were fought—namely, Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.

Often referred to as the birthplace of the Revolutionary War, the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, marked the first confrontations between American colonists and British forces. Here, groups can stand on Lexington Green, where Minutemen faced British regulars, or visit the Old North Bridge in Concord, where tours provide insights into the day the famous “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired. Minute Man National Historical Park offers opportunities to explore the visitor center, witness historical reenactments, and walk along the Battle Road Trail, while Buckman Tavern, a colonial building, provides a glimpse into where soldiers gathered before the Battle of Lexington.

Additional tour offerings in the Lexington and Concord area include guided walks, living history demonstrations, interactive programs, and thematic tours. Whether focusing on military tactics, the role of key figures, or the impact on local communities, the region presents a wealth of historical material for customized group experiences.

While in the Bay State, groups of all sizes can also embark on the Freedom Trail, a collection of 16 official (public and private) historic sites—linked along a 2 1/2-mile stretch from Boston Common to Bunker Hill Monument—that works to preserve locations relevant to the city’s role in the United States’ struggle for freedom. Locations include the Boston Massacre site, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, USS Constitution, and more.

“Every tour is unique, as the Foundation’s 18th-century guides interpret the history their own way and from the heart of their character,” says Suzanne Segura Taylor, executive director of the Freedom Trail Foundation. “It’s fun to learn about the history but also who the person was, what life was like for them, what they did, about their thoughts and personality, and more.” Private and custom tours are available to enhance your group’s Freedom Trail experience, with programs that include “African-American Patriots,” “Revolutionary Women,” “Historic Holiday Strolls,” and so much more.

American Revolution Museum in Yorktown, Virginia;
Credit: Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

To the west in Ticonderoga, New York, groups can explore Fort Ticonderoga, a strategic military fort, museum, learning center, and cultural destination overlooking Lake Champlain. Spanning more than 2,000 acres, the site is home to Carillon Battlefield and provides a comprehensive view of the challenges faced by soldiers defending this crucial stronghold. “Group visitors thrill at our daily weapons demonstrations; numerous museum exhibitions, featuring rare items including the earliest-known, American-made uniform from the Revolution; historic trades; daily tours; and even a boat tour on Lake Champlain,” says Beth Hill, president and CEO of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

One of the destination’s most unique group tours, she says, is a “behind-the-scenes”-type program that includes “rare museum collections, special access into areas of the fort not open to the public, and even immersive experiences such as our ‘To Act as One United Body’ program, where groups pledge their oath to the Continental Army as a soldier and learn to march, drill, and even cook 18th-century food as soldiers did at Ticonderoga 250 years ago.” Fort Ticonderoga also offers an on-site cafe and museum store for groups to commemorate their trip.

Meanwhile, Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater was the site of the Battles of Saratoga—considered a turning point in the war when, for the first time in world history, the British army surrendered. Here, group tours offer a deep dive into its historical context, guiding visitors along a self-guided route through key destinations. To enrich the experience, tour planners can arrange themed events, reenactments, or guest lectures, offering a dynamic exploration of the battles that secured crucial foreign recognition and support. Additionally, audio and virtual tours are available, providing flexible options for visitors to engage with the park’s rich history.

The next stop beckons groups south to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was debated and adopted in 1776. Tours allow visitors to witness the very rooms, including the Assembly Room, where the Founding Fathers shaped the nation we know today. After, trek 30 minutes northwest to Valley Forge National Historical Park. In late 1777, with the British controlling Philadelphia, Gen. George Washington stationed his troops at Valley Forge for the winter, just a day’s march away. The park’s natural defenses provided a place for the Continental Army to recover and train amid harsh winter conditions and limited supplies. Today, educational programs, guide walks, and various tours deepen groups’ understanding of this pivotal period. The park spans 3,500 acres, featuring meadows, woodlands, and many monuments commemorating Washington’s army and their sacrifices.

Known for its connections to the Revolutionary War and its role in the War of 1812, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, also hosts a handful of group experiences. Tours highlight the fort’s historical significance and offer a chance to witness the living history of military drills and flag ceremonies. Coordinate visits during key anniversaries (coming up in 2026!) or patriotic events to change up a typical itinerary.

To add a personal touch to the war’s broader narrative, head south to Washington’s plantation, dubbed Mount Vernon, in Virginia. The site provides a window into the life and legacy of a key Revolutionary War figure through group tours that offer insights into Washington’s leadership, military strategies, and contributions to the war effort. “George Washington’s impact on our nation is profound, and there was no place he felt more tied to than Mount Vernon,” says Allison Wickens, the destination’s vice president of education. “Take in the views he treasured while you learn about his civic contributions in the 18th century. Visitors can also come to understand the complexities of his world by learning about the lives of the enslaved men, women, and children who lived at Mount Vernon.”

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia;
Credit: Adobe/Maria

Two hours south, Colonial Williamsburg is another must-stop for its unique living history experiences. Group tours present the opportunity to interact with costumed interpreters, explore historic buildings, and gain insights into daily life, politics, and more from the colonial era. “On the eve of the American Revolution, Williamsburg was the capital city of the most populous colony in the British Empire,” explains Gary Sandling, vice president of historic area operations for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “To experience Colonial Williamsburg today is to understand how an entire community of free people, enslaved people, tradespeople, soldiers, Indigenous people, and famous founders influenced the events and ideas that shaped the nation.”

Additionally, planners can customize tours to include workshops and demonstrations, providing groups a hands-on understanding of the challenges individuals faced during this transformative period in American history. “Colonial Williamsburg offers evening programs specifically for groups when booked as part of your on-site experience,” Sandling says. “ ‘In Defense of our Liberty’ allows groups to experience crucial aspects of a soldier’s life during the American Revolution, while ‘Revolutionary Points of View’ casts the audience in the role of members of the Virginia Convention who must vote on the question of declaring independence.”

Wrap up your group’s Revolutionary War-themed excursion at Yorktown Battlefield, where the British surrendered in 1781. Here, Gen. Washington, alongside allied American and French forces, laid siege Gen. Charles Cornwallis’ British army. On Oct. 19, Cornwallis surrendered—effectively ending the war and ensuring independence. Group tours at Yorktown delve into the siege, showcasing the Victory Monument and unfolding the final chapter of this historical, world-altering conflict. Alternatively, download the free Yorktown Tour Guide app for GPS-enabled audio tours that lead your group through 300 years of American history on a walking tour of Historic Yorktown. Or, explore the events of the Siege of Yorktown with two separate driving tours for a more immersive experience.

After all, it’s not just about witnessing history—it’s about feeling the heartbeat of a nation in the making.

By Katelyn Bloomquist

Main Image: North Old Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts; Credit: Massachusetts Office of Tourism