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Discover Hamilton's New York

Dominique Ferrari
by Dominique Ferrari

May 15, 2024

9 minute read

Embarking on a guided tour of New York City, a city so rich with history, culture, and arts is an adventure through time. This city, crucial to the founding days of America, boasts a deep historical connection with figures like Alexander Hamilton.

And so, there’s no better way to explore it than with a spot on the special engagement of our Spotlight on New York City tour featuring Hamilton: An American Musical.

This tour is an exciting opportunity to explore some of the iconic sites that commemorate Hamilton and to experience the musical phenomenon that has captivated audiences worldwide – Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit, Hamilton.

Tracing Hamilton's Footsteps: Iconic NYC Sites from the Revolutionary Era to Broadway

Here are the most iconic stops on a journey through Alexander Hamilton’s New York. And with plenty of free time built into Collette’s tours, you can “raise a glass to freedom” and explore some of these at your leisure.

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Visit Trinity Church and Churchyard

Nestled in the heart of Lower Manhattan, Trinity Church not only marks Alexander Hamilton's final resting place but also serves as a historical beacon from the colonial era to the present day. This hallowed site, where Hamilton is buried alongside other notable figures such as Robert Fulton and Horatio Gates, offers a poignant glimpse into the early days of America. Hamilton's grave, distinguished by a simple yet elegant stone, draws history enthusiasts and fans of the musical alike, eager to pay their respects to this Founding Father.

Trinity Church's significance extends beyond its graveyard. Historically, Hamilton attended services here, and the church played a vital role during the American Revolution and the early stages of the new nation. Architecturally, it is renowned for its Gothic Revival design, which contributes to its landmark status.

Moreover, the church's connection to modern events includes its proximity to Ground Zero and its role during the aftermath of 9/11. It served as a sanctuary and relief hub for recovery workers, further cementing its place in both the history and heart of New York City. This blend of past and present makes Trinity Church a profound stop for history lovers, providing visitors with a deep connection to New York City’s past and its continuing story.

Our Spotlight on New York City tour includes a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

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See Federal Hall on Wall Street: The Birthplace of American Government

Federal Hall National Memorial, located on bustling Wall Street, is a pivotal historical site where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States with Alexander Hamilton – a key architect of the U.S. Constitution – by his side. This momentous event marks Federal Hall as a cornerstone of American democracy. As he is in the play, Alexander Hamilton truly was George Washington’s “Right Hand Man.”

As a museum today, Federal Hall serves as a vibrant educational hub that celebrates the foundations of American governance, highlighting Hamilton’s crucial role in developing America’s financial system.

Today, the Wall Street area is a bustling financial district, known globally as the epicenter of American finance. Walking its streets, where skyscrapers and historic buildings blend seamlessly, offers a unique glimpse into America’s past achievements and its modern financial prowess. Here, Hamilton's legacy as a financial pioneer resonates profoundly, making Wall Street a must-see for any history lover on a guided tour of New York City.

Fraunces Tavern

Discover Fraunces Tavern: A Hidden Gem in New York City’s Historic Landscape

Fraunces Tavern is not just a hidden gem in New York City, but a cornerstone of American Revolutionary history, nestled unassumingly at the intersection of history and hospitality. This historic site doubles as a museum and a still-operating tavern where revolutionaries once plotted their next moves. Alexander Hamilton, among others, was known to frequent this establishment, which resonates deeply with scenes from the musical Hamilton where camaraderie and revolutionary plans were afoot, exemplified by lyrics like "raise a glass to freedom."

Today, a visit to Fraunces Tavern offers a unique blend of culinary delight and historical discovery. The building, which has stood since the pre-Revolutionary War period, served as a key meeting place for important figures during the revolution. It's here that George Washington bid farewell to his officers at the end of the war, marking a significant moment in the tavern's, and America's, storied past.

Inside, the tavern's museum showcases a rich array of artifacts and exhibits that illustrate the essence of early American life and the critical events that transpired within its walls. Visitors can savor a meal or a drink in the very rooms where the founding fathers deliberated and shaped the future of the United States, making it a must-see destination on any visit to New York City.

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Visit Hamilton Grange National Memorial

Hamilton Grange National Memorial, located in Harlem’s historically rich neighborhood, is a profound tribute to Alexander Hamilton's personal and public life. Known as The Grange, this preserved site offers a unique exploration into the domestic side of Hamilton’s life. Here, one can wander through the very rooms where Hamilton spent his final years, pondering over the politics of the young nation he helped shape.

Originally built in 1802, The Grange was Hamilton's beloved country home, designed to be a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. At that time, this area of Harlem was largely rural—a stark contrast to the urban landscape it is today, making it hard to imagine that this part of Manhattan was once dotted with similar country estates. Hamilton’s vision for his home included extensive gardens and views over the then-scenic Harlem, encapsulating his longing for a quiet, pastoral life away from the political center.

The musical Hamilton references this idyllic setting in the poignant number "It's Quiet Uptown," where Hamilton and his wife Eliza retreat following the tragic loss of their son, Philip. This song captures the emotional comfort they seek in their uptown sanctuary, underscoring how The Grange served as a refuge during the most turbulent times of their lives.

Today, Hamilton Grange stands as a National Memorial open to the public, offering educational exhibits that detail Hamilton’s contributions to the United States as well as personal artifacts.

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Check Out The Museum of American Finance – It’s Money!

Located on Wall Street, the Museum of American Finance is housed in the historic former Bank of New York building, an institution founded by none other than Alexander Hamilton himself. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton laid the foundational framework for the American financial system, introducing concepts like the national bank, the U.S. Mint, and the public credit system.

These groundbreaking initiatives are explored through interactive exhibits that showcase how his policies and visionary strategies helped shape the economic infrastructure of the United States and are still relevant today. There’s a reason why his face adorns the US ten-dollar bill and a visit to this museum will leave no doubt as to why.

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Get Up Close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Reflecting the values of freedom and opportunity that Alexander Hamilton championed, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island symbolize America's rich immigrant heritage like no other. As Hamilton sings in the play, "In New York, you can be a new man," illustrating his own transformative journey as an immigrant. Hamilton, who was born out of wedlock and grew up in quite difficult circumstances in the West Indies, arrived in New York City penniless but with enormous ambition. And he used that ambition to shape his destiny and become a founding father of the United States.

Over 12 million immigrants were welcomed through Ellis Island, drawn by the promise of a new beginning, mirroring Hamilton’s journey. Beginning with its dedication in 1886, those immigrants were also welcomed by the Statue of Liberty.

Each feature of Lady Liberty is rich with symbolism: her crown with its seven rays symbolizes the seven continents and seas; her torch represents enlightenment; the tablet in her left hand bears the date of the American Declaration of Independence in Roman numerals (JULY IV MDCCLXXVI). Additionally, the broken shackles at her feet represent liberation from oppression and tyranny. This iconic statue not only dominates New York Harbor, welcoming newcomers but also stands as a timeless reminder of freedom and hope.

You'll have the opportunity to explore this historic symbol and more on our Spotlight on New York City.

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Experience the Bright Lights of Broadway’s Theatre District

Discover the phenomenon of Hamilton: An American Musical, performed in the pulsating heart of New York City’s Broadway Theater District. This groundbreaking show has not only revolutionized musical theater with its unique blend of hip-hop, jazz, and R&B, but it also intertwines history with modern storytelling, celebrating the impactful life of Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father of the United States.

Hamilton's debut on Broadway hasn’t just been a theatrical success; it's been a cultural movement. With a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations and 11 wins, the musical has captivated audiences by making history accessible and relatable, transforming perceptions of musical theater. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, inspired during a vacation in 2008 after reading Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, spent years crafting what would become a Broadway behemoth. He performed the first song from what he then called “The Hamilton Mixtape” at the White House in 2009, initially imagining it as a concept album. By 2015, it had evolved into a full-fledged Broadway production, acclaimed for its creative storytelling and deep engagement with America's founding narrative.

Broadway itself, a vibrant artery of New York City, has long been the premier venue for theatrical innovation. It's a place where dreams are launched and where the stories on stage reflect the dynamism of America itself. Seeing Hamilton here, among the bright lights of Broadway, offers not just a show but a pilgrimage to the epicenter of live theatre, underscoring the timeless relevance of Hamilton’s story—his struggles, triumphs, and enduring legacy.

A New York City Guided Tour Tailor-Made for Hamilton and History Lovers

A journey through Alexander Hamilton’s New York is an exploration of how his visionary spirit continues to echo through its streets. When you embark on our Spotlight on New York City tour with one of our expert NYC tour guides, you’ll not only walk parts of the path Hamilton himself walked but also connect deeply with the Big Apple’s rich historical tapestry. So, whether you’re a fan of Hamilton, the musical, Hamilton the man, or both – this tour weaves the past with the present in one of the world’s most dynamic urban landscapes.

Don’t throw away YOUR SHOT to experience it.

Seats are limited to February and March 2025 departure dates. And they’re going fast!

Spotlight on New York City featuring Hamilton

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