Instead of your standard fare of hot dogs and fireworks this 4th of July, we suggest you visit Patara, an ancient city off the coast of Turkey. Why in the world would I think about Turkey for the most American of holidays, you ask? Turns out our Constitution has roots in the ancient Lycian League, whose federation-style government had so much influence on our Founding Fathers that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton even mention them in the Federalist Papers. Check out the beautiful beachside town of Patara, Turkey for the recently opened excavaction of Lycian ruins, which includes their parliament building, a large necropolis, Roman baths, and a Byzantine basilica. You may have to trade hot dogs for veal kebabs, but just think: you’ll have a leg-up on your high school US history teacher who didn’t give you an A.
Corinne White is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.