Imagine a time before airplanes. Now go further. Imagine a time before cars, trains, and even paved roads. How would you get around? You could travel over dirt roads on foot or in a horse-drawn wagon. But that would be slow and hard. What if the roads were muddy or covered in snow? In bad weather, you might not be able to travel at all.
Before paved roads, the easiest and often quickest way to move people and goods was usually by boat. That’s why cities and towns often grew up along major waterways. Almost four out of every ten people in the U.S. live in a county that touches a coast. Many more live along rivers and lakes. Can you think of other reasons people might want to live near water?