Top 15 Most Iconic & Famous Landmarks in the US You Must Visit
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American history may be brief when compared to the histories of many other nations. The nation is still home to many iconic locations that depict the founding of a new nation, though. Top US landmarks all over the nation tell tales of the early settlers, colonists setting out for a new continent, and the bloody conflicts fought for freedom and justice.
The roads, mountains, plains, and rivers shape the country's landscape, but the best American landmarks contain the real mileposts of the nation. Imagine New York City without the Statue of Liberty or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge. Impossible. These images have come to represent the nation as a whole and give a sense of both its illustrious past and promising future.
These 15 must-see American landmarks represent the entirety of the American experience, from the tallest man-made structure in the Western Hemisphere to the mission with limestone inlay that begs to be remembered.
Top 15 Most Iconic and Famous Landmarks in the US You Must Visit
1. The Statue of Liberty
|The Statue of Liberty - Photo: musement
The Statue of Liberty is arguably the most famous landmark in all of North America. Within the city of New York, Lady Liberty has her own island. Originally, France gave the United States this copper statue as a gift.
Gustave Eiffel, who also created one of France's most recognizable landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, was in charge of creating the statue's metal framework.
Despite being dedicated in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has a tablet that bears the date of US independence, July 4, 1776. At her feet, a broken chain and shackle serve as a reminder of how recently slavery was abolished in the United States.
Due in part to the fact that it was frequently the first sight new immigrants had of the United States, the statue came to represent freedom.
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2. The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was hailed as an engineering marvel when it opened in 1937 and is still admired today. It was once the longest suspension bridge in the world and is now regarded as one of the seven engineering wonders of the world. There is no trip to San Francisco that is complete without at least admiring its rusty, orange expanses stretching over the waters of the blue strait, but riding across them is much more enjoyable.
Even though the so-called "Wonder of the Modern World" is frequently captured on camera, there is something particularly special about experiencing it in person. If you can reserve a tour far enough in advance, see other San Francisco landmarks like the magnificent Painted Ladies, the infamously crooked Lombard Street, the happy sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf, and the infamous Alcatraz while you're there.
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3. Seattle Space Needle
In 1962, this Seattle landmark was constructed for the World's Fair. Space Age aspirations served as inspiration for the futuristic design. Located in Seattle Centre, the Seattle Space Needle offers 360-degree views of some of the city's most picturesque landmarks, including Mount Rainier and Puget Sound.
The Seattle Space Needle now has an open-air deck and an all-glass floor. The floor to ceiling glass also features a rooftop observation deck with glass benches and open-air walls.
A rotating glass floor connects the all-glass upper deck to the Oculus, a steel, wood, and glass staircase. A unique downward view of the Seattle Space Needle is provided by this glass floor.
4. National Mall
The National Mall, also referred to as the "Mall," is a beautifully landscaped park found in the Memorial Parks division of the United States National Park System (NPS).
It is close to downtown Washington, D.C., and is managed by the National Park Service (NPS) of the US Department of the Interior.
The term frequently refers to areas that are also formally a part of the southwest neighboring West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens.
Many tourists enjoy visiting the mall, especially in the spring and summer. The location of presidential inaugurations as well as popular rally locations.
The Mall has hosted numerous historic gatherings, including protests against the Vietnam War and the Million Man March.
The Washington Monument, a gleaming white needle that pierces the skyline, is located in the middle of the mall.
The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and World War II Memorial are a few additional notable sites on the mall.
5. Mount Rushmore
On the granite face of South Dakota's Mt. Rushmore, you can see the enormous faces of former US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The heads are 18 meters high.
Between 1927 and 1941, the design was overseen by his son and created by sculptor Gutzon Borglum. He picked these four leaders to stand in for the nation's founding, expansion, development, and preservation.
My personal favorite appearance of Mount Rushmore in movies and television shows is in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.
Each year, almost three million people visit Mount Rushmore. The mountain is over 1745 meters tall, and the 1,278 acres that make up its national park are. There are no entrance fees or admission charges to view the faces carved into the mountain because it is a national park. Parking, however, is paid for.
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6. Independence Hall
At Independence Hall, where the signers of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence are commemorated, you can learn about the formation of a nation. The structure was formerly known as the Pennsylvania State House and is now referred to as the birthplace of America. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is today.
The red brick structure, which is located in the center of Philadelphia, served as a sign of freedom for the 13 colonies and is now one of the country's most recognizable landmarks. As you walk through its doors, time stands still. Imagine that the most important documents in American history were discussed and written by delegates like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Independence Hall welcomes visitors, and tours are not ticketed. You'll visit the same rooms where delegates once met to discuss our nation's founding documents during the tour. As you visit the Assembly Room and other significant locations, you can personally experience history from 1776.
7. Route 66
There are US Landmarks all over the nation, such as Route 66, the well-known road known for road trips and roadside attractions.
The largest concrete totem pole is located in Totem Pole Park in Chelsea, and "The Blue Whale" is a huge, cartoon-like whale that floats on top of a roadside pond in Catoosa. Kitschy oversized landmarks are a staple of Route 66. Look for the 20-meter soda bottle outside "Pops," a restaurant, gas station, and retailer of over 700 different flavors of soda, all arranged by color, if you start to feel thirsty. Try out novel flavors like bacon, mustard, and dirt, or stick to the tried-and-true with one of the more than 70 available varieties of root beer. Stay for the neon light show in the massive bottle that takes place after dark if it's nearly dusk.
8. Washington Monument
This large statue of George Washington can be found on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument is both the tallest obelisk and the world's tallest predominantly stone structure, standing at just over 169 meters high.
The monument's construction originally started in 1848 but was later put on hold for 23 years due to a lack of funding and the American Civil War. In 1888, the obelisk was finished.
East of the reflecting pool and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial is where you'll find the Washington Monument.
9. Lincoln Memorial
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States and the Union's savior, is remembered by the national monument known as the Lincoln Memorial.
It is situated opposite the Washington Monument on the National Mall's western end in Washington, D.C.
Both the 19-foot (5.8 m) statue of Lincoln and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool were designed by Henry Bacon, an architect, and both were made of white marble.
The memorial's interior is embellished with a wide variety of sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions honoring President Lincoln. It was dedicated on May 30, 1922.
Two significant speeches by Abraham Lincoln—the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address—are inscribed inside a sizable semi-circular colonnade with 36 Doric columns on the building's exterior.
One of the most significant and well-known structures in the country, the Lincoln Memorial serves as an iconic representation of American history, adversity, and sacrifice.
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10. The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon National Park, located in northwest Arizona, is the 15th national park in the nation and arguably the most well-known. It seems a little bit of an understatement to refer to The Grand Canyon as a canyon.
It makes sense that the park's main draw is this biblically large gorge, through which the Colorado River flows and is frequently regarded as one of the world's seven natural wonders.
Every year, the park receives literally millions of visitors. After the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the park saw more than six million visitors in 2017 alone, the second-highest number of any national park in the United States.
11. Hoover Dam
This enormous engineering achievement, which controls the mighty Colorado River, generates hydroelectric power and aids in supplying water to seven states and a portion of Mexico. The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge opened in 2010 to facilitate quicker movement through the area. But it's still worthwhile to visit in order to gaze upon the Art Deco marvel and explore the facilities.
The largest reservoir in the US, Lake Mead, was made possible by the Hoover Dam. Today, Lake Mead serves as a tourist destination in addition to providing water to three states and Mexico. Today, the Hoover Dam receives close to one million visitors annually.
Even the restrooms at the Hoover Dam are stylish and art deco. The best part of visiting the dam is descending 600 feet, where you can see the turbines and learn how they used water to cool the concrete so that it would set more quickly, among other amazing and brilliant things that were done to make this dam function.
12. Empire State Building
One of the most well-known and instantly recognizable landmarks not only in the United States but also throughout the entire world is this one.
Midtown Manhattan in New York City, New York is home to the 102-story Art Deco skyscraper known as The Empire State Building. Shreve, Lamb & Harmon designed the structure, which was constructed between 1930 and 1931.
The nickname for the state of New York, "Empire State," is where the phrase "Empire State" comes from. The structure has a roof height of 1,250 feet (381 meters) and a height of 1,454 feet (443.2 meters) when including the antenna spire.
When Zeppelins were thought to be a thing, the spire was added as a mooring mast for airships. No airship ever docked with the enormous structure after the Hindenburg tragedy put an end to that idea.
The Empire State Building has 5 floors below ground and approximately 102 floors above it.
It is one of the most well-known landmarks in the country. Films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 from 2014, The Avengers from 2012, and the American classic King Kong all use it as an example of an American landmark.
13. Gateway Arch
The tallest arch in the world, which is located in St. Louis, Missouri, was constructed as a representation of the US's westward migration.
It is truly amazing to see the Gateway Arch, as it is known, which is dedicated to the American People. The stainless steel building is nearly 200 meters tall, making it both the tallest accessible building in Missouri and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. City Museum, a surrealist wonderland with 10 stories and a century of history in St. Louis, combines the sophistication of contemporary architecture with the whimsy of a playground. Mark Twain's childhood home is a nearby iconic museum that is also well worth a visit.
14. The World Trade Center Memorial
On September 11, 2001, when two planes collided with the Twin Towers in New York City and another two with the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, the world was forever altered. A historic turning point in world society was reached on that day. Where the towers once stood, the World Trade Center Memorial now stands in memory of everyone who died that day.
The names of each victim are engraved into the gray barriers that enclose two deep pools. You'll see flowers poking out of names as you circle this landmark, showing that loved ones are still paying visits. As the sound of the waterfalls blocks out outside noise and creates a solemn atmosphere, you'll quickly forget you're in the center of busy Manhattan.
The largest man-made waterfalls in North America can be found in both pools, each of which is about an acre in size. A public art installation called "Tribute in Life" illuminates the pools and shines into the sky on September 11th of every year. The performance pays tribute to the departed while also honoring New York City's tenacity.
15. Niagara Falls
One of Canada's most popular tourist destinations is Niagara Falls, known for its majestic allure. The territory that includes the falls is shared by Canada and the American state of New York. Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls are three of the waterfalls present there.
The only one of the three that is located in Canada is Horseshoe Falls. And it's the biggest. It is an impressive 790 meters wide and drops about 57 meters.
As you might expect, this well-known Canadian landmark is a fantastic location to experience the true magnificence and strength of nature up close.
For first-time visitors to the United States, here are the 15 most important destinations that you must visit and explore to understand Americans and America.
For Americans, these are also 15 destinations that they must visit at least once in their life.
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