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20 Most Visited Tourist Places in the US - Photo

It's difficult to gauge what the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S are, as tourism data can vary from state to state and some national surveys leave out major attractions. All figures are approximate and from before the COVID-19 pandemic, when tourism was at normal rates.

1. Times Square, New York

Photo NY Habitat
Photo NY Habitat

Times Square in New York is the most visited destination in the US as well as in the whole world. The iconic Times Square is on the itinerary of virtually everyone who visits the Big Apple. There's shopping, there's entertainment, there's food—and lots of it.

Top tip: Visit on New Year's Eve to see the famous ball drop.

Visitors per year: 50 million

2. Central Park

Photo Central Park NY
Photo Central Park NY

Another attraction for tourists visiting New York is Central Park, which at 832 acres is larger than the principality of Monaco. There are seven man made lakes and over 9000 benches alone, not to mention attractions like the Naumburg Bandshell, and a gorgeous statue of Alice in Wonderland.

Visitors per year: 42 million

3. The Las Vegas Strip

It would take you a lifetime to see everything the infamous strip Las Vegas Strip has to offer. Every year, people from every corner of the globe descend upon Sin City to gamble, drink, and, of course, enjoy the world class entertainment.

Visitors per year: 42 million

4. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

It's hard to believe that William Hammond Hall, the civil engineer who designed Golden Gate Park, was just 25 when he did so. At 1,017 acres there's a lot of beauty to see. Be sure you at least check out some of the flower arrangements.

Visitors per year: 24 million

5. Grand Central Terminal, New York City

Between tourists and regular New Yorkers, approximately 750,000 people passed through Grand Central Terminal on an average pre-pandemic day. Commuters walk side by side with visitors to New York, who flock here year on year to get a taste of real Manhattan.

Visitors per year: 21.6 million

6. Disneyland Resort, California

Photo KTLA
Photo KTLA

Disneyland has grown a lot since it first opened its doors back in 1955, with just 18 attractions available at the time.

These days the park is over 500 acres in size, attracting visitors from every corner of the world. As far as rides go, few things will ever beat the infamous Space Mountain.

Visitors per year: 18.76 million

7. Balboa Park

Named after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, who was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean, not the fictional Italian-American pugilist.

Balboa Park is even bigger than Central Park, at a vast 842 acres, so there's plenty of space to accommodate its millions of annual visitors. It isn't bad to look at, either. Certainly worth spending a day walking around.

Visitors per year: 15 million

8. Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando Florida

There are hundreds of animals on display in Disney's Animal Kingdom, which opened in back in 1998. Some people don't know that real scientists work in the park, studying its residents. This is one of few areas of Disneyland where firework displays are not allowed, so that the animals won't be frightened.

Visitors per year: 13.89 million

9. EPCOT, Disney World, Florida

EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is, you've guessed it, a futuristic theme park. If you get there later this year, be sure to check Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, which is due to officially open in October.

Visitors per year: 12.44 million

10. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There's plenty of stiff competition, but Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be the most beautiful park on our list, with acres and acres of lush green trees.

It's also home to over 1,500 bears, so don't go too far off the trail, tempting as it might be to do so.

Visitors per year: 12.1 million

11. Disney's Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Florida

Photo Visit Florida
Photo Visit Florida

Walt Disney sure did know how to build a tourist attraction. Yet another Disney creation joins our list, this time Orlando's Hollywood Studios, whose highlights include Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and Toy Story Land.

Visitors per year: 11.48 million

12. Venice Beach, California

Surf, sand, and shopping. California's Venice Beach is known the world over, and has featured in countless TV shows and movies.

Most famous of all is the boardwalk, which is over two miles long, and home to myriad performers and merchants.

Visitors per year: 10 million

13. Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington

Here's something you might not know about Pike Place Market, Seattle: It's the oldest continuously running farmers market in the United States. Established in 1907, its hundreds of stalls have been satisfying food lovers for well over 100 years.

Visitors per year: 10 million

14. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Almost two miles in length, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is a marvel of engineering, and must be seen in person to be truly appreciated.

Visitors per year: 10 million

15. South Street Seaport, New York City

South Street Seaport is perhaps best known for three M's: Museums, music, and markets. Naturally, this is a great place to get seafood, so your best bet is to eat some fresh fish while listening to local sounds. Nine million tourists a year can't be wrong.

Visitors per year: 9 million

16. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan

Almost five miles in length, Michigan's Mackinac bridge puts San Francisco's Golden Gate to shame. You'll need to rent a car to get over it, but the views alone are worth the price, and more.

Visitors per year: 9 million

17. Navy Pier, Chicago

The 3,300 foot Navy Pier has a lot to offer anyone lucky enough to pop by for a visit. There's plenty of entertainment, restaurants, and of course, a huge ferris wheel that offers an areal view of the whole area, which looks beautiful when lit up at night.

Visitors per year: 9 million

18. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Photo Grand Canyon
Photo Grand Canyon

It's not certain how long Arizona's Grand Canyon is, but some studies indicate that it could be up to 70 million years old. The area's stunning rock formations are best seen from the inside of a helicopter.

Tours are available from local companies. Be warned: the weather often changes in the Grand Canyon, so be sure to bring a coat.

Visitors per year: 5 million

19. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Just like Arizona's most famous landmark, Bryce Canyon is best known for its striking rock formations. For best results, hop in a helicopter.

Visitors per year: 5 million

20. Statue of Liberty, New York

Photo GrayLine NY
Photo GrayLine NY

Originally a gift from the French, Lady Liberty has made New York her home since 1886, attracting visitors to the city. Millions hop on a ferry to see her up close each year.

Fun fact: the statue weighs an incredible 250,000 pounds, or 125 tons.

Visitors per year: 4 million

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