Every year, thousands of tourists come to the United States from all around the world. Whether you’re an American exploring the countryside, or an international tourist trying to have at least a glimpse of the country’s most famous sites, certainly there’s a lot to see across all the 50 states.
Popular tourist sites are sprawled all across the country, but there are always favorites. To prepare for your trip, we’ve rounded up the 10 most iconic landmarks in the USA.
1) Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is one of the most recognized sculptures in America located in South Dakota. The large busts of four of the nation’s most important presidents form the national monument sculpted into the side of Mount Rushmore. Each of the selected faces for the monument represents figures that have had significant impact in the development of the USA. The actual sculpture is a great photo opportunity while the overall national park provides all of the background information and stories on the sculpture. It was created to serve as a symbol of freedom and preservation of the country.
2) Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is famous around the world as more than just an iconic US landmark but also a natural wonder of the world. The Grand Canyon is a national park in Arizona that showcases the Grand Canyon. One of the most impressive features of this site is its scale. This large gorge was carved out naturally by the Colorado River over many centuries resulting in what we can admire today. In addition to marveling at the site, there are also several hiking trails through the canyon as well as scenic flights going over it.
3) The White House
You don’t have to be American to know that the White House is home to the President of the United States. This popular residence is one of the most iconic landmarks in the US located in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. The White House is surrounded by many other tourist sites and government buildings that all create the perfect backdrop to seeing the White House from the front or back view. Tours are available to take a walk through the house but tickets require advance planning. If you arrive at the White House at the right time, you may even catch a glimpse of the President.
4) Statue of Liberty
New York City is often considered the greatest city in the world. It is home to the famous Statue of Liberty – a gift from France but has since become an icon of the United States. This statue was one of the first sights seen of the new land by immigrants planning to create a new life here. Ellis Island was the point of entry for all passengers and is the current standing location of the statue. Boat trips from the mainland give great photo opportunities of the Statue. Ellis Island has a lot of resources available for learning about the use of the island and the history of Lady Liberty.
5) French Quarter
If you want to see a bit of the cultural past of the USA then you should consider visiting the French Quarter in New Orleans. The French Quarter is an area that designates one of the oldest sections of the city. It was predominantly French-influenced hence the name. This can be seen in a lot of the architecture and organization of the quarter. Now the French Quarter is a hot spot for tourists. The historic buildings that line the streets are where you will discover amazing dining, nightlife, and other entertainment.
6) Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a major attraction of San Francisco. This bridge is a symbol of one of the greatest architectural projects completed in the United States. The Golden Gate Bridge straddles the Pacific Ocean and is a major route for many commuters. As important as the bridge is to transportation, the simple beauty of it is its claim to fame. It’s known as one of the most photographed bridges in the world. When it was first completed in 1937, it even held records for its scale.
7) Gateway Arch
You usually can expect a nice sign welcoming you to the new state every time you drive across a state border into the next. The city of St. Louis in Missouri does their welcome much different. Passing through St. Louis considered the point of crossing over the west side of the country and the Gateway Arch is the official welcome sign. The Gateway Arch is the world’s tallest arch as it towers over the city. This is a fun place to visit as it is open for visitors to enter. Inside the arch serves as a museum about the landmark and its history before taking an elevator ride up to the top center for a great city view.
8) Independence Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was one of the early cities established in the United States. It was the original capital of the country so it held a lot of importance in the early years. Much of these original buildings are still standing and can be explored even today. Independence Hall is the most iconic of them all. This was the site where the official Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were developed. The entire Congress gathered here to discuss two of the most important documents to the nation’s history. You can walk the steps of history as Independence Hall is open to being explored.
9) Yellowstone National Park
If you’re a fan of nature, then you will absolutely enjoy Yellowstone National Park. It is the world’s first national park stretching across three states: Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It was designated as a national park to protect the area, its wildlife, and has since become a major attraction for tourists. There are several natural features of the park to see. The most known here is called Old Faithful, a hot spring geyser. Yellowstone is also the place where you could see the largest active volcano in North America.
10) Cloud Gate
While chasing the best landmarks around the US, Cloud Gate is an icon that will take you to Chicago, a city favorite to tourists. Chicago has a beautiful skyline that gets transformed with Cloud Gate. Cloud Gate is a giant art piece in Chicago’s Millennium Park. It’s a unique sculpture constructed out of stainless steel. The surface of the sculpture is highly reflective. Thanks to the “bean” shape of Cloud Gate, reflections are creatively warped from all angles, even underneath the sculpture. Could Gate can turn even the simplest photos into amazing works of art. Here is 9 reflective facts about Chicago’s Cloud Gate