Top Tourist Attractions in the USA
There are so many memorable landmarks in the United States that it's hard to limit the list to just a few. Therefore, this list of top attractions in the USA includes monuments, memorials, statues, bridges - man-made spaces and iconic structures that evoke certain U.S. destinations. For top landscapes and wild spaces, such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, check out the Top Natural Attractions in the USA. For destination-specific info and details about the tourist-heavy sights Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip, check out these articles:
National Mall and Memorials - Washington, D.C.
A sprawling lawn in Washington, DC, called the National Mall is the focal point of some of the United States' most famous landmarks, monuments, and memorials. Millions of visitors come to U.S. capital each year to visit these sights, pay respect to fallen soldiers, and honor the nation's leaders, from George Washington to Martin Luther King, Jr. Follow these links for more information:
Statue of Liberty - New York City
A symbol of freedom and a U.S. icon since 1886, the Statue of Liberty is a major tourist attraction just outside of New York City. Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Sandy, the Statue of Liberty has been closed for repairs. It is scheduled to re-open on July 4th, 2013, however nearby Ellis Island will remain closed until further notice. Learn more from the National Park Service's official website of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
Faneuil Hall - Boston
The Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been a meeting point and marketplace for Bostonians since 1742. Today, the historic building contains shops, performance spaces, and restaurants. But Faneuil Hall has served as the site of many speeches and declarations by famous American leaders, such as Samuel Adams and Frederick Douglass. Learn more about historic Faneuil Hall or find out what do to at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, also known as Quincy Market.
Disney - Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California
Designed and built in 1955 around the theme of Walt Disney's many cartoon characters, particularly Mickey Mouse, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, is the original Disney destination and still one of the most visited theme parks in the world, with approximately 15 million visitors annually. Its sister park, Walt Disney World Resorts, in Orlando, Florida, opened in 1971 and attracts more than 40 million visitors each year.
Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco
This iconic bridge, painted in "international orange" and frequently peaking out of moody clouds, defines the city of San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge celebrates its 75th birthday in 2012. Learn more about visiting the bridge on the Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary website.
Hollywood Walk of Fame - Los Angeles
The Hollywood Walk of Fame, which honors entertainers from the film, television, and recording industries with coral stars embedded in the sidewalks on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Streets. Celebrities honored with stars also add their hand and/or footprints in cement next to their stars. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, who administers the walk for the City of Los Angeles, maintains a searchable directory of Hall of Fame stars and ceremonies for new stars on the walk are held several times during the year.
The Alamo - San Antonio, Texas
Texas, the largest state in the contiguous United States, has many star attractions. But it's most visited and most sacred is the Alamo. The phrase "Remember the Alamo" recalls the 1836 siege by Mexican forces - and subsequent push-back by Texans - of this San Antonio Mission.
The Space Needle - Seattle
When it was unveiled for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle in Seattle projected a futuristic vision of a city landmark. At 605 feet tall, the Space Needle was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River at that time. Fifty years later, the Space Needle still enthralls more than nine million annual visitors, who stand in line to take elevators to the top to check out the magnificent views of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri
Envisioned by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen and completed in 1965, the Gateway Arch is synonymous with the city of St. Louis and symbolizes the westward expansion of the United States under the direction of Thomas Jefferson. The National Park service combines the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion, and St. Louis' Old Courthouse into one park called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Approximately 4 million visitors explore the modernist Gateway Arch each year.
Mount Rushmore - Black Hills, South Dakota
An icon of America itself, Mount Rushmore is a rather quirky landmark. It includes the massive likenesses of four U.S. presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt - carved into the rock face of a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mount Rushmore welcomes approximately three million visitors annually, who take in the majesty of the unusual monument and go on ranger-led tours of the area.