50 Iconic Tourist Attractions in All 50 American States
Alabama – Selma Bridge
Selma Bridge is the site where in 1965 the infamous conflict of Bloody Sunday occurred. Demonstrators for civil rights were attacked by an armed policeman when they wanted to march to Alabama’s state capital Montgomery. Selma Bridge became a designated National Historic Landmark in 2013.
Alaska – Alaska Range and Denali National Park & Preserve
The Alaska Range boasts America’s highest mountain peaks, and the area is a very popular destination for sightseers and climbers. The area recently came in the news because President Obama decided that the name Mount McKinley National Park (opened in 1917) would officially be changed into Denali National Park & Reserve.
Arizona – The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is regarded one of the wonders of the world. Most of the area is a National Park consisting of vast natural formations of layered red rock. The Grand Canyon is over 275 miles long and averages a mile deep, and some 10 miles across, and is Arizona’s most prized and famous landmark.
Arkansas – Little Rock Central High School
Nine Black students tried to get into Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957. The U.S. Supreme Court had ordered the public school integration in 1954, but when the students attempted to enter the school, they were prevented from doing so by a group of furious white people. The police had to escort the students away. The school is an important national historic landmark.
California – Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is truly a Bay Area gem and a bright, beautiful feat of contemporary engineering. This is really a must-see landmark that connects the thriving city of San Francisco with
the beautiful and quiet Marin Headlands and the Napa and Sonoma wine-making regions.
Colorado – Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is a World Heritage Site that’s located in Colorado’s Montezuma County. Here you can find the best-preserved cliff dwellings of Ancestral Pueblo People. Mesa Verde is Spanish for green table and the park provides a phenomenal look into the lives of the Pueblo people who lived here in the period 600-1300 AD.
Connecticut – Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is a world-famous maritime museum and a phenomenal research and education center situated on the banks of the Mystic River. Just as much of the America’s Northeast, Connecticut‘s history is connected with the sea, and Mystic Seaport is a great destination to learn all about the area’s fishing and whaling history and other maritime experiences.
Delaware – Beach Towns
Delaware, the ‘First State’, is well-known for its fantastic beaches and sea side towns. Many miles of sandy beaches towns such as Dewey, Bethany, and Rehoboth make Delaware a favored destination for sea lovers. Here, where you smell the ocean breeze, you can find family-friendly charms that keep visitors returning for generations.
Florida – Walt Disney World
Florida is well-known for a lot of things, but among the most remarkable is Orlando’s Walt Disney World. The resort and the many theme parks are the world’s top vacation destination, so it’s safe to say that Cinderella’s Castle is one of Florida’s top landmarks.
Georgia – The Big Chicken
The Big Chicken is a Georgia landmark that rises above a KFC restaurant in Marietta. This large 56 ft. tall steel structure resembles a chicken and has eyes and a moving beak. After years of neglect and storm damage, this Georgia landmark was at risk of being torn down, but in 1993, when this news got out, the public outcry was so fierce that KFC decided to restore it to its earlier glory.
Hawaii – Pearl Harbor War Memorial
Pearl Harbor is located close to Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. This was the scene of one of World War II’s most infamous military surprise attacks. On December 7, 1941, Japanese airmen attacked U.S. ships and troops that were stationed there, and more than 2,400 American servicemen were killed. The Pearl Harbor War Memorial is Hawaii’s top visitor destination.
Idaho – Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is located not far from Twin Falls in central Idaho. The area offers great views of large natural lava fields in the Snake River Plain. Check also out Idaho’s Great Rift, a part of the preserve that includes open rift cracks in the area’s earth, one of them being the world’s deepest at 800 feet.
Illinois – The Bean
The Bean in Chicago is actually called Cloud Gate and located in the city’s down town Millennium Park on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is a phenomenal sculpture by Anish Kapoor, and regarded as among the world’s top works of art. Cloud Gate is a beautifully bean-shaped object of enormous dimensions and has numerous stainless steel plates that are welded together seamlessly.
Indiana – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indiana is home to one of the world’s most famous car racing happenings, the Indy 500, and also the Brickyard 400. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909 and is among Indiana’s most favored attractions. Check also out the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum which includes Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Iowa – Field of Dreams
Iowa’s Field of Dreams is a must-see destination near Dyersville, that looks just like it does in the movies, and has become a major tourist attraction since the film was shot here in 1989. You can visit this Iowa landmark at no charge.
Kansas – Dodge City
Dodge City is renown for its history as an Old Wild West frontier town. In the old days. people wanted to ‘get the heck outta Dodge’, but these days, they’re want to get in as it has become one of Kansas’ most visited tourist attractions. Dodge City, the ‘Queen of the Cowtowns, the Cowboy Capital’.
Kentucky – Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs is located in south Louisville, Kentucky, and one of the world’s most famous thoroughbred racetracks and best known for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby, America’s oldest continuous sporting event. The site is among Kentucky’s top visitor destinations, and don’t forget to visit the Kentucky Derby Museum as well.
Louisiana – French Quarter
New Orleans’ famous French Quarter is known all over the world for quite a few things, including the music scene with all its jazz, the great Cajun food traditions, its crazy or haunted cemeteries, and a lot more. The city was hit and damaged tremendously by Katrina but has remarkably bounced back, as it has before. New Orleans’ French Quarter is attracting people from all across the globe who want to have a good time in the Big Easy.
Maine – Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light marks the shipping entrance into Portland Harbor. The historic lighthouse is located in Cape Elizabeth on Maine’s shores and is among the world’s most picturesque and most often painted and photographed lighthouses. The Museum at Portland Head Light features several lighthouse lenses.
Maryland – Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry, located in Baltimore, is Maryland’s famous historical star-shaped coastal fort. It played a prominent role in the War of 1812, as it defended Baltimore Harbor successfully from a British Navy attack. It originates from 1798 and was used by U.S. armed forces during World War I and during World War II by the U.S. Coast Guard. Fort McHenry is a national landmark and became a national park in 1925.
Massachusetts – Plymouth Rock
All American children learn about Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower Pilgrims, who arrived here in 1620. The site marks a highly important symbol in U.S. history. Plymouth Rock (The Consecrated Rock) is a popular visitor destination in the harbor in Plymouth, and you can also visit Pilgrim Hall Museum, the oldest public museum in America.
Michigan – Henry Ford Museum
Th Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn pays tribute to the man credited for paving the way for the modern car
market, mass producing his Ford model cars. The large museum, all about
innovation and ideas, is a popular destination in Michigan.
Minnesota – Mall of America
The Mall of America is the nation’s largest mall and among Minnesota’s favored destinations. Situated in Bloomington, near the Twin Cities, it is actually much more than just a shopping mall. You can find here also 50 restaurants and an amusement park, all under one roof.
Mississippi – The Blues Trail
Mississippi is the birthplace of blues and if you travel the state’s Blues Trail you’ll be taken on a journey through blues history. You will be guided around the towns of the greatest blues interpreters like Bo Diddley, Big Jack Johnson, and BB King, just to mention a few.
Missouri – The Gateway Arch
The skyline of St. Louis is dominated by the Gateway Arch, one of America’s most famous landmarks, also referred to as America’s gateway to the West. The Gateway Arch was built in 1963, it is the tallest arch in the world and also the tallest monument in the Western Hemisphere made by man.
Montana – Wild Goose Island
Located in beautiful Glacier National Park, Montana’s Wild Goose Island belongs to America’s best-photographed locations and considered one the greatest landmarks in the state. Glacier National Park’s beauty can be enjoyed in the summer if you take the ‘Going to the Sun Road’ and visit St. Mary Lake with the small island centered in the middle.
Nebraska – Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock is located in western Nebraska that rises almost 300 ft. above North Platte River valley. Chimney Rock’s peak lies more than 4,200 feet 4,226 feet above sea level, and it has been a famous Nebraska landmark ever since the pioneers used to navigate along the Oregon Trail.
Nevada – Hoover Dam
There are people who argue that the Strip in Las Vegas is the most famous landmark in Nevada, and whereas the Strip is indeed a phenomenal tourist attraction, there’s one Nevada landmark that beats the Strip: Hoover Dam. This is definitely one of the world’s most interesting man-made objects and absolutely worth a visit.
New Hampshire – Mt. Washington Cog Railway
The Mount Washington Cog Railway was the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world, and it is still running today. It carries tourists who want to visit Mount Washington all the way up the mountain. The Cog Railway operates from late April until the end of November. A true national landmark.
New Jersey – Atlantic City
Atlantic City may be looked upon as the Las Vegas on the eastern seaboard, but it offers something that Las Vegas is missing, wide beaches and its iconic Boardwalk. Atlantic City is an entertainment center and offers (often free) festivals and events that make you want to come back. Atlantic City belongs to New Jersey’s most visited and famous destinations.
New Mexico – Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Chaco is a U.S. National Historical Park that is holding a formidable collection of buildings of the ancestral Pueblo people that lived here in the period 850-1250 AD. You can explore this National Historic Park through hiking and biking trails, evening camp fires, night sky programs, or via guided tours.
New York – Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty is more than just a landmark for New York City or the state of New York. The famous Statue of Liberty is also a mighty symbol of freedom in America. This U.S. National Monument is situated on Liberty Island between New Jersey and New York and was given by the people of France in 1886.
North Carolina – Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate is a national landmark that offers from romantic getaways to family-style outdoor activities. It is not only a huge private estate but also a popular tourist attraction in Asheville. Biltmore House (America’s ‘Largest Home’) was built by George Washington. You can also visit Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers had their first flight, but this is just no more than a (historically important) strip of land.
North Dakota – The Badlands
North Dakota’s Badlands are known because Theodore Roosevelt loved to visit the area. A large portion of the Badlands is now Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in honor of the love the statesman had of the area. The park offers the most beautiful rock formations as well as impressive wide views of the so-called ‘Painted Canyon’.
Ohio – Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame
Cleveland’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall and Museum and is located on the shores of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland. The nonprofit organization opened in 1995 and is engaging, teaching, and inspiring through rock and roll and also offers educational programs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is honoring some of the music’s industry’s most famous artists, producers, and songwriters.
Oklahoma – Route 66
Route 66 is the famous highway that spans multiple states and leads from Chicago to Los Angeles. Route 66 is extra iconic on the more than 400 miles through Oklahoma. It’s also known by other names such as the Mother Road, Will Rogers Highway, or Main Street America. There are several songs dedicated to the road, so get your kicks on Route 66.
Oregon – Crater Lake
Oregon’s Crater Lake is situated in Crater Lake National Park and made by the Mount Mazama volcano collapse some 7,750 years ago. Crater Lake is well-known because of its water clarity and deep blue color. It is America’s deepest lake at some 2,150 ft. (656 m), and is one of Oregon’s most visited attractions.
Pennsylvania – Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell lies in the Independence National Historic Park’s Liberty Bell Center, and is an iconic American independence symbol. Earlier it was placed in the Pennsylvania State House which was renamed Independence Hall. Liberty Bell Center is located in downtown Philadelphia.
Rhode Island – Breakers Mansion
Breakers Mansion (or The Breakers) is a renown large house in Newport, Rhode Island, and an important American landmark. It is the most impressive the summer ‘cottages’ in Newport and a true symbol of the social and financial standing of the Vanderbilt family around the turn of the century. This is one of Rhode Island’s most popular tourist destinations.
South Carolina – Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter is a U.S. National Monument situated in Charleston harbor named after General Sumter, a hero of the Revolutionary War. Fort Sumter played a crucial role in two battles during the Civil War and is among the best-visited tourist spots in South Carolina.
South Dakota – Mount Rushmore
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is an enormous sculpture of the faces of U.S. presidents Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson, carved into Mount Rushmore just a little southwest of Rapid City in South Dakota’s Black Hills region. The world-famous site also includes a museum and is one America’s most visited landmarks.
Tennessee – Graceland
Graceland is located in Memphis and is the former home of Rock ‘n’ Roll legend Elvis Presley. Graceland opened in 1982 and the museum takes you on a fantastic journey through the most impressive 20 years that Elvis revolutionized the music industry. This one of the best spots to explore in Tennessee.
Texas – The Alamo
San Antonio’s Alamo Mission (usually referred to as the Alamo) is part of the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site. The Battle of the Alamo is an important symbol of America’s struggle for independence from Mexico in 1836 and crucial for the Texas Revolution. The Alamo is a historic landmark for the entire family.
Utah – Salt Lake Temple
Salt Lake Temple is an impressive Mormon temple on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The site is a 35-acre famous U.S. landmark that boasts a rich history, fine architecture, and gorgeous gardens right in the heart of the city. Enjoy the Temple’s culture and vivid art to have an unforgettable experience.
Virginia – Mount Vernon
George Washington’s Mount Vernon mansion is located some 15 miles south of D.C. and among the most iconic homes of 18th-century America. It is situated on the banks of the Potomac River and is a museum in honor of President George Washington. After the White House, this is probably the most visited landmark in America.
Washington – Space Needle
The Space Needle in Seattle is an iconic observation tower in Seattle and a landmark of the Pacific Northwest. The tower was built for the World’s Fair of 1962 and includes an observation deck at 520 feet (160 meters) that offers great views of Seattle and its surrounding area. The Space Needle draws tens of thousands of visitors every year.
West Virginia – New River Gorge Bridge
The New River Gorge Bridge, near Fayetteville, is a more than 3,000 feet long steel arch bridge across the New River Gorge in the Appalachian Mountains. The engineering is spectacular and the bridge is among West Virginia’s most popular landmarks.
Wisconsin – Taliesin House
Taliesin was the house of world-famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Located in Spring Green, Taliesin House demonstrates the architect’s commitment to creating a harmony of art, culture, architecture, and the land. This iconic landmark draws visitors from all across the nation.
Wyoming – Old Faithful
Old Faithful is probably the world’s best-known cone geyser. Located in Yellowstone National Park, the famous geyser is best known for its regularly scheduled hot-water eruptions and was the first geyser to receive a name in 1870.