America is full of iconic places, however unlike many iconic places and famous landmarks elsewhere in the world, the most iconic places to visit in the US are rather new.
Whether it’s a stunning landscape, place of an important historical event, an area of great culture significance, there are many places that are truly iconic. These are not just iconic places to Americans, but to people from all around the world.
From Times Square to the Grand Canyon, here are the most iconic places to visit in the USA.
Most Iconic Places in the US
1. Statue of Liberty
Almost everyone knows, or have at least heard of The Statue of Liberty. It’s one of those iconic places in the US, that has been featured in movies and pop culture for decades.
This colossal copper statue is one of America’s most recognizable and popular National Monuments. Gifted by the people of France in 1886 to honor the alliance between the two nations, the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of American freedom and democracy.
The beautiful sculpted 300 ft. tall statue was once the first thing new immigrants would see when arriving at North American shores. Today, millions visit the monument to marvel at its grandeur and learn about its history and cultural significance.
The mighty statue is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor and can be reached by ferry from Battery Park or Liberty State Park. Several tour options, such as self-guided or guided tours, are also available. It is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to New York City, and one of the most romantic things to do in NYC.
2. Mount Rushmore
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore features the sculpted faces of four US presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, all who represented the first 150 years of American history.
Completed in 1941 by renowned sculptors Gutzon Borglum and Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore is a symbol of American freedom and hope.
Over 2 million people visit this iconic place a year! Today, visitors can take a self-guided tour and explore the surrounding park areas, learning about the history of the sculpture through exhibits and ranger-led programs. Anyone interested in American history and culture would love to visit this place.
3. Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a massive gorge located in northern Arizona and one of the best places to visit in the American Southwest. Carved by millions of years of water erosion by the Colorado River that has cut through the sandstone and mudstone rocks of the Colorado Plateau, this is easily one of the most iconic places to visit in the US.
The canyon is separated into two distinct parts – the South Rim and the North Rim, near Page. Tourists can explore the canyon by foot, mule, or helicopter and visit nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon Skywalk and the Hualapai Indian Reservation.
Anyone looking to explore the breathtaking views of one of the world’s most unique geological wonders should visit this iconic US destination.
4. The Wave
The Wave is a surreal sandstone rock formation located in the Coyote Buttes area of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness in Arizona and Utah. Easily one of the coolest places in the US, it is known for its colorful, undulating waves of sandstone and has become a popular destination for hikers and photographers.
Only a limited number of permits are issued each day to visit the area, making it a highly sought-after destination. The Wave offers a unique and otherworldly experience for anyone interested in hiking, trekking, and photography.
5. Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California
One of the most famous places in America is this impressive bridge! Once the largest suspension bridge in the world, The Golden Gate Bridge is one of America’s most iconic engineering feats and connects San Francisco City to Marin County over the Golden Gate Strait. The 1.7-mile-long bridge can be crossed by car, bike, or on foot.
Visitors can take in the stunning views of the bay and the city skyline, and explore the bridge’s history and engineering through exhibits and guided tours. Immortalized by many Hollywood movies the bridge is visible from many places around San Francisco and is a sight to behold, especially during dawn and sunset.
6. National Mall / White House
The National Mall is a stretch of public land in Washington DC that lies between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building. This place is well known to house not only the US government’s seat and the US president’s residence– the White House, but it is also dripping in the history of this great nation.
The Smithsonian Institute, the world’s largest museum is home to thousands of collections that are a treasure trove for visitors and history buffs. The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are also all located here. When visiting the National Mall, you will find something new to explore at every step.
7. Niagara Falls
The City of Niagara Falls on the US-Canada border is an incredible tourist destination that brings in millions of visitors every year. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the cascading waterfalls are a sight to behold and make for the ideal romantic getaway destination.
Referred to as the honeymoon capital of the world, the views of the impressive falls combined with plenty of luxury accommodations, restaurants, casinos, and other attractions make this dream destination one of America’s most iconic places to visit. Enjoy guided tours, boat tours, helicopter tours, and so much more at Niagara Falls!
8. Hollywood Sign – Los Angeles, California
The Hollywood Sign is an iconic symbol of the entertainment industry located in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, California. Erected in 1923, as an advertisement for a real estate development company, the Hollywood sign has grown to become a cultural landmark and a symbol of the American film industry.
Visitors can take guided tours to view the sign up close, hike the nearby trails for panoramic views of the Los Angeles city skyline, and explore the rich history and glamor that Hollywood is famed for.
9. Las Vegas Strip
In a city deemed the ‘entertainment capital of the world,’ the Las Vegas Strip is its crown jewel. Referred to as Las Vegas Boulevard, this almost four-mile-long neon-studded road epitomizes all that is Vegas!
The bright lights, luxury hotels, awe-inspiring casinos, vibrant performance venues, and hugely entertaining nightlife is a feast for all your senses. Experience some of Sin City’s most popular entertainment hotspots such as Caesar’s Palace and the dancing fountains of the Bellagio Hotel & Casino.
10. Magic Kingdom, Disney World
The Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is a dream destination not just for children but adults alike. This theme park/resort/entertainment complex is a magical and fantastical place full of real-world depictions of your favorite Disney movies and characters.
The ginormous complex holds four different theme parks and two water parks within it hosting an array of attractions, rides, and other fun activities. A hopper ticket should be your go-to ticket to get the most bang for your buck as it will allow you to visit all the parks and attractions within this magical and fantastical place.
11. The Alamo
A relic of the Texas Revolution, The Alamo is a historic Spanish fortress that was once the battleground for one of America’s most gruesome sieges. In the face of an all-out Mexican Assault in 1836, nearly 200 Texans lost their lives defending the fortress and this act of bravery is what rallied Texans to unite and defeat the Mexican army.
The Alamo has since then become a symbol of pride and a shrine to Texas liberty. It acts as a testament to the bravery and heart of the people of the South.
Today, visitors can indulge in an immersive audio tour that turns back the pages of history to give a full account of the events that transpired here.
12. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building, although no longer the tallest in the city of New York, is still an architectural marvel that has become a cultural icon of the Nation. At 1454 feet it was once the tallest building in the world and offers breathtaking views of NYC.
Spend some time in the “Story of an Icon” Museum on the second floor and then head out to the elevators to the viewing decks. To avoid crowds it is recommended to book tickets in advance and come here early.
13. Bourbon Street
The French Quarter of New Orleans is home to the history-rich Bourbon Street. Lined with jazz clubs such as Maison Bourbon and Jazz Playhouse the street offers an excellent opportunity to experience New Orleans’ homegrown music scene.
Moving forward you can have a classic gumbo and jambalaya at one of the restaurants or bars on this street. Other attractions on this street include Marie Laveau House of Voodoo, Fritzel’s European Jazz Bar, and Faulkner House Books.
14. The Bean (Chicago)
One of Chicago’s most iconic sights, The Bean is a permanent outdoor public art attraction located in Millennium Park. Officially titled Cloud Gate this futuristic work of art has become a popular tourist attraction as it perfectly encapsulates the Millenium Park experience.
The sculptor has a lustrous mirror finish that reflects the city’s surroundings and gives a whole new perspective to the place. Take amazing pictures next to this 33 feet tall polished sculpture to post on your social profiles while you explore the rest of this fabulous city.
15. Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center is the most intriguing attraction that space and science enthusiasts can visit. Whether it is the Space Shuttle Atlantis hanging with its payload doors open or the Saturn V rockets and other space race era relics there will be something that you might be seeing for the first time.
Head out to this amazing attraction with your family and ask the astronauts about their life in space.
16. Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk Of Fame is a 1.3-mile-long stretch of pavement that has been embedded with stars and the names of some of America’s most loved celebrities, actors, and musicians.
With 2,690 stars it can be a bit of a hassle searching for your favorite celebrity but you can always head out here in the early morning to find the stars that you most admire. Other attractions worthy of your visit include the Hollywood Museum and the TCL Chinese Theatre.
Alcatraz or The Rock is an island off the coast of San Francisco infamous for being one of America’s most dangerous and notorious federal prisons. Visiting Alcatraz can be spine-tingling for many and visiting the cell blocks can bring on a whole new perspective on freedom and justice.
Other than exploring the prison and cell blocks you can also visit the Sally Port Guardhouse which is the oldest building on the island. Visitors can learn about the native Americans and the FBI’s tussle for control over the Rock and many other amazing accounts of this incredible location.
18. Hoover Dam
One of America’s most stunning man-made spectacles has to be Hoover Dam in the Black Canyon region of the Colorado River. It is a must-visit location due to its sheer size and complex engineering that leaves anyone awestruck.
The dam was originally built to provide hydroelectric power but over the years it has become a tourist hotspot and outdoor recreational hub. The dam’s Lake Mead Recreation Area offers an excellent spot for water sports, camping, and other outdoor recreational activities. You can also visit Boulder City, to learn about the history and construction of this incredible feat of engineering.
19. The Redwoods
Northern California is famous for its Redwoods Forest which is home to trees that are thousands of years old and rise hundreds of feet off the ground.
The serene beauty and peaceful atmosphere of these red giants will stun you as soon as you enter the park. Hiking among these trees is a once-in-a-lifetime experience thanks to the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. All-in-all, the Redwoods is a must-visit location for nature lovers and people wanting to spend some quality time outdoors.
20. The Biltmore
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, The Biltmore is a grand estate and National Historic Landmark featuring a 250-room château and over 8,000 acres of gardens and parkland. Built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, Biltmore is the largest privately-owned estate in the United States.
It offers visitors a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of America’s Gilded Age as they explore the estate’s meticulously preserved architecture, artwork, and gardens. While here, you can also enjoy wine tastings, outdoor activities, and seasonal events.
21. The Gateway Arch
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, The Gateway Arch is an iconic American landmark that stands 630 feet tall – built to commemorate America’s historic western pioneers.
Constructed in 1965 by the famous architect Eero Saarinen, the stainless steel arch offers visitors breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding cityscapes of Illinois and Missouri. Visitors can take a tram ride to the top of the arch, explore the underground museum, and learn about the history of the American frontier.
22. Liberty Bell
Currently housed in the Liberty Bell Center at Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, The Liberty Bell is a must-visit attraction for patriots and history buffs.
The bell was originally cast in 1752 and it was rung to mark important events, including the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The bell is of immense historical importance as it was rung to mark the reading of the declaration of independence and several other important historical events. Visit the bell in Liberty Bell Center and learn more about its travels and tales. Also, explore the nearby Independence Hall to get the full Liberty Bell experience.
It is an iconic symbol that epitomizes the American spirit of freedom and undying resilience.
23. Pearl Harbor
Located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor acts as a Pacific deep-water naval base for the United States Navy. This iconic place played a paramount role in World War II, as it was here that the Japanese destroyed most of America’s naval fleet in a surprise attack that left the entire country stunned.
Today, Pearl Harbor commemorates the sacrifice given by American naval forces that helped protect the island from Japanese invasion. Visitors can take a tour of The USS Arizona Memorial which pays respect to the martyred American soldiers and offers gut-wrenching insights into the events of that tragic day.
24. Pike Place Market
Those of us that are foodies at heart, or simply love to shop, will find Pike Place Market to be a treasure trove of must-have items and goods. This historic public farmers market in Seattle, Washington, is known for its incredible atmosphere, unique shops, and fresh organic produce that are sold exclusively by local farmers and merchants.
It is no wonder that the market’s bustling aisles, animated vendors, stylish stalls, family-owned restaurants, and busy headshops, draw in millions of visitors every year. Pike Place Market is also home to the Original Starbucks and the famous Piggy Bank statue amongst other attractions.
25. The Grand Ole Opry
Home of country music, the Grand Ole Opry is a live music venue in Nashville. This legendary venue has been showcasing live country music since 1925. Visitors can enjoy live performances by established and emerging artists, take a backstage tour, and explore exhibits that display the history and popularity of country music.
The Opry has featured legends such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Garth Brooks, and its broadcasts reach millions of fans worldwide.
One of America’s most scenic wilderness destinations, Yosemite National Park, is found in California’s picturesque Sierra Nevada mountains. Famous for its countless waterfalls, granite monoliths, fertile valleys, and ancient sequoia trees, the tranquil vibe of this mesmerizing location makes visitors fall in love with its unparalleled natural beauty.
Sparkling gemstone lakes and unspoiled trails make for the perfect outdoor adventure and allow you to get in touch with your nature-loving side. Don’t forget to visit Yosemite’s top attractions such as the Half Dome, the El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls.
27. Grand Teton
Grand Teton National Park, located in northwest Wyoming, is a spectacular destination known for its rugged mountain landscapes and abundant wildlife. The park is home to the Teton Range, which includes Grand Teton, the highest peak in the region. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife watching.
The park is also a popular destination for winter sports, including skiing and snowshoeing. With its stunning natural beauty and endless recreational opportunities, Grand Teton National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, adventure-seekers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
When it comes to America’s National Parks, nothing beats the size, diversity, and beauty of Yellowstone National Park which spans nearly 3,500 sq. miles and across three different states. Its scenic trails, white-water rapids, towering mountain ranges, gushing geysers, and wild bison herds make it a nature lover’s paradise.
There is always plenty to do at Yellowstone from exploring its dramatic canyons to a spot of wildlife watching. Top attractions at the park include the Old Faithful geyser which erupts every 90 minutes like clockwork and the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.
29. Times Square
Not exactly an unheard of attraction in America, Times Square is a major commercial and entertainment hub located in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City.
Known for its bright lights, billboards, and bustling crowds, it is easily one of the most visited places in the US. At any time of day, during any time of the year, Times Square is bustling, bright, and busy. It’s especially iconic on New Years Eve for the famous ball drop, seen all around the world!
30. Mackinac Bridge
At 26,372 feet long, this is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world (even longer than the Golden Gate Bridge!) The Mackinac Bridge, also known as the “Mighty Mac,” is a suspension bridge that spans the Straits of Mackinac, and connects Michigan’s Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula.
iconic places to visit in the uS FAQ
What is USA most famous for?
The USA is well-known for many things including food, movies, music, culture, sports, technological innovations, and politics. However, out of all the these iconic places to visit in the US, a few of the most famous are the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Disney World, and The Hollywood Sign.
What is the most magical place in the USA?
Disney World is not just the most magical place in the US, but the entire world.
What is the most unique place in the United States?
The US has some of the most unique landscapes in the entire world. A few of the most unique places are The Wave, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.
What is the most visited state?
California is the most visited state in the US, followed by Florida, Nevada, Texas, and New York.
What is the most visited attraction in the US?
Times Square in New York is the most visited destination in the US, with nearly 50 million visitors each year.
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TRAVEL THE USA
As you can see there are many iconic places to visit in the US, and there are plenty of more places to see in this wonderful country. For more travel around America, see below: