Top 20 Tourist Attractions in the USA

The United States is a vast country. From sea to shining sea you can find mountains, deserts, plains and enough attractions to keep any tourist busy for the rest of their life. Here are my top five attractions. The United States has numerous tourist attractions designed to satisfy everybody’s interests. Here are my choices for the top 10 tourist attractions in the United States. I have personally been to all of these attractions.

From coast to coast, north to south, and everywhere in between, the United States has some terrific tourist destinations that every American should see at least once. Some are majestic natural wonders; others are man-made feats of wonder.

Everglades National Park, Florida. The largest subtropical preserve in the United States, the Everglades is a worldwide preserve, home to many rare and endangered species, some indigenous to only the Everglades. Everglades National Park opened as a wildlife sanctuary in 1947 and greets almost one million visitors annually.
Because of the number of indigenous endangered species living in the Everglades, every American should take the opportunity to place the Everglades on their “must see” list before the ability to view some of these rare wildlife specimens are gone.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho. Yellowstone is bound to make most Americans “must see” list. Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park, designated as such in 1872 by President Grant. Yellowstone is over 3400 square miles in area and most of the park remains wild. Mother Nature really puts on a show of splendor in Yellowstone.

You are guaranteed to see many different types of wildlife in Yellowstone some of which are threatened or endangered. Traveling through Yellowstone is an educational adventure for the entire family.

Disneyworld, Central Florida. Located in central Florida, Disneyworld attracts almost 50 million visitors per year in its four Kingdoms (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, MGM, Animal Kingdom) combined. That’s more visitors than any other tourist attraction in the US.

Niagara Falls, New York. I realize that most of this natural wonder is located on the Canadian side of North America but there are plenty of attractions on the American side too. There is an aquarium, a haunted house, a family fun center that has mini bowling lanes, a video arcade, and several other family-oriented areas. Niagara Falls also has a wax museum, a casino and several museums dedicated to the history of the falls. If you have never been to Niagara Falls, you are missing an awesome sight.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana. The birthplace of the Indianapolis 500, the Speedway is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. This race, held on Memorial Day weekend, brings thousands of motorsports fans and visitors to Indianapolis not only for the race but also for the parade held the day before. The Indianapolis 500 Parade features floats, bands, equine marchers and all thirty-three drivers riding through downtown Indianapolis.

Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky. Home of the Kentucky Derby, the fastest two minutes in sports and the first race in the Triple Crown races. The Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday of May and is restricted to three-year-old Thoroughbreds, colts, and fillies.

Churchill Downs opened in 1874 and the first three races held were the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, and the Clark Handicap. All three races are still run at Churchill Downs with the Clark being held in the fall. The Kentucky Oaks is open to three-year-old fillies and is run the Friday afternoon on Kentucky Derby weekend.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville, Tennessee. This museum originally located at the corner of 16th Avenue and Division Street opened on April 1, 1967, and closed on December 31, 2000. The museum offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of country music through several floors filled with numerous interactive exhibits.

In addition to touring the museum, visitors are also offered the opportunity to visit the Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Grand Old Opry and Studio B, where legendary country music artists like Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings and Charley Pride all recorded some of their major hits.

The Great Escape and the Splashwater Kingdom, Lake George, New York. This theme park was originally known as Storytown, USA and featured areas dedicated to nursery rhymes and children’s stories. Now, this park is part of the Six Flags chain and offers visitors all kinds of roller coasters, thrill rides, and entertainment.

Some of the rides that were operating when it was Storytown, like Cinderella’s Coach, are still in operation today. The Splashwater Kingdom offers a place for visitors to cool off during the hot summer months. I have also visited Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts and I prefer the Great Escape. In my opinion, The Great Escape is cleaner, prettier and the staff is much friendlier.

New York City. The Big Apple has got to be at the top attraction on any tourist’s list when it comes to travel in the United States. It appeals to Americans and also to visitors from around the world. The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are landmarks recognized by people everywhere. Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Wall Street are places that have worked their way into everyone’s language.

Time Square is the center of the American universe. New York City will appeal to children, adults, and seniors; it is a city for everyone. Central Park offers a respite from the skyscrapers and brings a bit of the country mid-town. With some of the world’s greatest museums and cuisine, New York City really is the City That Never Sleeps.

New York City is the largest city in the world and has all the glitz and glam to go along with its title. An estimated 8 million people live in the Big Apple. New York City is headquarters to the United Nations and is a worldwide leader in the commerce and finance industries. The city is a melting pot of cultures and is the arts and entertainment capital of the world. New York City has many districts within its five boroughs, all with their own different flavors that add to the uniqueness of the city.

For both its historic value and its importance to the world everyone should visit this ultra-modern city where most of our ancestors first set foot when they came to America.

The Grand Canyon. At the other end of the spectrum, the Grand Canyon is all about wide open spaces where the only thing you see when you look up is canyon walls and bright blue skies. When it comes to spectacular scenery, there is nowhere in the United States that can compare to the Grand Canyon. Whether you choose the South Rim or the North Rim, you will have views that are unsurpassed; it is hard to imagine that these colors actually exist in nature.

It is even more beautiful than any picture you have ever seen. If you are visiting the north rim it is easy to combine the Canyon with a visit to Sin City, sort of a 2 for 1. You will even feel good about choosing to combine scenery with all the glitz of Las Vegas.

New Orleans. It isn’t just about Mardi Gras in New Orleans. There isn’t another city in the United States like it. The architecture, the jazz, the voodoo and the beignets are all guaranteed to make you fall in love. Walking or driving along the levis holding back the mighty Mississippi makes you realize what a precarious position this city survives in and that makes New Orleans all the more precious and unique.

The historic parts of the city were almost untouched by Katrina but it is the rebuilding of this great city that is bringing many tourists back to Nawlins. Don’t wait for Mardi Gras, this is a city that is at its best all year round.

Charlottesville. While this city may not be on every tourist’s radar, it should be. Three of our presidents found it charming enough to make it their home. The most famous former resident is Thomas Jefferson, who helped design the University of Virginia, which is also located in Charlottesville. He built his famous home Monticello here and today you can visit it as well as the homes of James Madison and James Monroe. Charlottesville has all the vibes of a college town and more.

Philadelphia. There is no city that is more representative of what the United States is all about than Philadelphia. Ben Franklin is probably one of the best known Americans to have ever lived. History, art, entertainment and plenty of outdoor activities guarantee that you can visit here every year and never get bored. Philadelphia has undergone a renaissance and it is the place to really feel the pulse of historic America.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan. The dunes alone bring many tourists, but this area is vintage America. The local forests, native culture, undeveloped lakefront, and small communities can create a sense of peace for any vacationer. You may just forget what a city is after a few days in this region. Intimacy grows at all levels here. You will feel closer to your companions, nature, and even America as your trip ends.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Here, it feels like someone turned nature into a theme park. The smoky mountains entwine with the town. Traditional and historic America is so present that it often feels like you traveled to this region via time machine. Nearby, you can visit amazing reserves, Dollywood, and Pigeon Forge. If you look down, you may just see the roots of the country. If you look up, you may see it’s soul lingering in the mountains.

Sedona, Arizona. Sedona offers a unique window into American history. The Honanki Cliff Dwellings date back nearly 900 years. The land looks like pure untouched old west frontier straight out of a movie set. Whether you want to climb the red rocks or simply take in their beauty, there are opportunities for all in one of America’s greatest natural settings. It is a unique spiritual experience just to spend time alone with these rocks. Even the skeptic will quickly realize why this area has been valued and frequented since it was discovered once they experience it first hand.

Salt Lake City, Utah. The full beauty and awe of the rocky mountains overflow into this city. More historic and natural attractions than you can fully enjoy in a year are nearby. Above all, the breathtaking trails through the various mountain parks could each be a separate vacation destination. What can’t you find or do in this region is an easier thought than considering all you can do. With Olympic parks, alpine-like towns, Vatican like church foundations, salt flats with lake and beach included, epic mountain canyons and trails, everything seems to exist here in some form.

San Diego, California. All that westward exploration paid off in the end. We finally found paradise. It may not be little known, but it tops any list. Tijuana is just south. Hollywood is a little north. In the middle, you have all the pleasures of a small city with no stress. Even work here feels like a vacation. The weather is perfect nearly every day of the year. If you die and look up to see San Diego, you know you did something right.

These are just a few of my favorite attractions in the United States. You could spend a lifetime seeing everything this wonderful country has to offer. From east to west, north to south, there are attractions to appeal to every tourist from every country and of course if none of this appeal there is always Orlando or Anaheim.
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