The United States is one of the must-see tourist destinations in the world for many reasons. No matter what you enjoy, this country provides you a wide array of attractions in almost every state. There are many choices for families and couples for sightseeing, fun, and adventure. In this article, we will list the top tourist attractions in the United States.
Top Tourist Attractions in the United States
1. Walt Disney World
There are many amusement parks in Orlando, Florida, but none as popular as Walt Disney World. Actually, Walt Disney World is made up of several theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are also water parks (Typhoon Lagoon, River County, and Blizzard Beach) as well as other attractions (Disney’s Boardwalk, Disney Springs, etc.).
Visitors can enjoy thrill rides, watch shows and explore shopping, cuisine, and entertainment. This is the reason why Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an annual attendance of more than 52 million.
See Also: Best Family Vacation Destinations
2. Las Vegas Strip
One of the top tourist attractions in the United States, the Las Vegas Strip is famous for its resort hotels and casinos. It is 4.2 miles long. The gambling mecca of the world, Las Vegas can be found in the southern Nevada desert.
The Strip is known for its contemporary architecture, lights, and attractions. Its hotels, casinos, restaurants, and entertainment offerings have established it as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
While you can find casinos throughout Las Vegas, the best and most grandiose ones can be found on the Strip. It features mega-casino hotels, lavishly decorated to create a fantasy-like atmosphere. The casinos often have themes that evoke romance or mystery.
See Also: Best Things to Do in Las Vegas
3. Niagara Falls
One of the most spectacular natural wonders on the North American continent, the Niagara Falls is situated between the state of New York and province of Ontario. It consists of three different falls – American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side while the other two are located in New York.
Besides its beauty, the Niagara Falls is also a source of hydroelectric power. With over 14 million visitors each year, the Niagara Falls is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the USA.
The best known tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise, carrying passengers into the rapids below the falls. Cruise boats operate from docks on both sides of the falls. The Maid of the Mist operates from the American side, while the Hornblower Cruises operates from the Canadian side.
4. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that links San Francisco, California to Marin County, with a main span of 4,200 feet and a total height of 746 feet. It’s one of the most recognized symbols of California and the United States.
It is considered as the most beautiful and the most photographed bridge in the world. The red-orange color of the Golden Gate Bridge was chosen to make it more visible through the fog that frequently shrouds the bridge. A visitor center and gift shop is located on the San Francisco side, adjacent to the southeast parking lot.
One of New York’s five boroughs, Manhattan is what most people think of when they picture New York City. It’s understandable why Manhattan real estate is very expensive. Manhattan is considered by many as the financial, cultural, media, and entertainment capital of the world.
It hosts 3 of the world's 10 most visited tourist attractions – Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal. Take a photo of the Statue of Liberty, climb the Empire State building, see a Broadway show, window shop on 5th Avenue, stroll Central Park, or stagger around a museum.
See Also: Best Things to Do in New York
6. Yellowstone National Park
Carrying the distinction as the first national park in the world, Yellowstone National Park was established to preserve the geysers, hot springs, the incredible wildlife and rugged beauty of the area. Yellowstone lies on top of a hotspot where hot, molten mantle rock rises toward the surface.
The park contains half of the world’s known geothermal features, with more than 10,000 geysers and hot springs. When it comes to wildlife, grizzly bears, black bears, elk, deer, bison, and wolves can be found within the park borders.
7. French Quarter
New Orleans is made up of several districts, but none as famous as the French Quarter. Also known as the Vieux Carre (Old Square in English), the French Quarter explores the French colonial influences on the city of New Orleans.
Incredible architecture abounds, with Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral being the main attractions. You can explore the Moon Walk, a walkway next to the Mississippi River, and Bourbon Street, the hub of nightlife, drinking, and entertainment in the city.
8. Kennedy Space Center
Located in Merritt Island, Florida, the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is NASA's primary launch center of human spaceflight. Some of the launch operations which were carried out from the KSC were the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs.
There are about 700 facilities and buildings on the center's 144,000 acres. Among the facilities at KSC are the 525-foot tall Vehicle Assembly Building (for stacking NASA's rockets), the Launch Control Center, the Operations and Checkout Building (which houses the astronauts’ dormitories), a Space Station factory, and a 3-mile long Shuttle Landing Facility. There’s also a Visitor Complex open to the public.
The KSC Visitor Complex has a variety of exhibits, artifacts, and displays on the history and future of human and robotic spaceflight. Bus tours originate from here. The complex also includes Apollo/Saturn V Center and the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.
9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is situated between the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. It’s the most visited national park in the US (over 11 million recreational visitors), thanks to its incredible scenery. Visitors can hike through forests, spot various species of birds, and hike trails.
The two main visitors' centers are Sugarlands Visitors' Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center. These stations provide exhibits on wildlife, geology, and history of the park. You can also buy books, maps, and souvenirs.
10. Grand Canyon
Located in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River. This majestic canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and attains a depth of more than a mile. The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the world's top natural attractions, attracting about 5 million visitors each year.
Aside from casual sightseeing on the South Rim, rafting, hiking, and helicopter tours are among the popular activities here. Camping on the North and South rims is usually restricted to established campgrounds. Reservations are recommended, especially at the busier South Rim. While not the deepest or longest, the Grand Canyon’s boasts of the most intricate and colorful landscape of any canyon in the world.
As one of the largest and most culturally diverse countries in the world, the US boasts of an amazing number of tourist destinations. It is home to some of the most spectacular sceneries and some of the most recognizable icons in the world. If you have the time and resources, try to include these top tourist attractions in the United States on your itinerary.
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Which of these tourist attractions have you visited? Share your experiences by commenting below.