50 Most Famous Landmarks in the USA You Must Visit (2024)

Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by Nikki Jain

American history may be short compared to many countries worldwide. However, the country is still rich in landmark sites that tell the story of a new nation's birth. Across the country, the top US landmarks reveal stories of the first people who settled here, the colonists traveling to a new world, and the fierce battles that took place for freedom and justice.

When visiting these famous American landmarks, history comes alive, and you leave with a better appreciation and understanding of the momentous events that occurred right where you stand. From America's brightest moments to its darkest days, these iconic monuments showcase the United States' legacy and the foundation on which the beautiful country is built.

Step back into time on Ellis Island and learn about the immigrants who came through to find a better life or discover the nation’s birth at Independence Hall. Pay your respects at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii or learn about the events surrounding the Alamo in Texas. Explore the remarkable Biltmore Estate in North Carolina or take in the view atop the Gateway Arch in Missouri.

Wherever you go in the country, there’s a landmark signifying an important event in American history. Each one tells its own story, whether it be heroism, disaster, or legacy. These monuments invite visitors to learn more about what shapes the United States and its people: resiliency, determination, honor, and more.

These are the top 50 famous landmarks in the United States that you should add to your bucket list.

The Famous Landmarks in America

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1: Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia
Flickr/Tony Fischer

Monticello, an expansive red-brick home with white Greek columns and a dome overlooking a sprawling Virginia plantation, was Thomas Jefferson's home for nearly 60 years. Jefferson, the third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, built this home on land he inherited from his father.

Today, the home is a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can even see a depiction of Monticello on the reverse side of the U.S. nickel. Visitors can purchase tickets to explore the home and surrounding plantation. Much of Monticello has been transformed into a museum with exhibits regarding Jefferson, archaeology, and more.

One of Monticello's most significant aspects was its role as a working plantation where more than 400 enslaved individuals worked and lived. Jefferson himself enslaved many African Americans at Monticello. The plantation exhibits attempt to retell the stories and share the experiences of many people that worked there to respect the legacy they left behind.

It’s no wonder that this is one of the most famous landmarks in the USA.

Address: 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Also Read: Top 10 Most Famous Historic Homes in America

2: The Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
The Lincoln Memorial is one of the famous statues in America

Located on the western end of Washington, D.C.'s National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most incredible landmarks in America built to honor the United States' 16th President. Abraham Lincoln, known as the "savior of the Union," was a leader well ahead of his time. He is famously known for his inspiring words of his Gettysburg Address and as the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Two years after Lincoln’s assassination, Congress approved an association to build the Lincoln Memorial. Completed in 1922, the memorial features a 19-foot high statue of the President with inscriptions of his Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address carved on the walls on both sides.

Visitors can climb the steps and enter past tall white columns. Stand in awe beneath the statue and its memorialization of the firm and resilient "Honest Abe." Millions visit each year, and the memorial has been the site of many gatherings of historic caliber; it's the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous speech, "I Have a Dream," in 1963.

Address: 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037

Also Read: 12 Famous Landmarks in Washington, D.C.

3: Ellis Island, New York City, New York

Ellis Island, New York City, New York
Ellis Island | Flickr/Prayitno

From 1892 through 1924, more than 12 million immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, looking to begin a new life in the United States. Every individual that passed through was documented through ship manifests and regular inspections. At the end of 1954, Ellis Island closed as an immigrant processing facility and later reopened to the public as a museum.

Today, Ellis Island sits in New York Harbor as a symbol of hope and freedom and an iconic US landmark. Visitors can purchase ferry tickets to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. On the island, guests go back in history to experience the journey of immigrants traveling to the US. A variety of artifacts, a Wall of Honor celebrating American immigrants, and more stand to educate and honor.

One of the most popular activities on Ellis Island is visiting the American Family Immigration History Center. Did your ancestors arrive through Ellis Island? You can find out with the center’s 65 million records, a database that gives visitors the chance to find their ancestral connections on the island.

Address: Battery Park and Liberty Island, New York City, NY 10017

Also Read: Top NYC Attractions & Things To Do

4: Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Explore the birth of a nation at Independence Hall, where the founding fathers signed both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Known as the birthplace of America, the building was formerly known as the Pennsylvania State House. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Situated in the heart of Philadelphia, the red brick building stood as a symbol for freedom in the 13 colonies and is now one of America’s most famous landmarks. Step back into history as you enter its doors. Imagine delegates such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson debating and writing the most critical documents in American history.

Visitors can take a tour of Independence Hall, and no tickets are required. On tour, you'll enter the same rooms delegates did all those years ago to debate our country's historical documents. Experience the history from 1776 and on first-hand as you see the Assembly Room and other important sites.

Address: 520 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Also Read: Top 25 Attractions & Things To Do in Philadelphia

5: Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a true time warp to experience what life was like in the 1600s, visit Massachusetts’ Plimoth Plantation. The living history museum replicates the original Plymouth colony established by the Pilgrims in the 17th century. Experience what it was like to travel to a new world and start your life from scratch.

Founded in 1947 by history buff Henry Hornblower II, the plantation includes a replica of the Mayflower II, an English village, Native American homesite, barns, a grist mill, and more. In the barns, period actors help care for the same livestock the Pilgrims would have bred. Everything on the plantation, from the people to the land, appears to be straight from the 17th century.

In July 2020, Plimoth Plantation announced it would be changing its name to incorporate "Patuxet," the Wampanoag name for the colonized land. It hopes better represent the Native Americans who inhabited the land. The name change will coincide with events surrounding the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's landing.

Address: 137 Warren Ave, Plymouth, MA 02360

6: The World Trade Center Memorial, New York City, New York

The World Trade Center Memorial, New York City, New York

The world changed forever on September 11, 2001, when two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City and two others crashed into the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field. That day marks a historic turning point in a global society. Today, the World Trade Center Memorial stands where the towers once lived, commemorating all who lost their lives that day.

Two deep pools are surrounded by gray barriers with the name of every victim etched into the metal. As you walk around this landmark, you’ll notice flowers poking out of names as loved ones continue to visit. You’ll soon forget you’re in the heart of bustling Manhattan as the sound of the waterfalls drown out external noise and create a somber atmosphere. 

Both pools, about an acre in size, feature the largest human-made waterfalls in North America. Every year on the anniversary of 9/11, a public art installation called "Tribute in Life" lights up the pools and shines into the sky. The show honors the lost loved ones and celebrating New York City's resiliency.

Address: Greenwich St & Liberty St, New York, NY 10006

7: USS Arizona Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii

USS Arizona Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Flickr/Bernard Spragg. NZ

The USS Arizona, which calls the Pearl Harbor National Memorial home, symbolizes an important day in American history: the attack on Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona was hit by Japanese bombers and sank, killing more than 1,000 people. Most of the shipwreck still lies beneath the memorial today.

Today, the battleship’s remains are a National Historic Landmark. Visit the memorial and learn about the people who died that day and how Pearl Harbor was a catalyst for the United States’ entry into World War II. Read survivor stories, learn about Hawaii’s role in the war, and help preserve the memory of those involved.

More than two million people visit this remarkable US landmark every year to immerse themselves in the history surrounding Pearl Harbor. As just one of several sites of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, take time to visit each one and discover what happened that fateful day.

Address: 1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Honolulu and Best Battleship Museums In the USA

8: Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Astoria, Oregon

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Astoria, Oregon
One of the best American landmarks | Flickr/akasped

In the early 1800s, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set off on a near-impossible expedition to map and explore the country's western portion following the Louisiana Purchase. In about three years, Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean, mapping the land and building relationships with several indigenous nations.

Upon reaching the Pacific Ocean, the explorers, known as the Corps of Discovery, built Fort Clatsop, an encampment along the Columbia River in Oregon. Today, a replica and memorial were the foundation for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, a land rich in history and natural splendor.

Explore the camp and learn about what Lewis and Clark discovered on their journey. Follow in the footsteps of the two famous explorers and meet the Native Americans who inhabited the land. Become an explorer yourself and hike along similar routes the Corps of Discovery took more than 200 years ago, or take a guided canoe tour on the river.

Address: 92343 Fort Clatsop Rd, Astoria, OR 97103

Also Read: Top Oregon Attractions & Things To Do

9: Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina

Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina
NPS Site

Another famous landmark of America is Fort Sumter. Located off Charleston, South Carolina, Fort Sumter was the site where Confederate soldiers fired upon the U.S. Garrison in 1861. The shots fired that day marked the county entering a several-year battle between the north and south. Today the island fort stands as a reminder of the day the country changed forever.

Accessible only by boat, Fort Sumter is available for visitors looking for self-guided or guided tours. Learn about the beginning of the deadliest conflict in U.S. history, and walk among cannons and brick walls still damaged by artillery fire. National Park rangers are on-hand to tell you more about the fort's history and the events surrounding April 12, 1861.

On the boat ride to the island, visitors can enjoy splendid views of Charleston from the water as well as the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier. Some lucky individuals even spot dolphins along the way!

Address: 1214 Middle St, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

Also Read: Top 10 American Civil War Sites To Visit

10: The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan

The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan
Flickr/John Lloyd

Named for the innovative automobile tycoon and museum founder, the Henry Ford Museum is home to historical items and memorabilia honoring America’s technological advances. Focusing on the advances Americans made during the Industrial Revolution, the Henry Ford Museum explores the history of innovation through the people at the forefront.

Discover flight innovations, like the Wright brothers’ accomplishments, or look inside the bus that Rosa Parks stood up for herself and her race by taking a seat. The numerous experiences and exhibits will leave you feeling more knowledgeable about the technological advances made throughout the last century.

No matter your interests, the Henry Ford Museum has something for all types of inquiring minds. In Greenfield Village, guests can ride in a Model T, one of the original automobiles. The Ford Rouge Factory Tour gives visitors a look inside the making of the Ford F-150 and the progressive practices that came with it.

Address: 20900 Oakwood, Dearborn, MI 48124

Also Read: Best Car Museums in The US

11: Bunker Hill Monument, Boston, Massachusetts

Bunker Hill Monument, Boston, Massachusetts

The Bunker Hill Monument, a towering granite obelisk, was built in the 19th century to commemorate one of the first battles in the Revolutionary War. On June 17, 1775, thousands of soldiers died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. As one of the early monuments in the United States, it pays homage to those who fought and paid with their lives for freedom.

Today, the Bunker Hill Monument, lodge, and museum are open to all visitors free of charge. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to this famous monument in the USA to explore the battle’s history and climb to the top of the monument’s 294 stairs to the top. At the lodge, guests can admire the statue of battle hero Joseph Warren and get up close to a Revolutionary War cannon.

The museum features the park’s main exhibits, where you can learn more about the Battle of Bunker Hill and some of the soldier’s stories who fought there. Discover the history and learn about the monument itself, which took 17 years to build.

Address: Monument Sq, Charlestown, MA 02129

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Boston

12: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California

It may seem far-fetched that an island prison is one of the most historical landmarks in the United States. Still, important history would be lost without the mysterious and historic Alcatraz Island. Home to several infamous prisoners, including Al Capone, it was the site of numerous incarcerations.

Once a maximum-security prison, Alcatraz tells the story of incarceration and justice. The National Historic Landmark features several facilities, including a lighthouse, military fort, a military jail, federal prison, and more. From 1969 through the 1970s, Native Americans occupied the island as part of a wave of activism and protests.

Located in San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz is only accessible by boat. Guests can take a ranger tour or spend hours exploring the exhibits. Take a ride across the bay and experience the mystery surrounding the old facilities. Gaze across the water from a cliffside and imagine the people that once walked the land.

Address: San Francisco, CA 94133

Also Read: Best San Francisco Attractions and Things To Do

13: Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial commemorates the December 7, 1941 attack that sank 12 ships and killed more than 2,400 Americans. Encompassing the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Utah Memorial, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, and more, this American landmark educates and inspires visitors.

The attack on Pearl Harbor ignited a conflict that was the catalyst for the United States entering World War II. The event changed the world, American, and Hawaiian history forever. At the memorial, you'll learn about the people and places involved in the attack and stories of heroes that lost their lives on that fateful day.

Two exhibit galleries bring guests as close as possible to experiencing the events leading up to the attack and how it shaped the future of the island and the country. Interpretive exhibits allow visitors to explore the land and learn about the history of that tragic day while looking out onto the harbor.

Address: 1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818

Also Read: Top 20 Tourist Attractions in Hawaii and Best Battleship Museums In the USA

14: Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
Flickr/Phillip Capper

Have you ever wanted to know what it was like living in adobe homes? At Taos Pueblo, visitors can experience just that while learning more about the Pueblo people. To this day, Native Americans inhabited the pueblos, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the country.

Located in northern New Mexico, the community is situated near the Sangre de Cristo Range. Take in the sights as you gaze up at the reddish-brown adobe structures built on either side of a bubbling stream. Immerse yourself in Native American culture and learn a little bit more about the people who live here.

About 150 people live there, welcoming guests to learn about the thousand-year-old traditions that still take place today. Generations of families pass the homes down to descendants. Many of the buildings are still used for religious and cultural activities. When you visit this historic USA landmark, you'll experience a tight-knit community dedicated to preserving their customs.

Address: Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

15: The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

One of the famous landmarks in America by far! The Alamo, an 18th-century Franciscan mission located in San Antonio, saw one of the most significant battles in the Texan Revolution. At the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, defenders held out for a 13-day siege until the Mexicans broke through and overtook the compound. Nearly all Texans in the Alamo were slain that day.

The Battle of the Alamo was a catalyst toward Texan independence from Mexico. Today, the Alamo stands as a symbol of resiliency and determination in the face of tragedy. The complex features tours, preserved buildings, and much more for visitors to explore and take in the history that shaped the Texan Revolution.

At the site, you can take in the battlefield as it looked in 1836 and explore the courtyard, church, and other buildings. Daily tours give you a glimpse into what happened during the siege and tell stories of many who perished there.

Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205

Also Read: The Best San Antonio Attractions and Things To Do

16: Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
Faneuil Hall | USA Landmarks | Flickr/masstravel

Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall has witnessed centuries of history. Opened in 1743, legendary revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and James Otis gave several speeches calling for freedom from Great Britain. Named the “Cradle of Liberty,” the marketplace was the site of America’s first town meeting.

The marketplace is a stop on the Freedom Trail, a 2.6-mile path that connects all of Boston’s most significant historic sites. Take a guided tour or explore yourself to learn how integral Faneuil Hall was in shaping the country’s history. Discover key events that took place on the cobblestone streets beneath you.

As one of the topmost visited historic landmarks in the US, Faneuil Hall offers much more than just history. The marketplace features numerous restaurants and local businesses selling handcrafted items and more. Street performers set up in front of the building and give a show to all passersby. Whether you love history or hanging out, Faneuil Hall is the place to be.

Address: 4 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109

17: Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
Flickr/Ron Cogswell

In 1863, the American Civil War came to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, marking the war's bloodiest battle. At the Gettysburg National Military Park, hear the stories of Confederate and Union soldiers who fought in one of the most influential Civil War battles. Explore the grounds that inspired President Abraham Lincoln to deliver his famous "Gettysburg Address."

The battle marked a turning point in the Civil War and changed the lives of the residents of Gettysburg. Farms and gardens were riddled with fallen soldiers; public buildings were transformed into hospitals. At the park, learn more about how the citizens rebounded and supported war efforts.

Start your tour at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, where thousands of Civil War artifacts retell the battles. Admire the monuments erected across the park and pay homage to the people who lost their lives on the grounds. Walk the battlefield and see history through the lens of the people that were there.

Address: 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

18: Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

The Black Hills of South Dakota is known for rolling hills that shaped stories of the Wild West. Most notably, however, is the Crazy Horse Memorial, a mountain monument depicting the famous Native American warrior Crazy Horse. Still under construction today, the memorial will show the warrior riding a horse and pointing to his tribal land.

The granite mountain rises more than 6,000 feet above sea level, making it the 27th highest peak in South Dakota. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear chose the mountain for the monument in 1948. Upon completion, it will be the second tallest monument in the world.

Visit the memorial yourself and witness history in action as cranes and construction workers carve into the mountain. Head to the visitor center and learn about the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation's mission to preserve Native American culture and revive its heritage in the region. Museums feature native art from tribes across the country.

Address: Crazy Horse, SD 57730

19: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Perhaps one of the most famous military cemeteries is in Arlington, Virginia. Situated across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Arlington National Cemetery is the resting place for more than 400,000 military veterans and their immediate families. Upon its establishment, several fallen comrades from earlier wars were reinterred here.

One of the most frequently visited memorials is President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. His brothers are also buried nearby. On top of a hill overlooking the land is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a marble memorial honoring unknown service members from recent wars.

The cemetery holds remembrance services every Memorial and Veterans Day. Thousands of visitors attend to pay their respects to fallen soldiers and their sacrifices for the country. The cemetery is open 365 days a year and is free to all visitors to go and remember the people who rest there.

Address: Arlington, VA

Also Read: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Virginia

20: Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

Biltmore Estate, North Carolina
Flickr/Blake Lewis

What is it like to live in the country's largest home? At the Biltmore Estate, guests can stay and explore the historic grounds built more than 100 years ago for George Washington Vanderbilt II. The elegant chateau invites you in with charming elegances and original furnishings once owned by the Vanderbilts.

The estate is well-known as a prime example of the Gilded Age, a period during the late 19th century marked by rapid economic growth in the United States. Railroad tycoon George Vanderbilt commissioned the construction of Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, where he loved the scenery and climate.

Visitors at the Biltmore Estate are treated to a luxurious experience. A day spent exploring manicured grounds and the Blue Ridge Mountains ends with a tour of the mansion's historic rooms. Follow with a high-end dinner prepared by some of the country’s greatest chefs. Eight thousand acres offer miles of walking, hiking, and biking as well.

It really is one astounding attraction and one of the most famous historic landmarks in America you must visit.

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803

21: Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota

Towering more than 400 feet above the Black Hills of South Dakota stands the most famous monuments of the USA: Mount Rushmore. Carved in the mountainside are four of the country’s most prominent presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. At 60 feet large, the four faces represent America’s “Shrine of Democracy.”

Mount Rushmore represents 150 years of American heritage. Learn about the country's diversity and the preservation of the land as you admire the towering monuments. At the Sculptor's Studio, learn about the carver and why he chose the four presidents on the face of the mountain today.

At the information center, learn about the park’s history and the presidents who helped create the country we know today. Walk toward the Grand View Terrace and the Presidential Trail for breathtaking views of the awe-inspiring mountain. Take a ranger tour around the area, and you may even encounter some local wildlife!

Address: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751

22: National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Montgomery, Alabama

National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Montgomery, Alabama
Flickr/Ron Cogswell

On April 26, 2018, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery, Alabama, becoming the country's first memorial dedicated to preserving enslaved African Americans' legacy. The somber landmark features artistic sculptures to symbolize racial terror and help visitors recognize the terror African Americans felt when lynching took place.

The memorial is in the same spot where enslaved people were held in a warehouse. More than 800 steel structures support the center of the site, one for each U.S. county where the lynching took place. Victims' names are carved along the columns with the hope to inspire others to educate themselves and others on racial injustice.

Visit the memorial and learn for yourself about the terrors and injustices that took place. Explore visual exhibits that tell the stories of generations of Americans impacted by racial inequality. Wander this quiet area and remember those 4,400 people who lost their lives to injustice in this country.

Address: 417 Caroline St, Montgomery, AL 36104

23: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Carved onto the “Stone of Hope” in West Potomac Park is the face of Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. The stone memorial honors his legacy and hopes for freedom and equality for all in the United States. Visit the monument yourself and stand in front of a representation of an awe-inspiring and iconic American figure.

Text from Dr. King’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech is scrawled into the marble rock. “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope” are the words that represent the struggles many people faced to reach the hope of racial equality. Visitors can roam the plaza and take in the statue that looks over the river toward the horizon.

A 450-foot-long wall surrounded Dr. King’s statue, featuring 14 quotes from many of his speeches and writings. Take it in for yourself and discover the inspiration and motivation that drives us toward equality each day.

Address: 1964 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20003

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Washington D.C.

24: Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri
Gateway Arch | US Landmarks

Standing tall over the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, the Gateway Arch stands as a symbol of the pioneers who ventured west for the first time and the people who shaped the country as a whole. Known as the “Gateway to the West,” the arch is one of the most famous monuments in the United States.

Visitors can spend a few hours at this elegant landmark just taking in its beauty and the surrounding scenery. You can also spend an entire day explore the area, visiting the museum, and riding to the top of the arch. A tram takes visitors up to take in breathtaking views of the vast land.

Pre-boarding exhibits educate visitors on the history of the arch and the stories behind westward expansion up to the 1930s. The museum features six themed areas that tell the stories of the natives and explorers who shaped the land west of the Mississippi River.

Address: 11 N 4th St, St. Louis, MO 63102

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Missouri

25: Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

The last on our list of the famous landmarks in the USA is Hearst Castle. Located on California’s central coast in San Simeon, Hearst Castle was the architecturally brilliant home of wealthy miner George Hearst. Today, the castle and surrounding grounds are a museum honoring the Hearst legacy and telling the history of its architecture and unique stories within its walls.

Twenty-eight years of construction created the home that stands today, surrounded by palm trees and mountain views. Dozens of Hollywood's finest wined, dined and stayed there over the years. Today, visitors can learn about the castle's construction, the history of the architecture and art, and the stories of its most famous guests.

An hour-long tour takes you through the most extensive and grandest rooms of the house, including the Assembly Room, Refectory, Billiard Room, and more. Additional tours take you upstairs to find George Hearst's living quarters, the cottages, and kitchens, where guests stayed before the large house was ready.

Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452

26: Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California

The Hollywood Sign was built in 1923 as an advertisement. It was meant to be torn down shortly after. Well, guess what? That never happened. This 50-foot-tall landmark is famous around the world, and hordes of people descend on Hollywood each year just to snap a few photos of it. We suppose it makes sense that one of the most famous landmarks started life as an advert in the land of consumerism.

Address: Los Angeles, CA 90068

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

27: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Spanning the Golden Gate River, the Golden Gate Bridge may be one of the most famous bridges in the world. This red suspension bridge is a mile long and is named one of the ‘Wonders of the Modern World’. Trust us, if you’re in San Francisco, you’ll almost certainly want to grab a photo or two of this. Make sure you grab a good photograph at sunset. You won’t regret it.

Address: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA 94129

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in San Francisco

28: Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair. Standing over 500 feet high, this observation tower offers stunning views over Seattle and beyond. From up here, you can see various mountain ranges, islands, and one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Even the journey to the top of the tower is a marvel—the elevator will have you zipping up to the top in just 41 seconds.

Address: 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Seattle

29: Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois

Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois

There are some people who aren't fans of 'Cloud Gate', but we are. Built by Anish Kapoor, an Indian-British artist, Cloud Gate is affectionally known as 'The Bean'. It is essentially a large stainless-steel sculpture put together between 2004 and 2005. If you do head to 'The Bean', we suggest you head here in the daylight. Cloud Gate has been designed to reflect the skyline of Chicago, and it looks fantastic.

Address: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Chicago

30: Monument Valley, Utah

Monument Valley, Utah
Dreamstime/Katrina Brown

Monument Valley is a vast desert, peppered by beautiful natural sandstone monuments, standing anywhere from 400 to 1000ft in height. The entire Monument Valley covers parts of both Arizona and Utah. While there are plenty of ways to explore Monument Valley, the best method is to take the 17-mile loop drive that will take you right by some of the more stunning monuments. It is a tough drive, but one you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Address: Indn Route 42, Oljato-Monument Valley, AZ 84536

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Utah

31: Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Flickr/Don Graham

As a national park, Mesa Verde has a lot of natural beauty going for it. However, the real highlight of a trip to Mesa Verde National Park is something that was built by humans, albeit several thousand years ago. Puebloan cliff dwellings can be found throughout Mesa Verde National Park, with the highlight being Cliff Palace, the largest cave building structure in the US. It’s huge! There’s a lot of archaeological activity here. However, if you’re not interested in that, there’s still plenty of natural beauty to see. Plenty of tours around the park, so you can see most of the best stuff in a single trip.

Address: Mesa Verde, CO 81330

Also Read: Most Beautiful National Parks in the USA

32: Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. Covering a whopping 301 acres, Colonial Williamsburg has several hundred restored buildings from the 18th Century. This museum will teach you what life was like in the colonial era. Explore beautiful buildings and listen to various actors wandering around the streets. If you head to Colonial Williamsburg, you’ll probably need to spend a few days here to make sure that you see everything that it has to offer. History will never have felt so alive!

Address: 101 Visitor Center Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Williamsburg

33: St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Louisiana

St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Louisiana

St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in continuous use in the United States. It was originally built in 1720 and follows classic French design from that era. It is a real beauty. It is still in active use for Roman Catholic services, but even if you are not religious, you are still invited to explore this stunning piece of history. There are plenty of tours that take you inside the church, where you’ll enjoy what is probably one of the best-looking cathedral interiors in the US. It has hallmarks of classic European design.

Address: 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in New Orleans

34: Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland

Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland

Fort McHenry is a fort that may have appeared in history lessons (if you are an American). It played a vital role in the War of 1812, where it was tasked with defending Baltimore Harbor. It was here that the poem, which eventually became 'The Star-Spangled Banner', was written. There are plenty of tours through this fort, but we suggest you arrive during one of the many historical re-enactments that happen here so you can see history brought to life.

Address: 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Baltimore

35: Hoover Dam, Nevada

Hoover Dam, Nevada

If you want a true architectural marvel, then a trip to Hoover Dam should be on the cards. The concrete dam runs across the Black Canyon on the Colorado River. Opened in 1935, it has been holding back masses of water ever since. It is one of the top tourist destinations in this part of the United States, with over 7 million visitors heading here every single year. Make sure you have your camera in tow here, as you’ll want to snap some photos of one of the most beautiful pieces of engineering ever devised.

Address: Hoover Dam Access Road, Boulder City, NV 89109

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Nevada

36: Fort Jefferson, Key West, Florida

Fort Jefferson, Key West, Florida
Dreamstime/Sandra Foyt

Fort Jefferson is a U.S. Military Coastal Fortress located in the Dry Tortugas National Park. One of the only ways for the average tourist to reach the fortress is by boat. Built in 1861, Fort Jefferson remained in use throughout the American Civil War as a prison. It is now a tourist destination. Much of the fort has not been restored since it fell into disuse, but we feel that this really adds to the allure. It is almost haunting. There are plenty of tours throughout the day, and if you're feeling up to it, you can even camp on the beach.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Key West

37: Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City, Kansas

Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City, Kansas
Flickr/Joseph Novak

Boot Hill Museum is located on the site of Boot Hill Cemetery. It is an interactive, historical museum that introduces you to what Dodge City would have been like back in the 1870s and 1880s. Basically, you'll be transported back into the Old West. The buildings are fantastic, and many historical interpreters are scattered around who will talk to you about the importance of this site in Old West history.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Kansas

38: Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

From 850 to 1250 CE, the ancestral Pueblo people made Chaco their cultural site. This historical park has 15 different complexes built by the Pueblo people. In fact, until the 19th Century, this remained one of the largest buildings in the whole United States. The area undergoes regular preservation efforts, although much of the area is starting to be lost to erosion. While it will still be around for hundreds of years, it is still worth visiting to see one of the most stunning pieces of ancient architecture in the US.

39: Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine, Florida

Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine, Florida

Castillo de San Marcos was built by the Spanish in 1672 and is the oldest masonry fort in the United States. The fort has been through countless wars and invasions in its time, and it has remained standing. A trip here will show you what the US was like before it became the US. See how the fort would have been run by the Spanish stationed here. Learn about the various British sieges and the role the Castillo de San Marcos had to play in the history of this country.

Address: 1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in St. Augustine

40: Route 66, Multiple States

Route 66, Multiple States

Route 66, known as 'The Mother Road', is a multi-hundred-mile route stretching the United States' expanse. If you want to see the 'real' USA, then Route 66 is the way to do it. While it has long since had its heyday, Route 66 still offers a myriad of classic American fare along the route, including unique attractions, diners, small towns, and more. It is a long trip, and most people won't head the whole route. However, traveling even a small section of Route 66 will give you an experience you won't find anywhere else in the country.

Also Read: Must See Stops on Route 66

41: Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Graceland is perhaps best known as the home of the king of Rock N’ Roll, Elvis Presley. It is here that he died, and it is here that he was buried. As you can probably guess, Graceland has become a top-visited destination for those who love early 1950s rock. It is a beautiful building, and you get to see how a real rock star lived. If you love Elvis Presley, then this is somewhere that you’ll need to head.

Address: Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116

Also Read: Top Attractions & Things To Do in Memphis

42: Mt. Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire
Flickr/Tony Hisgett

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway was the world’s first mountain-climbing ‘cog railway’. It is the second steepest railway track in the world, with an incline averaging between 25% and 37%, depending on the section you’re on. You’ll start at 2,7000 feet above sea level and traverse 3 miles up the mountain. It takes about an hour to get there, but it is a very scenic trip. There are multiple journeys up the mountain each day, and if you want some stunning views, it is worth the trip.

Address: 3168 Base Station Rd, Mount Washington, NH 03589

Also Read: Top Attractions & Things To Do in New Hampshire

43: Wright Brothers Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Wright Brothers Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Flickr/trent roche

This is a proper part of world history. The Wright Brothers Memorial is a vast structure highlighting the area where the first powered flight ever took off. In addition to the memorial, there's a replica of the hanger the Wright Brothers used and a visitor center to learn more about this part of US and world history.

Address: 1000 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Also Read: Top Attractions & Things To Do in North Carolina

44: The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

This opulent mansion, built in 1893 as a residence for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, has 70 rooms spread across five floors. It is a testament to the excess cash that some of the wealthiest families in the US had at the time. Every room feels like wandering through a palace built for a monarch. The building and furniture have been well-preserved, and it remains one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the US.

Address: 44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840

Also Read: Top Attractions & Things To Do in Rhode Island

45: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is the world's largest museum dedicated to rock musicians. If a rock musician has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, they'll have memorabilia lining the corridors of the museum. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is meant to chart the history of Rock music worldwide. While it has been subject to some controversy over the years due to the inductees, there's no better place on the planet to learn about the greatest type of music.

Address: 1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Cleveland

46: Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Built in 1791, this is the oldest lighthouse in Maine. It is still in operation too, although the museum is now completely automated. The lighthouse is located at Cape Elizabeth in Maine and has become a key symbol for the state. It is worth the trip out to get a couple of photos. It looks incredible against the sea backdrop.

Address: Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Also Read: Most Beautiful Lighthouses in Maine

47: Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

The neon-lit Las Vegas Strip must be one of the most famous sites in the United States. Laden with casinos, billboards, and all sorts of tourist attractions, the Las Vegas Strip was constructed to do one thing and one thing only – to extract money from people. It is a beautiful place to wander around, but don't worry, you don't need to spend cash. Make sure you head here at night to get some decent photos of the neon lights.

Also Read: 14 Things To Do In Las Vegas Besides Gambling

48: Chimney Rock, Bayard, Nebraska

Chimney Rock, Bayard, Nebraska

Chimney Rock is a geological rock formation. As you can probably guess from the name, it looks just like a chimney with the way it juts out from the surrounding rock hill. It has been especially important throughout US history, being an important market on the Oregon Trail. It is only a quick trip to Chimney Rock since there’s not much to see here, but you will be able to grab some photos of a natural wonder.

Address: Chimney Rock Trail, Bayard, NE 69334

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Nebraska

49: Havasupai Falls, Supai, Arizona

Havasupai Falls, Supai, Arizona

Located in The Grand Canyon, Havasupai Falls may be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States. Watching the turquoise-colored waterfall and pools is on the bucket list of many people, but it isn't easy to reach. There's a pretty tricky 8-mile hike to the pool, and you'll need to grab a permit beforehand (and these get snapped up quickly). Not everybody will be lucky enough to see Havasupai Falls, but if you are, know that you are in one of the most unique places on the planet.

Also Read: Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the USA

50: Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania

Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania

Built in 1935, Fallingwater may just well be one of the most beautiful houses you've ever seen. This house sits over the top of a waterfall on the Bear Run River, which has an interesting effect, as it appears as if the water is falling out of the house. In 1991, it was named the best piece of American architecture. The whole design is intriguing, combining a modern style with something a bit more rustic. It is a must-visit to enjoy some of the smaller pieces of American architecture.

Address: 1491 Mill Run Rd, Mill Run, PA 15464

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Pennsylvania

Wrapping up

So these are the 50 most iconic US landmarks. From the Lincoln Memorial to Mount Rushmore and Gateway Arch, these landmarks offer a glance into America's rich history and cultural diversity. Visiting these USA landmarks is not only an opportunity to learn about American heritage but also a chance to witness stunning natural wonders that are unparalleled elsewhere. Whether you're a local or a sightseer, we highly recommend adding these American landmarks to your itinerary for a lifetime experience. So pack your bags, start planning your trip, and embark on an adventure of a lifetime!

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