Top 25 Tourist Attractions in the USA You Absolutely Must Visit

Last Updated on July 04, 2023 by Nikki Jain

The United States is an enormous and diverse destination in the world with a wealth of tourist attractions to explore.

There is everything you can think of doing in the US, from sightseeing at adventure places like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park to spend a warm weekend at places like Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California or the Florida Keys.

No matter what your family enjoys, this country brings you a beautiful array of extravagant attractions in almost every state, entertainment galore in places like the Las Vegas Strip, Times Square in New York, to a relaxing cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains and the sights of the impressive wilderness like caribou in Denali, Alaska.

You and your family can enjoy traveling to the USA in so many different ways that it helps you learn the diversity of this nation and its people.

No matter if you prefer water activities like swimming, fishing, or boating or would instead just go to a Broadway type show in Las Vegas, there are many choices for both family and couples type of fun, games, food, and more.

Don't miss to put the following US attractions on your bucket list to visit in your lifetime. Have that adventure and involve your whole family in these top 25 tourist attractions in America. Enjoy!

Must-See Tourist Attractions in the United States

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1: Times Square, New York

Times Square, New York

Visited by more than 39 million people a year, Times Square is a significant commercial juncture and a neighborhood area that is part of Midtown Manhattan, in New York City.

It is located at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It also covers the area from W. 42nd to W. 47th Streets. It is one of the most visited tourist locations in the world and one of the must-visit tourist attractions in the USA.

Many types of events and shows are held there every year, including the famous ball drop on New Year's Eve, making it an excellent place for a USA vacation.

Address: 234 West 42nd Street New York NY 10036

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in New York State

2: Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

Las Vegas Strip, Nevada
Las Vegas Strip is one of the best attractions in the USA for craziest nightlife

Millions of tourists from all over the world travel to the Las Vegas Strip every year to experience Las Vegas in style.

It may be only 4.2 miles long, but it is full of famous hotels, casinos, entertainment venues, shows, and resorts.

It is one of the most popular attractions that visitors flock to every year to gamble, go to big-name shows, eat at the endless buffets, and more.

There is something for everyone, and it's one of the superb family vacation spots and best places to vacation in America.

Address: S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Las Vegas

3: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone can be said to be one of the most famous and popular of all the national parks in the US, with millions of people coming to see this wonderland of wildlife, nature, and more every year.

It is one of the must-see tourist destinations in the US and must be on your bucket list.

It is home to the famous Old Faithful Geyser and areas for camping, fishing, hiking, boating, and snowmobiling in the winter, making it one of the great family vacation spots you won't want to miss.

Address: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In Yellowstone National Park

4: Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Balboa Park, San Diego, California
Beautiful Balboa Park | Dreamstime/Photoquest

Home to the San Diego Zoo, lush green spaces, and several museums and theaters, San Diego's Balboa Park is a collision among arts, culture, science, and recreation.

More than 1,200 acres boast beautiful gardens and trails to explore. Shopping and dining are some of the best in the city. There truly is something for everyone, making it one of the top attractions in the US.

This historic urban oasis was built in the late 19th century to provide a large green space for San Diego residents to relax.

Since then, Balboa Park has been changing with the times, and numerous activities offer so much to do for locals and tourists. The park truly is the cultural epicenter of the city. 

Art lovers, nature junkies, and science geeks all will find something to do at Balboa Park. Seventeen museums offer visitors the chance to learn a subject.

The stunning architecture highlighted by lush greenery leaves you feeling refreshed and upbeat.

Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Also Read: Top 26 Attractions & Things To Do in San Diego, California

5: Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York
Majestic Niagara Falls in New York | Dreamstime/Mykyta Starychenko

The roaring majesty of the Niagara Falls waterfall has been one of the top tourist destinations in the USA for many years.

If you plan to travel to the best vacation spots, be sure to witness the famous falls, which is between New York and Ontario, Canada.

It is made up of three waterfalls, and the combo has the highest flow rate in the world for waterfalls.

Shoppers will enjoy the nearby outlet mall called Fashion Outlets of Niagara, which has more than 60 stores, and if shopping is not your thing, then try your luck at the Seneca Niagara Casino.

Be sure to put Niagara Falls on your list for your next New York vacation.

Address: 24 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY, 14303

Also Read: 10 Best Things To Do In And Around Niagara Falls, New York

6: Florida Keys, Florida

Florida Keys, Florida
One of the best places in the US for scuba diving | Flickr/Matt Kieffer

The Florida Keys is a fantastic family vacation spot due to the warm weather, blue skies, great beaches, and so much more.

It's a tropical wonderland with world-class fishing, snorkeling opportunities, scuba diving, and more to make it one of the best places to vacation in America for the whole family.

If you like water sports, you will be in heaven with boating, kayaking, and sailing! Plus, there are great places to eat, top-class hotels, and many more in this example of must-see tourist destinations to come on an American vacation!

Address: 106240 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

Also Read: Top 20 Tourist Attractions in Florida

7: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge is one of the famous landmarks in America

If you want to see attractions that are not only iconic but considered as one of the Wonders of the World, then be sure to come to see the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

This suspension bridge crosses the Golden Gate strait, a channel in-between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay that is a mile wide and three miles long.

The bridge is a well-recognized symbol of the area due to its beautiful orange color and one of the most photographed bridges in the USA.

Address: US-101, San Francisco, CA 94129

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in San Francisco

8: Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand Canyon is a natural landmark and one of the best US attractions

The Grand Canyon is one of the most remarkable and beautiful landscapes in the USA.

The North Rim is over 8000 feet/2438 m above sea level, and the South Rim is over 7000 feet/2134 m above sea level.

There are many things to do besides looking down inside this beautiful canyon, such as hiking, air tours, river rafting trips, or just enjoying a night or two in one of the area hotels.

Address: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In The Grand Canyon National Park

9: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Dreamstime/Anthony Heflin

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been declared one of the renowned World Heritage Sites.

It includes sections of both the Great Smoky Mountains range and the Blue Ridge Mountains and runs through Tennessee and North Carolina.

If you love the great outdoors and like to go hiking, fishing, camping, or back backing, you will adore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It is a wonderland of plants, flowers, and wildlife. Watch out for the bears, though, as many visitors come here to witness black bears, elk, and deer.

It is also famous for picnicking, fishing, or visiting historical sites like Roaring Fork or Cataloochee, as well as the Mingus Mill and Elkmont.

The Smoky Mountains is one of the best US tourist attractions for a more peaceful, calming experience.

Address: 107 Park Headquarters Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

10: Denali National Park, Alaska

Denali National Park, Alaska

Denali National Park is one of the unbeatable tourist attractions in Alaska for nature enthusiasts.

The park is famous for its wilderness and experiencing nature in the raw. It is home to the highest mountain in America, Mt. McKinley, otherwise known as Denali.

It's estimated that nearly a half-million tourists come every year to do things like mountain climbing, hiking, viewing the caribou and other wildlife, as well as wintertime fun like dog sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling.

Or, take a guided tour like the famous Tundra Wilderness Tours, which take you into the boreal forest via tundra to the Toklat River.

Address: George Parks Hwy, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK

Also Read: Best Things To Do In Denali National Park

11: Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Home to the Virgin River that cuts through the Navajo Sandstone, Zion National Park is a desert oasis with abundant wildlife and storied history.

The towering sandstone cliffs will leave you in awe. The natural arches formed by these red and pink rocks soar 1,000 feet above the canyon and are visible for miles.

The 2,000-feet-deep Zion Canyon, the park’s prized treasure, is home to miles of hiking trails ranging in difficulty that take you to breathtaking destinations.

Bike or drive along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to discover 54 miles of surreal natural beauty. Shuttles and tours are also available.

Angels Landing, one of the most popular hikes in the park, gives impressive views of the layered Zion Canyon.

The five-mile walk isn't for the faint of heart, as you climb up cliffs and switchbacks. An easy, three-mile hike will take you to Zion's Emerald Pools, a series of crystal clear, glistening bodies of water, displaying a true desert oasis.

It's no surprise this is one of the best tourist places in the USA!

Address: 1 Zion Park Blvd, Zion National Park, UT 84767

12: The White House, Washington, D.C.

The White House, Washington, D.C.
Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Built between 1792 and 1800, the White House is one of the United States' oldest public buildings in the capital. Situated at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the "Peoples' House" serves as a reminder of the United States' rich history and memorializes its founders.

It’s easy to get to the exterior gates of the White House for a memorable photo. Lafayette Park offers the best photo opportunities.

For an up-close experience, U.S. citizens can contact their Representative or Senator to obtain free tickets for a public tour inside this historic house. Non-U.S. citizens can contact their embassy to arrange a tour as well.

The White House Visitor Center offers exhibits and information about the building and what's inside.

The White House Garden is also open to the public for special events. Visitors can explore the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children's Garden, and South Lawn.

It really is one astounding attraction and one of the best places to visit in the United States.

Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500

13: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida
Disney World is one of the best family vacation spots in the USA | Dreamstime/Viavaltours

It's a no-brainer that the happiest place on Earth would be one of the most visited tourist attractions.

With four theme parks, two water parks, endless shopping and dining, and state-of-the-art resorts, Disney World in Orlando, Florida is a wonderful world that welcomes people of all ages to explore.

The resort welcomes nearly 50 million visitors every year, many of whom come from faraway countries to experience Disney's magic.

Walk down the street of any park, hotel, or shopping area, and you'll hear cheerful tunes and encounter welcoming cast members. You may even meet a famous character or two, like Mickey Mouse or a renowned princess! 

The most popular attraction at Disney World is the Magic Kingdom, a fairytale theme park featuring six "lands" stemming from the park's icon: Cinderella's Castle.

The Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are connected via a Monorail system that transports guests to and from the parks and three major resorts.

Address: Orlando, FL

Also Read: The Best Amusement Parks in Florida

14: Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri
Iconic Gateway Arch | Dreamstime/Steve Allen

The Gateway Arch needs no introduction as one of the most historic attractions in the US.

A symbol of the city of St. Louis, Missouri, and commonly known as the “Gateway to the West,” the Gateway Arch is a 630-foot monument overlooking the Mississippi River from the west bank.

The impressive arch is not only the world's tallest arch but is the tallest human-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.

The shining stainless steel that peers across the river is an unforgettable sight, making it a beloved local centerpiece and a major tourist destination.

Since its opening in 1967, the Gateway Arch has welcomed more than 135 million visitors, many of whom ride a tram to take in the view from the top.

There are several experiences in addition to visiting admiring the historic Gateway Arch.

The museum at the arch features exhibits telling stories of local Native American history, explorers that pioneered the founding of the west, and more.

Riverboat cruises on the Mississippi allow guests to get a new perspective of the arch and the St. Louis skyline.

Address: St. Louis, MO 63102

15: French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans’ most famous and historic neighborhood is alive with entertainment, art, and Creole culture.

Also known as the “Vieux Carre,” the French Quarter welcomes visitors and locals to explore the romance, jazz, and mysteriousness that envelops the neighborhood and embodies the spirit of New Orleans.

From the historic – and possibly haunted – Jackson Square to the upbeat and wild Bourbon Street, there's a discovery around every corner.

Known for sweet Hurricanes and curbside parties, Bourbon Street is the life of the party in NOLA. This adult playground is what makes the French Quarter a major tourist attraction in the USA.

The neighborhood is also home to some of the most flavorful cuisines in the city.

Antione’s, Galatoire’s, and Arnaud’s are just a few places to stop to enjoy some beloved and classic New Orleans food. Don’t forget to enjoy some delicious beignets at Café du Monde!

Address: French Quarter, New Orleans, LA

16: River Walk, San Antonio, Texas

River Walk, San Antonio, Texas
Dreamstime/Brandon Seidel

Downtown San Antonio is known for its historical significance, loads of entertainment, and quality shopping and dining.

Located in the heart of the city and downtown San Antonio, the River Walk offers a little bit of everything.

The 15-mile urban waterway path takes you past beautiful foliage, historic hotels and museums, and some of the city's best shopping and dining.

It's not only a San Antonio treasure and a top attraction in Texas, but the River Walk is the largest urban ecosystem in the country.

The serene walkways sit below the street level and along the river. Visitors can choose to walk or hop on a river barge for a guided tour.

Further down the river, the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Antonio Missions and Mission Reach provide historical insight about the city.

Throughout the year, numerous events come to the River Walk for locals and tourists to enjoy San Antonio culture.

Address: 849 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

17: Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois
Dreamstime/Noel Powell

Whether you're visiting Chicago or lived there your whole life, the Navy Pier is the place to go for city events, attractions, dining, shopping, etc. Every summer, the pier comes alive with fireworks, live music and theater performances, and daily cruises. A one-acre indoor garden offers lakefront views while you explore dozens of foliage and trees.

The Navy Pier is home to Offshore, the country’s largest rooftop restaurant. Experience breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline while dining on fine cuisine and enjoying craft cocktails. At Pier Park, guests of all ages can ride a 1920s-inspired carousel or soar to new heights on the Ferris wheel.

Regular art exhibitions keep returning visitors coming back for more. The endless food and drink options provide something for everyone, from island-themed cocktails to sports bars. The numerous activities and experiences available truly make Navy Pier one of the top tourist attractions in America and a must-see for anyone visiting Chicago.

Address: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

18: Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston, South Carolina

Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston, South Carolina

On April 12, 1861, a fight between the north and south at Fort Sumter ignited the Civil War.

Issues of states' rights versus federal authority fueled decades of arguments, leading to secession by several southern states and the ultimate first battle at Fort Sumter.

Today, the site serves as a symbol of the war and a memorial to all who fought there.

Located on an island off Charleston, South Carolina, the fort still stands today, only accessible by boat.

Visitors have access to a museum that tells the Civil War stories and the events leading up to the first shots fired.

Tour guides take visitors to Fort Sumter on a boat ride around the harbor and give them a chance to explore the fort’s grounds and experience history first-hand.

Park rangers are available to answer questions for those on a self-guided tour of Fort Sumter National Monument.

Address: Charleston, SC 29482

19: Pike Place Market, Washington

Pike Place Market, Washington
Dreamstime/Valentin Armianu

Seattle, Washington, is known for rainy days, the infamous Space Needle, and Pike Place Market, one of the oldest farmers' markets in the United States.

The historical complex is home to some of the city's best seafood, coffee (including the world's first Starbucks), local arts and crafts, etc.

Pike Place is Seattle's most popular destination and one of America's greatest attractions.

Built on the edge of a hill, there are several levels to the market, each rife with antique dealers, restaurants, produce and seafood stands, craft stalls, and even arcades.

The market is open year-round and visited by more than 10 million people each year.

The fish market at Pike Place is the most popular, mainly because of the spectacle employees put on by throwing large fish over the countertops to prepare them.

Another famous spot at Pike Place Market is the first-ever Starbucks coffee shop, founded in 1971.

Featuring the original logo outside, the shop takes you back to its roots and where it all began.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Seattle

Address: 86 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

20: Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Watch rockets take off and immerse yourself in the American journey to space at the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Located on Merritt Island in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the center has been NASA’s primary launch center since 1968.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex allows guests to experience space travel and rocket launches first-hand.

Take a guided tour to launch pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. Experience the day in the life of an astronaut with the new Astronaut Training Experience.

Whether you're a space junkie or just beginning your journey to the stars, there's so much to see and enjoy at the Kennedy Space Center.

The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame honors American space travel legends, and the Rocket Garden houses rockets from NASA's Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.

Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32899

21: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Dreamstime/Natalia Bratslavsky

Located in southeastern New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the most unique tourist attractions in New Mexico that takes you into a whole new underground world.

Experience the geological history among the walls of more than 119 caves hidden below flowering cacti and rocky desert canyons.

Carlsbad Caverns is one of the world's most famous cave system. From vast, echoing chambers to giant hanging stalactites, the caves offer visitors the chance to explore a mysterious environment, unlike anything they've ever known.

Guests can take a self-guided tour through the cave system, and backcountry caves are open for qualified people.

For those staying above-ground, hiking trails range from short and sweet to long and challenging.

Nearby, Rattlesnake Springs offers an oasis and the perfect picnic spot to enjoy a sunny day.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220

22: Faneuil Hall, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall, Massachusetts
Dreamstime/Jorge Salcedo

Experience the heart and history of Boston at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, a bustling marketplace and meeting hall.

Built on cobblestone streets and a designated spot on the Freedom Trail, it was the site of independence rallies in the 18th century and often referred to as “the Cradle of Liberty.”

There are three buildings adjacent to Faneuil Hall that make up the complex: North Market, Quincy Market, and South Market.

Today, the marketplace is home to various restaurants and quick-service eateries, shops, and local crafts and sweets.

It's become a meeting place for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

More than 40 local businesses have permanent installations at Faneuil Hall, selling handcrafted items from souvenirs to handmade candles.

World-class street performers set up outside the buildings to entertain passersby with amazing stunts, magical skills, and stunning acrobatics.

Address: 4 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109

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23: Waikiki, Hawaii

Waikiki, Hawaii
Dreamstime/Tomas Del Amo

The majority of Oahu's hotels and resorts are situated in Waikiki, a world-famous neighborhood of Honolulu.

Once the stomping grounds for Hawaiian Royalty, the area is now known for its classy shopping, dining, and entertainment options along Kalakaua Avenue's main strip.

The beaches are what keep visitors coming back every year. Every hotel room in Waikiki is steps away from a relaxing beach.

The Waikiki beaches offer some of the best waters to learn to surf. World-famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku made the region a surfing hotspot and taught many people how to surf on Waikiki's waters.

The Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium keep the fun going for the whole family.

Waikiki is also close to most of Oahu’s major attractions, including the Pearl Harbor Monument and Nuuanu Pali Lookout.

Waikiki is easily one of the best vacation spots in the US thanks to the amazing appearance it offers.

Address: Waikiki, Hawaii

Also Read: Best Tropical Destinations in the US

24: Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota
Dreamstime/Louis Horch

Situated in South Dakota’s Black Hills and just 30 miles southwest of Rapid City is one of the most popular US attractions: Mount Rushmore.

Sixty feet of presidential portraits carved into the granite tower over you, leaving you breathless and awe-struck.

Four American presidents are forever represented in the monument: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

Each one was chosen to represent the growth and development of the nation.

The monument is visited by more than two million people annually to take in the beauty and admire the sculpture.

The Hall of Records houses the country’s most important artifacts and gives visitors a peek into American history.

The Sculptor’s Studio houses a 1/12th scale model of Mount Rushmore, as well as tools and techniques workers used to create the monument.

Address: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751

25: Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota

Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the US | Dreamstime/James Kirkikis

Home to more than 520 stores, 60 restaurants, an amusement park, aquarium, and numerous entertainment, family attractions, and nightlife experiences, the Mall of America is the most extensive shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S.

The mall attracts nearly 40 million visitors each year to shop, dine, and play among this retail phenomenon.

Located just 15 minutes from Minneapolis, the mall is easy to access and has numerous parking options and public transportation hubs.

The mall is home to some of the country's most famous department stores and local shops. Many shops are there for the tax-free bonus!

Nickelodeon Universe is the Mall of America's indoor amusement park, featuring 27 rides and an indoor zip line.

There are so many activities to do at the Mall of America. You'd need several months to experience everything it has to offer fully!

Address: 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425

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