Planning a trip to the United States? Looking for a complete guide to all of the major tourist attractions in the USA? You’ve come to the right place. From major cities like New York and Los Angeles to small towns like Santa Fe and Savannah — we’ve got you covered. We’ll take you through each region of the country, detailing some of its most famous sights.
There’s no doubt that the US is one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. In fact, it’s such a huge draw that millions of tourists flock to America’s shores every year.
Planning a vacation can be stressful. And traveling to a new country with different cultures and customs can be an intimidating task. If you’re planning a trip to the USA, you’re in luck — we’ve compiled a list of the top 50 tourist attractions in the USA, suitable for all ages and interests.
This list includes the most visited national parks, major museums, kids’ attractions, and jaw-dropping scenic views, as well as a few surprises. It’ll help you map out an itinerary that’s perfect for your budget and taste while avoiding the bustle of the busiest travel seasons.
There are so many places to visit in the US that it can be hard to choose which ones to include in your itinerary. We’ve got you covered—our list focuses on the best of the best, curated by our editors and writers after months of research.
We’re sure that if you follow this guide to the letter, you won’t have any trouble creating a well-balanced trip to remember for years to come.
The USA is a truly diverse country, with everything from bustling big cities to natural wonders. There’s so much to see from the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the Pacific Coast in the west!
50 Best Tourist Attractions in The USA
Here are our handpicked 50 best and most popular tourist destinations in the USA. If you follow these places to visit while on holiday, you’ll be able to experience the very best of what the United States has to offer. So, without further ado, here’s our list of favorite attractions in the US:
1. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks of San Francisco. This 1.7mile-long suspension bridge was built over almost five years and opened in 1937.
To this day, it remains one of the most photographed sights in the United States, with countless Instagram users sharing photos from their Golden Gate Bridge experiences every single day.
2. Grand Canyon National Park
If you’re looking for the most popular iconic sights in the United States, then look no further than the Grand Canyon. This massive canyon is located in northwestern Arizona and was formed by the Colorado River over millions of years.
Today, it’s one of America’s largest national parks, covering more than 1.2 million acres of land.
3. Statue of Liberty
Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. This neoclassical sculpture was a gift from France and has served as an unofficial welcoming signal to immigrants arriving in New York for more than 130 years. Today, it’s one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing almost four million visitors each year.
4. Grand Teton National Park
Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park is famous for its stunning mountain peaks. Mount Owen at 13,770 feet and Mount Moran at 12,605 feet are just two of these well-known mountains. Another highlight of the park is the impressive Jackson Lake, which serves as a nesting ground for more than 1.5 million birds each year.
5. The Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo was one of the most important conflicts in Texas history. This military engagement took place after Mexico had abolished slavery and declared itself independent from Spain. Nowadays, it’s remembered as a symbolic clash between freedom and tyranny—and many American patriots consider the site of the Alamo to be hallowed ground.
6. Hoover Dam
Located on the border of Arizona and Nevada, the Hoover Dam is one of America’s most impressive civil engineering projects. It took almost 200 men more than five years to build this incredible piece of architecture.
Today, some 1.3 million people visit the dam every year—a testament to its enduring popularity as a tourist attraction.
7. White House
One of the most famous buildings in Washington DC, the White House has been home to dozens of presidents over the years since it was first built in the 1820s. As well as being an important symbol for all Americans, it’s also one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Everyone who visits Washington DC wants to be able to say they’ve stood at least once on this famous sidewalk—the place where presidents take their first steps out onto the balcony!
8. Yellowstone National Park
Located in Wyoming, parts of Idaho and Montana, and a tiny bit of Utah and Oregon, Yellowstone National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the United States. It became the first-ever national park when President Ulysses S. Grant signed off on it way back in 1872.
It’s home to a wide range of amazing wildlife, including bison and bears. Aside from the animals, the park’s geysers and hot springs are also popular attractions for tourists. We are sure your kids will love this one!
9. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Located in Keystone, South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is another of America’s most popular historic sites. This famous monument was sculpted into the side of a mountain by workers over 14 years between 1927 and 1941. Today, more than three million people visit it every year.
10. Alcatraz Island
Located in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island is a former prison that holds a special place in American history. Over its 29 years of operation between 1933 and 1963, more than one million prisoners stayed at this famous jail—including infamous gangsters such as Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Today, the island is a tourist attraction that’s open to visitors.
11. Walt Disney World
Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Walt Disney World is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the United States and the largest single-site employer in America. It’s home to four theme parks and more than 20 hotels. Each year, more than 52 million people visit this incredible site… making it the most popular holiday destination in the country!
12. Times Square
Located in Manhattan, New York City, Times Square is one of the most famous locations in the world—and it’s certainly a tourist hotspot. Over 330,000 people pass through Times Square every day, taking advantage of its unbeatable location to shop, eat and go on adventures!
If you want to taste American culture, we definitely recommend that you visit this incredible site.
14. Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is a huge research and museum complex that the US government oversees. It was founded back in 1846, and it now holds more than 142 million different items and specimens across 19 museums and galleries (and the list continues to grow).
15. Magic Kingdom Park
As you might have worked out, the Magic Kingdom Park is one of the four theme parks that make up Walt Disney World (see #11). It’s split into different ‘lands’ and attractions, including Main Street USA and Adventureland. This is where your kids will have the chance to see all their favorite characters from Disney films, including Peter Pan and Cinderella.
16. Chrysler Building
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Chrysler Building is a famous piece of architecture that has stood out on New York City’s skyline for more than 80 years! It was built back in 1930, and it’s named after the car company Chrysler. This Art Deco skyscraper was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before being surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.
17. Lake Mead
Located in Nevada, Arizona, and California, Lake Mead is one of the biggest man-made lakes in the world. The construction of this lake—which supplies water to millions across the southwest US—began way back in 1937! It’s also a huge tourist destination with plenty to do if you visit. For example, there are boat tours, water sports, fishing, and more.
18. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the oldest US national parks, and it’s home to more than 100 different mammal species (including the black bear and elk) and a range of different types of trees and plants. This gorgeous site was established way back in 1934, and today it covers more than 800 square miles. The amazing wildlife, stunning scenery, and incredible ancient forests are just some of the reasons why more than 10 million people visit this park every year.
19. Zion National Park
The Zion National Park is another one of America’s most popular national parks and it’s located in southeastern Utah. It was established back in 1919 and covered a huge 147 miles. If you visit, you’ll be able to see some incredible wildlife, including red and green foxes, golden eagles, and more. The incredibly beautiful red, orange, and white sandstone cliffs only add to the charm of this gorgeous site!
20. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a historic market that was established back in 1742. It’s located in Boston, Massachusetts, and it has everything you could possibly need for a perfect day out. It’s the second-oldest marketplace in America, and it has more than 100 great stores—including one of Boston’s oldest bars. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is very popular, so it’s definitely a great place to stop for a meal or a drink.
21. Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an incredible tourist destination that’s located in Los Angeles, California. It has more than 2,500 different stars on the pavements that commemorate an amazing range of people who have made a huge contribution to the entertainment industry. You’ll find cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse alongside actors and singers such as Jack Nicholson and Jennifer Lopez. The stars are spread out right across Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
22. Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort
Four other theme parks make up Walt Disney World Resort: Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and the so-called “Gardens” (which is basically just a massive greenhouse). Together, these parks are massive, with more than 140 different attractions in total. The most famous of these is probably the Magic Kingdom Park. It includes various different themed areas, including Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. If you are looking for a family-friendly trip, this is definitely the place to go!
23. Grand Prismatic Spring
Located in Wyoming, USA, the Grand Prismatic Spring is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see. The stunning spring is the largest hot spring in the entire USA, and it’s surrounded by more than 160 different types of plants. In the spring, you can see a huge range of vibrant colors, including reds, oranges, yellows, and green—and it’s all thanks to the wide range of different types of bacteria that grow around the edge. The spring is also often used as a symbol for Yellowstone National Park, and it’s one of the park’s main attractions. It was also declared a National Historic Landmark back in 1979.
24. The Mall of America
The Mall of America is located in Bloomington, Minnesota, and it’s one of the biggest attractions in the city. It has more than 520 different stores, 50 different restaurants, an aquarium, a theme park, and even its own hotel. It has everything you could possibly need for a great day out, and it’s home to the second-largest indoor amusement park in America. The Mall of America attracts more than 40 million visitors every year—and that’s not including the many tourists that visit just to say they’ve been there!
25. Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls is one of the most famous tourist destinations in North America. The stunning waterfall is located at the border where Canada meets New York, USA. Each day, more than three million liters of water run over the edge, and it’s definitely a sight to behold. There are actually three different falls: Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and American Falls. Horseshoe Falls is the largest of these, while Bridal Veil is the smallest. They have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but they are very popular with the public.
26. Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument that was established back in 1922, and it’s located in Washington, DC, USA. Construction on the building began in 1914, 14 years after Abraham Lincoln’s death. Today, it stands as a tribute to the 16th President of the USA, and visitors can see his famous words inscribed below the statue. One of the most notable features of Lincoln Memorial is its massive columns, which represent the different states in the USA.
Located in Florida, USA, Epcot is one of the most interesting theme parks in the world. The whole place was built with an educational focus in mind, so it’s all about futuristic technology and the science of the future. The park is split into two sections—Future World and World Showcase. The future world features pavilions dedicated to science, technology, and modern industry, while World Showcase has a variety of countries that visitors can explore and learn about.
28. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when it was built in 1931. Today, it’s still one of New York City’s most iconic buildings and features both an observation deck and a popular shopping center. The building is actually pretty impressive when you look at it—it has 102 floors, which are all different sizes, 1776 steps to the top, and an impressive total weight of 370,000 tons. The tower stood as the tallest skyscraper in the world for more than four decades, and it’s one of America’s most extraordinary landmarks today.
29. Mount Rushmore
It features 60-foot sculptures of four American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln—and it’s located in Keystone, South Dakota. Mount Rushmore is the most famous of America’s national monuments and was designed by sculptor Gutzon Borglum—he began work on the project back in 1927, and construction wasn’t completed until 1941. The incredible sculptures are carved into a large granite mountain, and it’s an interesting site to see for anyone visiting the region.
30. Lake Michigan
Located in the north-central part of America, Lake Michigan is one of the biggest lakes in the world. The lake covers an area of around 30,000 square miles, and it’s surrounded by a total of six states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota. The lake is divided into two parts, the North and South. The South is bordered by Chicago and Illinois—and it’s pretty much an industrial zone. The North, on the other hand, is bordered by Wisconsin, and it’s far calmer. This is a very famous place in USA for all tourists.
31. Redwood National Park
The Redwood National and State Parks are a group of state and national protected areas that feature some of America’s most impressive Redwood trees. If you love nature and you want to see something extraordinary, then you should visit this park. It’s one of the most unusual parks in the world and features a variety of amazing trees. Some of them are over 2500 years old.
32. Death Valley
Death Valley is a national park that’s located at the lowest point in North America. It’s one of the hottest places on Earth, and it covers around 30000 square miles of land—just don’t forget your sunscreen. The park’s name comes from a few different reasons—one of them being that it’s a popular location for people who have decided to commit suicide. On the other hand, many people have lost their lives in the desert because it’s exceptionally hot and easy to get lost here.
33. Washington Monument
Robert Mills designed the Washington Monument, and it’s the world’s first obelisk—it was built to honor America’s first president, George Washington. The monument is made from marble and granite and was completed in 1884 after almost four decades of construction work. Today, it’s the world’s tallest stone structure, and it stands tall in Washington DC. If you love history and learn about the past, then this is the place for you.
34. Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz is a small island located just off the coast of San Francisco. It’s been around for centuries and was once home to a Spanish fort, a military prison, and a federal prison for many years. Alcatraz Island is recognized as the most famous island in America for all of its dark history—and for its famous prison, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. It was closed down in 1963 and today it’s a popular tourist spot that’s visited by millions of people each year.
35. Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range that extends from Alaska to Mexico. The mountains were formed by geological forces, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. One of the most popular mountains is Mount Elbert which stands tall at 14,433 feet above sea level. It’s located in Colorado, and it’s the tallest mountain in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
36. Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch is a 630 feet tall arch located in Missouri. The Gateway Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, and it’s one of the most well-known historic landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri. The Arch is made with stainless steel and it’s actually pretty difficult to see the Gateway Arch from ground level. This is because it’s built on top of a hill situated near the Mississippi River, so you have to drive up a steep hill to see the arch.
37. Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a group of islands that were created all the way back in the Jurassic Period. They’re located just to the South of Miami, and the Keys are made up of over 1700 islands—many of them are uninhabited, but others feature small towns. The Keys also contain mangrove forests, several coral reefs, vacant islands, and wildlife refuges—and they’re all waiting to be explored.
38. Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a national park that’s located in Montana, and it’s home to some of the most beautiful mountains you’ll ever see in your life. The park is all about glaciers and ice, so if you’re looking for some epic views of mountains, then this is the place to visit.
This is the most popular tourist destination in USA, and its home to backcountry and roadside camping.
39. San Antonio River Walk
The San Antonio River Walk is a network of walkways and bridges that run throughout the city and it’s one of the top tourist spots in San Antonio, Texas. One of the most popular things about the River Walk is that it’s surrounded by shops and restaurants—and during the right season, you can even enjoy a wide variety of flowers along the walkways.
40. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park located in Utah. This park is kind of like a maze, and it’s filled with many different types of rock formations, including spires and hoodoos. The park is famous for its unique geology and it’s filled with natural arches, bridges, and windows. It’s one of the most popular spots for hiking, camping, and it’s a great place to take pictures.
41. Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is one of the most iconic landmarks in America. It’s located on Mount Lee and it’s overlooking Los Angeles, California. The Hollywood Sign was first erected in 1923, and it originally read “Hollywoodland.” Over time, the sign has deteriorated, and the last major overhaul was completed in 1978. Today, it’s protected by the Hollywood Sign Trust and the sign has become a symbol for “Hollywood” and one of America’s most visited landmarks.
42. Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, and it’s about 3% of the total area of Maine. This national park was established in 1916 and is home to many different types of habitats, including beaches, mountains, forests, islands, lakes, and rivers. The most popular place to visit in Acadia is the summit of Cadillac Mountain. It’s the first place where you can see the sunrise in North America, and it’s also the highest point on the eastern seaboard.
43. PIER 39
PIER 39 is a shopping complex and tourist spot that’s located in San Francisco, California. This place has everything from restaurants to cafes to shops, and it’s a great place for shopping, cooking, eating, drinking, and taking pictures. The Pier is made up of an open park area, several piers, and docking stations.
It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the USA if you want a place for a picnic lunch.
It has shops and eateries along the docks, which is a great way to spend the day with family or friends.
44. Coney Island
Coney Island is located in Brooklyn, New York, and it’s a peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. This place is famous for its amusement parks, and it’s home to one of the oldest and largest roller coasters in the world. There are also several piers, aquariums, and carnival games. Coney Island is closed during the winter months, but it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brooklyn during the summer.
45. Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is a large double-jointed pier that’s located in Santa Monica, California. This Pier is a popular spot for fishing, and it’s also home to an amusement park with thrill rides and games. The Pier is nearly 1 mile long, and it’s a great place for swimming, picnicking, or taking pictures.
46. Pike Place Market
PIKE PLACE MARKET is a public market in Seattle, Washington. This place has everything from fresh produce and spices to souvenirs and specialty items. There are also many different types of restaurants and cafes, as well as places to sit down, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere. It’s one of the oldest farmer’s markets in Seattle and it’s home to about 500 people. If you’re going to visit Seattle, you definitely have to stop by Pike Place Market.
47. Miami Beach
Miami Beach is located in Miami, Florida, and it’s one of the most popular beaches in America. This place attracts visitors from all over the world and it’s known for its pristine sand, turquoise waters, palm trees, sunny weather, and the Art Deco district.
If you’re going to visit Miami, you have to make sure to bring your swimsuit! There are many different types of restaurants and bars in the area to try out.
48. Venice Beach
Venice Beach is a beach town in Los Angeles, California and it’s one of the most diverse areas in America. This place is full of life and its home to many different types of people, shops, eateries, and parks. It’s hard to describe what Venice Beach is like in just a few words, so you should definitely come visit if you’re ever in LA.
49. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is located in Ohio, USA and it’s one of the oldest tourist attractions in Ohio. This railroad is also known as “the best kept secret in Northeast Ohio,” and it offers tours and dining trips through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There are also special events held throughout the year such as “Scenic Sunday Excursions” and “Valley Views & Wine.”
Orlando is located in Florida, USA, and it’s one of the most popular places to visit in America. You will find everything from amusement parks to zoos to shopping malls, and it’s the home of many popular resorts. It’s a great place for a family vacation and honeymoon because there’s so much to see and do. It’s also known for its lively nightlife, so come on down to Orlando if you want some fun!
I hope this list of America’s Most Popular Tourist Attractions has given you some ideas for places to visit on your next vacation.
It’s hard to fit every single tourist attraction in America into one list, so I’m sure there are plenty of other worthwhile attractions and landmarks that should’ve been included. If you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!
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