The United States is home to many landmarks that are worth exploring. Many of these famous places not only have recognizable monuments and historical markers, but they also have their own unique story to tell. Here are four national landmarks that every traveler should visit — and millions of people already do each year. These monuments are some of the most-visited places in America.
Statue of Liberty, New York
The Statue of Liberty’s full name is actually “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World.” It was a gift from France to the U.S. The Statue got here safely in 300 pieces packed in 214 crates, after nearly sinking in the sea. It arrived more than a year before it was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue reached National Monument status in 1924.
Things to Do: Visit the Crown, the Pedestal or just simply Ellis Island and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum to learn about the millions of immigrants processed on the island between 1892 and 1954.
Times Square, New York
If you’re already in New York, consider going to Times Square and booking rooms at the W New York. Times Square has a rich, varied history. Its reputation as a thriving theater district was in place by 1928. An array of shows, from opera to vaudeville, have made their homes at 76 theaters located there. Many popular news shows were filmed there as well. A decline in the area after 1945 persisted until the late 20th century, when Times Square returned to prominence.
Things to Do: Visit musicals, theater, restaurants, shows, and if possible, celebrate with other revelers during the famous New Year’s Eve countdown.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The sheer size of the Grand Canyon prompts much admiration. The canyon is 277 river miles long, 18 miles wide at its widest point, and a mile deep. The canyon is a spectrum of colors, combining greenery and solid rock carved by thousands of years of rushing water.
Things to Do: Believe it or not, lots of people go hiking in the Canyon when they aren’t simply taking in the spectacular views.
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
The faces of four iconic U.S. presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are forever immortalized in the stone of Mount Rushmore. The idea was the brainchild of historian Doane Robinson in 1924 to promote tourism in South Dakota — and it worked. More than 2 million people visit each year. What people actually see amounts to an unfinished sculpture. Initial plans called for the sculptures to feature the presidents from head to waist but funding ran out in 1941.
Things to Do: Go to the Evening Lighting Ceremony held every night mid-May through late September, and visit the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center. These national treasures are among the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Steeped in history, the landmarks represent the very spirit, nature and creativity that is America.
Guest post provided to Jen is on a Journey.