30 Famous US Landmarks You Must Visit

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A green statue of a lady on an island on the right, with buildings in the background
The Statue of Liberty with a view of the Manhattan skyline in the background

From icons like the Statue of Liberty to vast natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, there are many famous US landmarks that are must-sees!

Historical sites such as Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor tell stories of the country's past. Engineering marvels like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, and the Hoover Dam showcase the nation's most remarkable architectural feats of the 20th century.

America's National Parks preserve some of the most beautiful unspoiled wilderness in the country. From the geysers of Yellowstone to the Everglades wetlands and the caves of Carlsbad, these parks are some of the most famous landmarks in North America.

Read on for 30 famous USA landmarks that you should consider visiting at least once in your life!

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30 Famous United States Landmarks

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A river in a canyon of layered rock formations in hues of orange and brown
The Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon, the largest canyon in the US

Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon, located in the "Grand Canyon State," is a geological wonder formed millions of years ago by the Colorado River. The canyon is 278 miles long, 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep. It is the largest canyon in the United States.

The area surrounding the Grand Canyon is home to several Native American Reservations and Grand Canyon National Park, one of the best national parks on the west coast. Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in the US, with over 5 million visitors a year.

☂️ Visit the Grand Canyon with an experience

Three red sandstone formations in the middle of a desert
Red sandstone buttes in Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona

One of the most famous icons of the West, Monument Valley is a series of massive red sandstone buttes formed by erosion over millions of years. Some buttes reach heights of 1000 feet, and it is a famous landmark in Arizona.

These monuments can be seen throughout a 17-mile loop road that winds through a beautiful red desert valley on Navajo lands in Arizona.

A massive green statue of a lady holding a torch on an island surrounded by trees
Gifted by France in 1886, the Statue of Liberty is among the very famous US landmarks

Statue of Liberty, New York

Forever a symbol of hope and freedom in New York City, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous monuments in the United States.

Gifted to the US by France in 1886, the statue quickly became known as a National Treasure. Today, over 3 million people a year take the ferry to Liberty Island to see the New York landmark up close.

A skyscraper with a spire among other buildings in a city skyline
The 1450-foot Empire State Building is a National Historic Landmark built in 1930

Empire State Building, New York

One of the most notable icons of New York City, the Empire State Building, towers over the Manhattan skyline at 1450 feet. The construction of the Empire State Building in 1930 was a world-famous endeavor as it was the world's first building with over 100 floors.

The Empire State Building is now a National Historic Landmark and a must on any NYC itinerary! Over 4 million people visit the Empire State Building annually for the iconic skyline view from the observatory. It has also been named the #1 attraction in the US by Trip Advisor.

☂️ Explore the Empire State Building on a tour

Aerial view of a large, horseshoe-shaped waterfall with the horizon in the background
The world-famous Niagara Falls is North America's largest waterfall

Niagara Falls, New York

Perhaps the most famous waterfall in the world, Niagara Falls lies on the border between New York and Canada. It is the largest waterfall in North America and one of the most famous landmarks of the US; some would also say the world!

Niagara Falls State Park's famous "Maid of the Mist" boat ride takes passengers up to the falls to hear the powerful roar and feel the mist of the water. Over 8 million visitors a year take this journey.

Buildings and skyscrapers along the coast of a river with sailboats on it
A new tower, a memorial, and a museum are parts of the One World Trade Center complex

World Trade Center Complex, New York

The World Trade Center Complex is a memorial to the fallen World Trade Center and to the rebirth of this city space. It was uniquely designed to both remember and honor the past as well as look toward the future. Two reflecting pools with the names of those that perished on 9/11 now reside where the twin towers once stood.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are also within the complex and offer a sobering look at the events of that fateful day. Surrounding the area are gardens and the new One World Trade Center Tower, dedicated in 2011 as a new business and residential hub in NYC.

☂️ See the World Trade Center on a tour

A marble statue of a man sitting on a chair with inscriptions above
A granite statue of Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president, inside the Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Erected as a memorial to the 16th president known as "The Savior of the Union," the Lincoln Memorial resides in the Washington DC National Mall. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Washington, D.C..

The 19-foot marble statue of President Abraham Lincoln sits in an open-air neoclassical-style temple. The famed words of Lincoln's second inaugural address and Gettysburg Address are inscribed on the memorial.

☂️ Join a tour to see the Lincoln Memorial

A white granite sculpture of a man with blossoming cherry trees on its side
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in West Potomac Park is an iconic US landmark

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

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader who fought tirelessly for equality before his untimely death at the hands of an assassin.

Dr. King's memorial was dedicated in 2011 in Washington DC's West Potomac Park to honor his legacy. It is now an iconic landmark and place of remembrance, and a must on any Washington D.C. itinerary!

A white obelisk with US flags surrounding its base
The 555-foot Washington Monument in the National Mall honors George Washington

Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

One of the most famous US monuments, the Washington Monument is a 555-foot marble tower erected to honor the nation's first president, George Washington.

The monument resides within the National Mall in Washington, DC, and is managed by the National Park Service. Inside the structure, guests can take an elevator ride to the top for impressive views of the nation's capital.

A steel arch bridge connecting 2 sides of a canyon with a river running through it
The Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over the Hoover Dam in Nevada

Hoover Dam, Nevada

Constructed in the 1930s to supply water and hydroelectric power to neighboring desert regions, the Hoover Dam was considered a modern marvel of its time.

This Nevada landmark was a massive undertaking to build the 726-foot-high dam, which remains the highest concrete arch dam in the US today. The Hoover Dam is one of the most famous landmarks in the USA, with an estimated 7 million tourists visiting every year.

☂️ Visit the Hoover Dam with a tour

Green mountains on one side of an orange suspension bridge with two towers
The 1.7-mile-long Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco and Marin County

Golden Gate Bridge, California

Nothing more iconically represents San Francisco than the 746-foot tall, orange-hued Golden Gate Bridge. This San Francisco landmark spans 1.7 miles over the Golden Gate Strait connecting San Francisco to Marin County.

It is an impressive feat of modern engineering built to withstand seismic events. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous suspension bridges in the US; some would even say the world!

A wooden walkway through a meadow below a waterfall running down a rocky cliff
Yosemite Falls and Valley in California's Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, California

Known for its towering granite rock walls, vast meadows, and ancient sequoias, Yosemite is one of the most popular National Parks in the US and a famous California landmark.

Over 3 million people visit Yosemite National Park each year for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and other outdoor adventures. Yosemite is home to "El Capitan," a 3000-foot summit that is one of the most renowned rock climbing challenges.

The blue Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone is one of the famous US landmarks
The Grand Prismatic Spring is a famous attraction in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Established in 1872 as the world's first National Park, Yellowstone has been delighting visitors with its natural beauty and splendor for over 150 years.

Yellowstone National Park has a host of unique geologic features, from its canyons and waterfalls to hot springs and geysers. It is also known for its extensive wildlife, including bison, moose, mountain lions, and more.

Grand Prismatic Spring, a geothermal pool with a kaleidoscopic appearance, and "Old Faithful," an erupting geyser with clockwork consistency, are the park's most notable features.

Over 4 million visitors descend on this famous Wyoming landmark yearly to explore the park's geologic features and wildlife.

US flags in front of marble tombstones arranged in a grid on a grassy graveyard
Notable figures and military veterans are buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia

Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for over 400,000 military veterans dating all the way back to the Civil War. Notable figures in American history, like President John F. Kennedy and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, are also buried there.

Arlington National Cemetery is one of the oldest and largest military cemeteries in the United States. It is also the site of many memorials, monuments, and educational experiences. A visit to this famous Virginia landmark is a very humbling yet insightful experience.

Steel railings on a path leading to the entrance of a cave
Mammoth Cave National Park, a famous US landmark, is the world's longest cave system

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

One of the most famous National Parks in the Eastern US, Mammoth Cave National Park has over 400 miles of caves. It is the longest-known cave system in the world!

Visitors can embark on a variety of cave tours to see the different features of this elaborate underground landmark. The park is also home to several historic landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Both sides of a street lined with historic brick buildings
The historic French Quarter in New Orleans is visited by millions of people each year

The French Quarter, Louisiana

Founded in 1718 and home to some of the most famous historical sites in the US, the French Quarter is New Orleans' oldest neighborhood. It is full of historical architecture, lively jazz music, Creole cuisine, and one of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations on the planet!

The world-famous Bourbon Street, Café Du Monde, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, and other famous Louisiana landmarks are located in or around the French Quarter. The French Quarter hosts over 10 million visitors a year, including 1 million just during Mardi Gras.

☂️ Visit the French Quarter with a tour

Whitney Plantation, Louisiana

The Whitney Plantation is one of only a few plantations across the US with a focus on educating about slavery. It puts its sordid past front and center with educational exhibits and memorials to the 100,000 slaves in Louisiana history.

Quotes and first-hand accounts from former slaves are inscribed on memorial walls and statues around the property, showcasing what daily life was like.

While some details can be hard to hear, hearing them pales in comparison to the experiences of those that lived them. A visit to The Whitney Plantation is a history lesson everyone should learn.

A bronze statue on a stone pedestal with four canons at its base in a grassy field
The John Buford Monument in Pennsylvania's Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, Pennsylvania

Perhaps the most famous battle site in the US, Gettysburg will forever have its mark on American history. Gettysburg was the site of one of the most important battles in the Civil War and was where President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous "Gettysburg Address."

Over a million visitors come to this famous Pennsylvania landmark yearly to learn about the American Civil War and tour the battlefields.

An American flag atop a white structure set above the water of a harbor
The Pearl Harbor National Memorial honors the victims of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack

Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Hawaii

The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is the site of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, which led to the United States' entry into WWII. Within Pearl Harbor lies the sunken battleship USS Arizona which is the final resting place of over 1,100 Navy Servicemen who died that day.

The USS Arizona Memorial, a famous Hawaii landmark, is completely surrounded by water and only accessible by boat. A park service boat ferries passengers to the wreck site, where a floating viewing platform sits atop the ship. Pearl Harbor is one of the most visited historical sites in the US, with over 1.8 million visitors a year.

A massive steel arch beside a pond surrounded by greenery
The 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch is the tallest monument in the United States

The Gateway Arch, Missouri

With its height at a whopping 630 feet, the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch is the tallest monument in the US! Beyond the impressive views from the outside, the inside of this famous Missouri landmark is even more interesting.

A unique tram system that is the first of its kind, combining elements of a Ferris wheel and elevator technology, brings passengers to the top. Over 6,000 people a day take the tram ride for panoramic views of St. Louis and the Mississippi River.

A swamp surrounded by greenery on a sunny day
The Everglades is a biodiverse area that is home to a plethora of flora and fauna

The Everglades, Florida

A slow-moving river aptly nicknamed "The River of Grass," the Florida Everglades are a unique and biodiverse landscape unlike almost anywhere else in the world.

They cover a wide area of connecting wetlands across the southern tip of Florida and include the famed Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Preserve, famous landmarks in Florida. The Everglades are home to many species of birds, fish, turtles, panthers, bobcats, and alligators.

☂️ Visit The Everglades with an experience

A manatee swimming underwater just above a riverbed
Crystal River is home to the endangered species of the West Indian Manatee

Crystal River, Florida

The pristine waters of Florida's Crystal River are world-renowned. They are connected to multiple springs and are an important refuge for the endangered West Indian Manatee.

While there are many beautiful springs in Florida with manatees, Crystal River is the only place to see them up close. Crystal River is the only waterway in North America where visitors can legally swim with these protected creatures.

A green valley below the red cliffs of layered rock formations
Utah's Zion National Park is famous for its valleys, cliffs, and pools

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is one of the busiest national parks, with over 5 million visitors per year! Lush evergreen valleys, towering red cliffs, and swirling emerald pools showcase the unique beauty that is Zion National Park.

Highlights of this famous Utah landmark include the almost 1,500-foot ascent to Angel's Landing and wading through the rushing canyon waters of The Narrows.

☂️ Visit Zion National Park with a tour

The faces of four people carved into the cliff of a rocky mountain
South Dakota's Mount Rushmore is a monument featuring four US presidents

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

One of the most famous US monuments, Mount Rushmore, features intricate carvings of historical presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Brought to life by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the sculptures were made between 1927 and 1941. Today, Mount Rushmore National Monument remains one of the top attractions in South Dakota.

☂️ See Mount Rushmore National Memorial on a tour

Aerial view of an island in a lake in the crater of a volcano
Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the US, was formed 7,000 years ago

Crater Lake, Oregon

Known as "deep water in a sleeping volcano," Crater Lake was formed by a collapsed peak during a volcanic eruption over 7,000 years ago. It is one of the famous landmarks in Oregon.

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and one of the clearest, fed exclusively by rain and snowmelt. Approximately 500,000 people a year make the trek up to Crater Lake to see the pristine blue waters of this natural wonder.

Stalactites and stalagmites inside an illuminated cave
Stalactites and stalagmites inside one of the caves in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Below the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico lies an intricate cave system of over 119 limestone caves known as Carlsbad Caverns. The caverns are known for their unique stalagmite and stalactite geological formations.

Over 500,000 people come to Carlsbad Caverns yearly to explore the caves as well as the famous nightly bat flight. Thousands of bats head out of this famous New Mexico landmark at sunset to feed on insects.

A UFO-shaped structure on a tower in the middle of various other tall buildings
The 605-foot-tall Space Needle is an iconic landmark in Seattle

The Space Needle, Washington

An icon of Seattle, the Space Needle is 605 feet tall and houses an observation tower, restaurant, and bar. It was built for the 1962 World's Fair and has been a point of interest in Seattle ever since. The Seattle Space Needle hosts over a million visitors per year. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the United States.

☂️ Join a tour to see the Space Needle

A white and blue lighthouse and houses on the rocky coast of a sea
Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth was commissioned by George Washington in 1791

The Portland Head Light, Maine

Built in 1791, the Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and one of the most famous historical landmarks in the US. It is also a famous landmark in Maine.

President George Washington commissioned it after Portland Head served as a lookout point for British attacks during the Revolutionary War. The picturesque lighthouse, museum, and surrounding park areas are now popular tourist destinations on Cape Elizabeth.

A classic white convertible car inside a museum
A Ford Thunderbird Convertible in Michigan's Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Michigan

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is a collection of historical memorabilia outlining important events in American history. Exhibits highlight military occupations, civil rights and social movements, manufacturing and agriculture history, and scientific advancements.

This famous Michigan landmark also has an impressive collection of historic vehicles and airplanes. You can see some of the first airplanes, original steam locomotives, the Kennedy Presidential limousine, and other famous cars.

Clouds over green mountains behind trees and plants with yellow flowers
The scenic Blue Ridge Mountains span eight US states

Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains span eight states in the eastern US and are part of a larger mountain range, the Appalachians. They are named for the blue appearance of the mountain range when it is viewed from a distance. The area is a popular getaway destination, and you can find an array of unique places to stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

One of the most well-known landmarks within the Blue Ridge Mountains is the Blue Ridge Parkway. This 469-mile road takes drivers through the Blue Ridge Mountains and some of the most scenic points from North Carolina to Virginia.

In Summary

With so many famous landmarks in the United States to see, you will find something unique regardless of which area of the country you visit. From historical monuments and museums to outdoor adventures in a National Park, the US has many amazing places to explore!

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Written by Lauren Rey

L_Rey FORMER WRITER Lauren might be based in Florida, but she is always plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime, Pickles. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks as much as her mom does!

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