Landmarks in the USA – 10 Most Famous

If you are looking to find a few new places to visit in America, there are many that give you an insight into American history and how the country was built.

These monuments can be gifts from other countries, monuments sculpted by hand, military memorials, or even some of the best engineering that can be found in the Western Hemisphere.

No matter what part of the country you want to visit, below are some of the most visited places, where millions of domestic and international tourists come to visit and enjoy from East to West. 

Below is a list of some of the most famous landmarks in America, how many have you been to?

Famous Landmarks in the USA

1. Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous landmarks found in the USA to visit and experience on your trip. The statue was dedicated to the United States in1886 and has been a visitor hot spot ever since.

She is the image of the Roman goddess, Libertas, carrying a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other with the first Independence Day inscribed. 

When you visit the Statue of Liberty, you can only access the island by ferry boat.

In the past, there was access to the crown where guests could go to the top and look out, but now tickets can be purchased to go the pedestal and view the bay from Lady Liberty’s feet. 

2. Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate

Completely on the other side of the country is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This landmark is one of the most visited each year.

It was opened in 1937 and is one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. It was designed to bring together Marion County to the San Francisco Peninsula, with only ferry access to the area before it was built. 

Today when you visit, if you are not driving over the bridge, there is parking available so you can walk this magnificent piece of engineering excellence.

You can also bike across it, in lanes that are safe and away from the vehicles traveling. There has always been a toll on the bridge, so be prepared to cover that cost. 

3. Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

If you are planning to make a trip out west, you want to make sure that you stop in South Dakota at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum oversaw the construction and sculpting of four presidents who are instrumental in American history. Beginning in 1927, the carving and sculpting continued until 1941.

The four presidents represented are:

  • President George Washington
  • President Thomas Jefferson
  • President Theodore Roosevelt
  • President Abraham Lincoln

These particular presidents were chosen because they represented the birth of America, its growth, development and also preservation.

When you visit Mount Rushmore, you are joining a couple of million other visitors who come to the park each year to view and see the monument out West, away from large cities and urban areas.

This is something that makes Mount Rushmore a unique landmark in America. The presidents’ faces are in the sun because of their location, and they face a Southeast direction. 

4. Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch

If you truly want to go through the door to the American West, then you have to visit and cross through the Gateway Arch. This is the tallest arch in the world and is located in St. Louis, Missouri. Construction on the arch lasted two years, from 1963-1965.

This is another landmark that is considered a modern wonder because it is the tallest structure built by man in North or South America. 

When you visit the Gateway Arch, you are able to go to the Apex and get a view of the Mississippi River. Historically, everything beyond that river is considered the West and this arch gives that welcoming embrace to the area.

You can ride a tram to the observation area and then view the sights that are unmatched. You can also enjoy some of your visits to the underground visitor center where numerous westward exhibits are portrayed. 

5. Alamo Mission

The Alamo

Located in San Antonio, the Alamo Mission is the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. This is a part of the Texas Revolution, during the time when the US and Mexico were fighting over the land that would become Texas that we know today.

It is here that several well-known Americans died in the battle in an attempt to save the Alamo. It was originally a fortress built and maintained by Roman Catholic Missionaries.

Once Texas was annexed into the US, however, the Mexican soldiers abandoned the fortress and it was now used by the US once again. 

The Alamo Mission was preserved by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, initially, and then went through several transitions until 2002. At that time it became a historical monument and now receives millions of visitors annually.

A gift store is on sight for visitors to purchase souvenirs and other items reminding them of their stay. You can tour both the chapel and the Long Barracks on the property. 

6. Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Right in the heart of Manhattan is the Empire State Building, consisting of 102 stories. In 1931, it did exist as the tallest building in the United States, but it has since been surpassed. It was designed by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon, and is 1250 feet tall.

When you walk through Manhattan it will tower above you and you cannot miss it. It is one of the most visited sites in New York City.

Depending on the month, season, and current celebration, you will see the top of the Empire State Building lit up in celebration for everyone to see. You will not find advertisements, however, just celebratory lights. 

When you visit the Empire State Building, you can enter through the lobby on Fifth Avenue, and see the marble and tall ceilings that radiate through the building.

There are observation decks on the 80th, 86th, and the top 102nd floor. If you are in New York City and strolling through Manhattan, you need to stop by the Empire State Building to get a full view of New York City. 

7. Space Needle

Space Needle

If you are visiting the Pacific Northwest corner of America and find yourself in Seattle, head over to the Space Needle for a panoramic view of the city. It is designed in the 1960s and released in time for the World Fair in 1962.

Millions of visitors in Seattle make sure they stop by the Space Needle to see one of the tallest structures west of the Mississippi River.

You can get your tickets for the Space Needle and enjoy beverages while on the Loupe, where a 45-minute trip spins you around to see the skyline of Seattle. 

8. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Located out in the San Francisco Bay is Alcatraz Island. When it was designed in the 19th century, it housed a lighthouse for ships, a military prison, and a fortification to keep unwanted guests out and others inside.

You can see Alcatraz Island from the Golden Gate Bridge. In order to access Alcatraz Island, you can take a ferry ride that is only about 15 minutes. The prison was abandoned but used to once house some of the most dangerous criminals of the West.

Because the prison was located out in the water, it suffered lots of damage due to water and salt, which was helpful for some criminals who wanted to and successfully escaped.

The cost of maintenance on the prison was too much. Today, the island also has a significant seabird colony that has taken residence since it was abandoned in 1963. 

9. White House

The White House

The most famous address in the United States is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where you will find the White House. It was designed to be the designated home of the sitting president of the country, and it has been used as such since.

It is also the location for many federal meetings, making it the workplace of the President. Once Washington, D.C. was named the Capital of the country, the construction began in 1792. 

Also Read: Landmarks in Washington DC

The White House that you know today has undergone reconstruction, especially under the Truman-era of Presidency. If you would like to visit the White House, you can secure tickets in advance.

Sometimes there are tours available, but depending on what business is happening at the time of your visit, you may or may not get to visit the public areas. 

10. USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

If you are visiting military memorials throughout America, make sure the USS Arizona Memorial is on that list.

While you may want to take a beautiful trip to Hawaii, give yourself a morning or afternoon to visit the resting place of over 1100 soldiers at the USS Arizona Memorial.

Also Read: Landmarks in Arizona

The attack that happened on Pearl Harbor in Honolulu forced America’s hand into World War II.

Also Read: Landmarks in Hawaii

At least two million visitors head over to the Memorial each year to visit where the memorial sits at the submerged hull. Your tickets are purchased either online or at the visitor center.