America, being the vast nation that it is, has a plethora of attractions from sea to sea. When you visit this country on holiday, you won’t ever get to experience the whole place in one go, making it difficult to suss out the best regions to visit, and what to see when you get there.
Foot traffic is certainly a way of measuring whether a place is worth visiting, so in that vein, we have assembled a guide to the top American attractions, divided by every major region that this country possesses. While you can’t see it all, be sure to check the following attractions out if you happen to be in any one of the following areas…
Alaska: Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (935,000 visits/year)
Established to protect structures in the staging port of Skagway, Alaska, people can here in droves to participate in the historic Klondike Gold Rush. Getting here requires taking a ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway from Seattle, or by driving in from the Alaska Highway in the Yukon Territory in Canada.
Hawaii: Waikiki Beach (3.7 million visits/year)
Being the centerpiece urban beach in the bustling city of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, this gorgeous ring of sand used to be reserved for Hawaiian royalty. Dotted with innumerable hotel and condo skyscrapers in the present day, it is the place to see and be seen on a holiday to this American South Pacific island chain.
Pacific Northwest: Pike Place Market (10,000,000 visits/year)
Operating since 1907, Pike Place Market is the longest continually operating farmer’s market in the United States, and is far and away the biggest attraction in the Pacific Northwest. Being the birthplace of Starbucks in the 1970’s, and home to an eye-catching display of eye-hand coordination between the fishmongers at the fish market on site, Pike Place also offers the finest local produce, meats, and crafts from local artisans.
California: Disneyland (14.7 million visits/year)
Constructed in the 1950’s from what used to be a humble orange grove, Disneyland was the first park that entertainment and animation impresario Walt Disney built to bring his characters to life in a family friendly setting. Still relevant as ever in the present day, Disneyland allows kids and the young at heart to embrace the youth that lies within them.
Southwest: Vegas Strip (30,000,000 visits/year)
Widely considered to be the Adult Entertainment Capital of the World, the Strip in Las Vegas contains a non-stop series of glittering casinos that allow people to attend shows, dine at decadent restaurants, and party at over-the-top nightclubs. Of course, some of the world’s best gaming opportunities also exist here as well, with the world famous World Series of Poker being hosted here every June and July.
Rocky Mountains: Yellowstone National Park (3,000,000 visits/year)
Set aside as one of the first national parks in the United States of America, Yellowstone is a special place filled with numerous natural wonders. From countless opportunities to view wildlife, to mountain vistas, waterfalls and even geothermic wonders that include the geyser Old Faithful, it is a bucket list item for anybody that loves the outdoors.
Great Plains: Mount Rushmore (1.7 million visits/year)
Blasted out of tough granite over decades to honor some of the best presidents in the young history of the Republic in the early 20th century, Mount Rushmore is a must for any road-trippers crossing the nation from coast to coast. See it along with the even more ambitious Crazy Horse Memorial (which honors the region’s most influential Native American chief), located nearby.
Texas: San Antonio River Walk (5.1 million visits/year)
This mid-sized Texan city is famous for its River Walk, an atmospheric path along the San Antonio River that is lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. After seeing the Missions and the Alamo, it is the perfect way to end a day of sightseeing here.
Midwest: Mall of America (40,000,000 visits/year)
Being among the world’s most avid consumers, Americans love mall-crawling more than any other nation on the planet. The Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota drew 40 million visits in 2013, making it the most visited attraction in the USA over the past year.
South: Broadway by the Beach (14,000,000 visits/year)
Similarly, those in the Deep South also love to swipe their charge cards while on holiday, as evidenced by the 14 million visits to Broadway by the Beach, which is an outdoor shopping arcade in the beach resort city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Florida: Walt Disney World (17,000,000 visits/year)
While Walt Disney built his first amusement park in California, he had much bigger plans than the limited space of Southern California would permit. As such, he snapped huge parcels of land in the swamplands of Central Florida in a clandestine manner, and proceeded to announce the construction of Walt Disney World.
Immense in scale, this park contains 5 separate parks, ranging from an imagination of the future (EPCOT) to a wildlife park (Animal Kingdom) and even a movie studio themed park (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in addition to the re-creation of the original Magic Kingdom.
Mid-Atlantic: Times Square (37.6 million visits/year)
Nicknamed the Crossroads of the World, Times Square is an assault on the senses, with blinking lights, billboards, and distractions taking up every inch of the place. Filled with numerous restaurants, bars and shops, it is busiest during New Year’s Eve, when it is home to one of the biggest parties in the world.
New England: Faneuil Hall (20,000,000 visits/year)
Front and center in many of the events surrounding the run up to the American Revolutionary War, Faneuil Hall is a must for any that are serious about learning about the history of this complex nation. It primarily served as a meeting place in its day, and it still is the backdrop for major political announcements in the present day.