Whether you’re about to embark on an epic adventure around the USA, or you’re a local looking to get the most out of your next staycation, make sure you don’t miss these bucket list destinations sights. How many of the US’ 20 most-iconic destinations have you visited?
From the meal sizes to the soda cups, everything’s bigger in the USA. And it doesn’t get much bigger — or better — than the majestic Grand Canyon. A supersized encounter with some of the world’s most stunning scenery should be at the top of every traveler’s US list.
2. The Golden Gate Bridge
Since it was first opened in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge has been the unofficial symbol of San Francisco. You’ll probably recognize it from the opening credits of ‘90s classic “Full House” or Hitchcock’s thriller “Vertigo.” Trust us — it looks even cooler in real life.
3. Niagara Falls
From Zion National Park to the Everglades, in the USA, Mother Nature likes to put on a show. And the most epic show of all can be seen on the US-Canadian border. Niagara Falls is a waterfall system with a staggering 167-foot drop. Be sure to tick it off your US list. Bonus points if you cruise across it on the beloved boat, Maid of the Mist.
4. The Statue of Liberty
When it comes to New York icons, the Statue of Liberty is right up there with yellow cabs and pizza by the slice. Make the most of your visit to this statuesque lady by skipping the line and heading directly to the exclusive pedestal viewing point for a dazzling view of Manhattan.
5. The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: it’s the address where US history is made. The White House is a must-see for visitors to Washington DC. Don’t stop there, either. Get up close and personal with US politics when you tour Capitol Hill.
6. The Hollywood Sign
The USA doesn’t get much weirder or more wonderful than it does in Tinseltown. From star-spotting to fine dining, Los Angeles has so much to offer every type of traveler. But, if you didn’t get a snap of the famous Hollywood sign…were you even there at all?
7. Times Square
The famous ball might only drop over Times Square once a year, but every day’s a party at this beloved New York City landmark. This bustling square is called the Crossroads of the World for a reason. It’s one of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas. Added bonus? It’s the hub of the Big Apple’s vibrant theatre district — Broadway, baby!
8. Disney World
It’s the kingdom where dreams come true and fairytales are reality…and it’s handily located in Orlando, Florida. Get up close and personal with your favorite characters from Mickey and Minnie to Elsa and Anna. Meanwhile, a range of rides offer thrills, spills, and more.
9. The French Quarter
Sure, you’ve probably heard New Orleans has a reputation as the hardest-partying city in the USA. But to see for yourself, head straight for the city’s vibrant French Quarter. Visit the lively jazz bars of Bourbon Street, or take a more leisurely stroll as you admire the area’s unique Creole townhouses.
10. Mount Rushmore
There’s more to the Black Hills region of South Dakota than stunning scenery and panoramic views aplenty. The region is also home to Mount Rushmore. An artwork of epic proportions, it features the heads of four former presidents carved into a granite mountainside. This US landmark is as American as apple pie.
Once a notorious island prison, Alcatraz is now a must-visit destination in San Francisco for locals and travelers alike. Learn the stories of some of the prison’s most infamous inmates, like Al Capone. Our tip? The island is even better when experienced from above on a luxe helicopter ride.
12. Yellowstone National Park
Rugged Wyoming: the wild, wild west. To get in touch with your inner cowboy, make straight for the state’s famed Yellowstone National Park. Here, you’ll see forests, canyons, geysers, and maybe even some of the local wildlife, like bears and elk. Happy trails, pardner!
13. Big Sur
The California coast boasts some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. Drink it in when you tour the forested 17 Mile Drive, stopping off at Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur, where rugged cliffs meet the wild Pacific Ocean.
14. Muir Woods
Chicago and New York might be famous for their man-made skyscrapers, but the skyline in Muir Woods is pretty impressive, too. Marvel at nature’s skyscrapers on a hike through the national park’s famed forest of giant coastal sequoias — the largest trees on the planet.
15. Las Vegas Strip
Feeling lucky? Then don’t leave Las Vegas off of your US itinerary. Win big at one of the city’s famed casinos, take in a glitzy show, or see the lights at the dazzling Bellagio fountains. At night, the city comes alive. The best way to see it? A panoramic night bus tour.
16. Millennium Park
From the Wrigley Building to the Tribune Tower, there’s lots to love about the Windy City. But Chicago’s beating heart is Millenium Park. Stroll its green spaces, pop into one of its many museums and galleries, and don’t forget to snap a selfie in the bean.
17. Grand Central Station
From the MoMA to the Met, Williamsburg to Greenwich Village…when you’re seeing the sights in New York, you’re always on the go. Luckily, New York’s public transport system is a sight in itself. Grand Central Station is unmissable, thanks to its elegant architecture and fascinating history.
18. The Freedom Trail
Follow in the footsteps of history when you walkBoston’s Freedom Trail. From Faneuil Hall to the Boston Common, you’ll retrace the steps of the Founding Fathers and learn about the birth of a nation.
19. The Grand Ole Opry
Yeehaw! It’s a regular country hoedown every day at Nashville’s storied Grand Ole Opry. Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn…the stage here has been graced by all the names in country music royalty. Watch the nation’s longest-running country music radio show, live. Then, take an exclusive peek behind the scenes.
20. The Kennedy Space Center
One small step for man…relive some of the USA’s proudest accomplishments, including putting the first man on the moon, on a visit to the Kennedy Space Centre. Skip the line and get in touch with your inner astronaut on an out-of-this-world tour.