Most Famous Attractions in America

by - 7:54:00 AM

Covering a staggering 9.8 sq km (3.8 sq miles), the United States of America is the third-largest country in the world. The nation also happens to be home to some of nature's most marvellous sights, as well as many of man's wondrous creations.

According to the Forbes Traveller Top 25 Most Visited Tourist Attractions in the US, man-made attractions and natural wonders feature equally among the millions of domestic and international travellers who visit the States every year. Forbes' research suggests that tourists are as likely to spend a day of discovery at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art as they are a day relaxing on the sun-soaked Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

Top Ten

Topping the list is New York's Time Square, best known for its lighted signs, cinemas and Broadway theatres, but also an ideal spot from which to explore the city.

Next on the list is the Las Vegas Strip (south of Nevada), which attracts around 31 million annual visitors who come not just for the gambling, but also the incredible entertainment, shopping and luxury resort hotels.

At number three, the National Mall and Memorial Parks of Washington D.C. comprise some of the country's oldest protected parkland, as well as the Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington Memorials.

To Massachusetts next and Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The historic site includes Faneuil Hall, three markets and a cobblestone promenade that hosts an array of street entertainers and includes numerous eateries, bars and shops.

South again to Florida, Disney World's Magic Kingdom is at number five, closely followed by the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, which is the original Disney theme park. Also in California, San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and Golden Gate National Recreation Area continue to attract millions of visitors.

One of only two natural attractions in the top ten, Niagara Falls in the State of New York, straddling the border with Canada, has been a Mecca for tourists for over 150 years and today welcomes 12 million visitors annually.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most visited national park in the US is neither Yosemite nor the Grand Canyon, but the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and lies on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.

Last of the top ten is Chicago's Navy Pier on the shores of Lake Michigan. A military training facility/campus since 1916, 8.6 million visitors per year now enjoy the entertainment on offer at this unique location.

The Rest

Next on the list is the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona, Nevada, the country's largest man-made lake. On the opposite side of the country, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando offer thrill-seekers the ultimate in theme park entertainment, with the majority of visitors also making the trip to nearby SeaWorld.

Texas is the location for number 14, the San Antonio River Walk is followed by 5.1 million tourists annually. Utah's Temple Square in Salt Lake City, New Jersey's Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Universal Studios in Hollywood and New York's Metropolitan Museum rank 15th to 18th, with Hawaii's Waikiki Beach at 19.

Incredibly, Arizona's Grand Canyon is only at number 20, followed by Florida's Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa Bay, Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, San Diego's SeaWorld, the America Museum of Natural History in New York and New Jersey's Atlantic City Boardwalk.

With such enormous diversity across the entire country, there really is something for everyone in this vast land of plenty, which promises a vacation like no other, guaranteed to live in your memory forever.

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