11 Iconic USA Landmarks You Can’t Miss

By George
11 Min Read

There are some images that form an image of the United States that have long remained in the collective mind worldwide. While you may have seen these places countless times on a screen and in magazines, it’s definitely something special to visit in real life. From Chicago’s popular Cloud Gate sculpture to the futuristic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, America is full of iconic photo opportunities that allow you to proudly say, “I’ve been there.” So get out your bucket list and get the selfie stick ready; the iconic United States is waiting for you!

1. Statue of Liberty, New York City

USA Landmarks

You can see many of the must-see sites in a single trip to New York City.

Start in downtown New York City for a stroll to the Statue of Liberty, the massive sculpture that welcomes immigrants and visitors alike to Manhattan’s shores. The iconic statue stands 93 meters tall and is as impressive as it looks. After you’ve seen it, head to Wall Street in midtown Manhattan to take a photo with the Charging Bull statue (and his new companion, Fearless Girl, near the New York Stock Exchange). When you head uptown, you’ll find the classic Flatiron Building before you begin your journey to the glittering hustle and bustle of Times Square. Central Park is as iconic as the famous subway system. And don’t forget the Brooklyn Bridge, the Natural History Museum, and quintessential neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, DUMBO, and Chinatown. To complete your classic circuit, you have to go for a bagel, a slice of pizza and an “I Heart NY” T-shirt. New York is really packed, so make sure you have booked your vacation rentals in advance!

2. National Mall, Washington, D.C.

USA Landmarks

About 3 hours south in Washington, D.C., you’ll find more American monuments galore.

Visit the National Mall and walk the large grassy expanse, which is home to many U.S. monuments. A tour of the area will take you to The White House, the home of the President of the United States, as well as monuments honoring former Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as American heroes such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and veterans of World War II, the Vietnam War and the Korean War. While there, you’ll have free access to more than a dozen of America’s most iconic museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the National Air & Space Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

3. Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California

USA Landmarks

On the West Coast, and located on Mount Lee (Mount Lee) in the Hollywood Hills, are the iconic 14-meter tall white letters that spell out the word “Hollywood,” and can be seen from near or far. Reserve your stay near Hollywood Hills on Karta.

In the area, you can also see the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame stars on Hollywood Boulevard. When in Los Angeles, head to Venice Beach for another classic American experience: a stroll along the Venice Beach Boardwalk. There you’ll find plenty of colorful characters and equally colorful artwork that’s probably more suited for browsing than shopping. Next, head to the famous Santa Monica Pier to see the sign marking the end of Route 66.

4. Route 66, Oklahoma

USA Landmarks

You can find iconic American landmarks all over the country, like Route 66, the famous highway known for its road trips and surrounding attractions.

Oversized kitschy monuments are a mainstay of Route 66. You can find everything from the largest concrete totem pole (Totem Pole Park, Chelsea) to “The Blue Whale,” a giant cartoon whale floating on a roadside pond in Catoosa. If you’re thirsty, look for the 20-meter soda bottle outside the entrance to “Pops,” a restaurant, gas station and purveyor of nearly 700 types of soda, all organized by color. Experiment with unusual flavors, such as bacon, mustard or earth, or go on the classic side with one of the more than 70 varieties of root beer on offer. If it’s nearing sunset time, stick around to take in the neon light show seen on the giant bottle after dark. Don’t forget to check a variety of vacation rentals on your way on Karta.com.

5. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

USA Landmarks

In San Francisco, just off the coast, is the Golden Gate Bridge, that impressive orange-red giant that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

Called a “wonder of the modern world,” the Golden Gate Bridge is a much-photographed landmark, but seeing it in person is much more special. When in San Francisco, you can visit other icons of the city such as the “Painted Ladies” and the famous crooked street, Lombard Street, as well as the jolly sea lions in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood and the famous Alcatraz Island, if you manage to book a tour well in advance.

6. Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

USA Landmarks

The world’s tallest arch is located in St. Louis, Missouri, and was built to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States.

The Gateway Arch, as it is called, is dedicated to the American people and is a striking monument. The stainless steel structure stands nearly 200 meters tall, making it the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest accessible building in Missouri. St. Louis is also home to the City Museum, a 10-story, century-old surrealist haven that combines the whimsy of a playground with the sophistication of modern architecture. Another iconic museum in the area is Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home & Museum, also worth a visit.

7. Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

USA Landmarks

Head to Seattle to see the city’s iconic 158-meter observation tower, known as the Space Needle.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle is a monument to Seattle’s innovation and visionary character. The iconic and epic Mount Rainier, which serves as a natural backdrop to Seattle’s urban center, is a beautiful volcanic mountain that sits at an elevation of over 4300 meters. Starbucks, your favorite coffee shop, is also an iconic Seattle landmark. Visit a unique branch of the chain, the Starbucks Seattle Roastery.

8. Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois

USA Landmarks

Brace yourselves, selfie lovers.

Chicago is home to the adorable and much-photographed Cloud Gate sculpture, though you probably know it as “The Bean”. The amorphous reflective sculpture is located in Millennium Park and was created by artist Sir Anish Kapoor. For a taste of the iconic city of Chicago, enjoy a slice of the famous Chicago-style pizza and catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country.

9. Niagara Falls, New York

USA Landmarks

On the border between New York and Canada are the largest waterfalls in North America, the famous Niagara Falls.

Composed of three waterfalls, these natural wonders are renowned for their pristine beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Visit Niagara Falls and the surrounding area on the Niagara Scenic Trolley. Next, visit the Seneca Niagara Casino, a gambling destination that was opened by the Seneca Native American tribe of the area. When you’re there, take a tour of the Eerie Canal or a self-guided tour to see historic architecture such as the train station or the Ellis-Taylor House, a beautiful 19th-century home built by the local Ellis family.

10. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

USA Landmarks

Visit the Black Hills region of South Dakota for a chance to see the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

At the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you’ll see the sculpted faces of four former U.S. presidents on the side of the large granite mountain, nearly 20 meters high. See Presidents Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt and Jefferson with your own eyes, and ask for a photo with one of America’s most iconic monuments. Also in the area is the Crazy Horse Memorial, another historical monument that pays tribute to Native American leader and Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse.

11. Monument Valley, Utah

USA Landmarks

Visit the red sand desert of Monument Valley, the iconic desert landscape that is home to the region’s diverse and beautiful natural sandstone volcanic necks.

Travel the 27-kilometer loop for the best view of the area, which you may recognize from the various Wild West-inspired movies that have been filmed there over the years. Monument Valley is located on the border between Arizona and Utah, although it lies within the territory of the Navajo Nation, the largest American Indian reservation in the country. While you’re in the area, be sure to visit the Navajo Nation to fully explore its culture and history.

Along with the constant evolution of the United States, you can find many monuments, landmarks and historical sites that have stood the test of time, serving as icons of American ideals and ancient times, upon which the United States of today was built. While you may have seen them in photos or movies, these iconic American landmarks are definitely worth visiting in person.

By George
George is a passionate writer and technical lead in a reputed company, he is contributing since 1997 to the web, and he has worked in the top 500 fortune companies and made his remark.