America is a country that is full of wonderful sights: huge and busy cities, small village towns, sunny beaches, and lush forests. There is so much to see if you’re visiting America for the first time, but here are ten things you definitely HAVE to see.
1. The Grand Canyon
Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the major tourist attractions in America. Here, you can explore the canyon by hiking, rafting, and if you want to take to the skies, helicopter tours are also popular. The Grand Canyon offers a beautiful sight of rocky gorges and clear skies that will make you want to take out your camera and take a photo to make it last longer. Hiking the canyon top to bottom, and back up again, is one of the more challenging and rewarding physical trials for your body. Some people run the perimeter as well if you’re feeling wildly fit!
2. Yellowstone National Park
Another major tourist attraction is Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in America. Yellowstone is home to a variety of animals, including grizzly bears and elk, and is widely known for its natural features: hot springs, the Old Faithful geyser, and the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest volcanic system in North America. Besides admiring the flora and fauna around you, you can also camp at the national park.
3. New Orleans
If you’re visiting America for the first time, one stop you can’t miss is New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans is a hotbed of history and culture, from the spectacular Creole cuisine to the smooth beat of jazz music. You can explore the history of New Orleans by visiting the French Quarter, or if you want to experience the nightlife, take a stroll along Bourbon Street. New Orleans is especially wild on Mardi Gras, with people from all around the world gathering essentially to party.
If you want to explore more of America’s history, then Gettysburg is the place for you. Here you can see re-enactments of the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as other monuments and memorials dedicated to that historic event. You can also visit the Evergreen Cemetery, where Abraham Lincoln made that all important and famous Gettysburg Address.
5. The Empire State Building
One of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, the Empire State Building is another major attraction when visiting America for the first time. Located in New York City, this building allows you to see all of Manhattan from the observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floor. A great sunset viewpoint!
6. Times Square
Times Square is another must-see pit stop if you’re visiting America for the first time. It is a hub of activity, from the numerous shops (including M&M’s World and the Disney Store) to the famous Planet Hollywood restaurant. Times Square is also home to Broadway, where you can go and watch all the famous and popular musicals and plays.
7. San Francisco
Another hot tourist destination is San Francisco, the cultural and financial centre of Northern California. There are many sights for first-time visitors to explore, including the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf.
8. Mount Rushmore
Located in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is a large granite sculpture that depicts four of the presidents of the United States: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Here, a park ranger can take you on a walk to see the sculpture and back to the national park’s amphitheatre in time for the Evening Lightning Ceremony.
Another historical city, Philadelphia is known as the birthplace of the United States. Here, you can go to Independence Hall, where two of the most important documents in American history – the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution – were written and adopted. In front of Independence Hall is the iconic Liberty Bell, a symbol of American independence.
10. Statue of Liberty
A list of places to visit in America wouldn’t be complete without the all iconic Statue of Liberty. Located in New York, this statue was gifted to America from France and is a symbol of freedom and democracy to many. Tourists can visit the statue by ferry and can also purchase tickets to visit the crown of the statue.