What are Some Major American Landmarks?

Jessica Ellis

Although America is a relatively young country, it is already rich in historical significance and important cultural events. Visiting American landmarks is a wonderful way to teach children the history of the country, or to learn more about it yourself. While opinions vary as to which American landmarks are the most important, experts agree that most are historically fascinating, and well worth visiting.

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

The nation’s capital in Washington D.C. contains dozens of important structures, monuments and memorials for visitors to enjoy including the White House, home of the US President and the operating location for the executive branch of government. Construction on the White House began less than 20 year after the birth of the country in 1776, and has been resided in by every president since John Adams. It has tremendous history, surviving riots and at one point being gutted by flame. Today, guided tours visit parts of the White House almost daily, but in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, are only given by special request. Contact your local member of Congress to get forms necessary to arrange a tour.

Tours of the White House must be arranged in advance by a constituent's congressional representative.
Tours of the White House must be arranged in advance by a constituent's congressional representative.

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If you wish to look farther back into American history, consider visiting one of the Native American landmarks scattered throughout the country. In South Dakota, visitors can view progress of the Crazy Horse memorial, which will be the largest sculpture in the world when completed. While viewing the monument, visitors can also see the carved statues of four US Presidents at nearby Mt. Rushmore. Both of these fantastic American landmarks are located in the Black Hills, an area rich in both Native American and US historical sites.

The launch complex at Kennedy Space Center is frequently visited by tourists.
The launch complex at Kennedy Space Center is frequently visited by tourists.

Stretching even farther back into the natural history of the country, landmark visitors may wish to tour some of the most productive paleontology digs in the world, at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. Visitors to this amazing park can view locally discovered fossils and study the history of North American dinosaurs. Backpacking through Dinosaur National Monument is also allowed, and can be a wonderful way to put yourself in the world of these ancient animals.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is an American landmark.
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is an American landmark.

The West Coast of the United States is rich in beautiful architectural landmarks. In San Francisco, California, the Northern edge of the city is home to the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. Built in 1937 and traditionally painted a bright-rust color, this landmark is the gateway to Northern California and a tribute to architectural ingenuity. Visitors to the bridge may walk along its span and catch spectacular views of San Francisco, the Marin peninsula, and maybe even passing whales.

Many important American landmarks lie in Washington, D.C.
Many important American landmarks lie in Washington, D.C.

In the Washington capital of Seattle, the architecturally minded will adore the improbable-looking Space Needle, dominating the city skyline. This 605 ft (185 m) high structure features an observation deck and gift shop high above land. A meal at the slowly-revolving SkyCity restaurant is a highly recommended unique experience, as diners can view a full panorama of the city below.

At the Dinosaur National Monument, visitors can view locally discovered fossils.
At the Dinosaur National Monument, visitors can view locally discovered fossils.

Whether your interest in history is political, natural or architectural, the United States offers an extraordinary variety of American landmarks to enjoy. If you wish to teach your children about the historical significance of your state or country, consider a road-trip that takes in some of the many sites available to the public. While the history of the country may be comparatively short, the history of the continent is millions of years old, and American landmarks make a conscientious effort to highlight most of the significant events of the past.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have led to increased security at American landmarks, including the White House, which has also decreased its public tours.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have led to increased security at American landmarks, including the White House, which has also decreased its public tours.
The Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction in Nevada.
The Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction in Nevada.
The Statute of Liberty in New York City is a popular U.S. landmark.
The Statute of Liberty in New York City is a popular U.S. landmark.
The Battle of Gettysburg is a landmark of the American Civil War.
The Battle of Gettysburg is a landmark of the American Civil War.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the world's largest suspension bridges.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the world's largest suspension bridges.
The Jefferson Memorial, one of the many landmarks in Washington DC.
The Jefferson Memorial, one of the many landmarks in Washington DC.
Though built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle remains a major attraction in Seattle.
Though built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle remains a major attraction in Seattle.
The striking landscape of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has been used as a backdrop for many movies about the Wild West, including several by director John Ford.
The striking landscape of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has been used as a backdrop for many movies about the Wild West, including several by director John Ford.
Mount Rushmore is an American landmark located in South Dakota.
Mount Rushmore is an American landmark located in South Dakota.

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Discussion Comments

comfyshoes

@Cupcake15 - I just wanted to say that there are great American landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore that are known for their natural beauty. I have always wanted to go and see them in person. I read that the Grand Canyon is supposed to be about 275 miles long and 16 miles wide and a single mile deep. I can’t even imagine seeing that close up.

I also always wanted to go to Alaska and I am planning a cruise next year so that I can go to Denali National Park which is supposed to be incredible. I think that the western part of the United States probably has the most scenic American landmarks.

cupcake15

@Oasis11 - I love New York City too. I actually grew up in New Jersey right across the Hudson River in a town called Weehawken. There was a famous historic landmark there called Hamilton Park in which Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had their famous duel.

I also remember going to Coney Island as a kid and loved the carnival atmosphere. It really gives you a feeling of nostalgia. There are also a lot of historical landmarks in nearby Pennsylvania too like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

oasis11

@Milagros - I didn’t know that. I recently went to New York City and they had a lot of famous American landmarks. We went to the Statue of Liberty and it was amazing. We had to go to Battery Park to get the ferry to take us to the Statue of Liberty. I remember waiting in line for about an hour which was a lot when you have two children with you.

We also went to the Empire State Building and took pictures in front of Times Square. New York City has a lot of landmarks and it is probably the most famous of all American cities.

milagros

One interesting fact about the Crazy Horse Memorial is that it took over 60 years to complete. The memorial is the largest memorial in United States, higher than Washington Monument.

Since there is no existence of any picture of Lakota Indian chief Crazy Horse, the monument is not an exact portrayal of the chief, only the artists' view of him.

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