12 U.S. Icons to Know Before You Die


For some reason, they are symbols. If you’ve got ants on your feet, it’s time to check out these amazing sights. Visit DiscoverAmerica.com to plan your trip.

1. Cloud Gate, Chicago

Cloud Gate, the sculpture known as “The Bean,” stands in Millennium Park. Built with 168 polished steel plates, it reflects the Chicago skyline. For those who enjoy music, there are concerts almost every night at the park between May and September – most of them are free.

2. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota


The gigantic sculpture shows the faces of four American Presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln) carved into a precipice. Every night in the summer, you can watch the sculpture’s famous lighting ceremony, after chatting with the Rangers and watching a movie about American history.

3. The Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.

This monument, dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, stands in the middle of the National Mall. The best way to get to know the Mall is by using the segway that can be rented day and night, with a driving lesson (to avoid accidents).

4. Statue of Liberty, New York City


The Statue, a gift from France in the 1800s, is an “international symbol of democracy and freedom” and keeps your eyes peeled over the incredible city of New York. And to avoid the crowds of tourists, take the Staten Island Ferry to take the best photos and get the best of views.

5. Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

It is in this park that two of the most active volcanoes on the planet are located: Maunaloa and Kilauea, currently in one of the longest eruptions ever recorded. Crater Rim Drive is a 17-kilometer road that circles Kilauea (also known as “the world’s only drive-in volcano”) past the park’s main attractions. Be sure to visit the Thurston Lava Tube, a 500-year-old lava cave leading into a rainforest

6. The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Standing in front of this 1.6 km deep canyon created by the Colorado River, with its spectacular views, is a unique experience. You can also push the boundaries and observe this marvel from above, by helicopter.

7. The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began in 1933 and was not completed until four years later. The symbol of San Francisco, painted in a striking orange hue, crosses the Golden Gate Strait, connecting the city and Marin County to the north. It is believed that a port in Istanbul gave its name to the strait in 1864: “Chrysopylae” or golden gate. As memorable as its color is the dense fog that often engulfs the landscape.

8. Niagara Falls, New York

One of the most famous sets of waterfalls in the world sits on the border between the United States and Canada. In addition to observing the falls, visitors can also visit exhibits and participate in various interactive activities and boat rides, such as the Journey Behind the Falls, crossing the waterfalls and watching them collapse in front of them.

9. Monument Valley, Utah

Navajo Nation Park Monument Valley, which stretches from the states of Utah to New Mexico, is one of the most photographed places in the world and the setting for several films, such as Forrest Gump, No Destination, Back to the Future Part III, and Thelma & Louise. Gigantic sandstone formations, with heights of 120 to 300 meters, which form a unique landscape on the planet.

10. Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

At just over 6.5 km long, the Las Vegas Strip is a stage full of sparkle and splendor in the middle of the Nevada desert. Las Vegas is worth a visit, even if you don’t like to gamble (and there is no shortage of casinos there) or party. But if you’re there to play and you’re a newbie, don’t worry: you can learn! Most casinos offer free lessons in the afternoon. Once you feel safer, join the hotel’s player clubs, where you can collect points and redeem them for concert tickets or discounts on nights.

11. Route 66

Inspired by a world-famous song, Route 66 is more than 3,200 km long and crosses the entire country, from Los Angeles to Chicago. The road hides several traditional American attractions along its route, such as the Cadillac Ranch, an art installation in Texas, and the Chain of Rocks Bridge in Missouri, which spans the Mississippi River with an impressive 30-degree turn.

12. Great Basin Desert

At nearly 500,000 km2, the Great Basin Desert is the largest desert in the United States. The National Park is in the middle of the desert and is one of the least frequented national parks in the country, so there is no shortage of space! Visit the “desert skyscraper” of Wheeler Peak and the incredible Lehman marble caves. An unforgettable experience!

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