29 Essential Places Your Well-Traveled Child Should Not Miss

Exterior of the Field Museum in ChicagoInside the Field Museum in ChicagoSue the dinosaur at the Field Museum in Chicago
Arches National Park in UtahArches National Park in UtahThe U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Space CampAstronauts in Space CampMount Rushmore
Mount RushmoreAcadia National ParkAcadia National Park
Acadia National ParkBoston Museum of ScienceMuseum of Science
Museum of ScienceHawaii's Volcanoes National ParkVolcanoes National Park
Metropolitan Museum of Art Metropolitan Museum of ArtMetropolitan Museum of Art
Carlsbad CavernsCarlsbad CavernsCarlsbad Caverns
Hoover DamHoover DamAbraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and MuseumAbraham Lincoln Presidential Library & MuseumGolden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge in San FranciscoNational Museum of American History National Museum of Amerian History
National Museum of American HistoryAlabama's Birmingham Civil Rights InstituteBirmingham Civil Rights Institute
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute The U.S. Capitol BuildingView of the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial.
Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Fall at Yellowstone National Park.sunrise in Yellowstone National ParkA geyser at Yellowstone National Park.
Staff at Colonial WilliamsburgThe Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg.Boston's Fenway Park
Boston's Fenway ParkStreets of Bostonsunset at the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon's West Rim SkywalkThomas Jefferson's Monticello estate.The dining room at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate
Maid of the Mist at Niagara FallsView of Niagra Falls.entrance to the San Diego Zoo.
San Diego ZooIndependence Hall in PhiladelphiaIndependence Hall in Philadelphia
The Great Hall at Ellis Island Ellis Island in New York CityCraters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
Craters of the Moon National Monument & PreserveBoston's Freedom TrailFaneuil Hall along Boston's Freedom Trail
Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, CaliforniaAlcatraz Prison at nightCinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World in Orlando
Main Street USA Station.Disney's Animal KingdomHidden Beach in Redwood National Park, California,
Founders' Grove in California
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Chicago's Field Museum is part of the city's lakefront Museum Campus and has nine acres of floor space to display a broad array of natural wonders.

Courtesy The Field Museum

Dioramas at the Field Museum feature African lions and giraffes as well as Arctic penguins and polar bears.

Courtesy The Field Museum

The Field Museum's Tyrannosaurus rex, known as Sue, is the largest complete fossil of her kind.

Courtesy The Field Museum

It only takes a couple hours to drive past the 2,000 brawny pink arches of Utah's Arches National Park.

National Park Service Photo

One of the main draws of Arches National Park is watching the sun play off the natural sandstone formations.

National Park Service Photo

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, includes the Davidson Center for Space Exploration and the orginal Space Camp.

Courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center

The star attraction at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration is a restored version of the famous Saturn V rocket.

Courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Aspiring astronauts can suit up and feel the gravitational yank of lift-off via the simulator at Space Camp.

Courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Even the most jaded teen will be wowed by the colossal busts of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln at South Dakota's Mount Rushmore.

The visitors' center at Mount Rushmore has exhibits on the creation of the monument as well as the presidents whose faces are immortalized in granite.

Maine's Acadia National Park may be small in relation to other national parks, but it has granite peaks, forest paths, and a scenic beach.

Sheridan Steele

Rangers at Acadia National Park lead free hikes to explore the varied terrain and see the diverse wildlife.

NPS/Ray Radigan

Acadia National Park is located where the Cadillac Mountains meet the Bay of Fundy.

NPS photo

Boston's Museum of Science sits right on the Charles RIver.

Chicco7 / Dreamstime.com

The cosmos feels closer to earth at the planetarium at the Museum of Science.

Michael Malyszko

The Museum of Science's planetarium includes a theater with a full-dome video and audio system.

Michael Malyszko

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world's most active volcanoes.

Marlathrall / Dreamstime.com

Rangers at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park take visitors down into the lava tubes, subterranean caverns formed by hardened molten rock.

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The imposing Metropolitan Museum of Art covers 14 acres of land in New York City's Central Park.

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The collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes an ancient Egyptian Temple, a Ming Dynasty Garden, and one of the world's largest collections of Vermeers.

Sean Pavone / Dreamstime.com

The extensive Egyptian art collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes a statue of Pharaoh Amenemhat II, who reigned from 1919 B.C. to 1885 B.C.

Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rangers are on hand to lead tours of the caves at New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns.

NPS Photo by Peter Jones

Adventurous kids will enjoy crawling through passageways or making rope-assisted descents through curtains of stalagmites at Carlsbad Caverns.

NPS Photo by Peter Jones

The Big Room is the largest cave at Carlsbad Caverns and could fit 6.3 football fields.

NPS Photo by Peter Jones

Experts lead walking tours along the pedestrian bridge at Nevada's Hoover Dam.

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At more than 1,200 feet wide at the top, the Hoover Dam was the largest in the world when it was completed in 1936.

Courtesy USBR/Hoover Dam

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, located in Springfield, Illinois, includes a 40,000-square-foot museum that houses historical artifacts, a theater, and a recreation of the log cabin Lincoln grew up in.

Courtesy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Plaza at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum includes figures of Lincoln and his family and a recreation of the south portico of the White House.

Courtesy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Kids can dress up in period costume in Mrs. Lincoln's Attic at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.

Courtesy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is equal parts eye candy and engineering lesson.

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Take a walk along the pedestrian path of the Golden Gate Bridge for astonishing views of Angel Island, Alcatraz, and Treasure Island.

Minyun Zhou / Dreamstime.com

Social studies class comes to life at the National Museum of American History, located on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Courtesy of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The collection at the National Museum of Amerian History includes the inauguration gowns worn by the First Ladies.

Courtesy of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Hands-on activities at the National Museum of American History include adding giant stars to an 1813-style garrison flag.

Courtesy of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Alabama's Birmingham Civil Rights Institute chronicles our nation's civil rights history and puts the '50s and '60s in a context that today's children can understand.

Courtesy Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Exhibits at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute include a recreation of a segregated lunch counter.

Courtesy Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute uses compelling artifacts and exhibits that don't gloss over the tragedies of the civil rights' era.

Courtesy Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The U.S. Capitol Building: Just one of the many sights to see on an amphibious tour of Washington, D.C.

View of the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial.

Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Fall at Yellowstone National Park.

One of the breathtaking sunrise views you can catch at Yellowstone National Park.

A geyser errupts, spreading a rainbow on a sunny day at Yellowstone National Park.

Don't forget to stay in character: Staff at Colonial Williamsburg dress and act as if they were living in that era, and they encourage visitors to do the same!

The Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg.

Courtesy The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Not exactly the cheap seats, this is the view from the Legend's Box at Fenway Park in Boston.

Get down (but not dirty) at a Boston Red Sox night game at Fenway Park.

Courtesy Boston CVB

Blessings and curses: The Red Sox finally broke the famous "Curse of the Bambino" in 2004, ending an 86-year streak of losing the World Series.

One of the gorgeous sunset views of the Grand Canyon you can take in while on a horse-drawn wagon ride.

Don't look down! The 4-year-old Skywalk juts 70 feet beyond the Grand Canyon's West Rim and sits 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.

An autumn view of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Estate.

Courtesy Monticello/Robert C. Lautman

The dining room at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate.

Courtesy Monticello/Philip Beaurline

Don't forget your poncho! Maid of the Mist offers tours of the floor of Niagara Falls.

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp.

View of Niagara Falls.

A topiary elephant greets visitors at the entrance to the San Diego Zoo.

Get up close and personal with the planet's largest bear at the San Diego Zoo.

Courtesy The Zoological Society of San Diego 2007

Take Philadelphia's Ghost Tour and get to know the spirits of America's founding fathers during a candlelit tour through landmarks like Independence Hall, pictured here.

Find your inner patriot with a stroll through Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

Courtesy GPTMC/National Park Service

The Great Hall at Ellis Island holds historical associations and memories for millions of American families.

Courtesy Ellis Island Parks Service

The Ellis Island Ferry shuttles visitors from Battery Park in Manhattan across the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

At Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in Idaho, 618-foot lava field, formed by volcanic eruptions 15,000 years ago, is the ultimate moon-surface simulation.

Courtesy Idaho Tourism

These craters in Idaho are about as close to walking on the moon as you can get without leaving Earth's atmosphere.

Courtesy Idaho Tourism

Take a guided tour down Boston's Freedom Trail, led by actors portraying the people who actually through lived the Revolution.

Courtesy Freedom Trail Foundation

With 125 shops and 21 restaurants, Faneuil Hall makes the Freedom Trail both lively and educational.

Courtesy Greater Boston CVB

A view of the famously (almost) inescapable Alcatraz Prison in the San Francisco Bay.

John A. Martini/Courtesy Alcatraz Cruises

You're welcome to roam the halls of Alcatraz Prison at night...if you dare.

John A. Martini/Courtesy Alcatraz Cruises

Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World in Orlando, still as magical as ever.

The Walter E. Disney's red coaches wait at Main Street USA Station.

Adventure comes alive in Disney's Animal Kingdom, where visitors can have up-close encounters with the park's inhabitants.

Kent Phillips/Courtesy WDWNews

Hidden Beach in Redwood National Park, California, is accessible via trail from the Trees of Mystery in Klamath.

Although hollowed out by fire, this giant coastal redwood tree in Founders' Grove continues to survive and grow.

Courtesy California Travel and Tourism Commission/ Tai Power Seeff

From breathtaking national parks to natural wonders, bridges, dams, and museums that make learning a blast, these are America's top must-see destinations for kids!

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