Budget Travel

16 Bucket List Landmarks Every American Should See

The Golden Gate's best-kept secret: Although it's closed to pedestrians after sunset, gates are opened for star-gazing cyclists.
American commerce on full display in New York City's landmark Times Square. Even though the new pedestrian-only zones and bike lanes along Broadway between 47th and 42nd streets are threatening to turn the formerly frenetic Crossroads of the World into an oasis of urban calm, neon enthusiasts will still find a satisfying amount of hustle and bustle.
Also a cultural mecca, Times Square shows off its Broadway show offerings. The revamped TKTS booth at 47th Street and Broadway, whose translucent-red staircase-to-nowhere has fast become the area's prime spot for photo ops, is still the best source for discounted theater tickets.  
From within his memorial, Lincoln's statue looms large over visitors at the National Mall.
Though the city of Las Vegas may all be aglow, there's no mistaking the (in)famous stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard (known as the Strip) in this view from the bridge between Cesear's Palace and Bally's.
A view of the strip at sunset. This may be the only city in the world where can you find a permanent circus, an indoor sky, and a slice of the Roman Empire.  
As befits the birthplace of American democracy, access to Independence National Historical Park, home of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, is free and easy. Tickets are required to visit Independence Hall from March to December, and a mere $1.50 fee allows you to reserve passes up to a year in advance—a good idea in the summer.  
Bookended by the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.'s National Mall is now part of the National Parks Service and the National Register of Historic Places. No tour of U.S. icons is complete without this gem.
Don't zip around the curves of Highway 1 too quickly. Take your time—and some gorgeous photos—as you cruise this strip of Pacific coast near Big Sur.
Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt are here, immortalized, both in stone and American history.
The now completed Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge (aka the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge) stands 890 feet above the Colorado River. The shot was taken from the Hoover Dam the day after the "Bridging America" event.
Ellis Island served as the entry point for millions of immigrating families—and modern American families still pass through here today to learn about them.
Entrance to Mount Rushmore's Grand View Terrace, the ultimate spot to take in four of America's greatest presidents.
See the bell that stands for American freedom at Independence Hall.
Immigrants got their first glimpse of Lady Liberty from a boat coming up the Hudson in the early 20th century, not unlike the view from the ferry to the statue that departs from New York City's Battery Park.
Take a stroll down Royal Street in New Orleans's historic French Quarter.
Jackson Square—once named Place d'Armes, but renamed for Battle of New Orleans's Andrew Jackson—is a French Quarter destination for culture, lined with museums, shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Towering over the St. Louis skyline, the Gateway Arch's impressive stature packs an even bigger punch as it lights up the night sky.
Here are just a handful of the Gateway's 4 million annual visitors, lined up to take in the dizzying views at America's tallest man-made monument.
The bridge over the Hoover Dam is the second-highest in the country, perched at almost 900 feet above the rushing Colorado River.
Each year, another 20 to 30 luminaries are added to the more than 2,400 celebrities already immortalized on Hollywood's legendary Walk of Fame—can you find your fave?
It may look tame here, but come Oscar night, the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Boulevard plays host to the biggest event in Tinseltown.

Ready for the vacation of a lifetime right here in America? Here, our picks for the nation’s most epic buildings, monuments, and engineering feats!

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