Most popular landmarks to visit in the US

The United States is a remarkable country and a preferred destination for millions of travelers annually. From vast and picturesque national treasures to state-of-the-art metropolises, the States have it all. But have you ever wondered which landmarks are best to visit according to the Americans?

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most popular U.S. landmarks as ranked by YouGov based on an extensive survey with thirty-three polling places.

America has spoken, and the people have named their favorite landmarks that anyone interested in the nation’s history and culture should visit. The top spots on the list of most popular U.S. landmarks are iconic national memorials such as the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Lincoln Memorial and universal symbols like the Statue of Liberty and the White House. The big question remains. What’s your favorite U.S. landmark?

Pearl Harbor National Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Vacclav

This war museum in Hawaii teaches us about a pivotal moment in history. It honors the victims of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Preserving and interpreting history, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial offers visitors interpretive exhibits, programs, and a memorial theater. This is the place to start if you’re eager to learn more about the event that pushed the States into World War II.

Pearl Harbor National Memorial is strongly recommended by 70% of Americans who visit this landmark.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery with a flag next to each headstone during Memorial day
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Orhan Cam

Resting place to nearly 400,000 veterans, Arlington National Cemetery spans 259 hectares in Arlington County, Virginia. The cemetery honoring fallen soldiers, retired Armed Forces members, and veterans’ eligible dependents is open to the public for tours year-round. It is the perfect destination for those seeking to honor the sacrifices made in the name of a free world.

U.S. presidents, including John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft, are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Arlington National Cemetery is strongly recommended by 70% of Americans who visit this landmark.

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial at dawn
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jorge Salcedo

Built in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, this national monument has been gracing Central Washington, D.C., since its creation in 1914.

The memorial, which honors one of the greatest presidents in history and his belief in freedom for all people, attracts millions of visitors annually and spans an area of more than 27,300 square feet. At the memorial, you can see a 27-foot statue of the former president and come across his most famous speeches in a Greek-inspired temple-like building.

Lincoln Memorial is strongly recommended by 67% of Americans who visited this landmark.

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty over the Scene of New york cityscape river side
Image Credit: Shutterstock / TZIDO SUN

The Statue of Liberty stands proudly on New York City’s Liberty Island and is a universal symbol of freedom. French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi designed the gigantic neoclassical sculpture that Gustave Eiffel constructed in 1886.

To this day, the 151-foot statue, which sits on a 154-foot pedestal, represents the friendship between the U.S. and France and the abolition of slavery that followed the Civil War. Since the attraction remains very busy, be patient when visiting and get a reservation early on if you would like to explore the insides of the pedestal.

The Statue of Liberty is strongly recommended by 65% of Americans who visit this landmark.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument aerial view in beautiful autumn colors
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Orhan Cam

The Washington Monument is a 555-foot marble structure that towers over Washington, D.C., in honor of America’s first president, George Washington. Construction of the obelisk-like structure started in 1848, and it remained the tallest building in the world until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889.

The tower represents an important piece of U.S. history and is worth visiting. After entering the lobby, you can take an elevator to the observation deck, which is 500 feet high and offers a clear view of the city. Inside the tower, artworks commemorating the first president can be found.

Washington Monument is strongly recommended by 61% of Americans who visit this landmark.

The National Mall

National Mall with Washington Monument, Washington DC, USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Songquan Deng

Another proud gem in Washington, D.C., is the National Mall, a landscaped park gracing the downtown area of the country’s capital. The park is home to over one thousand acres of federal land that houses various monuments and memorials, including the Washington Monument.

If you visit Washington, DC, this landmark is a must. To get the most out of the destination, try completing its two iconic 2-mile loop trails.

The National Mall is strongly recommended by 61% of Americans who visit this landmark.

The White House

The White House in Washington DC with beautiful blue sky
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Vacclav

For over two hundred years, the White House has stood proud as a symbol of the United States government and its people. If you wish to visit this architectural feat, you can register for a public tour and access parts of the building free of charge.

Visitors with reservations can also explore the White House Garden and see over 90 artifacts at the White House exhibits, which are open to the public.

The White House is strongly recommended by 60% of Americans who visited this landmark.

World Trade Center Memorial

Memorial Complex to the victims of September 11, 2001 on the spot where stood the twin towers
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pavel L Photo and Video

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum can be found at the new complex of buildings in NYC’s Lower Manhattan and has replaced the original seven buildings targeted in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The memorial itself rests on the site of the destroyed Twin Towers. It honors the victims of the attacks and all those involved in recovery and rescue operations. The museum was opened to the public in 2014 and now welcomes tourists from all over the world who wish to learn more about the attacks, the aftermath, and the people involved in the horrific event.

The World Trade Center Memorial is strongly recommended by 58% of Americans who visit this landmark.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jason Patrick Ross

The construction of Mount Rushmore National Memorial was authorized in 1925 and completed in 1941 as 60-foot-tall faces of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt were carved into the face of Mount Rushmore.

The monument dedicated to some of America’s most popular presidents now welcomes millions of visitors annually. The site also has a museum featuring interactive exhibits and vital pieces of American history.

Mount Rushmore is strongly recommended by 58% of Americans who visit this landmark.

Ellis Island

Aerial view of Ellis Island New York
Image Credit: Shutterstock / T photography

This iconic and picturesque federally-owned island is located in New York Harbor. It can be visited along with the Statue of Liberty. The main building on the island was built in 1800 and has since served as an important symbol of the American dream, as more than 12 million immigrants were processed in its immigration center.

The island now offers a world-class museum with a rich national immigration history and an extensive immigration record inspired by those pursuing the ‘American dream.’

Ellis Island is strongly recommended by 57% of Americans who visit this landmark.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Image Credit: Shutterstock / f11photo

Independence Hall remains one of Philadelphia’s most historically important buildings. It is where the Founding Fathers once discussed and adopted the U.S. Constitution. It is a must-see landmark for all patriots and those interested in the nation’s history.

The historic civic building was previously declared a World Heritage Site and is now open to the public interested in touring the estate. Visitors can see the Assembly Room in the building, where both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed.

Independence Hall is strongly recommended by 56% of Americans who visit this landmark.


Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / f11photo

Alcatraz Island, off the shore of California’s San Francisco, is home to an abandoned federal prison and the West Coast’s oldest operating lighthouse. Once notorious for locking up America’s most hard-case incorrigibles, the prison is now open to tourists. Visitors can explore the island, view various exhibits, and take an audio-guided cell house tour.

Alcatraz is strongly recommended by 56% of Americans who visit this landmark.

Other Popular U.S. Landmarks Ranked by Americans

Famous Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco at night, USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / ventdusud

There are too many exciting landmarks in the States to name them all. But when Americans were asked to name those they would recommend the most, Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, San Antonio’s Alamo Museum, and the NASA Space Center couldn’t escape the conversation.

Hoover Dam, the Empire State Building, The French Quarter, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Times Square, The Gateway Arch, The Paul Revere House, Rockefeller Center, and The Four Corners Monument also made the list of top landmarks.

Author: Zan Kokalj


Zan Kokalj is a veteran content writer, copywriter, and author inspired by the impact of ink on paper.

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