Before you cross the pond, take a look at what US landmarks are on offer in one of the world’s best destinations.
The USA is one of the most-visited countries in the world, and is replete with famous landmarks that millions flock to annually. Selecting from the best historical sites in the US can be a daunting task, though – that’s where we come in! This article will bring to mind a few familiar favorites and some of the more esoteric destinations, piquing your interest and guaranteeing that your holiday is unique, fulfilling, and never to be forgotten.
For an additional layer of security to this guarantee of an incredible experience, why not ensure that the journey is as much fun as the destination? Chapman Freeborn’s private jet charter team has been providing world-class vacation experiences around the world for decades. Once you’ve chosen the famous monuments in the USA that you’ll be visiting, leave it to them to knit together the rest and sort out the details. After all – that’s what they do best!
1. Mount Rushmore
Because global pop culture is America-led in the main, most of the US landmarks on this list will feel iconic, even to those of us who’ve never seen them in person. Possibly the most iconic of all USA landmarks is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. These gigantic sculpted presidential monoliths are carved deep into the granite of the mountain after which they’re named and are first on this list for good reason.
For anyone with an interest in historical sites in the USA, the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt really are must-see. Visitors can get up-close and personal with these titans of American history, and the visitor center’s eatery even boasts that you can “dine with the presidents”! Any visit to historical sites in the USA would not be complete without a trip to Mount Rushmore, making it one of the most famous US landmarks on this list.
2. The Grand Canyon
If your favorite part of Mount Rushmore is the natural beauty surrounding the monument, then the Grand Canyon is a famous American landmark that’s sure to please. Unlike its South Dakota rival, above, the carving of the Grand Canyon was the work of Mother Nature herself, and it’s fair to say that she was in good form here. This US landmark cuts deep through the Arizona desert to reveal layer upon layer of glorious geological stratigraphy – geographers rejoice!
Even those without a keen eye for the sedimentary remonstrations of millions of years of Earth’s history are sure to find their days in the Grand Canyon filled with excitement, even if only by marveling at how big this place is. This might seem a banal concept, but until you’ve experienced being dwarfed by something so immense, it’s hard to get across just what this sense of scale does to a person. Those looking to really appreciate the stunning power of nature should look no further than this world-renowned US landmark.
3. The Devil’s Tower
Away from the trappings of some of the other most famous landmarks in the United States, Wyoming is home to the Devil’s Tower. Dramatic nomenclature aside, this 12,000-feet monolith protrudes starkly to loom over the surrounding countryside and is visible for miles around. Not only is this one of the most famous US landmarks and a key tourist attraction for the equality state, it’s also an important historical location for over two-dozen indigenous tribes.
If you’re looking for famous landmarks in the US that come replete with the three-pronged appeal of modern cultural significance, interesting geological composition, and native American ancestry, then the Devil’s Tower really does fit the bill. This trifecta guarantees that any visit to what is widely regarded as one of the most famous landmarks in the US is sure to stand out as sharply as the tower itself from the plains in which it sits.
4. Mesa Verde
Perhaps the link to America’s pre-colonial heritage at the Devil’s Tower has stirred an interest in exploring other US national landmarks that speak of the land’s native occupants. If so, there are few historical sites in the US more appropriate than Mesa Verde. To their shame, lists of the most historical cities in the US often exclude indigenous sites. The settlements at Mesa Verde were cut into the Colorado cliffsides eons ago, though, and were continuously inhabited for over 700 years – if that’s not historical, then what is?
5. The Liberty Bell
Those with more of an interest in modern historical places in the USA are sure to find that the Liberty Bell resonates. Perhaps more nebulous than other USA landmarks, the Liberty Bell signifies US independence and is closely associated with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. An up-close-and-personal encounter with this key piece of American history is sure to leave the chimes of freedom ringing in your ears for days after the event – or if not that, then the sounds of selfies being taken at least!
This could possibly be more of a comment on taste in movies than anything else, but whenever the Declaration of Independence comes to mind, so does Nicolas Cage. There’s a link here to Alcatraz – as anyone who’s seen “The Rock”, starring Sean Connery alongside the aforementioned, can attest to. This serves to illustrate an important point, though: Alcatraz is a key part of the American cultural psyche.
Few famous US landmarks can claim to have generated as much pop-culture coverage as Alcatraz has over the years, which is why it continues to captivate tourists six decades after it last contained a convict. If you’re looking for one of the most famous landmarks in the United States and want to be able to point at the television for years to come and shout, “I’ve been there!”, then look no further than Alcatraz.
For those with interests that are less 21st century and relate more to stunning open landscapes and jaw-dropping scenery, Yosemite is one of the best monuments to visit in the USA. Some might object to this place of incredible beauty being referred to as a monument, but what is it if not a monument to just how astounding the natural world can be? Beyond its giant ancient sequoia forests, diverse wildlife, and incredible hiking routes, Yosemite is also perhaps the world’s best destination for climbing.
El Capitan in particular – Yosemite’s iconic, imposing rock face – is one of the most famous landmarks in the US, and marks a point of pilgrimage for many who seek to ascend. Chalk, rope, and nerves of steel are all that some use to climb this daunting edifice, and it’s a thrill in itself to simply stand and watch as they clamber up. Whether bare-knuckle, thrill-seeking, or gentle strolls in stunning surroundings are your ideas of a perfect vacation, Yosemite might just be the ideal famous USA landmark for you.
8. Monument Valley
The establishing shot of the road heading towards the horizon flanked on either side by the gargantuan monoliths of Monument Valley is a classic in American cinema. This awe-inspiring image evokes wonder in anyone who sees it on-screen – just imagine what it’s like in the flesh. As integral to the experience of Monument Valley as the huge rock towers that litter the horizon, though, is what’s not there.
This is a place of endless open space, and the contrast between the scarcity of objects that break that covenant and the vastness of those few that do is truly breathtaking. Like the Grand Canyon, its neighbor 150 or so miles to the southwest, Monument Valley is an experience that should not be passed up on, and a visit to this stunning USA landmark is sure to leave an indelible mark on any who makes it.
Now that you’re abreast of some of the most incredible landmarks in the USA, you’re ready to put together a plan for the holiday of a lifetime. Whichever of the plethora of famous US monuments you choose, there can be no doubt that you’ll experience wonder and amazement in a country that really is like no other. If one-of-a-kind experiences are what you’re in the market for, then here’s an easy way to guarantee another: fly private and add the perfect finishing touches to your vacation masterpiece.