The Top 20 Best Travel Destinations North America are listed below. According to moneyinc.com, these are the Best Travel Destinations North America along with a brief description of each place. Main attractions are also included. In addition, if you are visiting the area, these are must-see places to visit.
Best Travel Destinations North America
United States Destinations
Niagara Falls is an amazing natural wonder located on the border of the United States and Canada. The geological wonder consists of three waterfalls. The Horseshoe Falls borders New York State and Ontario, Canada. The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are in New York State. Altogether, the Falls attracts an average of 12 million visitors from all over the world each year. There is much to do and see besides the amazing waterfalls.
In addition, there are tours, parks, restaurants, shopping, interactive exhibits, casinos, and luxury hotels. Since 1900, daredevils have attempted to go over the Falls in enclosed barrels. However, some were successful and some were not. Also, during the mid-twentieth century, the Falls became a popular honeymoon destination. The Niagara Falls are definitely a must-see attraction in North America.
Walt Disney World Parks – Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California
Walt Disney World is the most visited resort in the United States. In 1955, the founder, Walt Disney and his brother Roy opened a theme park, Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Consequently, they wanted to open a supplemental park in Florida. The Magic Kingdom was created in Orlando, Florida and opened in October 1971. Epcot Center followed in 1982, Hollywood Studios opened in 1989, and the Animal Kingdom followed in 1998. The resort is often used as a corporate meeting destination. 52 million people visit the parks each year.
Walt Disney World is the most popular family trip destination. The Magic Kingdom’s iconic Cinderella’s Castle, Space Mountain is fun for people of all ages. Epcot Center celebrates the countries of the world and science. The Animal Kingdom provides rides and adventures in a safari atmosphere. Also, there are two water parks associated with Disney World as well as golf courses, restaurants, shopping and more.
New York City
World Trade Center Memorial
An important memorial to visit is the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City. On the morning of September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers were destroyed by terrorists who had hijacked jet passenger airplanes and flew them into the office skyscrapers. The memorial features two waterfalls honoring the thousands killed that morning. These waterfalls are built over the footprints of the Twin Towers.
New York City has many attractions including Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, Radio City Music Hall, Fifth Avenue, Wall Street, Broadway, and Ellis Island. Time Square, located in Midtown Manhattan at Broadway and Seventh Avenue, is the United States’ most famous intersection. It’s home to commercial business, entertainment venues, hotels, and restaurants. Also, the bub of Times Square has been called “The Crossroads of the World”, “The Center of the Universe” and “The Heart of The Great White Way”. Over 50 million people, mostly tourists, cross the intersection each year. Originally called Longacre Square, it was renamed Times Square in 1904 when The New York Times moved its headquarters there.
Best Travel Destinations North America – New Years Eve
Since 1907, the iconic New Year’s Eve celebration has been held in Times Square when the “ball is dropped” at midnight. The annual celebration attracts over a million visitors every December 31. In addition, during the Great Depression, the area became seedy but was revived in the 1990s. “Good Morning America” is broadcast live at ABC’s Times Square Studios. Well known for its bright advertising signage, Times Squares is home to neon and LED lighting jumbotron.
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National Mall – Washington, D.C.
The capital of the United States, Washington D.C., has multiple attractions. Visitors must be sure to check out the National Mall. The national park begins at Capitol Hill and stretches toward the Potomac River and is home to several memorials including the Washington Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial. Also, included are several memorials honoring the wars that the United States has fought. The National Mall is a gathering place for people witnessing the United States Presidential Inaugurations.
The National Mall is also home to the Smithsonian Institute. The Institute features several museums including the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The National Mall is also used as a place of peaceful protest.
The Getty Center – Los Angeles, California
Endowed by the Getty Trust, the Getty Center features the Getty Museum in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. In 1997, the $1.3 billion Center opened to the public. It’s beautiful hilltop architecture and gardens overlook the city of Los Angeles. The J. Paul Getty Museum draws nearly 2 million visitors each year.
The Getty Center includes the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust. Richard Meir designed the buildings for beautiful views and is safe from earthquakes and fires. One of the most visited museums in the United States, the J. Paul Getty Museum includes pre-twentieth-century European art and nineteenth and twentieth-century American and European photographs.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
The USS Arizona memorial is in Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It is the resting place of 1,102 bodies of United States Marines killed during the surprise attack by the Japanese on the morning of December 7, 1941. The events of that morning would lead the United States into World War II. The United States Navy established the harbor as a base in 1899. Memorial construction began in 1962 with more than 2 million tourists each year. The memorial stands over the wreckage of the bombed ship, the USS Arizona. It is one of several United States memorials that are part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park became an extensive United States park in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. The expansive park covers nearly 3,500 miles in parts of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Best known for its protected wildlife and geothermal features, Yellowstone National Park attracts millions of visitors every year. Yellowstone is well-known for its geysers. Also, there are at least 1,280 known geysers. “Old Faithful” erupts regularly and is probably the best-known geyser in the world. Park wildlife includes bears, wolves, elk, and bison.
The Freedom Trail – Boston, Massachusetts
Freedom Trail covers 2 and a half miles in Boston Massachusetts. The trail follows a path in the city that marks several sites that were important to the American Revolution. Many of America’s founding fathers lived in Boston and the city was home to many Revolutionary events. It was also home to many of the meetings where American strategy for the war was held. The Trail begins at Boston Common and winds through downtown through the North End, ending in Charlestown at the USS Constitution. The Trail is marked by red lines or red bricks. Sites along the trail include churches, graveyards and the naval frigate at the site of the “Boston Tea Party”.
Other sites include the Old State House, the Old South Meeting House, and Paul Revere’s house. The Freedom Trail was conceived in 1951 by journalist William Schofield. Mayor Hynes made the idea a reality. By 1953, more than 40,000 people walked the trail annually. Today, the Freedom Trail remains a popular attraction. It is a great way to get a history lesson at your own pace.
Bourbon Street, New Orleans
In the heart of New Orleans and its oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter lies Bourbon Street. The French Quarter of Louisiana is it’s most historic and carries the legacy of New Orleans’ French heritage. Bourbon Street has always had a risqué reputation as the home of the city’s red-light district. In the 1940s and 1950s, the street was lined with nightclubs with over 50 burlesque and striptease shows.
Subsequently, in the 1960s and 1970s, the street was cleaned up and made as a pedestrian plaza inviting tourists. Many festivals are held in the French Quarter and along Bourbon Street. The most popular is Mardi Gras. The street is still home to bars and strip clubs, but it is also home to fine dining, shopping, art exhibits, and live Jazz music performances.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand Canyon is one of North America’s most amazing natural formation. It is a part of the Colorado River basin and has been formed over the last 70 million years. In brief, it is located in Arizona and stretches 277 miles, with width up to 18 miles, and a depth of more than a mile. The river valley in the Colorado plateau is a sight to behold. It is home to Native Americans and draws in 5 million tourists each year. Also, it is a great place to sightsee, camp, hike, skydive, and raft. Helicopter tours are regular. The biological diversity of the Grand Canyon is vast and many species of animals inhabit the Canyon.
The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas
No visit to San Antonio, Texas is complete without a visit to the Alamo. The Spanish Mission was the site of the Battle of the Alamo, an important point in the Texas American Revolution. During the 13 day siege between February 23 and March 6, 1836, Mexican troops assaulted and killed all but two Texan defenders. The site became known as a battle site instead of a mission. The Texas Legislature would purchase the land and buildings during the early twentieth century and the Alamo’s chapel became a State Shrine. The Alamo is the most popular tourist destination in Texas. It inspired the quote “Remember the Alamo” and inspired several movies.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Alaska’s Denali National Park is one of North America’s most beautiful attractions. Also, it features Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America that rises 20,320 feet. There is also abundant wildlife living in the park. Bus tours offer sights of grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves and Dall sheep. The park is filled with picturesque lakes, rivers and tundra landscapes. It is home to the large Kahiltna Glacier. Wintertime activities include dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The 6 million-acre park is located in central Alaska.
Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio
For roller coaster enthusiasts, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is a popular destination in North America. Located on Lake Erie, the amusement park opened in 1870. Also, it is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States. The park has over 75 rides including 16 roller coasters. It is the only park in the world with five coasters higher than 200 feet. Cedar Point has received awards including the Golden Ticket Award for “Best Amusement Park in the World” for 16 consecutive years.
In addition, over 3.6 million visitors come to the park each year. Cedar Point has several buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park has both indoor and outdoor water parks and a historic hotel, The Breakers. Also, it has a boardwalk leading to the beaches of Lake Erie. Every October Cedar Point hosts Halloweekends with Halloween themed attractions.
The Las Vegas Strip – Nevada
Just about everyone in the world has to make a trip to Las Vegas in their lifetime. The 4.2-mile strip along South Las Vegas Boulevard is home to the major resorts and casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada. Up until 1959, casinos and hotels were based in downtown Las Vegas, along Freemont Street. Also, some resorts were located out of the city limits. After 1959, large resorts and casinos were built on what would later become known as “The Strip”. Some of the largest resorts are located there today.
Moreover, Las Vegas is a place for gambling, vacationing, seeing live shows, and weddings. Caesars, Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Paris, New York, MGM, and Luxor are just some of the massive and popular resorts/casinos on the Las Vegas strip.
The Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California
When visiting the San Francisco/Oakland area of California, it would be impossible to miss the Golden Gate Bridge. The iconic “orange vermilion or international orange”, colored steel suspension bridge links San Francisco to Marin County. Also, the color makes the bridge appear in the notorious Pacific Ocean fog which rolls into the city of San Francisco Bay daily. Construction of the bridge began in 1933.
In addition, at the time of its opening in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was the tallest and longest suspension bridge in the world. At 4,200 feet tall, the bridge is the tallest in the United States today. The bridge is 1 mile long, above San Francisco Bay, and is the most photographed bridge in the world. When visiting San Francisco, tourists have many attractions to see, but the bridge is certainly the most visible.
Best Travel Destinations North America
Whistler Blackcomb – Whistler, Canada
Whistler, Canada is a must-see during any visit to western Canada. The ski resort town grew in the early twentieth century. It built itself up in a bid to be a location for the 1960 Olympics but lost the bid. Just a two-hour drive from Vancouver, Whistler Village and Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort is breathtaking. It is the largest ski resort in North America. Blackcomb Mountain opened in 1980. Furthermore, the mountainous and forested area of Canada has always been a winter retreat. However, it has become a summer retreat as well. The Village increased in popularity after becoming a venue in the 2010 Olympics. It is also a retreat for golfing, hiking, biking, and other summertime activities.
Mont-Royal Park – Montreal, Canada
On a trip to the French Canadian city of Montreal, it would be impossible to miss the massive Mont-Royal Park. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the vast park. In addition, he is the same designer who created the plans for New York City’s Central Park. In short, the public park has walking paths, bike paths, lakes, and lookouts. Also, Mont-Royal Park offers educational opportunities, music venues, and spacious grounds to lay around. The park typically helps visitors to Montreal get their bearings as they sightsee the grand city.
CN Tower – Toronto, Canada
The CN Tower defines the skyline of Toronto, Canada. It is a 553.3 m-high concrete communications and observation tower located in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Construction began in 1976 on the former Railway Lands. Furthermore, the name “CN” originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower. In short, the Tower attracts more than 2 million visitors a year. Not only does the tower serve as a communications tower, but it also has an observation deck and a restaurant with amazing panoramic views of Toronto. Since 1995, the Canada Lands Company controls the Tower. In the same year, the American Society of Civil Engineers named the Tower one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World.
Capilano Suspension Bridge – Vancouver, British Columbia – Canada
Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 460 feet and rises 230 feet above the Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canadian walking bridge draws over 800,000 tourists a year. In 1889, Scottish civil engineer George Grant Mackay built the bridge. At the time, he served as the park commissioner for Vancouver. The bridge consisted of cedar planks and hemp ropes. However, a wire cable bridge came into use in 1903.
Edward Mahon purchased the bridge in 1910 and sold it to “Mac” MacEachran in 1935. It was MacEachran who invited native Americans to place totem poles in the park. Ten years later “Mac” sold the bridge to Henri Aubeneau. Since 1983, Nancy Stibbard owns the site. She brought more tourists to the park and the bridge by adding different walkways across different areas of the canyon. Guests of the Capilano Suspension Bridge can enjoy the beautiful parkland high above the canyon floor.
Best Travel Destinations North America
Chichen Itza is located on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. It means “at the mouth of the well of the Itza people”. Chichen Itza was the Mayan’s largest and most densely populated city between 750 AD and 900 AD. It was most likely a spiritual center. Today, the federal government manages the ruins of the city. More than 2 million tourists a year visit the site. In short, many of its stone buildings are restorations. Preserved structures include El Castillo, the Great Ball Court, a skull platform, the Sacred Cenote, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Group of A Thousand Columns.
We have provided the traveler with the best travel destinations North America to visit. These are some of the finest places in all the world. Enjoy!
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