It’s the 4th of July – American Independence Day – an annual celebration that marks the forming of the United States of America.
America has a huge influence on everything from global politics and economy to pop culture, so it’s no surprise people around the world are eager to visit the vast country and explore.
Whether you want the hustle of world class cities like New York or the quiet wonder of Nevada’s Grand Canyon, there’s something for everyone in the USA. Here’s 5 things worth making the visit to see.
Statue of Liberty, New York
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and an incredibly popular attraction for visitors of New York City. The colossal copper monument was dedicated as a gift of friendship from France in 1886 and has been protected as a National Monument since 1924. Today you can take a ferry to Liberty Island and enjoy the views over Manhattan, climb the statue and lookout over the city through the top observation deck and learn more about the history of New York City and the monument itself in the museum on site.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is another of the most photographed landmarks in the country. When it was first built in 1933 the suspension bridge was heralded as one of the biggest construction achievements of its era, and is often called one of the seven modern wonders of the world. The bridge connects San Francisco with the Marin headlands and has sidewalks for pedestrians and cyclists, along with vista points on the north and south sides of the bridge.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Arizona’s Grand Canyon is an incredible natural wonder, spanning more than 277 miles and with a width of 18 miles and a drop of over a mile. Caused by millions of years of erosion by the Colorado River, on a hike you can come across rock forms dated as far back as 1.8 billion years. The bright blue waters also draw travellers in; it’s the perfect antidote to a scorching hot day out in the Arizona sun. There’s dozens of ways to explore it, but most people choose the iconic views over the South Rim for their first encounter – it starts off slowly at first, but then suddenly visitors are met with the staggering drop and incredible views Grand Canyon is famous for.
Everglades National Park on Florida’s southern tip is an incredible 1.5 million-acre wetlands made up of sawgrass marshes, pine flatwoods, coastal mangroves and grassy, slow-moving river. The park is home to an incredible array of wildlife, much of it endangered; there are leatherback turtles, Florida panthers, West Indian manatees, alligators and snakes. It’s also an excellent place to explore nature – there are dozens of paths for walking as well as hundreds of miles of water for canoeing and fishing. Perhaps the best way to see it though is on a tour. You can take an incredible airboat through the marshes or go through the grasslands on a swamp buggy.
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Black Hills, South Dakota is a curious mix of natural beauty and manmade design. The giant sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore depicts four of the most influential presidents of the United States; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
There’s few places on earth people can go to safely see active volcanoes, and on the island of Hawaii there are two – Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The dramatic volcanic landscapes, hot molten lava and rare flora and fauna give the impression of another world; visit the area and you could easily be tricked into believing you were on another planet. Inside the park there’s dozens of hiking paths to let you explore the area, along with guided tours and a museum where you can learn more about volcanoes and how they have impacted life in Hawaii.
Have you visited any of these famous destinations in the USA? Where are your favourite American destinations to travel to?