10 Must Visit Places in the US for 2015
Believe us there is a whole world to explore. But if you are making travel plans to visit the United States, then there are places which are iconic, places filled with rich history and monuments that represent what America is all about. This is not the list prepared by some magazine or a travel portal, but in fact our very own fellow travelers who have made the trip to the US and returned back with some amazing memories.
Below is the list of such places which is a must visit in the US and make sure your travel agent has included these at least few of these must-visit places in the US.
1) French Quarter, New Orleans
French Quarter also known as ‘Vieux Carre’ (Old Square) is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of New Orleans. There is such confluence of cultures in French Quarter’s which is both aesthetic and a vibrant collage of textures in lush courtyard gardens, iron balcony railings and cobblestone corridors. This is an iconic place in the US and has a rich history and a great musical heritage. Music forms such as blues, classic rock ‘n roll, jazz and electronic dance music all reverberate through French Quarter’s doors.
Traveler Tip: Hop on the Canal Street Ferry to Historic Algiers for free and get a great view of the French Quarter’s. The ferry leaves the terminal just across from Harrah’s Casino every 30 minutes.
Image Courtesy: fisherbray
2) Times Square, New York City
Times Square has to be the busiest commercial intersection in the world. If you want to find people from all over the world in one place, then this is the place for sure. People from different parts of the world have made New York City their home or using New York City and Times Square as their pit stop in their travel itinerary. If you want to get a hang of something which is everything American, then Times Square with its consumerism spectacle is the best place to start. You can find many wide-eyed travelers from all over the world with a camera in their hand and going through all the ads and kaleidoscopic signs in awe. New York City is a ‘city that never sleeps’ and Times Square just shares this enthusiasm with its people and you have to see it to believe it.
Traveler Tip: Do not forget to visit the world’s largest McDonalds, take a ride in the ferris wheel in Toys R Us and after that take some rest and watch people around you from the TKTS. Also you must by a comfortable pair of light shoes.
Image Courtesy: moonman82
3) Queens, New York
Queens is one of the largest of the five boroughs in New York City. This place has a lot to offer for tourists in the form of unique restaurants, captivating art scene and highly creative breweries like Finback Brewery and SingleCut Beersmiths. Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the world and is just 15 minutes trip on the 7 train away from Times Square or Grand Central. The Rockaway Beach is wonderful place during the summer that offers sand and surf and pay cheaper hotel rates than in the city. Queens is also famous for ‘Museum of the Moving Image’ where you can learn about the history of movie making, television and video.
Traveler Tip: Jackson Heights in Queens is home to largest Indian population and you can spend a vibrant afternoon gawking through many of their shops and then enjoy a fine meal with your loved ones in any of the ethnic food restaurants.
Image courtesy: technobuffalo.com
4) Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Mount Rushmore is one monumental mountainside edifice which is both stunning and perhaps the boldest portrayal of American ideals. This is a shrine to democracy in the wild western lands which represent the true American spirit. Sculpted by the Danish-American, Borglum Family, Mount Rushmore features the faces of four iconic US presidents in Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson which is the largest work of art on Earth.
Did you know that the sculpting was started in 1927 and the Presidents faces were completed during 1934 and 1939. At first it was supposed to depict all Presidents from head to toe, but lack of funding forced the construction to end in 1941.
Traveler Tip: If you want an excellent view of the sculpture then follow the Presidential Trail all along the forest. You can also walk at the Avenue of Flags that represents each of the US State in a different perspective.
Image Courtesy: ragtops2000
5) Grand Canyon, Arizona
This is a must-visit place for travelers who are into hiking and rafting. The Grand Canyon is a steep canyon carved by the Colorado River is an American icon which represents an expansive and larger-than-life experience that the country has to offer. This one big 227-mile US National Park with its volcanic features and sandstone canyon walls makes an amazing canvas of painting. Nearly 5 million tourists visit this destination throughout the year and 89% of them are domestic travelers. There are many activities in the Grand Canyon that includes hiking, rafting, running and helicopter tours are very popular here.
Traveler Tip: Other than very usual activities in the Grand Canyon, the best free activity here is to watch the spectacular splashes of color on the walls of the Canyon during sunset or Sunrise.
Image Courtesy: Adrienne’s Travels
6) Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
We welcome you to ‘possibly the most photographed bridge’ in the world. The Golden Gate Bridge, a 1.7 mile suspension bridge connects San Francisco and Marin County. When there is considerable wind around one can even feel the bridge swaying a bit. The bridge’s construction was started in 1933 and finished in 1937 and can withstand high winds and earthquakes. During early mornings and afternoons you can see the red towers stick out their necks through the thick fog below.
Traveler Tip: Just do not take a picture as your memory, head to the Bridge Pavilion to get some important historical info about the science and story behind the Golden Gate Bridge.
Image Courtesy: randyrandy101
7) Millennium Park, Chicago
Chicago attracts nearly 35 million domestic travelers in a year and close to 1.5 million international travelers. Millennium Park is there on every traveler’s wish list when they are in Chicago. The city gets really hot during summers and travelers head to the Millennium Park to cool down which has free admission. The park has received many awards for its green design and accessibility, it features the Crown Fountain , Cloud Gate, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Lurie Garden and various other attractions. “The Bean” is an alluring structure with its polished steel with its reflections expects a wonderful photo session with your loved ones. Millennium Park is the true icon for this all American city of Chicago.
Traveler Tip: After your photo session at ‘The Bean’ head to the 5-acre Lurie Garden which is an urban oasis that is designed to pay homage to Chicago’s transformation of being a bold and powerful city that it is today.
Image Courtesy: Katy Silberger
8) Pike Place Market, Seattle
When you are visiting Seattle, then do not forget to visit Pike Place which is actually one of the oldest running farmer’s markets (opened in 1907) in the United States which is located overlooking the Elliot Bay waterfront. Because the market was built on a steep hill, it has several lower levels located below the main level featuring many unique shops in antique dealers, comic book shops, collectible shops and small family-owned restaurants. There is also a flower market which can’t be missed, with its reasonably priced and generous arrangements, along with the more crafts-inclined corridors of the market.
Traveler Tip: After getting a hang of Pike Place do not miss a weirder hidden gem in the ‘Gum Wall’ on Post Alley. Thousands of visitors have left their not so distinct mark by sticking up their chewing gum to the wall. Even if you find it grouse, you have to visit this place as you won’t find anything like this anywhere in the world.
Image Courtesy: Michaelrighi
9) Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone
The Grand Prismatic Spring from the above looks like a rainbow etched on the ground. Being one of the largest hot spring in the US and 3rd largest in the world is truly an amazing sight to behold at the Yellowstone National Park. It is 370 feet wide and 121 feet deep, the hot spring gets these otherworldly colors from bacteria and microbial mats that grow around the edges of this mineral rich water. Overall if you are visiting Yellowstone National Park then your first priority should be the Grand Prismatic Spring.
Traveler Tip: Do not follow the trails beside the hot spring itself, for a better and elevated view of this hot spring, take the ‘Fairy Falls’ trail south of the Midway Geyser Basin which is behind the spring. This makes a great location to take some amazing selfies with hot spring in the background.
Image Courtesy: Dr.Doc
10) Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles
The Hollywood Sign is such a big part of LA, in fact it has become a synonym to the rest of the world when one speaks about Los Angeles. The sign situated on Mount Lee on the Santa Monica Mountains is an American cultural icon since 1923. The big signage of Hollywood represents an American sign that is so deeply ingrained in our subconscious that a 45-foot-tall white capital letters which is 350 feet (110 m) long is popular than the city of LA itself which has been featured in countless films and TV since.
Traveler Tip: You have to be very careful if you are driving up via the residential streets, as drivers tend to up the speed around the blind corners.
Image Courtesy: Warhill
I know some of you are already imagining yourself in these places mentioned above. These are the places suggested by our fellow travelers who have made their recent trip to the US. We hope this sneak peek of 10 must-visit places in the US is next on your travel itinerary. Do let us know in the comments section if we have missed out place that needs to be on this list.