Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Best Tourist Attractions in USA in 2016-2017. America is a big country with a desire to have a good a time on vacation. Trying to narrow down a list of the top 10 best tourist attractions in the USA would seem to be about as easy as trying to narrow down the 10 best foods with salt on it. There’s a lot of great food out there with salt on it, of course, but let’s face it: some really are more flavorful than others. So as you peruse this list of the tourist attractions in the U.S. worth your precious vacation time, trying focusing on the flavor of what is there rather than the missing ingredient of what is not.
List of Top 10 Best Tourist Attractions in USA 2016-2017
10. Baseball Hall of Fame Cooperstown, NY
Maybe tourists from the rest of the world wouldn’t consider a Hall of Fame dedicated to baseball one of the best in the USA, but it is worth remembering that the game honored here was once irrefutably deserving of being called America’s Pastime. Not to mention the fact that baseball is a sport invented in America that, though inspired by foreign sporting events, is the country’s most internationally pervasive contribution to athletics. Where else but Cooperstown are going to find such a collection of historical sports memorabilia that are a part of the fabric of American history?
9. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas New Orleans, LA
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is just one example of the trend toward creating enormous aquariums as tourist enticements to large cities by the sea. Or even, in the case of one Atlanta, not near the seat. The New Orleans version seems like it would mainly be a top tourist destination for families with kids, but that is misleading. Adults of all ages cannot help but thrill at the walk through the tunnel that puts sharks and other fish and marine life all around you. Families, however, should definitely take advantage of the combo option that provides entry to the nearby Zoo and Insectarium.
8. Biltmore Estate Asheville, NC
When it comes to tourist attraction, the U.S. can match pretty much anything that Europe has to throw at us. The notable exception being castles. America just doesn’t have castles. Which is good since that also means America hasn’t had ridiculous things like King and Queens and Earls and Duchesses and so on. What America has had is obscenely rich capitalists who have attempt to build their own private castles of a sort. One of the best examples of those is the Biltmore Estate which could quite easily fill in for a Downton Abbey type show in a pinch. Plan on spending the greater part of the day at Biltmore Estate because it is a very, very large home. The Winery is terrific for kids as well: the non-alcoholic grape juice made there is quite possibly the best your kids will ever taste their entire life.
7. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Dallas, TX
Sometimes what makes a tourist attraction deserving of being called the best is that there is nothing else like it anywhere in the world. If you choose Disney World, for instance, the question that must be raised is why not Disneyland or Universal Studios Theme Park. What makes one worthy of being called the best and not the other? On the other hand, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is the only tourist attraction related to the JFK assassination that is actually located at the crime scene itself. There are tourist attractions about history and then there are tourist attractions that are history.
6. Graceland Memphis, TN
The home of Elvis Presley. Is any other reason necessary to justify why Graceland is one of the top 10 best tourist attractions in the USA? Luxuriate in the thick shag carpeting in the Jungle Room or gaze in awe at the 70s kitsch of its Tiki bar. Or take the time to closely peruse the massive collection of law enforcement badges that the King collected to go along with what may be the single most distinctly American attraction in Graceland: Presley’s enormous gun collection.
5. The Ringling Circus and Art Museums Sarasota, FL
Surprise, surprise: the Florida tourist attraction on this list not only doesn’t have Disney in its title, it’s not even Orland. Sarasota has been the home of the circus in America for about as long as there have been circuses in America. The Circus Museum contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of original circus posters and that’s just the beginning a dazzling waltz through the history of this entertainment form. The Ringling Art Museum is a world class collection of works dating back to 2500 years before the birth of Christ and spanning styles from Renaissance sculpture to Abstract Expressionism.
4. Griffith Park Los Angeles, CA
Among all the tourist attractions that are available in Los Angeles, only one is like a miniature collection of tourist attractions all on its own. And it not Disneyland. What can the tourist expect to do in Griffith Park? Catch a concert at the outdoor Greek Theater. Search the heavens at the Observatory and Planetarium. Get up close with flora and fauna at the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Ride the carousel that is quickly approaching its 100th anniversary. Learn how the locomotive impacted the growth of the west with the collection of trains. Then there’s the horseback riding, swimming, tennis, jogging trail and lots of other great fun.
3. Meteor Crater Outside Winslow Arizona
Sure, it’s just a hole in the ground. But what a hole! This tourist attraction is top 10-worthy because not just because it is one of the most spectacular sights to see in the U.S. About 22,000 years ago a rock came flying as a speed in excess of 33,000 miles per hour directly into the path of the earth’s orbit. The result was an explosion of unimaginable strength and noise, leaving behind one of the places on earth that looks most like a barren moonscape. Thus, Meteor Crater also has value as history as a spot where Apollo astronauts came to train for their moonwalks. Fun fact: the Washington Monument could be buried inside Meteor Crater with room to spare.
2. Mall of America Bloomington, MN
C’mon, this a list of the top 10 best tourist attractions in the USA. What says America more than spending money at the mall? And when it comes to mall, the one they got up Bloomington way there in that Minnesota there is Disney World of indoor shopping. This is not just an enclosed shopping palace, the Mall of America houses amusement park rides, an Aquarium, a laser light show every night but Sunday, a comedy club and virtual flight simulator, not to mention two different Victoria’s Secrets.
1. Kauai HI
What makes the island of Kauai in Hawaii the best tourist attraction in the USA? It is the only place in American where you can step into the real life settings that create a topography of American pop culture taking you from Gilligan’s Island to Jurassic Park to the jungle where Indiana Jones runs for his life to the waterfalls that open every episode of Fantasy Island to the very spot where Elvis Presley stood and lip-synced to the recordings of his voice for the soundtrack of Blue Hawaii.
Of course, it goes without saying that America has many more tourist attractions equally or more worthy of making a list like this than what you have just read. The thing is…you already know about them. When deciding to hit the road in the U.S. in search of great tourist attractions, don’t forget that some of the best places to visit are a little off the beaten track or in parts of the country that may not immediately come to mind as vacation travel destinations. They are what makes American tourism so great.