How many of the world’s best known landmarks have you seen? There are famous landmarks in Europe, Japan famous landmarks, famous greek landmarks and more. But this post is about North America Landmarks – the ones that are most synonymous with this continent.
There is something a little magic about seeing a well-known landmark for the first time. It can feel like an accomplishment, a special moment – or if you’re like me you will feel a sense of satisfaction from marking another landmark off your bucket list.
36 North America Landmarks
Table of Contents
- 36 North America Landmarks
- 1. Statue of Liberty, United States
- 2. Golden Gate Bridge, United States
- 3. Parliament Hill Ottawa, Canada
- 4. Seattle Space Needle, United States
- 5. Chateau Frontenac, Canada
- 6. Mount Rushmore, United States
- 7. Hoover Dam, United States
- 8. CN Tower, Canada
- 9. Washington Monument, United States
- 10. Niagara Falls, Canada/United States
- 11. Peggy’s Point, Canada
- 12. Empire State Building, United States
- 13. The Grand Canyon, United States
- 14. Hopewell Rocks, Canada
- 15. Yosemite National Park, United States
- 16. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, Canada
- 17. Chichen Itza, Mexico
- 18. The White House, United States
- 19. Banff National Park, Canada
- 20. Ancient Ruins of Tulum, Mexico
- 21. The Hollywood Sign, United States
- 22. The Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada
- 23. Mexico City Cathedral, Mexico
- 24. Times Square, United States
- 25. The Bay of Fundy, Canada
- 26. Great Pyramid of Cholula, Mexico
- 27. Gateway Arch, United States
- 28. Grouse Mountain, Canada
- 29. Monte Albán, Mexico
- 30. The Alamo, The United States
- 31. Palenque, Mexico
- 32. Museo Nacional De Antropología, Mexico
- 33. The Rockefeller Centre
- 34. Disneyland Park/Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
- 35. The Chrysler Building
- 36. Alcatraz Island
1. Statue of Liberty, United States
Arguably, the Statue of Liberty is the most iconic landmark in North America. Lady Liberty has her own island within New York City. This copper statue was originally a gift to the United States from France.
The statue’s metal framework was designed by Gustave Eiffel, also reponsible for one of the most famous landmarks in France the Eiffel Tower.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 but holds a tablet inscribed with the date of US independence, July 4 1776. A broken shackle and chains lie at her feet, a symbol of the recent abolition of slavery in the United States.
The statue became a symbol of freedom, particularly as it was often the first sight of the USA seen by incoming immigrants.
Today, at least 4 million people a year visit the Statue of Liberty. There is no charge for entrance to the monument but there is a cost to take the ferry from Manhattan to Liberty Island. The ferry also stops at Ellis Island.
If you wish to climb up to the crown, paid tickets must be booked in advance.
Book your Statue of Liberty tickets here – including Skip the Queue Options.
2. Golden Gate Bridge, United States
The 1.7 miles long Golden Gate Bridge is world renowned and easily recognised by its orange colours. First opened in 1937, this single suspension bridge is anchored by twin towers.
This iconic bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County and over two billion cars have driven over it since it first opened.
There are several ways to get some great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take a cruise around San Francisco bay – potentially including the fantastic Alcatraz island and prison.
Head to the viewing platform at the Battery Spence military installation for some panorama shots. Baker Beach is a great spot to see the bridge at sunset.
However, my personal favourite way to see the Golden Gate Bridge is to hire a bike and cycle over it. Pick up a bike at Fisherman’s Wharf and head to the bridge.
On the other side is lovely Sausalito, a perfect lunch spot. It is then possible to cycle back or to take your bike onto the ferry from Sausalito back to Fisherman’s Wharf – a great day out.
3. Parliament Hill Ottawa, Canada
Located in the nation’s capital of Ottawa, Parliament Hill is the home of Canada’s first government. The Gothic Revival-style buildings are the headquarters for the Monarch, the Senate, and the House of Commons.
Perched on a 50-meter hilltop overlooking the scenic Ottawa River, it enjoys a highly scenic location. Many statues and monuments are also showcased on Parliament Hill, including those of Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, and the second Prime Minister of Canada, Alexander Mackenzie.
The Changing of the Guard ceremony happens every morning in the summer. Dozens of soldiers participate and the troops march up Elgin Street and onto the lawn.
⇒ Click here for the official Changing of the Guard at Parliament Hill website and more details.
Did you know that the Canadian parliament has a temporary location for the next 10 years? Who knew? As it is going to take another 10 years to get the permanent home to the Canadian parliament completed I imagine that will be an impressive place to visit.
In the meantime, it is possible to visit the temporary home of the Canadian Parliament on an Ottawa parliament tour.
The House of Commons tour runs for about 40 minutes and takes guests through the newly renovated West Block. See where all the action happens when bills are debated and check out the speaker of the house.
When parliament is not in session the tours run every 5 minutes – and this is a free tour. However, it is essential to book this parliament tour in advance as there are only a small number of tickets available each day for first come and first served.
Find out more about the tour of the Houses of Commons tour and some other great options in my 3 Best Ottawa Tours post.
⇒ Book a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour to explore Ottawa top landmarks, including Parliament Hill and don’t forget to explore the fantastic Byward Market restaurants in Ottawa.
4. Seattle Space Needle, United States
This Seattle icon was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. The futuristic design was inspired by Space Age aspirations. The Seattle Space Needle is located at Seattle Centre and provides 360 degree views of some of Seattle’s most scenic sights such as Mount Rainier and Puget Sound.
Today the Seattle Space Needle offers an all-glass floor and an open-air deck. The floor to ceiling glass also offers an outdoor observation deck with open air glass walls and glass benches.
The Oculus is a steel, wood, and glass staircase that connects the all-glass upper deck with a rotating glass floor. This glass floor offers a unique downward view of the Seattle Space Needle.
There are several different options for tickets. The Seattle City Pass includes the Space Needle. Or pre-book a skip the line ticket.
5. Chateau Frontenac, Canada
The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City is a 5-star château-style hotel. The large, castle-like building dominates the skyline and towers over the Saint Lawrence River down below.
It was built in the late nineteenth century by the directors of the railway society. They wanted to encourage luxury tourism, or more specifically, influence wealthy travellers to frequent their trains.
This historic hotel still operates for its original purpose. If you’re feeling frivolous, book a room and enjoy the full scale of this lavish landmark. Guests have access to the fine dining restaurant, wine bar, bistro, spa, indoor pool, and more.
Having personally stayed at this hotel I highly recommend visiting. It literally does feel like you are sleeping in a Canada landmark. The hotel inside is beautiful and bustling and the rooms are excellent.
⇒ Book a guided visit to the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
6. Mount Rushmore, United States
The faces of former US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on a grand scale (the heads are 18 metres high) can all be seen on the granite face of South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the design and oversaw its production with his son between 1927 and 1941. He chose these four presidents to represent the United States’ birth, growth, development and preservation.
Mount Rushmore has featured in numerous films and tv programmes – my personal favourite being its starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.
Nearly three million people visit Mount Rushmore each year. The mountain is over 1745m tall and the national park that is home to it is 1,278 acres. As this is a national park there are no fees to enter or to see the faces carved into the mountain. However, there is a fee for parking.
7. Hoover Dam, United States
This concrete dam is on the border between Nevada and Arizona. The Hoover Dam was constructed during the great depression in the early 1930s.
Named after then President Hebert Hoover, it was opened by President Franklin Roosevelt.
In the early 1930s an entire city was built to home the 5000 workers on the dam, Boulder City.
The Hoover Dam created the largest reservoir in the US, Lake Mead. Today, Lake Mead not only supplies water to 3 states and Mexico it is also a popular tourist site. Today, nearly one million people visit the Hoover Dam each year.
The Hoover Dam structure is very art deco and cool – even the toilets! The highlight of visiting the dam is heading down 600 feet and seeing the turbines and learning about how they used water to cool the concrete so it would set faster and a whole bunch of ingenious and amazing things that were done to make this dam work.
The Hoover Dam is a half-day trip from Las Vegas. It takes about one hour to get to Hoover Dam and the total trip is 4 ½ hours.
⇒ Book your Hoover Dam Tour
8. CN Tower, Canada
Located in downtown Toronto, the CN Tower has been an iconic feature of the city’s skyline since 1976. It rises 553 metres up; an impressive height that gave it the title of the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years.
In 2007, the Burj Khalifa took over this title, then in 2009, it was bumped into third place when the Canton Tower also surpassed its height. Today, it’s the world’s ninth tallest free-standing structure, but the tallest on land in the Western Hemisphere.
The observation deck of the CN Tower offers the best view in town. It features a glass floor you walk on if you really want to get your heartbeat racing.
⇒ Book a small-group sightseeing day tour of Toronto that includes access to the CN Tower.
9. Washington Monument, United States
Located in the National Mall in Washington DC, this tall statue was built for George Washington. At just over 169 metres tall, the Washington Monument is the world’s tallest predominantly stone structure and its tallest obelisk.
Construction of the monument originally began in 1848 but was then put on hold due to a lack of funds and the American Civil War for 23 years. The obelisk was completed in 1888.
The Washington Monument is located east of the reflecting pool and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial.
Timed tickets can be purchased to visit the Washington Monument. At the designated time visitors are able to ascend 500 feet in an express elevator, a journey that takes about 70 seconds. Visitors then have 10 minutes at the top of the Washington Monument.
10. Niagara Falls, Canada/United States
Famed for its grand allure, Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s most visited landmarks. The land that encompasses the falls is split between Canada and the state of New York, in the United States. It features three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.
Horseshoe Falls is the only one of the three that resides in Canada. It’s also the largest. It drops roughly 57 metres down and is an impressive 790 metres wide.
As you can imagine, this famous Canadian landmark is an incredible place to witness the true beauty and power of nature first hand.
⇒ Book a ticket for the observation deck of Niagara Falls.
11. Peggy’s Point, Canada
Peggy’s Cove is a small fishing village in Nova Scotia. It’s about one hour (43 kilometres) from downtown Halifax. Famed for its picturesque seaside beauty, it contains one of Canada’s most well-known lighthouses, known as Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.
The first lighthouse on this site was built in 1868 but replaced by its current structure in 1914. The classic red-and-white structure stands nearly 15 meters high. It’s still active to this day and is operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.
It’s one of the main tourist attractions in the area (don’t miss lovely Lunenburg) and makes a great addition to any Nova Scotia itinerary.
⇒ Book a tour of Halifax which includes a scenic drive to Peggy’s Cove.
12. Empire State Building, United States
This 102 story Art Deco building in midtown Manhattan was built over 1930 and 1931. The name comes from the nickname for the state of New York – the Empire State.
The Empire State Building stands 443 metres tall including its antenna. For many years it was the world’s tallest building. Today it has slipped down the list to be the 48th tallest building in the world and is only the 7th tallest building in New York City.
Many of the landmarks in this post have had major Hollywood careers but perhaps none more so than the Empire State Building. From King Kong to An Affair to Remember to Sleepless in Seattle, this North America landmark is a true star.
It is possible to visit the Empire State Building and head up to its famous decks with amazing views over Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Choose whether to head to the 82nd floor or all the way to the 102nd floor.
13. The Grand Canyon, United States
Both the largest and the longest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 6,000 feet deep and 18 miles wide. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon is located in Arizona.
The Grand Canyon has built up over nearly two billion years. Scientists believe that that the Colorado River established a path through the canyon about 5 to 6 million years ago (give or take a few hundred thousand years).
As the Grand Canyon is so large there are many ways to visit. It is located within a national park and a digital pass for entrance to the park can be purchased online.
The key regions of the park are the South Rim and the North Rim. There is both lodging and camping in the park and options for trekking as well as driving. The majority of the park’s 5.5 million visitors each year head to the South Rim. (The South Rim is open all year round but the North Rim is only open mid-May to Mid-October).
A car is quite important to get around such a large park. There are loads of different options and itineraries as well as different levels of difficulty for treks etc etc – the Grand Canyon park website is a great source of information.
Or do what I did and take a helicopter ride from Las Vegas for a day trip to the Grand Canyon including a visit to the Skywalk (not for those with a fear of heights) and a flight down the Las Vegas strip on the way back.
14. Hopewell Rocks, Canada
The Hopewell Rocks are a series of rock formations that have been uniquely shaped by tidal erosion. Located in New Brunswicks’ stunning Bay of Fundy, they stand between 12 to 21 metres tall and visiting these iconic rocks is one of the best things to do in New Brunswick.
The bases of the rocks are submerged in water twice a day during high tide. The time span between low and high tide is just over 6 hours. For the full perspective, it’s recommended to visit during both high tide and low tide.
Hopewell Rocks are visited by millions each year and are one of the best places to visit in New Brunswick. The park is open from Mid May to the middle of October. There is a lot to do – and multiple visits required to really experience Hopewell Rocks.
I highly recommend visiting Hopewell Rocks New Brunswick at both high tides and at low tide for photos. Both will result in very different shots.
The easiest way to experience Hopewell Rocks at low tide is to head to the park and walk down the staircase. Once the low tide has been reached it is possible to walk between the rocks and get some nice shots. The appearance of Hopewell Rocks is most dramatic when low tide is at its peak.
⇒ Beat the queue and Book your Hopewell Rocks ticket here
15. Yosemite National Park, United States
Although yosemite Park covers over 3,000 square kilometres most visitors spend the majority of their time in the six-mile radius that is the Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite Park is located in Eastern california in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This national park in California is a 4-hour drive from San Francisco and a 6-hour drive from Los Angeles.
The beautiful Yosemite Valley is the heartland of Yosemite Park. It is essentially an 8-mile loop full of stunning deciduous trees (particularly beautiful in the autumn) and home to some of the key sights of Yosemite Park including the Half Dome and El Capitan rocks.
Yosemite Village is at the centre of Yosemite Valley and has a visitors centre, restaurant, gallery and everything you might possibly need for a great day in Yosemite Park. I would recommend starting with the terrific Yosemite Valley Visitor Centre.
Yosemite Park is famous for its stunning waterfalls. Which waterfalls you are able to see will vary depending on the time of year and how much time you have available.
Glacier Point is famous for its amazing views over the Yosemite Valley -, particularly at sunset. Tunnel View is at the start of the Yosemite Valley loop road and only a slight detour from the main road. The views are fantastic.
Mariposa Grove is home to 500 giant Sequoia trees and is rather stunning. There is an easy 0.3 mile trail through part of Mariposa Grove and a second longer 2 mile loop option.
Read more about things to do in Yosemite in my posts on Yosemite in One Day and Yosemite in October.
The closest airports to Yosemite Park are in Fresno and Merced but these are quite small. If you’re travelling from overseas San Francisco Airport will be your best bet.
The best and easiest way to travel from San Francisco to Yosemite Park is to hire a car. The Yosemite website contains directions. There are four entrances to Yosemite Park.
Even if you have a car there are several great transport options for getting to some of the key sights within Yosemite. YARTS or Yosemite Area Regional Transport System has been operating in the park since 2000.
The best option for spending one day in Yosemite without a car is to take a guided tour from San Francisco. A day trip to Yosemite from San Francisco is a long day – about 15 hours – but someone else will do the driving, take you to the best places in the park and then deliver you back to your hotel.
16. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, Canada
The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal is an awe-inspiring religious landmark in the city’s historic district. Built with the Gothic Revival architectural style from 1824 to 1829, it possesses timeless beauty that will leave you spellbound.
The interior provides a feast for the eyes. The colour tones of deep blue, red, purple, silver and gold give it a highly dramatic and wonderfully aesthetic appeal. Detailed wooden carvings, paintings, and religious statues further catch your eye and add to the building’s elegant charm.
The stained glass windows are a bit unusual for a church. Instead of depicting biblical scenes, as is common, they showcase the religious history of Montreal. The basilica is a religious masterpiece from the inside out and a must-see when visiting the city.
⇒ Book a walking tour of Montreal that includes access to the Notre-Dame Basilica.
17. Chichen Itza, Mexico
One of the most visited ancient ruins in Mexico, Chichen Itza has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2007 and has also been named one of the new seven wonders of the world. It is believed that Chichen Itza was a city around 600 AD.
This is the largest of all the Mayan cities in Mexico and archeologists even recently discovered an underground river at the bottom of the temple. Chichen Itza is located on the Yucatan Peninsula and can be visited as a day trip from Cancun.
18. The White House, United States
The White House is the official workplace and residence of The President of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, it has been the home of every US President since John Adams in 1800.
The building was designed by James Hoban and modelled on Leinster House in Dublin. It is made from Aquia Creek sandstone that was painted white. The Oval Office was created in 1909 by President William Howard Taft.
Today the White House is home to the Executive Residence, the West Wing, East Wing, Eisenhower Executive Office Building and Blair House. The Executive Residence is over six floors, two of whcih are underground.
The White House is actually owned by National Park Service and it is a National Heritage Site. It is possible to visit the White House but it takes some planning. For those in the US, a tour request must be made through your member of Congress. The request should be submitted up to three months in advance and no less than 21 days ahead of your trip.
Overseas visitors are also able to take a tour of the White House. They must contact their country’s embassy in Washington DC to organise tickets. All tours of the White House are free of charge.
19. Banff National Park, Canada
Banff National Park is a place where you’ll feel an instant connection to nature. Located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the region is characterized by mountainous terrain full of dense trees, turquoise lakes, glaciers and icefields. It’s a scene that will truly take your breath away.
Lake Louise is one of the most popular points of interest in the park. It features plenty of outdoor activities, like swimming, fishing, and nature strolls and hikes. In winter, the lake freezes over and the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland. It becomes one of the country’s most visited ski destinations.
⇒ Book a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour of Banff National Park and explore the highlights.
20. Ancient Ruins of Tulum, Mexico
The third most visited of Mexico’s ancient ruins, the ruins of Tulum are located in the well known seaside town of the same name. What today are ruins were originally built to be a fortress on the Riviera Maya. Tulum was a major port and trading post for the Mayans between the 11th and 16th centuries BC.
21. The Hollywood Sign, United States
The Hollywood sign is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in North America and a world wide symbol of the entertainment industry. The sign was originally developed as part of an advertising campaign for a suburban housing development called “Hollywoodland”. It was erected in 1923.
The sign is visible from all over Los Angeles. However, it is illegal to get close to the Hollywood sign and it is actually set behind gates and protected by security cameras and park rangers.
If you want to “see” the sign there are two ways to do so. The first is to take a hike in the area around the sign. The second is to see the sign from one of the best viewpoints such as Griffiths Observatory.
22. The Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada
The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO world heritage site and North America’s oldest continuously operating canal. Most famously, in the winter the Rideau Canal freezes over sufficiently to allow for ice skating and it becomes the world’s largest naturally frozen ice skating rink.
These plus beaver tail stands make ice skating on the Rideau Canal one of the top things to do in Ottawa winter. However, visiting the Rideau Canal is one of the must things to do in Ottawa all year round.
I visited Ottawa in the summer. The canal was filled with boats and the 202km canal is a favourite spot for runners and cyclists. The canal winds through downtown Ottawa before connecting with the Ottawa river.
I took a cruise on the Rideau Canal. Most Rideau Canal Cruises start at the lochs near Parliament Hill. It is a very pleasant trip and a guide will provide information about the history and use of the canal.
I found the canal to be most photogenic where it intersects with Ottawa River and there is a nice bridge with locks that works well as a shot with Chateau Fairmont Laurier in the background.
⇒ Book your Rideau Canal Cruise
The cycling path along the canal is fantastic. I went on a cycling/food tour and we cycled along the canal. It is very flat so nice and easy (Ottawa has over 800kms of cycling paths).
Where it is necessary to dismount those clever Canadians always have a ramp for your bike for the minimum hassle.
⇒ Book your Ottawa Highlights 3 Hour Bike Tour And there is even a luxury boat option for the Rideau Canal. Hire Le Boat to get the boat all to yourself!
23. Mexico City Cathedral, Mexico
Catedral de Metropolitana de la Asuncion is one of the more recognized landmarks in Meixco. Construction of the cathedral started in 1573 but wasn’t fully completed until 1813. It is a mix of four different architectural styles: Baroque, Neoclassical, Gothic and Plateresque. The cathedral contains 16 chapels and stands 220 feet high.
24. Times Square, United States
Originally known as Long Acre Square after London’s carriage district, Times Square was an early site for Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange. Then came the building of the subway system, electricity and advertising. Adolph S Ochs was the owner and publisher of the New York Times saw an opportunity and decided to build what became the second tallest building in New York City at the time in the square.
The New York Times moved into the building in 1905. Around the same time, the mayor of New York City at the time, George B. McClellan change the name of the area to Times Square. The first-ever celebration of New Years Eve took place over this time and was also staged by Adolph S Ochs.
Today, Times Square is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the world and draws an estimated 50 million visitors each year. It has been featured in countless films and tv programmes and continues to feature very large, now mostly digital, advertising.
25. The Bay of Fundy, Canada
The Bay of Fundy contains several of the top New Brunswick tourist attractions. Hopewell Rocks, Fundy National Park, the Fundy Trail, Cape Enrage, Whales – the list goes on.
If you are taking a road trip – which is what I did – you will be able to visit all of these fantastic places at your own pace and take advantage of the many different tour options which each attraction provides – the majority of which are free and don’t require booking ahead.
If you travel to New Brunswick on a cruise ship that is stopping in Saint John then you, of course, won’t have that option. Here is a few Bay of Fundy day trips from Saint John New Brunswick:
⇒ the Fundy Coast to Fundy Shore tour lasts 5 hours and covers lovely St Martins with its photogenic harbour and sea caves as well as the Reversing Rapids and the town of Saint John. The New Brunswick Shore Excursion offers a similar itinerary.
⇒ the Fundy Harbours Hidden Gem coast ride tour will allow you to see St Martins, The Fundy Trail, and the Reversing Falls.
26. Great Pyramid of Cholula, Mexico
Originally built as a religious centre, this is the largest pyramid in the world at 180 feet. Located near Puebla in Cholula, it receives over 500,000 visitors each year. The Great Pyramid of Cholula was built in four stages over several hundred years. The pyramid has three main buildings, a main courtyard, paintings, burial sites and altars.
27. Gateway Arch, United States
The Gateway Arch reflects St Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening the West, the pioneers who helped shape its history and to Dr Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the old courthouse.
Completed in 1965, it is 630 feet tall. This makes it the tallest arch in the world and the tallest monument in the United States. It is also an engineering feat as many feared that it would not be able to stand.
Today it is possible to take a tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch which takes between 45 and 60 minutes. There is a museum as well as the old courthouse and riverboat cruises on offer.
28. Grouse Mountain, Canada
Grouse Moutain rises 1,250 metres over Vancouver and is just a 15 minute drive from the city’s downtown area. The moutain is the most popular tourist attraction in Vancouver as there are things to do all year round.
The most well known way to see Grouse Mountain is by taking the Super Skyride. This cable car takes just eight minutes to get from Valley station to the summit of the mountain and comes with jaw dropping views.
The Eye of the Wind is a wind turbine that is the first in the world to have an elevator and observation area 20 stories up. Views from here cover all of Vancouver including its harbour and the Coast Mountains. And don’t miss the Wildlife Refuge when you visit Grouse Mountain.
29. Monte Albán, Mexico
Monte Albán is a series of ruins that dates back to 500 BC. Here you’ll catch a glimpse of how the Zapotec civilization lived, worked and worshipped on the hillside in the Valley of Oaxaca for nearly 1000 years. The site is found on high ground as a defence against attacking tribes and also boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The inhabitants carved canals, pyramids and terraces into the hills as well as symbols representing sacred texts carved directly out of the mountain. Among the stone carvings, you’ll find remnants of the Main Plaza and Ball Game Court. These impressive structures depict what life was once like in Monte Albán.
30. The Alamo, The United States
The Alamo was an 18th century Franciscan Mission in San Antonio, Texas. It was the location of a famous battle between Texas and Mexico in February 1836. The battle lasted 13 days and the Mexicans won the battle, killing all of the Texans in the fort.
The cruelty of the Mexicans in the battle inspired many Texans to join the army and they went on to defeat the Mexicans in a battle in April of 1836. Remember the Alamo was the battle cry that recalled the battle and the fact that every Texan died. The phrase has been attributed to General Sam Houston.
Today the Alamo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas. Admission to the Alamo church is free but timed reservations are required to control visitor numbers and preserve the site. Self-guided tours are available with audio guides as are typical guided tours as are history talks.
31. Palenque, Mexico
Nestled deep in the Mexican jungle lies the Palenque temples. It’s believed that the Palenque dates back to 200 AD and that the Palenque people were a political party that loved to rule and dominate. Located in the state of Chiapas, it’s worth a day trip if you are staying in the region.
The most fascinating part of Palenque is the burial site of the ancient leader, Pakal (who became ruler at age 12), found under the Temple of Inscriptions. The on-site museum is a great place to check out Mayan glyphs, pottery and ancient carvings.
32. Museo Nacional De Antropología, Mexico
Translated to the National Museum of Anthropology, the building houses an impressive collection of artefacts from the indigenous people of Mexico. It’s an incredible place to immerse yourself in the history of the country, a history that makes it the vibrant, culturally rich place you’ll find today.
The museum opened in 1964 and displays items gathered over centuries. From celestial calendars to headdresses of Aztec rulers, you’ll be awed by what’s in store for you. Book a guided tour to make the most of your experience.
33. The Rockefeller Centre
Another one of New York City’s most recognisable cultural landmarks, the modern art deco Rockefeller Centre has come to have it all. Built between 1930 and 1939, John D. Rockefeller Jr. designed it with the idea of creating a “city within a city.
It is specifically known, far and wide for its famous Christmas Tree lighting, the very first of which was held in December of 1931, making a long-lasting tradition and treat for both locals and tourists.
Today, the Rockefeller Centre is home to the infamous Radio City Music Hall, the Rainbow Room, and The Rink – one of New York’s most popular winter activities.
34. Disneyland Park/Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California is one of the happiest places on earth. It’s the first Disney theme park. It opened in 1955 and is the only park designed and built to completion by Walt Disney himself.
Over the years, it has undergone many expansions and renovations. It contains lots of popular rides, like Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain.
A whole host of Disney characters also parade around the grounds daily, from Tinker Bell to Goofy and Mickey Mouse.
Main Street, U.S.A. is another iconic point of interest in the park. It’s meant to resemble a small American town during the early 1900s.
It’s very nostalgic and leads you right to one of Disneyland’s most photographed attractions, the enchanting Sleeping Beauty Castle.
No matter your age, you’ll love visiting this California landmark.
⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor
35. The Chrysler Building
Yet another one of New York City’s iconic art deco skyscrapers, the Chrysler Building is located in the Turtle Bay neighbourhood on the East Side of Manhattan. Construction of the building started in 1928, and only a short two years later, it finally opened its doors in 1930.
Why is the Chrysler Building such a famous historical landmark in New York? Simply because it was and continues to be one of the most recognizable skyscrapers in the unmissable Manhattan skyline. In fact, it is regarded as the greatest building in New York City by many established architects.
Today, the Chrysler Building is still one of New York’s tallest buildings coming in at 11th, after the likes of One World Trade Centre and the Empire State Building. It is used as an office building but remains a dominant characteristic of New York City’s iconic skyline, keeping tourists intrigued by its stature.
36. Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island is a small island located in San Francisco Bay, about 2 km (1.25 miles) offshore.
It served many purposes over the years, the most well-known being the site of a federal prison, which operated from 1934 to 1963.
It contained several notorious criminals in American history, including gangsters such as Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert Franklin Stroud – the “Birdman of Alcatraz”.
Today, it operates as a museum that you can tour with an audio guide. Day tours and night tours are both offered.
⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor
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Monday 9th of August 2021
What about Chichen Itza, Palenque, El Arco or Old Havana Plaza Vieja. Trying not to be a downer, but North America is more than just Canada and the US.
The Boutique Adventurer
Tuesday 10th of August 2021
HI Rob - very fair point. I will review the artilce and add in some more of North America. thanks!