Although America is a relatively young country, it is already rich in historical significance and important cultural events. Visiting American landmarks is a wonderful way to teach children the history of the country, or to learn more about it yourself. While opinions vary as to which American landmarks are the most important, experts agree that most are historically fascinating, and well worth visiting.
The nation’s capital in Washington D.C. contains dozens of important structures, monuments and memorials for visitors to enjoy including the White House, home of the US President and the operating location for the executive branch of government. Construction on the White House began less than 20 year after the birth of the country in 1776, and has been resided in by every president since John Adams. It has tremendous history, surviving riots and at one point being gutted by flame. Today, guided tours visit parts of the White House almost daily, but in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, are only given by special request. Contact your local member of Congress to get forms necessary to arrange a tour.
If you wish to look farther back into American history, consider visiting one of the Native American landmarks scattered throughout the country. In South Dakota, visitors can view progress of the Crazy Horse memorial, which will be the largest sculpture in the world when completed. While viewing the monument, visitors can also see the carved statues of four US Presidents at nearby Mt. Rushmore. Both of these fantastic American landmarks are located in the Black Hills, an area rich in both Native American and US historical sites.
Stretching even farther back into the natural history of the country, landmark visitors may wish to tour some of the most productive paleontology digs in the world, at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. Visitors to this amazing park can view locally discovered fossils and study the history of North American dinosaurs. Backpacking through Dinosaur National Monument is also allowed, and can be a wonderful way to put yourself in the world of these ancient animals.
The West Coast of the United States is rich in beautiful architectural landmarks. In San Francisco, California, the Northern edge of the city is home to the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. Built in 1937 and traditionally painted a bright-rust color, this landmark is the gateway to Northern California and a tribute to architectural ingenuity. Visitors to the bridge may walk along its span and catch spectacular views of San Francisco, the Marin peninsula, and maybe even passing whales.
In the Washington capital of Seattle, the architecturally minded will adore the improbable-looking Space Needle, dominating the city skyline. This 605 ft (185 m) high structure features an observation deck and gift shop high above land. A meal at the slowly-revolving SkyCity restaurant is a highly recommended unique experience, as diners can view a full panorama of the city below.
Whether your interest in history is political, natural or architectural, the United States offers an extraordinary variety of American landmarks to enjoy. If you wish to teach your children about the historical significance of your state or country, consider a road-trip that takes in some of the many sites available to the public. While the history of the country may be comparatively short, the history of the continent is millions of years old, and American landmarks make a conscientious effort to highlight most of the significant events of the past.