The 15 Attractions every American needs to see

During the 4th of July holiday, I had the pleasure of being at the birth place of our democratic process – Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  If you have not had the opportunity to tour the hall and see the Liberty Bell, then I urge every American to do so. Independence Hall

So, it got me thinking…what are the Top 15 national attractions every American should see in his/her lifetime?  Well, you have guessed it, I have a list.  Please take a look and let me know if you agree, disagree, or if you have your own list.  Enjoy! 

  1. Independence Hall – Philadelphia PA, where the Declaration of Independence was created and signed by the Continental Congress. 
  2. Liberty Bell – Philadelphia PA.
  3. Mount Vernon – Alexandria VA, Home of George Washington (General of the Continental Army and US 1st President).
  4. Monticello– Charlottesville VA, Home of Thomas Jefferson (The author of the Declaration of Independence and US 3rd President).
  5. Jamestown – Jamestown VA, 1st permanent English colony in North America.
  6. Yorktown – Yorktown VA, the surrender of the British Army and the end of the American Revolution.
  7. Gettysburg – Gettysburg PA, the defeat of Robert E Lee’s invasion of the North and turning point of the Civil War.
  8. Appomattox Court House – Appomattox VA, Lee’s surrender to Grant and the ending of the American Civil War.
  9. White House – Washington DC, the house of the President.
  10. National Archives (view the Constitution & Declaration of Independence) – Washington DC.
  11. The National Mall – Washington DC (Vietnam Memorial, WWII Memorial, & Korean War Memorial)
  12. Capitol Hill – Washington DC, the house of Congress.
  13. National Museum of American Indian – Washington DC.
  14. Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington VA.  The home of the tomb of the Unknown Solider and National Cemetery.
  15. Colonial Williamsburg– Williamsburg VA, a living museum of life in colonial American and the 1st state capital of Virginia.

I do have a few honorable mentions. 


4 responses to “The 15 Attractions every American needs to see

  1. I’ve been to all but two — Gettysburg and Appomattox on your main list. I also haven’t made it to the Alamo, Valley Forge or the USS Constitution.

    But one I would really like to see if the Statue of Liberty.

  2. How so “Virginian” of you. Virginia does have a lot of history of the birth of our country. I’ve visited many of these sites, and I’m proud to visit them again and again, because I learn something more on each visit and appreciate being an American. Of your 15 choices, I would say the two most important are;
    (1) Independence hall, where it started and
    (2) National Mall where there is much evidence of men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s freedom.
    Because of the efforts of our nation’s founders and these brave men and women of today, we have a lot to be grateful in this fine country.
    I would add one more destination that comes to mind;
    Boston’s Old North Church where Paul Revere made his famous ride to Lexington. Also the New England states have many great museum that contain a lot of artifacts of the begining of this nation, as the New England states were the fist colonies.
    A grateful American

  3. Looking for help on decisions for East Coast trip- found my top 15 list, here on your sight . Now what do I do?? Will be flying, should I plan from the internet, go to a travel agent to make arrangements for these top 15?? Do we need to stay in 7 diff hotels to see attractions??? am at a loss and want to go! THANKS

  4. Hi Georgia,

    Most of the sites you can set up camp at one location and see many them over the course of several days for example, All the Washington DC sites (which are in walking distance or a quick Metro stop away), Arlington Cemetery, and Mount Vernon. The same can be done in Williamsburg to see Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. Staying in Williamsburg or DC you can easily drive to Appomattox Court House and Monticello.

    Philadelphia is only 3 hrs from DC. Both Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are in walking distance of each other in Philly. The only site that will require a bit additional travel and extra night’s stay is in Gettysburg.

    I used the internet for our travels. We sent away for visitor guides for each of the locations we were visiting. The guides can be requested through the local Visitor Centers. We also looked on the internet for recommendations for hotels. For instance we booked at Bear Creek Inn outside from Philly for our past trip. This is a ski resort during the winter, but during the summer months the rates are great, no crowds, great service, and wonderful restaurant. This also included an indoor pool, hiking, mountain bike trains, etc. We had to drive a short bit into Philly, but it was worth it. This is just one example. We also found other great hotels on the internet at good prices due internet specials, etc.

    I think that is all I can think of. If you need some additional help, please let me now. I hope this info helps.


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