Tourist Places in Arizona

In the heart of the American Southwest, Arizona is filled with natural wonders, vibrant cities, and charming small towns. The Grand Canyon draws tourists from around the globe, but those who venture deeper into the state will find all kinds of unique places and interesting sites. While cities and towns like Phoenix and Sedona make great vacation destinations, you can head beyond the urban centers to discover Native American cliff dwellings and remnants of ancient cultures, historic ghost towns from the mining days, and a landscape perfect for outdoor adventures. Arizona is home to desert, lakes, mountains, slot canyons, saguaro cactus, buttes, waterfalls, and even a volcano with downhill skiing, all of which offer a world of possibilities for travelers.

1 Grand Canyon

Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon looking out over the endless ridges of colorful cliff walls and deep ravines, it’s impossible not to be inspired by this natural wonder. The canyon walls glow in the late afternoon sun, revealing hues of orange, red, yellow, and everything in between. One of the biggest attractions in America, and certainly in the state of Arizona, the Grand Canyon is nothing less than spectacular. This incredible landscape has been carved out by the Colorado River, seen in the distance far below.

Most visitors see the canyon from the South Rim, where there are numerous lookout areas all along the road, and walkways running along the canyon’s edge. The North Rim provides a different view altogether, but the road is closed in winter. For those who want a closer look, it is possible to hike down into the Grand Canyon or take a helicopter flight over and through the canyon.

2 Sedona

Surrounded by stunning red rock mountains and buttes, Sedona has one of the most beautiful settings in Arizona. About a 1.5-hour drive north of Phoenix, Sedona is a popular day trip from the city, but the town is worthy of much more than just a few hours. The drive into town from the south, through the Village of Oak Creek, is stunning and offers numerous scenic pullouts.

Sedona’s main street (89A) is full of interesting tourist shops, art galleries, and restaurants and is an easy place to spend an afternoon. All around Sedona, you’ll find great hiking and mountain biking trails, but Jeep tours, one of the most popular things to do here, provide an even easier way to get out into the landscape. Also in the surrounding area are a number of ancient Native American dwellings, which you can visit on your own or as part of a Jeep tour.

Sedona is considered by many to be a highly spiritual place. It is known for its energy vortexes, found at a number of sites around the town. In downtown, you’ll also find New Age shops and unique opportunities, from UFO tours and aura readings to psychics and crystal sellers.

3 Monument Valley

One of the most iconic images of the Southwest is the sandstone buttes that dominate Monument Valley. This area, straddling the border between Arizona and Utah, includes jagged rock formations, stone spires and buttes, and sand dunes. At the heart of the valley is the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, where you’ll find an impressive visitor center and a 17-mile self-drive route along a one-way gravel road through the park. You can also take a guided tour to explore the area more thoroughly. If you don’t have time to go into the park, you can appreciate some of the views from the highway.

4 Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a stunning region of blue water, desert landscape, and dramatic stone walls. Home to Lake Powell, one of the largest manmade lakes in the United States, this area is known for both land-based and water-based recreational activities.

The Glen Canyon Dam was constructed between 1956 and 1964 to block the Colorado River and create Lake Powell. There is still a 15-mile section of Glen Canyon downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, which stretches from the dam down to Lees Ferry.

The town of Page is a good base for exploring the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and surrounding region. The largest marina on Lake Powell, Wahweap Marina, is located just 7 miles north of Page. One of the area’s biggest attractions is the nearby slot canyons of Antelope Canyon. Depending on the section of the canyon, visitors can either simply walk through a narrow slot canyon with shafts of light penetrating through the top, illuminating the red walls, or repel down into a canyon. Photos of Antelope Canyon are often found on postcards or in fine art galleries. Visitors can visit Antelope Canyon on a guided tour.

5 Phoenix

Phoenix is a great base for exploring Arizona but it’s also a major destination in the winter for golfers and sun-seekers, who simply want to enjoy a stay at a resort or spa and spend a little time basking in the heat of the desert. In the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, which includes Scottsdale and Mesa, you’ll find great shopping, dining, golf courses, desert parks for walking, hiking, and biking, and some outstanding attractions. Topping the list of places to visit around Phoenix are the Heard Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.

6 Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is one of the world’s great engineering marvels. This massive structure, completed in 1935, crosses the Colorado River, linking Arizona and Nevada. It is 726 feet high and 1,244 feet long. Lake Mead held back by the Hoover Dam, is the largest artificial lake in the United States. It is 110 miles long and holds the equivalent of two years of flow of the Colorado River.

Visitors can drive or walk across the dam for free, although there is a charge for parking. Another option is to take a tour of Hoover Dam or the Powerplant. On-site is the visitor center, with information on the dam and tours, and a café with some basic food options.

7 Jerome

Located along a mountainside high above the desert floor, Jerome is an old mining town, turned ghost town, turned tourist attraction. A steep hill with switchbacks is the main street through town, and where visitors will find interesting stores and restaurants. Views from the streets and some of the shop windows are amazing. Many of the old buildings have been renovated but some still stand as ruins, creating a very interesting dynamic. This town is a popular day trip from Sedona, Prescott, Phoenix, or Flagstaff. There is also accommodation for those who want to spend the night. The town’s history can be appreciated at the Gold King Mine Museum and the Jerome State Historic Park.

This town is unique, to say the least, and has many interesting and quirky sites. The Sliding Jail in Jerome was originally built around 1928. Built on a clay slick, it soon began to slide and now sits 2,500 feet from its original location. The Jerome Grand Hotel, built-in 1927, is the highest public building in the Verde Valley, and it offers breathtaking views. The Bartlett Hotel was once one of Jerome’s finest hotels but today stands in ruins.

8 Havasu Falls

Near Supai on the Havasupai Indian Reservation is the 100-foot Havasu Falls. The pools at the base of Havasu Falls have a bluish-green tint to the water, and the fall is forked so it appears that there are two falls when the river is flowing heavily. In the canyon of Havasu Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River, some 450 Havasupai Indians (the “people of the blue-green water”) live a secluded life, subsisting on their modest farming activities but now mainly dependent on the tourist trade. In this paradisiac valley, Havasu has created a number of waterfalls and carved out basins in the travertine rock which form attractive bathing pools.

Day hiking is not allowed here. Visitors need to make reservations, obtain a permit, and pay a fee. Access is via a long hike, horseback or mule, or helicopter.

9 Canyon De Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is home to spectacular Native American cliff dwellings set along steep-sided canyons, with walls up to 1,000 feet high. In the main canyon, some of the key attractions are the White House Ruins, constructed circa 1050 and discovered in 1849, and Spider Rock. The White House is the best known of the more than one hundred cliff dwellings. The only self-guided hike in the park, which leaves from the White House Overlook on the South Rim, descends 600 feet to the White House Ruins. Other cliff dwellings include the Antelope House and Mummy Cave (in which mummies were found) in the Canyon del Muerto. Most of the ruins, which are largely inaccessible to visitors, were occupied from around AD 350 to 1300.

You can tour the site on your own by driving along the North and South Rim Drives and stopping at the pullouts. Although you can easily see ruins nearby, many of the lookouts also have scopes that let you pinpoint ruins on the distant walls. From spring until fall, you can join a free ranger-led hike or take a private tour of the canyon.

10 Bisbee

In the far south of Arizona, near the Mexico border, is one of Arizona’s most interesting towns and possibly one of its best-kept secrets. The former mining town of Bisbee is a unique little community set high in the mountains.

After the mines here closed, Bisbee became a ghost town, and squatters took up residence. Eventually, the town became a haven for artists and hippies. Today, it is a prosperous small town with an eclectic mix of residents, all kinds of unique shops and restaurants, and many interesting things to see and do. Homes, many of which are former miners’ cabins, line the hills surrounding the historic downtown area. Many of these residences are only accessible via long sets of stairs that lead to the town center below. Views from the upper streets and hillside homes are incredible, looking out over mountains all the way to Mexico. In the hills above the town are a number of informal hiking trails.

Bisbee is a popular day trip from Tucson and surrounding areas, often combined with a stop in Tombstone.

11 Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead National Recreation Area spans 177 miles of the Colorado River and includes Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. The area’s 1.5 million acres stretches into southern Nevada.

The area offers boating and water sports, camping facilities, fishing, and hiking opportunities. Lake Mohave is 67 miles long, making it the smaller of the two major lakes in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Like its counterpart, Lake Mohave is an artificial body of water, held back by Davis Dam. Willow Beach is a small resort town on the Colorado River with accommodation, restaurants, a marina, and fish hatchery.

12 Tombstone

Tombstone offers a modern look at an Old West town. Staged gunfights in the streets and characters walking through town in period costume recreate the glory days of this small Arizona town. Every shop, restaurant, and attraction is designed with tourists in mind, but you can still see some of the town’s history in the historic sites, including the famous O.K. Corral and the Boothill Graveyard. Also of note is the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, housed in the original courthouse, which is now a museum.

13 Petrified Forest National Park

Large pieces of petrified wood, along with fossilized plants, fish, and reptiles, have been revealed in great numbers in what is today Petrified National Forest in the Painted Desert. The park access road allows visitors to drive passed many of the highlights and short interpretive trails allow for close up looks at a variety of unique sights. The Visitors Center provides insight into the ecology and geology of the park and is a good place to start before heading out on the drive.

14 Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is a great place to experience the desert landscape around Tucson and see the famous saguaro cacti up close. The park has two sections, an east, and a west portion, located on the east and west side of Tucson, approximately 30 minutes apart. Both offer great opportunities to see the desert flora and fauna with roads and hiking trails. Hikes range from easy walks to challenging trails that lead up into the high mountains, reaching up to 8,000 feet in elevation. Visitors can visit both sections of the park on the same entrance ticket or park pass.

15 Antelope Canyon at Page

Seen in countless photographs in galleries all over Arizona, Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon located just outside of Page. The sculpted, twisting sandstone walls rise up around you, with shafts of light breaking through from the narrow opening above as you walk through the canyon. Visitors can tour Upper Antelope Canyon on a guided tour, although once you reach the canyon, you are given plenty of free time to explore on your own and at your own pace. The canyon lies within the Navajo Nation reserve boundary.

16 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is an International Biosphere Reserve situated in southwestern Arizona, on the frontier with Mexico. The main feature of the monument is the namesake organ pipe cactus, but the area is home to three distinct desert vegetation zones and some 30 different species of cactus. The organ pipes grow up to 23 feet high and bloom from May to July. Because of the often extreme heat during the day, it opens up its flowers only after sunset.

The area can be explored on various roads and hiking trails, but the two main scenic drives of note are Ajo Mountain Drive and Puerto Blanco Drive. You can access hiking trails off both of these roads.

17 Tumacacori National Historical Park

Tumacacori National Historical Park, located south of Tucson, preserves the ruins of three early Spanish colonial missions on 47 acres in southern Arizona. San José de Tumacácori and Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi were established in 1691 and are the two oldest missions in Arizona. The third mission, San Cayetano de Calabazas, was established in 1756. The site was abandoned in 1848 due to Apache raids, neglect, and terrible winter. Tumacacori became a national monument in 1908 and the two Spanish missions, Guevavi and Calabazas, were added to the site in 1990.

Tourist Places in Arkansas

Culturally rich and endowed with abundant natural resources, Arkansas offers a blend of historical and natural attractions. Hot Springs National Park has a long history almost as steamy as the water that fills its bathhouses, and visitors to the Crystal Bridges Museum can’t help but notice the lush Ozark landscapes that surround the five decades of American art. From the wild waters of the Buffalo River to the hallways of Little Rock Central High School, along with the replica Oval Office at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, you’ll find an abundance of things to do spread throughout Arkansas.

1 Hot Springs National Park

These hot springs in the Ouachita Mountains have long been a source of interest to people living in the area and were believed by American Indians to have healing properties. The park was established in 1921, but visitors have been coming here for much longer. The park contains lovely old bathhouses that are still in use today in various forms, including the historic Fordyce Bathhouse, which is now the park’s visitor center. There are several other attractions within the park, including an observation tower, hiking trails, and plenty of opportunity to experience the different hot springs that define this natural retreat

2 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

This historic school was where desegregation began. The army escorted nine black teenagers to their first day of school here in 1957, without incident. The event was noted as being an important moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Besides a historic site, Little Rock Central High School is still an active education space with more than 2,500 students enrolled. The only way to tour Little Rock Central High School is with a ranger-led tour that must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance.

3 William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

The Clinton Presidential Center stands on the edge of the Arkansas River in Little Rock, surrounded by a 28-acre public park. It serves as a presidential library and museum, as well as an occasional venue for local events. Permanent and rotating exhibits include insights on the life and career of the 42nd president and first family, including artifacts, photos, and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office. The concept behind the building, which is meant to resemble a bridge, came from the six bridges over the Arkansas River. Metaphorically, it stands as a bridge between the past and future.

4 Buffalo National River

Buffalo National River is an unpolluted, free-flowing river. It has three designated wilderness areas within its boundaries. Running through the Ozark Mountains, Buffalo National River is a protected area and home to deer, bobcats, and a variety of other wildlife. Popular things to do around the lake include hiking, camping, and horseback riding, while kayaks, canoes, and tubes can be found floating in the water throughout the summer and shoulder-season months. Information on the area can be obtained from the Tyler Bend Visitor Center.

5 Arkansas Air Museum

On display at the Arkansas Air Museum in Fayetteville are the 1920s and 30s racing planes, biplanes, and information on the history of military aviation and civilian air travel. The building that houses the museum is a 1940s-era aircraft hangar. Many of the vintage aircraft on display at the museum are in flying condition. Besides the massive airplanes that are hard to miss, permanent exhibits here include a large collection of military ground vehicles and artifacts from the Golden Age of air racing. Visitors will also find a tribute to the second-most famous American female pilot, Louise McPhetridge, who was born in the nearby city of Bentonville.

6 Mammoth Spring State Park

Located within the town of Mammoth Spring, the Mammoth Spring State Park is home to one of the largest springs in the USA. Water flow is approximately nine million gallons per hour. Also located in the park is a restored 1886 train depot and a Frisco Railroad caboose. Visitors can check out most of the action via an interpretive hiking trail, including a pathway across the dam and an out-of-service hydroelectric station. Covered pavilions are available for use, and can be rented ahead of time for large groups.

7 Crater of Diamonds State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park, in southwestern Arkansas, a short drive from Murfreesboro, is the only source of natural diamonds in the United States that is open to the public. Since 1906, more than 75,000 diamonds have been uncovered, including the Strawn-Wagner Diamond. Visitors can still find diamonds here today ranging in color from white and brown to yellow. Whatever you find at Crater of Diamonds is yours to keep. The site became an Arkansas state park in 1972. The park also features a museum, a water playground, and a tree-shaded campground.

8 Thorncrown Chapel

Thorncrown Chapel, in Eureka Springs, is a uniquely designed glass and wood structure located in a beautiful natural woodland setting. The high glass walls look out on the surrounding forest, giving the feeling of being right in the woods. The chapel is 48 feet tall and has more than 6,000 square feet of glass. Sunday services are held at 9 am and 11 am throughout the summer, with one 11 am service in the winter. Admission is free, and tourists are encouraged to visit during operating hours.

9 Mount Magazine State Park

On the state’s tallest mountain in northwest Arkansas, Mount Magazine offers a wide variety of outdoor activities and indoor comfort. Popular outlets for adventure include a campground, hiking trails, overlooks, and a picnic area. The visitor center and lodge at Mount Magazine feature an exhibit gallery, gift shop, and the Skycrest Restaurant complete with large bay windows that look outside. A variety of interpretive programs on the flora, fauna, and natural and cultural history of Mount Magazine are available at the visitor’s center. Extreme sports enthusiasts also find their fill at Mount Magazine, and the more adventurous can go rock climbing, hang-gliding, mountain biking, or horseback riding.

10 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

This museum in northwest Arkansas was founded in 2011 by Alice Walton and the Walton Foundation. Featuring one of the largest collections of American art under one roof, the temporary and permanent exhibits span the last five decades of American art. Notable pieces include works by Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Georgia O’Keeffe. The architecture and surrounding natural space at Crystal Bridges blend together for an aesthetically pleasing viewing experience. Crystal Brides maintains more than three miles of trails throughout their 120-acre forested property that are worth exploring, including a leisurely stroll along the aptly-named Art Trail.

11 Garvan Woodland Gardens

About 10 miles south of Hot Springs National Park, Garvan Woodland Gardens is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas. Originally spurred to life in 1956 by Verna Cook Garvan, an influential business leader of Hot Springs, the gardens have grown to include a wide array of different plots, overlooks, and scenic structures. The Pratt Welcome Center is a great place to begin exploring the grounds and a fun spot to appreciate the resident peacocks. Other visitor favorites include the Evan Children’s Adventure Garden, the on-site Chipmunk Café, and the Anthony Chapel with floor-to-ceiling windows.

12 Blanchard Springs Caverns

Located in northern Arkansas and within the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Blanchard Springs Caverns are a great example of the dynamic natural systems found underground. The caverns themselves have been growing and changing for thousands of years, and visitors today can witness moving water still carving its way through the cave. The only way to explore Blanchard Springs Cavern is through one of three ranger-led tours, including the popular 1.2-mile Discovery Trail. Outside the cave and above ground, the surrounding landscape is also fun to explore, especially Blanchard Spring itself, which is a picturesque Ozark Mountain waterfall.

Tourist Places in Alabama

The state of Alabama is home to a range of tourist attractions and things to do for all ages and interests. Several Alabama cities are home to some of the most important Civil Rights monuments, museums, and historic sites. This includes the Civil Rights Institute and Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Montgomery’s Civil Rights Monument and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and Selma’s Voting Rights Museum. Alabama is also a culturally rich region. Visitors can see the birthplace and former creative workspace of musician W.C. Handy, admire architecture and design at the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House Museum, and view impressive collections at major art museums in both Montgomery and Birmingham.

Alabama is also full of beautiful natural attractions, especially along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Mobile Bay, where tourists will find state parks, nature reserves, and gorgeous sandy beaches. In addition to history and nature, the curious can explore science at the family-friendly McWane Science Center, or behold some of the world’s most advanced technology at Huntsville’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Find the best places to visit in the state with our list of the top tourist attractions in Alabama.

1. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Civil Rights Historic District

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute provides an in-depth look at the events of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in both Birmingham and the United States, as well as continuing issues that African Americans have faced since. The galleries feature permanent and temporary exhibits on a variety of topics from violent conflict to segregation.

The struggle that began here in Birmingham was part of a larger social movement that eventually led to changes, and a defining moment was the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963. This bombing, orchestrated by the Klu Klux Klan, killed four girls and was a tragic catalyst for change, adding urgency to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute sits at the corner of Sixteenth Street and Sixth Avenue North, forming the cornerstone of Birmingham’s Civil Rights District, which covers a six-block area. Additional landmarks include Kelly Ingram Park, the Fourth Avenue Business District, and Carver Theater.

2. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

The star attraction of the Memorial Park in Mobile is the 1942 USS Alabama Battleship docked along the waterfront. This BB-60 battleship is nicknamed “the Mighty A,” and was decommissioned after the end of WWII. Visitors can tour many parts of the ship, including the captain’s cabin, bridge, mess hall, and turrets. The park is also home to the USS Drum, a submarine used during the Second World War, which can be toured as well. Also on-site are a variety of aircraft, including a B-52 bomber and an A-12 Black Bird spy plane, as well as military equipment from various conflicts, including tanks and weapons. The park is a memorial to all those who served in WWII, as well as more recent operations.

3. Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores is popular with both campers and day-trippers, offering a wide variety of facilities and more than two miles of white, sandy beaches. The campground, which has nearly 500 full-hookup sites for RVs, is a favorite family vacation spot thanks to its many amenities and things to do. The Nature Center provides free classes and activities, including guided nature walks, animal encounters, fishing lessons, and other fun and educational programs led by naturalists and rangers. Recreational facilities include volleyball, tennis courts, horseshoes, and a swimming pool with a splash pad, as well as bicycle, kayak, and paddle-board rentals and guided Segway tours. The park also features 25 miles of paved walking trails, also open to bicyclists, and a championship golf course. Tourists making a day trip to Gulf State Park can enjoy all of these amenities for a very low vehicle entrance fee.

4. Civil Rights Memorials of Montgomery

The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery features an exquisite black granite sculpture commemorating those killed during the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. The memorial stands in a square next to the Civil Rights Memorial Center, where tourists will find educational displays and exhibits, including the Wall of Tolerance.

Another Montgomery landmark is the newly opened National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a six-acre space dedicated to those African Americans who were victims of lynching and other forms of racial injustice. The memorial includes artwork, sculptures, and monuments, which honor various figures in the Civil Rights movement, as well as a field of 800 monuments each representing a county where lynchings took place.

5. U.S. Space and Rocket Center

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is an exciting attraction for all ages, providing exhibits, interactive experiences, presentations, and one of the world’s largest collections of spacecraft on display. A Smithsonian affiliate, the center’s exhibits provide visitors with information on everything from the history of the space race and NASA’s growth since then to the International Space Station and beyond. Tourists can experience multimedia presentations at the National Geographic Theater or the Spacedome IMAX, and explore a model of the International Space Station. Visitors also have the chance to see Rocket Park, where 27 rockets and missiles are on display, as well as the gigantic launch vehicles that propel the rockets into space.

Perhaps the most popular things to do at the Space Center, however, are taking turns in one of the museum’s simulators. There are two launch simulators, one of which allows the astronaut-in-training to experience 4 Gs of force, a few seconds of weightlessness, and then a free-fall. The kids’ version of this gives young astronauts a less intense version, then “lands” on the surface of the moon. The Hyper Ship simulator uses motion and immersive media to provide a variety of rides, and visitors can also get active on the Mars Climbing Wall. There are also interactive areas for younger kids, where they can explore the surface of Mars and crawl through the space station. The center also offers week-long and single-day camps for kids.

6. Montgomery Civil Rights Landmarks

Montgomery is home to several important Civil Rights landmarks, which commemorate places and events that were instrumental in the movement. The most famous of these is the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, which was the meeting place of early Civil Rights activists and once the parish of a young Martin Luther King, Jr., who lived with his family in the parsonage from 1954-1960. Today, it has been restored to display a lot of their original belongings and is open to the public as the Dexter Parsonage Museum.

The Rosa Parks Library and Museum are located near the site of Parks’ arrest in downtown Montgomery. It contains exhibits that tell her story and outline the public transportation boycott that resulted from her brave act of defiance. Artifacts on display include her original fingerprints from her arrest records, court documents, photographs, and a 1955 Montgomery City Bus, as well as one of the station wagons used during the boycott to transport protesters.

Another important historic site is the Freedom Rides Museum, located in the former Montgomery Greyhound station, which was the site of the 1961 attack on the Freedom Riders who were continuing the movement that Parks began.

7. McWane Science Center

Birmingham’s McWane Science Center is home to a variety of exhibits and interactive experiences, which encourage both kids and adults to learn through hands-on activities. This popular family tourist attraction explores topics from the natural sciences to the latest technology and allows visitors to participate in their own experiments. One of the most popular areas of the museum is its aquarium, which is home to many species of the ocean and freshwater life, especially those native to the region. This section also looks at the importance of water and water-related science like erosion. Other museum exhibits include an exploration of the ways that art and technology intersect, as well as a variety of rotating and traveling exhibits. The museum also has an IMAX theater, which offers screenings of various films each day.

8. Mobile Bay

Set along the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Bay is a scenic area of Alabama’s coastline. The area has beaches and historic areas, which attract both locals and tourists year-round. Dauphin Island, located in the Bay, is a barrier island with a small town, which is also called Dauphin Island. This island has several things to see and do, including the historic Fort Gaines, which was established in the early 1800s and became an important outpost during the Battle of Mobile Bay. The island is also home to a freshwater lake, which is popular with swimmers, as well as an Audubon bird sanctuary.

The town of Fairhope is another tourist destination along Mobile Bay, located along its eastern shore. Fairhope Pier is popular for fishing, and the town has many outdoor recreational activities, including golf, tennis, and bicycling. Nearby, the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve provides amateur naturalists with the opportunity to explore diverse habitats. Elevated boardwalks and trails can be explored with a guide or independently. Along the southeastern shores of Mobile Bay lie Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. Gulf Shores is a top Alabama resort destination, home to plentiful activities for couples, families, and independent travelers.

9. Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House Museum

Rosenbaum House was built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939 for newlyweds Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum. Located in Florence, the house is the only structure in Alabama designed by Wright. It is constructed of cypress, glass, and brick. The Usonian design features a flat, multi-level roof, and board and batten walls. The house has its original Wright-designed furniture. The Rosenbaums were the only owners and occupants of Rosenbaum’s house until 1999 when it was purchased by the City of Florence and restored. It is the only house of Wright’s in the southeast that is open to the public.

10. W.C. Handy Home and Museum

Located in Florence, the W.C. Handy Home and Museum is housed in the log cabin where this iconic musician was born and lived. Known as the “father of the blues,” Handy lived here when he wrote several of his most famous songs, including Beale Street Blues and Memphis Blues. Visitors are able to see original sheet music hand-written by the artist, as well as other personal papers and artifacts. Collections on display also include several musical instruments, including his trumpet and piano, which were used while writing these songs.

11. National Voting Rights Museum and Institute

National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, located in Selma, explores the struggle for voting rights for American citizens, namely women, and African-Americans. The museum is located at the site of the tragic 1965 “Bloody Sunday” attack on protesters who were marching from Selma to Montgomery. Exhibits highlighting the lives and accomplishments of important African-American political and social figures are featured throughout the museum, including Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Jesse Jackson, and President Barack Obama. Additional exhibits focus on specific locations where monumental vote-related Civil Rights events occurred, like Albany, GA; Greenwood, MS; and Selma. There are also displays that take a closer look at more general issues and events, including women’s suffrage, non-violent protest, and extremist organizations like the KKK.

12. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is home to a collection of more than 1,400 motorcycles, from some of the earliest and rarest models to modern machines. Around half of the collection is on display in the museum, and it is regularly rotated, so true aficionados will want to consider a repeat visit. The collection, formed by former race car driver George Barber, gained notoriety shortly after the museum’s opening in 1995 when several bikes were loaned to the Guggenheim Museum in New York for their exhibit, “Art of the Motorcycle.”

A car lover as well, Barber’s collection includes rare and coveted vehicles, including several models of Lotus. In addition to the museum itself, the grounds are home to a 930-acre park, which features a proving ground and 2.38-mile race track open to the public. Here, tourists can take lessons at the Porsche Driving School or watch major auto manufacturers test new vehicles or even film a product reveal video.

13. Birmingham Museum of Art

Regarded as the finest art museum in Alabama, The Birmingham Museum of Art features an extensive permanent collection, as well as changing exhibits. Among the permanent collection are examples of ancient and international folk art and fine art, including decorative arts. The African gallery contains a variety of historic and contemporary work, ranging from traditional figures and ritual headdresses to fine beadwork and batik. The Asian gallery includes some of the museum’s oldest artifacts, including bronzes and ancient earthenware. The largest part of the permanent collection is European art, including fine art by artists like Pissarro and van Rijn and a huge selection of decorative arts, including silverwork, furniture, and porcelain. The museum also hosts multiple temporary exhibits, which feature various themes, media, or artists and change regularly. The tiered grounds feature the Charles W. Ireland Sculpture Garden and botanical displays.

14. Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art is home to a large permanent collection, which focuses on American art. Among its most prized works are examples of etchings, watercolors, drawings, engravings, and woodcuts, which are remarkable for their preservation, a difficult task for paper-based media. Prominent American artists like John Marin and Winslow Homer are featured, and there is an extensive exhibit dedicated to regional art and folk artists, with examples ranging from crafts to paintings. Other areas of note include the African art collection, examples of fine porcelain in the decorative arts gallery, and a display of glassworks by leaders in the craft. The museum also hosts educational programs for both adults and children, as well as traveling exhibits from other museums.

15. University of Alabama

The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa began in 1827 and by 1831 had seven buildings on campus. Today, the campus is home to an art gallery; 50-acre arboretum; pre-Civil War classroom; two museums; and the Gorgas House, which now serves as a museum.

The Gorgas House, named for a former university president, General Josiah Gorgas, was built in 1829 as the first structure completed on the campus by renowned architect William Nichols. It is also one of only four structures that survived the burning of the university during the Civil War. Today, the house serves as a museum with collections of antiques and Gorgas family memorabilia.

The Alabama Museum of Natural History is located on campus in Smith Hall. Exhibits include displays from the Age of Dinosaurs, the Coal Age, and Ice Age. Visitors can also view the Hodges meteorite, the only meteorite known to have struck a human.

The Paul W. Bryant Museum traces the history of the University of Alabama football tradition back to its beginning in 1892. The collections highlight other sports played by university athletes as well.

Tourist Places in Hawaii

Hawaii’s tropical climate and laid-back Pacific Island atmosphere are just part of what makes the state so special. Occupying the tops of massive volcanic mountaintops jutting from the sea, these islands have a diverse and beautiful landscape that varies from the stark lunar surface of the Kilauea volcano to lush green forests filled with exotic flowers. Waterfalls stream down the mountainsides like tears on the dramatic Na Pali coast, while ancient rivers have carved deep into the rock of Kauai to create the Waimea Canyon. The Big Island is home to an active volcano, and Oahu is home to Pearl Harbor and its rich history. Surrounding them all, the mighty Pacific is home to a plethora of ocean life, providing endless opportunities to snorkel, scuba dive, surf, or simply go for a swim after sunbathing. Perhaps the most special part of the islands, however, are its people, whose welcoming attitude makes you truly feel like you are in paradise.

1 Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head State Monument

Waikiki, with its beautiful stretch of oceanfront beach, is Hawaii’s biggest tourist attraction. A suburb of Honolulu, Waikiki is popular for its big resorts, dining, entertainment, and shopping. The Waikiki Historic Trail includes historic markers made of surfboards, inspired by Waikiki’s own Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer, and avid surfer. The boardwalk, known as the Waikiki Beach Walk, is lined with cafes and entertainment venues, while Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues are where the bulk of the area’s restaurants and boutiques can be found. Diamond Head State Monument sits at the end of the crescent-shaped beach, creating a distinctive profile on the coastline. It was once an important vantage point for the island’s coastal defense, and a steep hike to the top brings you to the old bunkers and artillery control station and rewards your efforts with panoramic views.

2 Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor is a National Historic Landmark and active military base that earned its place in history for the 1941 attack, which killed 1,177 servicemen on the USS Arizona. The site is now home to several attractions that are part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument, including the USS Arizona Memorial, which floats above the remains of the sunken ship – parts of which can be seen protruding from the water. There is no cost for a tour of the memorial, however, reservations are recommended due to its popularity. The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center has free admission and is the meeting place for tours, including transportation to the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, where visitors can see WWII aircraft and artifacts, as well as experience, landing an airplane on an aircraft carrier in a flight simulator. Other attractions include the USS Oklahoma, USS Utah, and the Battleship USS Missouri whose deck can be toured by visitors

3 Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Formed within the crater of a volcano on the island of Oahu, Hanauma Bay is a unique protected bay, which has been popular with snorkelers for a long time. After overuse caused pollution and damage to the delicate reef ecosystem, restoration efforts have restored the bay to its original splendor, and it is again open to visitors. The Hanauma Bay Education Center is a great place to learn about the bay, and there are several snorkeling rental shops that offer lessons so that visitors can see the breathtaking reef system and its inhabitants up-close.

4 Volcanoes National Park

The park’s centerpiece, Kilauea, has been active as recently as 2018, and visitors should be aware that portions of the park are closed during periods of seismic activity that might pose a threat.

Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park offers a unique, close-up look at an active volcano system where lava seeps from fissures in the earth. The surrounding landscape is shaped by cooled lava rock, both old and new, which has flowed over roads in a display of its unstoppable force. During the area’s most active periods, tourists have the chance of experiencing the thrill of feeling seismic activity, hearing the boom of gas emissions, or even seeing a pillar of ash escaping into the air. The park has many things to do and see, including the Thurston Lava Tube, the Jagger Museum, Devastation Trail, and the steaming Halema’uma’u crater. Address: 1 Crater Rim Drive, Hawaii National Park, Hawaii

5 Haleakala National Park

Located on Maui, Haleakala National park offers access to the inactive Haleakala Volcano, which stands at over 10,000 feet. Views from the summit stretch across the entire island and are particularly beautiful at sunrise. The dormant crater is exposed, showing a lunar-like landscape, while other areas of the park are covered in subtropical rain forests, which are home to endangered species. Visitors can explore the many hiking trails freely or sign up for guided ranger-led tours, and the more adventurous can spend the night in the park, surrounded by one of Hawaii’s most impressive landscapes.

6 Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon, located on the west side of the island of Kauai, is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The canyon stretches over ten miles long, reaches depths of 3,600 feet, and is a mile wide at some points. This dramatic spectacle can be viewed best from the two main lookouts, Puu ka Pele and Puu Hina Hina. The canyon’s landscape features rock strata in varying colors and several stunning waterfalls. Guided tours along the many challenging hiking trails and rafting tours that explore the river below are available, and there are additional trails for all skill levels at the nearby Kokee State Park.

7 Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park

The Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park on the island of Kauai contains some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes. These were made famous in the film Jurassic Park, which shows a dramatic coastline with cliffs that seem to ripple and the “Wall of Tears” on Mount Waialeale, named for the way in which hundreds of waterfalls weep from the slopes of the mountain. Some of the best ways to take in the scene are to approach by water or to take a helicopter tour to view the simply breathtaking sight from above. Expert hikers can try the Kalalau Trail, an eleven-mile trek, which traverses five valleys and takes a full day each way.

8 Kona Coffee Living History Farm

The Kona Coffee Living History Farm is the only living history farm in the nation that is dedicated to the history and traditions of coffee farming. Costumed interpreters can be found throughout the grounds, going about daily tasks, from food preparation to farming chores, always happy to answer questions. Visitors are also free to explore the plantation, which still produces coffee, where you might even spot a Kona Nightingale. Visitors can also find tours of modern Kona coffee producers, including plantation tours at Hula Daddy and roasting facility tours at Mountain Thunder Plantation.

9 Hana Road

The dramatic Hana Road, officially named Hana Highway, is a scenic 52-mile stretch of highway on the island of Maui that winds from Pāʻia through lush forests and along the coast to the remote town of Hana. This trip is worthwhile both for the sightseeing along the stunning drive, the things to do along the way, and the visit to the town itself. Attractions along the route include numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and beaches. Hana’s location, relatively cut off from the rest of the island, has allowed it to maintain more of a traditional Hawaiian culture than other towns.

10 Waipio Valley Lookout

One of the most scenic spots on the Big Island of Hawaii is the lookout over Waipio Valley. Surrounded by lush cliff walls, the fertile valley opens out to the ocean, where the black-sand beach is met with white waves and blue water. Hiking in Waipio Valley is considered some of the best in the state, and many of the trails are suitable for beginners. For extra special experience, local guides provide horseback riding tours of the valley, allowing you to enjoy the sights from a different perspective.

11 Hamakua Heritage Corridor

This scenic drive along the Hamakua Coast stretches from Hilo to the Waipio Valley Lookout on the Big Island of Hawaii. In addition to spectacular views of the coast and the region’s lush landscape, several top Big Island attractions reside along the way, making this an ideal sightseeing excursion. From Hilo, tourists take the Onomea Scenic Drive past Onomea Bay and the renowned Hawaii Tropical Garden, which houses more than 2,000 species of tropical plants. As the route heads north, it continues past the 442-foot Akaka Falls and its sibling Kahuna Falls, and then the World Botanical Gardens, where you can view a triple waterfall named Umauma Falls, as well as Mauna Kea. Other attractions along the way include a Pacific lookout at Laupahoehoe Point, hiking at the Kalopa State Recreation Area, and the quaint town of Honokaa. The drive ends at the legendary Waipio Valley Lookout, once home to King Kamehameha.

12 Mauna Kea

The highest mountain in Hawaii, Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is a world away from the tropical paradise below. The summit, which can only be reached in a 4WD vehicle, is often very cold, with snow in the winter months. The Mauna Kea Observatory is an active research facility, which welcomes tourists during daylight hours. Only expert hikers should attempt a climb to the summit on the six-mile trail, which rises to an altitude of 13,800 feet from the Visitor Information Station. Evening stargazing programs, held at the visitor center, which sits at around 9,200 feet, are popular with tourists and locals alike.

13 Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center allows visitors a chance to see close up what lies beneath the ocean’s surface and learn about the unique marine life and ecosystems that surround Hawaii. The aquarium’s centerpiece is the massive Living Reef, which is home to more than 40 Pacific coral species and thousands of fish. The 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit gives visitors the chance to walk through an underwater tunnel, surrounded by ocean life including sharks, stingrays, and other marine animals. The center’s Turtle Lagoon is another popular spot, and behind-the-scenes turtle feeding encounters can be booked.

14 Polynesian Cultural Center

Located on Oahu, less than an hour’s drive from Honolulu is the Polynesian Cultural Center. Through music, dance, craft demonstrations, and games, the center portray the culture and daily life of the Polynesian islanders in Hawaii, Tahiti, the Marquesas Islands, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji, as well as that of the Maoris in New Zealand. The center is divided into sections representing each of these locations. Many of the performers come from the islands that they represent, providing a high degree of authenticity. Visitors can tour the facility during the day or see a show in the evening.

15 Princeville Botanical Gardens

The Princeville Botanical Gardens is a family-operated facility, which grows a wide variety of exotic flowers, medicinal plants, and food-bearing plants. Visitors are able to enjoy the gardens via guided tours and learn about the plants, their uses, and other interesting facts while seeing cacao trees, stunning flora, and working beehives. The tour also includes the opportunity to taste both raw and processed cacao (in the form of gourmet chocolate), as well as honey made from the nectar of the tropical flowers.

Tourist Places in Florida

Beaches, amusement parks, national parks, and an array of unique tourist attractions make Florida one of the most visited states in America. Families flock to Orlando, while sunseekers head to the coastal cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, a string of cities along the southern Gulf Coast, and in summer, to the brilliant white-sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle. For a taste of island life, there is nothing quite like the Florida Keys, where life runs at a slower pace and Key West seems a world away from the mainland. You’ll also find a long list of must-see sights and events, from the Kennedy Space Center to the Dayton 500, spread across the state. Florida is a place that lends itself to return visits.

1 Walt Disney World

For the ultimate amusement park experience, there’s no place quite like Disney World in Orlando. The magic of Disney has not worn off over the decades as millions of visitors still flock here each year to enjoy the Magic Kingdom and the many other attractions of this mega amusement park. The number of things to do and see here has grown over the years and now includes an extensive list that reaches far beyond the traditional theme parks. If you’re looking for more ideas, consider checking out the water parks of Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, the exotic animals of Animal Kingdom Park, or Disney Hollywood Studios. You’ll also find all kinds of dining experiences, shopping areas, and shows.

2 Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center is one of Florida’s most exciting, fascinating, and educational attractions. Located on Florida’s Space Coast, this huge complex is where space exploration has made history. Today, you can see rockets and the Space Shuttle Atlantis, meet an astronaut, and learn about missions to space.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is divided into mission zones, each of which features interesting displays and interactive exhibits focused on specific themes. Displays are designed with all ages in mind, making this an engaging experience for adults or families. The Behind the Gates Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour takes you to restricted areas for a look at historic launch sites and other facilities with limited access to the public. This is included in your daily admission. Each area takes time to see, and you should expect to spend a full day at the Kennedy Space Center.

Many people visit the Space Center on day trips from Orlando, which is about an hour away if you don’t hit traffic, but if you want to stay closer to get an early start at the Space Center, you can find quality chain hotels in Titusville. Some good options include the Hampton Inn, Fairfield Marriott, and the Holiday Inn, all conveniently located off Interstate 95, just 15 to 20 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

3 Universal Studios

Universal Studios in Orlando is a fantastic experience, and for many visitors, it often tops a visit to Walt Disney World. This huge amusement park offers all kinds of fantastic rides and recreated sets based on popular movies and shows. Unbelievable 3D and 4D simulator rides, thrill rides, and wet and wild rides at the newest theme park, Universal’s Volcano Bay, are some of the highlights. You can also find tamer rides for younger children to enjoy. One of the most popular and impressive attractions is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can board the Hogwarts Express, wander through Hogsmeade Village, or of course, hop on a ride.

4 Miami Beach and the Historic Districts

Although time spent lounging on the beach on a hot day is a must, Miami Beach is about much more than just the glorious, wide stretch of golden sand that lines the Atlantic. One of the things that make Miami Beach so unique among Florida’s beach destinations in the Art Deco Historic District. Beautifully restored buildings, mainly from the 1930s and early 1940s, reflect the city’s vibrant history and create an ambiance like you won’t find in other cities.

Today, many of these buildings are high-end hotels, condominiums, and restaurants. Along Ocean Drive, the legendary oceanfront street overlooking South Beach, you’ll find several outstanding Art Deco buildings, including the Hotel Breakwater South Beach, The Carlyle, and the Park Central Hotel (now part of the new Celino Hotel complex). Collins Avenue is another street in the area worth strolling along, with more classic buildings. The Delano South Beach and the National Hotel Miami Beach are both standout Art Deco properties along Collins Avenue.

5 Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park protects 1.5 million acres of marsh and swamp, an important and fragile ecosystem that supports alligators, American crocodiles, Florida panthers, deer, turtles, egrets, manatees, river otters, and many other species. It is one of the largest parks in the country and offers a unique opportunity to see some of these creatures in the wild.

The entire area is a wide, shallow river that flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Bay of Florida. The bottom of this river is porous limestone over the top of a bedrock base called the Tamiami Formation. It catches rainfall and acts as southern Florida’s main water reservoir.

Airboat rides are the best way to see the Everglades and catch a glimpse of alligators and other wildlife. Half-day tours from Miami will take you from your hotel to the Everglades for a 30-minute airboat ride and alligator show.

6 Daytona 500 International Speedway

The Daytona 500 race is one of the most famous and most important in the NASCAR Cup Series, kicking off the racing season each February. It is held in Daytona Beach at the Daytona International Speedway, and it attracts huge crowds every year. The Speedway was built in 1959 to move auto racing off the beach. Previously, races and land-speed competitions were held on the hard-packed sand of Daytona Beach. If you can’t make the race itself, you can still take a tour to explore the Speedway.

7 SeaWorld Orlando

Much like Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando is a mega amusement park that has long been an important part of family vacations to Florida. The complex features its classic dolphin and whale shows, as well as acts featuring a cast of unexpected characters, from cats and ducks to otters and sea lions. Other highlights include Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin display and a host of other aquarium exhibits offering opportunities to see all kinds of marine life. Thrill rides, like the high-speed Mako roller coaster, which reaches speeds of up to 73 miles per hour, and the Journey to Atlantis water coaster ride, are also a big part of the SeaWorld experience.

8 Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in the Tampa area. This African theme park is home to all kinds of exotic animals and proudly claims to be one of the largest zoos in North America. You can see lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, and much more. Safari-style tours in open-air vehicles offer an opportunity to see some animals, like giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and ostrich roaming freely. Other tours take you behind the scenes and offer a chance for close-up encounters with penguins, or a closer look at tigers and elephants. Live animal shows, featuring an unusual combination of characters, are another popular family activity.

Beyond the animal encounters, Busch Gardens also features all kinds of thrill rides, both wet and dry. While the wild and fast roller coasters get most of the attention, you can find rides for smaller children.

9 Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is home to the impressive Fort Jefferson, built by the US Government in the 1800s. Although this is the key attraction of the park, the beautiful reef islands, seven in total, that make up the Dry Tortugas are themselves worth the trip. You can tour the fort and spend the rest of the day enjoying the soft-sand beaches and snorkeling in the clear, shallow waters.

Located 70 miles west of Key West, these islands are not accessible by car. Catamaran boat trips from Key West bring visitors here for a full day, which includes a tour of the fort, time for beaching and snorkeling, and breakfast and lunch.

10 Duval Street in Key West

Most people touring the Keys make Key West their main destination due to its location at the end of the chain of islands. And fortunately, a leisurely stroll along Duval Street in Key West is one of the highlights of the Florida Keys. Shops and restaurants with outdoor patios, many in beautifully restored old buildings, line the street. There is always a lively vibe, regardless of the time of year, but even more so on days when cruise ships come to port.

Key West has a distinctly Caribbean flare, making it unique from other destinations around the state. In addition to Duval Street, there are lovely residential areas for walking and a number of interesting attractions, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and the Southernmost Point in the continental USA.

11 St. Augustine’s Historic District and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Known for being one of the oldest settlements in Florida, St. Augustine’s historical sites and charming old architecture definitely make it worth a visit. At the top of the list of things to see in the late 19th-century Flagler College, one of the most photographed buildings in the city. It was originally built as a hotel by railroad magnate Henry Flagler. Also not to be missed is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, famous for being the “oldest masonry fort in North America,” according to the National Parks Service. Built-in the 17th century, it is remarkably well preserved and an impressive sight, even for those with little interest in history. The view over the coast is also quite spectacular.

12 Edison and Ford Winter Estates

These adjacent, oceanfront mansions in Fort Myers offer a glimpse into the lives and livelihoods of the inventor, Thomas Edison, and the founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford. You can tour the homes and outbuildings, see where Edison conducted experiments, wander through the palm-lined grounds, and learn about Edison’s famous botanical experiments. The Edison Botanical Research Lab, one of the most impressive portions of the tour, is a designated National Historic Chemical Landmark.

13 The Ringling

This outstanding, Venetian-inspired property, built mainly in the mid-1920s, consists of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, the Ca’ d’Zan and gardens. The art museum, housed in a stunning pink palace, is the true centerpiece, showcasing the Ringling’s extensive art collection, which includes pieces by Velazquez, El Greco, Van Dyke, Veronese, and Rubens, among others. Added much later, the Circus Museum came about in the late 1940s to celebrate the history of this unique form of performance. It displays all kinds of circus costumes, props, posters, and other memorabilia, and features exhibits on the history of the famous Ringling Bros. Finally, the Ca’ d’Zan was the residence of John and Mable Ringling. Their inspiration for this Venetian-style mansion came from their travels in Europe and the great palaces of Venice. The 36,000-square-foot home was completed in 1926 and is an architectural masterpiece in southern Florida.

14 Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg is housed in a unique modern building designed to match the creativity of the artist himself. The curving glass appears to envelop the otherwise box-like structure, giving the building a very striking appearance. Inside, the museum showcases pieces from throughout Dali’s career, providing a complete overview of his development as an artist. Even those with little knowledge of art will find this museum interesting and thought-provoking.

Tourist Places in Connecticut

Connecticut is the southernmost of the six New England States and one of the original Thirteen Colonies. The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle, near today’s Hartford, soon followed by the English from Plymouth, Massachusetts’ colony, eager to establish a trading position for lucrative beaver pelts. New Haven’s four-mile-wide harbor soon made it one of the most active ports in the northeast, providing access to markets that helped its growing manufacturing industry. New Haven became an early center for education with the founding of Yale University. Attractions for today’s tourists recall these early influences, as well as the contributions of the Native Americans, whose culture is still active in Connecticut. From a recreated 16th-century native Pequot village and the last surviving whaling ship to a working model of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and a premier aquarium, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Connecticut.

1 Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport recreates a historical seaport village as part of one of the most prominent maritime museums in the United States. A major part of the museum is its outstanding collection of floating craft, including the world’s last remaining wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan (1841). Other historical ships featured are the Joseph Conrad, the schooner L.A. Dunton, and various steam vessels. The buildings on the 19-acre grounds are not only the houses and stores of a small village but also the sailmakers, shipbuilders, and others who provisioned the ships. Several museums feature ship figureheads, nautical art, the history of shipping, and ship models.

2 Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is one of the main highlights for visitors to Yale University. Its comprehensive collections feature a range of topics, from dinosaurs and New England birds to Greek and Roman antiquities and aboriginal art. The exhibits of Native American cultures are exceptional, featuring everyday items and arts, from Blackfoot, Apache, Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Navaho, Zuni, Pima, Hopi, and other traditions, as well as an outstanding collection of aboriginal bark paintings. Children won’t want to miss the Egyptian mummy in its atmospheric exhibit area.

3 Mystic Aquarium & Institution For Exploration

At the Mystic Aquarium, you can encounter ocean animals and experience Birds of the Outback, an interactive exhibit. Reach in and touch a ray, go beak to nose with a penguin, and get up close to beluga whales and other popular animals, such as Steller sea lions, African penguins, and blue-tongued skinks. Other attractions include the XD Motion Theater Deep Sea 3D and exhibits based on Dr. Robert Ballard’s expeditions.

4 Gillette Castle State Park

Located on a 184-acre estate in East Haddam, the unique Gillette Castle is the 1919 home of William Hooker Gillette, known for being the actor who played the original Sherlock Holmes. The home has the appearance of a medieval fortress from the outside, and the interior has hand-hewn woodwork and unique features designed by Gillette himself, including wooden door latches and light switches. The walking trails he designed through the estate are just as unusual, with wooden trestles and arched bridges.

In the spring, summer, and fall, you can cross the Connecticut River from Chester on the Hadlyme ferry, with beautiful views as you approach the castle.

5 Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center is a tribally-owned complex that presents exhibits on the Native American and natural history of southern New England. The indoor exhibits feature dioramas, text panels, interactive computer programs, and a series of films that highlight the evolution of Mashantucket Pequot’s life. Visitors will encounter a 16th-century coastal Pequot village, a glacial crevasse from 18,000 years ago, as well as life on a reservation from 1675 to the 1970s.

6 Lake Compounce: Family Theme Park

Lake Compounce theme park in Bristol is thought to be the oldest operating amusement park in the United States and is home to a 1927 wooden roller coaster and a 1911 carousel. This popular summer family outing features all kinds of rides and games. Connecticut’s largest water park, Crocodile Cove, has wave pools, water slides, and sections specially designed for younger children. There are also kiddie rides, including a mini coaster, for those not big enough for the thrill rides.

7 New England Air Museum

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks is spread throughout two large hangars, with more than 70 aircraft. On display are helicopters, amphibious aircraft, jets, WWII aircraft, and others. It’s not all just airplanes to look at, though. Interactive exhibits include science demonstrations and a flight simulator.

8 Weir Farm National Historic Site

This lovely, country retreat in Wilton was the summer home of artist J. Alden Weir for 40 years. The site includes his studio, home, and other buildings as well as a visitor center. Visitors can see some of his original works, and travel the Painting Trail to observe the scenery that was inspirational in many of his paintings. Also unique are the painted bison spread around the grounds, featuring scenes from the Weir Farm.

9 The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum features changing exhibits of thought-provoking contemporary art and does not collect art or hold a permanent collection. It showcases works based on changing themes and is dedicated to promoting the work of innovative artists who encourage viewers to think creatively. Also on the grounds is a two-acre outdoor sculpture garden.

10 Roseland Cottage

Located in Woodstock, this 1846 Gothic-Revival-style summer house is referred to as Henry C. Bowen House, Roseland Cottage, or The Pink House. It is a National Historic Landmark. Inside, the appearance remains much as it was in the 19th century when it was often used to entertain guests, including US presidents. On the grounds are gardens, an icehouse, a barn with an indoor bowling alley, and a garden house.

Tourist Places in Delaware

The state of Delaware may be small – only Rhode Island is smaller – but it packs a lot into a small space. Historic homes date from the mid-1600s, and three estates that you can tour chronicle the rising fortunes of one of America’s wealthiest industrialist families. One of these, Winterthur, is now America’s premier museum of decorative arts, and another outstanding collection is not far away, in Wilmington’s excellent Delaware Art Museum. The state’s tourist attractions are not all history and culture; some of the finest beaches on the Atlantic coast stretch almost the entire length of the Delaware coast, providing summer playgrounds for residents of Washington, D.C., Wilmington, and Philadelphia.

1 Winterthur Museum and Gardens

Founded by Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur is unusual as a museum because it was built as a showcase for his collections of priceless antiques and art but also as a place to use and to entertain family and friends. The 175 rooms were designed to be as historically accurate as possible, with antique furniture, needlework, textiles, silver, glass, paintings, prints, and ceramics appropriate to specific periods. With nearly 90,000 objects to choose from, curators can not only furnish the rooms authentically, but mount special exhibits in the galleries to follow themes such as artistic mediums, techniques, and decorative styles and influences. Because of the house’s size, no tour covers more than small sections; you will need to return several times to see everything. Winterthur is considered America’s finest museum of decorative arts.

Surrounding the house is a 1,000-acre park, where du Pont indulged another passion – plants. Here, he created a botanical garden of plants and trees from all over the world, planning their arrangement with a mind to colors and blooming season, so that the garden would be beautiful from late winter through late fall. Fern-bounded woodland paths lead to grand vistas of lawns and flower beds, and to the Enchanted Woods, a three-acre children’s garden, where kids can step into the world of woods fairies.

2 Rehobeth and Delaware Beaches

Stretching much of the length of Delaware’s 28 miles of Atlantic coastline, its white-sand beaches are the prime attraction for residents of the three major cities within weekend reach. The major resort is Rehobeth, consistently listed among the country’s top beaches for its laid-back atmosphere, boutiques, restaurants, and wide stretch of white sand. To the south is action-packed Dewey Beach, then the Delaware Seashore State Park (with water access on the ocean side and the bayside of a long barrier island), then the family-friendly Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. North of Rehobeth is Cape Henlopen State Park and the charmingly old fashioned Lewes. There’s a beach for every taste.

3 Hagley Museum and Library

The Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington encompasses the site of the original du Pont gunpowder mills, as well as an estate and gardens. The first du Pont family home, Eleutherian Mills, built by E. I. du Pont in 1803, sits overlooking the restored French-style garden also created by E. I. du Pont. Five generations of du Ponts lived in the Georgian-style home, and their family business grew around them. In the visitor center (and the library if you’re interested in further research), you can learn how the industry developed along the Brandywine River as the technology for using waterpower evolved.

You can see a collection of vintage vehicles in the barn, including a Conestoga Wagon that was used to transport black powder to the port of Wilmington. In the Science & Discovery Center, you can try on a spacesuit and learn about the du Pont materials that went into making it.

4 Nemours Mansion and Gardens

Built-in the early 1900s, Nemours Mansion in Wilmington was a gift from Alfred du Pont to his wife Alicia. This beautiful 77-room home is complemented by equally impressive gardens, the largest formal French gardens in North America. Beyond stretches almost 200 acres of lawns, meadows, and woodlands. Follow the Long Walk to the Reflecting Pool, where intermittent jets of water shoot into the air. The Chauffeur’s Garage holds a collection of vintage automobiles.

5 Delaware Art Museum

Located in Wilmington, the Delaware Art Museum’s collection focuses on American Art of the 19th through the 21st centuries and English Pre-Raphaelite art of the mid-19th century. The museum is especially known for the premier collection of the works and papers of American artist Howard Pyle, who illustrated books by Mark Twain and Robert Lewis Stevenson. Pyle is best known for his ethereal mystical etchings, drawings, and paintings of mythological and medieval chivalry scenes, and for the images of pirates for Treasure Island. You’ll see the originals of his works alongside those of Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, and other familiar illustrators. A highlight of the collections is the complete cycle of murals Pyle painted for the dining room of their home in Wilmington, displayed as intended in an intimate room of paneled walls.

Other special collections at the Delaware Art Museum include posters from American poster designers and jewelry and metalwork made by English craftsmen in the Arts and Crafts style. As you approach the building, you can’t help seeing the Dale Chihuly arrangement of brilliant glass flowers, each several feet across. Displayed in front of a large window and visible from below in the museum’s atrium, the flowers are also visible close-up from a walkway between the two wings of the building.

Outside on the lawns is the Copeland Sculpture Garden, with nine works, highlighted by Tom Otterness’s 13-foot Crying Giant and Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III by George Rickey, which moves in the least breeze.

7 John Dickinson Plantation

John Dickinson was known as the “Penman of the American Revolution” and he was attributed to drafting the Articles of Confederation in 1778. His 1740s brick house, outbuildings, and slave/tenant house in Dover is part of the farm complex.

6 Air Mobility Command Museum

The Air Mobility Command Museum is home to vintage planes dating from 1941 and artifacts that reflect airlifting, air refueling, and the history of the Dover Air Force Base. On display are a number of large aircraft, including a C-141B Starlifter, C133 Cargomaster, C130 Hercules, and a C-124 Globemaster, among others.

8 Brandywine Creek State Park

Brandywine Creek State Park encompasses 933 acres and is an important area for birds and other wildlife. The park features walking trails, a playground, the Brandywine Zoo, and numerous other things to do. The zoo specializes in North and South American endangered species. Brandywine is ideal for visually-impaired visitors, who can enjoy nature by walking the Sensory Trail.

9 The Nanticoke Indian Museum

The Nanticoke Indian Museum, in Millsboro, is housed in a former one-room schoolhouse and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. A variety of native artifacts are displayed here, from pottery to arrowheads, spears, and textiles, with some items dating back to 8000 BC. Of particular note is a traditional wooden canoe. The museum offers a fine overview and is a great place to learn about the heritage of the Nanticoke Tribe.

10 Delaware’s Old State House

The Georgian-style Delaware State House in Dover was completed in 1792. It contains the Governor’s presentation and ceremonial office as well as the 18th-century courtroom and legislative chambers on the first floor. Building artifacts, historical photographs, and documents are on display.

11 Grand Opera House

The Grand Opera House in Wilmington is a restored 1871 Victorian theater with a cast-iron facade. Over the years, the Grand has hosted Victorian melodramas, burlesque, vaudeville, variety shows, musical recitals, symphonies, and operas. Classical concerts and dance are the focus of today, and other entertainment opportunities are presented year-round.

Tourist places in Michigan

Michigan’s most-visited tourist destinations include a wide range of interests thanks to the state’s diverse landscape, rich history, and legendary city of Detroit. There are endless opportunities for those who are looking to enjoy nature, especially along the shores of the Great Lakes, where you can find freshwater dunes and coastal habitats far from the sea. Visiting historical sites, like living history museums, is one of the popular things to do, especially Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island and Greenfield Village, which is part of the Henry Ford historic sites. For those looking for a faster pace, Detroit is an excellent place to visit, a city which has worked hard to embrace its significant contributions as the Motor City while evolving into a top tourist destination and cultural center.

1 Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island offers a look at a historic period and a simpler way of life, before cars and buses. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and spend the day wandering through the shops of the old town, touring the island on a horse-drawn carriage, hiking, or visiting Fort Mackinac. Opened in 1957, Mackinac Bridge connects the Lower Peninsula at Mackinaw City to the Upper Peninsula at St. Ignace. One of the longest suspension spans in the world, it eliminated the backup of vehicles waiting for ferry passage across the straits. The Mackinac Bridge Museum contains many interesting and original artifacts from the construction of the Mighty Mac.

2 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake shore and Lake Michigan

Although it is the third largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is the only one that entirely borders U.S. soil, and it also gives the state the distinction of having the second-longest shoreline of all 50 states, second only to Alaska. A comprehensive look at the lake’s importance can be found at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, and there are numerous boat tours perfect for sightseeing, like the Tall Ship Manitoulin in Traverse City. The lake’s islands are a popular destination, with the Beaver Island Archipelago and the Manitoulin Islands as tourist favorites. The Manitoulin Islands are part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake shore, which is known for its expansive dunes that are perched on headlands along the shoreline. This state park is one of the most visited, noted for its variety of hiking trails and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, which spans 7.5 miles along the coast. Other impressive lake shore dunes include the Warren Dunes in Warren and the P.J. Hoff master State Park in Muskegon.

3 Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts is known for its expansive collection of humanity’s creative works from the earliest cultures through today. With more than 65,000 works of art in over 100 galleries, people from every corner of the globe are represented. The museum’s Islamic art collection includes examples of pottery, stone, and bronze, and there are prime examples from Classical Antiquity, medieval Europe, Oceania, Africa, and the Americas. Among the most coveted European works are paintings by Picasso, Rembrandt, Matisse, and Van Gog.

While in the neighborhood, tourists will want to take a peek at the beautiful architecture at the Detroit Public Library then make the short walk down Woodward Avenue to the Detroit Historical Museum, which is dedicated to the motor city’s fascinating past and emergence as not only an industrial center but also the birthplace of the legendary Motown sound.

4 Pictured Rocks National Seashore

Pictured Rocks National Seashore, on the south shore of Lake Superior, gets its name from the colors of copper, iron, and manganese oxide found in the rocks. The landscape here is a mix of dunes, cliffs, beaches, and rocky shoreline. The interior is forest covered, with inland lakes and rivers. Visitors come here to experience nature, usually through activities like hiking, camping, and boating. In winter, the area is open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Nearby is Grand Island National Recreation Area, an island which is also popular with outdoor enthusiasts.

5 Frederik Meier Gardens & Sculpture Park

The Frederik Meier Gardens & Sculpture Park offers a variety of environments in which visitors can enjoy the synthesis of art and nature. Outdoor gardens include traditional foliage, a children’s garden that encourages interaction with its unique plants, a “Butterfly Maze,” and a peaceful Japanese Garden with twin waterfalls. The 1880s farmhouse is a replica of Lena Mesmer’s first home and includes the Farm Garden. The Lena Meier Conservatory is a five-story tropical environment that houses many rare and exotic plants, and in March and April, visitors can watch the amazing process of Monarch butterflies transforming from caterpillar to delicate insect. Sculptures are found throughout both indoor and outdoor spaces

6 The Henry Ford

Known collectively as “The Henry Ford,” this is a group of three attractions that explore not only the auto legend’s life and work, but also the entire scope of American innovation. Visitors can take a step back in time at historic Greenfield Village, where you will see what life looked like in the 19th century. Points of interest include working farms, a restaurant that serves fare that was typical in the 1830s, the train depot where you can catch a ride on a steam-powered locomotive, and rides in a Model T. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation tells the story of inventors and forward-thinkers who helped shape the world we see today, from the Wright brothers’ dream of flying to Rosa Parks’ conviction to see change in her lifetime. For a look at the most current marvels of innovation, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour allows visitors to witness the inner workings of an automotive factory and learn more about the technology and concepts that go into modern vehicles.

7 Isle Royall National Park

Isle Royal lies in northwestern Lake Superior near the Canadian frontier. Shaped by Ice Age glaciers, this 432-square-mile island has many lakes and streams, dense forests, and a variety of wildlife that includes wolves, foxes, moose, otters, ospreys, herring gulls, falcons, and more. This relatively unspoiled tract of country attracts those looking for a remote wilderness experience. The best way to see the park is on hiking trails and boat trips. Access to the island is by boat or seaplane. Trips usually originate from Houghton or Copper Harbor, Michigan, or Grand Portage,

8 Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo has an impressive variety of animals in multiple habitats representing all parts of the world. African animals live either in the forest or grassland habitats and include everything from aardvark to zebra, with many family favorites like giraffes, lions, lemurs, and several primates. An arctic habitat is home to the zoo’s famous polar bears, and the Australian Outback has sixteen resident kangaroos and two wallabies. The exotic Asian Forest features red pandas and Amur tigers, while the North American habitats feature some of the continent’s most interesting animals, including bears, wolverines, and bald eagles. The zoo also houses reptile and amphibian centers, an aviary, and even a fine art collection. Visitors can tour the park aboard the miniature Tuber Family Railroad, which has been in operation since 1931.

Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo also offers a vintage train ride, as well as a “wilderness tram” through its African Savannah habitat, and the John Ball Zoo, one of the top attractions in Grand Rapids, has a large selection of special animal interaction opportunities.

9 University of Michigan

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor encompasses 2,800 acres. Some of the interesting old Gothic buildings include the Law Quadrangle, the Power Center for the Performing Arts, and the Natural History Museum. Key attractions on the campus include the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, with strong collections related to Mediterranean civilizations, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. Also of interest, although located off campus, is the Matthieu Botanical Gardens. Located next to the central campus is the Nichols Arboretum.

10 Windmill Island

Windmill Island is a 36-acre heritage park filled with manicured flower gardens and Dutch architecture. In May, the park comes to life with 175,000 tulips, and in June the extensive gardens change to annual flowers. Highlights include an authentic Dutch windmill, Delawarean, dating to the 1760s and brought from the Netherlands in 1964. Standing 125 feet, the windmill is a symbol of the Dutch heritage of this area and is the only original Dutch windmill exported to America. It is still a working windmill producing stone ground flour for sale. Holland is also home to the Outdoor Discovery Center of Wildlife Unlimited, which has taken on the task of restoring agricultural land to natural habitat. As a result of their efforts, there are now six distinct ecosystems on this 130-acre nature preserve. Highlights include walking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.

11 Fort Mackinac (Colonial Anticlimactic)

Anticlimactic, located in Mackinaw City, was a French fur-trading village and military outpost that operated from 1715 until 1781, when it was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Also known as Fort Mackinac, the site is now home to 14 fully restored and authentically furnished buildings, one of which is the oldest in Michigan. Presented as a living history museum, the attraction offers plenty of things to do. Costumed interpreters work and go about their day as they would have in 1775, from farming and cooking chores to musket and marching drills. Highlights include the Soldiers Barracks housing an exhibit on the island’s history, the Post Hospital with descriptions of medical treatment during the fort’s operation, and the Post Guardhouse that explores the era’s military justice system. Visitors may explore freely or choose a guided tour, and there is a children’s area dedicated to engaging younger historians in learning about 18th-century life.

12 Michigan Historical Museum

The Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing was the first facility created by the state museum system and is its largest educational center. Exhibits and artifacts range from an exploration of the region’s native populations through the state’s evolution and growth as it became what you see today. Permanent and rotating exhibits include interactive modules, films, and presentations. Exhibits are continuously updated to incorporate the latest technology while enhancing visitors’ ability to look into the past. The Michigan History Museum System also operates several other museum sites and archival collections, maintains historic markers, and offers special programs and events for both residents and tourists.

Tourist places in Montana

One of the most northerly of the US states – and possessing one of the country’s longest stretches of border with its northerly neighbor, Canada – Montana is well-known for its numerous outdoor activities, including an array of winter sports; water sports such as fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; as well as hiking and biking. Often referred to as Big Sky Country, its spectacular, rugged scenery and plentiful wildlife, particularly around the Rocky Mountains in the west, is also popular for scenic drives and activities such as bird watching (the state’s very name suggests a strong connection to nature, and is taken from the Spanish for mountain: tantamount). Although the fourth largest state, it’s one of the least populated, ensuring plenty of wide-open space to explore outside of its larger cities, such as the capital, Helena. Montana is also the perfect place from which to access magnificent Glacier National Park, and the North and Northeast entrances of Yellowstone National Park, both containing rich environments to backpack, hike, and explore

1 Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is an area of spectacular mountain ranges, alpine meadows, thick forests, tall waterfalls, countless sparkling lakes, and numerous glaciers. It’s a paradise for adventurous outdoor-types thanks to its more than 700 miles of hiking trails. It’s also easily accessible by car, a highlight being the 50-mile-long Going-to-the-Sun Road connecting St. Mary via the 6,646-foot-high Logan Pass to West Glacier. Rated one of the most beautiful mountain roads in North America, its breathtaking views include the Triple Divide, the watershed between three drainage systems to the Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. The views of St. Mary Lake and the surrounding peaks from the wide bend beyond Rising Sun are probably the most photographed scenes in the park and are worth seeing before hitting the Logan Pass Visitor Center, above which tower the imposing peaks of Reynolds at 9,128 feet and the 8,773-foot-tall Clements Mountain. Official site

2 Editor’s Pick Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

One of the best-known historical landmarks in the US – and one of the most important in terms of the reconciliation that has taken place since – the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument commemorates the 1876 clash between the US Army and Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. This must-see attraction includes a visitor center, museum, the Custer National Cemetery, the 7th Cavalry Memorial, and the Reno-Ben teen Battlefield. The site also acknowledges the Indians who fought and fell defending their way of life, with markers indicating the final resting place of a number of warriors scattered among those of US troops.

3 Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies in Boogieman is a must-visit while in Montana. Along with its planetarium, the museum – part of the Smithsonian Institution – is renowned for its excellent displays of dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs, including skeletons and realistic models of the numerous species found in the state. The museum’s dinosaur collection is in fact the largest in the US and includes the world’s biggest Tyrannosaurus skull, a T-Rex thighbone with soft-tissue remains, as well as “Big Mike,” a T-Rex skeleton at the museum entrance. Other highlights include displays dedicated to native peoples of Yellowstone Country; pioneer and Western art exhibits; and Ainsley House, an original pioneer log home from the late 1800s.

4 Big Sky Resort

One of the most popular winter sports destinations in the US – and certainly one of the largest – Big Sky Montana is an always-bustling ski resort about an hour’s drive from Boogieman. The resort’s slopes are well known for their abundance of snow and their claims to possessing some of “the biggest skiing in America” (snowfall averages 400 inches per year) and boasts 5,750 ski able acres along with an impressive 4,350 feet of vertical terrain suitable for all levels. With its 24 chair lifts and 12 surface lifts capable of carrying 38,300 skiers each hour, Big Sky also features a large selection of accommodations, restaurants, and a variety of entertainment and aprons ski opportunities.

active state capitol buildings in the US. Reflecting the Greek Renaissance style of architecture, the building is faced with sandstone and granite. It’s topped with a copper dome and houses a number of important murals featuring themes of Montana’s past, including one by Charles M. Russell showing explorers Lewis and Clark meeting the Salish Indians.

Helena also makes for a good jumping-off point to explore some of Montana’s best scenery, including the two-million-acre Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Popular things to do in the forest include fishing in the Blackfoot and Missouri Rivers; hiking along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail; and the chance to view big game in the 300,000-acre Elk horn Wildlife Management Unit. It’s also where you’ll find the spectacular 1,200-foot tall limestone canyon walls of the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area, aptly named by Thermometric Lewis when the Corps of Discovery passed through the area.

6 The C.M. Russell Museum Complex

In the city of Great Falls, the C.M. Russell Museum celebrates the life and work of famed US artist Charles M. Russell, perhaps best known as the Cowboy Artist. As well as its large collection of original paintings, the museum includes numerous documents and artifacts relating to the artist’s career spanning the end of the 19th and the early 20th centuries, along with a number of important works by his contemporaries showcasing the state’s history and culture. A highlight is a chance to visit the original Russell House and Studio, now designated a National Historic Landmark. Also of interest is the museum’s Russell Riders Sculpture Garden with its statues of area wildlife. Less than an hour’s drive northeast of Great Falls is the Old Trail Museum in Château, an interesting tourist attraction set in a Western village and detailing the history of the area from the time of the dinosaurs, along with hands-on exhibits, guided tours, and interpretive trails.

7 The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

Undoubtedly the one and only time you’ll be happy to see a bear or wolf up close, the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is a must-see excursion when visiting Montana. Opened as a sanctuary for animals that had grown too comfortable around humans or were orphaned, the center offers a chance to see huge grizzly bears and gray wolves in a natural habitat while learning about their behavior, history, and population decline. Highlights include watching the bears forage for food, play in their ponds and with each other, as well as the chance to hear the haunting howls of the wolf packs (best in mornings and evenings).

8 The World Museum of Mining

The World Museum of Mining offers a fascinating insight into the tough life of Montana’s miners. In the town of Butte, the museum centers around a restored mining camp featuring mining relics along with more than three dozen historical buildings and structures – part of the old community known as Hell Roaring’ Gulch at the base of an inactive silver and zinc mine. A highlight is the huge head frame – the winding tower at the head of the mine shaft, known as Orphan Girl – along with underground tours of the mines. Other mine-related highlights in Butte, once known as “The Richest Hill on Earth,” are the Copper King Mansion, constructed in 1888 and home to many of the original artifacts that first adorned the 34-room Victorian mansion, and the Mineral Museum, featuring more than 1,300 specimens, including fluorescent minerals, a 27-and-a-half-troy-ounce gold nugget, and a 400-pound quartz crystal.

9 Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

Located between Butte and Boogieman, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is a popular outdoor spot to explore underground. As Montana’s first state park, visitors can experience the namesake caverns as part of a guided tour led by park staff. Three different tours are available during the summer months that cater to different ability levels, and a special Winter Holiday Candlelight Tour takes place throughout the colder months. Lewis and Clark Caverns are one of the largest limestone caverns in the world, with colossal cave features, handrails, and resident bats. Outside the cavern, the area above ground at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is rich for exploring, with many hiking trails, a visitor’s center, and a campground where you can reserve cabins, tipis, and group campsites.

10 The Moss Mansion

One of the most important landmarks in the city of Billings, the Moss Mansion Historic House Museum is a large red sandstone manor that dominates its neighborhood. Designed by renowned New York architect Henry Jane-way Hardener – famous for his designs of the Waldorf Astoria, Plaza, Willard, and Copley Plaza hotels – this rather austere 28-room mansion was built in 1903 and features original draperies, fixtures, furniture, Persian carpets, and artifacts. Guided and self-guided tours are available, and the site is used to host temporary displays and exhibits, including seasonal events and festivals.

11 Gates of the Mountains Wilderness

Located within Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, the Gates of the Mountain Wilderness received its name from Thermometric Lewis, and is noted to be one of the most recognized landmarks along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Visitors today can see why Thermometric Lewis took such an interest in the place, as massive limestone canyon walls line the shores of the Missouri River. Designated as a wilderness in 1964, Gates of the Mountains contains more than 28,000 acres to explore, including 50 miles of hiking trails. Located 20 miles north of Helena, Gates of the Mountains is a popular recreation spot. One of the favorite ways to take in this roadless expanse of wilderness is through the Gates of the Mountain Boat Tour, which drops patrons off near the Thermometric Picnic Area.

12 The Western Heritage Center

Another Billings attraction worth a visit is the Western Heritage Center. Housed in the old Warmly Billings Memorial Library built in 1901, the center features a diverse collection of more than 17,000 artifacts, including more than 6,000 photos covering the history and culture of the Yellowstone River region. Opened in 1971 and now affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, the museum also houses a broad collection of materials focusing on the history of the Northern High Plains and Yellowstone River Valley, as well as a special focus on the preservation of the histories of the Cheyenne and Crow Indians. Other highlights include lectures, educational programs, and workshops.

Tourist places in Missouri

Home to the Ozark Mountains, culturally rich capitals, and deep threads of United States history, the state of Missouri offers a wide range of experiences. While there are plenty of things to see and do in Kansas City and St. Louis, other sights and cities in Missouri offer even more to explore. Brannon provides a long list of outdoor attractions as well as a thriving live-music scene, and the Wilson Creek National Battlefield in Springfield preserves a dynamic moment in Civil War history. To really savor the flavor of Missouri relaxation, the welcoming waters of Lake of the Ozarks is a defining vacation destination with resorts, campgrounds, and thousands of miles of shoreline.

1 St. Louis Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch is the iconic structure that visually defines St. Louis and is also the symbolic “Gateway to the West.” Visitors can take an elevator up to a viewing platform at the top, which reaches 630 feet, for stunning views out over the city. The arch is located in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park but can be seen from all over the city and even from great distances on the surrounding highways. Other ways to enjoy the arch are helicopter tours, riverboat cruises, and visiting the Old Courthouse for some historical perspective on the area

2 Brandon

Brandon, in southwest Missouri, with no false modesty, calls itself the “Live country music capital of the universe.” It draws millions of tourists each year, mainly country music fans. The “Strip” is crowded with music palaces, motels, restaurants, and souvenir booths selling all imaginable kinds of kitsch. The music venues here host some of country music’s greatest performers.

Brandon is also a good base for excursions into the surrounding Ozark Mountains. Natural points of interest include Table Rock Lake State Park and Talking Rocks Cavern. A fun way to experience Bronson’s wild side is to hop aboard the Bronson Scenic Railroad, complete with refurbished 1930s passenger cars. For more adrenaline action, the roller coasters and rides at Silver Dollar City provide the thrills.

4 Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City in Brannon combines a major theme park with crafts and the preservation of 1880s Ozark culture. Craftsmen in the park demonstrate glassblowing, basket weaving, blacksmith, pottery, candy making, and candle making. The park also has rides and attractions, shops, restaurants, and live shows.

Marvel Cave is part of Silver Dollar City. It carries on the tradition of the 1880s mining town, which once stood at the entrance to the cave. The cave was first discovered by the Osage Indians in the 1500s and since that time has attracted explorers looking for the Fountain of Youth, miners of marble and bat guano, and archaeologists.

Address: 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Brannon, Missouri

5 Forest Park

Host to the 1904 World Fair, this wonderful St. Louis city park sprawls out over more than 1,300 acres and receives millions of visitors a year. Regarded as one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world, Forest Park not only delivers appealing natural settings via ponds, gardens, and more than 45,000 trees, but it’s also home to many of the city’s top cultural attractions. Tourists can visit the St. Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center all on the grounds, or enjoy a live show at The Mun, America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theater

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6 Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Around 5,400 Union troops and 11,000 Confederates fought on the site of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield on August 10, 1861. The Confederates were victorious, but this battle led to more fighting in Missouri. On site is the Wilson’s Creek Civil War Museum housing artifacts that include the sword belt and sash of Arkansas General Patrick Cliburn. Visitors can tour the battlefield and remaining historical structures via a 4.9-mile tour road, which provides plenty of parking spots to explore the seven miles of trails that connect throughout this scenic area.

7 Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum

Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum Share:

Samuel Clemens, before adopting the pen name Mark Twain, first moved into this two-story home with his family in 1843 and lived there from the age of seven to 18. The home has been open for public tours since 1912 and has since been restored and decorated in period. The adjoining museum consists of two buildings that contain Twain memorabilia, such as first editions of his books, photographs, original manuscripts, and the desk where he sat to write The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

8 Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

Historic and artistic objects are displayed at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence. Truman’s career and US history covering the period from 1945 to 1953 is the main focus of the museum. A replica of Truman’s office in the White House is on display, and President and Mrs Truman’s graves are in the courtyard. A mile down the road, at the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, visitors can tour the Victorian home where the Truman family lived from 1919 until his death in 1972. The house contains original furnishings and other Truman family possessions.

9 Lake of the Ozarks

Created by an impediment of the Osage River in 1931, Lake of the Ozarks is one of the most popular lake destinations in the Midwest. Favorite reasons to visit include professionally designed golf courses, scenic campgrounds, and first-class resorts, as well as an array of water activities including boating, fishing, and swimming at sandy beaches. Lake of the Ozarks State Park is reason enough to visit, but the massive shoreline offers plenty of tourist attractions and things to do, including shopping, dining, and a community that always welcomes out-of-downers. To see the marvel of engineering that created the Lake of the Ozarks, a drive over the Bagatelle Dam is recommended.

10 National World War I Museum and Memorial

Home to one of the largest collections of World War I artifacts in the world, the National World War I Museum first opened in 2006 and has since hosted millions of visitors from around the world. Long before the museum was established, the adjacent Liberty Memorial has looked over the streets of Kansas City for more than 90 years. Completed in 1926 and dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in front of a massive crowd, the Liberty Memorial still stands tribute today to the Great War. Visitors to the museum can learn more about this history through interactive exhibits, documented eye-witness accounts, and more than 75,000 historical items on rotating display.

11 Jefferson City

As the state capitol, Jefferson City is worth a visit. The museums and galleries are home to some of the finest collections in the state, and the historic government buildings give the city a well defined sense of grandeur. Some of the must-see sights are the state capitol building, the Governor’s Mansion, the Missouri State Penitentiary, and the Missouri State Museum. The Lewis & Clark Monument at the Lewis & Clark Trailhead Plaza, located near the state capitol building, is a beautiful sculpture and a tribute to these explorers.

12 Springfield

Springfield is a lovely city with a small town feel and all kinds of parks, green space, and other attractions. Among the outdoor highlights are the Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, with walking trails, gardens, and playgrounds, and the beautifully laid out Minamoto Japanese Stroll Garden. Another interesting site near Springfield is the Fantastic Caverns, which claims to be “America’s only drive-through caverns.” There is no walking required on this tram tour of the cave. Also of interest, the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, adjacent to the original Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, provides a look into an underwater world.