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As the summer travel season intensifies, millions of Americans plan to hit the road in search of a great vacation. Some will go abroad and some will stay in the United States, exploring the endless vacation opportunities America has to offer.
One thing most people plan their vacation around is tourist attractions, and luckily, there are more than enough of them all over the United States to keep travelers happy.
As part of his annual Travelers Choice AwardsTripAdvisor has featured the top tourist attractions across the country.
These Best of the Best awards are especially prestigious because, of the more than 8 million listings on the site, less than 1% receive this designation.
The honors are based on a variety of factors, awarded to attractions and experiences with an exceptionally high number of reviews and opinions from members of the TripAdvisor community based on travel and reviews from May 2022 to April 2023.
This is why Tripadvisor named these 8 attractions the best in the US.
1. Empire State Building, New York
TripAdvisor’s first place winner for Best Attraction in the US for the second year in a row is the iconic Empire State Building, which was ranked fifth among the best attractions in the world. After recently undergoing a large-scale rehabilitation to the tune of $165 million, the Empire State Building now has an immersive museum and a fully renovated 102nd-floor Observatory with 360-degree views reaching 80 miles spanning five states.
Of course, this award-winning attraction fills up quickly, with over 4 million visitors a year, and tickets must be purchased online in advance. The good news is that there is no time limit on your visit.
To avoid the crowds, you can go directly at or near closing time or consider booking a sunrise ticket for one of the best you’ll ever see.
For those planning to visit New York City this summer, remember that the new City Borough Pass is now available and allows visitors to explore the best neighborhoods the city has to offer.
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@empirestatebldg WE ARE NUMBER ONE 🏆#NY #NY #Empire State Building #NY #tripadvisor ♬ original sound – Empire State Building
2. Central Park, New York
With over 800 acres to explore, New York City’s famous Central Park is clearly a huge draw for tourists and locals alike. Over 150 years old, open every day, and with free admission (it’s a park, after all), there’s really no reason not to include a stroll through Central Park in your visit to New York City.
Don’t forget to download a map before you go, and to really maximize your time there, rent a bike to pedal around. Central Park is stunning in all seasons, each offering a new way to see iconic landmarks like Bethesda Terrace, The Mall, The Great Lawn, The Carousel, and more.
3. Iolani Palace, Hawaii
The official residence of the monarch of Hawaii, Iolani PalaceIt draws visitors in with memories of a bygone time when King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani lived in this grand palace and ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii.
After falling into ruin and then being restored to its former glory, the palace is now one of the best-preserved depictions of real-life Polynesian history. Tickets must be purchased online and prices range from $20-$30.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Hawaii this summer, remember to be prepared for potential airport delays and check current conditions to avoid problems.
4. National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, New York
A visit to this site is an eye-opening and emotional experience and definitely should not be missed by anyone interested in the events of 9/11.
The monument is located outside the museum, and the main focal point is the two pools that are the largest man-made waterfalls in North America; its large size is the result of sitting in the footprints of the former North and South Towers.
The museum itself is largely underground, housing more than 70,000 artifacts in its well-designed space of more than 11,000 square feet. It is highly recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance online, as the museum is often sold out, especially in the summer.
A piece of advice: when you are outdoors, do not step on the grass in the pool area. Stick to the paths so as not to offend anyone.
@oficialglick National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. A must when visiting New York. Never forget! #11 of September #11Septemberimages #11 of September #911 #memorial11deeptember #noday will erase you from the memory of time #construction site #NY #NY #never forget ♬ original sound – OfficerGlick
5. National World War II Museum, Louisiana
With immersive and educational exhibits, New Orleans’ best tourist attraction is one not to be missed. Telling visitors the story of World War II, the exhibits seek to answer all questions, why it was fought, how it was fought, the human stories behind the front lines, and the lasting impacts the war had on the world.
He National Museum of World War II considers its main purpose to help all generations understand the price of freedom and feel inspired by all they learn during their visit.
6. Brooklyn Bridge, New York
Next up is another iconic New York City landmark, the Brooklyn Bridge. This impressive masterpiece connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, spanning the East River.
Some tips for visiting this very popular landmark include getting there very early to avoid the crowds and midday heat and keeping in mind the always-busy bike path. As tempting as it may be, don’t stop too long to take photos, and do your best to get your shots while you’re walking (an average walk should take about 30 minutes); trust us, you don’t want to hold people back while you strike a pose.
The best idea to visit the Brooklyn Bridge is to start in Manhattan and head towards Brooklyn, stopping in DUMBO to explore this trendy area. Then, take the New York Ferry back to the city center, enjoying the sights along the way.
Fun fact: The Brooklyn Bridge was the first bridge in the world to use steel for its cable.
7. Garden of the Gods, Colorado
As one of the most popular attractions in the US, it’s no surprise to see Colorado’s famous Garden of the Gods on this list of America’s best attractions. Located just outside of Colorado Springs, this incredible landscape can be visited for free, and once there you can enjoy the 21 miles of trails that wind around the rock formations scattered throughout the park.
Some of the most famous shapes include Balanced Rock and Cathedral Spiers Steamboat Rock, so wait a while to see those iconic snapshots.
8. Stetson Mansion, Florida
Florida’s only Gilded Age mansion and the largest and most grandiose home ever built in the state, stetson mansionit is the most historic house in Florida.
Smack dab between Orlando and Daytona, you can find the city of DeLand Florida, home to Stetson University and the Stetson Mansion, both namesakes of famed hat maker and philanthropist John B. Stetson.
A visit to Stetson costs between $20 and $30, and tickets can be purchased with cash upon entry.
@sunilgovind_ Stetson Mansion in Deland Florida #deland #delandflorida #stetson #Mansion #mondaymotivation #Monday #mondaymood #mondayvibes #motivation #money #travel ♬ The Future (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com