Summer is in full swing, and it’s the time for family getaways and road trips across the country. Whether or not we’re driving cross country with the family camper or just looking at places on AirBnB, it’s fun to see new places.
Here’s a list of some of the coolest and most iconic destinations from East Coast to West.
Creating the border between Canada and the United States, the Niagara River runs along New York state and Ontario Canada. The river has a spectacular trio of waterfalls that have long been a famous natural attraction for visitors from around the world.
Visitors can see the falls from both the US and Canadian sides, as well as take a boat ride at the base of the falls, feeling and breathing in the beauty and wonder as you are splashed by the water falls.
New York City
New York City is the center of the world. There is something for everyone who comes to the city, from great eating to amazing sites to check out, shows to see and memories to make.
New York has a reputation for having the biggest and best of everything, and going to the Empire State Building is a great place to see it all for yourself. It is certainly worth the wait in line to see the city from the iconic skyscraper.
Many people remember exactly where they were on September 11, 2001, and want to pay respect to those who died in the terrorist attack and the aftermath.
Those who do can visit One World Trade Center and see the memorial built to commemorate the day and the dead.
With all the hustle and bustle of the city, every tourist needs to take a break by visiting Central Park, the massive green space in the middle of the city. It provides both a respite and refresher for all who visit, a place of relative quiet in the middle of a city of more than eight million people.
Every family takes at least one summer trip to Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital. It’s a wonderful place for families to visit, but any visitor will appreciate the history, architecture and culture that the city has to offer.
Of course everyone has to see the White House at least once, because it is where the President lives and works. While it’s rare to spot the President or his family, it is always fun to see the house, the grounds, and all the activity that goes on there.
The National Mall is an outdoor museum, with monuments and memorials to presidents, fallen soldiers, wars and other important events in American history. The Mall never closes, and most monuments and sites can be visited 24 hours a day.
A relatively recent addition to the Mall is the World War II Memorial, which has been open since 2004.
Also on the mall, Smithsonian museums are a favorite place for many families to go, even just to get out of the heat and humidity. One of the most popular museums is the National Air and Space Museum, with exhibitions including Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and the Wright Flyer, the first plane to take flight.
If you’re driving cross country, be sure to take a detour to South Dakota and see Mount Rushmore, the tourist attraction with the faces of four important presidents carved into the side of a mountain in the Black Hills. Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are joined by Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho is famous for its natural beauty amid the Rocky Mountains, with peaks and valleys, mountain meadows and streams. It also has stunning wildlife including bears, moose, deer and of course buffalo!
Yellowstone sits on top of an active geothermal site, which contributes to the unique volcanic activity, including geysers, hot springs and other breathtaking features.
Old Faithful is a famous geyser, so named because it erupts on a predictable schedule, allowing tourists to wait and see a beautify display of natural waterworks.
The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous natural wonders in the United States and possibly the world. The canyon carved by the Colorado River extends nearly 300 miles and is more than a mile deep in many places.
There are several great places to view it, and numerous tours, hikes and water activities visitors can do all along the canyon.
Las Vegas, Nevada, is a city in the desert famous for it’s gambling, entertainment family friendly and not, and crazy vibe. Most people who visit don’t stray far from the Strip, a stretch of development downtown with hotels, casinos and entertainment for visitors.
Hotel attractions, beyond the gambling and night life, include talent the likes of Britney Spears Cirque de Soleil.
Those willing to leave the confines of the city can visit Area 51, the military site famous for it’s rumored alien sightings. Many people believe aliens have landed and continue to visit the area, and that the military conducts secret research on the intergalactic activities.
No summer vacation list would be complete without a mention of the magic that is Disney. Either at Disneyland or Disney World, the magic of Disney is something that everyone should experience at least once, and hopefully many times. Since 1955, Disneyland outside Los Angeles California has been making dreams come true for kids the world over.
Disney perfectly completes the list of great summer getaways. Vacations are what make summer memorable, whether it’s a short weekend getaway or an epic road trip. Hopefully this list will be a start to planning an epic summer adventure of your own.