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  • 1 Mount Rainier National Park Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    55210 238th Avenue East USA - Ashford, WA 98304

    The highest volcano and fifth highest peak in the contiguous United States, 14,410ft Mount Rainier dominates the landscape of central Washington. The national park now preserving the volcano encompasses 235,612 acres. A half million years old, the Mo..

  • 2 Houston Museum of Natural Science Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    5800 Caroline St USA - Houston, TX 77030-1749

    This outstanding four-floor museum requires two days to see properly. On the main floor are a planetarium and IMAX theater. The Paleontology Hall exhibits over 450 fossil specimens chronicled by time and location. Adjacent to the Welch Chemistry Hall..

  • 3 Menil Collection Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    1515 Sul Ross St. USA - Houston, TX 77006-4729

    One of the world's foremost collections of 20C art, with an emphasis on Surrealism, is presented here. Established in 1987 for the collection of John and Dominique de Menil, the museum exhibits only a small part of more than 15,000 paintings, sculptu..

  • 4 San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    3080 Rio Road USA - Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

    Headquarters of the California mission chain during its expansive early years, the Carmel mission resonates with the visionary spirit of its founder, Padre Junípero Serra, whose remains are interred here in the church sanctuary. The stately old chape..

  • 5 Denali National Park and Preserve Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    George Parks Hwy. USA - Denali Nautional Park, AK 99755

    A primeval world of grand design and dimension, the park's geography varies from spruce forest to grassy tundra to austere granite pinnacles mantled with snow and ice. Glaciers have scoured cirques, and chiseled ridges and steep valleys, to create a ..

  • 6 Alcatraz Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    USA - San Francisco, CA 94133

    So close, and yet so far. Prisoners at Alcatraz, the federal maximum-security penitentiary known as the Rock, had a tantalizing view of San Francisco, but the mile-and-a-half span between the two landmasses was virtually unbridgeable. Escapees drowne..

  • 7 Asian Art Museum Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    200 Larkin St. USA - San Francisco, CA 94102

    Housed since 2003 in the old Main Library-which was significantly revamped for its new tenant-the Asian Art Museum owns what is today considered to be the finest collection of Asian art in the nation. With particular strengths in Chinese art, includi..

  • 8 Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    USA - Gustavus, AK 99826

    Stunning views of ice-clad mountains, a rich variety of marine and land animals, and seemingly limitless miles of wilderness. No roads traverse this watery sanctuary. Visitors have a distinct sense of being privileged to enter this natural kingdom by..

  • 9 Mt. Rushmore National Memorial Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    13000 Highway 244 USA - Keystone, SD 57751-0268

    Carved from the face of a granite cliff over a period of 14 years (1927-41) by Gutzon Borglum, Mt. Rushmore was intended as a shrine to democracy, recognizing the country's greatest leaders. Borglum chose to depict four US presidents who brought the ..

  • 10 Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    42218 NE Yale Bridge Rd. USA - Amboy, WA 98601

    One of the world's most famous volcanoes, Mount St. Helens erupted with the energy of several atomic bombs in 1980, destroying its northern flank. Now preserved as a 110,000-acre national volcanic monument, the area has become one of the region's lea..

  • 11 Big Bend National Park Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Rte. 118 South of Alpine USA - Big Bend Nautional Park, TX 79834

    Big Bend spans 1,252sq mi of spectacular canyons, lush bottomlands, sprawling desert and mountain woodlands on the north side of the Rio Grande. Ranging over 6,000ft of elevation changes, it boasts a wealth of animal and plant life, a remarkable geol..

  • 12 Space Center Houston Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    1601 NASA Parkway USA - Houston, TX 77058

    Official visitor center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), this $70 million facility adjacent to the Johnson Space Center-the mission control, training and research facility for the US space program-offers live shows, presen..

  • 13 Balboa Park Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Plaza de Panama USA - San Diego, CA 92101

    San Diego's cultural focal point is a 1,200-acre park rising immediately to the north of downtown. Velvet lawns, lush gardens and century-old shade trees harbor a world-renowned zoo, outdoor and indoor performance spaces, and a wealth of diverse muse..

  • 14 The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    411 Elm St. USA - Dallas, TX 75202

    On November 22, 1963, alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald fired shots at President John F. Kennedy from this level of the former Texas School Book Depository building. Today the entire 9,000sq-ft floor holds a moving tribute to Kennedy's life, career ..

  • 15 Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    USA - Palm Springs, CA 92262

    Revolving, 80-passenger gondolas with picture windows ascend the vertiginous face of the San Jacinto range on cables suspended from five towers anchored in the rocky slope. The journey (10min) from the bottom station (2,643ft above sea level) to the ..

  • 16 The Alamo Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    300 Alamo Plaza at Crockett St. USA - San Antonio, TX 78205-2606

    The symbolic "Cradle of Texas Liberty" fronts a busy plaza in the heart of downtown. Mission San Antonio de Valero-known as The Alamo (Spanish for "cottonwood")-is an enduring symbol of Texas and one of the most photographed build..

  • 17 Gilcrease Museum Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    1400 Gilcrease Museum Rd. USA - Tulsa, OK 74127-2105

    The world's largest collection of art of the American West, the Gilcrease exhibits paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by more than 400 artists-with significant holdings of works by Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Albert Bierstadt, George..

  • 18 Universal Studios Hollywood Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    100 Universal City Plaza USA - Universal City, CA 91608

    Part fully functioning film and television studio, part live-entertainment complex and amusement park, 420-acre Universal Studios Hollywood sprawls across and down a hillside overlooking the San Fernando Valley, 3mi northwest of Hollywood Boulevard. ..

  • 19 The Heard Museum Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    2301 N. Central Ave. USA - Phoenix, AZ 85004-1323

    Devoted to Native American culture and art, especially Southwest tribes, this fine museum contains 10 exhibition galleries and 32,000 works of art. Arches, colonnades and courtyards are hallmarks of Spanish Colonial architecture. The story of its 192..

  • 20 Pikes Peak Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    USA - Colorado Springs, CO 80809

    At 14,110ft elevation, Pikes Peak is not the highest mountain in the US nor even Colorado. But it is arguably the most imposing high peak, probably the most famous, definitely the most accessible. Named in 1806 by Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, who de..

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