In this issue:
- Our Nation's Capital
- Home of the Liberty Bell
- Lady Liberty
- More than a tea party
- The men in the rocks
- Remember Pearl Harbor
- The Arch
- Travel Deals
Welcome to the July issue of USATourist.com. This month we're celebrating a special American holiday. It's called the Fourth of July - America's Independence Day. The country celebrates with patriotic parades, evening fireworks, concerts and many other outdoor festivities. Due to the warm summer months other outdoor recreational areas such as lakes, swimming pools, beaches and campgrounds are busy the entire first week of July. It's quite a fun and festive time to visit. Popular foods are hot dogs, watermelon, berries and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
Other attractions that get attention this month are our historic landmarks. The best website to visit when planning your trip to these special places is the US National Parks Service. As the site explains - National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Working with citizens throughout the nation, the National Historic Landmarks Program draws upon the expertise of National Park Service staff who work to nominate new landmarks and provide assistance to existing landmarks.
While there are numerous historic landmarks across the country today we're going to point out a few of the most popular. Every state and region honors our nation's history in some fashion.
Our Nation's Capital
Washington DC is our nation's capital and has the most historically significant monuments in the country. Visitors can easily spend two weeks exploring the various highlights. The White House, where our current president resides, offers tours to visitors while many other monuments remember past presidents. One of the most popular is the Greek Doric temple style Lincoln Memorial which honors the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial is where Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963. Other monuments and icons found on the National Mall include the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Home of the Liberty Bell
Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in the US. A few months ago we featured this wonderful city and mentioned there are 66 National Historic Landmarks throughout the area including Carpenters' Hall and Independence Hall, the original home of the Liberty Bell.
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, better known as simply the Statue of Liberty, is the ultimate American landmark. This gift of friendship from the people of France is one of the top tourist attractions in New York and represents freedom and democracy. Only 240 visitors are admitted to the Crown daily. Keep in mind that reservations may be made through the Statue Cruises website or by phone at 877- LADY-TIX and the last crown tickets will be available on October 28, 2011. At the end of this year the statue will be undergoing renovation and will be closed to visitors, though Liberty Island will remain open. Visitors can also visit Ellis Island where many American ancestors first entered the United States.
For award-winning New York City helicopter tours over New York City and The Statue of Liberty, book online with USATourist and Liberty Helicopter Tours.
Money-saving tip: If you're planning to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, purchase the New York City Pass and go to the head of the line.
More than a tea party
Boston, Massachusetts was founded in 1630 by Puritan colonists from England and has a long history including the American Revolution and the Boson Tea Party. The people of Boston have made an effort to preserve the city's history. Beginning at the Boston Common, Boston's Freedom Trail guides visitors on a 2 1/2 mile walk featuring 16 historic sites. The trail is marked by a red painted line or red bricks on the sidewalk and leads visitors to historic homes, such as the Paul Revere House, museums, churches, cemeteries, monuments, and crosses the Charles River to the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.
The men in the rocks
Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone, South Dakota is one of the most impressive sculptures in the world. Four heads of former United States presidents are carved into the granite stones. In order from left to right: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Many families make this a must-see stop during road trips. The Black Hills area has a variety of tourist-focused excursions and attractions including Crazy Horse Memorial and the Indian Museum of North America.
Remember Pearl Harbor
The USS Arizona Memorial is located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. This somber memorial honors the 1,102 sailors who died while onboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and are now considered "buried at sea" by the US Navy. The memorial can be reached by boat.
There are many shrines and museums remembering the slave-era in US history. One highly recommended destination is the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. It honors and educates the public about the Underground Railroad and slavery.
The Gateway Arch, or Gateway to the West, is the part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri. It was built in honor of westward expansion of the United States and stands at 630 feet (192 m). Guests can visit the underground visitor center and take a ride up to the top of the Arch. The windows at the top offer beautiful views on a clear day.
Another interesting Missouri stop is Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph which celebrates the 2,000 mile trek horseback riders took on the Pony Express between April 3, 1860 and October 1861. This route became the west's most direct means of east-west communication at its time.
Due to fire dangers some locations such as Mount Rushmore will not be having the annual fireworks this year, so please be sure to check with your destination while making your plans.
We hope you enjoyed this issue of USATourist News Magazine. We'll see you next month!
Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair
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