By Chris Tolutope
From man-made attractions such as the skyscrapers of New York and Chicago to natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon in Colorado to Bridal Veil Falls in Utah, the United States is blessed with breathtaking tourist destinations. If you are coming from Nigeria, it is easy to get carried away by the beauty of American cities. But if you want to really explore America, more than the average visitor from Nigeria, we have put together a list of the 20 best places to visit in the United States.
20. Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA
Faneuil Hall is one of the most visited places in the United States. In fact, Travel and Leisure reports that with 15 million visitors every year, Faneuil Hall is the eighth most visited site in the United States. Built in the 18th century, Faneuil Hall is also called the “Cradle of Liberty” because it served as a meeting place for America’s founding fathers during their fight for freedom and against British oppression. If you are visiting Faneuil Hall, expect to spend money; in addition to the tour of history, it provides many opportunities for indoor and outdoor shopping, as well as local desserts and cuisine.
19. The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL
To appreciate America’s space program, you must first see the Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center is in Cape Canaveral on the coast of Florida. Over the past 50 years, the Kennedy Space Center has been the launch site for America’s space flights. Visitors experience, first hand, the tension and adrenaline that comes from space travel.
18. Bridal Veil Falls in Provo, Utah
Bridal Veil Falls is in Provo Canyon, a site found in Provo, Utah. It is called Bridal Veil for its appearance during the fall when the area’s recurrent winds blow the mist sideways. It is a beautiful sight to behold. If you are visiting Bridal Veil Falls, make sure to bring your hiking shoes. This site offers people the opportunity to hike the hills that border the falls. While some people choose to climd the hills, others opt for the many trails around the falls. Bridal Veil Falls is the first place our Executive Editor visited when he came to the United States. For a person coming from Nigeria, visiting Bridal Veil Falls in early summer the place may feel a little cold.
17. Bryce National Park in Utah
Right under Bridal Veil Falls is the Bryce National Park also in Utah. Located in Southern Utah, Bryce National Park is a stunning formation of rocks that looks like a showground. Early Mormon settlers called it the “canyon home.” This awe-inspiring formation of rocks offers great hiking opportunities. The most popular vantage point is the sunset point because it offers a dizzying panoramic view of the yellow, red, and orange rock formation.
16. San Antonio River Walk in Texas
San Antonio’s River Walk is one of the best places in the United States to spend time, especially if you are looking to dine, wander, or for souvenirs. This beautiful walk stretches along the San Antonio River in the heart of the city. Our Editor-in-Chief said that what he enjoyed most was watching the boats meander along the river as he enjoyed the delicious fine cuisine that Texas has to offer. Big trees provide shade for patrons enjoying a variety of entertainment and live music.
15. Times Square in New York, NY
More than 26 million visit Times Square in the heart of New York City each year. Times Square is famous for its flashing lights, New Year’s Eve ball drop, and constant throngs of people. Located in the middle of the City That Never Sleeps, the best time to visit Times Square might truly be at night. The lights and the people come alive at night. As a group, our staff makes it a point of duty to visit Times Square at night whenever we are in New York.
14. Sedona Red Rock Country in Arizona
Sedona Red Rock State Park is a stunning landscape of red rock formations. If you like outdoor adventures as most Nigerians do, Sedona Red Rock Country is an amazing place to spend time. It has a good number of rocks, but the Cathedral Red Rock is one of the favorite hiking trails for locals and tourists. Our staff’s favorite thing was the Jeep drive around the Sedona trails.
13. Glacier National Park in Montana
Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the most gorgeous mountain terrains in the United States. The park covers an expanse of 1,583 square miles of wilderness. Its glacier-carved peaks run to the Canadian border. Going-to-the-Sun Road is close to 50 miles long (80 km) and runs through the park from east to west. This road opened in 1932 and runs up to an elevation of 7,747 ft at a site called Logan pass. If you want to see Logan Pass, you have to come during the summer months. Because of the elevation, and the risks associated with icy roads and heavy snowfall, it is only open during summer.
12. French Quarter in New Orleans, LA
The architectural design of the French Quarter in New Orleans explores the rich French colonial influence on the city. The French Quarter in Louisiana is the most visited of all the unique districts. The main attraction in the French Quarter is the Saint Louis Cathedral. However, there is also the Mississippi River, the Moon Walk, and Bourbon Street. All are filled with the unique culture and flavors of New Orleans.
11. Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL
There are a quite a number of amusement parks in Orlando, Florida. But the most popular by far is Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World is made of several distinct theme parks, including Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Blizzard Beach Water Park. Recently, a visit to the Avatar world of Pandora was added to Walt Disney World’s attractions. The ride through Pandora was breathtaking. If you go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, you must stay for the amazing thrill of the fireworks and the flying Tinkerbell.
10. Las Vegas Strip in Nevada
The Las Vegas Strip is an amazing arrangement of lights and entertainment. Without a doubt, it is the gambling Mecca of the world. It is situated in the southern Nevada desert. Mandalay Bay, Caesar’s Palace, and Planet Hollywood are decorated with breathtaking detail and care, creating a fantasy-like atmosphere. It was one of the last places we visited before our publication, and it left a lasting impact.
9. The White House in Washington, DC
The White House in Washington, DC serves as the official residence and office of the President of the United States. The White House was built in 1792 by James Hoban. It was burned down by the British forces in 1814 and rebuilt in 1818. The only president who did not live in the White House was George Washington. Since September 11, 2001, security at the White House has become very tight. A tour inside the White House must be arranged for groups of 10 or more and must be requested six months in advance through your member of congress or your country’s Ambassador to the United States.
8. Waikiki in Hawaii
Waikiki, located on the South Shore of Honolulu, is home of the most popular beaches in the Hawaiian Islands. In 1901 the Moana Surfrider was built on the shores of Waikiki Beach. Today, Waikiki Beach is the perfect combination of tropical paradise and modern city. Every hotel room in Waikiki is two or three blocks away from the sea. The food, sunbathing, shopping, and people make this part of Oahu incredibly popular with tourists from all over the world. A visitor from Nigeria will find it very homey and welcoming.
7. Denali National Park in Alaska
Nigerians do not like cold weather, but if you are ready to bundle up, Denali National Park will be an unforgettable experience. Denali National Park is in the interior of Alaska. It contains the highest mountain in North America – Mount McKinley. The park protects a wide variety of animals such as moose, wolves, grizzly bears, and many others in its wilderness.
6. Golden Gate National Park in San Francisco, CA
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County to the North. When the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The well-known and highly recognizable orange color of the bridge was deliberately selected to make the bridge visible through the fog that always covers the bridge. The areas around the Golden Gate Bridge are the Golden Gate recreational area. The park area supports 19 distinct ecosystems with over 2,000 plants and animal species.
5. Yellowstone National Park in California
Yellowstone National Park, set aside in 1872, became the world’s first national park. The purpose was to preserve the vast number of hot springs, geysers, and many other thermal areas. It was also intended to protect the incredible wildlife and rugged beauty of the area. Animals such as bears, deer, elk, bison, and wolves can be found in the park area.
4. Niagara Falls in New York and Canada
If you are visiting from Nigeria, Niagara Falls is one major place in the United States that you must visit. Niagara Falls is situated between New York and the province of Ontario, Canada. It is easily one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. Niagara Falls is made of three different falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, the American Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls is located on the Canadian side while the other two are on the American side. The breathtaking beauty and connection with nature make Niagara Falls an ideal place for meditation.
3. Manhattan, New York
Most often when people think of New York it is Manhattan that they picture in their minds. Manhattan is one New York’s five boroughs. It is the most densely populated of the five boroughs. Manhattan’s familiar skyscrapers and skyline have been featured in countless movies. The iconic sites include the skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, neon-lit Times Square, and the statue of Liberty.
2. The Statue of Liberty in New York
The Statue of Liberty has been for many years a universal symbol of freedom. It was a gift of friendship from France to the United States in 1886. The statue stands 152 ft high in New York Harbor. If you are visiting from Nigeria, the Statue Liberty is one visit that you must make. Visitors can admire the Statue of Liberty from different vantage points. If you are planning to visit the Statue of Liberty, it is encouraged that you make advance ticket purchase.
1. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
The Grand Canyon was carved by the Colorado River in Arizona. The Grand Canyon cuts deep into the landscape with a depth of more than one mile. The South rim is the most visited section of the Grand Canyon National Park. Visitors can see an area of land spanning as far as the eyes can see. It is breathtaking and easily the most visited place in the United States.