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USA’s Top 27 Man-Made Landmarks: Must-See Architectural Marvels (2024)

Are you looking for United States of America’s (USA’s) extraordinary array of architectural marvels? USA has some of the most beautiful man made structures that stand as testaments to human innovation and creativity. To get a list of these top 27 Man Made Landmarks in USA, I asked my fellow bloggers for their recommendations and the suggestions will just blow you mind.

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Top 27 Man Made Landmarks in USA

Balboa Park in San Diego

Submitted by Stephanie Thibaudeau Rytting from USA Adventurer

Balboa Park is one of the top destinations in the vibrant, beautiful city of San Diego, California, and is a National Historic Landmark. A plot of land was first set aside for the park in 1868, but it wasn’t until the late 1800’s-early 1900’s that the park started to be developed and cultivated. Many of the buildings and architecture in the park came from development for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition held in the park. 

Today, Balboa Park is a stunning combination of themed gardens, open greenspace, gorgeous buildings built in Spanish colonial revival architectural style, small cafes, and museums, expositions, and cultural events. The world-renowned San Diego Zoo is also on the grounds of Balboa Park (and shouldn’t be missed!).

Balboa Park
Balboa Park; Picture by Stephanie Thibaudeau Rytting from USA Adventurer

Some of the top spots in Balboa Park include the Organ Pavilion (where organ concerts are actually held on Sundays), the Lily Pond (which is probably the most famous photo spot in the park), and the bell tower. The Desert Garden and Rose Garden are popular spots, and the Alcazar Garden features a more Islamic style. 

Many of the buildings in Balboa Park are also museums. Some of the best museums include the Timken Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Us.

Balboa Park is quite close to downtown San Diego, one of the cities to visit in west coast of the USA, and is free to visit (although some museums, and the zoo, do have a cost). Parking is free, and there are several buses that have stops by the park, including bus 3, 7, 120, and 215. Balboa Park is definitely a place that belongs on any San Diego itinerary.

Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas

Submitted by Jessica Schmit from Uprooted Traveler

There are few places more iconic in the United States than the Las Vegas Strip, with dozens of over-the-top themed hotels. Of all of these resorts and casinos, the Bellagio and its fountains are perhaps the most famous of these man made attractions.

The Bellagio Fountains sit in front of the upscale casino, with over one thousand jets that blast streams of water up to 460 feet in the air. The fountains perform over a dozen times every day, with choreographed jets of water that blast, arc, and sway in perfect unison with popular music, ranging from Lady Gaga to Frank Sinatra, and lights. Performances start at 3 PM on weekdays and 12 PM on weekends, with shows every half hour until 8 PM and then every 15 minutes until midnight.

Bellagio Fountains
Bellagio Fountains; Picture by Jessica Schmit from Uprooted Traveler

The fountains have become so synonymous with Vegas opulence that they’ve been included in several movies, including The Hangover III and Ocean’s Eleven, and are a must-do on any Las Vegas itinerary!

The Bellagio Fountains and the rest of the Las Vegas Strip is just a short drive or bus ride away from the Harry Reid International Airport.

Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

Submitted by Megan from Your Brooklyn Guide

One of the most recognizable man-made landmarks in the United States can be found in New York City (NYC). The Brooklyn Bridge stands as an iconic symbol of early American engineering and urban grandeur.

This recognizable suspension bridge and NYC landmark was completed in 1883 and connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River.

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge; Picture by Megan from Your Brooklyn Guide

To anyone visiting New York City, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most popular activities to do. Not only do you get stunning skyline views of other iconic NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building, World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty, but either side of the bridge is fun to explore.

On the Manhattan side you have City Hall, you can either continue down to Lower Manhattan to the Financial District or South Street Seaport for some historic exploring or head to Chinatown for more cultural exploring.

On the Brooklyn side you can find some of the best things to do in Brooklyn in the gorgeous waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO. This is a very photogenic part of the city as you get an entire view of the sweeping skyline as well as great vantage points of both the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge is best crossed by foot. You can head to City Hall Park and walk along Centre Street, you’ll see the entrance to the bridge. From Brooklyn, you can find the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway from the underpass on Washington Street/Cadman Plaza East and Prospect Street in Dumbo.

Cloud Gate (The Bean) in Chicago

Submitted by Sophie Pham from Delightful Travel Notes

Cloud Gate is an iconic landmark situated in the heart of Millennium Park in Chicago. This public sculpture was created by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor for a design competition. Locals and visitors often refer to it as “The Bean” due to its bean-like shape, a design inspired by the fluidity and luster of liquid mercury.

Cloud Gate in Chicago
Cloud Gate; Picture by Sophie Pham from Delightful Travel Notes

Constructed from welded stainless steel plates, Cloud Gate boasts a highly polished exterior that reflects the towering skyscrapers and blue skies of Chicago. Thanks to its curved surface, taking a leisurely walk around its perimeter allows one to see Chicago from various angles. The skyline, the trees, and fellow visitors get reflected in surprising and delightful ways.

Since its completion in 2006, Cloud Gate has become one of the most popular spots to take photos in Chicago all year round. In winter, an ice skating rink is set up right under the famous sculpture.

While the Bean is undoubtedly a highlight, don’t forget to explore the rest of Millennium Park. The Crown Fountain and Lurie Garden are also worth a visit. Additionally, the Art Institute of Chicago is just a short walk away.

Chicago is served by two major airports, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport. The city is also accessible via a number of major interstate highways, making it an excellent travel destination in Illinois.

Empire State Building in New York City

Submitted by Raksha Nagaraj

One of the iconic skyscrapers located in New York City is the Empire State Building. Opened in 1931. The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb and Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates. Standing tall at 1454 feet, the Empire State Building has 102 stories and was the tallest building in the world when it was constructed. The building has two observation decks, one located on the 86th floor and the other located on the 102nd floor.

New York City
View from Empire State Building

Situated at 350 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the best way to get to Empire State Building is by taking a subway. You can take one of the subways like the 34th Street-Penn Station, 34th Street-Herald Square Station or 33rd Street Station. All these stations are at a walking distance from the building. There are many buses that operate in the vicinity of the Empire State Building. For latest information on public transport, check Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

The Empire State Building is open every day between 9 AM and 12 AM. And there is an entrance fee to enter the building. The best is to buy the tickets well in advance online so you can skip the line. It is best to visit the observation decks either in the morning to beat the crowd or at sunset to get spectacular views. You need about 1 to 2 hours to enjoy the views and the observation deck. The building is also home to fine dining restaurants.

By the way, New York City is a great place to witness white Christmas in the USA.

Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas, Florida

Submitted by Victoria J. Yore from Florida Trippers

If you’re looking for one of the most famous man made landmarks in USA then you can’t beat Fort Jefferson. Located in Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida, Fort Jefferson was once a military fortress and is currently the largest brick structure in the Americas. In fact, it was constructed between 1846 and 1875 and was designed to protect the area’s harbor. 

Now, while the fort was never completed or fully armed, it was eventually transformed into a prison that was designed to house Union deserters. Historically, the facility’s most famous prisoner was Dr. Samuel Mudd, who tended to the medical needs of John Wilkes Booth.

Today, this structure covers a massive 16 acres of land and is made up of well over 16 million bricks. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the best things to do in Florida

Fort Jefferson
Fort Jefferson; Picture by Victoria J. Yore from Florida Trippers

However, visiting can be tricky since the seven islands of Dry Tortugas National Park are located around 70 miles west of Florida. 

Therefore, you’ll need to book tickets aboard the Yankee Freedom ferry from Key West and take that boat all the way to Dry Tortugas National Park. Typically, the journey will take around 2 hours and 15 minutes each way and costs around US$190.00 per adult. 

However, breakfast and lunch are both included in the price of your ticket. Plus, you’ll enjoy free use of any snorkeling equipment and can take part in a 45-minute tour of Fort Jefferson upon arrival. Just be sure to book your tickets well in advance since this is the only way, other than seaplane, to visit the fort.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House in Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania

Submitted by Susan Decoteau-Ferrier from Beans Bikes and Blooms

Architecture enthusiasts and those with a deep appreciation for nature’s beauty will delight in a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater.

Frank Lloyd Wright, an iconic figure in American architecture is considered one of the most renowned and celebrated architects in the nation’s history. Among his many extraordinary creations, the Kaufmann House, more famously known as Fallingwater, is undoubtedly one of his crowning achievements.

Completed in 1939, this architectural gem is a UNESCO-designated site. It is an exceptional example of Wright’s organic design philosophy, seamlessly harmonizing art and nature. What sets Fallingwater apart is that it’s the only Wright property that has passed into the public domain, complete with its original artworks and Wright-designed furnishings.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater House
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House; Picture by Susan Decoteau-Ferrier from Beans Bikes and Blooms

Nestled approximately 70 miles from Pittsburgh, in the picturesque Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, this architectural marvel is surrounded by over 450 acres of pristine woodland. Onsite, you’ll discover meticulously maintained trails that promise a delightful walking experience in every season.

Additionally, this region of the Keystone State is home to Kentuck Knob, a FLW home built in the “Usonian” Style for the Hagan Family. Though not as well known or as highly regarded as Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob, located just 13 miles southwest, is worth visiting.

And if you want to do the full FLW tour of the Laurel Highlands, then a visit to Polymath Park is in order. Located 30 minutes to the north of Fallingwater, Polymath Park holds the Duncan House, which was relocated from Lisle, IL, and the Lindholm “Mäntylä” house, originally built in Cloquet, MN, and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr in the “BirdWing” design style.

At Polymath Park visitors can view the Balter and Blum houses, two homes designed by Peter Berndston in Wright’s Usonian style. The park’s purpose is to educate visitors on Wright’s Usonian house concept and his influence in the field of architecture.

All properties are open for tours, but times vary by location and season. Be sure to check the websites for each to coordinate your visit. And the homes at Polymath are even available for overnight stays. 

Geisel Library in San Diego

Submitted by Kristin Lee from Global Travel Escapades

San Diego is known for its thriving surf culture, diverse culinary scene, and fantastic weather. However, many people don’t know that San Diego is also home to some incredible architectural marvels. In particular, one that is always fun to see up close and explore is Geisel Library. Located on UC San Diego’s campus, this library is the symbol of one of the top research universities in the nation.

The library is positioned in the heart of the campus, near the university’s food court area and right at the end of Library Walk. It was built in 1970 and originally called Central Library, but it was renamed in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and his wife, Audrey. From the outside, you can see the library’s striking brutalist and futuristic architecture. Meanwhile, the inside features 7 levels, each packed with books and resources for students and the general public.

Geisel Library
Geisel Library; Picture by Kristin Lee from Global Travel Escapades

To reach the library, you’ll want to fly into San Diego International Airport and make your way north. If you’re taking public transportation, this can be done by taking the bus to downtown San Diego. From there, you can hop on the Blue Line and ride it until you reach UC San Diego. Once you’re on campus, feel free to ask any of the students where the library is as they’ll know exactly what you’re looking for!

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Submitted by Megan Indoe from Bobo & Chichi

Arguably the most recognizable bridge in the world and one of the most famous man made attractions in the United States is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Any San Francisco itinerary or trip should include viewing this iconic red-orange suspension bridge! And if you’re lucky, you’ll also see Karl, the infamous San Francisco Bay fog that has his own name.

The Golden Gate Bridge is without a doubt the symbol of San Francisco, making it one of the most famous man-made landmarks in the United States that was completed in 1937. At that time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. 

Golden Gate Bridge - View from Crissy Beach
Golden Gate Bridge; Picture by Megan Indoe from Bobo & Chichi

Its construction, spanning treacherous waters and tumultuous weather conditions, is a testament to human ingenuity. The bridge’s towers, anchorage, and cables are considered architectural marvels.

Not only are there several vantage points in San Francisco you can spot the infamous bridge, but the surrounding area of the bridge offers numerous opportunities from photography spots, vantage points, and even places to take a scenic walk.

One of the best ways to see the bridge is to take a San Francisco Bay cruise that departs from Pier 39. Not only will you get to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge, but you’ll also pass by the famous Alcatraz Island and see great views of the San Francisco skyline.

A few other great vantage points to see the Golden Gate Bridge also include Crissy Beach, Baker Beach, and on the San Francisco side of the Golden Gate Bridge head to the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center or Battery Spencer for classic, postcard-worthy views!

Grand Central in New York City

Submitted by Samantha Oppenheimer from Find Love and Travel

When thinking of famous man-made attractions, you have to visit Grand Central in New York City. Located In midtown Manhattan, this is more than just a transportation hub. The station is actually the second most visited location in New York, just missing out to Times Square. 

Opened to the public in 1913, this is one of New York’s architectural masterpieces. When you go inside, you’ll be transported back to a totally different time. 

Grand Central
Grand Central; Picture by Samantha Oppenheimer from Find Love and Travel

Inside the station, you’ll see the information booth clock, the whispering gallery, and the iconic celestial ceiling. Therefore, it should be a part of any 4 day NYC itinerary.

Additionally, there are great shops to explore and restaurants to try. Make sure to stop by Grand Central Market, which is a European-style marketplace. The market features all kinds of seafood, meats, and desserts. 

If you head here for dinner, you can have a meal under the stars at Cipriani Dolci. Or, indulge in a refreshing cocktail at The Campbell. 

The terminal sees thousands of visitors each day and is actually a well-known meeting spot for locals. With that in mind, you should try to visit early in the morning before it gets too crowded. The terminal is easily accessed by taking the subway via the 4, 5, 6, 7, and S subway lines.

Griffiths Observatory in Los Angeles

Submitted by Raksha Nagaraj

Opened to the public in 1935, the Griffiths Observatory is a renowned astronomical observatory in Los Angeles. Being one of the iconic man made landmarks in USA, the observatory houses a range of telescopes, including the historic Zeiss refractor and a solar telescope for observing the sun.

Named after Griffith Jenkins Griffith, a Welsh American philanthropist, the observatory has three levels and has been featured in numerous movies and television shows. One of the best things to do at the observatory is to see a planetarium show.

Night view of Griffith observatory
Night view

Situated on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the best way to get to Griffith Observatory is by bus. The DASH Observatory bus takes you directly to the observatory. You can also take a metro to Vermont / Sunset Red Line metro station, and then either hike up or take a bus to the observatory.

Griffiths Observatory is open Thursday to Sunday with weekdays between 12 PM and 10 PM, and weekends between 10 AM and 10 PM. You need at least 3 hours to view the exhibits and attend one of the shows. It is best to visit the observatory during sunset. There is an entrance fee to get into the observatory.

Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles

Submitted by Raksha Nagaraj

Originally constructed in 1923 as a real estate advertisement, the Hollywood sign is one of the most famous man made landmarks in USA. It was initially called and displayed as Hollywoodland. Later land words were removed and then the sign became Hollywood. One of the best views of the Hollywood sign is from Griffiths Observatory. The sign is the best spot to see the sunset in Los Angeles.

Hollywood sign at Griffith Observatory
Hollywood sign at Griffith Observatory

The only way to get near the Hollywood sign is by hiking. There are many hiking trails that lead up to the sign. One of the hikes is the Griffith Observatory Hike which is around 2.5 miles return. This is an easy hike and can be done by beginners. Another hike is the Bronson Canyon Hike which is around 3 miles return. This trail is famous for the Bronson Caves.

The best time to visit the Hollywood sign is during the sunset. It provides mesmerising views of the city. Many tour companies offer guided tours to take the visitors closer to the sign and provide information on the city and landmarks.

Hoover Dam in Black Canyon

Submitted by Emma Liddell from Journey of a nomadic family

Welcome to the iconic Hoover Dam, a marvel of modern engineering nestled in the heart of the American Southwest. This impressive, famous man-made landmark stands proudly on the border of Nevada and Arizona, spanning the mighty Colorado River and as you approach the colossal structure, you will be awed by the sheer magnitude of human ingenuity.

The Hoover Dam is a testament to human ambition. Constructed during the Great Depression and officially built as the Boulder Dam, there were a total of 96 fatalities; the result of accidents, falls, drowning and heat-related illnesses. 

Its sheer size and the power of the water will amaze you! As you take your first steps across the dam, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of both the Black Canyon Colorado River and Lake Mead which was created as a result of the dam’s construction. The dark waters contrast beautifully with the rugged desert landscape that surrounds them.

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam; Picture by Emma Liddell from Journey of a nomadic family

Guided tours are available for those eager to explore the inner workings of this concrete giant. Descend into the depths of the dam to witness the intricate machinery that powers the hydroelectric plant, providing electricity to millions of homes in the region.

It’s best to drive to the dam so you can spend as much time as you want although there are regular organised trips as well. Alternatively, during the cooler months, you can hike there on the Historic Railroad Hiking Trail. This track is closed during summer due to the desert heat however the historical trail follows the path of the defunct Boulder City Branch Line, offering hikers a fascinating journey through the past with stunning lake vistas along the way.

Once you’re at the dam, don’t forget to take a walk up to and across the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge which offers a bird’s-eye view of the Hoover Dam and its surroundings. Whether you’re captivated by the history, engineering prowess, or simply the sheer magnificence of the Hoover Dam, it’s a must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable experience. 

Liberty Bell in Philadelphia

Submitted by Amber Haggerty from Amber Everywhere

The Liberty Bell is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols in the United States. First commissioned in 1752, the bell was cast with the phrase, “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof,” earning it the moniker the Liberty Bell. It cracked and was recast a few times, but it developed its trademark crack around 1835. 

Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell; Picture by Amber Haggerty from Amber Everywhere

The Liberty Bell, complete with its trademark crack down the side, is on display in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of the east coast cities to visit. While you’re there, you can visit a few other famous sites like Independence Hall, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and the Museum of the American Revolution. Being near so many important landmarks and sites is one of the perks of living in Pennsylvania

The Liberty Bell Center is located at 526 Market Street, in an urban area of Philadelphia, and is free to visit. You can reach the Liberty Bell by car or public transit, and the nearest transit stop is Jefferson Station. Note that there is not a dedicated parking lot for the Liberty Bell Center. 

If you’re planning to explore Philadelphia on foot, you might want to park outside of Center City. There are cheaper lots and even some free, unlimited parking in South Philadelphia. The area near the Liberty Bell Center tends to be crowded, and parking could be quite pricey and/or hard to find. 

Because entrance to the Liberty Bell Center is first-come, first-served, you’ll want to arrive as early in the day as possible if visiting on the weekend. Lines can get quite long, and there’s not much shade if you visit on a hot summer day.

Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Submitted by Raksha Nagaraj

Dedicated in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial is a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Designed by an architect named Henry Bacon, the memorial is in the form of Greek Doric temple and features 36 columns each representing a state in the Union at that time of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. One of the main attractions in the memorial is the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln sculpted by Daniel Chester French.

The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial

Located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington D.C., the best way to get to the memorial is by a metro. Just 10 to 15 minutes walk from the memorial is the metro station named Foggy Bottom-GWU station. You can also take a bus that stops at the National Mall. For more information, ensure to check the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) website.

The monument is open to public at all times during the day and night. It is best to visit the memorial during the day or at sunset to get amazing views of the National Mall and the Reflecting Pool.

Mackinac Bridge in Michigan

Submitted by Teresa Kulczycki from An Acre in the City

The Mackinac Bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac; this engineering wonder connects Michigan’s two peninsulas. It links St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula to Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula along I-75.

Affectionally known as the “Mighty Mac,” it is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth longest globally. The bridge opened to traffic in November 1957.

Mackinaw Bridge
Mackinaw Bridge; Picture by Teresa Kulczycki from An Acre in the City

The Bridge is a great starting point for a road trip to the upper or lower peninsula! Before crossing the bridge, stop for some photos!

Alexander Henry Park is a great place to snap photos in the Lower Peninsula. While at the park, visit the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, open for tours from May through October. 

Next to the park is Colonial Michilimackinac, where you can learn what life was like in the French colonial fort in the early 1700s.

On the Upper Peninsula side of the bridge, visit the Bridge View Park, which is open from mid-April through mid-November. The park features indoor exhibits about the construction of the bridge. 

Or visit the Straits State Park for other incredible viewpoints – the state park is open year-round.

There’s no public transportation across the Mackinac Bridge, so plan to drive a personal vehicle over the span. There is a US$2/axle fee charged to cross the bridge. 

For a unique experience, participate in the Annual Bridge Walk, held on Labor Day. Or check out the 1,500+ antique tractors that join the slow-moving tractor parade across the Mighty Mac. Construction caused the cancellation of the 2023 tractor parade, but it should return in September 2024.

While in the area, consider spending a day at Mackinac Island, where automobiles are not allowed. Ferry transportation to the island is located in St. Ignac and Mackinaw City.

Mount (Mt.) Rushmore

Submitted by Meggie Winn Busath from Parks Family Travel

Mt. Rushmore is a US national treasure located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Started in 1927, it took 14 years to complete the work that now depicts four former US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. It was painstakingly crafted from the granite mountainside and required the use of dynamite, jackhammers, and chiseling by hand. 

Mt Rushmore
Mt. Rushmore; Picture by Meggie Winn Busath from Parks Family Travel

You can easily get to Mt. Rushmore from Rapid City, South Dakota which has a regional airport that is serviced by larger hubs such as Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, and Chicago (ORD). Other nearby towns that you can visit or stay in when exploring Mt. Rushmore include Keystone, Deadwood, and Custer. You will most likely want to rent a car when traveling in the area, unless you plan on participating solely in tour group visits.

While you may not need all day at Mt. Rushmore, give yourself a few hours to walk up closer to the monument, catch the informative film, and maybe even grab a bite to eat. They serve a vanilla ice cream that is reported to be Thomas Jefferson’s personal recipe.

If you have the time and means, come back for an evening visit to take in Mt. Rushmore at night. With each state flag lit up, and the four faces glowing with light, it’s a whole different experience. On select nights, there is also a short program held for visitors.

Mt. Rushmore is definitely worth a visit and the beautiful surroundings that you can also explore are an added bonus.

New York Public Library in New York City

Submitted by Martha Knight from May Cause Wanderlust

New York City is known for its skyscrapers, but one of its memorable landmarks is a low-rise building, right in the middle of bustling Mid-town Manhattan.

Even if you’re not an avid reader, the New York Public Library is worth a visit. The main branch, called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, is a National Historic Landmark, a National Register of Historic Places site, and a New York City designated landmark. It has been providing access to books and literature for more than 100 years.

New York Public Library
New York Public Library; Picture by Martha Knight from May Cause Wanderlust

You might have seen it feature in movies set in New York City, including Ghostbusters (1984), The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and Sex And The City (2008).

It was built in 1911 and its architectural style is Beaux Arts, which was popular in the early 20th century. Two stone lions guard the steps that go up to the entrance and they have names! They’re called Patience and Fortitude.

Inside, the stone stairways are grand and impressive, but perhaps the most spectacular architectural feature is the Rose Reading Room, which has an ornate ceiling, arched windows, fancy chandeliers and rows of quaint lamp-lit tables.

New York Public Library is located on Fifth Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets and it’s reachable by bus and Subway. 

Overseas Highway in Florida Keys

Submitted by Bett Staton from Florida Vacationers

While it might not be the first man-made attraction to come to mind, the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys certainly is one of the most impressive!

Driving the 113 mile long highway is one of the coolest experiences on a Miami to Key West road trip. Enjoy dramatic views of the Keys while you cruise one of the prettiest drives in the world.

Overseas Highway
Overseas Highway; Picture by Bett Staton from Florida Vacationers

While you can take a public bus from Miami to Key West, it is recommended to hire a rental car (and even better a red Mustang convertible) to make the most of the drive. You will want to make many stops along your journey to explore some of the best towns in the Florida Keys including Key Largo, Marathon, Bahia Honda and finally Key West.

If you drive the Overseas Highway in one go, it will take around 4 hours non-stop one way but you will want to make regular stops as there is so much to see and do all along the Keys!

Some of the best snorkeling in the world can be enjoyed in Bahia Honda State Park. It also has some of the best camping in the Keys with incredible sea views from your campsite at less than US$50 a night.

Don’t miss stopping in to feed giant tarpon at Robbie’s in Islamorada, it is a “must do” activity in the Keys. You will also want to try some of the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys at Mrs Mac’s Kitchen in Key Largo.

Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee

Submitted by Tina Tolbert from The Southern Travelista

Nashville, Tennessee may be known for country music and honky tonks, but it is also home to a pretty fabulous man-made attraction.  In the heart of Centennial Park on the west end of the city sits a complete life-sized replica of the famous Parthenon building in Athens, Greece.

The building was originally erected for Tennessee’s Centennial
celebration in 1897. Nashville has long been known as the Athens of the South because of its many colleges and universities. Creating the replica of this famous Athenian temple was a way to celebrate this part of Nashville’s culture. The Parthenon became such a popular attraction during the yearlong celebration that the city decided to make it a permanent fixture.

Parthenon; Picture by Tina Tolbert from The Southern Travelista

Inside the lower level of this famous building, you’ll find several art
galleries. The east and west galleries frequently change out their
exhibits to highlight the history and culture of the Parthenon or Nashville as a whole. A permanent exhibition showcases a collection of American Art and the history of Centennial Park and the creation of the Parthenon.

After walking through the galleries be sure to make your way to the upper level of the Parthenon for a real treat! A 42-foot replica of the goddess Athena. It is awe-inspiring to see her adorned in all gold,
holding Nike, the goddess of victory.

Nashville’s Centennial Park is easily accessible by their public bus
system. If you are staying on the West End side of Nashville, you can easily walk to Centennial Park to take in the beauty of the grounds with the Parthenon as a perfect backdrop. It is one of those unique
Nashville landmarks that makes for a spectacular visit!

Perrine Memorial Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho

Submitted by Emily Mandagie from The Mandagies

For an underrated, yet incredible man-made landmark, you must travel to the city of Twin Falls in Idaho. This city is known for its stunning waterfalls like Shoshone Falls, Perrine Coulee Falls, and Auger Falls, which all reside in a deep canyon that cuts right through town. With a deep canyon comes bridges, and one you MUST see for yourself is the Perrine Bridge.

The original Perrine Bridge was opened in 1927, spanning across the Snake River. Today, it’s a four-lane truss-arch bridge that stretches over 300 meters across the Snake River Canyon. It’s the 8th highest bridge in the United States.

Perrine Bridge
Perrine Bridge; Picture by Emily Mandagie from The Mandagies

Getting to the Perrine Bridge is easiest by car. Fly into Boise, Idaho, rent a vehicle, and take an easy 2-hour drive down to Twin Falls. To get the full experience, book a base jumping excursion. This place is famous all over the world for base jumping, and it’s the only man-made structure that’s open year-round for base jumping in the USA.

Don’t worry if base jumping isn’t your thing, you can enjoy the bridge in other ways. Check it out on foot via an easy walk from the visitors center. You can also drive down into the canyon and view it from Centennial Waterfront Park. At the park, you can book a boat tour of the Snake River, rent paddle boards, or simply enjoy its view while having a picnic in the lawn. There are so many things to do in Twin Falls, but experiencing the Perrine Bridge is one of the top activities in town!

It’s best to come visit Perrine Bridge in the summertime, when all the outdoor opportunities are available to you to enjoy several perspectives of the bridge.

Rockefeller Center in New York City

Submitted by Marianne Ferrari from Pasta Pretzels and Passports

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Rockefeller Center is an iconic New York attraction that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Not only will you recognize it from countless movies and TV shows, but Rockefeller Center is home to the famous Radio City Music Hall and the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in NYC.

Getting to Rockefeller Center is pretty easy, as it’s well-connected by public transportation. Just a short walk from major subway lines, you can hop on the train, take a local bus, or easily access it on foot if you’re exploring Midtown Manhattan.

Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the famous Art Deco architecture. And while Rockefeller Center is pretty nice to look at, there is also plenty to do there.

The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is a must-visit, as it offers jaw-dropping 360-degree views of the city skyline. Hint hint, it’s less busy than the Empire State Building and offers the perfect spot for taking Instagram-worthy photos!

During the winter, the seasonal ice skating rink is a major attraction. And while the amount of skaters on the ice is limited, the line-ups for this iconic experience can get pretty crazy. Try to aim for a morning or late evening skate for the smallest crowds.

Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center; Picture by Marianne Ferrari from Pasta Pretzels and Passports

If you are looking for a little retail therapy, the Channel Gardens and the Concourse offer a variety of shops and boutiques.

It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs, gifts, and even luxury items. You will also find a range of dining options, from casual bites to upscale dining experiences in the Concourse.

If you plan to visit the Rockefeller Center during the holiday season, keep in mind that it can get really busy. Lines for the observation deck and ice skating can get long, so you should consider booking your tickets in advance to save time.

Statue of Liberty in New York City

Submitted by Raksha Nagaraj

Known as the Lady Liberty, the Statue of Liberty is a UNESCO Heritage site in New York City. Dedicated in 1886, the statue is a gift from the people of France and was designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

Standing tall at 151 feet, the statue is a sculpture of a woman holding a torch on her right hand and a tablet inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence. She is an enduring symbol of freedom, democracy, and the nation itself.

Situated on the Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty is accessible by ferry from Battery Park in Manhattan. There is a museum that is below the monument and in order to visit the museum, the visitors need to purchase a ticket.

View from the ferry - Statue of Liberty
View from the ferry – Statue of Liberty

The monument is open every ay between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. It is best to visit the monument and the museum in the morning to get lesser crowd. Visitors can get to the top of the statue to the crown by climbing 354 steps.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

Submitted by Jessica D’Addabbo from Travel + Tannins

The Gateway Arch is an incredible monument found in St. Louis, Missouri. Built in the 1960s, the Arch was to symbolize westward expansion that took place in the 1800s. St. Louis was the major city that pioneers traveled from, as it was a well-built “hub” for pioneers to fuel up prior to their long journeys ahead.

The Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch; Picture by Jessica D’Addabbo from Travel + Tannins

Standing tall at 630 feet, and 630 feet wide, The Gateway Arch was constructed out of stainless steel and built to last through storms and tornadoes. The Arch is actually completely hollow on the inside, with a 6-car tram that can take visitors to the top of the arch. From the top, you are able to see both Missouri on the west and Illinois on the east, with a stark difference in the infrastructure between both.

The Gateway Arch is situated in Gateway Arch National Park, the smallest National Park in the United States. The Gateway Arch National Park is actually one of the top free things to do in St. Louis! Visiting the grounds and museum below the arch is free, but there is an admission fee to ride to the top.

To get to the Arch, you can take the MetroLink to “Laclede’s Landing,” and from there it is a short walk until you are on the grounds. The Arch is also accessible by car, with parking available on the bordering streets of the park.

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles

Submitted by Victoria Maria from Guide Your Travel

The Getty Museum, nestled high in Los Angeles, California hills, is a renowned cultural landmark that offers a captivating blend of art, architecture, and natural beauty. Located in the upscale neighbourhood of Brentwood, this iconic institution focused on preserving and showcasing an impressive collection of European paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and decorative arts.

The Getty Museum
The Getty Museum; Picture by Victoria Maria from Guide Your Travel

You can use the convenient public transportation options to reach the Getty Museum. The Metro Bus Line 734 is reliable, dropping you off near the museum’s entrance. Alternatively, you can enjoy a picturesque tram ride from the lower parking area to the hilltop campus, which provides breathtaking views of Los Angeles.

The Getty Museum boasts architectural marvels designed by Richard Meier, known for his minimalist aesthetic. The serene Central Garden, adorned with impressive outdoor sculptures, is a hidden gem within the complex, perfect for a stroll and tranquillity.

As you explore the museum, check for any special exhibitions and events, as they offer unique opportunities to delve deeper into the world of art and culture. Also, remember that admission to the Getty Museum is free, but parking comes with a fee. It’s advisable to book your parking in advance and plan for a full day to savour all that this cultural treasure has to offer.

The White House in Washington D.C.

Submitted by Eleanor Blaire from Elevate Your Escapes

The White House, located in Washington D.C., is the iconic symbol of the United States. It was designed by James Hoban and construction began in 1792. It was completed in 1800, and became the official residence of the President of the United States. Over the years, it has undergone several renovations and expansions, evolving into the grand neoclassical mansion that is today.

The White House
The White House; Picture by Eleanor Blaire from Elevate Your Escapes

Visiting the White House is best done by utilizing Washington D.C.’s efficient public transportation system. Take the Metrorail to Federal Triangle station (blue, silver, and orange lines) or McPherson Square station (blue, silver, and orange lines). From there, it’s a short walk to the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Visitors can also take rideshare and be dropped off nearby. Driving is not advised, as there is limited parking in the area. Travelers can line up along the gates to look at the house from afar. Expect high security in the area.

Tours of the inside of the White House are free! They must be requested through a Member of Congress and submitted at least 21 days in advance. The tours may cover different rooms of the White House, depending on what is being utilized that day. Visitors undergo rigorous security checks, including metal detectors and bag scanners. It’s best to take as little as possible.

Willis Tower in Chicago

Submitted by Anastasia Kornilova from Travel Realist

The Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois should be on your list of the city’s architectural landmarks. Built in 1973, it was the tallest building on the planet for 25 years. While the Petronas Towers in Malaysia surpassed the Willis Tower in 1998, it remains the tallest skyscraper in Chicago to this day.

Famous Man Made Landmarks - Willis Tower in Chicago
Willis Tower; Picture by Anastasia Kornilova from Travel Realist

The Willis Tower is in the heart of the Loop, the center of the city. It is at the intersection of Wacker Drive and Adams Street. The tower takes up an entire block. You will spot this tall black skyscraper easily on the city skyline.

You can choose to reach it on foot or via public transportation depending on where you are coming from. Quincy is the closest subway station. It is a block away from the tower. Jackson & Franklin is the nearest stop on several bus routes.

Millions of tourists come to the Willis Tower to get a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Skydeck, its observation platform. You can book your timed entry ticket in advance to spend less time in line. A general admission ticket costs US$46 per adult. Make sure to check the weather forecast before you go to ensure good visibility.  

The Skydeck has another unique experience. You could stand above the city on a glass platform that extends outside the building. The Ledge is 103 stories high and included in the admission. There is a separate line for this attraction. You can easily spend a couple of hours at the tower enjoying the views and waiting for your turn to stand on the Ledge.

Closing Notes | Top 27 Man Made Landmarks in USA

As you visit these remarkable sites, take a moment to appreciate the ingenuity, craftsmanship, and determination that brought them to life. And remember, these top 27 man made landmarks in USA are not only a part of the country’s heritage but also a part of our shared human history. Each one tells a unique story, reflecting the diversity and ambition of this nation.

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