The United States is home to an estimated 35,000 museums, as well as thousands of state parks, hundreds of national park sites, and more than 600 amusement parks. With so many destinations and attractions to choose from, it may be hard to decide which ones are essential to visit. (But here are 30 experiences that should be on every American’s bucket list.)
Certain attractions, however, are undeniably more popular than others. To determine the most beloved American tourist attractions, 24/7 Tempo reviewed The Most Popular Tourist Attractions, a 2023 study by YouGov, an international market and data analytics website. The study ranked various tourist attractions based on fame and popularity – the latter defined as the percentage of survey participants who have a positive opinion of the attraction.
Some renowned attractions on the list are theme parks, monuments, and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution – the largest museum complex in the world – which encompasses 21 individual museums plus the National Zoo. The Smithsonian is one of many beloved sites in Washington, D.C, which dominates the list along with California and New York. (Disneyland and some other Disney theme parks score well on fame but surprisingly, for whatever reason, are all below 60% in popularity, so are not included here.)
A few architectural masterpieces like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building see millions of visitors every year. But natural wonders also draw the crowds. Of the most popular attractions, ten are national parks, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, Glacier, and Yellowstone, all of which also attract millions of visitors annually. (These are the most-visited national parks in the U.S.)