50 States, 50 Landmarks

From coast to coast, the United States of America brims with diversity. Check out our picks for the top landmark from each of the 50 states, in order of statehood.

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Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore (Keystone, SD)

Mount Rushmore (Keystone, SD)

You can't get more presidential than Mount Rushmore. This national memorial in South Dakota features the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

State Capitol Rotunda (Denver, CO)

State Capitol Rotunda (Denver, CO)

The rotunda of the state capitol building in Denver features portraits of all the US presidents. 960 1280

Photo Phiend, flickr  

Greenbrier Resort (White Sulpher Springs, WV)

Greenbrier Resort (White Sulpher Springs, WV)

The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia has played host to 26 US presidents. The last president to stay at the resort during his presidency was Dwight Eisenhower. 960 1280

Bobak Ha'Eri, Wikimedia Commons  

Mount Vernon (Mt. Vernon, VA)

Mount Vernon (Mt. Vernon, VA)

'Visitors watch as "America's smallest parade" takes place at historic Mount Vernon, Virginia near Washington, D.C., February 20, 2006. The U.S. is celebrating President's Day with parades and pageantry throughout the country. REUTERS/Mannie Garcia' 960 1280

© Mannie Garcia / Reuters, JPEGTOII2/MED  

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (Springfield, IL)

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (Springfield, IL)

Visitors look at a depiction of President Abraham Lincoln meeting with his cabinet, while touring the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL. 960 1280

Reuters  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (Washington, DC)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (Washington, DC)

President Clinton touches the statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's dog, Fala, as he and first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, view the FDR Memorial. The memorial places Roosevelt, the country's 32nd president, alongside giants of US history, Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson with monuments in the heart of the capital. 960 1280

Reuters  

Harry S. Truman's Farmhouse Sitting Room (Independence, MO)

Harry S. Truman's Farmhouse Sitting Room (Independence, MO)

This humble sitting room is from the farmhouse of President Harry S. Truman, located in Independence, MO. 960 1280

National Park Service  

Dwight D. Eisenhower Childhood Home (Denison,TX)

Dwight D. Eisenhower Childhood Home (Denison,TX)

Dwight D. Eisenhower, born in this house in Denison, TX, rose from modest roots to become Supreme Commander of all Allied forces during World War II and US president from 1953 to 1961. 960 1280

Jim Bowen through the Flickr Creative Commons License  

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (Simi Valley, CA)

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (Simi Valley, CA)

Nancy Reagan touches the grave marker of her husband, Ronald Reagan, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, on June 5, 2005, the one-year anniversary of his death. 960 1280

Pool/Getty Images  

Monticello (Charlottesville, VA)

Monticello (Charlottesville, VA)

Monticello, near Charlottesville, VA, was designed by Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Adams Tomb (Quincy, MA)

Adams Tomb (Quincy, MA)

The tomb of John Adams (left), second president of the US, is located at the same site as his son, John Quincy Adams (right), sixth president of the US, and their wives, at the United First Parish Church in Quincy, MA. 960 1280

Daderot, via Wikimedia Commons  

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston, MA)

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston, MA)

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, dedicated in 1979, is located on Columbia Point in Boston, MA. The building is the official repository for the original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration. 960 1280

Reuters  

Montpelier (Orange, VA)

Montpelier (Orange, VA)

Montpelier, located near Orange, VA, was a large tobacco plantation and estate of the prominent Madison family of Virginia planters, including James Madison, fourth president of the United States.
960 1280

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images  

George H.W. Bush Library (College Station, TX)

George H.W. Bush Library (College Station, TX)

Four US presidents pose inside the George H.W. Bush Library in College Station, TX, on November 6, 1997. Shown (L-R) are Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. 960 1280

REUTERS/Win McNamee  

William J. Clinton Presidential Library (Little Rock, AR)

William J. Clinton Presidential Library (Little Rock, AR)

Exhibit area featuring an exact replica of the Oval Office in the White House at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, AR, November 17, 2004. 960 1280

Reuters  

Photos

21 Photos
The Kennedy Clan

The Kennedy Clan

The Kennedy Family in Hyannis Port, MA, 1948. L-R: John F. Kennedy, Jean Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Patricia Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy (kneeling). JFK was the second of 9 children. 960 1280

Photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

JFK National Historic Site

JFK National Historic Site

See JFK’s birthplace in Brookline, MA. The Kennedy family moved into this 7-room, 2-and-a-half-story home in 1915; 2 years later John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in an upstairs bedroom. The home is closed during the winter, and reopens for summer. 960 1280

Sebastia Giralt, flickr  

PT 109

PT 109

Lieutenant junior grade John F. Kennedy aboard the PT-109 in the South Pacific, 1943. For heroic actions waged after his ship was rammed by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Hollywood later brought this story to the silver screen, in 1963’s biopic PT 109. 960 1280

  

JFK Island

JFK Island

This small island, in the Pacific Ocean, is the area where the 26-year-old JFK aided his injured crew after his boat, the PT-109, was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. Colloquially known as Plum Pudding Island, the tiny tropical island was later named JFK Island in honor of JFK’s heroism that day in 1943. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Bay of Pigs Invasion

Bay of Pigs Invasion

In April 1961, President Kennedy authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion, an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro's Cuban government. In this photo, a Cuban tank is positioned near the area where 1,500 anti-Castro rebels came ashore. 960 1280

Reuters  

Kennedy Compound

Kennedy Compound

President Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, John Jr. and Caroline, in Hyannis Port, MA, August 1962. The Kennedy Compound comprises 6 acres of waterfront property, and was once the home of JFK’s father. The grounds also served as a base for JFK’s 1960 presidential campaign. 960 1280

Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

Cuban Missile Crisis ... and 13 Very Tense Days

Cuban Missile Crisis ... and 13 Very Tense Days

President Kennedy wrote "Missile Sites" on this map of Cuba and marked them with "X"s when he was first briefed by the CIA on the Cuban Missile Crisis on Oct. 16, 1962. JFK's brother, Bobby, later wrote a memoir about this flashpoint moment, when the US was pushed to the brink of nuclear war, in Thirteen Days. 960 1280

Reuters/Brian Snyder BS/YH  

'Ich bin ein Berliner'

'Ich bin ein Berliner'

On June 26, 1963, Kennedy visited West Berlin and gave a historic speech to a massive audience of 450,000 people promising American support to West Germany, in the wake of the Soviet Union erecting the Berlin Wall 22 months before. The speech is known for its famous phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner!" (“I am a Berliner!”) 960 1280

Photograph by Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

President Kennedy and daughter Caroline aboard the "Honey Fitz" off the coast of Hyannis Port, MA, Aug. 31, 1963. Caroline later named her firstborn son, John ‘Jack’ Schlossberg, in honor of her father. 960 1280

Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

JFK’s Final Moments

JFK’s Final Moments

President John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and Texas governor John Connally ride through Dallas moments before Kennedy was assassinated, Nov. 22, 1963. Kennedy was shot twice, Connally in the chest, wrist and thigh. A 10-month investigation led by the Warren Commission concluded, in September 1964, that a lone gunman was the culprit; but 50 years later, many doubts remain in the American public’s mind. 960 1280

Reuters  

Dealey Plaza -- and the Grassy Knoll

Dealey Plaza -- and the Grassy Knoll

Dealey Plaza, a 15-acre public park in Dallas where the JFK assassination occurred. The northwest side of the plaza is home to the infamous "Grassy Knoll," from which, the House Select Committee on Assassinations determined there was a “high probability” that a second assassin also fired at JFK but missed. Dealey Plaza was named a National Historic Landmark in 1993. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Sixth Floor Museum

Sixth Floor Museum

Explore the details of JFK’s assassination, as well as his legacy, at the Sixth Floor Museum. Located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building, the museum houses a collection of 40,000 items related to JFK’s assassination. The museum also has a webcam that features a live view from the sniper spot. 960 1280

NK Eide, flickr  

JFK Eternal Flame

JFK Eternal Flame

An eternal flame marks JFK's grave at Arlington National Cemetery. Just 11 days prior to his assassination, JFK had visited the cemetery for Veterans Day services, and remarked, “I could spend eternity here.” JFK’s family honored his wish; his wife, Jackie, and 2 infant children, would later join him at this burial site. JFK’s brothers, Senators Robert Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy are buried a few yards away. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center

“I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft,” said JFK less than a month before his death. Today, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1971, stands as a living memorial to America’s 35th president. The center is the nation's busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly 2 million. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, located on Columbia Point in Boston, is the official repository for original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration. At the dedication ceremony in 1979, JFK Jr. read from the Stephen Spender poem, “I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great.” 960 1280

Reuters/Adam Hunger   

Montreal’s President Kennedy Avenue

Montreal’s President Kennedy Avenue

That greatness translated into widespread international appeal. Following JFK’s assassination, the world joined the United States in mourning. This included Canada, where the predominantly Roman Catholic Montreal named the street west of Saint-Urbain Street as Avenue du President-Kennedy, in honor of America’s first Catholic president. 960 1280

Kenn Chaplin, flickr  

John-F.-Kennedy-Platz

John-F.-Kennedy-Platz

Eight days after Kennedy’s assassination, a square in front of city hall in West Berlin was renamed John F. Kennedy Platz. It was here that JFK had delivered his rousing speech to Berliners, proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner.” The renaming of the square is noted in this large plaque, at the entrance to the old-time city hall. 960 1280

Henry Lee, flickr   

Yad Kennedy in Jerusalem

Yad Kennedy in Jerusalem

And on a lone hill, on the southwest edge of Jerusalem, the Yad Kennedy memorial was dedicated in JFK’s honor on July 4, 1966. The flat-topped memorial offers up a powerful image: 53 concrete “ribs,” separated by high, narrow windows, depict the huge stump of a tree cut down in its prime. 960 1280

JerandSar Gimbel, flickr  

John F. Kennedy Memorial in England

John F. Kennedy Memorial in England

“This acre of English ground was given to the United States of America by the people of Britain in memory of John F. Kennedy.” Those words, etched across this limestone memorial, were dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II in May 1965, in Runnymede alongside the River Thames. JFK’s widow, Jackie, attended the dedication. 960 1280

Wyrdlight, Wikimedia Commons  

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park

“This is not the land of my birth, but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection.” JFK was speaking about Ireland, which he visited in June 1963 -- he would later call his 4 days there the best 4 of his life. Visit Kennedy’s ancestral homeland, in New Ross, Co Wexford, and you’ll find the 623-acre John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. 960 1280

Sean Rowe, flickr   

Kennedy Memorial in Dallas

Kennedy Memorial in Dallas

When news hit of JFK’s assassination, Dallas became the undeserved target of a shocked nation’s grief. Cars bearing Dallas license plates were turned over and Dallas became known as the “City of Hate” for years to come. In 1970, wounds began to heal when this memorial to Kennedy was erected in downtown Dallas. Now, on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, local artists have put together the Dallas LOVE Project, a collection of 30,000 works of art throughout the city that show Dallas as “a city where love thrives.” 960 1280

ciocci, flickr   

Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation

Take a journey back in time and visit Civil War landmarks and plantations, which showcase the city’s rich history. Tour the 30-acre Belle Meade Plantation, which includes a visitors center, cabin, carriage house, winery, diary, stable, mausoleum and reconstructed slave quarters. The estate started as a small farm in the early 1800s and grew into a site for boarding and breeding Thoroughbred horses. As the plantation flourished, its resident family would soon become one of the largest slave owners in Nashville. 960 1280

Courtesy of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation  

Music City Walk of Fame

Music City Walk of Fame

Take a stroll along the Music City Walk of Fame in downtown Nashville. Since the Walk was established in 2006, it’s grown to include nearly 50 names -- including 2009 inductee Josh Turner. 960 1280

Sameer Vasta, flickr  

Nashville Pedal Tavern

Nashville Pedal Tavern

Take a 2-hour bar crawl on a 16-person bicycle. Nashville Pedal Tavern provides bikes to rent, a cooler, ice and cups, but patrons must bring their own beverages. Throw caution to the wind and take one of several bike routes, including options outside the Lower Broadway district, to explore the city’s bars, restaurants and shops. 960 1280
Parthenon

Parthenon

See this symbol of ancient Greece -- in Nashville’s Centennial Park. This full-scale replica of the Parthenon was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tennessee’s statehood. Nashville’s reputation as the “Athens of the South” (the city is home to many colleges and universities) sparked the idea for the replica. 960 1280

David Joyce, flickr  

Lane Motor Museum

Lane Motor Museum

Nashville is home to the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the US. The Lane Motor Museum features more than 330 automobiles -- such as this 1923 model built by Czechoslovakian manufacturer Tatra as one of the first “people’s cars” envisioned by designer Hans Ledwinka. 960 1280

dave_7, flickr  

General Jackson Showboat

General Jackson Showboat

Relive America’s riverboat days aboard the General Jackson, one of the largest showboats in America. Take in views of the Cumberland River from any of the 4 massive decks, and enjoy live country music from a 2-story Victorian theater. The riverboat is named for US president Andrew Jackson. 960 1280

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development  

Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo

See this African elephant at the Nashville Zoo, just 6 miles southeast of downtown Nashville. The 200-acre grounds are home to other endangered animal species as well, including the hyacinth macaw parrot, the Puerto Rican crested toad and the Bengal tiger. 960 1280

Brandi Korte, flickr  

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Explore a uniquely American musical sound at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The $37,000,000-facility illustrates country music’s evolution over 2 centuries. Hear the museum’s historic sound collection, which includes 98% of all country music tracks ever made before World War II. 960 1280

Cliff, flickr  

Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion

This Italian villa-style summer home was built in 1849 by one of the wealthiest women of the antebellum South. Adelicia Acklen lived here almost until the end of her life, in 1887. Today, Belmont Mansion is the largest house museum in Tennessee. 960 1280

Jim.cassady, flickr  

Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny Cash Museum

Are you fan of country singer Johnny Cash? Then don’t miss out on visiting this museum, one of Nashville’s newest attractions. Explore the Founder’s Suite to see some of the music icon’s rare memorabilia and antique furniture. The museum also functions as a multipurpose event space. 960 1280
The District

The District

Discover Nashville’s live music scene in the District. The downtown area, around Broadway and 2nd Avenue, is home to many bars, restaurants, dance halls and concert venues. Live music performances go until 3 a.m. on weekends. 960 1280

Timothy Wildley, flickr  

Grand Ole Opry

Grand Ole Opry

Pay a visit to country music’s most famous stage -- otherwise known as the Grand Ole Opry. The weekly performances have been going strong since 1925. Big-time names such as the Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts have performed here. 960 1280

Cliff, flickr  

The Hermitage

The Hermitage

Tour one of the best-preserved homes of a US president. After retiring from public life, Andrew Jackson lived on this sprawling 1,000-acre plantation home known as the Hermitage. See Jackson’s personal artifacts inside, such as pistols, watches and swords. 960 1280

lumierefl, flickr  

RCA Studio B

RCA Studio B

Music fans will enjoy exploring this historic studio, where many famous artists — including Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and the Everly Brothers — recorded some of their biggest hits, transforming Nashville into Music City. Now renovated and restored, RCA Studio B is also used as a classroom for local students learning the science of sound and recording technology. 960 1280

Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.  

Tennessee State Museum

Tennessee State Museum

Visit one of the largest state museums in America. Spanning over 60,000 square feet, the Tennessee State Museum explores the state's history, from pre-colonial days to modern times. The museum houses an impressive Civil War collection, one of the largest in the nation. 960 1280

Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Frist Center for Visual Arts

Frist Center for Visual Arts

There’s always something new to see at the Frist Center for Visual Arts. The art-exhibition center sees new art flow into its Art Deco building every 6 to 8 weeks. Exhibitions focus on visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major US and international artists. 960 1280

Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, from 1943 to 1974. It then fell into disrepair -- until singer Emmylou Harris held several concerts in the 2,362-seat venue. Since its renovation in 1994, Ryman has hosted many world-class performers -- from Aretha Franklin to Annie Lennox. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Printer’s Alley

Printer’s Alley

Welcome to Printer’s Alley, the famous area in downtown Nashville that’s home to numerous bars, nightclubs and restaurants. In the early 1900s, Printer’s Alley was a prominent hub for newspapers, print shops and book publishers. 960 1280

Andy Gasparini, flickr   

Woodhouse Day Spa

Woodhouse Day Spa

Take a short 30-minute drive from Nashville to relax and rejuvenate at the Woodhouse Day Spa in Franklin, TN. As one of the best spas in the area, this award-winning facility offers a variety of services, including day packages, signature facials, sleep treatments, massage therapy and body treatments such as a 50-minute wild lavender and seaweed sugar glow. Sounds divine! 960 1280

Terry Vine Photography / Woodhouse Day Spa  

In 1963, nearly 300,000 protestors headed to the nation's capital for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was a step in the right direction for passing the Civil Rights Act of1964. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his memorable 'I Have a Dream' speech at this spot on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963. 960 1280

Getty  

On March 30, 1965, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King led protestors in a march from Selma, AL, to the capitol in Montgomery to fight for black voting rights. 960 1280

Getty  

Martin Luther King Jr. slept in Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, on the night before he was assassinated while standing on the hotel's balcony in 1968. 960 1280

Reuters  

The Lorraine Motel is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum, which chronicles the civil rights movement and provides opportunities to learn more about peace and justice in our world. 960 1280

Reuters  

Visitors pay their respects to Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King at the crypt at the King Center in Atlanta. 960 1280

Reuters  

Martin Luther King Jr. was the pastor at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church & Parsonage in Montgomery, AL, between 1954 and 1960. Today, you can take a tour of the church and parsonage, both National Historic Landmarks. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Two great civil rights leaders are celebrated at the intersection of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Detroit. 960 1280

Reuters  

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati celebrates our country's civil rights heroes from the days of slavery and the Underground Railroad to modern times. 960 1280

Farshid Assassi/Assassi Productions  

In 1955, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white man. This action rocked the country and sparked another battle in the war for civil rights. Today, the public can step on the bus where it all began at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. 960 1280

Getty  

The Rosa Parks Museum tells the tale of the 'victory ride' and the 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system that happened after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. 960 1280

Getty  

Rosa Parks passed away in 2005 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. 960 1280

Getty  

Martin Luther King Jr. preached about nonviolence and peace from the pulpit of the original Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which was across the street from the new sanctuary on the grounds of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site. 960 1280

  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

In October 2011, after more than 2 decades of planning, the MLK Memorial opened in Washington, DC. Critics were unhappy with “drum major” quote abbreviation (pictured); the Department of Interior has since announced the quote will be removed. 960 1280

PBS NewsHour, flickr  

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