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Mind-Bending Facts Presents the Ultimate List of Famous Landmarks in the USA

Which places made it to our list of famous landmarks in the USA? Let’s find out!

Certain destinations have a built-in boastfulness factor—Paris, the Maldives, and the North Pole, just to name a few—but when you get back from vacation and tell people you saw the world’s largest rock chair, well, you’re definitely an upper-level traveler.

America has plenty of kitschy, funny, and unusual landmarks, and they’re just waiting for you to discover and explore them. In fact, there are so many that you wouldn’t know which ones you should see first. That’s why we’ve made a list of famous landmarks in the USA to narrow your options and help you choose the ones you like the most.

Anyone can get a photo of a sunset with palm trees, but when you see on social media shots of you and your spouse fooling around with autographed hot dog buns in Toledo or a shot of 139 skulls from the Mütter Museum’s skull wall, you’ve gained credibility as a top-tier voyager.

Without further ado, here’s our list of famous landmarks in the USA, so embark right away with high spirits and get ready to explore some unique places!

list of famous landmarks in the USA
Photo by Ronnie Howard from Shutterstock

1. Big Fish Set (Jackson Lake Island, AL)

The first destination on our list of famous landmarks in the USA is the Big Fish Set, which is located just outside of Montgomery on the Alabama River. Here you’ll discover a Tim Burton fairytale on a privately owned island.

The fictitious town of Spectre was built in the early 2000s by the production company behind the comedy-drama movie Big Fish. So, yes, the original purpose was to shoot the movie there, but they eventually decided to leave it up.

For a small fee, you can follow Ewan McGregor’s footsteps across the town square to the remaining styrofoam trees from the spooky forest, to the rundown church, and even hang shoes off the clothesline. Moreover, you’ll be surprised to see goats roaming the island.

You can find the movie here.

2. La Brea Tar Pits (Los Angeles, CA)

The second spot on our list of famous landmarks in the USA is La Brea Tar Pits, a place that reproduces the times when fossils were very much alive. Here you’ll see where the animals of yore wandered and how they became stuck forever in tar.

To top it off, there are also predators that would see their prey struggling and join the easy feast, only to become stuck themselves. It’s quite awful to observe, yet captivating.

Paleontologists have been able to recover about 1 million bones from the tar pit, including from dire wolves, saber-tooth cats, a mammoth, and one unlucky woman. Take a walk throughout the outdoor park, and you’ll spot pits that are still being excavated and sniff the signature sulfuric smell. After this, head into the Page Museum to see the spectacular collection of items found in the pits.

This is definitely a destination that should be on any list of famous landmarks in the USA!

3. Dole Plantation Maze (Oahu, HI)

We could not include this place in our list of famous landmarks in the USA. Located on Oahu, the famous Dole Plantation has something for everyone. From the spectacular Pineapple Garden Maze to the endless attractions and activities such as a train ride across the plantation and pineapple-themed games, this place gives you the chance to have a lot of fun while learning new things.

Dole is famously known for producing and selling pineapple. Moreover, here’s the world’s largest maze, also called the Pineapple Garden Maze. The 7-acre maze is home to 15,000 Hawaiian plants and has several lookout points, bridges, towers, and more.

Navigating the place can take anywhere from half an hour to two hours, depending on your abilities as a puzzler.

mystery spot
Photo by Iv-olga from Shutterstock

4. Mystery Spot (Santa Cruz, CA)

The Mystery Spot is a gravitational oddity nestled in the redwood forests outside of Santa Cruz, California. It’s a circular area of effect about 150 feet (46 meters) in diameter. Once you’re in, you’ll be astonished as your perceptions of the laws of gravity and physics are questioned.

The place was discovered back in 1939 by a group of surveyors, and since then, it has perplexed and amazed hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world. No wonder it often ranks high on almost every list of famous landmarks in the USA.

You’ll get the chance to experience weird optical illusions and gravitational effects. Some of the things you can do at the Mystery Spot include walking upstairs that leads nowhere, standing on walls, and feeling like you’re spinning even though you’re standing still.

The weirdest—but still fascinating—thing is that no one knows for sure why all these effects occur. Some think that cones of metal were secretly buried as guidance systems for the spacecraft. Some speculate that it’s actually a spacecraft itself buried deep within the ground. There are many theories here.

5. The World’s Largest Objects (Casey, IL)

The next destination on our list of famous landmarks in the USA is Casey, Illinois, a small town that’s home to not one but 12 of the world’s largest objects. These include a gavel, golf tee, rocking chair, wind chime, mailbox, and lots of other really big things. Eight of these objects are certified by Guinness World Records as the largest in the entire world.

The idea came from Jim Bolin, a resident who wanted to somehow help the city of about 2,700 citizens. So in 2011, he installed the first item, the wind chimes, which stand at around 55 feet tall. His initiative would bring in many tourists, so things snowballed from there.

This public art installation called Big Things in a Small Town seems to be working, and all the attractions are free to visit.

Keep reading to discover what other places we included in our list of famous landmarks in the USA!

6. Witch House (Salem, MA)

On No. 6 on our list of famous landmarks in the USA, we have the Witch House, which is the only building still standing in Salem that has direct ties to the witchcraft trials. The place was built circa 1675 and is open to the public.

This was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, who was called upon to look into the claims of diabolical activity when witchcraft accusations arose in Salem and surrounding communities.

Today, Witch House tours blend fascinating insights into the events of the 1700s and mid-1800s with information about the lifestyle, architecture, and furnishing of those times. This place is definitely unique, so it was only fair to include it in our list of famous landmarks in the USA.

7. The Mapparium (Boston, MA)

Our list of famous landmarks in the USA wouldn’t be complete without the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, which houses a three-story globe made of brightly-hued stained glass. The enormous glass sphere called the Mapparium shows our world at one moment in time, more specifically in 1935.

It’s the world’s largest walk-in globe, and yes, it has some outdated country names, but this is one of the reasons why The Mapparium is also seen as a historical artifact.

Stand at one edge of the glass bridge that splits the interior of the globe in two. Have a friend at the other end and whisper to them something. Since the glass walls amplify sound, your friend will be able to hear you loud and clear. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

area 51
Photo by Danita Delimont from Shutterstock

8. Area 51 (Lincoln County, NV)

There’s no way we wouldn’t have this one on our list of famous landmarks in the USA. Secluded deep in the middle of the barren Nevada desert, Area 51 is a top-secret military base that has long been shrouded in mystery and associated with alien and UFO sightings.

Little is known about what exactly goes on inside, except for the fact that the military built and tested spy planes there during the Cold War. The US government officially acknowledged the existence of Area 51 for the first time in 2013.

The secrecy combined with the bizarre sightings leaving the base led to countless inspirational theories of alien abductions, UFO sightings, and other extraterrestrial activities over the years.

9. Mütter Museum (Philadelphia, PA)

The next destination on our list of famous landmarks in the USA is a bit spooky, but that’s what makes it unique! The Mütter Museum is located in a stunning 19th-century building at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and houses a vast collection of anatomical and medical oddities.

Here you’ll learn more about the mysteries of the human body, and you’ll get the chance to see anatomical models, wet specimens (biological samples preserved in a special fluid), medical instruments, and much more.

Notable exhibits that you wouldn’t see in any other place include Albert Einstein’s brain, the livers and the cast of the famous Siamese twins, Eng and Chang Bunker, and a tumor removed from President Glover Cleveland’s mouth.

Did we mention the museum also has a skull collection of 139 human heads? Now that’s something that should be on any list of famous landmarks in the USA!

10. Dinosaur Drive (Granger, WA)

The last destination on our list of famous landmarks in the USA is Dinosaur Drive, located in the city of Granger, WA. Not far from Yakima, you’ll find this small city with the tagline “Where dinosaurs roam.”

Drive around the town, and you’ll see a total of 33 concrete dinosaur statues spread out along the downtown area and Main Street. City officials launched the project in 1994 as a strategy to enliven the town and continue to add a new statue every year.

You’ll see a baby brontosaurus, a plesiosaurus, a dimetrodon, an apatosaurus eating its greenery, and a T-Rex busting through the wall of a building. Strong bonus: there are also volcanoes that once used to spew smoke.

If you liked our list of famous landmarks in the USA, you may also want to read 6 Incredible Things to Know Before Flying Again Above American Land.

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