Stars, Stripes, and Iconic Sites: Tripadvisor Users Salute These 15 American Landmarks
As America gears up for the most patriotic celebration of the year, we’re paying tribute to the nation’s most legendary landmarks that define the country’s identity. From coast to coast, the U.S. boasts an array of prominent landmarks that dazzle the eyes of many and leave visitors breathless. So much so that they have written raving reviews about their experience on Tripadvisor.
Join us as we embark on a patriotic journey to unravel the 15 most iconic landmarks. What constitutes as “iconic”, you say? We web scraped Tripadvisor, using the key term “iconic” to find the total number of mentions across users’ “Things to Do” reviews. In spirit of the Fourth of July and all-things American, we set the location to the U.S. only.
With over 2,600 historical landmarks, it’s no secret that the country is mighty and massive. So, we asked the following question: Mirror, mirror, on the wall…which city holds the most iconic one of all?
- Eight of the top 15 landmarks are located on the East coast.
- New York City, itself, is home to seven distinguished landmarks.
- The Empire State Building is the most iconic nationwide – with 4,441 mentions overall.
- The Golden Gate Bridge is the most iconic in the West coast – with 3,512 mentions overall.
Is the West coast really the best coast?
Nothing screams America more than a good ole’ East vs. West coast competition. As the ongoing rivalry continues, it comes as no surprise that New York and California hold some of the nation’s most prominent landmarks. But hold your horses because “We the People” have spoken! Housing over half (53.3%) of the 15 most iconic historical monuments, the East takes the cake for being red, white, and blue.
The city of New York waves its stars and stripes as it is home to seven of 15 iconic landmarks: Empire State Building (1st), Grand Central Terminal (3rd), Statue of Liberty (4th), Central Park (5th), Times Square (6th), Brooklyn Bridge (7th), and Rockefeller Center (12th). You can’t outbeat the concrete jungle, where dreams are made of!
The nation’s capitol, Washington D.C., is a place of residence for 75 national treasures – but only one made it in the top 15. The 19-foot Lincoln Memorial (8th) leaves thousands of tourists in awe with its larger-than-life presence and historical value.
Although it was a close draw, the Pacific coast still has iconic and historical roots – more specifically, California. Home to five-star celebrities, theme parks, and beautiful weather, it’s no surprise the Golden State holds a few famed landmarks. While the city of San Francisco boasts the Golden Gate Bridge (2nd) and Cable Cars (10th), Los Angeles (rightfully) beams the Hollywood Sign (13th) and the Santa Monica Pier (14th) offers the best fishing spot, and loads of fun!
Feeling sleepless in Seattle? Head on over to the 605-foot Space Needle (9th) that offers sightseers phenomenal views of the city that they’ll never forget. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a peak below through the glass floor while you’re up there.
Ah, Las Vegas. A city where eloping, blowing cash, and partying like there’s no tomorrow doesn’t earn you a side eye. On the more touristy-side, you can visit the notable Fountains of Bellagio (11th) and the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign (15th) – both are “must-sees” according to people’s Tripadvisor reviews.
Let’s talk numbers: Total “iconic” mention counts for America’s landmarks
Below, you can find the exact number of times the key term “iconic” was used for each landmark’s listing on Tripadvisor.
Starting from the top, the Empire State Building was iconic to 4,441 visitors as mentioned in their reviews. Not only is it the world’s first 100+ story building, but it’s been visited by some of the most famous celebrities like Mariah Carey, Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and King Kong!
The Golden Gate Bridge boasts a nice 3,512 mentions of the word “iconic” in thousands of people’s reviews. The suspension bridge is so prominent, it’s recognized as one of the Wonders of the Modern World! The Cable Cars may not rank close to 2nd, but it placed itself in the top 10 list with 1,023 travelers labeling it as iconic.
As New York City continues to collect thousands of “iconic” mentions for the Grand Central Terminal, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, the Lincoln Memorial sits at a nice 1,151 mentions of “iconic.” Honesty is the best policy AND sight-seeing activity!
To finish off the landmarks that made it into the “thousands” club, the Space Needle left an impressionable impact on 1,064 Tripadvisor users. For a landmark that was built in 400 days with a stunning Space Age design, we are also quite impressed.
The landmarks that received less than 1,000 “iconic” mentions were the Fountains of Bellagio (839), Rockefeller Center (758), Hollywood Sign (741), Santa Monica Pier (724) and the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign (709). Don’t get it twisted, however! They’re still iconic as they’re still ranked in the nation’s top 15.
To find the best American landmarks across the country, we searched the key term “iconic” on Tripadvisor’s “Things to Do” category, with the location set to the U.S. only. Through this, we were able to see how many times “iconic” was used in each listing’s reviews, allowing us to collect the names, location, and number of mentions from each landmark’s listing. Landmarks were then listed from highest to lowest to see the final ranking nationwide.
The data was collected in June 2023.
Feel free to use the data or visuals on this page for non-commercial purposes. Please be sure to include proper attribution linking back to this page to give credit to the authors.
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