The 25 Most Visited Tourist Spots in America

Prior to March 2020, tourism brought well over $1.6 trillion to the United States’ economy.

It’s difficult to gauge what the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S are, as tourism data can vary from state to state and some national surveys leave out major attractions.

To help anyone hoping to see some of what the U.S has to offer visitors, we’ve put together a list of 25 most visited tourist spots in the country, based on data from the past decade.

All figures are approximate and from before the COVID-19 pandemic, when tourism was at normal rates.

Times Square
A bustling Times Square, pre-pandemic.
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1. Times Square, New York

New York, New York. The iconic Times Square is on the itinerary of virtually everyone who visits the Big Apple. There’s shopping, there’s entertainment, there’s food—and lots of it. Top tip: Visit on New Year’s Eve to see the famous ball drop.

Visitors per year: 50 million

Central Park
An aerial view of Central Park at sunset.
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2. Central Park

Another attraction for tourists visiting New York is Central Park, which at 832 acres is larger than the principality of Monaco. There are seven man made lakes and over 9000 benches alone, not to mention attractions like the Naumburg Bandshell, and a gorgeous statue of Alice in Wonderland. A must see.

Visitors per year: 42 million

Vegas strip
A picture of the Las Vegas strip at night taken from a high vantage point.
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3. The Las Vegas Strip

It would take you a lifetime to see everything the infamous strip Las Vegas Strip has to offer. Every year, people from every corner of the globe descend upon Sin City to gamble, drink, and, of course, enjoy the best shows in Vegas.

Visitors per year: 42 million

Union station
Inside Union Station, Washington D.C.
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4. Union Station

Approximately 160 million dollars were poured into Washington D.C’s United Station in the 80s after the famous landmark feel into disrepair.

It reopened in 1988, and is now regarded as a must see for anyone visiting the nation’s capital. For anyone who isn’t enthralled by the architecture, there’s plenty of food and shopping.

Visitors per year: 40 million

Golden Gate Park
USA, California, San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers.

5. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

It’s hard to believe that William Hammond Hall, the civil engineer who designed Golden Gate Park, was just 25 when he did so. At 1,017 acres there’s a lot of beauty to see. Be sure you at least check out some of the flower arrangements.

Visitors per year: 24 million

Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal busy with traffic, New York City.
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6. Grand Central Terminal, New York City

Between tourists and regular New Yorkers, approximately 750,000 people passed through Grand Central Terminal on an average pre-pandemic day. Commuters walk side by side with visitors to New York, who flock here year on year to get a taste of real Manhattan.

Visitors per year: 21.6 million

Disney World
The entrance to Walt Disney World, Florida.
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7. Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Florida

The smallest park in Disney World is also its most popular. It’s easy to see why: There are hundreds of attractions, perhaps most notably a Cinderella-style castle made of fiberglass, which winners of a raffle get the opportunity to stay in.

Visitors per year: 20.4 million

Lincoln Park, Chicago
A large garden scene with plants and a fountain in Lincoln Park Chicago with the city skyline.
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8. Lincoln Park, Chicago

Chicago’s most famous public land was originally known as Lake Park until 1865, when John Wilkes Booth assassinated the President. Beside Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park is located in one of the most affluent areas of Chicago.

Visitors per year: 20 million

Disney land
Mary Poppins smiles at a young child as she leads a line of children in song and dance in front of Cinderella’s castle during Disney’s 60th Diamond Celebration.
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9. Disneyland Resort, California

Disneyland has grown a lot since it first opened its doors back in 1955, with just 18 attractions available at the time.

These days the park is over 500 acres in size, attracting visitors from every corner of the world. As far as rides go, few things will ever beat the infamous Space Mountain.

Visitors per year: 18.76 million

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall, Boston.
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10. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston

There are 49 shops, 18 restaurants and pubs, 35 colonnade eateries and 44 pushcarts in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, according to its official website. It’s understandable why they’d have so much food, given the footfall they see each year.

Along with Harvard Square, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the most famous parts of Massachusetts.

Visitors per year: 18 million

 Balboa Park
San Diego’s Balboa Park at twilight in San Diego California USA.
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11. Balboa Park

Named after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, who was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean, not the fictional Italian-American pugilist.

Balboa Park is even bigger than Central Park, at a vast 842 acres, so there’s plenty of space to accommodate its millions of annual visitors. It isn’t bad to look at, either. Certainly worth spending a day walking around.

Visitors per year: 15 million

12. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando Florida

There are hundreds of animals on display in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which opened in back in 1998. Some people don’t know that real scientists work in the park, studying its residents. This is one of few areas of Disneyland where firework displays are not allowed, so that the animals won’t be frightened.

Visitors per year: 13.89 million

The Spaceship Earth ride which stands at the entrance to Epcot at Walt Disney World.
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13. EPCOT, Disney World, Florida

EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is, you’ve guessed it, a futuristic theme park. If you get there later this year, be sure to check Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which is due to officially open in October.

Visitors per year: 12.44 million

Great smoky mountain
Great Smoky Mountains National Park at sunrise.
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13. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There’s plenty of stiff competition, but Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be the most beautiful park on our list, with acres and acres of lush green trees.

It’s also home to over 1,500 bears, so don’t go too far off the trail, tempting as it might be to do so.

Visitors per year: 12.1 million

14. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney sure did know how to build a tourist attraction. Yet another Disney creation joins our list, this time Orlando’s Hollywood Studios, whose highlights include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Toy Story Land.

Visitors per year: 11.48 million

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf
Visitors flock to Pier 39 at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf renowned for its varied attractions, shops and seafood.
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15. Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

Few things surpass visiting Pier 39 on a nice summer day. Tourists come for the arcades, street performances, and aquarium, but end up staying for the world class food.

Visitors per year: 10 million

Venice Beach
The world famous Venice Beach Boardwalk.
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16. Venice Beach, California

Surf, sand, and shopping. California’s Venice Beach is known the world over, and has featured in countless TV shows and movies.

Most famous of all is the boardwalk, which is over two miles long, and home to myriad performers and merchants.

Visitors per year: 10 million

Pike Place
The entrance of the Public Market on Pike Place in Seattle.
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17. Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington

Here’s something you might not know about Pike Place Market, Seattle: It’s the oldest continuously running farmers market in the United States. Established in 1907, its hundreds of stalls have been satisfying food lovers for well over 100 years.

Visitors per year: 10 million

Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, standing on the Golden Gate Strait in San Francisco, California, USA.
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18. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Almost two miles in length, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is a marvel of engineering, and must be seen in person to be truly appreciated.

Visitors per year: 10 million

South Street Seaport
The historic district of South Street Seaport.
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19. South Street Seaport, New York City

South Street Seaport is perhaps best known for three M’s: Museums, music, and markets. Naturally, this is a great place to get seafood, so your best bet is to eat some fresh fish while listening to local sounds. Nine million tourists a year can’t be wrong.

Visitors per year: 9 million

Mackinac Bridge at Golden Hour
Mackinac Bridge at Golden Hour.
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20. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan

Almost five miles in length, Michigan’s Mackinac bridge puts San Francisco’s Golden Gate to shame. You’ll need to rent a car to get over it, but the views alone are worth the price, and more.

Visitors per year: 9 million

 Navy’s pier Centennial Wheel of fortune
Navy’s pier Centennial Wheel of fortune.
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21. Navy Pier, Chicago

The 3,300 foot Navy Pier has a lot to offer anyone lucky enough to pop by for a visit. There’s plenty of entertainment, restaurants, and of course, a huge ferris wheel that offers an areal view of the whole area, which looks beautiful when lit up at night.

Visitors per year: 9 million

Grand canyon
The Grand Canyon at night.
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22. Grand Canyon, Arizona

It’s not certain how long Arizona’s Grand Canyon is, but some studies indicate that it could be up to 70 million years old. The area’s stunning rock formations are best seen from the inside of a helicopter.

Tours are available from local companies. Be warned: the weather often changes in the Grand Canyon, so be sure to bring a coat.

Visitors per year: 5 million

Bryce Canyon National Park.
An aerial shot of Bryce Canyon National Park.
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23. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Just like Arizona’s most famous landmark, Bryce Canyon is best known for its striking rock formations. For best results, hop in a helicopter.

Visitors per year: 5 million

Mall Of America
Shoppers walk through and shop at Mall Of America in Bloomington, Minnesota
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24. Mall of America, Minnesota

Four out of ten visitors to the Mall of America and its 500 plus stores are tourists. The gargantuan shopping center now even its own app, so you can see exactly what stores are on offer before you arrive.

Visitors per year: 5 million

Statue of Liberty
The statue of Liberty, Landmarks of New York City.
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25. Statue of Liberty, New York

Originally a gift from the French, Lady Liberty has made New York her home since 1886, attracting visitors to the city. Millions hop on a ferry to see her up close each year.

Fun fact: the statue weighs an incredible 250,000 pounds, or 125 tons.

Visitors per year: 4 million