TOURIST ATTRACTIONS in USA

Popular tourist attractions and tourist activities are assessed throughout this handblog. The following additional attractions are assessed in this chapter:

Aerial Tramways

Tramways are popular among tourists visiting mountain regions. There are approximately two dozen tramways in operation in the United States; the following are most prominent:

• Cannon Mountain Tram (Franconia, NH; www.cannonmt.com)

• Mount Roberts Tramway (Juneau, AK; www.mountrobertstramway.com)

• New River Gorge Tram at Hawks Nest State (Fayette County, WV; www.hawksnestsp.com/tram.html)

• Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (Palm Springs, CA; www.pstramway.com)

• Sandia Peak T ramway (Albuquerque, NM; www.sandiapeak.com)

• Summit Skyride at Stone Mountain Park (Atlanta, GA; www.stonemountainpark.com/activities/attractions/Summit-Skyride.aspx)

Air Shows

The International Council of Air Shows (www.airshows.aero) estimates that approximately 450 air shows are held annually across the United States. Collectively,

Aerial tramways Air shows Boardwalks Carousels Caves Cemeteries Chinatown districts Corn mazes Ethnic culture Factory tours Ferris wheels Flea markets

Fountains Ghost tours Ghost towns Historic highways Hot springs Lighthouses Marathons

Native-American culture Neighborhoods Observation decks Piers

Quirky roadside landmarks

there are over 30 million spectators annually at these shows. Those figures make it clear that air shows appeal not just to pilots – there are an estimated 2.7 million Americans with flying experience – but also to the mainstream public.

The following are online directories of air shows:

• www.aero-pix.com/schedule/schedule.htm

• www.airshownetwork.com/all shows.html

• www.airshows.com

• www.milavia.net/airshows/calendar

The largest air show events, ranked by attendance, are as follows:

• Chicago Air & Water Show (Chicago, IL; http://chicagoairandwatershow.us):

• Battle Creek Balloon Championships and Air Show (Battle Creek, MI; www.bcballoons.com):

• Great New England Airshow (Westover AFB, MA; www.greatnewenglandairshow.com):

• MCAS Miramar Air Show (Miramar, CA; http://miramarairshow.com):

• EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (Oshkosh, WI; www.eaa.org/en/airventure):

• Joint Services Open House (Andrews AFB, MD; www.jsoh.org):

• Sun ‘n’ Fun Fly-In (Lakeland, FL; www.sun-n-fun.org):

• Thunder Over Louisville (Louisville, KY; http://thunderoverlouisville.org): 650,000

• AirFest (McDill AFB, 56th Operations Group, FL; www.macdill.af.mil): 525,000

The 2016 Readers Choice Awards poll by 10Best (www.10best.com), a USA Today travel site, ranked the Best Air Shows as follows:

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS in USA Photo Gallery




1. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (Oshkosh, WI)

2. Fort Lauderdale Air Show (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

3. National Championship Air Races (Reno, NV)

4. Wings Over Houston Airshow (Houston, TX)

5. SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo (Lakeland, FL)

6. National Warplane Museum Airshow (Geneseo, NY)

7. Great Tennessee Airshow (Smyrna, TN)

8. Mid-Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend (Reading, PA)

9. Cleveland National Air Show (Cleveland, Oh)

10. Planes of Fame Air Show (Chino, CA)

The following are the most prominent air show performers:

• BlueAngels, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Flight Demonstration Squadron (www.blueangels.navy.mil/)

• Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute Team (http://armygk.armylive.dodlive.mil)

• Snowbirds, the Canadian Forces 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (http://rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/assets/snowbirds.html)

• United States Air Force Thunderbirds (www.afthunderbirds.com/site)

The following links to a list of prominent air shows by state: www.rkma.com/airshows.pdf.

A directory of air show performers is available at www.airshows.com/PerformerPages.htm.

Boardwalks

National Geographic calls Atlantic City (http://atlanticcitynj.com/boardwalk.aspx) “the grandfather of boardwalks.” Built in 1870 as a way to keep beachgoers from tracking sand into oceanfront hotels, the Atlantic City Boardwalk anchors the seaside casino resort area.

The 2016 Readers Choice Awards poll ranked the Best Boardwalks as follows:

• Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (Santa Cruz, CA)

• Ocean City Boardwalk (Ocean City, MD)

• Carolina Beach Boardwalk (Carolina Beach, NC)

• Wildwoods Boardwalk (Wildwoods, NJ)

• Virginia Beach Boardwalk (Virginia Beach, VA)

• Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ)

• Hampton Beach Boardwalk (Hampton Beach, NH)

• Old Orchard Beach Pier (Orchard Beach, ME)

• Seaside Heights Boardwalk (Seaside Heights, NJ)

• Atlantic City Beach and Boardwalk (Atlantic City, Nj)

The following are other beach boardwalks popular with tourists (sources: Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel + Leisure):

• Coney Island Boardwalk (Brooklyn, NY)

• Hollywood Beach Boardwalk (Hollywood, FL)

• Huron Boardwalk (St. Ignace, MI)

• Kemah Boardwalk (Kemah, TX)

• Long Beach Boardwalk (Long Beach, WA)

• Miami Beach Boardwalk (Miami Beach, FL)

• Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk & Promenade (Myrtle Beach, SC)

• Ocean Front Boardwalk (San Diego, CA)

• Ocean Front Walk (Venice Beach, CA)

• Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk (Rehoboth Beach, DE)

• Sandwich Boardwalk (Sandwich, MA)

Carousels

The following are the most popular carousels in the U.S. (source: Travel + Leisure)

• 1911 Looff Carousel (Santa Cruz, CA)

• Cedar Downs Racing Derby (Sandusky, OH)

• Children’s Creativity Carousel (San Francisco, CA)

• Columbia Carousel (Chicago, IL)

• Crescent Park Carousel (East Providence, RI)

• Detroit Zoo Carousel (Detroit, MI)

• Flying Horse (Westerly, RI)

• Frog Pond Carousel (Boston, MA)

• Grand Rapids Museum Carousel (Grand Rapids, MI)

• Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round (Los Angeles, CA)

• House on the Rock Carousel (Spring Green, WI)

• Jane’s Carousel (Brooklyn, NY)

• Kit Carson Carousel (Burlington, CO)

• Looff Carousel (Spokane, WA)

• Morgan Wonderland Carousel (San Antonio, TX)

• Noah’s Ark Carousel (Portland, OR)

• Prospect Park Carousel (New York, NY)

• Riverview Carousel, Six Flags Over Georgia (Austell, GA)

• San Francisco Carousel (San Francisco, CA)

• Santa Monica Pier Carousel (Santa Monica, CA)

• Smithsonian Carousel (Washington, DC)

• The Flying Horse Carousel (Martha’s Vineyard, MA)

• Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel (Los Angeles, CA)

• Totally Kid Carousel (New York, NY)

• Trimper’s Rides (Ocean City, MD)

Caves

According to the National Caves Association (www.cavern.com), there are approximately 200 show caves in the United States. More than eight million people visit show caves annually. Although there have been fluctuations, there have been no dramatic changes in this figure in recent years. The top caves, in terms of revenue, are as follows:

• Mammoth Cave (Kentucky; www.nps.gov/maca)

• Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico; www.nps.gov/cave)

• Cave of the Winds (Colorado; www.caveofthewinds.com)

• Fantastic Caverns (Missouri; www.fantasticcaverns.com)

• Howe Caverns (New York; www.howecaverns.com)

• Inner Space Cavern (New York; www.myinnerspacecavern.com)

• Lost Sea (Tennessee; www.thelostsea.com)

• Luray Caverns (Virginia; www.luraycaverns.com)

• Meramec Caverns (Missouri; www.americascave.com)

• Natural Bridge Caverns (Texas; www.naturalbridgecaverns.com)

• Ruby Falls (Tennessee; www.rubyfalls.com)

• Sea Lion Caves (Oregon; www.sealioncaves.com)

The 2016 Readers Choice Awards poll by 10Best (www.10best.com), a USA Today travel site, ranked the Best Caves as follows:

1. Kartchner Caverns (Benson, AZ)

2. Niagara Cave (Harmony, MN)

3. Fantastic Caverns (Springfield, MO)

4. Blanchard Springs Caverns (Mountain View, AR)

5. The Lost Sea (Sweetwater, TN)

6. Ruby Falls (Chattanooga, TN)

7. DeSoto Caverns (Childersburg, AL)

8. Carlsbad Caverns (Carlsbad, NM)

9. Mammoth Cave (Mammoth Cave, KY)

10. Glenwood Caverns (Glenwood Springs, CO)

Cemeteries

The following U.S. cemeteries are noted for their beauty; many are final resting places for famous Americans (sources: National Geographic and Nejman.com)

• Arlington National Cemetery (Washington, DC; www.arlingtoncemetery.org)

• Bonaventure Cemetery (Savannah, GA; www.bonaventurehistorical.org)

• Cave Hill Cemetery and Arboretum (Louisville, KY; www.cavehillcemetery.com)

• Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis, IN; www.crownhill.org)

• Forest Hills Cemetery (Boston, MA; www.foresthillscemetery.com)

• Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale, CA; www.forestlawn.com)

• Graceland Cemetery (Chicago, IL; www.gracelandcemetery.org)

• Green Mount Cemetery (Baltimore, MD; www.greenmountcemetery.com)

• Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn, NY; www.green-wood.com)

• Hollywood Cemetery (Richmond, VA; www.hollywoodcemetery.org)

• King’s Chapel and Burying Grounds (Boston, MA; www.kings-chapel.org)

• LakeView Cemetery (Cleveland, OH; www.lakeviewcemetery.com)

• Laurel Hill Cemetery (Philadelphia; http://thelaurelhillcemetery.org)

• Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, MA; www.mountauburn.org)

• Oakland Cemetery (Atlanta, GA; www.oaklandcemetery.com)

• St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (New Orleans, LA; www.nolacemeteries.com/louis1.html)

“Until the mid-‘90s, Green-Wood Cemetery often turned visitors away if they had no kin buried there. Now thousands pour through the cemetery’s gates each year to take tours, check out the graves of long-gone celebrities (Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed), and even hear live music: Green-Wood recently scheduled a concert complete with grand piano at the grave site of 19th century composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Green-Wood is not unique. In the last decade, people across the country have begun flocking to these old necropolises, lured by everything from photography workshops to movies. Hollywood Forever, a Los Angeles cemetery, hosts a popular film series in which visitors are encouraged to picnic while they watch old movies projected on the wall of a mausoleum. Most recently, several graveyards, including Arlington National Cemetery, have begun offering smartphone apps to promote self-touring and assist in grave location.”

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