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The Washington Monument sits on one end of the National Mall, with the Capitol on the other end in Washington D.C. The monument, one of the city's earliest attractions, was built to honor George Washington, the first U.S. president, and was finished in 1884.
The plaster model of the Statue of Freedom, which was used to cast the statue atop the U.S. Capitol Dome, and other statues are on display in the Emancipation Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center, which opened in 2008. American sculptor Thomas Crawford created the model in 1858. It was shipped in five separate pieces from Crawford's Rome studio.
The Exhibition Hall of the new Capitol Visitor Center, which opens to the public on Dec. 2, is seen in a reflection on the statue of U.S. astronaut John Swigert, Jr. The visitor center, which comprises three levels of below-ground floors, including new space for the House and Senate, is three-quarters the size of the Capitol building itself.
The Capitol Dome is visible through the skylights of the new Capitol Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Capitol Visitor Center spokesman Tom Fontana gives a guided tour of the new center in Washington, D.C., Nov. 10. Behind Fontana is a cross-section of the Capitol Dome.
Visitors to the new Capitol Visitor Center will see a video about the U.S. Senate as part of the center's displays.
People look over displays at the new Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.
The Exhibition Hall, with extensive displays, is part of the new Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.
The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, with its elegant glass canopy designed by world renowned architect Norman Foster, is at the historic Patent Office Building that houses the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. Foster worked with the Smithsonian to create an innovative enclosure for the 28,000-square-foot space at the center of the building that is sensitive to the historic structure. The "floating" roof does not rest on the original building, which was built in phases between 1836 and 1868.
In the spring, blooming cherry trees frame the front of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. The memorial is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.
Cherry blossoms bloom near a Japanese sculpture and the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. In 1981, Japan was given cuttings of D.C.'s cherry blossom trees to replace some of their own that were destoyed by flood.
A steam locomotive passes under fully bloomed cherry blossoms at Hitoyoshi city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan's southern island of Kyushu, on March 27. The JR Kyushu operates the steam locomotive every weekend as a tourist attraction.
The pillars that represent different states of the U.S. lie at the World War II Memorial. The memorial, which commemorates the sacrifice and celebrates the victory of "the greatest generation," was designed by Friedrich St.Florian and opened to the public in 2004.
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial near the National Mall traces 12 years of U.S. history with four outdoor rooms, each one devoted to one of FDR's terms of office and feature a sculpture inspired by him. Here, at the beginning of the memorial, is a statue showing Roosevelt seated in a wheelchair like the one he used.
The National Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. It was designed in an English Gothic style and features gargoyles, angels, mosaics and more than 200 stained glass windows. There is even a sculpture of Darth Vader on top of the cathedral's west tower. Officially named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, it's a cathedral of the Episcopal Church, but it honors all faiths.
Tourists walk among the blooming tulips in Lafayette Park across from the White House. Mild temperatures in the spring often bring tourists out in great numbers.
U.S. park rangers dressed in period costumes guide "The Georgetown" up the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal using mules for power during the first canal tour of the season in the Georgetown section of D.C. The Georgetown is an 1870s-period replica used by the park service for tours that depict the history of the canal and the families who lived and worked on it.
When Union Station was completed in 1908, it was one of the largest train stations in the world -- if put on its side, the Washington Monument could lay within the station's concourse. It is considered one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture.
Aircraft are displayed in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The hangar features hundreds of artifacts installed illustrating its four main themes: rocketry and missiles; human spaceflight; application satellites and space science. The centerpiece of the hangar is the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Some of the more than 53,000 names of U.S. casualities carved into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are shown here. The memorial is made up of two black granite walls that are almost 247 feet long; each wall consists of 72 panels. The design by Maya Lin initially sparked controversy but is now recognized for its simple and reflective beauty.
An untitled aluminum-and-steel mobile by Alexander Calder hangs in the National Gallery of Art. The gallery got its start when industrialist and philanthropist Andrew W. Mellon donated his vast art collection to the nation upon his death in 1937. Mellon's gift also attracted others to donate art to the museum, whose mission is to serve the United States by preserving, collecting, exhibiting and fostering an understanding of art.
The International Spy Museum is the only public museum in the U.S. dedicated to espionage. It includes the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions that shaped history.
At left is a glove shapeed pistol. On the right, is a replica of Cher Ami, the U.S. Signal Corps photo pigeon that was awarded the "Croix de Guerre" by the French government in World War I for heroic service after flying wounded over France for 25 miles in 25 minutes. Cher Ami was equipped with an automatic camera that was taking battlefield photos.
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is the first national museum dedicated to the perservation, study, culture and history of Native Americans. The museum's massive collections include more than 800,000 works of aesthetic, religious and historical significance and span all major culture areas of the Americas.
Visitors tour the 9/11 Gallery, which includes a piece of the radio tower from the top of the North Tower of the World Trade Center and front pages of newspapers from around the world, at the Newseum, a 250,000 square-foot museum dedicated to news. The gallery also includes first-person accounts from reporters and photographers who covered the story.
People look at the U.S. Capitol at sunset. Around the world, the building, which houses the U.S. Congress, is a symbol of America's democracy. It also includes an important collection of American art and has important architectural significance.
Sunlight illiminates the dome of the U.S. Capitol. In the eye of the dome is a fresco by Constantino Brumidi called "Apotheosis of Washington," which sits 180 feet above the Rotunda floor.
The Smithsonian Museum of American History is a treasure trove of artifacts from American life, history and pop culture. The ruby slippers worn by Dorothy in the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz," left, and President Lincoln's top hat he was wearing when he was shot are included in the display.
People walk around the Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia" on display at the National Air and Space Museum on July 16, 2009. The museum has the world's largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft among some 50,000 artifacts, ranging from Saturn V rockets to jetliners to gliders to space helmets to microchips.
A middle-school student views the original U.S. Constitution at the National Archives, billed as the "nation's record keeper." The archives not only house the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, but it also includes military records and naturalization papers.
Thousands of tourists visit the Lincoln Memorial each year. The memorial, which honors President Abraham Lincoln, sits prominently on the western part of the National Mall and offers great views of the other presidential sites. It includes a large sculpture of Lincoln and inscriptions of two of his speeches, "The Gettysburg Address" and his "Second Inaugural Address."
Nationals Park is home field for the Washington Nationals major leauge baseball team. The park, which opened in 2008, is the first major U.S. stadium that is certified "green." It also has 4,500-square-foot high-def scoreboard and more than 600 linear feet of LED ribbon board along the inner bowl fascia.
A candle sits in a lamp lighting the way for guests arriving to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate as Ben Schulz, left, and Steve Stuart wait for the gates to open Dec. 4, 2004, in Mount Vernon, Va.
The estate, Washington's former home, is 16 miles south of D.C. on the banks of the Potomac River. Visitors can see 20 structures and 50 acres of gardens as they existed in 1799, a museum, the tombs of George and Martha Washington, and his greenhouse.
The U.S. Marine Memorial, left, and the Washington Monument, center, are silhouetted against the sky as the sun rises over D.C.
Fireworks explode over Washington as the United States celebrates its 234th birthday, July 4, 2010. Seen from left is the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.
Students from Cameron, N.C., practice their routine on the National Mall in Washington before the start of Independence Day festivities.
Central Park was the first public park built in America. Its 843 acres include 136 acres of woodlands, 250 acres of lawns, and 150 acres of water in 7 waterbodies, making up 6 percent of Manhattan's total acreage. Central Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and a New York City Landmark in 1974. More than 25 million visitors enjoy Central Park each year.
Central Park includes walking tracks, ice-skating rinks, and numerous grassy areas. There are 51 sculptures in the Park and 36 bridges and arches.
Grand Central Terminal is more than the world’s largest train station. It is also a major tourist draw. Grand Central features restaurants and cocktail lounges, casual eateries and dozens of specialty shops. Additionally, Grand Central is a venue for various public events, from tennis exhibits to the annual Holiday Fair. Visitors can take a guided tour of the renovated landmark, or they can take their own walking tour.
Street vendors sell food in midtown in New York. You can get anything from hotdogs to cupcakes on the city's streets.
Skaters glide around the rink at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. The ice rink, open between October and April, has attracted more than 250,000 people a year since it first opened on Dec. 25, 1936.
A general view at night of the Empire State Building taken from the Top Of The Rock at Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan. At 102 stories high, the Empire State Building is the second tallest skyscraper in America and the 11th tallest in the world.
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Saint Patrick's Cathedral is the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the U.S. The Cathedral's construction began in 1858, and opened its doors in 1879.
Visitors scrutinize a wax figure of Jennifer Lopez, outfitted in a wedding dress, at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The museum is open to tourists every day of the year, including major holidays. A general all-day pass costs $35.
Visitors admire Barnett Newman’s “Broken Obelisk,” left, in the main atrium of the Museum of Modern Art. MoMa’s collection includes exhibits featuring architecture and design, drawings, photography, paintings and sculptures, and more, and tickets cost $20 for an adult. (Kids under 16 can enter for free.)
Pedestrians walk by a fashion display in a window along Fifth Avenue in New York City. Despite a continuing grim economy, stores along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue are holding strong.
The celebrated Carnegie Hall opened in 1891, with Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducting the inaugural concert. Some of the most popular classical musicians, as well as dancers, authors and politicians have appeared on its stage.
Times Square was named after the Times building, housing the former offices of the New York Times newspaper. Its animated, digital advertisements have made the area a popular destination for tourists and Manhattan businesses.
Hundreds of people are seen dancing on salsa night during Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza. The Lincoln Center is located on 16 acres in New York City.
Visitors tour the Temple of Dendur -- a Nubian temple that was built by the Roman governor of Egypt, Petronius, around 15 B.C. -- at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
A 94-foot-long blue whale model hangs over the exhibit space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
The Chrysler Building (seen from the roof of the Met Life building), was completed in 1930. It was the first man-made structure to stand taller than 1,000 feet (1,046 feet). It was also the world's tallest, before being surpassed in height by the Empire State Building at 1,250 feet.
People walk through the Art Deco-style lobby of Manhattan's Chrysler Building, built to glorify the U.S. auto industry in the late 1920's. At 1,046 feet high, the Chrysler Building was the first building to top the then tallest structure, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the oldest suspension bridges in the U.S., stretches 5,989 feet over the East River, connecting to Manhattan and Brooklyn. It opened for use on May 24, 1883 when 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed. The bridge cost $15.5 million to build and approximately 27 people died during its construction.
Vendors and locals shuffle about Mott Street in Chinatown. New York City's Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in the U.S. — and the site of the largest concentration of Chinese in the western hemisphere.
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The Empire State Building rises in the distance behind the arch in Washington Square Park, a landmark in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village.
Patrons line up outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem to see Amateur Night. Since 1934, Amateur Night at the Apollo has launched the careers of famous entertainers such as Billie Holiday, James Brown, The Isley Brothers, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, and many others.
Spectators walk through the Great Hall before a New York Yankees game at Yankee Stadium.
The New York Yankees play against the Chicago Cubs at Yankee Stadium on April 3, 2009 -- the first game to be played in the new Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won 7–4.
A wide-angle view of the construction at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan. The site is being rebuilt with six new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the 9-11 attacks.
Pedestrians walk past the "Charging Bull" -- the unofficial symbol of Wall Street -- in the financial district. The 7,000 pound bronze sculpture is said to provide good financial luck to both stock traders and tourists.
The area around the New York Stock Exchange is one of the busiest sections of town.
Ellis Island, at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor, is the symbol of American immigration. From January 1, 1892, until November 12, 1954, this location was the main entry point for immigrants entering the United States. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and is one of the country's most popular historic sites
A couple walks along the Coney Island boardwalk, opened in 1923. Coney Island features entertainment parks, rides, an aquarium, a public beach, a boardwalk, fishing, and Nathan's restaurant.
Tourists photograph the Statue of Liberty as they arrive by ferry from Manhattan.
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New York Tourist Attractions
Traveling by subway is one of the best ways to get around the city. More than 4.3 million people ride the New York subway system every day. It is one of the oldest and most extensive public transportation systems in the world.
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A view of the Boston skyline. Founded on Sept. 17, 1630 by Puritan colonists from England on a peninsula called Shawmut by its original Native American inhabitants, it is one of the oldest and most culturally significant cities in the United States.
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Located near the waterfront and today's Government Center in Boston, Faneuil Hall, has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis and others encouraging independence from Great Britain, and is now part of Boston National Historical Park and a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes known as "The Cradle of Liberty."
Clam chowder and other seafood dishes fill the bars and tables of popular eateries like the Union Oyster House, established in 1826.
This Paul Revere Statue in North End, Boston was made by Cyrus Dallin and unveiled on Sept. 22, 1940. In the background the Old North Church, officially called Christ Church, is the location of the famed "one if by land, and two if by sea" phrase related to Paul Revere's midnight ride on April 18, 1775 that preceded the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
A marker, part of which reads "Paul Revere buried in this ground," is seen on the fence at the Old Granary Burying Ground in Boston. Founded in 1660, the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street is the city's third oldest cemetery, and serves as the final resting place for many notable Revolutionary War-era patriots, including three signers of the Declaration of Independence and many victims of the Boston Massacre.
The Paul Revere House (1680), was the colonial home of American patriot Paul Revere during the time of the American Revolution. It is now operated as a nonprofit museum by the Paul Revere Memorial Association.
USS Constitution, known as "Old Ironsides," is a wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate of the United States Navy. Named after the United States Constitution, she is the oldest commissioned ship afloat in the world and is still in service in the U.S. Navy. The USS Constitution is one of the sites along the Freedom Trail and is part of Boston National Historical Park, better known as the Charlestown Navy Yard.
The Bunker Hill Monument, commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill, is the first public obelisk erected in the United States. The 221 foot granite obelisk was erected between 1827 and 1842 in Charlestown, Mass. with granite quarried in Quincy, Mass. and conveyed to the site by the first railway in the United States, built specially for that purpose. There are 294 steps to the top.
A red Boston Duck Tours boat cruises the Charles River with the city skyline in the background.
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sings the National Anthem before game one of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 23, 2004 at Fenway Park.
Located by the Boston Harbor, the New England Aquarium's colorful & educational exhibits feature more than 8,000 aquatic creatures, a four-story glass ocean tank housing a coral reef display with an outstanding variety of fishes, sharks & sea turtles. The Aquarium's mission: "To present, promote and protect the world of water." The New England Aquarium is also home to the Simons IMAX Theatre.
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library is the presidential library and museum of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. It was designed by the architect I.M. Pei. The building is the official repository for original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration. The library and museum were dedicated in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and members of the Kennedy family.
Patrons view giraffes at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. The 72-acre site nestled in Boston's historic Franklin Park, is the largest zoo in New England
Philadelphia City Tour
The preserved prison cell of America's best known gangster, Al Capone at Eastern State Penitentiary. A leading symbol of illegal activities in Chicago during the Porhibition Era, Capone spent eight months on a weapons charge 1929. Eastern State Penitentiary, now a museum, was built in 1829 and closed in 1971.
Cyndi Janzen displays the United Stats Flag as she plays the part of Betsy Ross at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia.
Visitors admire a Porsche 917, left, on display in the "pit road" section at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia.
A life-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty's Arm & Torch, a sculpture built of toys and found objects by Philadelphia artist Leo Sewell, greets visitors in the Please Touch Museum's Great Hall.
Visitors view the high-definition LED screen in the main lobby of the Comcast Center in Philadelphia. This city best known to tourists for its historical sites and museums has a surprise new high-tech hit that began to develop into a must-see attraction in 2008.
Visitors listen to a Park Service guide's presentation about the Liberty Bell - an international icon of freedom. )
Andrew Wyeth's 1951 painting 'Trodden Weed,' displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest museums in the United States.
Philadelphia's bronze sculpture, titled Benjamin Franklin Craftsman. The statue shows a young Franklin in the process of printing on a hand press. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania commissioned the work and presented it to the City on June 24, 1981.
Schoolchildren stand in line next to a giant two-story papier mache-on-metal heart as they wait to walk through the Philadelphia icon at the Franklin Institute. The giant heart is one of the Philadelphia area's best-known icons, and a rite of passage for school groups across the region.
Independence National Historical Park where the Liberty Bell, an international symbol of freedom is hung. The park's World Heritage Site, includes Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were created.
The cello-shaped 2,500-seat auditorium of the Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. It was the first major concert hall to open in the 21st Century, and is one of the world's best performance venues.
Lincoln Financial Field, front, home stadium of the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles. Other sports complex buildings shown include the Veterans Stadium, the Eagles' former home, and Citizens Bank Park, right.
A bronze bust of musical great Gustav Mahler, conceived in 1909 by French sculptor Auguste Rodin, exhibited next to other busts in the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia.
Behind the fountain in JFK Plaza, Philadelphia's century-old City Hall is illuminated at night.
Lifeguard towers on Miami Beach are colorful and easy to distinguish. Lifeguards care over swimmers who play nearby, and the towers make a great meeting place when surrounded by an endless area of sand, surf and beach umbrellas.
Thousands of people descended on Miami Beach for Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. The city hosted a number of private and public events ahead of the big game.
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Jet skis cruise along Biscayne Bay near Miami Beach Marina. Tourists visiting the Bay can enjoy a number of recreational activities, including snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and more
South Beach, also nicknamed "The American Riviera," is well-known for celebrities, chic lifestyles and, of course, beaches. The man-made beach runs along the Atlantic Ocean for miles
The Art Deco district of South Beach is a hot spot for celebrities and is home to eccentric residents. The district has more than 800 buildings, built in the '30s and '40s, that are architecturally protected, helping its image as a chic, popular destination.
The Miami Seaquarium is a popular attraction that features eight marine animal shows. General admission tickets cost $37.95, and kids between the ages of three and nine get in for $27.95 (plus 7 percent sales tax).
The Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables "has been a favorite of world leaders, celebrities and sports stars since its opening in the 1920s," its Web site boasts. The resort features 275 rooms, including 130 suites, a spa and fitness center.
A dancer wears a costume as she participates in the Miami Carnival. The carnival has been an annual event since 1984. It has grown from a small neighborhood festival to an international event bringing live bands and calypsonians from the islands
The renovated Delano Hotel (left), National Hotel (center) and the Sagamore Hotel line up Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The city has a concentration of over 800 Art Deco buildings all within one square mile.
Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art "is internationally recognized as a force in defining new trends and directions in contemporary art," its Web site says. Admission is $5 per person, $3 for students and seniors. MOCA Members and kids under 12 can enter for free
The Bass Museum of Art was established 47 years ago ater Miami Beach accepted the art collection of John and Johanna Bass, and agreed it would maintain the works and make it available to the public.
A visitor looks at "Thinking" during Art Basel Miami Beach back in 2008. "Art Basel Miami Beach is the most important art show in the United States, a cultural and social highlight for the Americas," the event's Web site boasts. This year's event takes place Dec. 2-5.
Artist Jude Papaloko is reflected in a mirror on a painted wall in his gallery, the Jakmel Gallery, in Miami.
Club patrons enjoy themselves on the dance floor at Mansion nightclub in Miami Beach, Fla. Once thought of as a place to visit Grandma in January, Miami's reputation as a party city has grown since the days of "Miami Vice," through the birth of the Art Deco fashion district in the early 1990s and the more recent explosion of the South Beach club scene.
Frequent cruisers can be forgiven for seeing Biscayne Bay and Miami simply as a departure point. However, the area offers a wealth of activities and events that can satisfy tourists with a variety of different interests
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Miami, started out as a quarry pit and was transformed in 1924 into the Venetian Casino. Now, more than 100,000 people visit Venetian Pool each year. During summer months, the pool is drained nightly and replentished from a subterranean aquifer.
Miami Helicopter Tour
A crowd dances to the rythmic sound of congas at a local latin club in Calle Ocho (8th street), the main street of the Little Havana district of Miami.
Miami's Sun Life Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7, 2010. The New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a final score of 31-17.
6.St.Louis: Gateaway City
A girl walks through a hall of mirrors at the City Museum in St. Louis. The museum, housed in the 600,000-square-foot former International Shoe Company factory, is an eclectic mix of mosaics, sculpted caves to explore, slides to barrel down, even a massive outdoor playground where kids climb through tunnels, towers and suspended airplanes.
Visitors tour the Anheuser-Busch brewhouse in St. Louis.
Michael Marsh of Hopkinsville, Ky., stops to smell a flower at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Longtime St. Louisans still lovingly refer to this urban oasis as Shaw's Garden, for the British businessman Henry Shaw who recreated the English gardens of his youth in what was then the outskirts of St. Louis.
The Gateway Arch, surrounded by reflecting pools, is the world's tallest national monument. The Arch was built to be a symbolic gateway to the west, and is the centerpiece of the riverfront Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park.
Gateaway Arch, St.Louis
The historic Eads Bridge spans the Mississippi River at St. Louis. Built in 1874 to accommodate carriages, pedestrians and steam trains, the bridge carries a portion of St. Louis' light rail system which connects to many of the community's major attractions.
Opening Day at Busch Stadium with the St. Louis Cardinals playing.
The Climatron, located on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, is one of the first geodesic dome conservatories built in the U.S. and the first ever to be used as a greenhouse.
St. Louis' evening skyline.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre anchors the Grand Center arts district in Midtown St. Louis. Built in 1929, the Siamese-Byzantine movie palace plays host to touring Broadway shows, concerts, classic movie revivals and special events throughout the year.
Lafayette Square, filled with grand 19th century Victorian homes and row houses, is one of St. Louis' oldest residential neighborhoods that is experiencing a renaissance.
A replica of the 'Spirit of St. Louis' soars in the grand hall of the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Charles Lindbergh's flight was the 20th century equivalent to Lewis and Clark's journey of exploration.
The Missouri History Museum houses exhibits on the history of the St. Louis area, including extensive personal collections of aviator Charles Lindbergh and explorer William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame
St. Louis' historic Soulard neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city with homes dating from the mid to late 1800s. It's home to antique shops, restaurants, Jazz and Blues clubs, and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
A Victorian Garden is one of dozens of elaborate and beautiful gardens within the Missouri Botanical Garden.
View of the Minneapolis skyline over the Mississippi River, the second-longest river in the United States. The longest is the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi. Together, they form the largest river system in North America.
An evening view from Stone Arch Bridge of the new Jean Nouvel-designed Guthrie Theater. The Guthrie Theater opened on May 7, 1963 with a production of Hamlet directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the theater's founder.
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Mall of America's is the nation's largest shopping and entertainment complex. There are more than 520 stores, a 7-acre amusement park, a walk-through aquarium, a 14-screen movie theater and numerous restaurants.
The Metrodome is home to the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins, and is serviced by the city's light rail.
Mill Ruins Park the centerpiece of the revitalization of Minneapolis' historic West Side Milling District. The park gives visitors a glimpse into an era when Minneapolis was number one in flour milling; when waterpower ran industry and the labor of immigrants hand built the city.
This gold-leafed copper and steel statuary group, 'Progress of the State,' sits atop the Minnesota State Capital in St. Paul. Sculpted by Daniel Chester French and Edward Potter, the four horses represent the power of nature: earth, wind, fire and water.
The Mighty Midway at the Minnesota State Fair, one of the nation's largest and best-attended agricultural and educational events. The fair consists of 12 days of fun, Aug. 24 to Labor Day, Sept. 4.
A visit to the Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, will treat your eyes to artists including Georgia O'Keefe, Alfred Maurer, Marsden Hartley and many diverse contemporary art pieces.
A view of the Mississippi River. The city is in the southeast portion of the state and sits along the Mississippi River. There are also 24 small lakes in the city.
The Walker Art Center expansion, designed by Herzog & De Meuron, nearly doubles the size of this highly acclaimed museum. Features include new galleries, gardens, performance space, educational facilities, rooftop terraces and a restaurant (20.21) by Wolfgang Puck.
The Minneapolis skyline at sunset with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in the foreground.
The sculpture "Transcending," located in Hart Plaza, is dedicated to working men and women.
The New Detroit
An exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History entitled "And Still We Rise" recreates a slave auction.
The Joe Louis fist sculpture in the heart of downtown Detroit during a Labor Day parade. Commissioned in 1987 with a $350,000 grant from Sports Illustrated magazine, the 24-foot bronze monument was created by sculptor Robert Graham and came as a gift to the city as a tribute to Detroit's great boxing hero.
A woman walks past the Motown Historical Museum on West Grand Boulevard. Berry Gordy lived upstairs and operated what became known as the Motown Record Corporation downstairs, which he christened "Hitsville U.S.A."
A view of the Detroit skyline seen from the Detroit Tigers' home, Comerica Park.
Detroit's elevated people mover moves past the Renaissance Center -- the most recognizable feature of the city skyline.
Visitors to the Detroit Zoo's Arctic Ring of Life Exhibit get an up close and personal view of a swimming seal. The 4.2 acre, $14.9 million exhibit is the largest polar bear exhibit in the world.
Campus Martius Park is a centerpiece of the city's downtown revitalization efforts.
A 1952 version of the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. Oscar Mayer created the original Wienermobile in 1936 to transfer the company spokesperson from store to store. The original was a 13-foot-long metal hot dog on wheels with an open cockpit in the center and rear, so the hot-dogger could pop up.
A tourist takes a picture of the Montgomery city bus Rosa Parks rode when she refused to yield her seat at the front of the bus to a white man, an event that touched off the Civil Rights movement.
Detroit's skyline at dusk.
A world-famous cable car, one of many transportation options in the city. Andrew Hallidie from England tested the first cable car system on August 2, 1873. His motivation for the invention was a better way to deal with the city's fearsome hills.
A seagull flies over Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. Alcatraz is one of San Francisco's most popular tourist attractions.
Visitors tour the mail cell block of the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island.
Visitors watch California sea lions at San Francisco's Pier 39, with Alcatraz in the background. Pier 39 includes a festival marketplace with more than 110 stores, 13 Bay view restaurants, street performers and live entertainment.
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A view of the San Francisco skyline from Treasure Island, an artificial island in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland.
A 1969 gift from the Republic of China, the dragon-crested gate at Grant Avenue and Bush Street is the front door to San Francisco's Chinatown.
Birds fly in front of the Palace of Fine Arts. The building is one of many sites on San Francisco's 49-Mile Scenic Drive, which was opened in 1939 as a guide for visitors to The City's 1939-1940 Golden Gate International Exposition. The route includes most of San Francisco's major sights as well as winding through many of the city's colorful neighborhoods; giving visitors a look into the diversity and beauty of the area.
A statue of Christopher Columbus stands next to the famous Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill. Coit Tower was built in 1933 with money bequeathed by one of San Francisco's more eccentric citizens, Lillie Hitchcock Coit; and commemorates her love for the city's fire department.
People walking through the typically crowded Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco’s most popular destination, known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood, unique shopping and more.
Tourists pick out their dinner at a local restaurant. San Francisco salutes the Dungeness Crab with its annual Crab Festival in February.
Beautiful San Francisco
San Francisco Cable Car - An Everlasting Memory
The oldest Japanese park in the U.S. is San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. John McLaren, a Scotsman and ardent nature lover, arrived in San Francisco in the 1870s, and by 1890 he had established grass, trees and numerous plants from what was once sand dunes. Today, 75,000 people visit the park on an average weekend.
SBC Park, home of Major League baseball’s San Francisco Giants.
San Francisco's tallest and most recognizable skyscraper is The TransAmerica Pyramid building. The structure dominates San Francisco views not by its height, but rather by its unconventional pyramid shape.
San Francisco's Zeum is a hands-on arts and technology studio where young people can create their own audio, video and animation projects.
Victorian houses, also known as 'Painted Ladies', with downtown skyline in the background.
People look at the views from the iconic Golden Gate Bridge during sunrise. The bridge opened on May 28, 1937. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the event.