TripAdvisor(R), the world's largest travel community, today announced the top 10 patriotic attractions in the U.S.-those that make us feel proud to be Americans-based on TripAdvisor travelers and editors.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080624/NETU034 ) Top 10 U.S. Patriotic Attractions 1. Love for Lady Liberty: Statue of Liberty, New York, New York
A gift from the French commemorating the centennial of the United States' Declaration of Independence, and along with nearby Ellis Island, for more than a century this icon represents the country's promise of freedom and democracy for millions of travelers. According to a TripAdvisor traveler, "For the incredible harbor views and historical significance of Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, you shouldn't miss this."
2. Patriotic Path: Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston's Freedom Trail is a two-and-a-half mile path through 16 significant U.S. historical sites where Revolutionary War heroes fought for U.S. independence, including the site of the Boston Massacre, the Old State House and Bunker Hill Monument, to name a few. Commented a TripAdvisor traveler, "I'd recommend this to anyone with interest in the founding of our country."
3. Bell of a Time: Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Home to major U.S. historical landmarks including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, this was the location where the Second Continental Congress penned the Declaration of Independence, and later, the Constitution. One TripAdvisor traveler called it, "A true symbol of freedom for Americans and people around the world."
4. Paper Trail: National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Current home to the most important documents in American history, including the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, as well as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Louisiana Purchase. Said one TripAdvisor traveler, "It was unbelievably moving to actually look at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution."
5. Home to Heroes: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Veterans of every American war are buried here, and among the more than 290,000 heroes are three unidentified service members, buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and John F. Kennedy, whose gravesite is marked by an eternal flame. Stated one TripAdvisor traveler, "I cannot stress how important it is for every American to visit this hallowed place."
6. Abe's Legacy: Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Along with other moving monuments in the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial features a proud 20-foot statue of our 16th president, with inscriptions of his Gettysburg Address and second inaugural address, and this was also the site of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. According to a TripAdvisor traveler, "Nothing short of a perfect memorial. Just go visit it, words can't do it justice."
7. Military Pride: United States Service Academies
The undergraduate colleges where many of our finest military officers who serve and fight for our country are educated and trained, including Annapolis, Maryland, West Point, New York, Colorado Springs, Colorado, New London, Connecticut, and Kings Point, New York. Noted a TripAdvisor traveler, "It is a peek into a kind of life that requires more than many of us are willing to give on a daily basis. Hopefully, visitors walk away with a greater appreciation of what these young men and women do."
8. Mountain Men: Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, South Dakota
A famous 60-foot mountainside carving created by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and completed in 1941 pays homage to the most influential U.S. presidents in our country's first 150 years: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Commented a TripAdvisor traveler, "This monument is a must see for everyone who can make it here. It's spectacular in every way."
9. Howdy Pilgrim: Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Re-creation of the original Plymouth Colony demonstrates how the first Pilgrims and native Wampanoag Indians lived during the 1600s, and visitors can also board Mayflower II, a reproduction of the original Mayflower. Stated a TripAdvisor traveler, "I could have spent all day at this place learning the history and seeing how the first settlers might have lived."
10. Colonial Charm: Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia
Founded by John Rockefeller, Jr., Williamsburg takes travelers back in time to our country's formative colonial days, with its amazingly restored and beautifully reconstructed historic "living" village. Summed up one TripAdvisor traveler, "Time travel to the colonies, with plenty to do."
"There are dozens of incredible patriotic attractions in the U.S., but perhaps the most powerful symbol of America's freedom around the world is the Statue of Liberty," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor.
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