Times Square (nicknamed “The Crossroads of the World”) is the best known square in New York City and also its beating heart. It got its name in 1904 and it was named after the New York Times which moved the headquarters there. It comes into focus mainly during the New Year’s Eve celebrations which are traditionally held at Times Square (the tradition dating back to 1903) and covered by the ABC programme: Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. During the evening the famous ball is dropped. Times Square is also known for its neon signs. The NASDAQ sign at Times Square is the world’s largest LED sign. Also, there are many brand shops, cafés and restaurants. The square also appeared in many films. Among the most famous ones are Vanilla Sky, Enchanted, Spider-Man 3 or New Year’s Eve. Times Square is usually crowded with tourists. Note that since 2011, the square is smoke free. If you opt for the public transport, you can get to Times Square by subway (lines A, C, E, N, Q, R, S, 1, 2, 3, 7) or by bus (lines M20, M16, M104, M7).
An iconic Art Deco skyscraper and one of the best known buildings in New York. It got its name from the city’s nickname the “Empire State”. For many years, it was the tallest building in the world (since 1931 to 1970) and even today it remains among the tallest buildings in the USA and in the world. The Empire State Building's top floors offer spectacular views of the city (especially during the sunrise and the sunset). If you want to avoid the long queues, you can buy your tickets online. The building appears in the King Kong film in its most iconic scene where the gigantic ape climbs it in order to escape its pursuers. Other well-known films that feature the Empire State Building are Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally or Independence Day. If you wish to get to the Empire State Building by the public transport, you can get there by subway (Lines B, D, F, V, N, Q, R, W, 6) or by PATH (rail system).
Central Park is the largest park in New York City. Spreading across 843 acres, the park is even bigger than some countries (e.g. the Principality Monaco or the Vatican City State). Despite the fact that it was landscaped, it looks very natural. The park was opened for public for the first time in 1858 and broadened to its present-day size in 1873. The Central Park is one of the most popular filming locations in New York City. Among many films that feature the Central park is Breakfast at Tiffany’s, When Harry Met Sally or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Among the many places worth visiting in the Central Park are: the Belvedere Castle, the famous Strawberry Fields (a memorial dedicated to John Lennon) and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. If you do not feel like walking all the way through the park, you can rent a bike, enjoy a horse carriage tour or a pedicab tour.
The memorial commemorates the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The names of nearly 3000 victims are engraved in bronze on the Memorial so the visitors can pay their respects. It was opened to public on September 11, 2011 – the day which marked the 10th anniversary of the tragic event. The memorial is situated on the former location of the Twin Towers. The 9/11 Museum, which is a part of the complex, introduces its visitors to the 9/11 events from the factual side but also provides authentic stories, artefacts and memories of the victims. Since it is a memorial place, respectful behaviour is expected.
Rockefeller Center is a complex of Art Deco high-rise buildings in the heart of Manhattan. It was opened in 1939. Originally it consisted of 14 buildings (while now there are 19). The Center houses many shops and cafés and even the NBC studios. The Top of the Rock observation deck offers spectacular views of New York City. It comes into focus mainly during the Christmas period because of the annual Christmas tree lighting. This event found its way even into films. Here, in front of the Christmas tree, Kevin is reunited with his mother in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Another Christmas-related New York tradition is ice-skating at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Due to the popularity of the event, there are always long queues. However, you can reserve your tickets online in advance.
The nearly three kilometres long suspension bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County is definitely the best-known icon of San Francisco. Its construction was finished in 1937 and it was the longest suspension bridge till 1964. The bridge features in many films (e.g. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still or Superman) or TV series (e.g. Charmed, where the top of the bridge features very often). You can cross the bridge on foot or by bike but beware of the weather conditions and check the weather forecast before you set off - it gets cold and windy there.
This San Francisco neighborhood is best known for the tourist attractions and its sea food. There are many annual events organised (e.g. Crab Feed, Fleet Week or the 4th of July celebrations) for the tourists and the locals. It got its name in the 1880s when the fishermen settled here. Today, you can taste the local seafood here, visit some of the shops (e.g. Pier 39, Cannery Shopping Centre etc.), visit the Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Franscisco Maritime National Historical Park or Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum. Fisherman’s Wharf was one of the filming locations of the film A View to Kill (James Bond film).
One of the best known monuments of the entertainment industry and its most important icons. There are more than 2500 stars (with new ones being added every now and then – usually about 20 new stars a year) and the Walk of Fame spreads down the Hollywood Boulevard and also Vine Street. The first stars were installed in 1960. You can find the names of the important actors, directors, singers, musicians and more on them (even fictional characters - e.g. Mickey Mouse). The emblems under the names of the stars tell you to which group do they belong (motion pictures, music, theatre, broadcast radio or broadcast television). A few stars were awarded even to people (or corporations) outside the entertainment industry (e.g. Neil Armstrong or Victoria’s Secret). If you are in Hollywood, the Walk of Fame is a must see, so head there and take a picture with the star of your favourite celebrity (or fictional character). And if their star is not there yet, you can nominate them through the official website of the Walk of Fame.
Connecting Leavenworth Street and Hyde Street in San Francisco, is one of the city’s most iconic places. It gained its popularity for its unusual shape. The rather steep downhill street includes eight turns which are quite close to one another. Therefore it is sometimes called the world’s "crookedest street". It gets rather crowded in summer when many tourists wish to drive down the Lombard Street so if you plan to visit it at that time, you might want to consider not driving down the street but maybe just walking.
A shopping center full of attractions located in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood in San Francisco. It has a bit of everything – shopping, great fresh local seafood, talented street performers and all sorts of attractions (e.g. aquarium or the music stairs). It is also a great place to celebrate and socialise. The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, 4th of July celebrations and many more are organised there as well as many parties (e.g. Roller Disco Party, summer dance parties etc.), free Movie Nights or other events (e.g. Fleet Week). Also, if you do not manage to see the sea lions which are always to be seen at Pier 39, you can watch them later on the special webcam on Pier 39's official website.
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, US, and originally intended to celebrate the second millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a 24.5-acre section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously occupied by parkland, Illinois Central rail yards, and parking lots. The park, which is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art. As of 2009, Millennium Park trailed only Navy Pier as a Chicago tourist attraction. In 2015, the park became the location of the city's annual Christmas tree lighting. Planning of the park began in October 1997. Construction began in October 1998, and Millennium Park was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004, four years behind schedule.
Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is nicknamed The Bean because of its shape. Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It measures 33 by 66 by 42 feet, and weighs 110 short tons. Kapoor's design was inspired by liquid mercury and the sculpture's surface reflects and distorts the city's skyline. Visitors are able to walk around and under Cloud Gate's 12-foot high arch. On the underside is the "omphalos", a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections.
Universal Studios Florida is a theme park located in Orlando, Florida. Opened on June 7, 1990, the park's theme is the entertainment industry, in particular movies and television. Universal Studios Florida inspires its guests to "ride the movies", and it features numerous attractions and live shows. The park is one component of the larger Universal Orlando Resort. In 2015, the park hosted an estimated 9.6 million visitors, ranking as the sixth most attended theme park in the United States, as well as the tenth most attended theme park worldwide.
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona in the United States. It is contained within and managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, the Havasupai people and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.
Faneuil Hall, located near the waterfront and today's Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1743. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain. Now it is part of Boston National Historical Park and a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes referred to as "the Cradle of Liberty". In 2008, Faneuil Hall was rated number 4 in America's 25 Most Visited Tourist Sites by Forbes Traveler.
Grant Park is a large urban park in the Loop community area of Chicago. Located in Chicago's central business district, the park's most notable features are Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. Originally known as Lake Park, and dating from the city's founding, it was renamed in 1901 to honor Ulysses S. Grant. The park's area has been expanded several times through land reclamation, and was the focus of several disputes in the late 19th century and early 20th century over open space use. It is bordered on the north by Randolph Street, on the south by Roosevelt Road and McFetridge Drive, on the west by Michigan Avenue and on the east by Lake Michigan. The park contains performance venues, gardens, art work, sporting, and harbor facilities. It hosts public gatherings, and several large annual events. The park is often called "Chicago's front yard". It is governed by the Chicago Park District.
Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street. With more than 10 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market is Seattle's most popular tourist destination and is the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world. The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill, and consists of several lower levels located below the main level. Each features a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle.
Magic Kingdom Park is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando. Owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks and Resorts division, the park opened on October 1, 1971, as the first of four theme parks at the resort. Initialized by Walt Disney and designed by WED Enterprises, its layout and attractions are based on Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and is dedicated to fairy tales and Disney characters. The park is represented by Cinderella Castle, inspired by the fairy tale castle seen in the 1950 film. In 2015, the park hosted 20.49 million visitors, making it the most visited theme park in the world for the tenth consecutive year and the most visited theme park in North America for at least the past fifteen years.
The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, a landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and an icon of Seattle. It was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World's Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors, when nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators. Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, it is 605 ft high, 138 ft wide, and weighs 9,550 tons. It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude, as strong as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. It also has 25 lightning rods.
Boston Common is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as the "Boston Commons". Dating from 1634, it is the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common consists of 50 acres of land bounded by Tremont Street, Park Street, Beacon Street, Charles Street, and Boylston Street. The Common is part of the Emerald Necklace of parks and parkways that extend from the Common south to Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Dorchester. A visitors' center for all of Boston is located on the Tremont Street side of the park. The Central Burying Ground is located on the Boylston Street side of Boston Common and contains the burial sites of the artist Gilbert Stuart and the composer William Billings. Also buried there are Samuel Sprague and his son, Charles Sprague, one of America's earliest poets.