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Awesome America: 51 Facts And Attractions You Need To Check Out

07/04/2013 07:41 am ET | Updated Jul 01, 2015

us attractions to see

With 50 states, 59 national parks, countless museums, monuments and attractions, there is a never-ending list of things to see and do in America.

Once you've checked the big ones off your list, do you find yourself wondering where to head next?

Because America is awesome and we are celebrating our independence today, we've compiled quite a list of must-sees, from the historical and natural to the wacky and wonderful.

Click through the slideshow below to see what we found.

  • Alabama
    WikiMedia:
    There are plenty of monuments to be visited in America. But the Boll Weevil Monument, located in Enterprise, Ala., may be one of the most bizarre. The town erected the monument in 1919 in honor of the boll weevil bug, which destroyed Enterprise’s crops, forcing the town to diversify its agriculture.
  • Alaska
    Mountain climbers, take note: The highest peak in America is located atop Mount McKinley. Located within Denali National Park & Preserve, the mountain’s peak reaches 20,320 feet and features the famous West Buttress route.
  • Arizona
    Kitt Peak National Observatory, 56 miles southwest of Tucson, is home to the largest collection of astronomical observatories in the world. Visitors can stargaze at a nightly observing program or take a guided tour of the observatory.
  • Arkansas
    Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public. The park allows visitors to dig for diamonds and, unlike most public mining sites, has the policy “finders, keepers.”
  • California
    The lowest accessible point in the U.S. is located in Death Valley National Park, in Death Valley. Badwater Basin is 282 ft below sea level and borders the salt flats, which are extremely hazardous and off-limits to park visitors. In general, Death Valley is known to be one of the hottest and most dangerous places in America.
  • Colorado tourists can take a break from the mountains and visit the U.S. Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs. The Academy welcomes visitors to tour the site, attend academy concerts, and check out nearby Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
  • Connecticut
    Did you love PEZ candies growing up? Do you still have a collection of those nifty little dispensers? The PEZ Candy company’s headquarters and factory are located in Orange. Visitors can view the production floor, learn about how the dispensers and candies are made, and check out an extensive gift shop.
  • District of Columbia
    WikiMedia:
    Go see the original “Star-Spangled Banner” that inspired America’s National Anthem at the National Museum of American History. It’s free!
  • Delaware
    WikiMedia:
    Time to shop ‘til you drop! Delaware has no sales tax. Shopping malls strategically located on the Interstate 95 corridor attract travelers from all over the East Coast.
  • Florida
    Brevard County, in central Florida, is the shark attack capital of the world. The ratio of shoreline to attacks is particularly high due to the number of both swimmers and sharks.
  • Georgia
    Getty Images
    Coca Cola fans will love the World of Coca Cola, located in Atlanta -- it's basically Disney World for soda addicts. Learn about your favorite beverages, sample 100 different sodas from around the world and experience the 4-D movie theater. (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
  • Hawaii
    Getty Images
    Hawaii is the only state that commercially grows coffee. Tour coffee orchards, plantations and mills to learn about the harvesting, processing and roasting methods, and sample the final product.
  • Idaho
    West Yellowstone Net
    You can’t go far in the U.S. without stumbling upon a Main Street. But the longest Main Street is located in the city of Island Park. The street is 35 miles long.
  • Every year on St. Patrick’s Day the Chicago River goes from murky to emerald green. The river is dyed green in honor of the holiday and Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
  • If you decide to take a fishing trip while in Indiana, make sure you don’t pack dynamite, firearms, or a crossbow, because it’s illegal to fish with them. Be sure to pack some form of fishing gear, though, because it’s also illegal to fish with your bare hands.
  • Hey, Star Trek fans! Did you know you can visit the future birthplace of Captain Kirk? In approximately 200 years, the fictional captain of the Enterprise starship will be born in Riverside. The small town boasts plenty of quirky souvenirs to remember Kirk’s “birthplace.”
  • Kansas
    WikiMedia:
    The Kansas Speleological Society has catalogued over 500 caves in the state. While it's not technically a cave, the Strataca Underground Salt Museum brings visitors 650 below ground to explore the salt mines.
  • Kentucky
    Food enthusiasts can get a taste of history at the Harland Sanders Museum and Cafe in Corbin. The museum was formerly the home of Harland -- a.k.a. Coronel -- Sanders and was where the fast-food chain got its start.
  • Louisiana
    WikiMedia:
    The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States. It contains nearly one million acres bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous and backwater lakes.
  • Maine
    Alamy
    The whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine, while the official state dessert is blueberry pie. Both sweets are celebrated at festivals around the state, like the Wilton Blueberry Festival in Western Maine and the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival which occurs each June.
  • Maryland
    Maryland is famous for its seafood -- especially crabs. During lunch hour on the Chesapeake Bay, crab cakes outsell hamburgers and hotdogs combined!
  • Massachusetts
    WikiMedia:
    Basketball fans must make a trip to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Springfield. The Hall of Fame is filled with basketball relics and interactive experiences, including skills challenges, clinics and shooting contests.
  • Michigan
    RAWR! The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cageless exhibits that allowed animals to roam (almost) freely.
  • Minnesota
    WikiMedia:
    Minnesota travelers can check “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” off their bucket lists. Located in Darwin, the twine ball is the largest in the world to have been rolled by one man.
  • Mississippi
    Friendship Cemetery was the site where the ladies of Columbus decided to decorate both Confederate and Union graves with flowers a year after the Civil War ended. This act is seen as a precursor to Memorial Day -- the annual recognition of American casualties of war.
  • Missouri
    WikiMedia:
    Check the forecast before heading to Missouri! The record for highest statewide temperature (118ºF) and lowest statewide temperature (-40ºF) is held by the same city -- Warsaw.
  • Montana
    WikiMedia:
    Montana’s Beartooth Mountains in Custer National Forest are home to Grasshopper Glacier, which is named for the grasshoppers that can still be seen frozen in it. Scientists believe that migratory grasshoppers were caught in a severe storm and deposited on the glacier. Ice and snow then buried the grasshoppers into the glacial ice -- forever.
  • Nebraska
    WikiMedia:
    Where was rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut combined for the first time to create the masterpiece that is the Reuben? According to some accounts, it was created by a grocer in Omaha.
  • Nevada
    WikiMedia:
    When you think of slot machines, which state comes to mind? Nevada, obviously. And naturally, the first ever slot machine was in created in the gambling mecca. Visit the Nevada State Museum in Carson City and check out The Fey Collection, which features “Liberty Bell” -- the original slot machine designed by Charles Fey in the 1890s.
  • New Hampshire
    WikiMedia:
    Peterborough Town Library, in Peterborough is the oldest tax-supported public library in the world. It was founded in 1833 and is functional and welcomes visitors today.

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