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5 Must-See Landmarks To Experience America

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    American landmark collage

    From the natural to the man-made, it's not easy to distill America's landmarks to a simple list. But USA Today did a pretty good job of it, throwing together a list of the most iconic landmarks each state has to offer. We decided to zoom in on our five favorites, landmarks we believe you really have to see to truly experience America.

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    Statue of Liberty

    You knew it was coming, so why bother with suspense? Millions of people worldwide think of NYC's Statue of Liberty as synonymous with American freedom, and that's no accident. Lady Liberty was the first thing immigrants arriving in NYC would see. A gift to the US from the people of France, the monument measures 151 feet tall from base to torch and depicts the Roman goddess Libertas holding the Declaration of Independence.

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    Grand Canyon

    Arizona's most famous landmark, Grand Canyon National Park draws more than 5 million visitors each year. For thousands of years, Native Americans built settlements inside the 277-mile-long canyon, often living in its many caves, but today our favorite way to see the canyon is by walking on the Skywalk—a glass walkway built 800 feet above the Colorado River.

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    Golden Gate Bridge

    San Francisco's most famous landmark connects the busy city with the beautiful Marin Headlands. A feat of modern engineering, the Golden Gate Bridge runs 1.7 miles and rises 746 feet above the San Francisco Bay. Frommer's travel guide describes it as the most photographed bridge in the world, and the American Society of Civil Engineers considers it one of the Wonders of the Modern World.

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    Cinderella Castle

    While Florida has many landmarks, there's nothing else quite like Walt Disney World's Cinderella Castle. The 183-foot-tall castle cost $4.7M to construct in 1971, or about $13.5M today if you factor in inflation, and sits in the heart of the world's most visited theme park. Unknown to many, the original plans included a suite for Walt Disney and his family, but he died five years before the park opened. 

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    Space Needle

    Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle quickly became a symbol of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. The observation tower stands 605 feet tall and is built to withstand 200 mph winds and earthquakes measuring up to 9.1 magnitude. Despite being in a city with such rough weather, local legend says there is a creature called the Wheedle who lives atop the tower.