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Best New Attraction (2021)

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From museums and performance spaces to skate parks and water parks, travelers were treated to a host of new attractions this past year. 

  • SkyFly: Soar America

    SkyFly: Soar America
    Pigeon Forge, TN

    10Best Contributor Robert Niles reports, “One of the Smoky Mountain’s top tourist towns gets its own flying theater attraction, from the company that built the first flying theater rides.” SkyFly: Soar America at The Island in Pigeon Forge transports guests with a feeling-of-flight state-of-the-art ride and allows them to experience the unforgettable beauty of the United States. Complete with sounds, smells, and special effects, including wind and mist, a custom film whisks travelers away on an exhilarating six-minute journey to places they might otherwise never have the opportunity to see.
    Photo courtesy of Derek Cress

  • Van Gogh Exhibition: The Immersive Experience

    Van Gogh Exhibition: The Immersive Experience
    Multiple Cities

    If you’ve ever wondered how it would feel to step into a painting, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience gives you that opportunity. Available in several cities throughout the United States, meet Vincent van Gogh like never before, with a 360-degree light and sound spectacular. The Experience also includes galleries that chronicle his life and influence on the world of art through informative panels and engaging interactives. Take a journey in “A day in the life of the Artist” while you discover the inspiration behind his most iconic works.
    Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Exhibition Hub and Fever

  • Allegiant Stadium Tours

    Allegiant Stadium Tours
    Paradise, NV

    10Best Contributor Robert Niles shres, “The opulent new home of the Las Vegas Raiders opened for tours this year, allowing fans unprecedented access.” Led by expert hosts, the behind-the-scenes experience through Allegiant Stadium takes fans through ultra-exclusive areas such as the broadcast booth, private suites and clubs, and the locker rooms, with an added opportunity to walk on the playing field itself. Visitors can upgrade their experience to include a “Drink and a View,” which includes a panoramic view of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
    Photo courtesy of Allegiant Stadium Tours

  • The Friends Experience

    The Friends Experience
    Multiple Cities

    If you can’t get enough of the hit television show Friends, then take a step inside their world at the FRIENDS Experience, available now in New York City and Dallas. Explore recreations of actual sets such as Joey and Chandler’s apartment, Monica and Rachel’s living room, or, at the New York City location, buy coffee and pastries at Central Perk. You can even poke Ugly Naked Guy in Dallas! Want more Friends to take home? Buy a FRIENDS Monopoly set or Gunther’s favorite – a Central Perk KeepCup, both available at the FRIENDS Experience Store.
    Photo courtesy of Jay Rosenblatt Photography

  • Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience

    Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience
    New Orleans, LA

    Covering thirteen southern states and more than three hundred years of history, the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience opened in the spring of 2021. The museum includes exhibition topics such as Colonial Jewry, Jews and the Civil War, Jews and the Civil Rights Movement, unique Southern Jewish foods, and famous Southern Jews. Explore the migration of Jews to the South, and understand their amazing stories and accomplishments.
    Photo courtesy of The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience/Frank Aymami

  • Lauridsen Skatepark

    Lauridsen Skatepark
    Des Moines, IA

    Opened in May 2021, Des Moines’ Lauridsen Stakepart is the largest open park in the United States. The park contains more than 88,000-square-feet of “skate-able” terrain and features multiple stake elements such as a promenade, skateable “WOW” sculpture, competitive street and park courses, a “snake run,” and a large spectator park. 10Best Contributor Eric Grossman raves, “Expect skateboarders from around the country to start making pilgrimages to this incredible setup.”
    Photo courtesy of Brian Abeling

  • Greenwood Rising

    Greenwood Rising
    Tulsa, OK

    Opened in August 2021, Greenwood Rising is located near the gateway to Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District, once known as Black Wall Street. The museum honors the historical icons of Greenwood, memorializes those who died in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and brings to life the lessons of the past to inspire meaningful action in the present and future. 
    Photo courtesy of Frank Stopa Photography

  • The Cloud Ladder at Kent Mountain Adventure Center

    The Cloud Ladder at Kent Mountain Adventure Center
    Estes Park, CO

    Kent Moutain Adventure Center’s new Cloud Ladder claims to be the “steepest and most challenging Via Ferrata climbing in North America.” Rated as a black to double black diamond climb, it is both physically and mentally demanding, with difficulty increasing the entire way up the Deville Rocks. Climbers should be prepared for about thirty feet of overhanging ladder climbing and hundreds of feet of air beneath them!
    Photo courtesy of Via Ferrata Works

  • Water Works Park and Pavilion

    Water Works Park and Pavilion
    Minneapolis, MN

    The Minneapolis Parks Foundation invites you to visit their newly opened attraction, Water Works Park and Pavilion, a place downtown to “gather and play and restore and refresh.” This attraction offers fun, food, and educational opportunities for the entire family – including an Indigenous cuisine restaurant, a classroom, an outdoor seating terraced area, a “Nature Play Lab” for small children, with Dakota indigenous art and interpretative signs throughout the site.
    Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

  • Roots 101 African-American Museum

    Roots 101 African-American Museum
    Louisville, KY

    In June 2021, the Roots 101 African-American Museum opened, with nearly 11,000-square-feet of space designed to host art and historical artifacts from Louisville and around the world. Their focus is to relate the African American journey “from Africa to all the ports between,” illustrating their history, culture, and art through exhibits and programs.
    Photo courtesy of Crystal Ludwick

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The top 10 winners in the category Best New Attraction are as follows:

  1. SkyFly: Soar America - Pigeon Forge, TN
  2. Van Gogh Exhibition: The Immersive Experience - Multiple Cities
  3. Allegiant Stadium Tours - Paradise, NV
  4. The Friends Experience - Multiple Cities
  5. Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience - New Orleans, LA
  6. Lauridsen Skatepark - Des Moines, IA
  7. Greenwood Rising - Tulsa, OK
  8. The Cloud Ladder at Kent Mountain Adventure Center - Estes Park, CO
  9. Water Works Park and Pavilion - Minneapolis, MN
  10. Roots 101 African-American Museum - Louisville, KY

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Tomiko Harvey

Tomiko Harvey

Tomiko Harvey

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Eric Grossman

Eric Grossman

Eric Grossman
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