Best Patriotic Attraction (2016)


With Independence Day quickly approaching and summer travel plans in the works, 10Best set out to find America's best patriotic attractions – sites that help us remember our past and ignite our national pride. We asked readers to vote for their favorite patriotic attractions from a pool of 20 nominees, and after four weeks of voting, the results are in.

  • Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

    Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

    Although it was not just one night that led patriots to take matters into their own hands to begin a fight for freedom, it was the continued lack of freedoms and representation that brought about the Tea Party. At the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, visitors can relive the catalyst to the American Revolution and see memorabilia from the time and event. The museum holds insight into America's path to becoming a free country.
    Photo courtesy of Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

  • Pikes Peak

    Pikes Peak
    Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Pikes Peak, the most visited mountain in North America and second most visited in the world (after Mount Fuji), is historically significant as the inspiration behind Katharine Lee Bates' poem "Pikes Peak," which would eventually be set to music as America the Beautiful.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum

    9/11 Memorial and Museum
    New York

    New York City has built a memorial for those lost during one of the most tragic events in the United States’ history on the site of the former World Trade Center. Travelers to the great metropolis visit the site, which has two reflecting pools, to pay respect to those lost in the terrorist attacks. It's a solemn, sad visit, but one that every American should strive to make.
    Photo courtesy of NYC & Company/Marley White

  • Plimoth Plantation

    Plimoth Plantation
    Plymouth, Mass.

    Plimoth Plantaion, a living history museum, brings the world of seventeenth century America to life. Located on the Plymouth waterfront, recreated buildings and costumed interpreters tell the story of the historic Plymouth Colony, as well as the English and American Indians who met there.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

  • Colonial Williamsburg

    Colonial Williamsburg
    Williamsburg, Va.

    A visit to this unique living-history museum in Virginia is like stepping back in time. Across 300-plus acres, the museum encompasses an impressive selection of historical buildings, including reconstructed, re-created and restored buildings that paint a picture for life in Colonial Virginia, back when Williamsburg was the heart of the state. Guests can browse cultural and educational museums, play golf, go shopping and even relax in the spa in and around “Revolutionary City.” This is a destination like nowhere else.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial
    Rapid City, S.D.

    To stand beneath the faces carved into granite at Mount Rushmore National Monument is to marvel at history, natural beauty and artistic determination. The 60-foot-tall visages of U.S. presidents Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln were carved into a South Dakota cliff by Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum from 1934 to 1939 to promote tourism in the area. Today, more than 3 million annual visitors trek to the Black Hill to marvel at this iconic American monument.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Freedom Trail

    Freedom Trail

    Starting at the Boston Common, but easily picked up at any point along the way, the Freedom Trail offers historical insight into the city and its surroundings. Easy to "hop on and off", the Freedom Trail weaves throughout the city and highlights some of Boston's most special places, including Park Street Church, the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House and the USS Constitution.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

  • Arlington National Cemetery

    Arlington National Cemetery
    Arlington, Va.

    Arlington National Cemetery is perhaps the most famous burial ground in the nation. The 600-plus acres of green hills are lined with seemingly countless white tombs. This military cemetery honors people who have lost their lives in service to the nation, from the American Civil War forward. Visitors who take a tour of the cemetery can see John F. Kennedy’s grave site, the changing of the guard and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Gettysburg National Military Park

    Gettysburg National Military Park
    Gettysburg, Penn.

    Gettysburg, as many know, was the fateful location of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s invasion of the North. It was here, in July of 1863, that the Union Army halted Lee’s advance and broke the back of his, up to that point, mostly undefeated army of crack troops across three days of bitter conflict in the city itself and the lands surrounding it, almost all of which have been meticulously maintained for their historical significance.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Statue of Liberty

    Statue of Liberty
    New York

    The Statue of Liberty, a 450,000 pound gift from the people of France, is a must-see for anyone visiting the Big Apple. The torch that she is holding stands for that enlightenment and inscribed on her tablet is the date of the American Declaration of Independence. For millions of people, the sight of Lady Liberty represents freedom and opportunity.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock


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

  1. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum - Boston
  2. Pikes Peak - Colorado Springs, Colo.
  3. 9/11 Memorial and Museum - New York
  4. Plimoth Plantation - Plymouth, Mass.
  5. Colonial Williamsburg - Williamsburg, Va.
  6. Mount Rushmore National Memorial - Rapid City, S.D.
  7. Freedom Trail - Boston
  8. Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Va.
  9. Gettysburg National Military Park - Gettysburg, Penn.
  10. Statue of Liberty - New York

Additional nominees included The Alamo, Ellis Island, Fort McHenry National Monument, Fort Sumter National Monument, Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center, National Archives Museum, National Mall and Memorial Parks, USS Arizona Memorial and Yellowstone National Park.

Congratulations to all our winning attractions!

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