TripAdvisor®, the travel planning and booking site, today announced the winners of its Travelers' Choice® awards for Landmarks. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for landmarks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period. This year's awards recognized 759 landmarks across 68 countries and eight regions across the globe.
"For travelers thinking about anchoring their trips with a visit to an iconic site, there's no better starting point than the list of Travelers' Choice award winners," said Brooke Ferencsik, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. "With awe-inspiring temples, poignant memorials and breath-taking examples of architectural innovation, there's a wide variety of options to inspire those looking for culturally enriching experiences."
TripAdvisor has also identified highly rated tours and experiences at these award-winning landmarks. TripAdvisor is home to more than 100,000 bookable tours, activities and experiences worldwide to help travelers unleash the full potential of their trips.
Top 10 Landmarks in the U.S:
1. Alcatraz Island - San Francisco, California
A little over a mile offshore in San Francisco Bay, "The Rock" operated as a federal prison from 1934-1963, housed infamous inmates such as Al Capone and Whitey Bulger and inspired numerous novels and films. Today, travelers can take remarkable tours offering historical insights including a first-hand look at the prison cells and grounds. "A visit to Alcatraz is a must when visiting San Francisco. For the history of the prison and famous escapes, of course, but also for the island itself and its beautiful gardens and view on the city," noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
There are amazing experiences for Alcatraz travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated Jail and Sail: Alcatraz Tour and Twilight Bay Cruise - tickets start at $108 per person.
2. Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California
Spanning 4,200 feet, this famous suspension bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County is one of the most stunning landmarks in the world. Travelers can take in the breathtaking views of the bridge and bay with a leisurely walk across or on one of numerous popular bike tours. "Make sure you walk or ride a bike over it for the full experience! There are several look outs and each gives a different perspective of the bridge and city," commented one TripAdvisor reviewer.
There are amazing experiences for the Golden Gate Bridge travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated 3-Hour Bike Tour from San Francisco to Sausalito via the Golden Gate Bridge - tickets start at $35 per person.
3. Lincoln Memorial - Washington, D.C.
The majestic Lincoln statue in the National Mall is an enduring symbol of American values. Visitors can read moving excerpts from the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's inaugural address. "The location and size of this Memorial are so impressive but it is the texts from Lincoln's addresses that are most inspiring," said one TripAdvisor reviewer.
There are amazing experiences for the Lincoln Memorial travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated DC After Dark tour - tickets start at $45 per person.
4. Grand Central Terminal - New York City, New York
A busy commuter railroad station in the heart of Manhattan that's also renowned as an architectural wonder, Grand Central is a popular tourist draw for its striking interior design and variety of shops and restaurants. A TripAdvisor reviewer stated, "Grand Central is the most glamorous train terminal ever. Full of restaurants, shops. The ceiling is magical, painted with mythical figures, wonderful."
There are amazing experiences for the Grand Central travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated Grand Central Indoor Food Tour - tickets start at $89 per person.
5. USS Arizona Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
A solemn and respectful tribute to the lives lost in the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, this memorial is situated above the sunken hull of the USS Arizona. "Learning about the history from a book and actually standing over the sunken ship containing our fallen soldiers are totally different things. This is sobering, thought-provoking, and memorable," offered a TripAdvisor reviewer.
There are amazing experiences for the USS Arizona Memorial travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated Deluxe Arizona Memorial and Historical City Tour - tickets start at $47 per person.
6. Empire State Building - New York City, New York
An iconic part of New York City's skyline since 1931 and standing 1,200 feet high, this Art Deco building allows travelers to take in sensational views of Manhattan from its observation areas on the 86th and 102nd floors, day or night. "We had VIP tickets pre-booked and skipped all the lines, well worth the extra cost. Staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Great views of New York, really enjoyed our visit," said one TripAdvisor reviewer.
There are amazing experiences for the Empire State Building travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated Viator Exclusive: Empire State Building Experience - Top Deck Express Pass & STATE Grill and Bar Dinner - tickets start at $149 per person.
7. Statue of Liberty - New York City, New York
Proudly standing 151 feet high, Lady Liberty remains the most recognizable symbol of American freedom. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, "As beautiful as the statue is when driving by during the day or viewing from the lower Manhattanarea, the statue is really impressive when sailing by after dark, on a cruise departing from New York. Even native New Yorkers were impressed."
There are amazing experiences for the Statue of Liberty travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated Afternoon Statue of Liberty Tour with Pedestal Access - tickets start at $57 per person.
8. Brooklyn Bridge - New York City, New York
Opened in 1883 and spanning nearly 6,000 feet, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the world's most recognizable suspension bridges and a classic New York sight. "Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge, which is the bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn, is a must see spot for those in the city. Walking over from DUMBO into Manhattan is your best bet, as you walk towards the incredible skyline of New York City. It's a truly marvelous experience," exclaimed a TripAdvisor reviewer.
There are amazing experiences for the Brooklyn Bridge travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated Brooklyn Bridge Guided Walking Tour - tickets start at $26 per person.
9. Biltmore Estate - Asheville, North Carolina
Once the home of George Washington Vanderbilt II, the 135,280 square foot estate on 6,950 acres is the largest privately owned house in the U.S. and gives visitors a feel for life in America's Gilded Age. "I loved the library of George Vanderbiltand the banquet hall was amazing. Outside the house, the gardens would take up quite a time, especially during springs as azaleas were in full bloom. A must-do for anyone interested in the historical high-end lifestyle of the U.S.," commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
There are amazing experiences for the Biltmore Estate travelers can book on TripAdvisor, including the highly rated Biltmore Admission with Self-Guided Audio Tour & Lunch - tickets start at $109 per person.
10. Cloud Gate - Chicago, Illinois
This popular stainless steel structure in Millennium Park, affectionately known as "the Bean," has become a Chicago icon. "It's one of the most recognizable pieces of public art. Something about this huge silver bean just makes you feel like a kid. It's fun not only to look at, but to touch, take pictures and people watch," noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
Top 10 Landmarks in the World:
- Angkor Wat - Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Plaza de Espana - Seville, Spain
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican City, Italy
- Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba - Cordoba, Spain
- Taj Mahal - Agra, India
- Duomo di Milano - Milan, Italy
- Alcatraz Island - San Francisco, California
- Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California
- Parliament - Budapest, Hungary
For the complete list of the 2018 Travelers' Choice Landmarks winners, as well as reviews and candid traveler photos, go to: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Landmarks.
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Image: Dennis Jarvis | Flickr