The infamous “Are we there yet?” can creep up sooner than you think during a family road trip. So instead of the same old eye-spy games, try tossing this United States landmark scavenger hunt into the back seat to help educate AND entertain the whole family.
Here’s how it works: There are 15 photos of famous landmarks around the country. Each landmark is either significant to U.S history or is a must-see in the United States. Try to guess each landmark and fill in the numbered blanks below the map.
While the kids are filling in the blanks, we have some interesting facts and information about each landmark that you can read to them while they play. Who knows—maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t already know.
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1. Philidelphia, Pennsylvania: Independence Hall
One of the most famous sites in American history is Independence Hall, also known as the birthplace of America. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed in this building located in Philadelphia. When you visit, you’ll see the very room where the constitution was signed and say hello to the famous Liberty Bell.
2. San Antonio, Texas: The Alamo
The Alamo is an iconic landmark for the city of San Antonio, with over 2.5 million people visiting the site each year. This former church is the site where a famous battle took place between the Republic of Texas and Mexico in 1836. Texas faced a harsh defeat, losing all its soldiers. However, Texas later led forces to the Battle of San Jacinto, which secured Texas’s independence.
3. Arizona: Grand Canyon
One of the most remarkable natural wonders in the world is the Grand Canyon National Park. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles in length, stretches 18 miles across, and is over a mile deep. Visitors can see millions of years of exposed ancient bedrock and the colorful lines it creates in the canyon. Views of the canyon and the Colorado River are especially picturesque at sunrise and sunset.
4. New York City, New York: Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is our country’s symbol of freedom and democracy. The statue is also associated with immigrants voyaging to Ellis Island for a new land full of possibilities. Lady Liberty stands 305 feet and 6 inches tall on Liberty Island in New York City. She was presented to the U.S. in 1886 as a gift from France. Visitors must climb 354 steps (or take the elevator to a lower lookout point) to reach the Statue of Liberty’s crown to see spectacular views of the city.
5. Keystone, South Dakota: Mount Rushmore
Pictured in almost every school history book is the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in Keystone, South Dakota. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln were tediously carved into granite in 1923 by a historian named Doane Robinson. It took 14 years to complete from start to finish and is now South Dakota’s top attraction.
6. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Old Faithful
If you have a travel bucket list, Yellowstone National Park is probably on it. Established in 1872, Yellowstone was the first national park open for the public to enjoy. The park houses a beautiful landscape, abundant wildlife, and over half of the world’s geysers—including Old Faithful. The water in Old Faithful’s geyser is 204 degrees and “faithfully” erupts every 63 to 70 minutes.
7. Seattle, Washington: Space Needle
The unique “space-age” design of this tower draws the attention of thousands, and it’s one of the most recognizable structures in America. The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle and was then left open for the public afterward. The tower stands at 605 feet and houses a revolving restaurant—showing a 360-degree view of the city.
8. San Francisco, California: Golden Gate Bridge
You can probably picture the Golden Gate Bridge with the “Full House” intro music playing in the background. This suspension bridge is a mile wide and connects San Francisco with Marin County, carrying traffic from both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1. Don’t let the name fool you—the gate isn’t actually gold in color (it’s more of a rusty orange) but gets its name from the Golden Gate Strait that flows underneath.
9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
The Oklahoma City National Memorial is the largest memorial of its kind in the United States. It honors all who were affected by a terrorist bombing attack in downtown Oklahoma City in 1995. This memorial has been the source of inspiration for numerous memorials with its reflecting pool, the field of empty chairs, a survivors’ wall, and survivor tree.
10. Washington, D.C.: The National Mall
The National Mall in Washington, D.C. is the most visited national park in the U.S. It is home to well-known monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Memorial. People gather here to honor veterans and celebrate our nation’s passion for freedom and equality. The United States Capitol and White House are located east of the National Mall.
11. Alaska: Denali
Denali National Park is a popular destination for many as it is home to the highest mountain peak in the United States, rising to 20,320 feet. The park, which is roughly the size of Massachusetts, is located in interior Alaska and visitors can explore the preserved wild Alaskan landscape. Fun fact: Denali is actually taller than Mount Everest! While Everest takes the cake for being the highest mountain in the world—highest above sea level—Denali beats Everest when measuring from base to summit, giving it a very striking presence across the Alaskan landscape.
12. Chicago, Illinois: The Bean
The Cloud Gate, commonly referred to as “The Bean,” has become the symbol of downtown Chicago. This work of art, designed by the London-based artist Anish Kapoor, is located in Millennium Park in Chicago, where people flock to take funky photos and see the city’s skyline in its reflection. Because it is so popular, the sculpture has to be professionally cleaned up to seven times a day to remove fingerprints from visitors.
13. St. Louis, Missouri: Gateway Arch
This 630-foot structure is America’s tallest monument so, fittingly, it’s a landmark we wanted to include. The Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in 1947. It’is officially known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, but is commonly called the Gateway Arch, referring to its role in St. Louis as the “Gateway to the West.”
14. Charleston, South Carolina: Fort Sumter
In 1861, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, which was purposely built to protect the Charleston Harbor from the Confederacy. The attack on Fort Sumter lasted about 34 hours and resulted in defeat for the Union, turning Fort Sumter into a symbol of Southern resistance.
15. Florida: Everglades National Park
What makes the Everglades National Park unique is its special significance to the nation as the largest continuous sawgrass prairie in North America. The park is a 1.5-million-acre wetland preserve on the southern tip of Florida and is home to protected wildlife, including the endangered leatherback turtle.
Congratulations! You made it through our United States Scavenger Hunt. How did your kids do? We hope we were able to make the hours in the car go by a little faster (high five, parents!) and help your family learn a thing or two along the way.
We’re passionate about helping you create lasting memories with your loved ones by traveling more and booking the best hotels along the way. Wherever you’re headed, whether it’s to one of these landmarks or any of these destinations to see in all 50 states, we make it easy to book your next hotel at roomkey.com.