If been there, done that comes to mind when you think of America’s most famous landmarks, you can thank Matador Network for presenting some alternatives. Their photo essay, 20 Overlooked National Landmarks in the U.S., shows the beauty that lies beyond Niagara, Mt. Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty.
Penobscot Narrows Bridge, ME
Overshadowed by: Golden Gate, Brooklyn, and other famous U.S. bridges
Cool features: The engineering sophistication that went into the four-year-old bridge seems incongruous with its location in small-town Maine. But the coolest part is the observation post built into the western tower. It’s the tallest such observatory in the world.
St. Augustine, FL
Overshadowed by: Jamestown, VA
Cool features: Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine is “the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States” (Wikipedia). The picture above is taken in front of the Fountain of Youth, a tribute to what Spanish explorers were looking for when they came to Florida.
Shoshone Falls, ID
Overshadowed by: Niagara
Cool features: This falls in southern Idaho is 45 feet taller than its world-famous counterpart in the East and fills a spillage width of 1,000 feet during runoff season. Swimming, boating, hiking, and picnicking opportunities are available.
Bear Butte, SD
Overshadowed by: Nearby Mt. Rushmore
Cool features: The 4,400ft igneous uplift, just north of the Black Hills, is held as sacred by the Lakota, Cheyenne, and other American Indian peoples of the region, who often make pilgrimages to the butte and leave offerings on its slopes. Respectful visitors can check it out in Bear Butte State Park.
Airplane Boneyard, AZ
Overshadowed by: Real airports
Cool features: The aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, near Tuscon, is one of many such storage and scrap facilities in the American Southwest, where a dry climate and hard, compacted soil make it feasible to leave huge planes to sit for decades.
For more of what you might be missing out on, scroll through the entire list at Matador Network.