The 15 Most Photographed Tourist Attractions in the Americas
From the Big Apple to the Grand Canyon, these gorgeous spots in North and South America have wracked up millions of posts on Instagram and beyond.
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Walt Disney World
The Happiest Place on Earth is also the most photographed destination in the Americas, according to Globehunters, the online travel experts who compiled data on the most Instagrammed destinations in the Americas. Epcot, and its internationally-flavored World Showcase, is the single most photographed of Disney’s four Orlando theme parks. From Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom to the roaring lions at Animal Kingdom to the giant Slinky Dog coaster at Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, it’s hard to find more iconic photo spots anywhere in the country. Don’t miss these VIP Disney vacations you need to add to your travel bucket list.
The Big Apple has a big showing on Globehunter’s list. In the green heart of the city, you’ll find everything from live Shakespearean plays under the stars to a petting zoo, to playgrounds, to boccie courts, not to mention jogging and biking paths, all of which add up to fantastic photo ops. Check out these hidden gems of New York City that even most locals don’t know about.
Las Vegas Strip
The glowing neon of classic Las Vegas is picture perfect according to the more than 4 million people who have hashtagged the #lasvegasstrip on Instagram. The most popular hotel to photograph? Caesar’s Palace.
Back to New York City for even more bright lights in the center of Times Square. Whether you’re here to catch a Broadway play, spot the Naked Cowboy who poses on its street corners, or celebrate New Year’s Eve, there are almost as many photo ops as there are people crowding the sidewalks in the bustling epicenter of the city that never sleeps.(Nearby, the Empire State Building gets a lot of photo love, too, and is the perfect spot to get a rooftop shot of the city.)
The Grand Canyon
The riveting mile-deep drop into Arizona’s Grand Canyon wows photo takers with its fascinating topography and gorgeous colors. More than 2.7 million visitors have taken photos of the remarkable national park and posted them on Instagram this year alone.
Yosemite National Park
Vast wilderness, expansive meadows, towering sequoias—Central California’s expansive wilderness preserve is probably the image most people conjure when they think of America’s national parks, and the photos ops here are epic. These are the most photographed mountains in the United States.
Golden Gate Bridge
There’s something about the international orange bridge (really, that’s the official name of the color) spanning the San Francisco Bay that makes it the perfect backdrop for photos. The color was developed to stand out in the fog and specially chosen to complement the natural setting by the bridge’s architect, making even the worst lit photograph pop—a fact that more than 2 million people have discovered when they tagged their bridge memories on Instagram, according to Globehunters.
The 3,000 tons of water that crash over the falls here every second provide an epic background for photos. You can walk around Niagara Falls State Park in New York State for free, or cross the border to view the Falls on the Canadian side. To really get a close up of the thundering falls, take a ride aboard the famous Maid of the Mist (ideal for a soaked selfie), or sign up for the Cave of the Winds tour, where you’ll find yourself deep in the Niagara Gorge and face to face with the crashing water of the falls. Don’t miss these 15 breathtaking photos of waterfalls around the world.
Statue of Liberty
Half the fun of visiting the Statue of Liberty are the views you get of both the statue and the water before you get there—the New York Harbor provides memorable photo ops around every bend (the Brooklyn Bridge is another water view spot that wracks up the photos, too). Once you step ashore at Liberty Island you can take close-ups of Lady Liberty, or head up to her crown for an epic bird’s eye view of lower Manhattan.
This massive mountain range rolls across the west, reaching from Canada in British Vancouver to Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and down to New Mexico. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado to easily get photos at heights of up to 12,000 feet on Trail Ridge Road as well as explore the wilderness, hiking trails, and wildlife. And if you’re looking for the perfect place to stay in the Rockies, this is one of the best-kept family vacation secrets in the United States.
Spoiler alert: Some of the most picturesque spots around Lake Michigan are actually in Wisconsin, not Michigan. It’s here you’ll find more than 300 miles of shoreline jetting out into Lake Michigan’s Door County, dotted with charming towns that will make you feel like you stepped back in time. Of course, Lake Michigan also stretches into Illinois and Indiana, giving you lots of opportunities to take the perfect lakefront shot.
As one of the first U.S. highways ever made, Route 66 carries with it a sense of nostalgia, opportunity, and adventure. No trip down the Mother Road is complete without making unique photo stops at spots like the 170-foot tall Largest Ketchup Bottle (Collinsville, Illinois), or at the half-buried painted cars at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Don’t miss these haunting photos of Route 66 ghost towns.
The ancient Incan citadel high in the mountains of Peru has inspired more than a million people to visit and post pictures this year so far. Machu Picchu is South America’s most iconic archaeological site, and the mysterious citadel continues to intrigue photographers with its mortar-free construction of stone temples, towers, terraces, walls, and ceremonial spots.
Yellowstone National Park
The gushing geyser of Old Faithful, the swirling colors of prismatic springs, the steaming waters of Mammoth Springs, the roaming bison of Lamar Valley, the soaring views and waterfalls of Canyon Village—Yellowstone National Park often feels like a theme park for photographers, with amazing backdrops around every bend.
It’s a thrill a minute at New York’s boardwalk and beach destination, with plenty to catch a photographer’s eye. Whether you head to the ricocheting cars of the iconic Wonder Wheel, the classic wooden Cyclone coaster, check out the new shark exhibit at the New York Aquarium, or even stop for a bite at Nathan’s, the site of the world-famous hot dog eating contest, you can snap a vacation photo with the sand and waves in the background for a truly unique New York memory. Next, read on for 40 travel adventures you need to have before you turn 40.