What You Didn’t Know About America’s Top Tourist Attractions

TImes Square

Written by Manita Dosanjh

The land of the free, the home of the brave. God bless America for giving us The Big Apple, the Vegas Strip and everything in between – but there is so much more to the country’s hotspots than bright lights and yellow taxis. Allow us to enlighten you…

1. San Francisco and Walt Disney World Florida are the same size

Mickey Mouse

That’s right. At 40 square miles, the juggernaut theme park is the same size as one of the largest cities in California. It’s also completely self-sufficient – over 30 tons of fruits and vegetables are grown there every year to be used in the resort’s restaurants and cafés.

Also, speaking of San Francisco, here’s a heads up if you feel like visiting…

2. The Golden Gate Bridge is the world’s number one suicide destination

Sadly, an estimated 1300 people have chosen to jump from the bridge since it was built in in 1937.Golden Gate Bridge

So be warned…if you jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, you may regret it shortly after….

This one’s for anyone who saw George of the Jungle as a child. Yes, swinging/jumping/or flying off a huge bridge looks like fun when you see a jungle man do it, but two years ago a high school student tried and trust us, he was not happy once he hit the water. As our Atlantic neighbours would say, go figure…

Now many people would think of Las Vegas as a naughty place where anything goes (you know, what happens there stays there etc), however…

3. The Lottery is illegal in Las Vegas

Vegas Elvis

In the gambling capitol of the world, the most common form of gambling is against the law. ‘But why?’ I hear you cry…well, I’m not sure exactly… we don’t make the laws, we’re just the travel messengers…

We can however, give you a great deal on a hotel close to the action.

Bath salts are also illegal (I am, just to clarify, referring to a narcotic that results in heart palpitations and not soapy crystals that smell like lavender available in Boots) but that’s a different story and incidentally brings me to my next point…

4. Having a bath in the White House was once believed to make you ill

The White House

When Franklin Pierce (the 14th President of the United States – don’t worry, I had to Google that too) first introduced a bath into the white house, many people were very upset with him. At the time, everyone was convinced that having a bath was unhealthy and held potential for disease. It might sound outrageous, but in the land of the free, anything’s possible…

…you can even set up an NGO to protect the rights and general well-being of a landmark…

5. The Hollywood sign has its own charity

Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign Trust is a registered non-profit organisation dedicated to raising funds for the repair and maintenance of the sign. It also endeavours to educate the world about the sign’s cultural and historical importance. Previous supporters of the trust include Alice Cooper and the one and only, Hugh Hefner…

Whilst we’re on the subject of people who were around when dinosaurs were, did you know the Grand Canyon is also really old? So old that…

6. There are no dinosaur fossils in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

So Hef probably tells this story better, but I’m going to do my best.

The rocks in the canyon are far older than dinosaurs – they’re so old that the only dead animals you’ll find inside them are prehistoric creatures that walked the earth before dinosaurs even existed. This means that the Grand Canyon as we know it has seen dinosaurs come and go.

Hugh Hefner

If you don’t believe me, you can always ask Hef. Legend has it, he was there too…

On an unrelated note, do you like steak? If so, you’ll really like this next place…

 

7. Times Square used to be known as ‘The Tenderloin’…

…on account of the fact that it was the most desirable place to live in the 1920s. Today, it’s mildly less desirable as place of residence- mainly because the repetitive strobe lighting could get a bit tiresome – but, to visit, it’s quite spectacular.

Cowboy Times Square

To find a hotel close by, click here.

Speaking of spectacular, Juneau, the capitol of Alaska, attracts thousands of tourists every year for its stunning mountains and glaciers. However, if you are the proud owner of a flamingo, some activities may prove difficult (and illegal) during your visit. According to the law…

8. In Juneau, owners of flamingos may not let their pet into barber shops

Juneau Alaska

Now, isn’t it annoying when you need a haircut but it’s your day to take care of the house flamingo?

Flamingo

This is a law. We kid you not.

9. You are (almost) always guaranteed to see a rainbow at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

It’s because they’re so misty. Light reflects off the water droplets hanging in the air to give spectators a beautiful show of colours. It can also happen at night if you’re very lucky – the moon’s light reflects off the mist to give lunar bows.

If you prefer your tourist attractions to stick to the more boring conventional formula of cocktail-with-teeny-umbrella, sand and clear blue water however, maybe this will float your boat…

10. Modern surfing was born in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Duke Kahanamoku – dubbed ‘the father of surfing’ – was born and raised by Waikiki Beach. His family home used to be where the Royal Hawiian Hotel stands today.

Waikiki Beach Hawaii

If you know of any more weird and wonderful facts about the USA then we’d love for you to get in touch below. We’d also love to know more about your USA experiences – leave us your tips and photos here.

Thanks to Herkie, hollaatkylee, TimeLapse BLog.com, Moyan_Brenn_BACK_FROM_ICELAND, Francisco Diez, bdearth, Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, Grand Canyon NPS Diego Lopez, eliduke, robert claypool, nic_r, FHKE  for the images off Flickr! Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.

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