Patriotic places that will make you proud to be an American
Gettysburg National Military Park
This is where Lincoln’s famous speech went down in November of 1863, four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, which had been fought that July. Now, 150 years later, Gettysburg National Military Park has prepared a formal ceremony to commemorate the landmark anniversary. Events take place June 30.
Liberty Bell Center
Many folks recognize the Liberty Bell—and its famous crack—as an iconic symbol of American independence. But what’s also remarkable is its home at Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell Center, next to the former Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall), where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed.
Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island, New York
New York’s iconic neoclassical sculpture has welcomed immigrants to the States since it was erected in 1886. But public access to the famously crowned statue has been off and on since the 1980s, and it most recently closed last fall due to infrastructure damages from Hurricane Sandy. Good news: The National Park Service confirmed the statue will reopen to the public on July 4 this year.
The vast grassy expanse that connects the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most visited patriotic places in the country, attracting around 24 million visitors annually. It was designed in 1791 by Pierre L’Enfant for the future city of Washington, D.C., to form a so-called grand avenue between the Capitol and a planned statue of the city’s namesake.
The granddaddy of presidential memorials—a bit unique in that it's open 24 hours a day—sits in West Potomac Park, bookending the National Mall on its west side. It was dedicated in 1922, at a time when the country was united geographically, and you'll see Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address inscribed in the memorial’s south chamber.
Keystone, South Dakota
This massive, 1,275-acre, carved granite sculpture is one of the country’s most iconic scenes—and not just for its role in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Designed and sculpted by a father-son team of Danish-American artists, the carving of the mountain started in 1925 and halted in 1941. Originally it was meant to show off its four subjects from head to waist; insufficient funding was cut off after the heads were completed.
Mount Vernon, Virginia
Perhaps one of the most picturesque patriotic places isn’t a carved-stone memorial but a residence frozen in time. Home to George Washington from the 1750s through his death in 1799, this plantation estate and its vast manor are carefully positioned on the Potomac River. Good news: Modern development on nearby land is prohibited, so the manor still offers clear views of the valley.