4 not-so-obvious Landmarks to Capture the Spirit of America

The Inauguration of a new President is a time to reflect, celebrate democracy, and take advantage of all that the United States has to offer. Regardless of if you have plans to celebrate or just plan to tune in to a news channel broadcasting the event, we recommend taking some time to learn more about the history of our great nation through travel.

Go ahead and ask yourself, what are some of the most patriotic landmarks in the United States? Most of you probably thought about Washington D.C. considering the city is jam-packed with the history of how America came to be. While you’re not wrong, we urge you to think a bit outside the box, since there are so many places across the United States that are just as patriotic and historic

We are not just talking about the obvious attractions, such as Gettysburg, Boston’s Freedom Trail, or the Statue of Liberty. While all of these places have immense historical significance, we recommend packing a bag, rallying the family, group of friends, or getting out there on your own to check out any of these three not so obvious patriotic landmarks that truly capture the spirit of America.

Mount Rushmore  –  Keystone, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located in the breathtaking Black Hills of South Dakota. While this is a fairly well-known monument, how many of us actually know the history behind its creation? In 1923, Doane Robinson, who was a South Dakota state historian, suggested a sculpture be carved in the Black Hills. Just a few years later in 1927, the carving officially began by an artist named Gutzon Borglum. The U.S Presidents chosen to be showcased in the sculpture were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, who all played a significant role in shaping United States history.


Since the monument’s completion in 1939, Mount Rushmore National Memorial has truly become a symbol of freedom for people from all cultures and backgrounds.  What could be more American?  To learn more about the history of Mount Rushmore and for more information on planning your trip, check out the memorial’s website by the National Park Service. 

Pierre South Dakota

After you visit Mount Rushmore, you will want to make sure to take advantage of everything the great state of South Dakota has to offer.  This state covers 77,123 square miles and is one of the least densely populated states in the US.  You know what that means right? Incredible scenery!  While the state still has cities, rich in the history of the Old West, there are also several other national parks that should be on your bucket list.  For more information on the best places to visit in South Dakota, check out the TravelGuidesFree website

Badlands South Dakota

Gateway Arch – St. Louis, Missouri

Remember when we asked about the most patriotic landmarks that come to mind? We bet the Gateway Arch, located in St. Louis Missouri, wasn’t given much thought.  While the Gateway Arch is a well-known landmark in the US, many of us would not consider it to be patriotic; however, the landmark is truly a representation of the United States’ principles and ideals.  

Construction of the arch took place between 1963 and 1965 and was created to capture the spirit of the Western Pioneers in the 1800s.  The bravery and resilience of these pioneers are a large reason why the United States was able to expand and grow to the West.  But guess what! The Gateway Arch is not the only patriotic and historically significant landmark in the immediate area.  

St. Louis, Missouri

The arch is part of Gateway Arch National Park, which is also home to the St. Louis Old Courthouse.  This courthouse is a momentous symbol of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.  Caroline Williams, who was a free African American living in St. Louis during the years following the Civil War, was the epicenter of a historically significant Civil Rights case and sought justice in the St. Louis Old Courthouse.  Following her case, many other newly free African Americans in Missouri fought similar battles for their Civil Rights in the same courthouse. After the events that unfolded in 2020, this landmark holds even more significance in the history of America.  To learn more about Gateway Arch National Park and to plan your visit, check out the park’s page on the National Park Service’s website. 

In terms of fun places to visit, the MidWest tends to be forgotten about.  With over 50 state parks, a long list of historical landmarks, big cities, the birthplace of Route 66, and the home of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs, Missouri truly has something for everyone.  This would be a great road trip if you are traveling with a group of family or friends.  For more information about the best places to visit in Missouri, check out the TravelGuidesFree website.  

Elephant Rocks State Park, Missouri

The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas

Did you know that the Alamo is the most visited landmark in the state of Texas? This landmark and the city of San Antonio is rich in history that has shaped America as we know it.  Originally named the Misión San Antonio de Valero, the mission was one of the early Spanish missions in Texas created for the education of Native Americans after their forced conversion to Christianity.  

The Alamo Mission

This San Antonio Missions World Heritage site is most known for its namesake battle in 1836 during the Mexican-American War.  During this battle, an outnumbered group of soldiers defending Texas held off the Mexican army, who eventually retreated. This was a critical moment in the war and directly lead to the State’s freedom from Mexico.  The battle in 1836 made the Alamo a symbol of the resilient fight for freedom which directly aligns with the ideals of the United States as a whole.  For more historical context, as well as information on visits and socially distant tours, check out The Alamo landmark website.

In the song, If It Wasn’t for Texas, George Strait sang “there wouldn’t be no Alamo.” Also, all his exes live in Texas, but that’s a topic for a different website.  After exploring the Alamo, you will definitely not want to miss out on all Texas has to offer. Check out the TravelGuidesFree website to learn more about the best cities, landmarks, and national parks to visit

The United States has only been a country for about 244 years, which in the grand scheme of time, is not that long. Although the US is a younger country, those 244 years are full of history and tradition.  While there are some parts of American history that are not as honorable as others, the US Government still follows certain processes and rituals that were created over 200 years ago.  We can all agree that this is something worth celebrating!   We encourage you to take a trip off the beaten path to not only learn more about the history of our great nation but to find some adventure along the way as well.  From sea to shining sea, there are incredible monuments and landmarks that represent the resilient spirit of America.  Get out there and explore!