America’s Top 4 Man-Made Landmarks

Landmarks are points of interest that include tourist attractions, well-known places, unusual landforms, monuments, memorials, and odd and unusual structures. And they can be man-made or natural.

In today’s post we detail America’s top four man-made landmarks.

Route 66

Historic Route 66 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Route 66. The Will Rogers Highway. Mother Road. Main Street of America. The quintessential American Road Trip. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Route 66. The Will Rogers Highway. Mother Road. Main Street of America. The quintessential American Road Trip.

Route 66 served travelers for some 50 years, before the advent of the interstate highway system. Established on November 11,1926, Route 66 was one of the original highways in the U.S., stretching southwestward from Chicago out to California’s coastal city of Santa Monica.

The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to California, covering a total of 2,448 miles.

Route 66 was recognized in popular culture by the hit song (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66, a popular rhythm and blues standard, composed in 1946 by songwriter Bobby Troup and the Route 66 TV drama in the early ’60s.

Whether you are motivated by an interest in history or feel a nostalgic yearning for the “good old days”, Route 66 offers an unforgettable journey into America, then and now.

The Alamo, Texas

“Remember the Alamo!” © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Remember the Alamo!” © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The 1836 Battle of the Alamo was one of the pivotal battles between the forces of the Republic of Texas and Mexico during the Texas Revolution.

The full name of the site was San Antonio de Valero Mission. It was built by the Spanish in the 1700s for the education and conversion of local Native Americans and originally included a fortified wall and a complex of surrounding buildings.

The former church and fortress are now a museum.

The Alamo was the first in a chain of missions established nearby along the San Antonio River. Four of these other missions have been preserved as part of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

Hoover Dam, Arizona and Nevada

The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge casts a shadow across Hoover Dam. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge casts a shadow across Hoover Dam. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

On September 30, 1935, with a crowd of 10,000 people looking on in 102-degree heat, President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated what was then the world’s biggest dam. Situated on the Nevada-Arizona border, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, and stretching 1,244 feet across the Black Canyon, Hoover Dam took five years to construct.

Since the 1930s, U.S. Route 93 ran right along the top of the dam; however, the two-lane highway was hazardous and had grown increasingly congested over the years. In an effort to remedy these problems, construction began on a dam bypass bridge in 2005. Completed five years later, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge measures 1,905 feet long and soars nearly 900 feet above the Colorado River, making it the longest single-span concrete arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere as well as the second-highest bridge of any type in America.

Mt. Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire

Mount Washington Cog Railway carries passengers up a 3-mile-long trestle and the steepest railroad tracks in North America to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mount Washington Cog Railway carries passengers up a 3-mile-long trestle and the steepest railroad tracks in North America to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire—and in the Northeast—and is therefore a very popular attraction for RVers and other sightseers and hikers.

The beauty of the mountains and the thrill of ascending the Northeast’s highest peak are just as enchanting today as they were in 1869, when Sylvester Marsh opened the world’s first mountain-climbing railroad on Mount Washington.

Nearly 150 years later, the Mount Washington Cog Railway continues to provide a sense of adventure and history as it carries passengers up a 3-mile-long trestle and the steepest railroad tracks in North America to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington. There, visitors can take in the spectacular panoramic view, spanning the mountains and valleys of New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, north into Canada, and east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Worth Pondering…

In the words of Willie Nelson, “goin’ places I have never been, seein’ things that I may never see again”, exploring our magnificent country, its natural beauty, historic sites, and treasured landmarks.

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