If You Love Americana Culture, You'll Love These 13 Destinations

There are so many different places to experience in the States, especially when you consider that the U.S. is one of the top five largest countries in the world, contains various ecoregions, and is made up of cultures that have been born and cultivated here as well as having been brought in from all over the world. No two destinations within the country are the same, and like a tile placed in an artist's vibrant mosaic, each of the subcultures within America has resulted in the wholly unique culture we know as Americana.

A little slice of Americana can be found in practically every little town across the country, but there are some destinations in particular that have either influenced or reflected the trajectory of what it means to be all-American. From world-famous locations to small-town, side-of-the-road attractions, these U.S. destinations are some that ooze with American sensibilities and that you'll want to visit if you love Americana culture and how it has progressed over time.

Statue of Liberty

One of the best things about America is that it is a melting pot of so many other cultures, and a big part of that started with Lady Liberty herself. It's only appropriate that we kick off our list of destinations that fully encompass what it means to be an American with the Statue of Liberty – she may be French in origin, but she has welcomed millions of new Americans into New York over the years. As one of the first things immigrants coming to start a life in this country saw when arriving at Ellis Island, the iconic statue that stands over 300 feet tall has become a major symbol of the United States and is ingrained in Americana culture as the beginning of many American legacies.

By visiting the Statue of Liberty, you'll get a small taste of what immigrants coming to America might have felt, as you can only get to the monument by ferry. Once you arrive at Liberty Island, where Lady Liberty remains standing tall, you can view her from practically every angle – even from inside her crown if you visit when it's available and reserve special tickets.

While on Liberty Island, you can take advantage of the museum dedicated to the history and symbolism of the statue. Lady Liberty's promise of the American dream is vital to the development of Americana culture as a whole and a visit here is a great way to kick off any trip to or through the United States.

World of Coca-Cola

There are few things that are as subtly ingrained in the American experience as Coca-Cola. The brand has made a remarkable impact on advertising and, in turn, Americana. Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world and has been for over half a century, being seen in movies and pop culture as well as fridges all around the world. Coca-Cola memorabilia is a huge collector's item and those who collect Americana wouldn't be caught dead without an old Coke sign or a vintage glass bottle from decades gone by.

There are few collectors who could rival that of Coca-Cola themselves, though, as their museum in Atlanta, Georgia is a tribute to themselves in the best way possible. The World of Coca-Cola is much more than just a museum filled to the brim with historic memorabilia and artifacts, though. The massive attraction also contains an expedition of the senses with not only a tasting lounge that features different Coke products found all over the world, but also a scent bar that explores the connection of smell and memories, with all the scents that go into Coca-Cola a focus, of course. From interactive experiences to being immersed quite literally into a world surrounded by Coke, the World of Coca-Cola makes it easy to see why the brand has taken over the world and heavily influenced Americana culture.

Disney Theme Parks

You'd be hard-pressed to find a person alive today who hasn't been influenced or entertained by Disney – chances are, you and everyone you know have grown up on Disney. The entertainment giant has been the leader in animation for around a century and they now own some of the biggest, most influential film franchises in existence. From the OG Mickey Mouse to childhood heroes like Jedi Knights and Marvel superheroes, Disney is deeply ingrained in not only Americana culture but pop culture all over the world.

As the mother country of not only Disney but the franchises most beloved around the world, Americans are obsessed with the brand and its parks. And with a park on either side of the country, Disney is pretty much the ideal luxury trip for families. Going to Orlando, Florida to visit Disney World is the ultimate Disney trip, seeing as they have over 40 square miles of land dedicated to Disney magic. A trip to California's Disneyland is no consolation prize, though, as the magic is very much alive with character actors, a dazzling castle, and two parks' worth of rides and attractions.

Both U.S. Disney theme parks have worked hard and spent immeasurable amounts of money to craft an experience that takes you into their universe as if it is a full reality. Everyone can find a world to get lost in while at the parks, and then leave with memories that are out of this world.


If there is any one person deserving of the America's Sweetheart title, it would be Dolly Parton. The woman is unapologetically herself and exceedingly kind to boot. Her namesake theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee was built and still operates with these two amazing traits in mind, as the goal of opening the park was to bring jobs to Dolly's hometown. It has certainly done so, and since its opening, Dolly Parton has had many philanthropic endeavors through her Dollywood Foundation, most notably supplying free books to young children across America.

Country music, and specifically country music from Dolly Parton's career peak, is vital to American culture and the essence of Americana. Dollywood is reminiscent of the good 'ol days of country music and helps display its historical relevance in the music industry as well as culture in general. From elaborate live shows to amusement rides, there is always fun to be had at Dollywood – especially for lovers of Americana and old-school country music.


We've already established that country music has had a pretty intense influence on Americana and the image of the all-American, so Tennessee gets some solid spots on this list for being the hub for country music. For that same reason, Nashville had to make this list, as there's no other place that honors the genre quite like the Music City.

Visiting Nashville is kind of like visiting a city-sized attraction, as the vast majority of what you'll see is geared toward the intense country music culture that lives there – even if musicians of all genres do find themselves in the city's mesmerizing hold. Nashville's uniquely themed behavior has made it a huge destination for bachelorette parties and celebratory endeavors of all kinds. Music lovers have a great time in Nashville, with the live music scene, neon lights, and southern style working together to give travelers a very niche experience that has a spot in the heart of Americana culture.

In fact, Nashville is so set on embodying the spirit of Americana that they have an annual musical festival named after it. Americanafest showcases big-name artists in the music world and, true to Americana's proclivity toward the American dream, up-and-comers in the industry are also featured. Even if you don't visit the city while the festival is happening, though, Nashville is steeped in the culture.


If Dolly Parton is America's ultimate sweetheart then Elvis Presley is our rebel, and America loves a good rebel – maybe that's why he is called "The King." There are various places throughout the United States that pay tribute to the Rock n' Roll icon, but we've got to give credit to his former home Graceland for being the place where fans can really feel his presence.

Graceland Mansion in Memphis is where Elvis spent a lot of time and where his family grew up, it has his essence along with a look into his family life. Less than a mile away from the musician's former home is the museum dedicated to his career and influence. Over 200,000 square feet of retro artifacts and pieces of The King's life make up Elvis Presley's Memphis and if one of Elvis' rhinestone encrusted jumpsuits and his vintage pink Cadillac doesn't scream Americana, nothing does.

Santa Claus, Indiana

Although Christmas is celebrated throughout the world and the tradition of Santa Claus is a pretty solid practice in many different countries, the holiday figurehead looks different throughout the world. Americans have ingrained the figure and his holiday into their culture as a red-suited, fat, jolly man. Christmas and Santa Claus memorabilia are both pretty big things – a lot of the time even overlapping with that of Coca-Cola, thanks to the sugary beverage brand's stellar marketing tactics – and the town of Santa Claus in Indiana obviously plays up their name by going all out for the holiday.

Indiana may not hear the term often, but the town of Santa Claus is a bit of a double threat. Not only does the town remain festive for Christmas year round and has been the recipient of thousands of letters addressed to Santa each year, but it was also featured on the Hallmark Channel. Hallmark and Christmas pair almost as well as they do with Americana culture, making the town a great addition to any road trip designed around the theme.

Corn Palace

One purely Americana thing you can do is embark on a road trip to all the wacky and bizarre attractions that can be found scattered along the highways in or between small midwest and southern towns. Basically anything with "The World's Largest" in front of it will do, which is what brings us to Mitchell, South Dakota, where the gorgeous Corn Palace stands tall.

The Corn Palace is not only the "The World's Largest" building dedicated to the crop, but it claims to be the only one as well. While a palace decorated with corn sounds pretty awesome, it actually looks way better than you could imagine. Each year the palace takes on a new theme, for which corn murals are crafted and placed on its walls. This has been happening for well over 100 years, and dates back almost as far as the town of Mitchell itself.

The dedication and commitment of having a thriving corn palace for over 100 years in a town no bigger than a couple blocks of Manhattan population-wise is undoubtedly Americana. That all-American attitude coupled with the palace being a tribute to America's most produced crop makes the Corn Palace one fantastic side-of-the-road stop.

Wrigley Field

It would be a downright crime to leave Chicago off of this list, as the city itself has a culture rich enough to be its own country and everything from the food to the music has impacted American culture as a whole. For now, though, we're just going to focus on one minuscule part of the city, and it's the home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field.

If America loves sports, then Chicago is utterly obsessed. Chicagoans are enthusiastically smitten with their various sports teams, but the Cubs and Wrigley Field seem to hold a warm place in all American sports fans' hearts. Baseball is historically the number one all-American sport, and Chicago has been in the forefront of that scene since the very beginning, as they were the second established baseball team in the United States, second only to the Atlanta Braves who were formed the same year.

Practically any sports fan will tell you that one of the most American things you can do is eat a ballpark hotdog while watching a ball game, and Chicago hits a home run – sorry, we physically could not resist the baseball pun. In this area, hot dogs are one of the city's great passions and specialties. In fact, you could even take your quintessential American experience a step further by ordering a Chicago-style dog at Wrigley Field, and with any luck, the Cubs will come out on top to make a top-tier Americana experience.

Route 66

Common themes in Americana culture and style are reflective of the desire to get out on the open road with the wind in your hair and scenic views in all directions. The United States is the perfect place for a road trip, and historic Route 66 is a classic choice. Not only will traveling down Route 66 expose you to some breathtaking views and landscapes, but it is also a road that will give you a unique look at the history of Americana.

Though various popular attractions along the highway are being restored, Route 66 gives the impression of time standing still as the once bustling motorway has been decommissioned and replaced by a newer interstate. Travelers can still drive part of the route and the towns and attractions scattered the distance of the road contain some major Americana artifacts.

Some of the best motels found along Route 66 are gorgeous examples of Americana with their costume neon signs, retro rooms, and atomic-styled buildings. Vintage cars can be found along Route 66 at various destinations, and whether they are restored to perfection or not, they are a great draw for Americana lovers.


In addition to being the theme of pretty much every middle school dance for the past few decades, it's almost impossible to go on the internet or have a conversation in America without noticing the influence that Hollywood has had on our culture. People either love or love to hate the rich and famous, but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't fixate on at least one thing that has come out of Hollywood, whether it be Tarantino films or the latest Kardashian controversy.

While current pop culture certainly has its grip on Americans, it's old Hollywood that has had a heavy influence on Americana. Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and other aspects of Hollywood that date back to its Golden Age are symbols of the American dream ideal that was once thriving in Hollywood. The Los Angeles district still pays homage to those icons who rose to fame during the time period, and Americana culture is still very much alive and well in the city.

Las Vegas

If Nashville, a place whose downtown seems to resemble Vegas a great deal, made the list, then the OG neon strip must as well. While Vegas is so much more than gambling and what you can see on the vibrant and neon-pulsing strip, the Downtown area contributes quite a bit to American culture and helps make the city one of the most popular destinations in the country.

Las Vegas is certainly a destination that plays by its own rules, and it has become famous for various different, outwardly unrelated things. From going broke after a few big bets to getting hitched in Vegas, Sin City has a massive amount of lore associated with it, and while the city has enough culture to constitute being its own country, the destination has added quite a bit to the United States image and collective culture.

Having recreated famous attractions and historical elements, Las Vegas has simultaneously borrowed important cultural aspects from countries all over the world and created its own niche vibe. The city's personality is one that has both influenced Americana and borrowed from it, making it a great one-stop shop for travelers crafting a trip surrounding destinations that are rich in aspects of Americana like a love for Elvis, the wild west, and pure freedom – the nearby ghost towns are a pleasant bonus, too!

Pike Place Market

What would America be without coffee? We don't even want to imagine it, and that's why Seattle's Pike Place Market gets a place on the list – though, it's much more than the birthplace of the widely beloved Starbucks. American ideals praise the idea of home-grown, which is another reason a fresh market such as Pike Place deserves a spot on this list.

Pike Place Market is a massive outdoor exchange that basically acts as the soul of Seattle in being a place people can gather and affordably feed themselves and their families while also contributing to the pockets of vendors and small businesses. Fresh flowers as well as edibles and homemade crafts can be found at the market, right along with its iconic fish throwers providing a show and freshly caught fish for purchase.

For such a large city, the market provides a loving sense of community that can also be found in the heart of Americana. Pike Place Market has been a vital part of Seattle for over 100 years and has nourished the body and soul of generations – it makes for a great destination if you're looking for a nice, feel good Americana experience.