“Heated debate, weeks of research, and years of experience,” have produced the 15 American sites young people should see before their 15th birthdays, CNN reports.
The sites were chosen because they are fun, educational and “especially magical through the eyes of a child,” according to Nicole Frehsee of Budget Travel.
At EF Explore America, we were thrilled to see some of our favorites on the list! We knew you couldn’t leave out national treasures like the Grand Canyon, National Mall, Independence Hall or Ellis Island. We were glad these gems like Fenway Park, Alcatraz and the San Diego Zoo got their due as well!
Of course, being travel-lovers, we have some favorites that might not be on this list, but we think they are more than worth the trip!
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
See lava flow from the active volcano of Kilauea—one of the most active volcanoes on earth—and marvel at the 13,000-foot-high volcano of Mauna Loa. The park features many different terrains—rainforests, craters and scalded deserts—making it the ideal setting for a hike. This extraordinary natural diversity was recognized in 1980 when the park was named a World Biosphere site by UNESCO and in 1987 when the park was again honored as a World Heritage site.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
As “America’s gateway to space,” the Kennedy Space Center has launched the first Americans into space and those who were the first humans on the moon. Today, the Center supports International Space Station operations and launches satellites and robot missions that explore the universe as well as deepen the understanding of our own planet.
Martin Luther King, Jr., birthplace and Ebenezer Baptist Church
The birthplace and childhood home of the acclaimed Civil Rights leader is next door to the church in which he grew up and was later ordained. It was from the Ebenezer Baptist Church pulpit that King preached nonviolence, including his A Christmas Sermon For Peace. The church and its community served as a center for the Civil Rights Movement.
During the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, 170,000 soldiers fought and 51,000 died at Gettysburg in July 1863. Four months later, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Calling the battle a “flat failure,” Lincoln urged Americans to remember the principles of the Constitution in the name of the slain soldiers.
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And if you are looking for ways to explore these amazing sites (and many others), check out our tour itineraries.