Amazing and unique places in the USA
The Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, the Yellowstone and Death Valley National Parks are unique places in North America. The Mount Rushmore is number one tourist attraction. The Everglades ecosystem is the largest subtropical wilderness in the USA.
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Amazing and unique places in the USA
The Niagara Falls
The USA as like any other country has some unique and amazing places and tourist attractions.
The Niagara Falls are massive waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border separating the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.
Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side of the border and American Falls on the United States side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls also is located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island.
Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly-formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 mі) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 mі) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.
The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power.
There are differing theories as to the origin of the name of the falls. According to Iroquoian scholar Bruce Trigger, "Niagara" is derived from the name given to a branch of the locally residing native people on late 17th century.
During the 18th century tourism became popular, and by mid-century, it was the area's main industry. Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Jйrфme visited this area with his bride in the early 19th century. In 1837 during the Caroline affair a rebel supply ship, the Caroline was burned and sent over the Falls. Demand for passage over the Niagara River led in 1848 to the building of a footbridge and then Charles Ellet's Niagara Suspension Bridge. This was supplanted by German-born John Augustus Roebling's Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge in 1855. The first steel archway bridge near the Falls was completed in 1897. Known today as the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, it carries vehicles, trains, and pedestrians between Canada and the USA.
Already a huge tourist attraction and favorite spot for honeymooners, Niagara Falls visits rose sharply in 1953 after the release of Niagara, a movie starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten. Later in the 20th century, the Falls was a featured location in 1980s movie Superman II, and was itself the subject of a popular IMAX movie, Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic. Much of the episode Return of the Technodrome in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series take place near the Niagara Falls and its hydroelectric plant. Illusionist David Copperfield performed a trick in which he appeared to travel over the Horseshoe Falls in 1990. The Falls, or more particularly, the tourist-supported complex near the Falls, was the setting of the short-lived Canadian television show Wonderfalls in early 2004. More recently, location footage of the Falls was shot in October 2006 to portray "World's End" of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Peak numbers of visitors occur in the summertime, when Niagara Falls are both a daytime and evening attraction. From the Canadian side, floodlights illuminate both sides of the Falls for several hours after dark (until midnight). The number of visitors in 2008 is expected to total 20 million and by 2009, the annual rate is expected to top 28 million tourists a year. The oldest and best known tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise, named for an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character, which has carried passengers into the whirlpools beneath the Falls since 1846. Cruise boats operate from boat docks on both sides of the falls.
The Niagara Scenic Trolley offers guided trips along the American Falls and around Goat Island. Panoramic and aerial views of the falls can also be viewed from the Flight of Angels helium balloon ride, or by helicopter. The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center showcases the natural and local history of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge. A casino and luxury hotel was opened in Niagara Falls, New York, by the Seneca Indian tribe. The Seneca Niagara Casino occupies the former Niagara Falls Convention Center. The new hotel is the first addition to the city's skyline since completion of the United Way office building in the twenties.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the United States state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park - one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
Longstanding scientific consensus has been that the canyon was created by the Colorado River over a six million year period. The canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet). Nearly two billion years of the Earth's history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. The "canyon started from the west, then another formed from the east, and the two broke through and met as a single majestic rent in the earth some six million years ago.
The Grand Canyon has suffered some problems with air pollution, attributed to the nearby Navajo Generating Station, a coal-burning power plant. In 1991 an agreement was reached with the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, to add air pollution control devices to their smokestacks.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the world's premier natural attractions, attracting about five million visitors per year. Overall, 83 % were from the United States: California (12.2 %), Arizona (8.9 %), Texas (4.8 %), Florida (3.4 %) and New York (3.2 %) represented the top domestic visitors. Seventeen percent of visitors were from outside the United States; the most prominently represented nations were the United Kingdom (3.8 %), Canada (3.5 %), Japan (2.1 %), Germany (1.9 %) and The Netherlands (1.2 %).
About 600 deaths have occurred in the Grand Canyon since the 1870s. Some of these deaths occurred as the result of overly zealous photographic endeavors, some were the result of airplane collisions within the canyon, and some visitors drowned in the Colorado River. Many hikers overestimate their fitness level, become dehydrated and confused, and must be rescued. The Park Service now posts a picture of an attractive and fit young man at several trailheads with the caption "Every year we rescue hundreds of people from the Canyon. Most of them look like him", in an attempt to discourage hikers from feats which are beyond their abilities.
In 1956 the Grand Canyon was the site of the deadliest commercial aviation disaster in the United States at the time.
On the morning of June 30, 1956, a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation and a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 departed Los Angeles International Airport within three minutes of one another on eastbound transcontinental flights. Approximately 90 minutes later, the two propeller-driven airliners collided above the canyon while both were flying in unmonitored airspace.
The wreckage of both planes fell into the eastern portion of the canyon, on Temple and Chuar buttes, near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. The disaster killed all 128 passengers and crew members aboard both planes.
This accident led to the institution of high-altitude flight ways and positive control by an route ground controllers.
The area around the Grand Canyon became a national monument on January 11, 1908 and was designated national park on February 26, 1919. The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its National Park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. (Lack of this fame may have enabled Glen Canyon Dam to be built upriver, flooding Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell.) UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage Site.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, set aside by the U.S. Congress as a national park on March 1, 1872, is located mostly in the U.S. state of Wyoming, though it also extends into Montana and Idaho. The park was the first of its kind, and is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular areas in the park. It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is dominant.
Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468 square miles (8,983 kmІ), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest super volcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano; it has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining, nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone. Yellowstone is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Rivers and lakes cover 5 percent of the land area, with the largest water body being Yellowstone Lake at 87,040 acres (35,220 ha/136.00 sq mi). Yellowstone Lake is up to 400 feet (122 m) deep and has 110 miles (177 km) of shoreline. At an elevation of 7,733 feet (2,357 m) above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is the largest high altitude lake in North America. Forests comprise 80 percent of the land area of the park; most of the rest is grassland.
Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Grizzlies, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park. Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park burned. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobile.
There are 300 geysers in Yellowstone and a total of at least 10,000 geothermal features altogether. Half the geothermal features and two-thirds of the world's geysers are concentrated in Yellowstone. The most famous geyser in the park, and perhaps the world, is Old Faithful Geyser, located in Upper Geyser Basin, where Castle Geyser, Lion Geyser and Beehive Geyser are considered ones of the most beautiful geysers in the world.
Yellowstone experiences thousands of small earthquakes every year, virtually all of which are undetectable to people. There have been six earthquakes with at least magnitude 6 or greater in historical times, including a 7.5 magnitude quake that struck just outside the northwest boundary of the park in 1959.
Yellowstone is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Since the mid-1960s, at least 2 million tourists have visited the park almost every year. At peak summer levels, 3,700 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessionaires. Concessionaires manage nine hotels and lodges, with a total of 2,238 hotel rooms and cabins available. They also oversee gas stations, stores and most of the campgrounds. Another 800 employees work either permanently or seasonally for the National Park Service.
The National Park Service maintains 9 visitor centers and museums and is responsible for maintenance of historical structures and many of the other 2,000 buildings. These structures include National Historical Landmarks such as the Old Faithful Inn built in 1903-04 and the entire Fort Yellowstone - Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District. A historical tour is available at Fort Yellowstone which details the history of the National Park Service and the development of the park. Campfire programs, guided walks and other interpretive presentations are available at numerous locations in the summer, and on a limited basis during other seasons.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, near Keystone, South Dakota, is a monumental granite sculpture by Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941), located within the United States Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (left to right): George Washington (1732-1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. It is managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The memorial attracts approximately two million people annually.
Borglum selected Mount Rushmore as the site for several reasons. The rock of the mountain is composed of smooth, fine-grained granite. The durable granite erodes only 1 inch (25 mm) every 10,000 years, indicating that it was sturdy enough to support sculpting. In addition, it was the tallest mountain in the region, looming to a height of 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.Because the mountain faces the southeast, the workers also had the advantage of sunlight for most of the day.
Between October 4, 1927, and October 31, 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the colossal 60-foot (18 m) carvings of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 150 years of American history. These presidents were selected by Borglum because of their role in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory. The image of Thomas Jefferson was originally intended to appear in the area at Washington's right, but after the work there was begun, the rock was found to be unsuitable, so the work on the Jefferson figure was dynamited, and a new figure was sculpted to Washington's left.
In 1933, the National Park Service took Mount Rushmore under its jurisdiction. Engineer Julian Spotts helped with the project by improving its infrastructure. For example, he had the tram upgraded so that it could reach the top of Mount Rushmore for the ease of workers. By July 4, 1934, Washington's face had been completed and was dedicated. The face of Thomas Jefferson was dedicated in 1936, and the face of Abraham Lincoln was dedicated on September 17, 1937. In 1937, a bill was introduced in Congress to add the head of civil-rights leader Susan B. Anthony, but a rider was passed on an appropriations bill requiring that federal funds be used to finish only those heads that had already been started at that time. In 1939, the face of Theodore Roosevelt was dedicated.
Borglum died from an embolism in March 1941. His son, Lincoln Borglum, continued the project. Originally, it was planned that the figures would be carved from head to waist, but insufficient funding forced the carving to end. Borglum had also planned a massive panel in the shape of the Louisiana Purchase commemorating in eight-foot-tall gilded letters the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Louisiana Purchase, and seven other territorial acquisitions from Alaska to Texas to the Panama Canal Zone.
The entire project cost US$989,992.32. Notably for a project of such size, no workers died during the carving.
Tourism is South Dakota's second-largest industry, with Mount Rushmore being its number one tourist attraction. In 2004, over two million visitors traveled to the memorial. The site is also home to the final concerts of Rushmore Music Camp and attracts many visitors over the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The Lincoln Borglum Museum is located in the memorial. It features two 125-seat theaters that show a 13-minute movie about Mount Rushmore. One of the best viewpoints is located at Grandview Terrace, above the Museum. The Presidential Trail, a walking trail and boardwalk, starts at Grandview Terrace and winds through the Ponderosa pine forests to the Sculptor's Studio, providing close-up views of the memorial. The Sculptor's studio was built by Gutzon Borglum, and features discussion about the construction of the monument as well as the tools used. The amphitheater also has a 30-minute program at dusk that describes the construction of the memorial. Following that, the mountain is illuminated for two hours.
Death Valley is a desert located in California. It is the lowest, driest and hottest valley in the United States]. It is the location of the lowest elevation in North America at 85.5 m (282 ft) below sea level. It holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere (134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek in 1913, as discussed below) - just short of the world's highest, which was 136 F (58 C) in El Aziza, Libya on Sept. 13, 1922. Located southeast of the Sierra Nevada range in the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert, it constitutes much of Death Valley National Park. It is mostly located in Inyo County, California. It runs north-south between the Amargosa Range to the east and the Panamint Range to the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 square miles (~7,800 kmІ).
Death Valley is a desert located in the southwestern United States. It is the lowest, driest, and hottest location in North America.  Badwater, a basin located within Death Valley, is the specific location of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 ft (85.5 m) below sea level. This point is only 76 miles (123 km) east of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere, 134°F (56.7°C) at Furnace Creek in 1913-just short of the world record, which was 136°F (58°C) in Al 'Aziziyah, Libya, on September 13, 1922. Located near the border of California and Nevada, in the Great Basin, southeast of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Death Valley constitutes much of Death Valley National Park and is the principal feature of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. It is located mostly in Inyo County, California. It runs from north to south between the Amargosa Range on the east and the Panamint Range on the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 sq mi (7,800 km2). Death Valley shares many characteristics with other places around the world that lie below sea level.
Death Valley is home to the Timbisha tribe of Native Americans, formerly known as the Panamint Shoshone, who have inhabited the valley for at least the past 1000 years. The Timbisha name for the valley, tьmpisa, means "rock paint" and refers to the red ochre paint that can be made from a type of clay found in the valley. Some families still live in the valley at Furnace Creek. Another village was located in Grapevine Canyon near the present site of Scotty's Castle. It was called maahunu in the Timbisha language, the meaning of which is uncertain, although it is known that hunu means "canyon". The valley received its English name in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. It was called Death Valley by prospectors and others who sought to cross the valley on their way to the gold fields, even though only one death in the area was recorded during the Rush. During the 1850s, gold and silver were extracted in the valley. In the 1880s, borax was discovered and extracted by mule-drawn wagons. Death Valley National Monument was proclaimed on February 11, 1933 by President Hoover, placing the area under federal protection. In 1994, the monument was redesignated as Death Valley National Park, as well as being substantially expanded to include Saline and Eureka Valleys.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is a national park in the U.S. state of Florida. The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, it contains the southern 25 percent of the original Everglades marshland region of southwestern Florida. It is visited by one million people each year, and it is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley National Park and Yellowstone National Park. It has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance.
Unlike most other U.S. national parks, Everglades National Park was created to protect a fragile ecosystem instead of safeguarding a geographic feature. Thirty-six species designated as threatened or protected live in the park, including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee. Protecting the largest U.S. wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, the park is the most significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds in North America, and contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere. More than 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles live within Everglades National Park. All of southern Florida's fresh water is recharged by the park, including that of the Biscayne Aquifer.
The Everglades is a slow-moving system of rivers, flowing southwest at about.25 miles (0.40 km) per day, fed by the Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee. Although humans have lived in the Everglades for thousands of years, it was not until 1882 that the region began to be drained for agricultural or residential use, and the water flow from Lake Okeechobee was controlled, and diverted to the South Florida metropolitan area. The ecosystems in Everglades National Park have suffered significantly from human activity, and the repair and restoration of the Everglades is a politically charged issue in South Florida.
Everglades National Park covers 1,509,000 acres (6,110 km2), throughout Dade, Broward, Monroe and Collier counties in Florida. The elevation typically ranges from 0 to 8 feet (2.4 m) above sea level, but a Native American-built shell mound on the Gulf Coast rises 20 feet (6.1 m) above sea level. The park's dry season lasts from December to April, when temperatures vary from 53 °F (12 °C) to 77 °F (25 °C) and humidity is low. Since water levels are low at that time, animals congregate at central water locations, providing popular opportunities for viewing the wildlife. During the wet season, from May to November, temperatures are consistently above 90 °F (33 °C) and humidity over 90 percent. Storms can drop 10 to 12 inches (300 mm) of rain at a time, providing half the year's average of 60 inches (152 cm) of rainfall in just two months.
Several species of mangrove trees, which thrive in salt water and brackish water, act as a nursery for many marine and bird species. They are also Florida's first defense against the destructive forces of hurricanes, absorbing flood waters and preventing coastal erosion. Due to their high tolerance of salt water, winds, extreme tides, high temperatures, and muddy soils, mangrove trees are uniquely adapted to extreme conditions. The mangrove system in Everglades National Park is the largest continuous system of mangroves in the world.
There are 220 species of fish living in the Florida mangrove systems, along with a variety of crabs, crayfish, shrimp, mollusks, and other invertebrates, which serve as the main source of food for many birds. Dozens of bird species use mangroves as nurseries and food stores, including pelicans, grebes, tricolored herons, gulls, terns, hawks and kites, and arboreal birds like mangrove cuckoos, yellow warblers, and white-crowned pigeons. The mangroves also support 24 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 18 species of mammals, including the endangered green sea turtle, Hawksbill turtle, and West Indian manatee.
Cypress trees, conifers that are adapted to live in standing fresh water, grow in compact structures called cypress domes and in long strands over limestone. Water levels may fluctuate dramatically around cypress domes and strands, so cypresses develop "knees" that protrude from the water at high levels. Dwarf cypress trees grow in drier areas with poorer soil. Air plants called epiphytes, such as bromeliads, Spanish moss, orchids and ferns grow on the branches and trunks of cypress trees. Everglades National Park features twenty-five species of orchids. Tall cypress trees provide excellent nesting areas for birds including wild turkeys, ibis, herons, egrets, anhingas, and belted kingfishers. Mammals in cypress regions include white-tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, skunks, swamp rabbits, river otters, and bobcats, as well as small rodents.
The busiest season for visitors is from December to March, when temperatures are lowest and mosquitoes are least active. The park features four visitor centers: on the Tamiami Trail (part of U.S. Route 41) directly west of Miami is the Shark Valley Visitor Center. A five-mile (8 km) path leads from this center to a two-story observation tower. Tram tours are available during the busy season. Closest to Homestead on State Road 9336 is the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, where a 38-mile (61 km) road begins, winding through pine rockland, cypress, freshwater marl prairie, coastal prairie, and mangroves. Various hiking trails are accessible from the gravel road, which runs to the Flamingo Visitor Center and marina, open and staffed during the busiest times of the year. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center is closest to Everglades City on State Road 29 along the west coast. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center gives canoers access to the Wilderness Waterway, a 99-mile (160 km) canoe trail that extends to the Flamingo Visitor Center. The western coast of the park and the Ten Thousand Islands, as well as the various key islands in Florida Bay, are accessible only by boat.
The Laurentian Great Lakes are a chain of freshwater lakes located in eastern North America, on the Canada - United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth. They are sometimes referred to as inland seas, Canada and the United States' Third Coast, or the Industrial Heartland.
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty (French: Statue de la Libertй), or, more formally, Liberty Enlightening the World (French: La libertй йclairant le monde), was presented to the United States by the people of France in 1886. Standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, it welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans traveling by ship. The copper-clad statue, dedicated on October 28, 1886, commemorates the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence and was given to the United States to represent the friendship established during the American Revolution. Frйdйric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue and obtained a U.S. patent for its structure. Maurice Koechlin - chief engineer of Gustave Eiffel's engineering company and designer of the Eiffel Tower - engineered the internal structure. Eugиne Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue's construction and adoption of the repoussй technique, where a malleable metal is hammered on the reverse side.
The statue is of a robed woman holding a torch, and is made of a sheeting of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf (originally made of copper and later altered to hold glass panes). It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151 ft (46 m) tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 305 ft (93 m) tall. niagara yellowstone rushmore everglades
Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States and was, from 1886 until the jet age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. Visually, the Statue of Liberty appears to draw inspiration from il Sancarlone or the Colossus of Rhodes.
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