15 vintage travel photos of famous American tourist attractions – best life

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There are monuments and attractions that will never go out of style. Disneyland will always be magical, just as millions of people will continue to witness Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade until the end of time. But, if you’ve ever wondered what America’s most popular celebrations and historic sites look like, then browse through these vintage travel photos that will teleport you to the golden age of tourism. And for even more breathtaking scenery, check out the 27 Totally Crazy Travel Photos You Won’t Believe To Be Real.

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When Disneyland opened in 1955, Anaheim, California became one of the happiest places on the planet. This photo of the monorail connecting downtown Disney to the park was taken in 1960, when it was the only daily shuttle of its kind in America. And for more House of the Mouse fun, check out the 19 Magical Places That Inspired Disney.

four people look at the Washington monument in the 1930s
National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy

In this vivid photo, taken in 1935, a group of tourists admire the Washington Monument through the colorful haze of a rainbow.

Three women walk on Santa Catalina Island in 1942
National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy

Santa Catalina Island, or Catalina as locals call it, is only a short ferry ride from Long Beach, California. Seen here in 1942, the island has superb Spanish architecture adjoining the seascape. One of the island’s most significant landmarks is the former mansion of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.

black and white photo of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in 1940
Everett Collection Inc / Alamy

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has been a holiday tradition since 1924. Whether it’s walking the streets of New York City to witness the festivities, like those parades in Times Square in 1940, or watching the celebration on television, the excitement aroused by the giant balloons and marching bands did not dull at all.

cars line the streets of Chinatown in San Francisco in 1957
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This colorful 1957 snapshot of Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown shows a vibrant and thriving cultural community. Its establishment in 1848 makes it the oldest Chinatown in North America, and the neighborhood is even known to attract more annual visitors than the Golden Gate Bridge.

hula dancers in 1966
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The Kodak Hula show in Honolulu (sseen here in a 1966 photograph) was a popular attraction in Hawaii’s capital city. Created in 1937, this legendary show had become an island tradition and was followed by an estimated 10 million viewers during its broadcast, which ended in 2002. However, Honolulu and hula continue to remain intimately linked, with the performance of Kuhio Beach Hula picking up where the Kodak Hula Show left off.

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Originally erected in 1923 as a means of advertising, the iconic Los Angeles sign actually read “Hollywoodland” and was to be on display for less than two years, but it held 26! In 1949, when the exhibition was renovated, the “field” part was completely abandoned. The above photograph was taken in the 1950s, just after the change. And for more historical snapshots, check out the 50 vintage photos that show what the trips looked like.

Two young women sit on swings overlooking Coney Island
Everett Historical Collection / Alamy

Coney Island was once the largest amusement park in the country. It consisted of Luna Park, Steeplechase, and Dreamland, a boardwalk with its own beachfront activities. Attracting several million visitors each year, the fair was often crowded beyond imagining, with New Yorkers looking to conquer. the heat. See it for yourself with this photo taken in 1950 during the parachute jump.

casino lights in Las Vegas in the 1960s
This guy from Hartford / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The original Las Vegas soundtrack was actually Fremont Street, as seen here in the 1960s. As the city’s first paved road, it’s as old as Vegas itself. Today the Entertainment District is home to such mainstays as the Golden Nugget, Binion’s Horseshoe, and Vegas’ oldest casino: the Golden Gate Casino, which opened as a hotel in 1906.

black and white photo of tourists at the New York World's Fair
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The 1964 New York World’s Fair attracted over 51 million visitors to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park during its year. Representing 80 nations and comprising 100 restaurants and pavilions, it was a source of excitement and cultural exploration for the participants. The large Unisphere remains in the park today, a brilliant memory of an event that championed peace and innovation just before the Vietnam War.

Mount Rushmore in the 1960s
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There is nothing more patriotic than presidents George washington, Thomas jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt dug into the side of Mount Rushmore. Also known as the Sanctuary of Democracy, the stone carvings attract over two million tourists each year, as evidenced by this crowded parking lot in 1969. Plus, did you know there is a room hidden behind Lincoln’s head ? Take a look at these 23 super secret spaces hidden in famous monuments.

crowds of people in costumes march through the streets of New Orleans for Mardi Gras in 1917
Public domain

Hundreds of thousands of revelers descend on New Orleans each year for Mardi Gras, one of the nation’s biggest celebrations. This already bustling city gets even more electric with parades, extravagant floats, costumes, live music and crowds of revelers. The first Mardi Gras recorded in New Orleans dates back to 1699, and the above photograph, of costumed participants on Canal Street, offers a glimpse of what Mardi Gras had to offer in 1917.

black and white photo of niagara falls in 1954
Public domain

The majestic beauty of Niagara Falls is timeless, as evidenced by this 1954 image of waterfalls taken from Niagara Parkway in Canada. The waterfall plunges 160 feet into the basin, a sight that is no less breathtaking today.

Pike market in Seattle in 1972
Seattle Municipal Archives / CC BY 2.0

While the iconic Space Needle (another creation of the World’s Fair) may be the first landmark that comes to mind when you think of Seattle, the city is home to another popular attraction: the Pike Place Market. . Founded in 1907, Pike Place is one of the oldest and oldest farmers’ markets in the country. This photo gives an overview of the place in 1972, shortly before a major rehabilitation.

a turquoise car drives on a mountain side road in 1960
Lenscap / Alamy

Surrounded by the piercing San Juan Mountains of Colorado, the town of Ouray has earned the nickname “Little Switzerland of America”. Ouray was originally settled by miners and incorporated in 1876, but became a major attraction in the 1960s (as seen in this photo). Today, the economy is based on tourism, with a main street protected by the National Register of Historic Places. And for more backyard adventures, check out the 17 American Cities That Are So Beautiful You Think You Are In Europe.


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