MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
The Mesa Verde plateau in south-west Colorado at an altitude of more than 2,600 m and features a great concentration of ancestral Pueblo Indian dwellings, built between the 6th - 12th century AD. Some 4,400 sites have been recorded, including villages built on the Mesa top. There are also imposing cliff dwellings, built of stone and comprising more than 100 rooms.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
The vast natural forest of Yellowstone National Park - America's very first national Park - covers nearly 9,000 km². The park is part of the seismically most active region of the Rocky Mountains and as thus a true volcanic 'hotspot'. Yellowstone contains half of all the world's known geothermal features, with more than 10,000 examples. It also has the world's largest concentration of geysers (over 300 geysers, that’s 2/3s of the world’s geysers). Yellowstone is equally known for its wildlife, such as grizzly bears, wolves, bison and wapitis.
Nearly 1.5 km deep, Grand Canyon, located in the U.S. state of Arizona, is the most spectacular gorge in the world. Carved out by the Colorado River that snakes its way through the entire canyon, the horizontal strata retrace the geological history of the past 2 billion years and represent the four major geologic eras. This makes the national park a huge biological museum.
The Independence Hall - designed by Andrew Hamilton - is a modest brick building with a tower and liberty bell weighing 2,080 pounds (943 kilos). The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were both signed within these walls.
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
Located in the north-west of Washington State, Olympic National Park is renowned for the diversity of its ecosystems. Glacier-clad peaks interspersed with extensive alpine meadows are surrounded by an extensive old growth forest. Eleven major river systems drain the Olympic Mountains, offering some of the best habitat for anadromous fish species in the country. The park also includes 100 km of wilderness coastline, the longest undeveloped coast in the contiguous United States.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Yosemite National Park lies in the heart of California. With its 'hanging' and 'U'-shaped valleys, abundance of waterfalls, lakes, polished domes and moraines, it provides an excellent overview of all kinds of granite relief carved and shaped by the Ice ages. Granitic landforms such as Half Dome and the vertical walls of El Capitan are popular hot spots. Furthermore the park displays 6 vegetation zones and 569 archaeological sites.
Cahokia Mounds, some 13 km north-east of St Louis, Missouri, is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. Primary features at the site include Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas, covering over 5 ha and standing 30 m high.
WATERTON GLACIER INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK
In 1932 Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta, Canada) was combined with the Glacier National Park (Montana, United States) to form the world's first International Peace Park. Located on the border between the Canada and the USA and offering outstanding scenery, the park is exceptionally rich in plant and mammal species as well as prairie, forest, and alpine and glacial features.
MONUMENTAL EARTHWORKS OF POVERTY POINT
Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point owes their name to a nearby 19th-century plantation. They are located in the Lower Mississippi Valley on a slightly elevated and narrow landform. The complex comprises five mounds, six concentric, semi-elliptical ridges separated by shallow depressions and a central plaza. It was created and used for residential and ceremonial purposes by a society of hunter fisher-gatherers between 3700 and 3100 BC.
SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS
The site encompasses a group of five frontier mission complexes located along a stretch of the San Antonio River basin in southern Texas, as well as a ranch 37 km to the south. It includes architectural and archaeological structures, farmlands, residencies, churches and granaries, as well as water distribution systems. The complexes were built by Franciscan missionaries in the 18th century and illustrate the Spanish Crown’s efforts to colonize, evangelize and defend the northern frontier of New Spain.
STATUE OF LIBERTY
The world-renowned statue of 'Liberty enlightening the world' was manufactured in Paris by the French sculptor Bartholdi, in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel who was responsible for the steel framework. This towering monument was a gift from France on the centenary of American independence in 1886. The sculpture stands at the entrance to New York Harbour and has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States ever since.