The Top 10 States with the Most National Historic Landmarks

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: September 25, 2023
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When it comes to preserving the rich tapestry of American history, certain states stand out as beacons of cultural heritage and historical significance. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems tucked away in small towns, these states boast an impressive number of National Historic Landmarks that offer a glimpse into the past and tell the stories that have shaped our nation.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 states in the United States with the most National Historic Landmarks. From the East Coast to the West Coast, from the heartland to the deep south, these states showcase the diversity and depth of America’s historical legacy. Join us on a virtual journey as we uncover the treasures and uncover the fascinating stories that make these states truly remarkable.

1. New York

Empire State Building, The United States

The Empire State Building in New York City is one of the most iconic historic national landmarks in New York.


Number of Landmarks: 276

(New York City) 116

New York, the vibrant and iconic city that never sleeps, mesmerizes millions of visitors each year with its towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and rich cultural diversity. With a whopping 276 landmarks scattered across the state, New York stands as a testament to its remarkable heritage and enduring legacy.

New York City Landmarks

In the heart of the state lies New York City, boasting an impressive 116 landmarks that range from world-famous icons to hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The majestic Statue of Liberty symbolizes freedom and hope, while the Empire State Building offers breathtaking views of the city’s skyline.

Central Park Landmarks

Central Park provides a serene oasis amidst the urban sprawl, inviting visitors to relax and explore its winding paths. The city’s vibrant neighborhoods, like Times Square and Greenwich Village, showcase cultural diversity and offer a plethora of landmarks to explore.

Beyond the City Landmarks

Beyond the city limits, New York state is adorned with landmarks that offer glimpses into its rich history, such as the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls and the historic estates of the Hudson River Valley.

2. Massachusetts

The historic town of Salem in Massachusetts is known for its infamous witch trials, with museums and landmarks that delve into the region’s dark past.

©D. Sharon Pruitt CC BY 2.0 – License

Number of Landmarks: 191

(Boston) 57

Massachusetts, a historic and culturally rich state in the United States, is home to a remarkable number of landmarks. With a total of 191 landmarks, including 57 in the capital city of Boston, Massachusetts offers a wealth of historical, architectural, and natural treasures for visitors to explore.

Boston Landmarks

Boston, the vibrant hub of the state, boasts a significant number of landmarks that showcase the city’s rich history. From the iconic Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route that takes visitors through 16 historically significant sites, to the historic USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, Boston offers a glimpse into the nation’s past. The Massachusetts State House, with its distinctive golden dome, stands as a symbol of the state’s government and history.

Beyond Boston Landmarks

Beyond Boston, Massachusetts is dotted with landmarks that highlight its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Cape Cod National Seashore, a stunning coastal area, offers picturesque beaches, dunes, and lighthouses. The historic town of Salem, known for its infamous witch trials, attracts visitors with its museums and landmarks that delve into the region’s dark past. The Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum, provides a glimpse into 19th-century rural New England life.

Educational Landmarks

Massachusetts is also home to renowned educational institutions, such as Harvard University and MIT, which have their own historic landmarks. The Harvard Yard, with its iconic brick buildings and lush green spaces, is a focal point of the university’s campus. MIT’s Great Dome, a recognizable symbol of the institution, stands as a testament to its scientific and technological achievements.

3. Pennsylvania

Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a famous landmark that represents America’s independence.

©Songquan Deng/

Number of Landmarks: 169

(Philadelphia) 67

Pennsylvania, a state located in the northeastern region of the United States, is renowned for its historical significance and diverse landmarks. With a total of 169 landmarks, including 67 in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offers a wealth of attractions that showcase its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage.

Philadelphia Landmarks

Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation, is home to a significant number of landmarks that played a pivotal role in American history. The Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, is housed in the Liberty Bell Center and draws visitors from around the world. Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted, stands as a testament to the founding principles of the nation. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, with its impressive collection of artworks, including the famous “Rocky Steps,” is a cultural landmark that attracts art enthusiasts.

Beyond Philadelphia Landmarks

Beyond Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offers a diverse range of landmarks. The Gettysburg National Military Park, site of the historic Civil War battle, preserves the memory of the conflict and offers visitors a chance to explore the battlefield and learn about its significance. The scenic Pocono Mountains, with their picturesque landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities, draw nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Fallingwater, a unique architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a must-visit landmark for architecture enthusiasts.

Pittsburgh Landmarks

Pennsylvania is also known for its vibrant cities, including Pittsburgh, which boasts its own share of landmarks. The Andy Warhol Museum, the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in North America, showcases the life and works of the iconic pop art pioneer. The Duquesne Incline, a historic inclined plane railway, offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the three rivers that converge in Pittsburgh.

4. California

Golden Gate Bridge, The United States

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California is a beloved landmark that is an engineering marvel.


Number of Landmarks: 146

California, the golden state of the United States, is a land of stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and a rich cultural heritage. With a total of 146 landmarks, California offers a diverse range of attractions that showcase its unique beauty, history, and contributions to various fields.

Golden Gate Bridge

The state’s most famous landmark is undoubtedly the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Spanning the entrance to the San Francisco Bay, this majestic bridge is an engineering marvel and an internationally recognized symbol of the state.

National Parks

California is also home to several national parks that are counted among the most breathtaking in the world. Yosemite National Park, with its towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and ancient sequoia groves, attracts millions of visitors each year. Death Valley National Park, with its stark desert landscapes and unique geological formations, offers a surreal and otherworldly experience.

Cultural Landmarks

In addition to its natural wonders, California boasts a rich cultural heritage, evident in its landmarks such as the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, which represents the heart of the entertainment industry. The Getty Center, an architectural masterpiece and art museum in Los Angeles, showcases an extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

Innovative Landmarks

California is also known for its contributions to technology and innovation. Silicon Valley, located in the southern San Francisco Bay Area, is the birthplace of many groundbreaking technological advancements. Landmarks such as the Computer History Museum and the garage where Hewlett-Packard was founded pay homage to the state’s status as a global tech hub.

5. Virginia         

Blue Ridge Mountains Virginia

The Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia are a natural historic landmark covering over 90,000 acres of land.

©Jon Bilous/

Number of Landmarks: 123

Virginia, a state on the east coast of the United States, is steeped in history and boasts a wide array of landmarks that showcase its rich heritage and natural beauty. With a total of 123 landmarks, Virginia offers visitors a chance to explore significant historical sites, picturesque landscapes, and cultural treasures.

Colonial Landmarks

One of the most prominent landmarks in Virginia is Colonial Williamsburg, a well-preserved 18th-century town that serves as a living history museum. Visitors can immerse themselves in the colonial era, interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about the nation’s early history. Nearby, the Historic Triangle, consisting of Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg, presents a comprehensive narrative of America’s colonial beginnings.

Presidential Landmarks

Virginia is also home to numerous presidential landmarks, including Monticello, the iconic home of Thomas Jefferson. This neoclassical masterpiece reflects Jefferson’s intellectual pursuits and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Mount Vernon, the plantation estate of George Washington, is another must-visit landmark that offers insights into the life of the first U.S. president.

Natural Landmarks

Natural beauty abounds in Virginia, with landmarks such as Shenandoah National Park. The park’s Skyline Drive offers breathtaking vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and hiking trails allow visitors to explore its diverse ecosystems. The Natural Bridge, a stunning geological formation, has captivated visitors for centuries with its impressive arch and serene surroundings.

Arts & Culture Landmarks

Virginia’s landmarks also celebrate its contributions to the arts and culture. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond houses an extensive collection of art from around the world, while the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra showcase the state’s vibrant performing arts scene.

6. Illinois

Willis Tower at Night

When the Willis Tower (originally called the Sears Tower) opened in 1973 it was the world’s tallest building and is considered a historic national landmark.

©alexphi/iStock via Getty Images

Number of Landmarks: 88

Illinois, a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, is known for its rich history, vibrant cities, and diverse landscapes. With a total of 88 landmarks, Illinois offers visitors a wide range of attractions that highlight its cultural heritage, architectural marvels, and natural beauty.

Willis Tower

One of the most iconic landmarks in Illinois is the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, located in Chicago. This towering skyscraper stands as a symbol of the city’s strength and innovation. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the city’s skyline from its observation deck, aptly named the Skydeck.

More Chicago Landmarks

Chicago, the largest city in Illinois, is also home to other notable landmarks, such as Millennium Park. This urban oasis features the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, known as “The Bean,” as well as the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, where outdoor concerts and events are held. The Art Institute of Chicago, one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country, showcases a vast collection of artworks from around the world.

Springfield Landmarks

Illinois is also steeped in political and historical significance, with landmarks like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. This museum provides a comprehensive look at the life and legacy of the 16th President of the United States. Additionally, the Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, is an architectural gem that showcases the state’s political history.

Starved Rock State Park

Beyond its cities, Illinois boasts natural landmarks such as Starved Rock State Park. Located along the Illinois River, this park offers stunning canyons, waterfalls, and hiking trails, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

7. Maryland

An aerial view of historic Annapolis, situated on the Chesapeake Bay, during an early November morning.

Chespeake Bay in Maryland is a treasured landmark and the biggest estuary in the United States.

©Nicole Glass Photography/

Number of Landmarks: 76

Maryland, a state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, is renowned for its historical significance, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant cities. With a total of 76 landmarks, Maryland offers visitors a multitude of attractions that showcase its rich heritage, natural beauty, and cultural treasures.

Chesapeake Bay

One of the most notable landmarks in Maryland is the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. This magnificent body of water not only provides a wealth of recreational activities, such as boating and fishing, but also serves as a vital habitat for a diverse range of plant and animal species. Visitors can explore its shores, take scenic cruises, or indulge in delicious seafood harvested from its waters.

Baltimore Landmarks

The city of Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, is home to several landmarks that highlight its historical and cultural significance. The Inner Harbor, a bustling waterfront area, offers attractions like the National Aquarium, showcasing a stunning array of marine life, and the historic USS Constellation, a Civil War-era warship. The Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art Museum house impressive collections of art from around the world.

St. Mary’s City

Maryland is also steeped in colonial history, with landmarks like the Historic St. Mary’s City, a living history museum that recreates Maryland’s early colonial capital. Visitors can step back in time and explore the reconstructed buildings, engaging with historical interpreters to gain insights into Maryland’s past.

The Antietam National Battlefield

The Antietam National Battlefield, located in Sharpsburg, is a landmark of immense historical significance. It commemorates the Battle of Antietam, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. Visitors can explore the battlefield and learn about this pivotal moment in American history.

Assateague Island National Seashore

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in Maryland’s natural landmarks, such as Assateague Island National Seashore. This barrier island is famous for its wild ponies and pristine beaches, providing opportunities for swimming, camping, and birdwatching.

8. Ohio

Rock and Roll hall of fame in Cleveland, OH.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a famous museum located in Cleveland, Ohio that is a historic national landmark.

©Samuel Charles Rath/

Number of Landmarks: 76

Ohio, a state located in the Midwest region of the United States, is renowned for its captivating attractions and historical significance. With a staggering 76 landmarks, Ohio offers an abundance of sites that exemplify its cultural heritage, splendid landscapes, and pivotal role in American history.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an internationally acclaimed museum located in Cleveland, Ohio. It pays homage to the evolution and impact of rock and roll music, featuring a vast collection of artifacts, interactive exhibits, and live performances that showcase the profound influence of this genre.

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a multifaceted museum located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Housed within a majestic train station, it encompasses the Cincinnati History Museum, the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Natural History & Science. Visitors can explore these museums to gain an immersive understanding of history, science, and culture.

National Museum of the United States Air Force

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located in Dayton, Ohio. It is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum, showcasing a wide array of aircraft and artifacts that trace the fascinating evolution of aviation throughout history.

Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Statehouse is an architectural marvel in the Greek Revival style located in Columbus, Ohio. Serving as the seat of government, it offers guided tours that allow visitors to delve into Ohio’s political history while admiring the grandeur of the building.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a natural landmark located in Ohio. Encompassing over 33,000 acres, it features breathtaking landscapes, including enchanting waterfalls, serene hiking trails, and diverse wildlife. The park offers opportunities for camping, biking, and immersing oneself in the tranquility of nature.

9. South Carolina

Drone View of Fort Sumter at Sunrise

Fort Sumter in South Carolina is a historic landmark that was an American Civil War site in 1861.

©George A. Kenna/

Number of Landmarks: 76

South Carolina, a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, is a treasure trove of historical landmarks and captivating attractions. With an impressive count of 76 landmarks, South Carolina offers a fascinating glimpse into its rich heritage, natural wonders, and significant contributions to American history.

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is a historic site located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. It is known for being the site where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired in 1861. Today, visitors can explore the fort, learn about its role in shaping the nation’s history, and enjoy panoramic views of Charleston’s skyline and the surrounding waters.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a historic plantation located in Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in the 17th century, it offers a captivating insight into the state’s plantation era. The plantation features beautifully landscaped gardens, including the Audubon Swamp Garden, which showcases a stunning display of flora and fauna. Visitors can also explore the plantation house to get a glimpse into the antebellum lifestyle.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a popular tourist destination in South Carolina known for its pristine sandy beaches, vibrant boardwalk, and lively entertainment venues. It offers a wide range of attractions, including amusement parks, water parks, and golf courses, making it a favorite destination for visitors from all over the country.

USS Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

The USS Yorktown is a decommissioned aircraft carrier located at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. It played a significant role in World War II and the Vietnam War and now serves as a museum. Visitors can explore the aircraft carrier, view military artifacts, and engage in interactive exhibits to learn about its history and the experiences of those who served on board.

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park is a unique wilderness area located in Hopkins, South Carolina. It is home to one of the largest intact expanses of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States. Visitors can hike along boardwalk trails, paddle through the swamp, and observe diverse wildlife in its natural habitat. It is a paradise for nature lovers and offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life.

10. Connecticut

Autumn trees near building with flag at Weir Farm

A National Historic Site in Wilton, CT, this is an autumn view of the Visitor’s Center at Weir Farm. The site is popular with artists and also has beautiful hiking trails.

©nancykennedy/iStock via Getty Images

Number of Landmarks: 64

Connecticut, located in the northeastern part of the United States, is a state brimming with history, natural beauty, and cultural landmarks. With an impressive count of 64 landmarks, Connecticut offers a diverse range of attractions that captivate visitors and provide a glimpse into the state’s rich heritage.

Mark Twain House & Museum

One of the most iconic landmarks in Connecticut is the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford. This historic site was once the home of the renowned American author, Mark Twain. Visitors can explore the beautifully preserved Victorian mansion, which showcases the author’s life and works, and gain insights into his literary genius.

Mystic Seaport Museum

Connecticut is also famous for its maritime history, and the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic is a testament to that. This living history museum immerses visitors in the seafaring past of Connecticut, with its collection of historic ships, restored buildings, and interactive exhibits. Visitors can step back in time, experience life as a sailor, and learn about the state’s strong maritime traditions.

Yale University Campus

Another notable landmark is the Yale University campus in New Haven. This prestigious Ivy League institution is not only renowned for its academic excellence but also for its stunning architecture. The campus features impressive Gothic-style buildings, including the iconic Sterling Memorial Library and the Yale University Art Gallery, which houses a remarkable collection of art spanning centuries.

Gillette Castle State Park

Connecticut is also blessed with natural beauty, and the Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam is a prime example. This unique landmark is home to a medieval-style castle built by the famous actor William Gillette. Visitors can explore the castle’s intricate interior, stroll through the beautiful grounds, and enjoy panoramic views of the Connecticut River.

Weir Farm National Historic Site

For those interested in American history, the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton is a must-visit landmark. This site preserves the home and studio of J. Alden Weir, a renowned American Impressionist painter. Visitors can explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, view Weir’s artwork, and gain insight into the artistic legacy of Connecticut.

Summary of The Top 10 States with the Most National Historic Landmarks

RankStateNumber of Landmarks
1New York276
9South Carolina76

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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