20 American tourist traps that are actually worth the money

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Alcatraz Island — San Francisco

Alcatraz Island is most famous for its federal penitentiary, but it’s also home to the West Coast’s first lighthouse and U.S.-built fort, plus there’s lots of natural beauty to explore with gardens, tide pools and bird colonies — not to mention stunning views of the San Francisco Bay.

Boot Hill Museum — Dodge City, Kansas

A replica Wild West town, Dodge City was the gateway to the Santa Fe Trail way back in the early 1800s. Known for its raucous gunslinging and lawless debauchery, the Boot Hill Museum pays tribute to the rough-and-tumble lifestyle. Though most reenactments are kitschy, it takes just reading the tombstones at Boot Hill Cemetery to realize that it’s the real deal.

The Breakers — Newport, Rhode Island

Visitors flock to the wealthy city of Newport to get a glimpse inside the opulent historical mansions located there. Perhaps the biggest draw is The Breakers, the largest of the area’s “summer cottages,” which dates back to the turn of the century. The 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo originally belonged to the Vanderbilts and is now a designated National Historic Landmark.

Churchill Downs — Louisville, Kentucky

The historic Churchill Downs is best known for hosting the Kentucky Derby — which attracted over 157,000 attendees in 2018 — but you can catch thoroughbred races at the track throughout the spring and fall too.

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