USA Today’s travel-centric 10Best feature recently tackled the topic of awesome new attractions, gathering nominations from its panel of experts and then putting the list to a reader vote. When the confetti had cleared, they had 10 top picks for tourist attractions that opened in the last year, an array that includes everything from an 88,000-square-foot skate park in Iowa to a theatrical flying ride experience in the Smoky Mountains.
There are three historical museums on the list, including the Roots 101 African American Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and Greenwood Rising in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The latter explores America’s “Black Wall Street,” the historic freedom colony destroyed in the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. And the Museum of the Jewish Southern Experience in New Orleans — No. 5 on the list — delves into the unique history of those communities in the South.
Bay Area audiences will spot a few familiar attractions on the list, including an immersive Van Gogh experience similar to the two that landed in San Francisco and San Jose last year, as well as The Friends Experience. Designed for fans of Rachel, Ross, Joey and Monica, a pop-up version popped up — as pop-ups are wont to do — in San Francisco last year. The full version is headed our way in 2022. (And yes, that is the Raiders’ new stadium sitting there at No. 3. Ouch.)
Here’s the top 10. Find more details at www.10best.com/awards/travel/.
10 best new attractions in the U.S.
1 SkyFly: Soar America, Pigeon Forge, TN
2 Van Gogh Exhibition: The Immersive Experience, multiple cities
3 Allegiant Stadium Tours, Paradise, NV
4 The Friends Experience, multiple cities
5 Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, New Orleans, LA
6 Lauridsen Skatepark, Des Moines, IA
7 Greenwood Rising, Tulsa, OK
8 The Cloud Ladder at Kent Mountain Adventure Center, Estes Park, CO
9 Water Works Park and Pavilion, Minneapolis, MN
10 Roots 101 African-American Museum, Louisville, KY