Photos: 10 All-American Must Sees for All Americans
Lists: Flyover America's Sophia Dembling shares the sights that will make you swoon
Walt Disney World
Disney World is a big, pushy, crazy, commercial endeavor. Like America. Disney inspires mad passion in many, it is among America’s most pervasive exports (what do Tokyo and Paris have in common?) and the park itself really is an astonishing accomplishment.
My grandparents, who came to the United States from Poland through Ellis Island, accompany me in spirit every time I visit this remarkable museum about American immigration. Immigration is all of our stories and the voices you hear and read walking through the museum will stick with you long after you forget the artifacts.
It’s bigger and more breathtaking than anything your imagination can invent. Can you imagine, way back in the far-off day, hiking along through trees and desert and stumbling upon ... this? I stop by the South Rim for a peek any time I’m in the neighborhood. And the less-visited North Rim is worth the special trip it requires.
Yeah, yeah. I know. Am I kidding? But this is a basic philosophical question: Do we travel to see what we want, or to see what is? I subscribe to the latter philosophy. Vegas IS, like it or not, in a very big way. It’s more quintessential America—it’s big, loud, razzle-dazzle, and unapologetic and, by the way, it’s full of Europeans, who wouldn’t dream of skipping it.
My husband and I entered the theater to watch a film about the bombing of Pearl Harbor alongside a mob of chattering teenagers. At the film’s end, the kids’ eyes were red-rimmed and they filed out of the theater silently. We did too. I didn’t expect to be so affected. Most moving: oil still seeping from the wreck, where at least 900 crewmen still rest.