There are countless streets, avenues and boulevards that pave the cities of the United States, but only a few – by name alone- can evoke specific feelings and associations. These streets have been featured in movies and books or are constantly on the top of a tourist’s list when they visit the area. They provide entertainment, hold significant meanings and are rich in history. Below is our list of the most famous streets in the United States.
1) Wall Street – New York City, New York
Wall Street in New York City has become synonymous with the financial marketplace of the United States. Notably, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange – which is the largest of its kind in the world. The actual area Wall Street is known for stretches .7 miles from Broadway to South Street and is also home to the American Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ Stock Market and the New York Mercantile Exchange. For many Americans, Wall Street represents wealth, power, corruption and greed. A large number of people blame Wall Street leaders for the financial collapse and list it as a major cause of the current “Great Recession.”
2) Pennsylvania Avenue – Washington D.C.
Pennsylvania Avenue is also known as “America’s Main Street” as it is a connector for the United States Capitol and the White House. This part of Washington D.C. is home to many celebrations, political protests and various parades. The Avenue stretches for 5.8 miles, but the 1.2 mile section from the White House to the Capitol building is widely regarded as the most important segment. Sites of interest along Pennsylvania Avenue include the J. Edgar Hoover Building, which serves as the F.B.I. headquarters and the Robert F. Kennedy Building, which is the Department of Justice headquarters. Every president traditionally parades down the Avenue immediately after taking their oath of office.
3) Broadway – New York City, New York
Broadway is possibly the only street on the list that is easily recognized in just one word. Its name carries a lot of meaning and often people associate Broadway with the starting point for many actors’ careers. Broadway is actually made up of avenue, street and boulevard sections. The best known portion of Broadway is certainly the boulevard that goes through Manhattan which includes the central hubs of the American theater industry. It is the oldest north-south road in all of New York City. There are 40 professional theaters situated on and around Broadway in Manhattan. Broadway is inherently linked to the Tony Awards as only shows playing at one of these theaters can be nominated for a Tony.
4) Bourbon Street – New Orleans, Louisiana
Stretching for 13 blocks through the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, Bourbon Street is notorious for its restaurants, bars and strip clubs. The building facades that line the street are representative of the Spanish and French traditions of New Orleans. Bourbon Street is fairly quiet during the daytime and becomes a bustling hot spot at night. Many festivals are held in New Orleans throughout the year, with the most popular being Mardi Gras. These celebrations can cause Bourbon Street to be so packed with people that it is nearly impassable. The most popular portion of the street is “Upper Bourbon Street” which is an 8 block section where most of the attractions are found. Interestingly, there are open container laws that permit the consumption of alcohol in the streets of the French Quarter.
5) Hollywood Boulevard – Los Angeles, California
Hollywood Boulevard is probably best known for having The Hollywood Walk of Fame. For over one mile the sidewalks are filled with more than 2,500 stars that list the names of famous actors, directors, musicians, fictional characters, producers and more. This part of Hollywood Boulevard alone attracts over 10 million people a year. Another point of interest along the street is the Chinese Theater which hosts movie premiers and notably has the footprints, handprints and signatures of many celebrities imprinted in the concrete by the entrance. There are other tourist attractions here like Madame Tussauds wax museum and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. From the boulevard you can also get good views of the Hollywood Sign.
6) Las Vegas Boulevard – Las Vegas, Nevada
Also known as “The Strip,” Las Vegas Boulevard is the gambling capital of the world. Here, massive and lavishly themed casino-resorts line the road and offer endless entertainment. The strip itself is a 4.2 mile section of Las Vegas Boulevard South and it technically lies within the boundaries of Winchester and Paradise, Nevada. Besides the copious amount of gambling opportunities found here, there are also many other things to do. You can watch the choreographed water fountain, light and music show in front of the Bellagio where water is shot up to 460 feet in the air, catch one of Criss Angel’s famous magic shows, see a comedy act, take in a concert featuring one of your favorite artists or even ride some thrill rides at the Stratosphere Tower.
7) Lombard Street – San Francisco, California
Lombard Street is unique because the street itself is the actual attraction. It is famous because of its one block section between Leavenworth and Hyde Streets that has eight very sharp hairpin turns. Lombard Street is known as the “crookedest” street in the world. It was constructed in 1922 and it was designed this way in order to allow cars and pedestrians to safely travel down Russian Hill since it has a 27% grade. Additionally, such a road would was deemed to be too hazardous for pedestrians, especially those in wheelchairs. Although this road meanders through a residential area, after taking an unforgettable car ride down Russian Hill there are still plenty of other tourist attractions to enjoy in the immediate vicinity.
8) Rodeo Drive – Beverly Hills, California
If you are looking to spend a couple thousand dollars on just one or two items or if you just want the opportunity to spot some celebrities, then Rodeo Drive is the place for you. The focal point of Rodeo Drive is just a three block stretch between S. Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard. Top designer brands like Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Tiffany’s, Lacoste, Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Coach have shops located here. In just this small area there are over 100 boutiques and hotels. If you feel as though you have not gotten your shopping fix once you explore here, there are plenty of more shops on the neighboring Dayton Way, North Beverly Drive and Wilshire street.
9) Sunset Boulevard – West Hollywood, California
The famous part of Sunset Boulevard is a 1.5 mile section in West Hollywood that is widely known as “Sunset Strip.” The Strip is recognized for its top notch night clubs, restaurants, concert venues and boutiques. This street is associated with its plethora of colorful billboards as well. A large amount of celebrities live in and around the area as there are luxurious and elite condominium complexes here. Additionally, the Hollywood Hills just above Sunset Boulevard are home to an overabundance of multi-million dollar mansions that many celebrities call home. After wandering the Strip you can take a drive past the homes of stars like Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino and James Franco.
10) Michigan Avenue – Chicago, Illinois
Michigan Avenue in Chicago is the location of many attractions for both locals and visitors to enjoy. Perhaps the most notable segment of this road is the “Magnificent Mile” – a high end shopping area that goes from the Chicago River to Oak Street. Shops here include Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Bulgari, Montblanc, Rolex, Juicy Couture and Neiman Marcus, to name a few. There are also world-renowned restaurants and hotels in this location. Other attractions along Michigan Avenue comprise of the Chicago Water Tower, Grant and Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. Michigan Avenue is also known for its breathtaking holiday lights displays during the winter season.