American streets are more than just functional thoroughfares. They are a compass pointing us back to our history while simultaneously forwarding on new adventures. So as you make vacation or weekend plans, let The Most Iconic Street in Every State inspire your next trip.
1. Alabama’s Dexter AvenueDubbed The Most Historical Short Street in America, this small stretch in Montgomery features Civil Rights Movement landmarks. You’ll find the church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, his family home, Rosa Park’s workplace, and the Selma to Montgomery March finale credited for the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
2. Alaska’s Chena Hot Springs RoadPerfectly sized for a one-day road trip, take a tour through the largest Ice Museum and warm up by soaking at the hot springs at the end of the road. Known for comical side streets, initial residents are given road naming rights, and it’s customary to pick names with wit and humor.
3. Arizona’s Main StreetTo stroll down Bisbee’s Main Street is to walk back in time to early twentieth-century Arizona. Learn about the town’s history while exploring this century-old mining road full of beautifully restored structures.
4. Arkansas’ Dickinson StreetDickinson Street serves as the historical and entertainment center of Fayetteville. During the day, visitors can browse boutiques, galleries and dine in restaurants. At night, enjoy its bars and nightclubs, including the historic George’s Majestic Lounge, the oldest and longest-running club and live music venue in the state.
5. California’s Sunset BoulevardOne of America’s most famous streets, Sunset Boulevard, stretches from the shores of the Pacific Ocean 20 miles to downtown Los Angeles. So grab some friends, hop into a convertible and explore the neighborhoods of Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Silver Lake.
6. Colorado’s Main AvenueDurango’s Main Avenue combines the past and present while offering stunning Colorado mountain views. The state’s cowboy and mining history is celebrated in historic buildings and welcoming inns. While in The State of Craft Beer, make sure to sample local drinks from Main Ave breweries.
7. Connecticut’s Hillhouse AvenueLargely considered the first suburb in the country, Hillhouse Avenue was nicknamed The Most Beautiful Street in America by Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. Today, Hillhouse Avenue and its beautifully restored mansions are a part of the Yale University campus.
8. Delaware’s Delaware StreetDelaware Street celebrates the history of America’s oldest state. Take a guided tour or casual stroll through landmarks such as The First State National Historical Park and end at New Castle Battery Park, a riverfront park and trail.
9. Florida’s A1A HighwayImmortalized by 90’s rapper Vanilla Ice, this state road runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean for 300 miles from Key West all the way to the Georgia state line. A1A puts the sunshine state’s lush tropical beauty on display traveling through beach towns like St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Key Largo.
10. Georgia’s Peachtree StreetPeachtree Street is one of the state’s most significant avenues, not to be confused with the many other Atlanta area Peachtree roads. Starting in downtown Atlanta, running through midtown and outside city limits, this street features great shopping and infamous office buildings. In addition, it serves as the home to St. Patrick’s day parade and major celebrations like Coca-Cola’s 100th anniversary.
11. Hawaii’s Front StreetOn the surface, Maui’s Front Street looks like a stereotypical tourist destination. However, what few realize is that this section of downtown Lahaina has featured shops, restaurants, and entertainment for centuries. Well known as a historic whaling port, you can learn the full history of this street on a guided tour and enjoy fine art galleries displaying portraits of some of the most beautiful places in the Hawaiian Islands.
12. Idaho’s 8th StreetThis small section of Boise’s downtown is luring the next generation of Idaho’s residents, ranking the best place to live for millennials and the fastest growing city in the U.S. You’ll find no chain stores or restaurants but an eclectic mix of long-time establishments, hipster shops, dining and one of the largest Basque communities in the U.S.
13. Illinois’ North Michigan AveChicago‘s Magnificent Mile is a 13-mile section of North Michigan Ave that stretches from the river to Oak Street. Amidst the skyscrapers are more than 450 stores, 275 restaurants, 60 hotels, entertainment, and iconic attractions.
14. Indiana’s Main StreetIn a state with the most Main Street’s in America, it’s hard to pick just one. Indianapolis’ Main Street in Broad Ripple is the heart of one of the state’s most vibrant and historic neighborhoods. Don’t miss their annual Taste of Broad Ripple, a food, beer, and live music festival.
15. Iowa’s Locust StreetThe heart of Des Moines’s revitalized downtown, Locust Street, is helping to put America’s Heartland on the map for younger generations. A longtime stop for traveling musicians, De Moines offers many music and art venues, including a public outdoor Sculpture Park, a fantastic thing to do without spending money.
16. Kansas’ Massachusetts StreetMass Street, as locals call it, is the main street through downtown Lawrence featuring 100-year-old buildings in the National Register of Historic Places. The city’s founders, who came from Massachusetts, named the side streets after the U.S. States and placed them in the order of joining the Union.
17. Kentucky’s Fourth StreetHome to the new Fourth Street Live, this 350,000 square foot entertainment, and retail zone features Louisville bars, restaurants, shops, and concerts. It’s centrally located to historic hotels, the convention center, waterfront, and sporting venues.
18. Louisiana’s Bourbon StreetThe most iconic street in the French Quarter runs for 13 blocks from Canal Street to Esplanade Ave. For many, Bourbon Street is the revelry New Orleans is famous for. It’s full of noisy, late-night bars, celebrations, and music venues.
19. Maine’s Congress StreetCongress Street has changed along with the development of Maine, illustrated by its buildings’ various architectural styles. Initially built as a road for farmers to bring their goods to market, it transformed into a residential neighborhood and a business and cultural hub.
20. Maryland’s West Lombard StreetOne of downtown Baltimore’s older streets was named after the Italian town Guardia Lombardi as the area was home to Italian immigrants. On West Lombard Street, you’ll find the Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower, with the largest four-dial gravity-driven clock in the world.
22. Massachusetts’ Acorn StreetA popular photography spot, Acorn Street provides a glimpse into colonial Boston. Filled with historic row houses and a fairytale-like red-bricked road, 19th-century tradespeople lived and worked in these homes, still occupied today.
22. Michigan’s Woodward AveNicknamed Detroit’s Main Street, Woodward Ave runs 27 miles from Detroit all the way to Pontiac. A historical record itself, our country’s first mile of concrete pavement, first painted road divider, and first electronic traffic signal was on Woodward Ave.
23. Minnesota’s Summit AvenueDeemed one of the 10 Great Streets in America, this St. Paul avenue showcases Victorian-style mansions built during the early 1900s and historic churches, synagogues, and schools. Still standing today are 373 of the street’s original 440 homes.
24. Mississippi’s North State St.Fans of the movie, The Help will recognize the 1960s shopping plazas in this Jackson historic district. The area’s main avenue, North State Street, has the highest concentration of restaurants in town, as well as boutiques and galleries. The home of Fondren’s First Thursday, 5,000 people attend monthly beer tastings, classes, events, live music, and farmers markets.
25. Missouri’s Three Notch RoadThe state’s first road was initially a walking trail marked by notches in forest trees guiding people to the state’s first mining area. Eventually cleared, the road was used to haul lead from Mine La Motte to Ste Genevieve. Take a scenic drive on Three Notch Road and enjoy the rolling hills of Missouri.
26. Montana’s Main StreetAlso named one of America’s Great Streets, Bozeman’s Main Street is an eclectic mix of 19th and 20th Century historical buildings with Queen Anne, Italianate, neo-gothic revival, and art deco architecture. Capturing the city’s history and growth and even a little kitsch too, this 140-year-old business district is a must-stop for visitors.
27. Nebraska’s O StreetDescribed as Lincoln City’s spine, it’s the longest straight main street in the world at 59 miles. Initially called Locust Street, it was renamed “O” after a large-scale construction project that renamed city streets after letters of the alphabet.
28. Nevada’s Fremont StreetWhen you see Las Vegas in TV shows or movies, you most likely see a shot of the western end of Fremont Street. The oldest part of The Strip, it’s home to the first wave of famous casinos like Golden Nugget, Pioneer Club, and Four Queens.
29. New Hampshire’s Market StreetOne of three main arteries in Portsmouth’s Market Square, Market Street’s roots go back 250 years. A primary business hub for two and a half centuries, its historical buildings have been well cared for and restored.
30. New Jersey’s TurnpikeThe most iconic street in New Jersey is actually a revolutionary 117-mile toll-highway that covers the entire length of The Garden State. The 70-year-old New Jersey Turnpike is immortalized in songs, movies, and shows like The Godfather, Midnight Cowboy, and The Sopranos and serves as the de facto state symbol.
31. New Mexico’s Central AvenueCentral Avenue’s route has existed since prehistoric times, used as a trading byway by Native Americans and upgraded by the U.S. Army for wagon travel in 1858. This Albuquerque road now runs through the city’s oldest neighborhoods, downtown, and The University of New Mexico.
32. New York’s Fifth AvenueSt. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York’s Public Library, and the Empire State Building are just three iconic landmarks found on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. The most famous street in the Biggle Apple, it’s also known as Millionaire’s Row as it’s the home to the most expensive retail spaces and shopping.
33. North Carolina’s Fayetteville StreetOnce a pedestrian mall closed to traffic, Fayetteville St. was restored to a driveable Main Street in 2006. This change brought an influx of visitors, and even on regular days, the street offers a vibrant escape with many attractions, food, music, and shops.
34. North Dakota’s Downtown BroadwayFargo may be a small city, but Downtown Broadway features historic structures dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Since its early days, the street was the city’s epicenter and remains the home of restaurants, shops, bars, and the iconic Fargo movie theater.
35. Ohio’s Euclid AvenueFrom the 1860s to the 1920s, Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue dazzled the country and worldwide visitors as a must-see tourist destination. Nicknamed Millionaire’s Row, it featured mansions, including the home of John D. Rockefeller.
36. Oklahoma’s Main St.Originally adorned with rose bushes in 1902, the Rose District of Broken Arrow has long been a gathering place. Revitalizing once again, a $4 million makeover will add event spaces, pedestrian zones, and fewer traffic lanes.
37. Oregon’s Alberta StreetA visit to Portland isn’t complete without a stroll on Alberta’s main street with local art, live music, bars, restaurants, and regular events. On the last Thursday of every month, the street is closed to traffic for an Art Walk that’s more a boisterous street fair with bands, acrobats, and designers.
38. Pennsylvania’s Market StreetMarket Street in Philadelphia is often called the most historic highway in the United States. America’s founding fathers lived and worked along the colonial road. Today it features famous landmarks like the Independence National Historical Park located at Fifth and Market Street.
39. Rhode Island’s Thames StreetRunning parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, Thames Street was one of the first two roads laid in Newport in the mid-1700s. While only 1.5 miles in length, the road features historical homes and buildings and remains a recreation and tourism center.
40. South Carolina’s Chalmers StreetChalmers Street is one of the eight remaining cobblestone streets in Charleston. Originally designed to manage the coastal city’s muddy streets, it unexpectedly added beauty and character. The most photographed cobblestone street in the city contains museums and landmarks such as The Pink House, one of the oldest Charleston structures.
41. South Dakota’s Main StreetSome say Bozeman’s Main Street is the best downtown in the Northwest, balancing an authentic western mountain charm with a modern, down-home vibe. In addition to shops, restaurants, and bars, Main Street is also home to a weekly summer concert series.
42. Tennessee’s Beale StreetBeale Street is the entertainment hub of Memphis and Home of the Blues, long immortalized in songs, books, and movies. A little less than 2 miles, this historic street is lined with blues clubs and bars and is packed with revelers practically every night.
43. Texas’s Sixth StreetAustin’s infamous 6th Street is filled with colorful, eclectic, and even weird bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Known as the live music capital of the world, Sixth Street is regularly closed to traffic to accommodate the massive crowds drawn to the nightly party.
44. Utah’s Main St.From silver boomtown to resort town to the home of the Sundance Film Festival, Salt Lake City’s Main Street has been the center of it all. Home to 100 independent shops, 50 world-class restaurants, and nightlife, it brings the best of city life to the mountains.
45. Vermont’s Church StreetChurch Street is the center of Burlington’s outdoor marketplace drawing 1.5 million visitors a year. Completed in 1981, this pedestrian and commerce space was lauded as one of the Great Public Spaces in America.
46. Virginia’s King StreetStrolling Old Town Alexandria’s King Street is a must-do for visitors and a favorite of locals. Dubbed one of the Great Streets of America, it features a charming mix of centuries-old buildings, brick-lined streets, cobblestone alleys, independently owned shops, and waterfront restaurants. At the end of the day, ride the free King Street Trolley back to your hotel or car.
47. Washington’s Pike PlaceWhen you think of Seattle, the infamous Pike Place Market insignia is what most likely comes to mind. Pike Place starts at the iconic landmark, through the shopping district, and further out to Capitol Hill, the place for restaurants, breweries, clubs, and music venues.
48. West Virginia’s Capitol StreetDrawing visitors to Charleston for over 100 years, the capital city’s tree-lined street runs through the historic shopping district ending at a riverfront park. Ride the trolley, pop into the local book store or grab an ice cream for a nostalgia-filled day.
49. Wisconsin’s Grandstand AvenueFor over 125 years, people have traveled to Milwaukee’s Grandstand Avenue, the home of the Wisconsin State Fair. Over 11 days, 1 million fairgoers enjoy performances across 30 stages, dozens of rides, hundreds of food options, and thousands of animals.
50. Wyoming’s Main StreetVisitors to nearby Yellowstone National Park get a glimpse of what life was like in the days of the old west. Dubois’ Main Street features a range of hotel accommodations, restaurants, and shops set amidst remote land beloved by outdoor enthusiasts. This post originally appeared on Savoteur.
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