As the US government shuts down in a budget impasse, tourists are left with significantly fewer things to see and do while on an American holiday. National parks, museums and attractions will all be closed during the shutdown. Immigration lines will no doubt be longer and flights could face delays.
The German Foreign Ministry issued a travel advisory for holidaymakers heading to the USA, warning that many museums and national parks and facilities will be closed during the shutdown. Waiting times at U.S. immigration posts could be significantly longer as well.
Landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon closed yesterday and while parks and landmarks across the country are effected, Washington DC will no doubt feel the biggest burn from the shutdown.
Barricades have been set up restricting access to the Lincoln Memorial and other war memorials across the capital. All 17 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed indefinitely. On any given day, more than 100,000 people visit the Smithsonian Mall to visit the capital’s most famous museums and attractions. Not anymore.
In New York, Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty stands is off-limits.
There is some good news though. All privately funded museums will stay open and you can bet that these will receive an unprecedented boost in tourist numbers during the shutdown. This is true across the country but especially in Washington DC as the Smithsonian museums close. Fortunately for visitors there are still plenty of museums open: Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Newseum, International Spy Museum, National Geographic Museum, among others.
It will be difficult for independent travellers who have planned their holidays in the USA around visiting certain monuments to receive any compensation. Those who have booked package holidays will likely be able to claim a full or at least a partial refund.
Do you have plans to visit the US in the near future?