Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Visiting Historic US Dams

Locations in this article:  Columbia, SC

We all know about visiting Hoover Dam on the way to the Grand Canyon, but you might be surprised to learn there are interesting dam tours all around the country.

It may not sound glamorous, but these tours are a great way to combine engineering, history and scenic views.

The Bonneville Lock & Dam in Oregon is actually a National Historic Landmark, noted for its engineering design, the architecture of the surrounding buildings, and its historic role during the Great Depression.

Visitors can tour the power house and see a navigation lock in operation. But what’s really cool is the fish passage where you can see schools of fish migrating along the Columbia River.

The power plant at the Oahe Dam in South Dakota has daily tours in summer, and it’s home to the fourth-largest man-made reservoir in the U.S.

The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington is a massive engineering feat, and is one of the largest concrete structures ever built.

So along with the power plant tour, visitors also ride across the top of the dam itself to get the best perspective.

Keep reading for more travel tips.