Book a reservation for London Eye before you leave the States. The Eye is a huge wheel that takes you up into the sky. It was built to celebrate the Millennium, and has drawn millions of tourists ever since. Fun for the entire family, the Eye is a great way to see all the spectacular sites, including the Thames River, Parliament, Leicester Square, and Big Ben.
Speakers' Corner never fails to draw a crowd. Near Marble Arch in Hyde Park, a group gathers every Sunday to speak their mind. You'll hear everything from political activists to religious zealots, and all who live in between these extremes. Go shopping on Oxford Street afterward, and walk over to Trafalgar Square to see where people have rendezvoused for ages.
Camden Town is renowned for its pop culture ways and extensive street markets. Home to many punk and Goth performers and artists, Camden Town also hosts amazing markets on the weekends, selling goods of all types including fashion, food, books and even some rather bizarre items.
If you garden, or appreciate a beautiful surrounding, then you will be in heaven wandering the paths of the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens, simply known as Kew Gardens. Featuring the world's largest collection of living plants, the collections in the greenhouses and beautiful displays of foliage throughout the garden will take your breath away. Walk around on your own, or take a guided and learn about the garden's secrets.
Nestled in the middle of Notting Hill, Portobello Market is one of London's most popular spots. The market actually has several distinct sections, each dedicated to antiques, fruits and vegetables, fashion, and secondhand "finds." Top off a visit to Portobello with a pub lunch, a couple of pints and some lively conversation with the locals.