Many people aspire to visit all 50 states in their lifetime. However, fitting this bucket list item into a work schedule, family obligations, and everything else life throws at you is no easy feat. With no time to waste, you want to make sure you see the best of the best in every state.
Luckily, Expedia compiled quantitive metrics to determine the best places to visit in each state. Expedia looked at how many travelers booked hotels near certain attractions and then at the popularity of points of interest based on search volume. Expedia combined the two metrics to determine a couple of must-sees for every U.S. state.
Whether you're looking to visit all 50 states or just looking for a new vacation destination, this list is a great place to start.
The top attraction in Alabama is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. The museum is the largest space museum in the United States. Gulf Shores Beach is the top city to visit in Alabama. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, it's the perfect destination for those looking for fishing, sailing, or relaxing on the beach.
If you're looking to spend time with nature, Denali National Park is one of the top places to visit in Alaska. Denali is larger than the state of New Hampshire and is home to North America's tallest mountain peak, Mount Denali, which measures 20,308 feet. Those looking for more relaxing downtime can head to Chena Hot Springs, located in Fairbanks, a famous eco-friendly resort with hot springs, massage therapists, and more.
Unsurprisingly, one of the best places to visit in Arizona is the Grand Canyon National Park. The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World where visitors can hike, horseback ride, and river raft to take in its sights. While you're in the state, Antelope Canyon is another must-see, where guided tours allow visitors to experience breathtaking, wave-like red stone.
If you're looking to explore some history in the Natural State, the Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs is your destination. Bathhouse Row consists of eight bathhouse buildings built between 1892 and 1923, each with unique Spanish and Italian styles. Visitors can also enjoy the thermal waters at Buckstaff Bathhouse, which has been continuously operating for over a century. For those seeking more adventure, Crater of Diamonds state park is the perfect destination. In this volcanic crater, visitors are permitted to dig for diamonds and keep whatever treasure they find.
California is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. Among its nine national parks is Yosemite National Park, where visitors can explore the Sierra Nevada cliffs and hike among the massive sequoia trees. For families seeking some magic, Disneyland is the top attraction in California. Disneyland saw over 8.5 million visits in 2021. While that is about 45% of its pre-pandemic visitors, it was a 133% increase over 2020, showing that Disneyland is still a popular designation for California visitors.
Colorado is one of America's natural beauties, with the Rockies, 58 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, and four national parks. Among those national parks, Mesa Verde is one of the top destinations to visit. Visitors can explore the Ancestral Puebloans' dwellings carved out of sandstone and mortar, including the Cliff Palace. Another top destination in Colorado is the Great Sand Dunes National Park, where North America's largest sand dunes (over 750 feet) and rugged mountains converge. This national park is perfect for hikers, and visitors can rent sleds or sandboards to ride on the dunes.
Connecticut's best places to visit are Yale University and the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration. Yale is one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in the United States. It is currently ranked as the best law school in the country, and its campus boasts beautiful, gothic architecture that truly captures its grand atmosphere. The Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, located in Mystic, is perfect for animal and nature lovers. There, they can find beluga whales, sea lions, and a myriad of marine life displays.
Who doesn't love a beach and boardwalk? Delaware visitors' favorite place in the state is Lewes Beach, where long stretches of sandy beaches combine with streets with family businesses and unique shops to create a relaxed, family atmosphere. Close by is Rehoboth Beach, named "the nation's summer capital," and its Rehoboth Boardwalk, with treats like saltwater taffy, shops, amusements, and restaurants for the whole family.
Florida is well-known for its amusement parks, so it's no surprise that one of its best places to visit is Universal Studios. Universal is a great attraction for kids and adults looking for an immersive, film-like experience. Those looking to get in touch with nature, and see alligators up close, can book a trip to see the Everglades National Park. The Everglades spans over 1.5 million acres, making it the largest tropical wilderness in the United States.
Georgia's most popular attraction is the Georgia Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world. The aquarium boasts over 10 million gallons of water and is home to beluga whales, whale sharks, giant sea turtles, penguins, and more. For thrill-seeking travelers, Six Flags Over Georgia has rides, roller coasters, and shows all day long.
Beautiful Hawaii's most popular spots are Kailua Beach and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kailua Beach is located in Kailua, sparkling with white sand and bright, turquoise water. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is great for adventure-seekers. Visitors can gaze upon two of the world's most active volcanoes— Kīlauea and Mauna Loa— and trek through some of the most unique geological landscapes in the world.
Idaho is a state perfect for those who love the outdoors! For adventurers looking to take on Idaho, Big Springs has 120 million gallons of water flowing every day and beautiful wildlife views. Additionally, Sawtooth National Recreation Area's rugged mountain landscape is perfect for hikers and rafters looking for their fill of the great outdoors.
Illinois is home to the great city of Chicago, which has both of the state's best attractions. Wrigley Field is one of the most iconic baseball parks in the United States, considered baseball's quintessential, old-school baseball park. Another popular Chicago sight is the city's Magnificent Mile, a street lined with landmarks and upscale shops.
One of the most popular attractions in Indiana is the University of Notre Dame. This great educational institution is known for its football program and prestige and is home to the Snite Museum of Art. For the adventurers, the Indiana Dunes State Park allows hikers of all skill levels to explore beaches, prairies, and sweeping dunes.
Iowa's Adventureland, located in Altoona, is the perfect attraction for families with fun rides, live shows, and the Adventureland Circus. The Iowa State Fairgrounds is another top place to visit in Iowa, hosting regular flea markets and events such as the Iowa State Fair. The Fair has learning centers, theaters, a museum, food, and barns and runs for 11 days in August.
Visitors interested in going deep into history will want to explore the Monument Rocks in Oakley. The Monument Rocks are chalk formations dating back over 80 million years ago, forming archways and embedded with fossils. Another popular attraction in Kansas is the Exploration Place Museum and Science Center in Wichita. The Exploration Place is home to wildlife, music shows, and exhibits about space travel and the human body.
Kentucky is famous for the Kentucky Derby horse race. This "most exciting two minutes in sports" takes place at Churchill Downs, a proud landmark dating back to 1875. For those looking to get outdoors and explore nature, Cumberland Falls is a great spot. Cumberland Falls is known as the "Niagara of the South." The falls span over 125 feet wide and are about 68 feet tall. Visitors can spend the night in a nearby lodge or set up camp in the state park.
New Orleans is Louisiana's most popular destination. Two of the best places to visit in Louisiana are Canal Street and Mardi Gras World, located in NOLA. Canal street encompasses the lively vibe of the city, lined with shops and buzzing with streetcars. Mardi Gras World is the home to creating the outrageous and unique floats seen every year during Mardi Gras.
Maine's main attractions are both parts of its majestic landscape. The Attean Pond is a spot for nature lovers, whether they're looking to hike, fish, kayak, or just wander. Acadia National Park is one of the state's four national parks and the easternmost national park in the United States. Acadia is located on a mountainous island and offers kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, hiking, and more. Cadillac Mountain is located in the park, and the charming town of Bar Harbor is just outside its borders.
Maryland has many great spots for those who like to learn and explore. One of the state's most popular spots is the Inner Harbor quarter in Baltimore, home to the Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture. For those looking to spend some time at the beach, Assateague Island's National Seashore has scenic beaches, flocks of wild horses, and a beautiful lighthouse to explore.
One of the most popular attractions in Massachusetts is Fenway Park in Boston. Fenway is home to the Boston Red Sox and is Major League Baseball's oldest ballpark, built in 1912. Referred to as "America's most Beloved Ballpark," Fenway is known for its 37-foot tall Green Monster overlooking left field. Boston's Boston Common is the oldest city park in the United States and is the site of many historic moments. The park's lush greenery is perfect for strolls and photos.
With over 11,000 lakes, Michigan is a great destination for those who enjoy being on the water. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a beautiful spot along Lake Superior boasting cliffs, waterfalls, and peaceful white beaches. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was the U.S.'s first national lakeshore in 1966. Visitors can swim, boat, kayak, scuba dive, fish, and hike along the country's largest and deepest lake here. Tahquamenon Falls State Park is the perfect destination for those who want to see relatively untouched woodlands and a cascading waterfall. The Tahquamenon River is home to the Upper Falls, which is 200 feet wide and almost 50 feet high, making it one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.
For nature-loving travelers, Minnesota's top spot is Voyageurs National Park. Voyageurs has over 500 islands to explore and 655 miles of shoreline, perfect for adventurers looking to canoe, kayak, fish, and hike. In the winter, visitors can snowshoe and cross-country ski. For visitors looking for shows, rides, and fun food, the Minnesota State Fair Grounds host the famous Minnesota State Fair for 11 days from the end of August to early September.
Two of Mississippi's most popular destinations are Oxford and Biloxi Beach. Oxford is a small city perfect for music and history lovers with music tours and museums. It includes Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner’s home which has been turned into a museum. If a beach getaway is more your speed, Biloxi Beach has plenty of resorts along white-sand beaches and casinos. There are also museums and the Biloxi lighthouse to explore during your visit.
If you're heading to Missouri, the St. Louis Zoo is a must-see for animal lovers. The St. Louis Zoo has over 90 acres of exhibits with hundreds of animal species and a petting zoo for the kids. While you're in St. Louis, head over to the famous Gateway Arch, the tallest human-made monument in the United States.
Montana is known for its beautiful, untouched nature scapes. Out of Montana's nine national parks, Yellowstone and Glacier are the top two to visit. Glacier National Park boasts grand glaciers, crystal clear lakes, forests, and mountains accessible to visitors by miles of hiking trails. The famous Yellowstone National Park is known for its views and geysers, a must-see for any nature enthusiast. Old Faithful, Yellowstone’s most famous geyser, is one of the biggest draws for Montana tourists.
One of the top places to visit in Nebraska is the Chimney Rock National Historic Site. Perfect for history and geology lovers, this geological formation is one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks for pioneer travelers on the Oregon Trail. For animal lovers, a visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will immerse you in unique exhibits such as the world's largest indoor desert and the largest cat complex in the U.S.
When you think of Nevada, you probably think of Las Vegas. This makes sense, considering the Las Vegas Strip is one of the best places to visit in the state. The Strip has a ton to offer, including shows, nightclubs, over-the-top bars and restaurants, shopping, and grand, unique hotels and casinos. If you're not about the flashiness or gambling, take a trip to Grand Basin National Park. Grand Basin has it all: desert scapes, snow-capped mountains, glacier lakes, hiking trails, easy walking paths, and more. The park's most striking feature is the Lehman Caves, with unique limestone formations and pillars.
Beach lovers looking to make their way to New Hampshire can check out one of the state's most popular destinations, Hampton Beach. Sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, Hampton Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in the United States where families can enjoy fresh seafood, fun souvenir shops, sunny beach days, and plenty of small-town charm. For the adventurous, head to Mount Washington State Park, which covers Mount Washington's peak, sitting at 6,288 feet above sea level. At least 15 trails wind up the mountain for hikers, while those who prefer a less strenuous visit can take the Washington Cog Railway or drive up Mount Washington Auto Road.
New Jersey's most popular attraction is Boardwalk Hall. Boardwalk Hall is Atlantic City's premier entertainment venue, home to big names in music, sports, and politics. It became a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987 and holds up to 14,000 concert-goers. New Jersey's most popular destination is the Jersey Shore. The Jersey Shore stretches from Sandy Hook to Cape May, with miles of beaches and boardwalks lined with games, rides, restaurants, and shops for the whole family. There are also casinos and plenty of nightlife too.
New Mexico's best city to visit is Santa Fe, and more specifically, Santa Fe Plaza. Santa Fe Plaza is the city's hub, full of markets, museums, street performers, and more. It also has historic landmarks, such as the Palace of Governors, the oldest public building in the United States. For visitors looking to explore nature, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park is the top spot. The park has unique limestone formations in caves and lots of bats.
If you're going to New York, New York City cannot be missed. Grand Central Terminal is a transportation hub that doubles as one of the city's most popular attractions. This famous train station has impressive architecture, plus shops and restaurants. With 44 platforms and 67 tracks, Grand Central can help travelers get just about anywhere in New York and more. New York City has countless attractions, with Broadway being one of its top places to see. Broadway shows are must-sees.
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is one of the top places to see in North Carolina. The Biltmore Estate has lush gardens, a grand mansion, and a rich history for visitors to learn and explore. The mansion is the largest privately-owned house in the United States. If you're looking for more adventure, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the place to be. The park is perfect for hikers and campers, who can enjoy the mountains, greenery, and hundreds of wildlife species.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is one of the best places to visit in North Dakota. This national park has scenic views and wildlife like wild horses and bison, whether you're hiking or driving through. The International Peace Garden is another one of the state's best attractions. On the Canadian border, this beautiful flower garden symbolizes positive relations between the United States and its neighbor. It also has an 18-foot diameter clock made of flowers and a lake where visitors can go canoeing.
One of the best places to visit in Ohio, and one of the ideal places to visit in the U.S. overall, is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame displays some of the most famous guitars, outfits, photos, and more from the greatest rock artists and bands of all time. If you're looking for some thrills, head over to Cedar Point, one of the oldest amusement parks in the U.S. It was founded in 1870 and is known by thrill-seekers for its intense roller coasters.
Oklahoma's Turner Falls Park boasts crystal-clear water, three natural caves, and cascading waterfalls in the Arbuckle Mountains. Turner Falls is a natural water park, with white sand beaches, lots of wildlife, and lodging accommodations in the park to complete your stay. For hikers, the Wichita Mountains offer a picturesque adventure through mountains and grasslands. Hikers can also find Fort Sill, a military base where legends like the Apache Geronimo, Wild Bill, and Buffalo Bill spent time.
One of the best places to visit in Oregon is the state's only national park, Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake was created by a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, and is the U.S.'s deepest lake. With a variety of trails, hikers and bikers of all skill levels can take in the grand mountain views and lush forestry. During the winter, visitors can enjoy snowshoe tours and snowmobile rides. Oregon's other top attraction is the Multnomah Falls, which are the tallest in the state at 611 feet high.
Pennsylvania has plenty of attractions for families, including the top spot, Sesame Place. Families with young kids can experience real-life Sesame Street with characters and rides. Presque Isle State Park is the state's top outdoor destination, with miles of hiking and walking trails and beaches to enjoy.
One of the most popular Rhode Island attractions is Brown University. This Ivy League Institution has historic homes, beautiful architecture, and a picturesque College Hill that are perfect for a stroll on a sunny afternoon. For beachgoers, the most popular destination is Narragansett Beach. Narragansett Beach has that charming New England coastal atmosphere and clean beaches, perfect for peace and relaxation.
The best destination to visit in South Carolina is Charleston. Charleston is a charming city with antebellum architecture, plenty of beaches, and a Civil War history. While you're there, you should also visit the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum if you're a history buff. Visitors can go aboard and tour Naval ships and even camp overnight.
South Dakota is home to one of the most iconic attractions in the United States, Mount Rushmore. The granite sculptures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt make this a must-see. Hiking enthusiasts will want to pay a visit to Badlands National Park with prairies, cliffs, and fossil beds. Hiking paths vary from short and easy to strenuous, providing fun and adventure for all skill levels.
Tennessee is known for two music cities: Nashville and Memphis. In Nashville, travelers must see the Grand Old Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is the longest-running radio show in the United States, and the Grand Old Opry stage has hosted legends such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Hank Williams. Head over to Memphis for more music adventures on Beale Street. Beale Street is home to blues clubs with lots of live music and restaurants for the foodies.
Located in San Antonio, the San Antonio River Walk is one of the top places to visit in Texas. The River Walk is called America's answer to Venice, with shops, bars, and restaurants to explore on the water. The River Walk is also close to the Alamo and the San Antonio Museum of Art. For families, SeaWorld San Antonio is the best attraction in Texas and the largest marine-life park globally.
Of Utah's five beautiful national parks, Zion National Park is the best. Zion boasts white, pink, and orange layered cliffs and a vast canyon that can be explored by hiking, biking, horseback riding, or a shuttle ride. Unsurprisingly, Zion attracts millions of visitors every year. Utah travelers can also head to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, the Mormon Church's heartland. The Salt Lake Temple is a towering landmark in the square.
Vermont's Lake Champlain is one of the state's great natural wonders and one of the best spots to visit. Whether you hike along the lake's shores or relax on the beach, you can take in the views of the water and the reflection of the mountains in the lake. If you're looking for even more adventure, Green Mountain National Forest has fishing, kayaking, hiking, and skiing during the winter.
Virginia is for lovers and thrill-seekers. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the best attractions in Virginia. Busch Gardens has roller coasters and water rides separated into ten hamlets, themed to different European villages. For history lovers, a visit to the University of Virginia will indulge in American history and one of Thomas Jefferson's greatest achievements.
When visiting Washington, Pike Place Market in Seattle is a great place for small shops, comfy cafes, artwork, farm-fresh food, and fresh fish stalls. Pike Place Market is home to the country's oldest farmers' market. Nature lovers can head to Mount Rainier National Park, home to the 14,000-foot volcano, Mount Rainier. The park covers 238 square miles and has 260 miles of hiking trails for all levels.
One of West Virginia's most popular attractions is the Cass Scenic Railroad. Visitors can ride on a logging car pushed by a steam locomotive for 11 miles through scenic views and an original lumbering town. Adventurers should make their way to New River Gorge National River, where hiking, rock climbing, and white-water rafting are among the thrills.
One of Wisconsin's best attractions is its Kalahari Water Park, the largest indoor water park in the United States. Families can enjoy miles of slides and rides no matter the time of year in this African safari-themed water park. If you're looking to stay outdoors, the Apostle Islands Lakeshore is a beautiful destination on the shores of Lake Superior. Visitors can wander the lakeside and relax during the summers and check out the frozen sea caves in the winter.
The top places to visit in Wyoming are Grand Tetons National Park and Devils Tower National Monument. Grand Tetons has majestic mountains, lake reflections, tranquil solitude, and plenty of wildlife to spot, including bison, bears, deer, and birds of prey. The park has over 200 miles of trails for hikers and bikers and skiing in the winter. Devils Tower is a jutting geological formation that was the star of the sci-fi film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The tower is 867 feet tall and attracts hikers and UFO enthusiasts every day.
Top Place One
Top Place Two
Best Family Travel Destination
|Alabama||US Space and Rocket Center||Gulf Shores Beach||Birmingham Civil Rights Institute|
|Alaska||Denali National Park||Chena Hot Springs||Tracy Arm Fjord|
|Arizona||Antelope Canyon||Grand Canyon National Park||Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon|
|Arkansas||Bathhouse Row||Crater of Diamonds State Park||Garvan Woodlands Garden|
|California||Disneyland||Yosemite National Park||Disneyland|
|Colorado||Mesa Verde National Park||Great Sand Dunes National Park||Great Sand Dunes National Park|
|Connecticut||Yale University||Mystic Aquarium||Maritime Aquarium|
|Delaware||Lewes Beach||Rehoboth Boardwalk||Air Mobility Command Museum|
|Florida||Everglades National Park||Universal Studios||Siesta Beack|
|Georgia||Georgia Aquarium||Six Flags Over Georgia||Center for Puppetry Arts|
|Hawaii||Kailua Beach||Hawaii Volcanoes National Park||Hawaii Volcanoes National Park|
|Idaho||Big Springs||Sawtooth National Recreation Area||Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark|
|Illinois||Wrigley Field||Magnificent Mile||Wrigley Field|
|Indiana||University of Notre Dame||Indiana Dunes State Park||Children's Museum of Indianapolis|
|Iowa||Adventureland||Iowa State Fairgrounds||Fenelon Place Elevator Co.|
|Kansas||Monument Rocks||Exploration Place||Denna Rose Children's Farmstead|
|Kentucky||Churchil Downs||Cumberland Falls||Louisville Mega Cavern|
|Louisiana||Canal Street||Mardi Gras World||Cafe du Monde|
|Maine||Attean Pond||Acadia National Park||Marginal Way|
|Maryland||Inner Harbor||Assateague Island National Seashore||Walters Art Museum|
|Massachusetts||Boston Common||Fenway Park||Boston Public Garden|
|Michigan||Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore||Tahquamenon Falls||Silver Beach Carousel|
|Minnesota||Voyageurs National Park||Minnesota State Fair Grounds||Minneapolis Sculpture Garden|
|Mississippi||Oxford||Biloxi Beach||Tupelo Automobile Museum|
|Missouri||St Louis Zoo||the Gateway Arch||St. Louis Zoo|
|Montana||Yellowstone National Park||Glacier National Park||Glacier National Park|
|Nebraska||Chimney Rock National Historic Site||Henry Dourly Zoo||Lauritzen Gardens|
|Nevada||Las Vegas Strip||Grand Basin National Park||Pinball Hall of Fame|
|New Hampshire||Hampton Beach||Mount Washington State Park||Franconia Notch State Park|
|New Jersey||Boardwalk Hall||the Jersey Shore||Grounds for Sculpture|
|New Mexico||Santa Fe Plaza||Carlsbad Caverns National Park||Meow Wolf|
|New York||Grand Central Terminal||Broadway||Broadway|
|North Carolina||Biltmore Estate||Great Smoky Mountains National Park||Biltmore Estate|
|North Dakota||Theodore Roosevelt National Park||the International Peace||Enchanted Highway|
|Ohio||Cedar Point||Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame||Rock and Roll Hall of Fame|
|Oklahoma||Wichita Mountains||Turner Falls||National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum|
|Oregon||Crater Lake National Park||Multnomah Falls||Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area|
|Pennsylvania||Sesame Place||Presque Isle State Park||DelGrosso's Amusement Park|
|Rhode Island||Brown University||Narrangansett Beach||Beavertail Lighthouse and Park|
|South Carolina||Charleston||Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum||Center for Birds of Prey|
|South Dakota||Mount Rushmore||Badlands National Park||Custer State Park|
|Tennessee||Beale Street||The Grand Ole Opry||National Civil Rights Museum at Lorraine Motel|
|Texas||River Walk||SeaWorld||Houston Museum of Natural Science|
|Utah||Temple Square||Zion National Park||Bryce Canyon National Park|
|Vermont||Lake Champlain||Green Mountain National Forest||Billings Farm & Museum|
|Virginia||The University of Virginia||Busch Gardens Williamsburg||Colonial Williamsburg|
|Washington||Pike Place Market||Mount Rainier National Park||Chihuly Garden and Glass|
|West Virginia||Cass Scenic Railroad||New River Gorge National River||Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum|
|Wisconsin||Apostle Islands Lakeshore||Kalahari Water Parks||Rick Wilcox Magic Theater|
|Wyoming||Grand Tetons National Park||Devil’s Tower||Yellowstone National Park|