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The Top Tourist Attraction in Each of the 50 U.S. States to Add to Your Bucket List

Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the United States is a country of remarkable diversity, both in its landscapes and cultural heritage. From the breathtaking majesty of the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the vibrant buzz of New York City, every state has its own unique charm and attractions that beckon travelers far and wide.

In this article, we venture through all 50 states, uncovering the single, must-visit tourist attraction that best encapsulates the spirit and essence of each one. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or urban explorer, prepare to be inspired by the remarkable diversity that defines the United States.

Alabama – U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville)

Huntsville, Alabama, USA - December 29, 2021: The exterior view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, USA, a museum operated by the government of Alabama.
Photo credit: JHVEPhoto // Shutterstock.com

Located in Huntsville, this center is a must-visit for space enthusiasts. It houses the Saturn V rocket and offers an immersive educational experience about space exploration.

Alaska – Denali National Park

Denali National Park and Wonder lake with Mountain Background
Photo credit: Marc Cappelletti // Shutterstock.com

In the heart of Alaska, Denali National Park is a must-visit for its stunning landscapes, including the majestic Denali (formerly Mount McKinley), and the chance to experience pristine wilderness through hiking and wildlife viewing.

Arizona – Grand Canyon

View over the south and north rim part in grand canyon from the helicopter, USA
Editorial credit: Amanda Mohler / Shutterstock.com

Located in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a must-visit for its awe-inspiring vistas. It’s a testament to the power of natural forces, showcasing the raw beauty of the Earth’s geology.

Arkansas – Hot Springs National Park

Waterfall at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas
Photo credit: Zack Frank // Shutterstock.com

Nestled in Hot Springs, this park is a must-visit for its natural hot springs and historic bathhouses. Visitors can soak in the therapeutic waters and explore the surrounding scenic beauty.

California – Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park
Photo credit: Andrew Opila // Shutterstock.com

Situated in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is a must-visit for its towering waterfalls, granite cliffs, and diverse ecosystems. It’s a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park

Father with arms around his family looking at summer mountains landscape, on hiking trip, on top of mountain. View from Trail Ridge Road. Estes Park, Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado.
Photo credit: Margaret.Wiktor // Shutterstock.com

Located in north-central Colorado, this park is a must-visit for its high peaks, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife. It offers an immersive mountain experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

Connecticut – Mystic Seaport Museum

The Old Ship in Mystic Seaport
Photo credit: cvrestan // Shutterstock.com

In the coastal town of Mystic, this living history museum is a must-visit. It allows visitors to explore historic ships and learn about maritime heritage.

Delaware – Rehoboth Beach

Sunrise at Rehoboth Beach Delaware
Photo credit: Larry Hinson // Shutterstock.com

Situated on Delaware’s Atlantic coast, Rehoboth Beach is a must-visit for a classic beach vacation. It features a charming boardwalk, pristine beaches, and a welcoming seaside atmosphere.

Florida – Walt Disney World (Orlando)

Orlando, Florida. January 11, 2019 Entrance Arch of Walt Disney Theme Parks at Lake Buena Vista area .
Editorial credit: VIAVAL TOURS / Shutterstock.com

Located in Orlando, Walt Disney World is a must-visit for its magical theme parks, entertainment, and attractions. It offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Georgia – Savannah Historic District

Savannah, Georgia, USA historic downtown sidewalks and rowhouses.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone // Shutterstock.com

Situated in the city of Savannah, the historic district is a must-visit for its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and vibrant Southern culture. It’s a charming and picturesque destination.

Hawaii – Pearl Harbor (Oahu)

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
Photo credit: pinggr // Shutterstock.com

On the island of Oahu, Pearl Harbor is a must-visit to pay homage to history. Visitors can tour the USS Arizona Memorial and other World War II exhibits.

Idaho – Sun Valley

Downhill skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho
Photo credit: CSNafzger // Shutterstock.com

Located in the mountain resort town of Sun Valley, this area is a must-visit for year-round outdoor adventures. It’s known for skiing, hiking, and a vibrant arts scene.

Illinois – Millennium Park (Chicago)

Photo of the Millenium Park at the blue hour time
Photo credit: Luis Boucault // Shutterstock.com

In downtown Chicago, Millennium Park is a must-visit for its iconic “Bean” sculpture, beautiful gardens, and free concerts. It’s a cultural hub in the heart of the city.

Indiana – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

May 24, 2019 Indianapolis, IN: MARCUS ERICSSON (R) (7) of Sweden heads through the turns to practice for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo credit: Grindstone Media Group // Shutterstock.com

In Indianapolis, this iconic racetrack is a must-visit, especially during the Indy 500. It offers a chance to witness thrilling races and explore a racing museum.

Iowa – Field of Dreams (Dyersville)

DYERSVILLE, IOWA - AUGUST 20, 2015: Field of Dreams movie site sign. The 1989 film starring Kevin Costner was filmed on the Lansing Family Farm.
Photo credit: Steve Cukrov // Shutterstock.com

Located in Dyersville, the Field of Dreams is a must-visit for baseball fans. It allows visitors to step onto the famous movie set and experience the magic of the film.

Kansas – Monument Rocks

Monument Rocks in Grove County, Kansas. The chalk rock formation is a listed National Natural Landmark.
Editorial credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com

Situated in Gove County, Monument Rocks are a must-visit for their otherworldly beauty. These towering chalk formations are a natural wonder of the Great Plains.

Kentucky – Churchill Downs (Louisville)

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, USA - APRIL 3 2016: Entrance to Churchill Downs featuring a statue of 2006 Kentucky Derby Champion Barbaro.
Photo credit: Thomas Kelley // Shutterstock.com

In Louisville, Churchill Downs is a must-visit, especially during the Kentucky Derby. It offers a glimpse into the world of horse racing and a historic racetrack.

Louisiana – French Quarter (New Orleans)

Colorful balconies line the streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans Louisiana
Photo credit: AHudec // Shutterstock.com

In New Orleans, the French Quarter is a must-visit for its lively music scene, historic architecture, and world-famous cuisine. It’s a vibrant and cultural destination.

Maine – Acadia National Park

rugged Acadia coast at sunrise
Photo credit: Romiana Lee // Shutterstock.com

Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is a must-visit for its rugged coastlines, granite peaks, and pristine lakes. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Maryland – Inner Harbor (Baltimore)

Baltimore Maryland MD Inner Harbor Skyline Aerial.
Photo credit: Kevin Ruck // Shutterstock.com

In Baltimore, the Inner Harbor is a must-visit for its mix of history, entertainment, and dining along the waterfront. It’s home to attractions like the National Aquarium.

Massachusetts – Freedom Trail (Boston)

One of the Markers of The Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts
Photo credit: Sara Kendall // Shutterstock.com

Winding through Boston, the Freedom Trail is a must-visit for history buffs. It allows visitors to explore 16 significant sites, including the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s House.

Michigan – Mackinac Island

The Wedding Cake Cottage is shown on the West Bluff on Michigan's Mackinac Island. A horse stands in front and the lilacs out front are in full bloom
Photo credit: Craig Sterken // Shutterstock.com

Located on Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a must-visit for its car-free environment, Victorian charm, and stunning vistas. It offers a step back in time.

Minnesota – Lake Superior’s North Shore

Sunrise slowly begins to light up the rocky shoreline of Tettegouche State Park along Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior.
Photo credit: David Brickner // Shutterstock.com

Situated in the northern part of the state, the Boundary Waters is a must-visit for its wilderness adventure. Canoeing, camping, and wildlife encounters are highlights.

Mississippi – Vicksburg National Military Park

Mississippi - Vicksburg National Military Park
Photo credit: Zack Frank // Shutterstock.com

In Vicksburg, this national park is a must-visit for its exploration of Civil War history. Visitors can tour battlefields and the USS Cairo Museum.

Missouri – Gateway Arch (St. Louis)

Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, USA viewed from below the arch.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone // Shutterstock.com

In St. Louis, the Gateway Arch is a must-visit for its iconic status and panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River. It’s a symbol of westward expansion.

Montana – Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park in Montana
Editorial credit: Dan Breckwoldt / Shutterstock.com

Located in the northern Rockies, Glacier National Park is a must-visit for its glacier-carved landscapes, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes. It’s a hiker’s paradise.

Nebraska – Henry Doorly Zoo (Omaha)

Omaha, Nebraska US, July 10, 2019 Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo Kids and Family's Having a Fun day at the Zoo
Photo credit: Gwells // Shutterstock.com

In Omaha, this zoo is a must-visit for its world-class exhibits and diverse animal species. It’s a family-friendly destination.

Nevada – Las Vegas Strip

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In Las Vegas, the Strip is a must-visit for its dazzling lights, world-class entertainment, and vibrant nightlife. It’s an entertainment hub in the desert.

New Hampshire – Mount Washington

Man with equipement on the edge, hiking mount Washington in winter, looking over the ravine. New Hampshire, USA
Editorial credit: David Boutin / Shutterstock.com

Located in the White Mountains, Mount Washington is a must-visit for its highest peak in the Northeast. Visitors can ascend via the Cog Railway or hiking for stunning vistas.

New Jersey – Cape May

Cape May, NJ, June 24, 2015: Beach goers enjoy a beautiful day in Cape May, New Jersey.
Photo credit: Racheal Grazias // Shutterstock.com

Situated on the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is a must-visit for its Victorian architecture, beautiful beaches, and charming atmosphere. It’s a seaside gem.

New Mexico – Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Pathway through the Big Room, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Photo credit: Doug Meek // Shutterstock.com

In southern New Mexico, this national park is a must-visit for its stunning caves, stalactites, and stalagmites. It offers a subterranean adventure.

New York – Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (New York City)

The Statue of Liberty over the Scene of New york cityscape river side which location is lower manhattan,Architecture and building with tourist concept
Photo credit: TZIDO SUN // Shutterstock.com

Located in New York Harbor, these landmarks are a must-visit to learn about immigration history and symbolize freedom for millions.

North Carolina – Biltmore Estate (Asheville)

The Biltmont Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
Photo credit: ZakZeinert // Shutterstock.com

In Asheville, the Biltmore Estate is a must-visit for its opulent Vanderbilt mansion, beautiful gardens, and winery. It’s a glimpse into Gilded Age luxury.

North Dakota – Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Sunrise over Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Editorial credit: ZakZeinert / Shutterstock.com

Located in the Badlands, this park is a must-visit for its rugged badlands, bison herds, and natural beauty. It’s a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Ohio – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland)

Cleveland, OH - Jan 7, 2020: Very Cold Weather but Rock and Roll Hall of Fame still beautiful and look interesting
Photo credit: YUKiO_CLE // Shutterstock.com

In Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a must-visit for music lovers. It celebrates the history of rock music with exhibits and memorabilia.

Oklahoma – National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (Oklahoma City)

Oklahoma, FEB 27 2022 - Interior view of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Photo credit: Kit Leong // Shutterstock.com

In Oklahoma City, this museum is a must-visit for its exploration of the Old West through art, artifacts, and cultural exhibits.

Oregon – Crater Lake National Park

Oregon - Crater Lake National Park
Photo credit: Lisa D Wood // Shutterstock.com

Located in southern Oregon, Crater Lake is a must-visit for its deep blue caldera lake, scenic trails, and volcanic beauty. It’s a natural wonder.

Pennsylvania – Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA February 8, 2022 A large sign for the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center on a sunny winter day
Photo credit: woodsnorthphoto // Shutterstock.com

In Gettysburg, this national park is a must-visit for its commemoration of the Civil War’s pivotal battle. It features tours, monuments, and a visitor center.

Rhode Island – The Breakers (Newport)

The Breakers is a one of the most fabulous mansion built in 1893 for Cornelius Vanderbilt and his family in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. This mansion is open to the public today.
Photo credit: Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock.com

In Newport, The Breakers is a must-visit for its opulent Gilded Age mansion. It’s a symbol of Newport’s grandeur and wealth.

South Carolina – Charleston Historic District

Historical downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina, USA at twilight.
Editorial credit: f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Located in Charleston, the historic district is a must-visit for its cobblestone streets, historic homes, and vibrant Southern culture. It’s a charming and picturesque destination.

South Dakota – Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Monument near Keystone, South Dakota
Editorial credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Situated in the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore is a must-visit for its monumental sculpture of four U.S. presidents. It’s an iconic symbol of American democracy.

Tennessee – Graceland (Memphis)

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, USA - MARCH 22, 2019: Graceland in Memphis. The mansion was built in 1939 but later bought by Elvis Presley who lived here from 1957 – 1977.
Photo credit: Rolf_52 // Shutterstock.com

In Memphis, Graceland is a must-visit to experience the life and legacy of Elvis Presley. It’s a pilgrimage site for music fans.

Texas – The Alamo (San Antonio)

Exterior view of the historic Alamo shortly after sunrise
Photo credit: Dean Fikar // Shutterstock.com

Located in San Antonio, the Alamo is a must-visit to explore the historic mission and the famous battle for Texas independence.

Utah – Arches National Park

Beautiful Sunset Image taken at Arches National Park in Utah
Editorial credit: Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com

In southeastern Utah, Arches National Park is a must-visit for its more than 2,000 natural stone arches, towers, and fins. It’s a landscape of wonders.

Vermont – Ben & Jerry’s Factory (Waterbury)

WATERBURY, VT, USA - OCT 10: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory on October 10th, 2010 in Waterbury, Vermont, USA.
Photo credit: Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock.com

Situated in Waterbury, this factory is a must-visit to take a tour, taste ice cream flavors, and learn about this iconic brand’s history.

Virginia – Colonial Williamsburg

WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 19 2014: The Governors Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. It was reconstructed on the original site after a fire destroyed it in the 1930's.
Photo credit: StacieStauffSmith Photos / Shutterstock.com

In Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg is a must-visit for its living history, historic buildings, and reenactments. It offers a journey back to the 18th century.

Washington – Space Needle (Seattle)

Seattle, Washington, USA downtown skyline.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone // Shutterstock.com

In Seattle, the Space Needle is a must-visit for its iconic observation tower and panoramic views of the city and Puget Sound.

West Virginia – New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge Bridge stretches from ridge to ridge 876' above the New River in Fayette County, West Virginia, USA
Photo credit: Malachi Jacobs // Shutterstock.com

In Fayetteville, this steel arch bridge is a must-visit. Visitors can stand on the catwalk beneath it or experience extreme sports during Bridge Day.

Wisconsin – Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin USA August 11th, 2019: Family members enjoying a ride on the Original Wisconsin Ducks 2.5-ton six-wheel amphibious truck ride.
Photo credit: Aaron of L.A. Photography // Shutterstock.com

Located in the Wisconsin Dells region, this destination is a must-visit for its waterparks, boat tours, and unique natural rock formations. It’s a family-friendly vacation spot.

Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring view at Yellowstone National Park
Editorial credit: Anders Riishede / Shutterstock.com

Spanning the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park is a must-visit for its geysers, hot springs, wildlife, and the awe-inspiring Yellowstone Caldera. It’s America’s first national park and a natural wonderland.

The Weirdest Tourist Attractions in Each of the 50 U.S. States, According to Travelers

NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 13, 2013: Sculpture inside Museum of Sex. This is a famous city attraction.
Photo credit: pisaphotography // Shutterstock.com

Embarking on a cross-country adventure? Looking to explore the lesser-known and unconventional side of the United States? From colossal balls of twine to peculiar museums, the 50 states that make up this diverse nation are home to an array of strange and offbeat tourist attractions.

Read more: The Weirdest Tourist Attractions in Each of the 50 U.S. States, According to Travelers

10 Forgotten Tourist Spots in the United States Worth Exploring

Forrest Gump Point, red rock at Monument Valley, Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona USA. Stunning view and scenic road in Utah during sunrise. Depth of long empty road.
Photo credit: Wisanu Boonrawd // Shutterstock.com

Tired of the usual tourist spots in the US? Want to uncover some amazing hidden gems? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve got the inside scoop on secret destinations straight from fellow Americans. Get ready to discover breathtaking state parks, picturesque drives, and more. This list has something for everyone. So grab your bags because it’s time to embark on an extraordinary adventure off the beaten path!

Read more: 10 Forgotten Tourist Spots in the United States Worth Exploring

16 Terrible U.S. Tourist Destinations Americans Say to Skip

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Tourism is a booming industry in the United States, with millions of visitors traveling to various destinations yearly. However, not all tourist destinations are created equal, and some may leave visitors feeling disappointed or underwhelmed. Recently on an online platform, Americans have shared their thoughts on the worst tourist destinations in the U.S.

Read more: 16 Terrible U.S. Tourist Destinations Americans Say to Skip

10 Hidden ‘Dark Sides’ of Popular Tourist Attractions

Anaheim, California/United States - 04/24/2019: Tourist walk across the street towards Disneyland theme park
Editorial credit: The Image Party / Shutterstock.com

From historic landmarks to natural wonders, these destinations showcase the beauty and uniqueness of our world. However, behind the glossy postcard images and captivating narratives lie hidden stories that reveal the complex and often unsettling realities of these attractions. Delving beyond the surface, we are taking a look at the shadows cast by some of the most celebrated tourist sites and attractions. 

Read more: 10 Hidden ‘Dark Sides’ of Popular Tourist Attractions

Don’t Fall for the Hype: 10 Overrated Tourist Traps in Europe That Aren’t Worth Your Time

Amazing sunset view with white houses in Oia village on Santorini island in Greece.
Photo credit: gorillaimages / Shutterstock.com

Europe is full of iconic landmarks and tourist destinations, attracting millions annually. However, not all of these destinations live up to their hype. This post will explore some of the biggest tourist traps in Europe according to travelers who have experienced them firsthand.

Read more: Don’t Fall for the Hype: 10 Overrated Tourist Traps in Europe That Aren’t Worth Your Time

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