The Best Places to Visit in All 50 States

Best places to visit usa

Which places to visit in such a vast country? The United States offers so much to see – from urban jungles to dreamy little towns, tropical paradise islands to huge deserts.

The diversity of these places is incredible, and every state has some marvellous places you need to see. Below is the list of the best places to visit in the US organised alphabetically considering the state they are located in.

1. Alabama, Little River Canyon

Alabama,-Little-River-Canyon

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The cleanest and the wildest river in the South. It has three high waterfalls, and the highest is Grace’s High Falls that is 135ft high.

2. Alaska, Lake Clark National Park

Alaska, Lake Clark National Park

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Maybe the best preserved National Park in the country. Partly because it is accessible only by plane or boat.

3. Arizona, Antelope Canyon

Arizona, Antelope Canyon

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Canyon located on Navajo land was formed by erosion of sandstone. The fast streams of flash floods carved magical stone formations, making it the favourite location for photographers.

4. Arkansas, Old Mill Park in Little Rock

Arkansas, Old Mill Park in Little Rock

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Yes, that is the one featured in the opening scenes of Gone With the Wind. Tranquil and serene paradise, the real-life inspiration for the paintings of Old Masters.

5. California, San Francisco

California, San Francisco

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An exciting and colourful city in Northern California. The City is filled with touristic attractions such as Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Penitentiary, China Town, Lombard Street, SFMOMA, the California Academy of Sciences and much more.

6. Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park

Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park

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More than 4,000 archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings of Pueblo Indians in a rocky, harsh Colorado landscape. The massive cliff dwellings date from the 12th century, and they are one of a kind time-machines for the visitors.

7. Connecticut, Mystic

Connecticut, Mystic

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This slow-paced seaside village with a ton of character is full of galleries, restaurants, shops. It also offers some simple pleasures like ice-cream stands, lobster shacks and classical cafes.

8. Delaware, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Delaware, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

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Bird lovers paradise. National Wildlife Refuge located along the eastern coast of Delaware Bay, spread on the area of 16,000 acres.  The list of birds at the refuge is very large, with more than 300 species of birds. As for the mammals: 35 species have been identified in the refuge.

9. Florida, Florida Keys

Florida, Florida Keys

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A 120-mile long chain of islands that curves around the base of the Florida peninsula. It is connected to the mainland with the series of bridges. The one in the photo above, 7 Mile Bridge, is often used as a filming location (Fast and Furious, True Lies). The most famous and spectacular of all Keys is the Key West, with a motto ‘One Human Family’, a true laid-back place for everyone.

10. Georgia, Savannah

Georgia, Savannah

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Charming Savannah is a representation of Southern hospitality as it once was. Historic downtown with period architecture of houses with vast verandas and oak-lined streets, with 22 squares scattered around it, was an inspiration for many movie directors. Some scenes from Forest Gump were filmed in Chippewa square, and Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil was filmed at the Mercer-Williams House.

11. Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park

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A close up look at the unstoppable forces of nature at work. Melting lava flows down the mountainside into the ocean. See the active volcano and the landscape recently produced by its activity.

12. Idaho, Coeur D’Alene

Coeur D Alene

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The town with a great vibe located among dozens of scenic lakes. The town boasts many outdoor activities. Hiking, water sports and golf during the summer, and skiing down mount Schweitzer in the winter.

13. Illinois, Galena

Illinois, Galena

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The cutest little town on the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Ninety percent of the town is deemed the National Historic Landmark. It was also home to no less than nine Civil war Generals.

14. Indiana, Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park

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Hike the great inland trails, swim or roll down the dunes along the 15 miles of sand dunes that border Southern shore of Lake Michigan.

15. Iowa, Amana Colonies

Iowa, Amana Colonies

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This National Historic Landmark is made up of seven villages that date back to the 18th century. Enjoy local cuisine, arts and surroundings away from the hustle of the modern world.

16. Kansas, Monument Rocks

Kansas, Monument Rocks

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The Geological history of the world portrayed here in these chalk formations that rise up to 70ft. These formations were chosen as the first National Natural Landmark. It is estimated that they have been formed about 80 million years ago.

17. Kentucky, Mammoth Cave System

Kentucky, Mammoth Cave System

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The longest cave system in the world, more than 400 miles of it have already been explored. It is twice as long as the next longest cave system in New Mexico. A true underground wonder for you to explore.

18. Louisiana, New Orleans

Louisiana, New Orleans

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A city with a unique way of life and culture. Enjoy food, music, historic architecture and more through diverse neighbourhoods of Crescent City. From the oldest one, French Quarter, and the Treme, a cultural heart of the city,  to the hip Faubourg Marigny and Bywater. Visit the Garden District for the Southern charms of gorgeous classical mansions and pristine gardens.

19. Maine, Acadia National Park

Maine, Acadia National Park

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Beautiful landscape of small beaches with rough granite cliffs. Magnificent views from the top of the Cadillac Mountain. You can see many scattered islands along the shoreline, and the little fjord called Somes Sound. Driving in a horse pulled cart is a local tradition and the best way to discover some parts of the park.

20. Maryland, The George Peabody Library in Baltimore

Maryland, The George Peabody Library in Baltimore

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More than 300,000 volumes of books on the shelves along the five-tier balconies make maybe the most impressive reading and researching spot in the world. Space is also available for rent as an event or wedding venue.

21. Massachusetts, Cape Cod

Massachusetts, Cape Cod

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Cross the Bourne Bridge and find yourself on a wonderful coastline sprinkled with quaint harbours, sand beaches, grand dunes, lighthouses and odd clam shacks. Visit Martha’s Vineyard, Sandwich and Provincetown for architectural and culinary gems.

22. Michigan, Turnip Rock

Michigan, Turnip Rock

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The area around the rock is private property, so you can only reach the rock by kayak. The water is shallow, and you’ll be able to step out of the kayak to take a beautiful photo like this one.

23. Minnesota, Minneapolis

Minnesota, Minneapolis

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Mini Apple, as it is often called, is a great destination all-year-round. More than seven miles off glass-enclosed skyways keep you warm when you explore the downtown in the winter. If you are an art lover don’t skip the visit to the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Art Institute and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. If you are a theatre lover you’ll be glad to know that Minneapolis, with more than thirty theatres, has more seats per capita than any city in the U.S. except New York. Summer activities are centered around the 22 lakes that the city has within its limits. Fort Snelling State Park offers a lot of outdoor summer activities, from hiking and biking to boating.

24. Mississippi, Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

Mississippi, Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

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An abundance of wildlife including the bald eagle, American alligator and wood stork. It is also a safe haven for deer, turkeys, quail and several migratory bird species. Sunsets over the lakes are exquisite.

25. Missouri, Table Rock Lake

Missouri, Table Rock Lake

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Beautiful lake with clear water and great marinas, and not as crowded as the Lake Of The Ozarks. Great cliff jumping spots, hiking trails and good campsites in the vicinity of the lake. Ideal for outdoor activities – swimming, fishing, boating, tubing and kayaking.

26. Montana, Glacier National Park

Montana, Glacier National Park

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Glaciers, rugged snow-covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains, rivers and waterfalls, green prairies, lakes with crystal-clear waters and meadows covered with wildflowers. Out of this world experience for anyone who likes nature.

27. Nebraska, Omaha Old Market

Nebraska, Omaha Old Market

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Old Market is the most historic and enjoyable neighbourhood in Omaha. Brick warehouses from the 1880s have been converted to a mix of shops, galleries, taverns and restaurants. We have seen our share of the unfortunate results of gentrification, but this isn’t one of them by any means.

28. Nevada, Fly Geyser

Nevada, Fly Geyser

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Fly Geyser is located on a parcel that used to be private property and closed to visitors. Recently, the Burning Man Festival bought the land, so this unusual formation will eventually be open for closer public viewing.

29. New Hampshire, Portsmouth

New Hampshire, Portsmouth

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This maritime town is the third-oldest city in the country. With an array of building styles, namely Federalist, Colonial and Neoclassical, brick streets and busy Market Square town is a real eye-candy. Take a walk around the Waterfront, which boasts expensive restaurants, stylish seafood shacks, old pubs and ice-cream parlours.

30. New Jersey, Cape May

New Jersey, Cape May

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Cape May is a sweet seaside town in the Garden State. Colourful houses on the shore, lighthouses, serene sandy beaches and horse-drawn carriages add up for an easygoing holiday.

31. New Mexico, White Sands

New Mexico, White Sands

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White Sands National Monument is situated in the heart of Tularosa Basin. Great waving dunes of gypsum are unique in the world and cover the area of 275 square miles of desert. 

32. New York, Letchworth State Park

New York, Letchworth State Park

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It was voted as the Best Park in the Nation in 2015. It is often referred to as “Grand Canyon of the East,” with three major waterfalls, as high as 600ft. If you can, experience it from the hot air balloon, as in the photo above.

33. North Carolina, Blue Ridge Parkway

North Carolina, Blue Ridge Parkway

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Breathtaking drive through Smokey Mountains with phenomenal views. Magnificent in all seasons, breathtaking at the peak of the fall. Drive of a lifetime.

34. North Dakota, Fargo

fargo

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Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota and the most entertaining one. As a result of the interest of the movie industry and entrepreneurial crowd, it is filled with trendy bars and restaurants.

35. Ohio, Cleveland

Ohio, Cleveland

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As the locals say, Cleveland offers world-class experience, but without the world-class ego. Thriving food, music and arts scenes, diverse neighbourhoods of Little Italy, Tremont, Cleveland Heights and Ohio City can offer something for everyone.

36. Oklahoma, Oklahoma City

Oklahoma, Oklahoma City

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World class restaurants, shopping and hotels, and more than 50 startling attractions make Oklahoma City the ideal spot for a wonderful weekend. Do not miss the Frontier City Theme Park, historic Bricktown, National Cowboy and Western Museum and the Myriad Botanical Gardens. 

37. Oregon, Crater Lake

Oregon, Crater Lake

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The Crater Lake sits atop of Mount Mazama, which is volcanic. It erupted 7,700 years ago and created this lake. The lake is the deepest in the States. The body of water is fed by snow and the glacial water, so it is probably the clearest, too.

38. Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park

Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park

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Stargazing enthusiasts gather in the park for its popular dark skies. This is because the park is so remote and wild as it was thousands of years ago. This spot is famous for the ability to see, on a given night, more than 10,000 stars with a naked eye. It offers the best view at the Milky Way, planets and some astronomical phenomena and objects that are harder to spot.

39. Rhode Island, Newport Cliff Walk

Rhode Island, Newport Cliff Walk

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If it looks familiar, it is because the greater part of The Great Gatsby was filmed along this shoreline.

40. South Carolina, Kiawah Island

South Carolina, Kiawah Island

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This splendid island is famous for its sandy beaches, picturesque hiking trails and world-class golf courses. It is situated 25 miles off the coast of Charleston.

41. South Dakota, Deadwood

South Dakota, Deadwood

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An authentic western town, where the people like Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Al Swearengen were made into Wild West legends. All of its brothels were shut down in 1964. raid. Now traditional saloons, rodeos and the Casino The Midnight Star, which is owned by the movie star Kevin Costner, welcome the visitors.

42. Tennessee, Nashville

Tennessee, Nashville

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It is called the Country Music Capital of the world, and it lives up to its name. Live music 24/7, 365 days a year, with so many surprises that you never know which band or singer you might see and hear on that day.

43. Texas, Hamilton Pool Preserve

Texas, Hamilton Pool Preserve

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Just a short car drive outside of Austin you will finds this magical pond. Over the limestone overhang, Hamilton Creek makes a 50ft high waterfall, into the crystal clear pool. This swimming spot is so popular that you must make a reservation if you wish to visit it.

44. Utah, Arches National Park

Utah, Arches National Park

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Over 2,000 sandstone arches are spread within the park’s 77,000 acres, among other magnificent geological creations. The park is located only 5 miles out of the town of Moab. A 20-mile paved scenic drive leads to all of the major points within the park.

45. Vermont, Stowe

Vermont, Stowe

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Picture the most quintessential New England town with all of its rustic charms, and you have imagined Stowe. It is perfect for the get-away-from-it-all type of vacation.

46. Virginia, Richmond

Virginia, Richmond

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Richmond is becoming a thriving hub for culture, shopping and tourism. It boasts a lot of new art galleries, craft breweries and hip cafes. Richmond’s culinary scene is becoming increasingly popular for an abundance of great restaurants that serve farm-to-table food and local specialities.

47. Washington, Jade Lake

Washington, Jade Lake

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Glacial lake with a colour so blue that it’s almost impossible to reproduce artificially. It is located just a short hike away from the Pacific Crest Trail.

48. West Virginia, Fayetteville

West Virginia, Fayetteville

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As the sign on the entrance says – Coolest small town. A small town with a lot going on, a vibrant shopping district, great restaurants, craft stores, coffee shops and a lovely town park. Outdoor activities in the New River Gorge include white-water rafting and rock climbing.

49. Wisconsin, Ice Caves

Wisconsin, Ice Caves

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The ice doesn’t grow strong enough for the visitors to come every year. Visit it during the cold winters by walking over the frozen Lake Superior.

50.Wyoming, Grand Prismatic Spring

Wyoming, Grand Prismatic Spring

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If you haven’t been to Yellowstone National Park yet,  here is just one of the strong reasons to visit it as soon as you can.

So, this was our list of the best places to visit in the US. If you have any other ideas or something to add in the list, please do it in the comment section. Thank you for reading!

Sanya Dushku

Avid scuba diver, wildlife conservationist and cyclist. Mother of two, happily married.

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