50 Places to Visit in All 50 States
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50 Places to Visit in All 50 States

America is truly beautiful, from California to New York, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters — and don’t forget the amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties. To celebrate this amazing country that’s brimming with beauty and diversity, we wanted to capture one “must-see” attraction, best kept secret, tasty dish or jaw-dropping scenic vista that you have to see (or taste) in each state. From Alabama to Wyoming this is an attempt at America’s ultimate travel guide. So grab a map, gather family + friends and discover the awesomeness that awaits in each of the 50 states. And don’t forget to pack your camera!

1. Alabama: Known as the Grand Canyon of the South, The Walls of Jericho located in North Eastern Alabama is a marvel for hikers, photographers and adventurers. With 10 miles of trails located in 21,000 acres, this landmark is filled with gorges, cliffs, flora, fauna and Neversink Pit. Don’t miss out on the limestone sinkhole, covered in fern-covered ledges and waterfalls. (via Nickajack Naturalist)

2. Alaska: There’s no doubt that Denali National Park is a tourist fave, along with the rest of Alaska’s glacial wonders and abundant wildlife. This cold state has a lot to offer. However, a little lesser known wonder lies north of Anchorage called the Archangel Valley, which is filled with vast mountainous terrain, glacial streams and scenic drives like Hatcher Pass. Set up camp for a while, soak in the wilderness and catch one of Earth’s greatest wonders, the Aurora Borealis. (via Alaska.org)

3. Arizona: Home to the Grand Canyon, Arizona boasts an overwhelming landscape, sprawling with historical beauty. The Grand Canyon has been etched out for billions of years by the Colorado River, exposing geological rock and forming this awe-inspiring wonder. From inside the canyon, be sure to lay your eyes on its grandest waterfall, Lake Havasu Falls. Vibrant, blue water, rushes over the red rocks of the canyon’s walls and plunges over 100 feet into a blue-green pool of water. The spring fed pool stays near a consistent 70 degrees, perfect for a relaxing dip. (via Havasu Waterfalls)

4. Arkansas: America’s first national river, The Buffalo River, stretches for 150 miles and is surrounded by the majestic Ozark Mountains. Hidden away, ready for discovery are geological marvels; natural springs, caves, waterfalls, bluffs and canyons. Canoe or float through this national park year-round. (via Buffalo River Outfitters)

5. California: Road Trip! Big Sur is a great place to visit, but we highly suggest hitting up America’s famous Highway 1 (without all the traffic) heading north. Soon after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge out of San Fran, the surroundings become super charming with a relaxed attitude that rolls along with the fresh, salty air. The journey is interspersed with jaw-dropping hairpin turns, outstretched vineyards and craggy coastal rocks dropping off into the swirling Pacific Ocean. Sip through the vineyards of Sonoma and snake your way along the Russian River until it meets up with the Pacific at Goat Head Rock. After taking in the awesome views, make sure your appetite is with you ‘cause you can’t miss Bodega Bay’s famed barbecued oysters. (via Budget Travel, photo via McKenzie News Service)

6. Colorado: Get yourself in shape before heading to this Rocky Mountain state and cross “Climb a 14er” off your bucket list. Colorado is dotted with over 55 of these 14,000 foot mountain peaks. Celebrate your American roots by climbing Pike’s Peak, the 14er that inspired Katharine Lee Bates’ “America the Beautiful,” which she wrote at the summit. (via Pike’s Peak, photo via Chicago Now)

7. Connecticut: A modern architecture lover’s dream, The Glass House built in 1949 is a must make pilgrimage for any art aficionado. Residing on 49 acres of land, the house constructed solely of glass by renowned designer Philip Johnson is meant to be a pavilion for viewing the surrounding landscape. The grounds also house 14 structures including: A painting gallery, sculpture gallery and a library. Much remains the same, including some of Johnson’s art collections and his custom designed daybed. (via Blake Robinson Photography)

8. Delaware: From now until January 2015 get to the Winterthur Museum and transport yourself back to early 20th century England. Introducing a brand new exhibit called Costumes of Downton Abbey which chronicles the fashions from the hit TV show, Downton Abbey. Whether you’re a fashionista, historian or Downton Abbey fan, this cultural exhibit is a must-see. (via Winterthur, photo via Delaware Online)

9. Florida: If you want a taste of culture, grab your party pants, flashy bikini and get to Florida’s iconic South Beach. Dubbed as the American Riviera, Hollywood of the East, Art Deco Mecca or whatever you want to call it, there’s something here for everyone. Miami’s South Beach is an international playground offering stretches of sandy beaches, glittering nightlife, beautiful people and fabulous food and music. (via Visit Florida, photo via Miami Congress)

10. Georgia: Head to the sleepy, Southern town of Savannah, stroll the cobblestone streets, gaze at the architecture and go off the beaten path. Experience the history and charm soaking in this coastal city and don’t miss the incredible Avenue Road leading to Georgia’s oldest plantation in historic Wormsloe. You’ll find yourself draped in a canopy of live oaks, dripping with Spanish moss. (via Savannah, photo via Photo Burst)

11. Hawaii: Swim inside a flooded volcano at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Hawaii’s best snorkeling oasis. After a relaxing morning swimming with fish and hanging in the marine wonderland, grab some lunch and get ready for surf’s up! Head on over to Waikiki Beach and learn to surf in this world famous paradise. (via Hawaii Magazine)

12. Idaho: If you want to see something that’s out of this world, put Craters of the Moon National Monument on your list. Idaho may be known for their fields of potatoes but they also have expansive stretches of lava fields. Craters of the Moon formed during eight major eruptive periods between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago, making this active lava field stretch for 618 square miles. Get there soon, because it’s forecasted to erupt again — any year now. (via Craters of the Moon National Monument, photo via Earth Science Photo)

13. Illinois: Perhaps you’ve attended a concert in Millennium Park, shopped ’til you dropped down the Magnificent Mile, taken your picture at the Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), visited Museum Campus, and gone for deep-dish at Lou Manalti’s, Chicago’s best pizzeria. So what’s left to do in Chicago? Why not see the windy city from a different vantage point? Hop in a kayak from Wateriders and paddle yourself on an urban adventure down the Chicago River. (via Wateriders, photo via GiltCity)

14. Indiana: If you pass through Indiana, you have to visit Historic Corydon, a quaint town filled with history and a friendly spirit. Spend a long weekend filled with adventure: Explore caves, take a scenic drive, relax at a local winery or spend the day shopping. Just be sure to cool off at Butt Drugs an old school soda fountain and pharmacy with Hoosier hospitality. (via This is Indiana, photo via My Indiana Home)

15. Iowa: Check out one of America’s longest-lived communal societies that began in Germany circa 1714 and continues today on Iowa’s Prairie. The Amana Colonies is a National Historic Landmark consisting of seven villages settled by German Pietists. Take the opportunity to settle back into a slower pace, relish in the locally crafted foods, sip locally crafted beer and wine, experience the villages’ local art and handmade furniture or simply stroll down the quiet streets. (via Amana Colonies, photo via Road Treking)

16. Kansas: If you find yourself in this Midwestern state, a visit to Monument Rocks (aka Chalk Pyramids) will have you thinking, “We’re not in Kansas anymore!” Take a walk on the floor of an inland sea that existed around 80 million years ago and dried up over time. The limestone rock that was left behind created these awesome formations that stretch up to 70 feet high. (via Washburn, photo via Camp Onward)

17. Kentucky:  If you’re in the Bluegrass State filled with rolling hills and fresh air, your spirit may just lead you to Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. Get ready to taste (firsthand) the art and science of crafting bourbon, along with the rich history and traditions this spirit has established in the South. (via Kentucky Bourbon Trail, photo via Kentucky Press)

18. Louisiana: There’s plenty to do in Louisiana, even if you can’t make it for Mardi Gras. If you’ve already walked New Orleans’ oldest streets in the eye-opening French Quarter, tasted a Shrimp Po’ Boy from Domilise’s and relaxed with a café au lait and irresistible beignet at the famed Cafe Du Monde, you should totally heat things up at Avery Island. Residing about 140 miles west of New Orleans lies a paradise abundant with swamps, marshes and wildlife. It’s also the home of the world-famous Tabasco sauce, so be sure to tour the factory and see how the McIlhenny family makes their hot sauce! (via Tabasco)

19. Maine: When in Maine, you can’t miss out on lobster and fresh seafood — and what better way to get your fix than along the seashore?! Maine’s coast has something that no other place in America can offer, a coastline dotted with as many as 4,613 islands. The Maine Island Trail boasts 350 miles of waterway connecting several of these beautiful islands. And be ready to snap lots of sweet lighthouses. After you work up an appetite, head over to Portland for some good eats and unique shops. (via Maine Things To Do, photo via Maine Lighthouses and Beyond)

20. Maryland: America’s largest estuary is home to Maryland’s cultural lifeblood, the Chesapeake Bay. Once filled with blue crabs, oysters and clams, the bay has been slightly over harvested, which has taken a toll on Chesapeake’s shellfish. But some stalwart fisherman still survive and you’ll see their crab boats bobbing along the bay. Head over to the Eastern Shore and relax with a cold beer, steamed crabs and fresh oysters. (via Chesapeake Bay, photo via Delaware Beaches)

21. Massachusetts: Boston’s a cool city, but if you’re looking to relax, head to Massachusetts’ easternmost edge to visit the lovely Cape Cod. Filled with New England maritime character and a laid-back vibe, this is your summer relaxation destination. Tour the cape on two wheels along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 30 mile long paved bike trail winding through cranberry bogs, woodland settings, seaside towns and sandy beaches. (via Mass.gov, photo via Cape Cod Travel Guide)

22. Michigan: When in the mitten, you can’t miss out on seeing the great lakes. Some of the most beautiful beaches reside along the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore, where you will find scenic drives, hiking trails and camp sites. There’s no missing the namesake sand bluffs that rise 450 feet over Lake Michigan. If you’re up for the climb, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen! If you head further north along the lakeshore, spend some time in the quaint fishing village of Leland. Vineyards branch out to the east in Mario Batali’s summer retreat and since you’re in the state that’s home to Beer City USA, get to Short’s Brewing for a cold one. (via CNN)

23. Minnesota: Wade in the footsteps of America’s history by crossing the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River, located in Minnesota’s oldest state park, Itasca. Here, you can walk across the mouth of America’s largest river by bridge, or for you daredevils out there, by stone. (via Explore Minnesota, photo via Friends of Itasca)

24. Mississippi: Take a drive through history along what was once America’s link between the Eastern states and the trade ports of Louisiana and Mississippi. The Natchez Trace Trail was a 450 mile foot trail used by Native Americans and early European and American explorers and traders like Lewis and Clark. Parts of the original trail are still visible, however today the paved road follows as close to the Trace as possible with stops pointing out historical and visual points of interest. (via National Park Service, photo via Bill Caid)

25. Missouri: Kansas City, MO is known as the melting pot of BBQ, distinguished by its sweet sauces, dry rubs and sliced beef brisket. Home to more than 100 area BBQ joints, Kansas City’s oldest one is still in the biz. Arthur Bryant’s dates back nearly 80 years when it began by smoking ribs outside a street car barn. The place was credited with creating the Kansas City specialty: Burnt ends. Don’t know what they are? Guess you’ll have to get to Missouri to find out! (via Arthur Bryant’s, photo via Cowboys + Indians)

26. Montana: While this state isn’t filled with people, it’s definitely not lacking in fun things to do. Home to the world’s very first national park, Yellowstone stretches over the southern end of Montana. However, residing in the north lies another stellar national destination, Glacier National Park. If you’re in Montana and only have time for one, we say head north! Dubbed as “Mother Nature’s best work,” this is one of America’s largest intact ecosystems. (via Visit Montana, photo via World for Travel)

27. Nebraska: Believe it or not, there’s more to this state than flat lands and corn. Along the Platte River near the town of Kearney resides the largest set of stabilized sand dunes in the Western Hemisphere, the Nebraska Sandhills. These sandy dunes are blanketed in wild grasses and are a welcoming stop for migrating birds and ducks on their way north from Mexico. Be sure to pass through this prairie state in March or early April for the annual Crane Watch Festival to see over 500,000 sandhill cranes migrate on the Platte River. (via Crane Watch Festival photo via National Geographic)

28. Nevada: Of course, there’s nothing like living it up in Las Vegas. But for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, grab your festival survival kit, open your mind and head to the Black Rock Desert for Burning Man. Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather to create a temporary community rooted in self-expression, art and self-reliance in the vast Nevada desert. One week later, everyone departs, without leaving a trace. (via Burning Man, photo via Huffington Post)

29. New Hampshire: Visit America’s Stonehenge, the oldest manmade construction in the U.S.A. No one really knows for sure who constructed the strategic rock formations, but we do know that whoever did it created an astronomical calendar that can determine lunar and solar events throughout the year. Go see the 4,000-year-old archeological site for yourself. (via America’s Stonehenge, photo via Zaiel Photography)

30. New Jersey: While this infamous state may be known for fictional (and award-winning) TV shows, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, the shore is definitely a must-see. If you’re down in Jerz, you can’t miss the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Stroll down this wooden promenade that still holds on to its vintage vibe. Sure, it’s surrounded by glamour and glitz of the casinos, but America’s oldest and longest boardwalk is still bustling with good eats, beaches and people watching. And definitely don’t skip out on an extra large slice of pizza! (via Do AC, photo via Tourist Destinations)

31. New Mexico: Immerse yourself in some of New Mexico’s history by visiting Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos. Hike along the Frijoles Canyon and see petroglyphs and ancient dwellings of the Puebloans built into the cliff faces. Oh, and if you happen to cruise through Santa Fe, stop for a quick photo of one of the many breathtaking views where artist Georgia O’Keefe got all her inspo. (via National Park Service, photo via Rough Guides)

32. New York: If you’ve never been to Manhattan’s green oasis, get a taste of the country in NYC’s Central Park. Stroll the Literary Walk, rock the boat on the lake near Central Park Boathouse Restaurant, sing Beatles tunes with passersby at Strawberry Fields, enjoy a tea under a mushroom cap at the Alice in Wonderland statue, meander through the Sheep Meadow and enjoy a breath of fresh air, all while standing in the middle of the greatest city in the world. (via Central Park NYC, photo via Central Park by Cool People)

33. North Carolina: Come and see what it’s like to forget time by visiting America’s largest private residence. The Biltmore Estate built by George Vanderbilt is an 8,000-acre escape nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tour the property, dine on regional delicacies and relax with the Biltmore’s very own wine. Come and stay, but fair warning: You may not want to leave! (via Biltmore, photo via Romantic Ashville)

34. North Dakota: Get to the badlands, an area comprised of dry, rough and rugged terrain located within Theodore Roosevelt National Park. America’s 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt first ventured to North Dakota on a hunt in the late 1800’s and found a special place in his heart for this area, which is why the park is named after him. The national landmark memorializes his contributions to the conservation of America’s natural resources. Enjoy a scenic drive, set up camp and look out for the roaming wildlife like elk, bison and big horn sheep. (via Medora)

35. Ohio: Humans inhabited the area of Hocking Hills, Ohio more than 7,000 years ago. Now, this river delta is home to a 2,350-acre park that has been weathered and eroded, carving out caverns and caves in its rocks. The Old Man’s Cave, named after an old hermit Richard Rowe, who lived and died in the cave, is one of the park’s most popular destinations. Wear your walking shoes, ’cause the cave also marks the beginning of a six-mile hike to the waterfalls below. (via Bourbon Ridge Retreat)

36. Oklahoma: Get ready for a drive of a lifetime through one of America’s first national forest scenic byways, Talimena Scenic Drive, located in the western part of the Ouachita Mountains. Take a day to explore the history of the Choctaw Nation and prehistoric Caddoan people while taking in the picturesque vistas and fresh mountain air. (via Talimena National Scenic Byway)

37. Oregon: Even though Oregon is home to one of America’s most hipster cities (Portland), you can’t miss out on America’s deepest lake in Southern Oregon. You’re going to want to take a chilly dip in Crater Lake because there’s no place on earth where you can be surrounded by such immeasurable beauty and a ferocious, volcanic past. Take in the views of the deep blue water as you find yourself surrounded by 2,000 foot high cliffs, picturesque islands in the distance and lots of fresh air. (via National Park Service, photo via CNN)

38. Pennsylvania: Sure, PA is home to the Philly cheesesteak, but if you really want to get a taste of the state, visit Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where rolling green pastures, homemade baked goods, family-style feasts, antique hunting and perusing local crafts will fill your day. Spend some time in America’s oldest Amish settlement rooted in Lancaster County, where you’ll take a step back into a slower pace of life. After all, horse and buggy are the main form of transportation. (via Discover America, photo via Plum Deluxe)

39. Rhode Island: Go to the tiny state of Rhode Island for a big, fiery festival. The WaterFire Festival is held every year in Providence, transforming the downtown and riverfront in flickering firelight and a faint scent of wood smoke, all in the name of art. WaterFire is a free public art installation, performance art exhibit, urban festival and a communal ceremony all in one. This globally known event is one you won’t want to miss! (via WaterFire)

40. South Carolina: It’s worth taking a stroll through Charleston’s legendary Rainbow Row. Named after a span of 13 pastel colored homes built in the 1700’s, this is the most photographed part of this southern city. Learn the history of each one and the myths that go along with them regarding why these homes are painted the way they are. Oh, and don’t forget to stop for lunch at Hominy Grill for some good ‘ol fashioned grits. (via Palmetto Carriage)

41. South Dakota: No visit to South Dakota is complete without a stop to Wall Drug. You may have seen the bumper stickers, jackalopes and quirky gifts that all come from this giant mall, which is located in Wall, SD. The store got their start during the Dust Bowl by offering free ice water to thirsty travelers. Ever since, this family-owned business has become a mecca for tourists. (via Wall Drug)

42. Tennessee: Enjoy a warm, southern welcome in Nashville, Tennessee and connect with the Music City’s roots at the Bluebird Cafe. This world famous club boasts an intimate space and is located in an unassuming strip mall. The 100-seat room often fills with up-and-coming song writers and those who’ve already topped the charts (we’re talking about you, Taylor Swift and Steven Tyler), pumping out country, rock and bluegrass music. (via Bluebird Cafe, photo via Business Insider)

43. Texas: If you find yourself in Austin on a hot, summer night, head on over to Congress Bridge to watch America’s largest bat colony emerge into the night sky. With up to 1.5 million flying bats fluttering into the summer sky, Austin is now home to one of the most unusual tourist attractions anywhere! (via Bat Conservation International)

44. Utah: Get a glimpse of the world’s largest natural bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, which is located in the rugged canyons at the base of Navajo Mountain. The limestone arch reaches 290 feet high and 270 feet across. Considered a sacred place to Navajo Indians, this bridge is definitely worth the journey. (via Huffington Post, photo via CNN Traveler)

45. Vermont: Want a taste of Vermont? Get your bum over to the town of Waterbury lickety-split, as it’s the home to the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory. Be sure to stop by for a tour and sample ALL of your favorite flavors. (via Ben and Jerry’s, photo via Waterbury)

46. Virginia: Traverse the all-American road through the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the parkway that stretches 469 miles through the hazy blue mountains. Slowly make your way along the ridge, taking in the area’s diversity and sweet mountain air. An interesting fact is that the mountains take on a blue hue from hydrocarbons released by trees. (via National Park Service, photo via CNN)

47. Washington: Welcome to the great northwest and one of America’s largest temperate rainforests. The Hoh Rainforest was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers and is now filled with Sitka spruce, hemlock and maples dripping with spike moss. Hike your way through this wild and diverse forest, but be careful, you’re likely to come across some wild elk. (via National Parks Service, photo via Forks Motel)

48. West Virginia: Country roads, take me home to the place I belong, West Virginia! We suggest touring this mountain state in a more exhilarating fashion via white water rafting. West Virginia offers some of the world’s best rafting on The New River, which just so happens to be one of the world’s oldest rivers. Get your pulse racing and expect an adventure of a lifetime! (via Visit West Virginia)

49. Wisconsin: Venture to Lake Superior and explore the Apostle Islands, 21 islands boasting windswept beaches, craggy cliffs and caves galore. Explore the jewel of the northernmost Great Lake by sea kayak, visit lighthouses, watch wildlife and camp out under the stars. What are you waiting for?! (via Travel Wisconsin, photo via Wisconsin Trails)

50. Wyoming: Lasso up, cowgirls. Cody, Wyoming is the rodeo capital of the world, so you don’t want to miss the Cody Nite Rodeo.This event began over 100 years ago with Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show. As the folks in Wyoming would say, c’mon and enjoy! (via Cody Stampede Rodeo, photo via Mike Meyer Photography)

BONUS: Don’t forget to keep track of all your travels with this chalkboard map ($120)!

What are you waiting for? Hit the road and enjoy the trip of a lifetime! Any spectacular places that we missed in your neck of the woods? Let us know where to make a stop in the comments below: