America’s landscape is dotted with destinations that beckon travelers from near and far. From sun-kissed beaches to historic landmarks, our great country has some amazing places to explore. The results of a recent poll of US leisure travellers uncovered which states Americans visit the most for pleasure. Here are the top 16.
1. Florida: Sunshine and Theme Parks Galore
Florida reigns supreme as America’s vacation champion. With its inviting climate and so many attractions like Disney World and Miami Beach, it’s the ultimate destination for family fun. Last year, over 137 million visitors enjoyed everything Florida has to offer, from thrilling theme parks to serene beaches, contributing significantly to the local economy and supporting millions of jobs. A whopping 61% of respondents said they’d visited Florida last year.
2. New York: The City That Never Sleeps
From the iconic Statue of Liberty to the serene beauty of the Finger Lakes, New York offers an endless array of experiences. This state is a blend of urban excitement and natural beauty, drawing millions with its vibrant city life and tranquil escapes. New York’s allure is undeniable, with 55% of Americans exploring its diverse landscapes last year.
3. California: Adventures from Coast to Mountains
California’s stunning diversity, from its scenic coastlines to majestic national parks, places it firmly as a top U.S. destination. Home to Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, and an array of outdoor adventures, it’s a state that promises something for everyone. Last year, tourism in California generated a staggering $134.4 billion, with more than half of U.S. adults (54%) visiting.
4. Texas: The Heart of the South
Texas is an undeniably fascinating mix of vibrant cities and sprawling landscapes. It’s known for its big skies and even bigger parks. You’ll find four of America’s largest cities in Texas, as well as truly impressive national parks and preserves, including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains. Known for its distinctive culture, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, it’s a state that embodies the spirit of the American South. In 2022, tourism infused the Texan economy with over $91 billion, making it a favorite among 52% of American travelers.
5. Pennsylvania: History and Chocolate
Home to the Liberty Bell and Hershey’s Chocolate, Pennsylvania marries historical significance with sweet indulgence. Its beautiful countryside and rich American heritage make it a fascinating destination for travelers. Last year, Pennsylvania welcomed a significant portion of U.S. tourists, with 48% of respondents saying they’d visited.
6. Georgia: Southern Charm and Natural Beauty
Georgia’s lush landscapes and southern hospitality make it a standout destination. From the tranquil Blue Ridge Mountains to the historic streets of Savannah, it’s unsurprising Georgia attracted 46% of U.S. tourists.
7. Illinois: Urban Vibes and Natural Wonders
Illinois, with Chicago at its heart, is a state of architectural marvels and diverse attractions. This popular state has a rich history, having been home to 4 US presidents. Enjoy the retro All-American flavor of Illinois’ stretch of the world-famous Route 66, explore the urban wonders of CHicago, or play outdoors along the great mississippi. Tourism plays a crucial role in Illinois’ economy, with millions of visitors exploring its wonders each year. 43% of US leisure travelers said they’d been to Illinois last year.
8. Virginia: Where History Meets Nature
Virginia’s historical landmarks and natural beauty make it an unforgettable destination. From the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, there’s history, modern wonders, and outdoor adventures for everyone. It’s also home to Colonial Williamsburg, a popular historical attraction, as well as the Pentagon. And it’s home to 22 national parks, including Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah. 42% of survey respondents reported visiting Virginia.
9. North Carolina: From Mountains to Sea
North Carolina’s diverse landscape, from the Great Smoky Mountains to its charming coastal towns, offers a wide range of experiences. Its natural beauty and vibrant cities attract 42% of US leisure travelers, so it’s a top choice for folks seeking both adventure and relaxation.
10. Arizona: Desert Landscapes and Cultural Riches
Arizona’s stunning desert vistas and rich Native American heritage make it a unique travel destination. The Grand Canyon, Sedona’s red rocks, and the vibrant city life offer a blend of natural wonder and cultural exploration. Horseshoe Bend, Devil’s Bridge, Sedona’s gorgeous hiking trials. The list goes on. Last year, Arizona attracted 41% of US leisure travelers. .
11. Tennessee: Music, Mountains, and More
Tennessee’s rich musical heritage and natural attractions make it a must-visit state. From the vibrant streets of Nashville to the peaceful Smoky Mountains, it offers a mix of entertainment and outdoor activities. Plus, of course, it’s home to Dollywood! Tennessee’s charm and diversity have made it a popular destination, with 40% of survey respondents saying they’d visited in the last year.
12. New Jersey: Shorelines and Cityscapes
New Jersey, nestled between the bustling cities of New York and Philadelphia, has so much to offer, from the iconic Jersey Shore to the serene beauty of the Pine Barrens. Last year, New Jersey captivated 40% of U.S. tourists, who came seeking its famous boardwalks, diverse culinary scene, and historic sites. Whether it’s exploring the vibrant streets of Hoboken or soaking up the sun in Cape May, New Jersey provides a unique East Coast adventure.
13. Nevada: Entertainment and Natural Splendor
Nevada, known worldwide for the glittering lights of Las Vegas, offers much more than just casinos and shows. Beyond its entertainment capital, the state is home to stunning natural wonders like the Red Rock Canyon and Lake Tahoe. Nevada’s blend of thrilling nightlife and outdoor adventures makes it a magnet for 39% of American travelers. From the neon-lit Strip to the serene Nevada desert, the state promises unforgettable experiences for every type of traveler.
14. Ohio: Heartland Charm and Innovation
Ohio, the heart of the American Midwest, is a state of innovation, natural beauty, and rich history. From the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point, to the tranquil Hocking Hills, Ohio offers a diverse range of attractions. Last year, 39% of U.S. visitors discovered Ohio’s vibrant cities, like Cleveland and Cincinnati, and its picturesque Amish Country. Whether it’s exploring world-class museums, attending a sports event, or enjoying the great outdoors, Ohio provides a quintessentially American experience.
15. South Carolina: Southern Hospitality and Coastal Beauty
South Carolina, with its warm climate, welcoming atmosphere, and rich cultural heritage, is a jewel of the South. From the historic charm of Charleston to the sun-drenched beaches of Myrtle Beach, the state offers a blend of relaxation and exploration. Last year, 38% of American tourists were drawn to South Carolina’s coastal treasures, lush gardens, and notable Civil War sites. Known for its delectable cuisine and gracious hospitality, South Carolina promises a truly southern experience amidst breathtaking landscapes.
16. Maryland: Maritime Heritage and Scenic Byways
Maryland, known as “America in Miniature,” offers a diverse landscape that ranges from sandy dunes in the east to forested mountains in the west. With its significant maritime history, the state is a haven for those interested in exploring the Chesapeake Bay, its iconic crab cuisine, and historic waterfront towns like Annapolis, the sailing capital of America. Last year, Maryland drew in 38% of U.S. tourists, attracted by its rich history, vibrant cultural scenes in Baltimore, and the serene Appalachian Trail. Whether it’s enjoying a seafood feast, tracing the steps of America’s founding fathers, or experiencing the beauty of its national parks, Maryland provides experiences that celebrate the heart and soul of the East Coast.
17 Most Devastating Tornadoes In History
Nature’s fury is terrifying, and tornadoes are among the most deadly natural phenomena. These 17 deadly tornadoes highlight nature’s power and the resilience of humans in the aftermath of such devastation.
24 Most Devastating Blizzards in US History
For preppers, understanding the power and impact of historic blizzards is key to being prepared for future winter emergencies. Each of these historic snowstorms teaches valuable lessons about resilience, planning, and survival. The more prepared we are, the better our chances of survival in an emergency scenario.
- Read More: 24 Most Devastating Blizzards in US History
23 Riskiest Cities To Be During a Power Grid Collapse
In a world where the stability of our power grid is increasingly under threat, knowing which urban areas to avoid during a blackout is crucial for any serious prepper. And which areas to escape as quickly as possible. When you’re making your survival plans, keep in mind that these are the places you don’t want to be.
Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.
She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.
Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).
Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.
Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.
Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.
She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.