- TripAdvisor found the best and most popular tourist attractions in every state. Some include local tours while others are famous landmarks.
- Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and the Statue of Liberty in New York are famous landmarks that are also the best tourist attractions.
- Local tours like the Mendenhall Glacier tour in Alaska and the Nati in a Nutshell Cincinnati Food Tour in Ohio are also considered favourite tourist attractions.
- Thrill rides are popular tourist attractions, like the Foxwoods zipline in Connecticut and the indoor skydiving center in Kansas.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
While every state has a tourist trap that everyone should avoid, there are some tourist attractions that are actually worth a visit.
TripAdvisor compiled data from 2018 and found the most booked tourist attraction in every state. The attractions vary from famous landmarks to popular walking tours that tourists can’t seem to get enough of.
Keep reading to find out which tourist attraction or activity is the best in your state.
ALABAMA: The Gulf coast dolphin cruise offers tourists a personal dolphin show.
Launching from Orange Beach, this cruise around the Gulf of Mexico is a unique way to experience dolphins in their natural habitat. The mammals swim right up to the boat, offering tourists front row seats to a dolphin show.
ALASKA: The whale watch and Mendenhall Glacier tour is a unique way for tourists to explore Alaska wildlife.
This five-hour boar tour will let tourists experience two of Alaska’s most popular activities: whale watching and visiting Mendenhall Glacier. The first leg of the tour offers customers whale sightings for two hours, and an environmentalist aboard will answer all your questions about Alaska wildlife. The second half is a tour of the Mendenhall Glacier, allowing visitors to hike, explore, and learn about the 13-mile long glacier.
ARIZONA: A helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon is a different way to explore the tourist attraction.
At the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, Arizona, tourists can board a helicopter that offers a unique 45-minute tour of the national landmark. In addition to the North and South rims, the tour offers a bird’s-eye view of the Colorado River, the Painted Desert, the Dragon Corridor, and the Kaibab National Forest.
ARKANSAS: The Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat is a dinner cruise for tourists that circles the state’s famous Hot Springs.
This two-hour dinner cruise takes tourists around Lake Hamilton aboard a double-decker boat. As you sail around, a tour guide offers commentary about the surrounding town of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Guests are also able to dance aboard the ship after dinner.
CALIFORNIA: The Napa and Sonoma wine country tour allows tourists to experience three famous wineries.
This eight-hour tour of California’s famous wine country brings tourists to one winery in the Napa Valley and two in Sonoma. Guests travel in a coach bus to each winery accompanied by a well-educated tour guide who knows everything there is to know about wine.
COLORADO: A day-long tour of the Rocky Mountain National Park is the most popular attraction in Colorado for tourists.
Aspire Tours offers this eight-hour tour of the Rocky Mountains, which begins in Denver and ends in Boulder, Colorado. Led by a skilled guide, this tour drives through the Front Range, Flatirons Rock Formations, the Estes Park, and the historic towns that are dispersed throughout the Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the journey, tourists can take in breathtaking landscapes and exciting wildlife.
CONNECTICUT: Tourists in Connecticut love the zip line at Foxwoods.
At the Foxwoods Resort Casino, there is a zip line that starts at Fox Tower, 350 feet above the ground. Tourists can zip line along the Long Island Sound and land a mile away at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.
DELAWARE: Tourists flock to Rehoboth Bay in Delaware to kayak.
Delmarva Board Sport Adventures‘ two-hour kayak tour in Delaware offers tourists a unique way to explore the popular Rehoboth Bay. Along the self-guided tour, tourists can experience the natural wildlife and scenic beauty of the bay.
FLORIDA: Tourists flock to Florida for the speedboat tours of Miami.
Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures offers a 45-minute speedboat tour of the waters surrounding Miami. The fast-paced tour offers tourists views of Miami Beach, Fisher Island, Star Island, and South Beach.
GEORGIA: Tourists agree that the best way to see Savannah, Georgia, is by trolley tour.
The Savannah Hop-on, Hop-Off Trolley Tour is the most popular tourist attraction in Georgia. The unique tour experience allows tourists to tour the historic city at their own pace by hopping on and hopping off whenever they are interested in a certain area. The trolley includes stops at legendary locations like Pirates House, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and River Street.
HAWAII: The Pearl Harbour Tour is popular among tourists in Hawaii.
The Pearl Harbour Tour starts in Honolulu and takes tourists in a private car to significant World War II locations. Along the journey, guests can explore the USS Arizona, the Valor of the Pacific National Monument, and the Pearl Harbour Visitor Center.
IDAHO: The Snake River Scenic Cruise is a tourist favourite in Idaho.
The Snake River Scenic Cruise is a two-hour boat ride along Snake River inside a 52-foot-long boat. Along the journey, tourists can take in the breathtaking Box Canyon Springs and Blue Heart Springs. They can also experience Idaho’s natural beauty up close.
ILLINOIS: The Chicago Architecture River Cruise is a popular tourist attraction in the Midwest.
While it may be hard to take in every aspect of Chicago, Shoreline Sightseeing offers the Chicago Architecture River Cruise, which is a unique way to explore the city. The architecture-focused cruise takes tourists on a one-hour journey along the city’s waterfront, as an informational guide explains the history of each building. Some highlights include the Sears Tower, the Old Post Office, and the Wrigley Building.
INDIANA: Tourists love to experience the Blue River in Indiana by kayak.
Old Mill Canoe Rental offers tourists a solo kayak to paddle down the iconic Blue River. This full-day tour allows tourists to travel 12 miles on the river starting in Fredericksburg. Along the way, you can take in some of the state’s best natural habitats.
IOWA: Tourists love the guided tour of the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Iowa.
Tourists in Iowa flock to the movie site of the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner. Today, there is a popular guided tour of the fictional home, offering tourists a depiction of what rural Iowa farm life is really like.
KANSAS: The best tourist attraction in Kansas is the indoor skydiving in Kansas City.
At iFly in Kansas City, tourists are able to experience skydiving without any of the danger or the big price tag. The indoor skydiving center is popular among tourists because it requires no experience and very little training.
KENTUCKY: Horse farm tours are popular in Kentucky.
Home of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky is well known for its rich history of horses, and that’s why the best tourist attraction in the state is a tour of a horse farm. On this three-hour tour, you first stop at the Kneeland racecourse to learn about the racetrack and thoroughbred horses. For the second half of the tour, you will explore Calumet Farm and learn about the farm’s famous horse dynasty. Tourists can even see the filming locations for “Seabiscuit.”
LOUISIANA: Tourists love the New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo, and Vampire tour.
This two-hour walking tour offered by Witches Brew Tours will take tourists to some of the most famous – and spookiest – parts of the Big Easy. Along the journey, an informational guide will take you to Madame LaLaurie’s haunted mansion, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, and St. Germaine House.
MAINE: A vintage firetruck that tours Portland, Maine, is the best tourist attraction in the state.
The Portland Fire Engine Co. offers a unique way to explore Portland, Maine, with its vintage fire truck. Aboard the truck, tourists can experience Casco Bay, the Maine Historical Society, and Downtown Portland all while learning from an informational guide about the city’s history.
MARYLAND: The best tourist attraction in Maryland is the Sagamore Spirit Distillery.
Located in Baltimore, the Sagamore Spirit Distillery offers a one-hour tour of the waterfront factory. At the end of the tour, tourists can taste the American Straight Rye Whiskey and chocolates that are infused with whiskey.
MASSACHUSETTS: The best way to experience Boston for tourists is by trolley.
Boston’s hop-on-hop-off trolley tours allow tourists to explore the historic city on their own time and at their own pace. Along the tour, you can explore some of the most famous landmarks like the USS Constitution, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, the Old State House, and the Old North Church.
MICHIGAN: The best tourist attraction in this state is a tour that explores Detroit’s tumultuous history.
Detroit Urban Adventures offers a unique tour that focuses on the city’s rise and fall. On this popular tour, a guide takes tourists through the Motor City’s streets, tracking the city’s history from the auto boom to today. Notable stops along the journey include the Detroit Opera House, the Guardian Building, Grand Circus Park, and MGM Grand Detroit Casino.
MINNESOTA: A Minneapolis food tour is the best tourist attraction in this state.
This three-hour food tasting tour hosted by the Twin Cities Food Tours is so popular because it takes tourists along the Minneapolis waterfront to enjoy food tastings at six restaurants. Along the tour, you will taste pizza, sausages, Greek desserts, and even cheese made locally.
MISSISSIPPI: Tourists love the Natchez sightseeing tour in Natchez, Mississippi.
This hop-on, hop-off Natchez bus tour is popular among tourists visiting the southern state of Mississippi. Aboard the bus, you can visit popular sites like Melrose Estate, Saint Mary Basilica, and Franklin Street at your own pace.
MISSOURI: Tourists flock to Main Street Lake Cruises of Branson in Missouri.
On this two-hour cruise, a boat takes tourists down Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Missouri. The company allows customers to choose from a historical riverboat or a yacht. Either one offers tourists a view of the Branson Landing Fountains water and light show, while also serving lunch and dinner options.
MONTANA: The most popular attraction in Montana is a whitewater rafting trip.
On this two-hour whitewater rafting trip, tourists are able to navigate rapids along an eight-mile journey. Along the way, you will get breathtaking views of Flathead River, Glacier National Park, and John Stevens Canyon.
NEBRASKA: The Great Platte River Road Archway is the most popular attraction in Nebraska.
The Great Platte River Road Archway stretches over I-80 and is a popular tourist attraction. Tourists come to the area to learn about the history of pioneers and the Oregon Trail. There’s an exhibit and a replica of a sod house so tourists can be completely immersed in the state’s history. There are also hike and bike trails nearby, and the Trail Blaze Maze is perfect for the whole family.
NEVADA: Tourists come to Nebraska to explore the west rim of the Grand Canyon.
This 12-hour tour starts in Las Vegas, Nevada, and takes tourists to the western edge of the Grand Canyon. The bus takes guests to other notable locations like the Hoover Dam and the Joshua Tree Forest. There’s also the option to take a helicopter ride over the canyon to enhance the experience.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: A tour of White Mountain is popular among tourists in New Hampshire.
Tye’s Top Tour & Travel offers this eight-hour tour of the historic White Mountain, where tourists can explore the landscapes of New Hampshire. The tour passes the Lake District, which is a popular tourist destination itself, and then crosses the Kancamagus Highway. For the second half of the trip, tourists board the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram to take in some of the most breathtaking views of the region.
NEW JERSEY: Whale and dolphin watching on Cape May, New Jersey, is the most popular tourist attraction in the state.
Cape May Whale Watcher offers a three-hour boat ride around Cape May that promises to find some of the best views of whales and dolphins. While the boat stops to take in the mammals in their natural habitats, an expert aboard will answer any questions you have about New Jersey wildlife.
NEW MEXICO: Tourists consider a hot air balloon in Albuquerque to be the best tourist attraction in the state.
The Albuquerque hot air balloon takes off just before sunrise so tourists could have spectacular views of the Rio Grande and the river valley. Depending on the weather, tourists can also catch glimpses of the Sandia Mountains and the Petroglyph National Monument while flying through the air for an hour.
NEW YORK: Tours of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island rank high on tourists’ must-do lists.
Joint tours of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island exist to help tourists take in two important landmarks in the New York Harbour at once. The four-hour tour starts at Lady Liberty and takes you through her observation decks. The second part of the tour will take you through the Great Hall of Ellis Island, offering you a full picture of the 20th century immigrant experience in America.
NORTH CAROLINA: The Charlotte Comedy Tour is popular among tourists in this state.
The Charlotte Comedy Tour is an open-air bus that specialises in comedy and jokes. The tour guide will give an informative tour of the city with knee-slapping jokes sprinkled throughout. Although the tour is adults only, it’s a comprehensive way to take in Charlotte’s Uptown, Southend, Plaza Midwood, and NoDa neighbourhoods.
NORTH DAKOTA: The Dakota Zoo is often ranked as one of the top attractions in the state.
Although no booking data exists for North Dakota, the Dakota Zoo is among TripAdvisor’s top activities in the state. The zoo, located in Bismark, is home to 600 animals across 125 species. Each year, there are over 150,000 visitors who come to the state to take in the 90-acre zoo.
OHIO: The most popular tourist attraction in this state is the Nati in a Nutshell Cincinnati Food Tour.
The Nati in a Nutshell Cincinnati Food Tour isn’t just a food tour. Over the course of three hours, tourists are given a comprehensive tour of Cincinnati, including a ride in a streetcar and a chance to overlook the city from the 45th floor of the Carew Tower’s observation deck. Guests will also experience the farmer’s market, Washington Park, and Fountain Square.
OKLAHOMA: The Spooks, Spirits, and Scoundrels Ghost Tour is the best attraction in this state.
This two-hour nighttime walking tour takes tourists through Oklahoma City’s dark and spooky past. Wandering the streets, guests will look for ghosts and learn about the histories of the Hell’s Half Acre and the Chinese Underground.
OREGON: The Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls is a popular attraction among tourists.
The Multnomah Falls is a 611-foot-tall waterfall and one of the best ways to experience it is through a tour of the region.America’s Hub World Tours offers a three-hour-and-30-minute tour of the falls and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The popular tour also takes tourists through Columbia River Highway National Scenic Byway, which is a tourist attraction in its own right.
PENNSYLVANIA: Tourists think the Founding Father landmarks tours in Philadelphia are the best in the state.
On this two-hour walking tour of Philadelphia, tourists can learn about the history of one of the oldest cities in the US. Philadelphia Urban Adventures has a tour that focuses on the Founding Fathers that is particularly popular and takes tourists to sites like Elfreth’s Alley, Franklin Court, and Independence Hall.
RHODE ISLAND: Tours of Newport that focus on the Gilded Age are popular in Rhode Island.
Newport Travel Trolley Tours offers a three-hour trolley tour of Newport, Rhode Island, that is popular among tourists. The tour takes tourists past the mansions on Bellevue Avenue, Cliff Walk, and Ocean Drive. It also includes a tour of the Breakers, which is a Vanderbilt mansion on the Narragansett Bay and is another popular tourist attraction.
SOUTH CAROLINA: The best tourist attraction in this state is Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Tour.
Tourists are able to enjoy an hour on a horse-drawn carriage on this tour, which focuses on the rich history of Charleston, South Carolina. Along the 2.5-mile journey, you can observe Antebellum mansions, historical sites, and landmark churches.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Unsurprisingly, the best attraction in South Dakota is Mount Rushmore and the tours of the landmark.
There’s so much more to Mount Rushmore than just the Founding Fathers, and that’s why it’s the best tourist attraction in South Dakota. Tours in the area allow tourists to explore beyond the landmark, part of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Inside the Black Hills, there are also the Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park, both of which attract tourists yearly.
TENNESSEE: Elvis Presley’s Graceland draws a lot of tourists every year, making it the best attraction in the state.
Located in Memphis, Tennessee, Graceland was the home of Elvis Presley. Today it is the best tourist attraction in the state.Self-guided tours are offered daily, allowing fans to learn more about the icon and get close to his mementos and costumes.
TEXAS: The most popular tourist attraction in Texas is a guided tour of Austin.
This two-hour tour of Austin, Texas, hosted by Austin Detours, takes tourists off the beaten path to some of the lesser-known spots in the growing city. The tour focuses on the music scene and brings guests to the hot spots for Austin’s art scenes. But, of course, the tour also takes tourists to the bigger attractions like the Texas State Capitol building and Graffiti Park.
UTAH: The best attraction in this state is Monument Valley, which tourists can explore with a Native American as a guide.
Monument Valley Safari offers a three-hour tour of Monument Valley that is led by a Navajo guide. Tourists take an open-air vehicle through a region that is usually off limits. Along the journey, you will learn about the history and legends of the Navajo people. The tour will take you past famous sites like Mitten Buttes, John Ford’s Point, Yeibichai, Three Sisters Spires, and Elephant Butte.
VERMONT: Tourists in Vermont love the Burlington Brewery.
The Burlington Brewery in Vermont offers a four-hour tour of its facilities to give tourists a glimpse into the beer-making industry. Guests can meet the brewers themselves and even taste some of the pours. The tour also concludes with a meal that focuses on beer.
VIRGINIA: The Victory Rover Naval Cruise in Virginia has become the best attraction among tourists.
The Victory Rover Naval Cruise allows tourists to explore a US Naval Fleet firsthand. Unlike some naval museums, this ship sets sail along the Elizabeth River to Hampton Roads Harbour. Along the journey, the captain explains the day-to-day responsibilities of naval officers and explains what it’s like taking care of a ship of this size. Tours of the ship take two hours.
WASHINGTON: Tourists in this state flock to the Seattle Underground History Tour.
The Seattle Underground History Tour is popular among tourists because it takes groups underground, literally. At Pioneer Park, tour guides will lead groups down six flights of stairs below street level. As tourists wander dark passageways underground, they learn about the city’s history in the Gold Rush and its experience with Skid Row. The tour lasts about an hour.
WEST VIRGINIA: Tourists say the New River Gorge is best experienced when whitewater rafting.
On this six-hour whitewater rafting tour, tourists can explore the New River Gorge National Park, which has become a popular tourist destination. While navigating through wild rapids, you can take in West Virginia’s landscapes, which include 70,000 acres of land that wraps around the river.
WISCONSIN: Tourists in this state say the best attraction is a simple sightseeing tour in Milwaukee.
Tourists say this three-hour tour of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, hosted by Untapped Tours, is the best attraction in the state because of its comprehensive tour of the city. The walking and driving combo allows travellers to see every nook and cranny of Milwaukee, which includes Pabst Theatre, Lake Michigan, Milwaukee Museum Mile, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
WYOMING: A safari in the Grand Teton National Park of Wyoming is the best attraction in the state, according to tourists.
BrushBuck Wildlife Tours offers a four-hour wildlife safari tour of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming that starts in Jackson Hole. The tour takes places in an open-air vehicle, bringing you up close to bison, moose, coyotes, and eagles. Along the journey, you’ll also learn about the geology and ecology of the park. The safari is popular among most tourists in the state.
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