These are the best attractions in all 50 states

  • 50 winning attractions

    10Best set out to find the best attraction in each U.S. state, beginning with 20 nominees in each location. After five rounds of voting, the readers have spoken.  These are the best attractions in each state as voted by you.

    Photo courtesy of iStock/zrfphoto

  • Alabama - Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

    More than a quarter million people pass through the doors of the Barber Motorsports Museum each year to enjoy the collection of some 1,600 vintage motorcycles, of which around 890 are on display at any given time. The collection includes nearly 100 Harley-Davidsons and 50+ vintage Lotus cars.

    Photo courtesy of Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

  • Alaska - White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

    The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad was built during the Yukon Gold Rush in 1898. Today, the real treasures aboard this narrow gauge railroad – an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark – are the glaciers, gorges, mountains, waterfalls, tunnels and bridges on display as the vintage train climbs almost 3,000 feet in just 20 miles.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Chilkoot

  • Arizona - Kartchner Caverns State Park

    Two local explorers stumbled upon Kartchner Caverns in 1974 and revealed the existence of the caves to the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, in 1978. Now a state park, this impressive cavern system continues to "grow" as dripping water deposits minerals on the existing formations. Features include Kubla Khan, the tallest column in Arizona, as well as one of the world's longest soda straw stalactites.

    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Christine Keith

  • Arkansas - Buffalo National River

    Established in 1972, Buffalo National River was the nation's first designated National River. Flowing freely for 135 miles through the Ozarks, the river and its 95,000 acres of public land are popular for paddling, camping and hiking, particularly to iconic lookouts like Hawksbill Crag.

    Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

  • California - Balboa Park

    Encompassing 1,200 beautiful acres, San Diego's Balboa Park comprises several smaller attractions, including performing arts venues, 17 museums, numerous gardens and recreational trails. A free tram takes visitors around the complex, now listed as a National Historic Landmark.

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Colorado - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

    One of the most authentic steam-operated railroads in existence, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad runs for 64 miles between Antonito, Colo. and Chama, N.M., passing through the San Juan Mountains and the scenic Conejos Valley along the way. This moving National Historic Landmark represents one of Colorado's most spectacular day trips.

    Photo courtesy of Denise Chambers/Miles

  • Connecticut - Lavender Pond Farm

    With the singular goal of making the world a more beautiful place, Lavender Pond Farm invites visitors to come and enjoy the 25-acre property, planted with more than 10,000 lavender plants. Guests can walk through the fields or pick up all-natural lavender products in the farm store.

    Photo courtesy of Romy Lee Photography

  • Delaware - Air Mobility Command Museum

    Dedicated to military airlift and air refueling history, Dover's Air Mobility Command Museum houses more than 30 aircraft of varying sizes, as well as exhibits on the humanitarian and war efforts of the U.S. military.

    Photo courtesy of VisitDelaware.com

  • Florida - Gulf Islands National Seashore

    Undulating with the Panhandle’s patent dunes of talcum sands, this continuum of platinum sandscape feels otherworldly and primitive. It stretches from Perdido Key on the state’s westernmost waterfront and continues at Pensacola Beach’s Fort Pickens National Park and the Santa Rosa Area – the most secluded. 

    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Georgia - Callaway Gardens

    Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga. sits on a 14,000-acre property, complete with a golf course, tennis center, spa, woodlands, lakes and elaborate gardens. During spring, some 5,000 varieties of native and hybrid azaleas begin to bloom in the 40-acre Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl – the largest of its type in the world.

    Photo courtesy of Callaway Gardens

  • Hawaii - Polynesian Cultural Center

    One of Oahu's top attractions provides glimpses into the cultures of Polynesia (Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Marquesas and Tonga). Each one maintains a separate village, where visitors are regaled with information about celebration and survival in ancient days. Demonstrations, performances, narratives, and even a luau are presented, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the spectacle and character of the past.

    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • Idaho - World Center for Birds of Prey

    The World Center for Birds of Prey, an indoor/outdoor education center in Boise, brings visitors eye to eye with flying predators from around the world. A 1/4-mile trail winding through the surrounding restored wilderness offers opportunity to spot raptors in the wild.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / chameleonseye

  • Illinois - American Writers Museum

    This museum opened in May 2017 is already earning rave reviews. A celebration of the American writer, the museum features a timeline of literary history in the United States, interactive kiosks where visitors can search for authors who've lived or worked near them and an interactive space where visitors can write their own stories using pen and paper, old-fashioned typewriters or digital media.

    Photo courtesy of AFP/Getty Images

  • Indiana - Brown County State Park

    Known as the Little Smokies due to its resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Brown County State Park comprises 16,000 acres of narrow ridges, rugged hills and quiet ravines. It's one of Indiana's great fall color hot spots.

    Photo courtesy of Rain0975 / Flickr

  • Iowa - Maquoketa Caves State Park

    There are more caves within this Iowa state park than in any other state park in the country. An interpretive center gives a geological and historical overview of the caves, while 6 miles of trails link the caves and other significant sites.

    Photo courtesy of Phil Roeder / Flickr

  • Kansas - Eisenhower Presidential Library & Boyhood Home

    Visitors to the Eisenhower Presidential Library & Boyhood Home get insight into the 5-star general and 34th president's life and times. Exhibit topics include Ike's role in World War I, the historic Chisholm Trail and the president's boyhood home.

    Photo courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

  • Kentucky - National Corvette Museum

    The Corvette, America's legendary sports car, is manufactured only in Bowling Green, and the city also plays host to the National Corvette Museum. Here automobile enthusiasts will find a collection of more than 80 Corvettes in period settings alongside numerous interactive exhibits. Visitors can even snap a selfie behind the wheel of a 2015 Stingray.

    Photo courtesy of Kentucky Department of Travel

  • Louisiana - Houmas House Plantation

    Located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Houmas House Plantation is one of the best along the River Road. Surrounded by 200-year-old oaks, the meticulously restored Greek Revival mansion and connected rear house occupies 38 acres of scenic gardens filled with indigenous Louisiana plant life.

    Photo courtesy of Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

  • Maine - Maine Windjammers

    Maine is home to one of the nation's largest fleets of historic schooners, and during the summer months, visitors can embark on a range of themed cruises from both Rockland and Camden. Each vessel is unique, making this one of the state's most singular experiences.

    Photo courtesy of Maine Windjammer Association

  • Maryland - U.S. Naval Academy

    Annapolis' United States Naval Academy is one of the most selective undergraduate universities in the nation. On formation weekdays, visitors can watch as 4,000 midshipmen and -women perform a military march. The onsite Naval Academy Museum highlights America's naval history.

    Photo courtesy of Maryland Office of Tourism Development

  • Massachusetts - Tanglewood

    The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 200-acre Tanglewood also hosts summer concerts by a variety of world-famous musicians. The performance space includes a 5,000-seat main shed, as well as a more intimate 1,200-seat hall for chamber music and solo acts.

    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

  • Michigan - Gilmore Car Museum

    Auto enthusiasts will find one of the best car museums in the world in Hickory Corners. The Gilmore Car Museum's collection includes more than 400 cars and motorcycles from many eras.

    Photo courtesy of Gilmore Car Museum

  • Minnesota - Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

    Saint Paul's Como Park Zoo & Conservatory features a variety of indoor and outdoor exhibit spaces, as well as a stunning tropical conservatory with an always changing display of seasonal plants and flowers.

    Photo courtesy of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

  • Mississippi - B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center

    The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola celebrates the blues – America's music – and the man who helped spread its popularity around the world. Interactive exhibits and artifacts trace the history of the blues through its Mississippi Delta roots and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

    Photo courtesy of Mississippi Tourism

  • Missouri - Branson's Entertainment District

    Branson is known as the Live Music Show Capital of the World, so it's no surprise that this entertainment district has something for everyone. Besides 50 live performance theaters, the area has a walkable downtown with loads of shopping options.

    Photo courtesy of Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

  • Montana - Makoshika State Park

    Makoshika is the Lakota word for "bad land" or "bad spirits," but visitors will find immense beauty in these pine and juniper studded badlands of Montana's largest state park. A triceratops skull sits on display within the visitors center, and the 11,538 outdoor acres afford opportunities for hiking, biking, camping and even disc golf.

    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Tbennert

  • Nebraska - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

    Continued investments have allowed Henry Doorly Zoo to offer one-of-a-kind exhibits to guests, including the world’s largest indoor desert where arid plants and animals – meerkat, peccaries, quail, gila monster, death adders, rattlesnakes and inland taipan, the world’s most venomous snake – are visible inside a geodesic dome year-round in the heart of the Midwest. 

    Photo courtesy of Nebraska Tourism

  • Nevada - Nevada Museum of Art

    The award-winning Nevada Museum of Art, situated just south of downtown Reno, displays a permanent collection of 2,000 pieces divided into four themed sections, Altered Landscape Photography, Art of the Greater West, Contemporary Art and The Work Ethic. The outdoor grounds of the museum house several pieces from the Burning Man festival.

    Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Godbey/TravelNevada

  • New Hampshire - Clark's Trading Post

    One of New Hampshire's most popular family-friendly attractions, Clark's Trading Post offers a little bit of everything: Chinese acrobats, a steam train, water raft ride, climbing tower, magic show, antique photo booth and five museums located along a recreated Victorian Main Street.

    Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

  • New Jersey - Silverball Museum

    Located on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, the Silverball Museum maintains a collection of some 200 classic pinball machines manufactured between 1950 and today. Visitors also enjoy classic 80's video games, air hockey, skee-ball and a cafe serving boardwalk treats.

    Photo courtesy of Rob DiCaterino / Flickr

  • New Mexico - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

    One of the most authentic steam-operated railroads in existence, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad runs for 64 miles between Chama, N.M. and Antonito, Colo., passing through the San Juan Mountains and the scenic Conejos Valley along the way. This moving National Historic Landmark represents one of New Mexico's most spectacular day trips.

    Photo courtesy of NewMexico.org

  • New York - Letchworth State Park

    Nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of the East," New York's Letchworth State Park is considered one of the most scenic areas in the Eastern USA. The Genesee River runs through a gorge cutting through the park, passing over three magnificent waterfalls along the way. Hikers have access to 66 miles of trail, and rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking and hot air ballooning are also on offer.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / JimVallee

  • North Carolina - Mount Airy Main Street

    The charming town of Mount Airy was Andy Griffith's childhood home and the inspiration behind the town of Mayberry in his 1960s classic The Andy Griffith Show. The town's historic Main Street looks much like its fictional counterpart, complete with vintage squad cars and a replica of the jail and courthouse from the show.

    Photo courtesy of G Keith Hall / Wikimedia Commons

  • North Dakota - Scandinavian Heritage Park

    Strolling through Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot is like stepping across the Pond to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, thanks to a series of replicas. Highlights include a 25-foot Swedish Dala horse and a replica stave church.

    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • Ohio - Toledo Museum of Art

    Some 30,000 works of art – among the best collections in the country – are on display at the Toledo Museum of Art's 35 galleries. Notable artists represented here include Manet, Picasso, Rembrandt, Miró, Degas, Monet and van Gogh.

    Photo courtesy of Toledo Museum of Art

  • Oklahoma - Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

    Somber and poignant, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum commemorates those killed (and those who were forever changed) during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The Memorial Museum recounts the story of that tragic day, while allowing visitors to hear oral histories from friends and family members of victims. The outdoor memorial includes a 318-foot reflecting pool, Survivor Tree, Rescuers Orchard and the Field of Empty Chairs, each chair representing one of the 168 lives lost.

    Photo courtesy of EPA/LARRY W. SMITH

  • Oregon - Crater Lake National Park

    Crater Lake National Park's main claim to fame is that it houses the deepest lake in the country (1,943 feet) – a body of water so deep and so blue that it attracts half a million visitors per year. A majority of visitors come in the summer, driving the 33-mile Rim Drive loop, snapping their photos and heading out, so visitors who hop out of the car for biking, hiking or even snowshoeing in the winter months will find trails all to themselves.

    Photo courtesy of Christian Heeb / Travel Oregon

  • Pennsylvania - Presque Isle State Park

    Visitors to Presque Isle State Park are in for a singular Pennsylvania experience: the state’s only formidable shoreline, which boasts a number of beaches. Beach 11 is the park’s most sheltered, and therefore most serene. Its shallow water is a safe option for visitors with little ones and boasts views of the Erie skyline. Beach 6, on the other hand, is a draw for young people, with its concession stands and volleyball courts. The flipside: it is often the most crowded.

    Photo courtesy of Presque Isle State Park

  • Rhode Island - Roger Williams Park Zoo

    The 40-acre Roger Williams Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoological parks in the nation, home to more than 100 species of animals. Visitor favorites include a Komodo dragon, red pandas, zebras, African elephants, harbor seals and sloths. 

    Photo courtesy of N.Millard/GoProvidence.com

  • South Carolina - Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

    Columbia's 170-acre Riverbanks Zoo & Garden houses more than 2,000 animals in naturalistic habitats free of bars and cages. Throughout its 40-year history, the zoo has earned many awards and recognition for its breeding programs for animals like the Toco toucan, Bali mynah and black howler monkeys. The zoo also participates in 70 of the Species Survival Plans of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

    Photo courtesy of Scott Jennings / Flickr

  • South Dakota - Reptile Gardens

    Reptile Gardens in Rapid City holds the Guinness Book of World Records title of the World's Largest Reptile Zoo. Opened in 1937, the botanical garden and zoological park is home to giant tortoises, prairie dogs, bald eagles and a giant saltwater crocodile, among other critters.

    Photo courtesy of South Dakota Department of Tourism

  • Tennessee - Graceland

    Graceland is one of the most-visited private homes in the nation. Every year, more than 600,000 people go to Elvis Presley’s former estate in Memphis. This revival-style mansion on nearly 14 acres is more than just an inside look at the famous musician’s life; it’s a symbol to fans of the American Dream. Elvis lived in Graceland for more than 20 years, and he died there, too. Today, Graceland is a National Historic Landmark and museum that is open to the public. Take a guided iPad tour, walk through the meditation garden or even rent the space here for special events, like weddings.

    Photo courtesy of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

  • Texas - San Antonio River Walk

    In terms of total visitors, the San Antonio River Walk is the most popular tourist attraction in Texas. The 3 miles of stone pathways along the San Antonio River wind through the heart of downtown, providing easy access to restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and other attractions, like Market Square, Tower of Americas and Mission San Jose.

    Photo courtesy of Bob Howen / Visit San Antonio

  • Utah - Temple Square

    One of Utah's most famous cultural attractions, Temple Square is home of the beautiful headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The 35-acre space contains more than a dozen attractions related to the Mormon faith, including the Church History Museum and two visitors centers. The all-volunteer Mormon Tabernacle Choir performances are free and open to the public.

    Photo courtesy of 2010 Douglas Pulsipher / Utah Images

  • Vermont - Dog Mountain

    Situated on a private 150-acre farm in Vermont's stunning Northeast Kingdom, Dog Mountain offers a vast off-leash area complete with swimming ponds, hiking trails and a gallery with dog-centric works by folk artist Stephen Huneck. 

    Photo courtesy of Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing

  • Virginia - Colonial Williamsburg

    A visit to this unique living-history museum in Virginia is like stepping back in time. Across 300-plus acres, the museum encompasses an impressive selection of historical buildings, including reconstructed, re-created and restored buildings that paint a picture for life in Colonial Virginia, back when Williamsburg was the heart of the state. Guests can browse cultural and educational museums, play golf, go shopping and even relax in the spa in and around "Revolutionary City." This is a destination like nowhere else.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / phakimata

  • Washington - San Juan Islands

    Off the northwest corner of Washington State lies an archipelago of some 400 islands and rocks famous for stunning sunsets, pristine wilderness, sandy beaches and stellar wildlife viewing. The San Juan Islands, accessible by boat or plane, get half the amount of rain as Seattle, making them a popular escape.

    Photo courtesy of Jim Maya / San Juan Islands

  • West Virginia - The Greenbrier

    A historic national landmark in the mountains of West Virginia, The Greenbrier has been attracting guests with its mineral springs since 1778. Modern day visitors still come for the world-renowned mineral spa, as well as for the 55 other activities with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop. Once a classified relocation facility for the U.S. Congress, the Bunker at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs now welcomes all visitors to explore this fascinating bit of history.

    Photo courtesy of The Greenbrier

  • Wisconsin - Door County

    Door County comprises some of Wisconsin's most scenic landscapes, including 300 miles of shoreline, five state parks, 11 historic lighthouses and 19 charming communities.

    Photo courtesy of Door County

  • Wyoming - Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center

    In the Pryor Mountains just outside of Lovell, wild horses still roam freely. This herd, derived from the horses of Portugal and Spain, have lived in the region for nearly two centuries. At the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, visitors learn about the historic significance of the horses and view live mustangs in the surrounding natural scenery.

    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, Matt Dillon


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