The 10 States Most Visited By Tourists & The 10 Least

The 10 States Most Visited By Tourists & The 10 Least

Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and covering a large swath of the North American continent, the good ‘ol US of A is brimming with diverse geographical landscapes and bustling cities. It’s really no surprise that so many tourists flock to the world’s third-largest country given how unique and distinct its 50 states are. But not all states are created equal, and some are far more popular than others. So here are the 10 states most visited by tourists and the 10 least.

1. California

Known for its diverse attractions and pristine weather, the Golden State is a top travel destination for tourists worldwide. Visitors regularly flock to the state for its blend of bustling urban landscapes and serene natural beauty. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are all hotbeds of tourism that continue to host tens of millions of tourists annually. 

CalithumbPhoto by Joseph Barrientos

2. Florida

With its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and beloved theme parks, the Sunshine State enjoys a rich and robust tourism industry. Offering a wide array of attractions, including Disneyland, Miami’s vibrant nightlife, and the natural beauty of the Florida Keys, it's no surprise that so many visitors flock to Florida year-round. 

Lance-Asper-G9Fpj0Oozai-UnsplashPhoto by Lance Asper

3. New York

The Empire State is a huge draw for tourism (to the tune of 62 million visitors in 2023 alone). The vibrant and bustling nature of New York City, with its restaurants, landmarks, and myriad of attractions, is the primary allure for most visitors. But Upstate New York is also nothing to scoff at, as the region offers scenic beauty and one of the seven natural wonders of the world in the form of Niagara Falls.

Colton-Duke-Uexx0Knnkjy-UnsplashPhoto by Colton Duke

4. Nevada

Known for its neon-laden casino strip, various entertainment shows, and buzzing nightlife, Nevada’s extensive tourism industry is primarily built upon the allure of Las Vegas. However, the state’s bustling urban excitement is equally matched by its natural wonders that come in the form of the Hoover Dam and Lake Tahoe — meaning that there’s a little bit for everyone in the Silver State.

Julian-Paefgen-Uxu Jyu9E7U-UnsplashPhoto by Julian Paefgen


5. Texas

As the second largest US state, it should come as no surprise that Texas is also among the country’s top tourist destinations. Featuring a rich cultural history, exciting cities, and diverse natural landscapes, the Lone Star State hosts tens of millions of tourists each year. From Antonio’s Alamo and River Walk to Austin’s unique bid to stay weird, there’s a little bit of everything in Texas. 

Mj-Tangonan-Wkftnwadygs-UnsplashPhoto by MJ Tangonan

6. Hawaii

Famous for its breathtaking and pristine natural beauty, Hawaii regularly attracts millions of visitors — and rightfully so! From its impeccable beaches to its distinct volcanic landscape, Hawaii is a natural wonder that people simply can’t afford to miss out on. Tourists flock to the Aloha State for all manner of activities, including surfing, snorkelling, and hiking through its lush tropical forests. 

Darren-Lawrence-Rffyxd7-4Yq-UnsplashPhoto by Darren Lawrence

7. Illinois

Illinois — particularly by way of the Windy City itself, Chicago — draws in tens of millions of tourists each year. Known for its rich cultural history, charming architecture, and vibrant food scene and nightlife, Chicago is usually atop most people’s list of cities to see in the US. On top of that, Illinois is also home to various historic sites and even scenic areas like Starved Rock State Park.

Giuseppe-Azzone-Q2S0Iixtexu-UnsplashPhoto by GIUSEPPE AZZONE

8. Pennsylvania

Home to bustling cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania has a lot to offer in terms of historic landmarks, natural beauty, and vibrant cityscapes. From Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell to Pittsburgh's newly revitalized urban scene, there is plenty to do and see in the Keystone State. And if city life isn't your thing, Pennsylvania is also home to a variety of outdoor attractions, including the Pocono Mountains and Allegheny National Forest.

Vidar-Nordli-Mathisen-9Hgqjq3Vglc-UnsplashPhoto by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

9. Arizona

With vibrant cities like Phoenix and Scottsdale boasting pristine spas, golf courses and desert landscapes, it makes perfect sense that Arizona would be such a hotbed for tourism. Beyond its sun-drenched cities, the state is also home to the Grand Canyon (one of the seven natural wonders of the world), as well as Sedona’s unique red rock formations. 

Florian-Wehde-3Jnbdgjcamk-UnsplashPhoto by Florian Wehde

10. Georgia

Centred around the draw of Atlanta and its multitude of sights and attractions, the Peach State sees millions of tourists each year. With attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, it's no surprise to learn that visitors regularly flock to Georgia year-round. 

Christopher-Alvarenga-K5Iyvtwyxqo-UnsplashPhoto by Christopher Alvarenga


1. Alaska

The draw of Alaska’s stunning natural beauty is sadly outweighed by its remote location relative to the rest of the United States. Despite everything the Last Frontier has to offer — including breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and glaciers — the trek is simply too far and out of the way to sway most prospective tourists to visit. 

Hari-Nandakumar-Eancxwbwzsw-UnsplashPhoto by Hari Nandakumar

2. Delaware

Seriously lacking in tourist draws and meaningful word of mouth, Delaware is often severely overlooked as a potential tourist destination. Although the state is brimming with historical significance, charming towns, and serene beaches, people simply don’t view Deleware as a place worthy of travelling to. 

Gokhan-Kara-Rkil2Esy7Ym-UnsplashPhoto by Gökhan Kara

3. Montana

Natural beauty abounds in this mostly rural and scarcely visited state. Despite Montana’s stellar reputation as a bastion of scenic landscapes and outdoor activities, the state’s limited urban attractions severely hamper its ability to serve as a tourist destination. Places like Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park are still decent draws in their own right, but not enough to attract significant tourist attention. 

Jerad-Hill-Qal3Uasaeis-UnsplashPhoto by Jerad Hill

4. South Dakota

Despite offering distinct attractions like Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, South Dakota still remains one of America’s most overlooked and under-visited states. Featuring beautiful scenic landscapes in the form of the state’s vast prairies and breathtaking Black Hills, South Dakota is severely lacking when it comes to significant urban landscapes, causing many potential visitors to look elsewhere. 

Dave-Hoefler-Opdu5V-Jkbq-UnsplashPhoto by Dave Hoefler

5. North Dakota

Much like its neighbour to the south, North Dakota is also considered one of America’s least popular tourist destinations. Boasting interesting natural attractions like Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the rugged Badlands, the state simply does not have enough going for it to attract visitors beyond outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for a quiet and serene small-town experience. 

Intricate-Explorer-2Miptoqmvy4-UnsplashPhoto by Intricate Explorer

6. Wyoming

Unfortunately, the sparsely populated plains of Wyoming don’t exactly make for the most enticing travel destination. Nature lovers regularly flock to Yellowstone and Grand Teton Nation Parks, as well as the charming town of Jackson Hole, but outside of that most prospective visitors simply can’t find enough to justify a trip to the Cowboy State.

Cora-Leach-P0Jz4Pmnl9E-UnsplashPhoto by Cora Leach


7. Vermont

Famous for its quaint towns, scenic landscapes, and breathtaking autumn foliage, Vermont remains one of the least visited states in the US. That’s not to say Vermont isn’t without its charm, especially the state’s abundance of ski resorts, picturesque rural areas, and delicious maple syrup production. However, the Green Mountian State doesn’t have much to offer beyond a peaceful retreat.

Peter-James-Eisenhaure-Pbwjy0M5Hrm-UnsplashPhoto by Peter James Eisenhaure

8. Rhode Island

Despite the state’s unique coastal scenery and charming seaside towns, Rhode Island is severely outmatched when it comes to amassing any kind of tourism buzz. Although the state’s capital, Providence, offers a robust arts and culinary scene, most tourists simply find themselves more attracted to America’s other cities. 

Michael-Denning--Gpjusexoce-UnsplashPhoto by Michael Denning

9. Idaho

Although outdoors enthusiasts may find a lot to ride home about, the vast majority of prospective tourists simply aren’t compelled by what Idaho has to offer. Despite the Gem State’s abundance of natural beauty, including Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Shoshone Falls, the state is regularly overlooked by tourists. 

Alden-Skeie-Cbx1Eygm3Bm-UnsplashPhoto by Alden Skeie

10. Nebraska

The wide open spaces and agricultural heritage of Nebraska may be beautiful and intriguing to some, but for most people there just isn’t enough of a draw to warrant a vacation here. Featuring vibrant cities like Omaha and Lincoln, as well as scenic wonders like the Sandhills and Chimney Rock, there’s certainly a lot to see and do in Nebraska. Sadly, the draw of America’s other states is simply too strong. 

Balazs-Busznyak-Tpasqfr79Ny-UnsplashPhoto by Balazs Busznyak