The United States of America may be a beautiful place, but y’know what? It’s also a place with a WHOLE LOT OF STUFF. Not only are there 50 (!!!) states, there are also, like, 20,000 cities, and each one of those cities is full of THINGS. It’s overwhelming, frankly. How can any respected traveler know where they ought to go in each of these fine states of ours?
We’ll tell you how: By using our handy map that lays out, state by state, the one thing you must see/do when passing through. Our methodology is very scientific: We asked a bunch of people their personal opinions and called it a day.
Alabama: Golden Flake Factory Tour
Stroll through the exciting world of potato chips!
Walk on ice on the top of the world.
Arizona: The Sedona Energy Vortexes
Experience the energy breathing in and out of the earth.
Arkansas: Hot Springs National Park
Thermal pools will heal you from the inside out — for free!
California: Big Sur
Just the most beautiful coastline America has to offer, NBD.
Colorado: Evergreen Lake
Ride a giant tricycle on a lake while staring out at majestic mountains.
Connecticut: The Town of Mystic
Come for the Julia Roberts movie pizza, stay for the charming marina.
Delaware: Fountain of Youth
When your K-beauty routine fails you, turn to this tiny ancient gazebo.
Florida: Hemingway Home
Tour the author's home and meet his legacy of six-toed cats.
Georgia: The Olde Pink House
Enjoy lowcountry cuisine by candelabra light in the heart of Savannah.
Hawaii: Kilauea Iki Trail
Hike an active volcano before it explodes and kills all of mankind.
Idaho: Eagles at Lake Coeur d’Alene
In late fall and early winter, hundreds of bald eagles congregate here.
Illinois: Brookfield Zoo
Chicago's Zoological Society offers an educational break from all of that deep-dish-pizza-eating.
We asked the only guy we know in Indiana what we should do when visiting. He said, "Eat at Milktooth."
Iowa: Grotto of the Redemption
A creepy, religious shrine made of minerals, fossils, shells, and petrifications worth more than $4 million.
Kansas: Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Q
In a state that has its own branded barbecue, Papa Bob's is still the best by far.
Kentucky: Moonbow at Cumberland Falls
The only place in the hemisphere where you can see a Moonbow (rainbow by moonlight).
Louisiana: The French Quarter
Sure, it's expected, but it's also iconic, unparalleled, and the perfect encapsulation of NOLA.
Lobster rolls on the coastline, flanked by lighthouses? Yep, that's Maine!
Maryland: National Aquarium
Hands-down the best place to hang with sea life in these great United States.
Massachusetts: The Eric Carle Museum
Remember The Very Hungry Caterpiller? That illustrator has a museum, and it's pure whimsy.
Michigan: The Mystery Spot
What is the world-famous Mystery Spot? We don't know! That's what makes it a mystery!
Minnesota: The Mall of America
Who are we to resist over 530 stores, a Nickelodeon theme park, and an aquarium?
Mississippi: The Petrified Forest
36 million year old trees and other ancient topography to spook your soul.
Missouri: City Museum
A playground, a fun house, an architectural marvel, a please-touch museum with a 20-story slide. And alcohol.
Montana: Occasionally Talking Penguin Statue
Sometimes he talks. Sometimes he doesn't. Either way, he's worth a visit. (Probably.)
Because Stonehenge is just too far away, and quite frankly, it's not made out of cars, so what's the point?
Nevada: The Neon Museum
This is where Nevada's neon signs go to die, yet it's the brightest, happiest place we've ever been.
New Hampshire: Santa’s Village
Where an amusement park meets year-round Christmas, and blows kids' minds.
New Jersey: Silverball Museum
600 playable pinball games that span the decades since the sport's invention.
New Mexico: Meow Wolf
This multimedia art museum is perfectly curated for lovers of aliens, neon, psychedelia, and general confusion.
New York: Red Hook, Brooklyn
Off-the-beaten-path dive bars, distilleries, and key lime pie, plus views of Ms. Liberty and the Freedom Tower.
North Carolina: The Outer Banks
A string of some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches America has to offer.
North Dakota: Enchanted Highway - Beautiful roadside metal art to keep you entertained on an otherwise mundane route.
Ohio: West Side Market
If Grand Central met Pike Place, you'd get this gorgeous, grandiose grocery selling artisanal foods and goods.
Oklahoma: The Womb
Did you know Flaming Lips' front man Wayne Coyne had a psychedelic art museum in Oklahoma? Now you do!
Oregon: Sea Lion Caves
Yes, it's an attraction, but it's also a wildlife preserve: Come see the sea lions in their natural habitat.
Pennsylvania: Mutter Museum
"Become disturbingly informed" at Philadelphia's extensive and creepy museum of medical specimen.
Rhode Island: Olneyville New York System
The tiniest state has plenty to offer, but you can't explore until you've had a Coffee Milk at this iconic RI restaurant.
South Carolina: Grace and Grit
14 different kinds of grits. Some savory. Some sweet. Can't choose? Get a Grit Flight. GRIT FLIGHT!!!
South Dakota: Corn Palace
This special stop-worthy attraction does what it says on the tin: It's a Palace. Built from corn.
With all due respect to the King, we grant our Tennessee must-see to the Backwoods Barbie and her Smoky Mountain amusement park.
Texas: Allens Boots
Get all of your western wear at this mammoth leather goods store favored by musicians, celebs, and locals alike.
Utah: The Arches
Our mom is obsessed with these soaring rock formations, so you know they've gotta be good.
Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
The most delicious tour in North America offers tastings, processes, and a flavor graveyard.
Virginia: Kline’s Dairy Bar
This is the only chain restaurant on our entire list. Why? 'Cause Steve told us that it's that good.
Washington: Seattle waterfront
Views of the water, the mountains, and the ferris wheel, plus fountains and statues and delicious foods — this is the Emerald City in a nutshell.
West Virginia: The Greenbrier
An insanely-decorated colonial hotel that's also home to the bunker that was meant to protect Congress and the Senate during a nuke attack from the '50s to the '90s.
Wisconsin: Lambeau Field
The Packers' home field is considered holy ground and an amazing experience, even when there’s no game.
The often-overlooked state boasts the lion's share of our nation's first national park — complete with rainbow hot springs, mud pots, and geysers galore.
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