The United States is not the biggest country on Earth but it might be the most diverse. Part of that diversity is the fact that there are 50 separate states. Each of these states comes with its own history and cultural practices that make it unique.

But do not fall into the trap of thinking that all states are the same. There is certainly a hierarchy and potential tourists should be aware of which states will be more accommodating to them, should they decide to visit.

This article will discuss the 10 states in the U.S. that are actually worth visiting and 10 that you can skip over. The traditional narrative is that the best states for tourist are on the East Coast and West Coast, while the interior of the country is full of "flyover states". I think that this article will (somewhat) buck this trend and show that there are several factors that influence which states are the most fun to visit.

Perhaps the most important factoring is having a young, growing population that leads to the development of new and exciting businesses. If you have a problem with any of our choices, tell us why in the comments section.

20 Best- New York: The Grandest City of Them All

This may be the most obvious entry on this list. As someone that grew up close to upstate New York, I can tell you that the state has some problems. But despite these issues, you cannot say that you traveled around the United States if you have not visited New York state, and New York City in particular.

New York City is the most populous city in the country and it has a variety of things to offer both tourists and residents.

People travel to New York from all over the world, so as a US resident, it has to be an important stop on your travel list.

19 Skip Over- Rhode Island: Even for its size it's boring

This article has been very favorable to New England so I thought that it was important to take a shot at one of their least important states. You can argue that the reason why Rhode Island is so often ignored by tourist is because of its size, but the state had two major cities to work with and still has been unable to create a good tourist environment.

Providence is an absolute mess, and Newport is so isolated that I would not rank either as one of my top places to visit in New England. There's just nothing in Rhode Island that you can point to and be like“this is where I want to go for vacation”.

18 Best- Alaska: The Final Frontier

The final frontier, as Alaska is widely known, is certainly fitting considering that it is separated from the rest of the US by a little place called Canada.

Alaska is a dream destination for naturalist and outdoorsmen but parts of the landscape are so beautiful that they can be enjoyed by anyone.

However, since it's separated, a journey to Alaska can get pretty darn expensive. Nevertheless, the beauty is worth it.

17 Skip Over- Kansas: the Quintessential Flyover State

When people talk about flyover states, they're talking about a state like Kansas. The history of Midwestern state creation is complicated but basically, there was a huge migration to the west coast that left the middle states largely unpopulated. Things are not much different in the present day, as states like Kansas are some of the least populated in the whole country.

Having such a small population has stunted Kansas’ growth, especially when it comes to tourism.

Tourists to the area will have a hard time finding anything to do that they couldn't do in their home state.

16 Best- Sunny California

The state of California has some problems. Its state government has gotten so large that they are having to tax the hell out of anything and everything in order to pay for it. This has led some media outlets to predict the states decline as one of the preeminent destinations in the United States. There may be some truth to this, however, California has too many built-in advantages to lose too much of its stature.

Some of the best tourist destinations in the entire United States are in California, including; San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

People always visit these cities, and you should too.

15 Skip Over- New Jersey: Even The locals prefer other states

I've picked on the southern part of the United States a lot in this article but there are certainly states in the northern half that you can go your whole life without visiting. A good example of this is the state of New Jersey.

One of the most densely populated states in the country, it is very hard to get around in New Jersey if you are not a local. To make matters worse, there's not really anything worth going to in the state.

If you ask people from the area what they do for fun they will almost undoubtedly tell you about fun things that they've done in New York City or across the PA border.

14 Best- Everything’s Bigger and Better in Texas

I don't think there's another state in the union that is as beloved by its citizens as Texas is. While I don't think anyone else outside of the state shares the same affinity for the Lone Star State, I do have to admit that it is pretty great for tourists as well. There are tons of things to do and places to visit for people coming to Texas.

The state is so large that you can go to a place like Austin and have a totally different experience than you would somewhere like Houston.

Another reason why Texas is worth visiting is that it has such a unique culture that visiting there is unlike visiting anywhere else in the country.

13 Skip Over- Idaho: At least they have the potato

When I was an undergrad, there was a lot of hype going around about Idaho. Blue Mountain State was a popular TV show and it had affirmed many rumors about how Idaho was culturally different from the farming states around it. Hearing these rumors, my friends and I decided to travel to Boise. The trip was fun but not because Idaho had anything exceptional to offer. We would have been just as well visiting a major city in Nebraska or Iowa.

We even took a pilgrimage to Boise State (the inspiration for Blue Mountain State) and we were not impressed.

12 Best- Louisiana: Cajun Country

Louisiana is a distinct area of the US, rather unique compared to the rest of the nation. It actually didn't become part of the newly formed United States until some years after the original 13 colonies. This unique history makes Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular, a must-visit tourist destination.

The French Quarter is vibrant, and Bourbon Street is a must-visit destination for all locals and travelers. City officials have augmented these historical attractions by putting in several casinos and restaurants for tourists to visit.

11 Skip Over - Indiana: the (empty) Hoosier State

I think the weirdest thing about how terrible Indiana is to visit is the fact that it is surrounded by states that are a lot more fun. I would much rather visit Illinois, Wisconsin, or Michigan, before I made a trip to the Hoosier state. Most of Indiana is small towns or farmland, so it's understandable that those places aren't designed for tourism.

Where Indiana really loses points, however, is in its capital city of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis is a major city, especially for this part of the Midwest. Unfortunately, there is nothing at all to do there.

10 Best- the Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America

Don't let annoying Boston sports fans deter you from visiting one of the best states in the country. I have lived in Massachusetts for over a year now and I have to admit, that is probably the nicest place that I've ever called home. It is great to live in Massachusetts but it is also great to visit.

Boston is obviously a major tourist destination but even the western and southern parts of the state have a lot to offer.

I think one of the best things about Massachusetts is that there are things to do no matter what you like. History, movies, music, the state has it all.

9 Skip Over- Ohi-no

Natives of Ohio are fiercely defensive of their state, but even they have to admit that Ohio doesn't have a lot to offer in the way of tourism. The three major cities in the state are Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Though I do think Columbus is interesting to visit (despite all the annoying Ohio State fans), neither of the other two cities are anything to write home about.

Cleveland, in particular, is highly overrated. It is a former industrial town that isn't used to getting a lot of tourists.

Therefore, there are no attractions or infrastructure in place to make a visit enjoyable for the few visitors who do go there.

8 Best- Pennsylvania: History epicenter

I recently read a blog online that made the argument that Pennsylvania peaked over 250 years ago during the Revolution. This author argues that Pennsylvania hasn't been important in a national sense since that time.

A lot of the state could be considered flyover country but I think both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are worth visiting at least once. Pittsburgh, in particular, is a very young city that has a lot going on.

Philadelphia is more important in a historical sense and is one of the most populous cities on the East Coast.

7 Skip Over- Georgia: How Hot is Too Hot?

Before I vacationed in Georgia, I had never been to a place that was so hot that it made everything that I did absolutely miserable.

We started our trip on the coast and I complained about the heat, despite the nearby ocean and swimming pool. Once we traveled into the capital city of Atlanta, things got even worse.

Large amounts of concrete attract heat, and Atlanta was practically melting in the middle of June. They call the city Hotlanta, and I have learned that this is not an endearing term.

6 Best- Colorado: Nature and Skiing paradise

For a long time, the Denver-Boulder area had a reputation as a giant college town. The area has certainly diversified in recent years, but it still has the carefree atmosphere that comes with being home to a major university.

Colorado boasts some of the most stunning natural vistas that the US has to offer, and if snow sports are your cup of tea, then winter destinations like Aspen, Telluride and Vail are waiting to please.

5 Skip Over- Mississippi: The Grand Ole (underwhelming) South

As someone who was born and grew up in the Northeast, I certainly don't have any special affinity for the south. With that being said, there are some states in the South, many of which you will see on this list, that are worth visiting. There are, however, just as many, if not more, states that I would not bother seeing it all.

Mississippi is a great example of a state not worth your time. Its largest city and capital, Jackson, is a mess.

Poverty is rampant in the state and the local authorities, heavily controlled by large business interests, has done nothing to address it.

4 Best- Michigan: Not Only the Lakes Are Great

When most tourists think of the US, huge cities like NY and LA on the coasts come to mind. One place not to be forgotten, however, is the Great Lakes region. There are several states in this region that are worth visiting but my favorite is Michigan.

Most people head to the Wolverine State for the lakes themselves, but there are also several cities there also worth checking out.

Detroit is a popular tourist destination, and Ann Arbor, which boasts the University of Michigan, is consistently listed as one of the best college towns in the US.

3 Skip Over- Utah: Barron plains

I visited Salt Lake City, Utah in 2001 for the summer Olympics. Even then, with the eyes of the world on it, I found Salt Lake to be pretty boring. If I didn't have a fun time in the state's largest city and most popular tourist destination, imagine what it is like in the rest of Utah.

Most of the country is rural prairie with a few small towns and cities scattered in-between.

Utah owes its high population and statehood to the Mormon people who settled there, but that alone doesn't make for a brilliant tourist destination.

2 Best- Nevada: Bright lights and a heck of a party

Nevada is the state that you must visit for one simple reason, Las Vegas. There is nowhere like Vegas in the country, and I believe that it is someplace everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.

Obviously, casinos are one of the main staples of the city but there are tons of shows and other activities for people to do besides the obvious. The bright lights and unique atmosphere of Vegas is reason enough to visit Nevada.

1 Skip Over- New Mexico: You’ll Wish It Was Old Mexico

When people talk about flyover states, they are generally talking about places like Kansas, Wyoming, and Nebraska that are in the very heart of the continental United States. But how many people travel from Texas to California (or vice versa) every year, without ever stopping to see what New Mexico has to offer?

The main reason why people never take a detour into New Mexico is that there really isn't anything there worth stopping for.

Its major cities are not adapted to tourists and the countryside is no different than what you would see in Texas or Arizona.