From Alabama to Missouri, the United States has so many amazing things to see. With 50 states, it’s impossible to get them all into just one list, so here you will find the first part of a two-part list, letting you know the number one place to travel when you got to every single state. The list starts with Alabama and finished off at Missouri, but along the way, take a trip to the most northern state in Alaska, and the one not connected to the mainland, Hawaii, and see what 25 of the United States have to offer any travelling looking to check each state off on their journey.
From National Parks to museums, to some of the most well-known tourist attractions, there is something everyone will enjoy on this list. If you don’t see the state you are visiting shortly in this list, then keep your eyes open for part two, where the rest of the state’s top attractions will be listed. But for now, enjoy the first 25 states in alphabetical order, and get ready to plan a trip to get to know the United States a lot more than you already do but taking in these number one travel destinations.
25 Alabama: US Space and Rocket Center
The U.S. Space and Rocket Centre is located in Huntsville, Alabama and it’s considered to be the largest space museum in the world. This unique museum showcases rockets and achievements from the U.S. space program. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it's a great way to learn about the space program and how a small town such as Huntsville has embraced the program since it opened its doors in 1960. This popular museum has been featured on many broadcasting shows such as Good Morning America and The Amazing Race and has seen a jump of 550,000 visitors annually since 2005.
24 Alaska: Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park is located in the heart of Alaska and is centred on the highest mountain in North America, Denali. Denali's landscape is really described as a mix of forest and a little bit of snow glaciers that are just touching the mountain. During the winter, Denali offers a lot of exciting activities for all to enjoy such as dog sledding, Cross Country skiing, and snowmobiling. Although during the summer you can go camping, there is also a high level of awareness of bears roaming around the grounds freely as this park is protected and preserved. According to National Geographic, the park receives around 700,000 visitors each year.
23 Arizona: Grand Canyon
To see something that has taken billions of years to make, visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona which is over 277 miles long. According to Fox News, over six million people visited the Grand Canyon last year, setting a park record. You can stand on the outlook post which has a glass floor, letting you see to the bottom, or take one of the helicopter rides that will take you deep into the canyon. It’s truly amazing to see, especially if you can get into the air and see it from above.
22 Arkansas: Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is located in central Garland County, Arkansas. The hot spring water has been a popular attraction for the State of Arkansas and it has been a subject of many legends in the Native community. According to National Park Services, the Hot Springs reserve was initially created by an act of the United States Congress to help preserve future recreations in all National Parks. The hot springs are all grouped together from the Hot Springs Mountains in Arkansas and many people come from all over the world to bath in these warm waters.
21 California: Alcatraz
This mysterious island is located 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco, California. The Alcatraz Island is a small island that was developed for a lighthouse and previous to that, a military prison. But it was most famous a prison. Since shutting down the prison in 1971, this little island has been a famous landmark to San Francisco with little shops, small dining halls, a library and ruins of the Warden's House. According to National Geographic, Alcatraz Island has been featured in many televisions shows such as Yu-Gi-Oh! And Alcatraz. So, if you are looking for a mysterious vacation then this is the place for you.
20 Colorado: Red Rock Amphitheatre
Red Rock Amphitheatre is a rock structure where concerts are given in an open-air amphitheatre. This extraordinary stage is located just west of Denver, Colorado. When people sit and enjoy a live musical act on this stage, it will make you feel like you’re in a different world. According to Red Rock Online, the stage sits 6,400 feet high and the surrounding Red Rock Park covers 868 acres. The amphitheatre is owned and operated by the city of Denver and surrounding areas that cover Red Rock Park and Denver Mountain Parks.
19 Connecticut: Louis' Lunch
If you are ever passing through New Haven, Connecticut, then you must stop by Louis' Lunch. This hamburger joint was the first restaurant to serve hamburgers in the United States. If you are still hungry then why not have a steak sandwich, as it was also the first place to serve the sandwich. According to YouTube, in 1900, customers would be in a hurry to go for lunch and frequently ask for a square shape sandwich and then suddenly that blew up into this phenomenon.
18 Delaware: Winterthur Museum and Gardens
The Winterthur Museum and Gardens is a U.S. estate that was once owned by Henry Francis du Pont. This famous garden is located in Winterthur, Delaware and carries important collections of antiques from the 1800s. According to the Delaware State Archives, the museum features 175 rooms and displays approximately over 85,000 objects that all eyes could see. Most rooms are open to the public and have guided tours to bring you through the museum and gardens. The gardens of the Winterthur Museum is really something to see as well when you are there as a lot of their featured plants are under conservation.
17 Florida: Disney World
When Walt Disney wanted to build a place for adults and children to share in cultural experiences, with a bit of imagination, he probably didn't figure that it would be as big as what it is today. No matter on who you speak with today, you will learn something new that will change your perspective in a positive way. With new attractions hitting the parks every year, it’s really a place that you can explore every year. According to National Geographic, many tourists first described Disney land as the "Happiest Place on Earth" which offers a cultural melting pot of people from across the world.
16 Georgia: Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium is not your typical aquarium that you go to every day. This aquarium houses thousands of endangered animals including several marine animals such as a whale shark. According to the Associated Press, this aquarium is the largest in the world and it solely relies on donations to keep the facility active. The most popular exhibit is, of course, their marine animal exhibit and it includes the whale shark tank. What is special about it is that scientific research and takes care of these gorgeous animals, making sure that they are in good health.
15 Hawaii: Volcanoes National Park
Ever want to see real live volcanoes? Then head to Hawaii and Volcanoes National Park, which was classified as a World Heritage Site. The volcanoes in the park are still active and do erupt from time to time, as was the case in May of last year when the park closed due to ash clouds in the air. The National Park is a great place to learn about volcanoes, how they made the islands of Hawaii, and see into the studies of the volcanoes. On the National Parks website, you can even get updates about where active lava flows are so you can see them from a safe distance.
14 Idaho: Shoshone Falls
Who would guess that Idaho would have a waterfall that may be even more beautiful than Niagara Falls, but the Shoshone Falls is definitely something to see if you’re in the state. They are sometimes called the Niagara of the West, as they come in at 212 feet high, which is 45 feet higher than Niagara. Travellers up the Oregon Trail will get to stop at the falls, which have turned into a huge tourist attraction for the state. According to the Elko Daily Press, about 250,000 to 300,000 enter the park each year to see the falls, and for $3 a car, it’s turned a good profit.
13 Illinois: Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is the home of the Chicago Cubs in Major League Baseball and is one of the most famous ballparks in the United States. It was the last ballpark to get lights, as the Cubs remained the only team until 1988 to play all their games during the day, according to the Chicago Tribune. The ballpark is most known for the ivy walls in the outfield, something no other park in the league has. The ball can actually get lost in the green ivy. It’s also located in a neighborhood, so people could enjoy games from their rooftops.
12 Indiana: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The most famous racetrack in the world is most likely the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What’s impressive is that with a permanent seating capacity of 257,325 and infield seating bringing to 400,000 total, according to USA Today, that makes the speedway the highest capacity sports venue in the world. The Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 are the two most famous races that happen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year. The speedway has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and been named a National Historic Landmark.
11 Iowa: Grotto of the Redemption
In Iowa you will find the Grotto of the Redemption, a religious shrine that is made up of nine grottos, depicting the life of Jesus. It is believed to be the largest grotto in the world and contains a large collection of minerals. The value of the rocks and minerals is estimated to be worth over $4 million. It’s estimated that over 100,000 people visit each year, according to Planet Aware. It’s impressive to see all these hand-crafted grottos, all made from gems and stones.
10 Kansas: Cosmosphere
While there may be no place like home in Kansas, the place to travel to for those coming from outside the state is the Cosmosphere. The museum houses over 13,000 spaceflight artifacts from both the United States and Russia. According to The Hutchinson News, it is the largest combined collection of US and Russian spaceflight artifacts in the world. That may be odd for a place that doesn’t have much to do with the space program, but the facility grew out of a planetarium.
9 Kentucky: Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Baseball fans will love the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, which showcases the story of how the Louisville baseball bat is made and how it became part of the game of baseball at the highest level. But it’s what’s outside that will have people looking up, as the museum is home to the world’s largest baseball bat, which according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is 120 feet tall and weighs over 68,000 pounds. There is also the bat vault, the batting cages and gallery of exhibits to see.
8 Louisiana: French Quarter
One of the most famous streets in the United States is Bourbon Street that runs right through the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. If you’re going there, that is where Mardi Gras happens, and it is one of the most visited attractions where you can find great food and drink options. According to CNBC, over 10 million people visited New Orleans in 2004 and spent over $4.9 billion on hotels, restaurants and local attractions, fueled plenty by the French Quarter.
7 Maine: Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the entire United States and according to MSN, it is the most eastern point in the country, tucked up in the corner of Maine. With over 47,000 acres of land, it has some of the best landscapes in the country on the Atlantic Ocean, with beautiful sunrises every morning. Around two million people visit Acadia National Park each year, making it one of the most visited parks in the country.
6 Maryland: U.S. Naval Academy
The U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland is one of the five services academies in the United States, and according to MSN, it’s a National Historic Site that was founded in 1845. Known by its nickname, The Yard, the academy has become a huge tourist attraction for the state, as people flock to see naval history and of course, Navy football. It is a school, however, training the next Navy leaders, so be mindful of that when at the academy for a tour.
5 Massachusetts: USS Constitution
When in Boston, visit the famous ship the USS Constitution that is located in Boston Harbor. This historic ship is free to see. According to the National Park Service, the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy and crews still serve aboard the ship. The ship served before the United States become a country, all the way back when they were just thirteen colonies. So it's an interesting look back at history when the country was looking for independence.
4 Michigan: The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford is actually a collection of three museums all in one. It includes the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village, and the Edison Institute. It includes some of the most famous collections in the United States, such as limousine of John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln’s chair from the Ford Theatre, Rosa Parks' bus, and many other historical exhibits. According to the National Parks Service, the Henry Ford is the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in the United States.
3 Minnesota: Mall Of America
If you’re a shopper at heart and find yourself in Minnesota, then, of course, you are going to visit the Mall of America. The largest mall in the United States by floor spaces has over 555 stores, over 12,000 parking spaces and is the 12th largest mall in the world based on leasable space. According to Buzzfeed, over 40 million people a year visit the country’s largest mall, so hopefully, you can find a parking space and enjoy a full day of shopping and activity which includes amusement park.
2 Mississippi: Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of Battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War. Located in Mississippi, the military park has reconstructed forts and trenches and according to MSN, there are 1,325 historic monuments and 20 miles of trench to explore. On display is the Ironclad ship USS Cairo which was used during the battle and gives people some real history of an important part of the Civil War. The US Congress added the Cairo to the National Park in 1972 and made it into a museum.
1 Missouri: Gateway Arch
Located in St. Louis, the Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall made of stainless steel. It’s known as the Gateway to the West and has become the symbol for the city of St. Louis. According to MSN, there is a tram that goes over the entire arch, giving anyone an amazing view of the city and the Mississippi River. Tourists can get out on top and look out through the holes that are in the steel. It’s definitely a monument to check out in Missouri and over four million people visit the arch every year.
Sources: MSN; CNBC; Buzzfeed