A country with 50 states has 50 chances to travel and explore the unfamiliar.
Many Americans take advantage of the fact that one country can offer many different cultures, cuisines, and landscapes.
In fact, according to the Tourism Academy, Americans take 2.29 billion domestic trips each year.
While people love traveling across the land of the free, certain states draw in more visitors than others. In a recent report, 25 states were named the most visited by Americans. However, the top five stand out for many reasons.
Beyond the typical tourist attractions, here are what these top five states offer and why visitors can’t stay away.
Preliminary findings show that in 2022, Florida received 137.6 million visitors.
A number that sounds reasonable considering the state’s biggest attractions, such as Disneyworld, Miami, Key West, and most of Florida’s beaches. You may be wondering what more Florida has to offer, lots more.
Here are some unique things you can do in this popular state.
- Visit The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and watch a rocket launch.
- Find some serenity at Bok Towers, a magnificent garden and bird sanctuary with 250 acres of different plants, trees, and flowers.
- Tour the St. Augustine Distillery and taste some of the U.S.’s finest distilled spirits.
- Check out the oldest neighborhood in Miami, Coconut Grove, and enjoy its bohemian art scene.
2. New York
New York is most associated with New York City, where around 50 million visitors fill the streets of Times Square every year.
While Times Square may be the main attraction, each of the five boroughs, Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, has unique cultural gems to offer visitors.
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- Visit Howe Caverns in Howes Cave, New York, to explore underground caves
- Enjoy the views of Thousand Islands Park
- Get a breathtaking view of Niagara Falls
The Sunshine State, of course, is high on the list of most visited places. This golden state has a 22% increase in domestic travel since 2022.
Many adventurous visitors try to attempt the California trifecta, which is surfing, skating, and snowboarding all in one day. While possible, it’s best to stretch out your activities for maximum enjoyment.
If you travel to the North or the South, you can get two different experiences. Some off-the-beaten places to visit in northern California include:
- Fort Bragg is located off a stunning Pacific Ocean coastline with mild temperatures all year long
- Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
- Big Sur is known for its beautiful scenery
To explore central and southern California, you’ll want to check out the following
- Catalina Island, located just off the coast of Los Angeles
- Bodega Bay is known for its seafood and beaches
- San Diego is a city of nightlife, culture, and art
If you instantly think cowboys when you think of Texas, that’s a common association. However, the country’s second-largest state has something for everyone, depending on which city you visit.
Austin is the place to be for visitors who are into art and music. With over 27 million visitors annually, this city is a non-stop entertainment place.
When visiting, it’s best to start where all the action is in Downtown Austin, where you can walk along the boardwalk and admire the elegant skyline as its reflection gleams off the water.
Walking, biking, or driving through Austin will bring you to various museums, art galleries, and theaters.
Big Bend National Park
If you need a break from the city, you can check the park that borders the U.S. and Mexico. Big Bend National Park has over 500,000 visitors per year. There are many sections of the park to explore, including the Chisos Mountains, Rio Grande, and the Chihuahuan Desert.
South Padre Island
Did you know that Texas has an island? Located in Cameron County, Texas, this island is a relaxing area of 34 miles of white sand beaches and turquoise-colored water.
The three most obvious attractions to this historic state are the Liberty Bell, the birthplace of Hershey’s Chocolate, and the Independence Hall. However, the keystone state has much more to offer.
Pennsylvania is home to a subculture of people known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.
In the 1700s, a group of Germans settled in Pennsylvania, and their population grew into what is now known as the Pennsylvania Dutch county, also known as Lancaster County. Even though the settlers were German speakers, all Germanic languages were called Dutch at the time.
Visitors can spend time in this area doing various activities, from adventure to history exploration. If you want to explore a different culture, you can have a hands-on experience by visiting an Amish farm.
Adventure and music
If you want more adventure, you can zipline through the mountains. And once you get your feet back on the ground, you can enjoy some live music at the American Music Theatre. Since 1997, this stage has hosted an array of talent from Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, and Tony award-winning artists.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com