Survey Finds America’s Most And Least Favorite States To Visit On Vacation
No. 1 probably won't surprise you, but No. 6 might! What do you think of this list?
When it comes to choosing a vacation destination, it’s easy to start dreaming of far-flung tropical beaches and ancient towns nestled in the European countryside.
But we Americans are lucky to live in a country with an abundance of travel options within our borders. From the beaches of Hawaii to the mountains of Colorado, we’ve got options—great ones. It’s just that, well, not each and every state in our great United States holds quite as much pull as the next.
Colorado, for example, is one of Americans’ top five states to visit on vacation. But neighboring Utah, with equally stunning vistas and mountain activities, ranks further down the list at No. 31. Keep reading to find out where your favorite state ranks.
The Simplemost/Don’t Waste Your Money 2017 Travel Survey was an audience survey of nearly 8,000 respondents collected between June 13 and July 7, 2017 via Simplemost and our sister site, Don’t Waste Your Money. We sought to find out more about where people like to travel, with whom they prefer to travel, how they like to get to there, the ways they save money on vacation and more.
We asked people to tell us their favorite states to travel to for vacation. Each respondent was able to choose his or her top five. The results? An interesting look at Americans’ most and least favorite U.S. states to visit for vacation.
Keep reading to find your state—ranked here from least to most favorite—and to see the full map.
Note: The list starts at No. 49 because there were two instances of states receiving the same number of votes and therefore tying for a position, plus the survey included Washington D.C.
Prairies, sandhills and views of rock formations are just some of what you’ll find in the Cornhusker State, which comes in last on the list (hey, some state had to be last). The cities you may find yourself visiting are Lincoln, a university town buzzing with student life, and Omaha, where you’ll find the Durham Museum.
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware River and Delaware Bay, there’s plenty of seafood, fish and water views to enjoy while you’re in Delaware. Clearly the beautiful beach scene has stayed under the radar, however, as Delaware comes in second to last on the list.
Rolling hills and corn fields make up most of the scenery in The Hawkeye State, which is third to last on the list.
46. North Dakota
Known as the state of Great Plains, that’s exactly what this place has to offer. Scenic views abound!
With miles of plains all around, this middle-of-America state is great if peace and quiet is what you seek. If you want to squeeze in some museum tours during your trip, there’s always The Museum of World Treasures in Wichita for you to visit.
44. Connecticut & Rhode Island (TIE)
This state of Connecticut offers coastal cities with a small town feel, and Rhode Island has incredible coastal views as well. Between them, the two states are home to Yale and Brown University. Coincidentally, these tiny neighboring states tied for No. 44 on the list.
No. 43 on the list, the Magnolia State has shores along the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, plus plenty of history and Southern cooking to enjoy.
Botanical gardens and zoos are just some of the activities you might find yourself participating in when you book a ticket to the Sooner State. Sports fans—you’ll enjoy basketball games courtesy of the Oklahoma City Thunder, too.
Boise sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains and the Boise River, providing opportunities for great photos and even better fishing. And those are just a couple of reasons to pay this state a visit.
40. New Hampshire
Forests, lakes and winter sports are the main attractions New Hampshire has to offer. Keep your eyes peeled for moose and black bears along the Appalachian Trail when you pay a visit.
With its mountain views, hot springs and caves, there’s plenty of exploring to do in the great state of Arkansas, yet it ranked No. 39 on the list.
38. West Virginia
This state is full of living history museums, marks the spot for a famous Civil War-era raid and is sure to keep history- and nature-lovers very busy.
As this TV commercial for Indiana theme park Indiana Beach asserted several years back “there’s more than corn in Indiana!” Indianapolis has many noteworthy attractions including the Indianapolis 500, monuments and museums, and more, plus there are a number of lake destinations that are a draw to vacationers as well.
36. New Jersey
New Jersey takes up a large amount of the eastern coastline and is easily accessed from New York. So, whether you’d like to spend your time on the shore or in a big city, there’s a way to make it happen in New Jersey, which comes in No. 36 on the list.
Waterways and coastlines make this state a nautical dream come true. If you love being near the water, a visit to No. 35 Maryland is for you.
34. South Dakota
State parks and Mt. Rushmore offer sites you just won’t see anywhere else, so a visit here will likely scratch a couple of things off of your travel bucket list.
The Green Mountain State offers hiking, skiing and plenty of maple syrup.
From the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St. Paul to the great outdoors, Minnesota has much to offer—just perhaps not in the dead of winter.
From the Gateway Arch to the Mississippi River, there are plenty of special, history-laden spots to visit in this Midwestern state.
The Great Salt Lake and beautiful mountainous landscape are major draws for this state, despite it landing on the second half on the list.
29. New Mexico
Despite the pull of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Spanish colonial architecture throughout, this state’s not quite as popular as neighboring Arizona (No. 9 on the list). But if you’re looking for under-the-radar, New Mexico just may be your place.
Wide open spaces, unbeatable landscapes and some great spots to ski all add to the pull of Big Sky Country as a vacation destination.
Skiing, hiking trails and the views from Yellowstone National Park are all a draw for the Equality State, which ranks just past the halfway point of the list.
Martin Luther King’s church and the Rosa Parks Museum are located in the state, so if you’re looking to honor the activists, you’ll swing by this southern state. Be sure to stay for a meal or two while you’re there or take a visit to the coast.
25. Pennsylvania & Wisconsin (TIE)
Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the famed Philly Cheesesteak are just a few of the reasons to make a pit stop in Pennsylvania, meanwhile breweries, museums and lake access make Wisconsin a great spot for all types of tourists. These two states tied for the No. 25 spot.
Farmland, lakes and the famed Kentucky Derby are a few of the reasons people choose the Bluegrass State as a getaway.
Considering the culture, food and music scene of New Orleans alone, you might be surprised that the Bayou State didn’t land higher on the list.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Lake Erie are just a few of the draws for tourists to the Buckeye State.
This state stretches from the Appalachian Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay and has a lot of stops in between—Monticello and Charlottesville Plantation, just to name a couple—all of which landed Virginia at No. 21 on the list.
With beach towns dotting the coast and plenty of colonial history, a stay in the Bay State will be full of must-see attractions.
Between the “Windy City” of Chicago and the draw of Lake Michigan, the Land of Lincoln ranked 19 on the list.
Mountain ranges, rivers, lakes and the artsy city of Portland make this state a major draw for tourists.
Lighthouses, rocky beaches and plenty of fresh lobster is enough to make this a go-to summer destination, and its No. 17 spot on the list is enough to prove it.
16. District of Columbia (D.C.)
From the U.S. Capitol to the White House, you’ll find many landmarks of our great nation at every turn in D.C. History buffs likely helped the District land its No. 16 spot on the list!
This Pacific Northwest state has everything from lush forests and great coffee, so whether you’re looking for a relaxing trip or an adrenaline-rushing adventure, the state of Washington will deliver.
The big city of Atlanta, the Atlantic Ocean and a whole lot of history—this state has a lot to offer as far as vacations go.
You may go for the music scene, but you’ll stay for the food. It’s where Tex-Mex was invented, after all.
Ah, the state of Great Lakes. If you like the idea of boating or relaxing on a float, with nature as your backdrop, you’re going to want to chose Michigan as a vacation spot.
The frigid temperatures may have been what knocked this state out of the top 10 list, but as far as the views are concerned—including glaciers, forests and adorable mountain towns—they’re absolutely unbeatable.
The promise of unbeatable entertainment in Las Vegas likely had a little something to do with this state’s top 10 slot.
If the Grand Canyon and the dry, warm weather wasn’t enough of a draw, the offerings of Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale and smaller towns like Sedona landed Arizona ninth on the list.
8. South Carolina
The Palmetto State offers hospitality, history and good ol’ cooking, so it’s no wonder it’s among the top 10 most-loved states for a getaway.
7. North Carolina
North Carolina’s known for its coast as well as the Appalachian Mountain Range, so no matter what type of gorgeous view you’re into—you’ll find it here.
Whether it’s the draw of the Smoky Mountains, the whiskey or the Nashville vibe, Tennessee ranks as the sixth favorite state for a vacation.
Mountains, lakes, rivers and a laid-back culture landed Colorado as the No. 5 favorite vacation spot.
4. New York
The pull of the Big Apple plus all the other offerings of the Empire State can’t be denied. New York ranked fourth on the list of favorite states for vacation.
A set of tropical islands that is also a U.S. state? No wonder Hawaii’s third on the list of most favorite states to visit on vacation!
With everything from redwoods to Hollywood, beaches, mountains and wine country, California is the No. 2 favorite state to visit on vacation.
The Sunshine State topped the list as the No. 1 vacation destination. From Disney World to beaches to the cultural offerings of cities like Miami, it’s easy to understand why.
Here’s the map overview of how your state ranks: