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20 States Making Waves as Vacation Hotspots

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Embarking on a year of adventures calls for exploring paths less traveled and states ready to rise in the ranks of must-visit destinations. The U.S. is sprawling with states that offer unique culture, delectable food, thrilling festivals, and so much more. Whether you’re drawn to the wild call of nature, the buzz of a burgeoning food scene, or the thrill of uncovering hidden treasures in thrift stores, there’s a state waiting to surprise you.

20. Missouri: “The Show Me State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kit Leong

Missouri offers a mix of history and adventure. Highlights include camping at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, exploring the City Museum in St. Louis, and savoring Kansas City’s barbecue alongside jazz music.

19. Iowa: “The Hawkeye State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eddie J. Rodriquez

Iowa features farm stays, camping at Maquoketa Caves State Park, the Iowa State Fair, and the Amana Colonies with their local craftsmanship.

18. Wyoming: “The Equality State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Peter Silverman Photo

Wyoming embodies the American West with guest ranches, wildlife safaris in Grand Teton, hiking in the Wind River Range, and cowboy culture through rodeos.

17. Connecticut: “The Constitution State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kyle Lee

Connecticut offers beachside camping at Hammonasset Beach State Park, sailing on historic schooners, and New Haven’s unique apizza.

16. Indiana: “The Hoosier State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ted Alexander Somerville

Indiana is known for its state parks, the Indianapolis 500 race, historic covered bridges, and a growing craft beer scene.

15. Arkansas: “The Natural State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Niwat panket

Arkansas provides outdoor adventures in the Ozarks, world-class art at the Crystal Bridges Museum, and relaxation in Hot Springs National Park.

14. Oklahoma: “The Sooner State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tyler Thomason

Oklahoma’s landscape is perfect for camping and exploring Native American heritage, with Route 66 adding a touch of Americana.

13. New Hampshire: “The Granite State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Winston Tan

The White Mountains in New Hampshire offer camping and lodges, charming towns like Portsmouth, and scenic drives like the Kancamagus Highway.

12. South Dakota: “The Mount Rushmore State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Virrage Images

South Dakota features Badlands National Park, the art scene in Rapid City, and historic Deadwood, with its Wild West reenactments.

11. Alabama: “The Heart of Dixie”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mark Winfrey

Alabama welcomes beachgoers to the Gulf Shores, offers deep dives into civil rights history, and celebrates music in Muscle Shoals.

10. Maine: “The Pine Tree State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eric Urquhart

Maine is celebrated for Acadia National Park, Portland’s culinary scene, and its craft beer scene, especially known for New England-style IPA.

9. Nevada: “The Silver State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Couture

Beyond Las Vegas, Nevada offers desert camping, Reno’s cultural renaissance, and an unexpected wine country in Pahrump.

8. North Carolina: “The Tar Heel State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / MarkVanDykePhotography

From the Appalachian Mountains to the Outer Banks, North Carolina is known for Asheville’s arts and craft breweries, and its distinctive barbecue flavors.

7. Vermont: “The Green Mountain State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Vermont’s green mountains and farm-to-table movement make it ideal for outdoor adventures, with Burlington leading in innovative dining.

6. Oregon: “The Beaver State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Bob Pool

Oregon’s varied landscapes complement Portland’s foodie scene, thrift shopping, and the renowned Willamette Valley’s pinot noir.

5. Louisiana: “The Pelican State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sharon Ball

Louisiana is a hub for music, especially in New Orleans, offers a rich culinary heritage, and hosts vibrant festivals like Mardi Gras.

4. Colorado: “The Centennial State”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Steve Boice

The Rocky Mountains in Colorado provide outdoor adventures, a leading craft beer scene, and unique attractions like sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes National Park.

3. Alaska: “The Last Frontier”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Fotopro_929

Alaska’s wild beauty, cultural heritage, and fresh seafood offer a unique experience, with treasure hunts in thrift stores for outdoor gear and memorabilia.

2. Michigan: “The Great Lakes State”

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Image credit: Shutterstock / Jamie Boggess

Michigan’s Great Lakes beaches, vibrant craft brewery and winery scene, Detroit’s arts and music revival, and secluded camping in the Upper Peninsula stand out.

1. New Mexico: “The Land of Enchantment”

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Yehuda Diskint

New Mexico, with its cultural blend, historical sites, and natural beauty from White Sands National Park to Santa Fe’s arts scene, tops the list as the must-visit destination for 2024.

Embrace the Adventure

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Oleksandr But

Each destination offers its unique blend of culture and nature, proving that the United States is a mosaic of experiences waiting to be explored. As you plot your 2024 travels, let this list be a reminder that adventure lies not just in distant lands but in the nooks and crannies of our own expansive backyard.

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The post 20 States Making Waves as Vacation Hotspots republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Wirestock Creators.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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