U.S. travelers don’t have to go far from home to find a meaningful and cultural vacation experience.
In fact, the U.S. is such a geographically and culturally diverse nation that it is possible to completely broaden your travel horizons without leaving the country or getting on a plane at all.
But which states should you visit?
According to the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) these are the 3 most popular U.S. states to visit in 2024:
3. New York
New York, New York: so good they named it twice. On an international stage New York City is one of the most well-known and iconic destinations in America.
New York welcomes over 66 million annual visitors and is home to over 8 million people making it the largest city in the U.S.
And because the city is laid out over such a large area that means there are plenty of options for cultural and adventure activities.
The most popular and famous activities in New York City are climbing to the top of the Empire State Building or taking a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty.
New York is also home to a huge selection of world-class museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and Guggenheim Museum.
Ice skating and jaw-dropping decorations make New York City an incredible place to visit during the winter months, and the city has also been listed as one of the best places in the world to spend New Year’s Eve.
But New York has so much more to offer than just New York City.
Head out of its most well-known city and explore New York State for the chance to see the breathtaking Niagara Falls, take an airboat tour of the more than 1,800 islands that make up the Thousand Islands, or climb, hike, and zipline your way through New York's Catskill Mountains.
Whether you’re looking for urban excitement or the chance to get closer to nature, you’ll find both in New York.
Nature lovers assemble! With 8 National Parks and 16 National Wildlife Refuges, Alaska is paradise on earth for those looking to get out into nature.
Alaska is best known for its incredible views and the huge range of wildlife you can see in the state.
Moose, bears, and in some places even polar bears can be found in Alaska. The summer months between May and September are the best time to visit if you want to go wildlife spotting.
Alaska is a state of superlatives. It has the highest mountains, the most glaciers, and the longest days. There are over 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes, as well as more than 6,500 miles of coastline.
So why should you plan a visit to this state designed for outdoor adventurers in 2024?
Well there are some attractions that are only in Alaska and that you won’t find anywhere else. These include soaking in hot springs during the midnight sun, taking a ride on the iconic Alaska railway or experiencing a guided flightseeing tour over Alaska’s glaciers, mountains, and waterways.
Juneau is the only U.S. capital that is inaccessible by road, and if you’re expecting the skyscrapers and bustle of other capital cities, you’ll be disappointed.
Juneau is a great starting point for water pursuits such as spoting humpbacks and orcas, and some of the best sport fishing on the planet.
The U.S. state chosen as the most popular to visit in 2024 is California.
Known as the Golden State, California has something to offer everyone, whether you’re looking to explore the bright lights of Hollywood or a solitary hike through a beautiful National Park.
Los Angeles is the largest city in California, and it attracts tourists hoping to bump into Hollywood stars or relax on gorgeous beaches. It has a bustling, lively nightlife scene that is considered one of the best in the U.S.
Head to San Fransisco to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, which is America’s only moving National Historic Landmark. State for the Michelin-starred dining experiences and the renowned food truck scene.
Away from these iconic cities, from the stunning coastline to the towering mountains, the scenery in California is unlike anything else in the world.
You can be in the middle of a city in the morning and climbing a mountain or relaxing on the beach in the afternoon.
That’s what makes California so unique and attracts so many visitors every year.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.