The best attraction in every US state for 2019

Mexico
To travel more, of course—what kind of travel editor would I be if I didn't want that? But specifically, to take a big trip with my partner. While I'll sing the gospel of solo travel all day long, there's something pretty special about experiencing a place in real-time with the person you love. Traveling—seeing new things and ancient things, being spontaneous, screwing up directions, having the greatest meals of your life—brings you closer together, in part because it draws you out from the mundanity of the day-to-day, and also because it updates the vault of experiences you share. We're planning a blowout trip for sometime in spring 2019—will it be Scandinavia? The American Southwest? Israel? Stay tuned. – Betsy Blumenthal, Associate Editor, City Guides
Slide 1 of 51: You could spend a lifetime in the USA and only touch the surface of its huge number of exciting things to do. With incredible national parks, striking historical landmarks, quirky museums, giant shopping malls and beautiful natural sites, America’s 50 states have an endless amount for tourists to explore. Here’s our top pick of attractions not to miss in each US state in 2019…
Slide 2 of 51: If you’re a shopaholic, you can’t find a much more eclectic and varied shopping venue than in Scottsboro at Alabama’s Unclaimed Baggage Center. Here they purchase, clean, refurbish, organize and sell a vast array of lost and unclaimed airline passenger property, filling up a 40,000-square-foot retail store with 7,000 new items every day. There’s also a museum for items that are just too weird and wonderful to sell, with previous examples including a full suit of armor and a 40.95 carat emerald.
Slide 3 of 51: The state of Alaska is renowned for its wildlife, and the Wildlife Conservation Center in Anchorage not only cares for injured and orphaned animals and preserves wildlife through conservation, education and research, but also gives visitors a chance to see spectacular creatures up close. There are over 200 acres of space for the animals to roam in, with visitors able to spot everything from bison to brown bears in their natural habitats.
Slide 4 of 51: One of the world’s most spectacular natural spots, the Grand Canyon is one of the most visited attractions on the planet. Its natural beauty, with towering cliffs, colorful layers of ancient rock and dramatic canyons, has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. While you’re there, you can stand gawping at the awesome landmark, or enjoy a range of active adventures, from hiking and donkey rides to white-water rafting and cycling.
Slide 5 of 51: If you love diamonds and want to dig for your own, look no further than Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park. It's the only diamond-producing site in the world where the public are allowed search for these sparklers, and you're allowed to keep them and whatever else you find in the process. The park staff also provide free identification and certification of the diamonds you find, so you can quickly gather the true value of your gems.
Slide 6 of 51: Southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park, so named for the region’s twisted and hardy Joshua trees, spans nearly 800,000 acres and owes its striking, unique look to the desert’s strong winds and torrents of rain. Joshua Tree’s clear desert skies makes it a prime place for stargazing. On the darkest nights, you might even glimpse the Milky Way. During the day, visitors can drive, hike, rock climb, horse ride, mountain bike and more through the stunning landscape.
Slide 7 of 51: Colorado is home to plenty of gorgeous sights but perhaps its most spectacular spot is Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. The second most-visited mountain in the world, behind Japan’s Mount Fuji, it’s very accessible for the hordes of tourists that journey to the 14,115-foot summit. You can drive up the scenic highway, take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest cog railway in the world or, if you're feeling adventurous, hike or cycle to the top.
Slide 8 of 51: The state of Connecticut is home to the USA’s largest maritime museum, Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea. Located on the banks of Connecticut’s Mystic River, it's stuffed with seafaring entertainment, including exhibit halls, a planetarium and even a recreated seafaring village. There’s also the chance to get hands on with the state’s maritime history, from exploring the last wooden whaleship in the world to renting a boat for yourself.
Slide 9 of 51: Set on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, Hagley is the original site where the famous du Pont family began producing gunpowder. You can tour the family home and garden, visit the powder yards and enjoy the expansive gardens. There are also restored mills, an authentic workers' community and a visitors’ center with permanent and changing exhibitions.
Slide 10 of 51: For a seriously swanky shopping experience, it doesn’t get much more high end than Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue. With romantic courtyards, ornate piazzas and statues and fountains, this is no enormous, soulless mall, but instead feels exclusive with its grand, stylish setting. Although the shopping destination has all the designer retailers and brand names you’d expect, it’s possible to pick up a bargain in its eclectic independent boutiques too.
Slide 11 of 51: As the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium isn’t messing around. With tens of thousands of animals and 10 million gallons of fresh and marine water, there’s an endless amount to see and do, from sleepovers under the sea to animal encounters with penguins and sea otters. You can gaze through the glass at everything from alligators and whales to seahorses and stingrays.

Discover other brilliant attractions in Atlanta with our city guide. 
Slide 12 of 51: Any visitor to the USA with even a fleeting interest in geography should head straight for the massive Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Home to one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, Kilauea, the park encompasses an enormous 333,000 acres. There’s an almost endless list of things to do while you’re there, from discovering over 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters and rainforests, to taking scenic drives past spectacular lookout points.
Slide 13 of 51: The dramatic Idaho Craters of the Moon National Park is a peculiar landscape that sticks in the mind: totally desolate yet fascinating, with over 53,000 acres of volcanic formations and lava flows. The park itself is over 750,000 acres and can even be seen from space. While you’re there, explore the hiking routes, which are suitable for a simple hour-long walk, or treks longer than a day, or enjoy a seven-mile scenic drive. In the winter, you can even ski on the volcanic terrain.
Slide 14 of 51: A vertigo-inducing 94 stories above the city of Chicago, inside the John Hancock building, is the 360 Chicago Observation Deck and TILT, the terrifying "ride" that offers a guaranteed adrenalin rush. This enclosed moving glass platform slowly tilts outward at an angle so your entire body leans downwards towards the city streets. Once you’ve got over the initial fright, you’ll be able not only to enjoy magnificent views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, but also take in views of four other states.
Slide 15 of 51: Indiana is home to the largest children’s museum in the world, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and with over 120,000 artifacts of all shapes and sizes and five floors of exhibits, it’s no surprise that over a million people each year pay a visit. Families can learn about the children who changed the world, from Anne Frank to Ruby Bridges, explore massive dinosaur fossils and be mesmerized by the 43-foot blown-glass sculpture by American artist Dale Chihuly.
Slide 16 of 51: Iowa’s Maquoketa Caves State Park takes you on a geological journey back in time as you admire caves and limestone formations from thousands of years ago. There are scenic overlooks via the picturesque trail, which takes you from large structures with walkways and lights to smaller caves you need to crawl through. It’s great to visit at any time of year, with blossom and flowers decorating the park in spring, and snow turning the park into a winter wonderland come the colder months.
Slide 17 of 51: Strataca is the only underground salt museum in the western hemisphere that you can visit and it sits 650 feet below the Earth's surface. Located in Hutchinson, also known as “Salt City”, the museum pays tribute to the city’s mining history and has plenty of attractions within its underground walls, from the salt mine express, a 15-minute train ride through part of the mine, to the mining gallery, where you can discover what a day in the life of a miner is really like.
Slide 18 of 51: As the home of the stylish Chevrolet Corvette sports car, it would make sense that Bowling Green, Kentucky, would also be home to the National Corvette Museum. At the museum, you can get up close and personal with 80 Corvettes, from mint classics and one-of-a-kind prototypes to rare finds and racing champs. There’s also the Corvette Cave-In, which lets visitors experience the massive sinkhole that opened beneath it in early 2014, swallowing eight one-of-a-kind Corvettes.
Slide 19 of 51: An instantly recognizable New Orleans landmark, St Louis Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States. The church dates back to the early 18th century and can be visited on a self-guided tour for a donation of just one dollar.
Slide 20 of 51: New England’s only national park, Acadia, is set off the rocky coast of Maine. Its dramatic setting, with nearly 50,000 acres of mountains, forests, lakes, fields, marshlands, ponds and a spectacular shoreline, is ripe for exploring. Keen wildlife watchers will enjoy spotting all sorts of creatures, from whales and seals to foxes and herons, while active types can enjoy hiking, biking and horse riding.
Slide 21 of 51: Harriet Tubman was a 19th-century freedom seeker, human rights activist and suffragist. Born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore into slavery, Tubman escaped in 1849 and eventually became instrumental in helping around 70 slaves flee to freedom. The Harriet Tubman Scenic Byway is a self-guided, 125-mile driving tour with 35 historical sites key in Tubman’s life, including the Harriet Tubman Organization, a museum dedicated to her life and work.
Slide 22 of 51: Perhaps Massachusetts's most well-known activity, the two-and-a-half mile-long Freedom Trail runs through the heart of downtown Boston, taking visitors past 16 historically significant stops along the early battlegrounds of the American Revolution. Led by 18th-century costumed tour guides, you’ll be led past important places such as the magnificent Massachusetts State House and the site of the Boston Massacre.
Slide 23 of 51: The National Historic Landmark of Mackinac Island is a resort area perfect for a quaint getaway. Forget the bustle of traffic or the hooting of cars, here the only way to get around is by horse and carriage, bicycle or using your own two feet. Going slowly is a great way to explore this unique island, with its wide range of architectural styles, homemade fudge stores and historic Fort Mackinac, the oldest building in Michigan, now full of educational exhibits. Discover what else to see on Mackinac Island and around Lake Michigan. 
Slide 24 of 51: The mall to beat all malls, Bloomington, Minnesota’s Mall of America is the country's largest shopping and entertainment destination with over 520 stores, 50 restaurants and a whole host of entertainment options. There's a SEA LIFE aquarium, a LEGO store, the nation's largest indoor family theme park with 27 rides, the USA’s longest indoor zip line and an 18-hole mini golf course. Best of all, there’s no sales tax on clothing or shoes.
Slide 25 of 51: Which Elvis Presley fan wouldn't want to see where the king of rock and roll began his life? While many tourists flock to Graceland, in Tennessee, to see where the legend’s life ended, you can see where it all started in a two-room house in Mississippi. A dedicated tour takes you from Elvis’s birthplace to his memorial chapel, with his childhood church, a museum and, of course, a gift shop in between.
Slide 26 of 51: For a theme park that goes the extra mile, head to Branson's 1880s-style Silver Dollar City. It’s not just home to over 40 hair-raising rides and attractions, but is also well-known for its live shows and concerts, excellent food and selection of quirky stores. Missouri is known for its caves and caverns, and Silver Dollar City is no different, sitting on top of one of the state’s deepest caves. There’s also an artisan village with more than a hundred resident craftspeople on site. Take a look at the world's most jaw-dropping roller coasters only the brave dare to ride.
Slide 27 of 51: While of course there’s an endless supply of beauty to gawp at in Yellowstone National Park, from dramatic canyons to hot springs, if you want to get really close to its varied wildlife, take a trip to West Yellowstone’s Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. The not-for-profit wildlife park and educational center teaches visitors about grizzlies and wolves, as well as allowing you to watch the creatures in their natural outdoor habitats.
Slide 28 of 51: One of the most famous zoos in the world, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is well-known for its state-of-the-art animal habitats, ambitious exhibits and range of wildlife. It’s home to everything from South African elephants to Atlantic stingrays. There’s also plenty of entertainment too, with animal encounters, rides, attractions and even an IMAX cinema.
Slide 29 of 51: Las Vegas, Nevada isn’t just about wild concerts, hypnotizing casinos and raucous nightclubs: there are museums to be found too. One particular highlight is the Neon Museum, which collects, preserves, studies and exhibits some of Vegas’s most important signs. Each sign has a story around its creation, what inspired it and the role it played in the city's landscape. The museum also takes visitors on an educational journey through signs from the 1930s until today.
Slide 30 of 51: The gorgeous Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire’s largest, measuring 21 miles long. It’s a popular tourist destination thanks to its year-round appeal: in the winter, it’s a favorite of skiers, snowboarders, ice fishers and snowmobilers; while in the summer there are plenty of hiking trails to enjoy on foot or on horseback, while the calm waters are ideal for boating, fishing, canoeing and swimming.
Slide 31 of 51: Created as a way of making sculpture and contemporary art accessible to people of all backgrounds and interests, New Jersey’s Grounds For Sculpture was designed so that visitors could experience sculpture in a familiar and informal setting. The not-for-profit park exhibits nearly 300 works, with some pieces commissioned specifically for the attraction, such as New Jersey artist Isaac Witkin’s impressive Garden State.
Slide 32 of 51: If you’re heading to New Mexico, don’t miss Santa Fe’s coolest, most crazy attraction: the House of Eternal Return. The immersive, colorful art installation transports visitors into a fantasy world inside its mystery house with secret passages, climbing apparatus and art exhibits along with a children’s learning center and café area. The complex also has a music venue, bar and an outdoor dining scene with food trucks. The kids will love it, and so will you.
Slide 33 of 51: There’s plenty to visit in New York, but the place you’ll find yourself returning is the Museum of Modern Art. With almost 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art, the collection is home to works by numerous important artists, including Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Visitors can view paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and more, while MoMa also owns around two million film stills.
Slide 34 of 51: As America’s largest home, the Biltmore Estate is impressive even before you set eyes on its imposing architecture and magnificent gardens. Built by George Vanderbilt, the 8,000-acre estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina is a popular tourist spot, with plenty of activities happening within its grounds, such as fashion exhibitions, wine tasting, horse riding and live music.
Slide 35 of 51: It’s not every day you can see a red panda with your own eyes, but at Fargo, North Dakota’s Red River Zoo, you can come face to face with some of the world’s rarest cold climate species, including Chinese red pandas, Pallas’ cats and grey wolves. You can also spot an armadillo, White Faced Saki monkeys and a South American two-toed sloth. The zoo takes an active role in conservation, teaching children how to help wildlife, and running activities for students to help them compile important data.
Slide 36 of 51: No music fan could go to Ohio and miss out on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dedicated to the celebration and preservation of rock and roll music, there’s lots to enjoy, from exhibits lauding Rolling Stone magazine to celebrations of the ultimate rock icons, from The Beatles to David Bowie. Although the exhibition is 15 years old, it's continually updated, with recent additions including Beyoncé’s one-sleeve leotard from the Single Ladies music video.
Slide 37 of 51: As America’s foremost museum documenting Western history, art and culture, Oklahoma City's National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum exhibits tens of thousands of Western artifacts and art. There are interactive galleries focusing on the history of the American cowboy, rodeos, Western performers and more. Plus there's a broad mix of exhibitions on display, with everything from sculptures and firearms to cartoons and historical cowboy gear, taking you on a visual journey through the American West.
Slide 38 of 51: The deepest lake in the USA, Oregon not only astounds visitors with its facts and figures but also with its serene beauty. Its calm blue color and dramatic cliff surroundings make for excellent photos, while active adventurers can hike, bike and drive around the beautiful lake. If you can bear the icy temperatures, you can even swim in it too. Created by a violent volcanic explosion when Mount Mazama collapsed some 7,700 years ago, the story is still told in Native American legends today.
Slide 39 of 51: It’s not hard to see why Philadelphia’s beautiful Longwood Gardens is visited by over 1.5 million people a year. With over a thousand acres of natural woodland and picture-perfect gardens, Longwood is also home to the most significant fountain collection in the United States. With 40 indoor and outdoor gardens, chances are you won’t get bored. But if you do, there’s a jam-packed schedule, with several events happening every day, from fountain shows to live music, to keep you entertained.
Slide 40 of 51: If you’re taking a trip to Newport, Rhode Island, don’t miss out on getting to know the city via the Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile-long winding seaside path that takes you past both the manicured grounds of Newport’s breathtaking Gilded Age mansions and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the cliffs have steep drops plunging up to 70 feet – the views across the waters are spectacular – and on the other side you’ll pass architectural landmarks such as Salve Regina University and The Breakers. 
Slide 41 of 51: The American hero of Thanksgiving, the humble turkey has been given its own museum. The Winchester Museum at the National Wild Turkey Federation is the only museum on the planet dedicated to wild turkey restoration, management and hunting. It tells the story of the wild turkey through displays, while visitors can also learn how to make wild turkey sounds and view taxidermy of the five wild turkey subspecies. 

From bananas to mustard, discover the strangest museums in the USA 
Slide 42 of 51: One of the USA’s most recognizable memorials, Mount Rushmore National Memorial features the 60-foot carved faces of four great American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. When you get there, walk the Presidential trail, which is less than a mile long to get close to the mountain sculpture, spotting elk, white-tailed deer and big-horn sheep along the way. Head to the visitor center to watch a film describing the methods used in carving Mount Rushmore.
Slide 43 of 51: Located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1968, Tennessee's National Civil Rights Museum takes visitors on a five-century journey of civil rights from the beginning of the resistance during slavery to the late 20th century. Stand-out exhibits include a recreation of Rosa Parks refusing to move from her seat on the bus, as well as an exhibition about Dr King’s last hours.
Slide 44 of 51: If you want to learn more about the life and assassination of President John F. Kennedy, take a trip to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. Located in the old Texas School Book Depository building, where a sniper’s perch and rifle were found on the sixth floor after the president was assassinated in Dealey Plaza, the museum chronicles the life and legacy of the president through the lens of his assassination in 1963, with historic images, news footage and special exhibits.
Slide 45 of 51: Who said you need to go to Bolivia to experience the magic of otherworldly salt flats? Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats stretch over 30,000 acres, but seem to extend forever. Created when the ancient waters dried up, the lake’s total salt crust volume is estimated at 146 million tons. A popular spot for photographers, commercials and filming, the salt flats are also used for automobile racing and have been the site for several land speed records.
Slide 46 of 51: If you love ice cream (and who doesn’t?), be sure to take trip to the original Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury for a tasty tour. You can learn how the brains behind the famous ice cream brand make the flavors so delicious, pay a visit to the Flavor Graveyard to pay your respects to those that have fallen by the wayside and, of course, sample plenty of ice cream.
Slide 47 of 51: Monticello, the primary plantation of America’s third president Thomas Jefferson, is a highlight not to be missed in Charlottesville, Virginia. Drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is prominently featured on the back of the nickel. While the main highlight is touring the spectacular home and impressively maintained gardens, there’s also a visitor center with information about Jefferson and his life, with interactive exhibits for children.
Slide 48 of 51: Seattle is stuffed with great, family-friendly attractions, but one of its most striking spots is Chihuly Garden and Glass in the Seattle Center. American sculptor Dale Chihuly has his works exhibited in over 200 museums worldwide, but this is by far the best. The museum features eight galleries, an exhibition garden and a striking centerpiece: the 40-foot glasshouse featuring one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures.
Slide 49 of 51: Outdoor adventurers adore West Virginia’s New River Gorge, with its long list of active recreation opportunities, from climbing and rafting to kayaking and hiking. Its River Gorge Bridge, soaring 876 feet above the Gorge, is the longest single-arch bridge in the western hemisphere, and once a year, on Bridge Day, welcomes people from all over the world to zipline, rappel and base jump from the impressive structure.
Slide 50 of 51: Motorbike enthusiasts won’t be able to resist the lure of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Harley-Davidson Museum. With plenty for both kids and adults, visitors can touch and sit on any motorcycle in the Experience Gallery, see everything that goes into making a Harley-Davidson Knucklehead motorbike in the Engine Room, and enjoy a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions dedicated to celebrating the iconic motorcycle. 

Now see the most unusual places to stay in every state too. 
Slide 51 of 51: The Old Faithful Geyser has had more than a million eruptions since Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in 1872. The world’s most famous geyser normally erupts around 20 times a day for up to five minutes, and can be predicted with a 90% accuracy rate. It’s great for tourists, as you’re pretty much guaranteed to see an eruption.

Discover our guide to northern Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park with our road trip itinerary around the state. 

America’s best bits

Alabama: Unclaimed Baggage Center

Alaska: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Arizona: Grand Canyon

Arkansas: Crater of Diamonds State Park

California: Joshua Tree National Park

Colorado: Pikes Peak

Connecticut: Mystic Seaport

Delaware: Hagley Museum & Library

Florida: Worth Avenue

Georgia: Georgia Aquarium

As the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium isn’t messing around. With tens of thousands of animals and 10 million gallons of fresh and marine water, there’s an endless amount to see and do, from sleepovers under the sea to animal encounters with penguins and sea otters. You can gaze through the glass at everything from alligators and whales to seahorses and stingrays.

Discover other brilliant attractions in Atlanta with our city guide. 

Hawaii: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Idaho: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

Illinois: 360 Chicago

A vertigo-inducing 94 stories above the city of Chicago, inside the John Hancock building, is the 360 Chicago Observation Deck and TILT, the terrifying “ride” that offers a guaranteed adrenalin rush. This enclosed moving glass platform slowly tilts outward at an angle so your entire body leans downwards towards the city streets. Once you’ve got over the initial fright, you’ll be able not only to enjoy magnificent views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, but also take in views of four other states.

Indiana: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Iowa: Maquoketa Caves State Park

Kansas: Strataca

Kentucky: National Corvette Museum

Louisiana: St Louis Cathedral

Maine: Acadia National Park

Maryland: The Harriet Tubman Scenic Byway

Massachusetts: Freedom Trail

Michigan: Mackinac Island

The National Historic Landmark of Mackinac Island is a resort area perfect for a quaint getaway. Forget the bustle of traffic or the hooting of cars, here the only way to get around is by horse and carriage, bicycle or using your own two feet. Going slowly is a great way to explore this unique island, with its wide range of architectural styles, homemade fudge stores and historic Fort Mackinac, the oldest building in Michigan, now full of educational exhibits. Discover what else to see on Mackinac Island and around Lake Michigan. 

Minnesota: Mall of America

Mississippi: Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum

Missouri: Silver Dollar City

For a theme park that goes the extra mile, head to Branson’s 1880s-style Silver Dollar City. It’s not just home to over 40 hair-raising rides and attractions, but is also well-known for its live shows and concerts, excellent food and selection of quirky stores. Missouri is known for its caves and caverns, and Silver Dollar City is no different, sitting on top of one of the state’s deepest caves. There’s also an artisan village with more than a hundred resident craftspeople on site. Take a look at the world’s most jaw-dropping roller coasters only the brave dare to ride.

Montana: Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

Nebraska: Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Nevada: The Neon Museum

New Hampshire: Lake Winnipesaukee

New Jersey: Grounds for Sculpture

New Mexico: Meow Wolf

New York: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

There’s plenty to visit in New York, but the place you’ll find yourself returning is the Museum of Modern Art. With almost 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art, the collection is home to works by numerous important artists, including Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Visitors can view paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and more, while MoMa also owns around two million film stills.

North Carolina: Biltmore Estate

North Dakota: Red River Zoo

It’s not every day you can see a red panda with your own eyes, but at Fargo, North Dakota’s Red River Zoo, you can come face to face with some of the world’s rarest cold climate species, including Chinese red pandas, Pallas’ cats and grey wolves. You can also spot an armadillo, White Faced Saki monkeys and a South American two-toed sloth. The zoo takes an active role in conservation, teaching children how to help wildlife, and running activities for students to help them compile important data.

Ohio: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

No music fan could go to Ohio and miss out on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dedicated to the celebration and preservation of rock and roll music, there’s lots to enjoy, from exhibits lauding Rolling Stone magazine to celebrations of the ultimate rock icons, from The Beatles to David Bowie. Although the exhibition is 15 years old, it’s continually updated, with recent additions including Beyoncé’s one-sleeve leotard from the Single Ladies music video.

Oklahoma: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

As America’s foremost museum documenting Western history, art and culture, Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum exhibits tens of thousands of Western artifacts and art. There are interactive galleries focusing on the history of the American cowboy, rodeos, Western performers and more. Plus there’s a broad mix of exhibitions on display, with everything from sculptures and firearms to cartoons and historical cowboy gear, taking you on a visual journey through the American West.

Oregon: Crater Lake National Park

Pennsylvania: Longwood Gardens

Rhode Island: Cliff Walk

If you’re taking a trip to Newport, Rhode Island, don’t miss out on getting to know the city via the Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile-long winding seaside path that takes you past both the manicured grounds of Newport’s breathtaking Gilded Age mansions and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the cliffs have steep drops plunging up to 70 feet – the views across the waters are spectacular – and on the other side you’ll pass architectural landmarks such as Salve Regina University and The Breakers. 

South Carolina: The Winchester Museum

The American hero of Thanksgiving, the humble turkey has been given its own museum. The Winchester Museum at the National Wild Turkey Federation is the only museum on the planet dedicated to wild turkey restoration, management and hunting. It tells the story of the wild turkey through displays, while visitors can also learn how to make wild turkey sounds and view taxidermy of the five wild turkey subspecies. 

From bananas to mustard, discover the strangest museums in the USA 

South Dakota: Mount Rushmore National Memorial

One of the USA’s most recognizable memorials, Mount Rushmore National Memorial features the 60-foot carved faces of four great American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. When you get there, walk the Presidential trail, which is less than a mile long to get close to the mountain sculpture, spotting elk, white-tailed deer and big-horn sheep along the way. Head to the visitor center to watch a film describing the methods used in carving Mount Rushmore.

Tennessee: National Civil Rights Museum

Texas: Sixth Floor Museum

Utah: Bonneville Salt Flats

Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

Virginia: Monticello

Washington: Chihuly Garden and Glass

Seattle is stuffed with great, family-friendly attractions, but one of its most striking spots is Chihuly Garden and Glass in the Seattle Center. American sculptor Dale Chihuly has his works exhibited in over 200 museums worldwide, but this is by far the best. The museum features eight galleries, an exhibition garden and a striking centerpiece: the 40-foot glasshouse featuring one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures.

West Virginia: The New River Gorge National River

Wisconsin: Harley-Davidson Museum

Motorbike enthusiasts won’t be able to resist the lure of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Harley-Davidson Museum. With plenty for both kids and adults, visitors can touch and sit on any motorcycle in the Experience Gallery, see everything that goes into making a Harley-Davidson Knucklehead motorbike in the Engine Room, and enjoy a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions dedicated to celebrating the iconic motorcycle. 

Wyoming: Old Faithful Geyser

The Old Faithful Geyser has had more than a million eruptions since Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in 1872. The world’s most famous geyser normally erupts around 20 times a day for up to five minutes, and can be predicted with a 90% accuracy rate. It’s great for tourists, as you’re pretty much guaranteed to see an eruption.

Discover our guide to northern Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park with our road trip itinerary around the state. 

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