The Least Popular States to Visit in the US (and Why You Should Go)

If you’re an American, it’s not uncommon for your travel wish list to include visits to all fifty states. You’ve probably already gotten some of the big states out of the way, like New York, California, and Florida, because those states have obvious landmarks. No one wonders if there is any entertainment in the Big Apple or on the coast of California. The discouraging aspect of visiting all fifty states is not to visit the powers that be; it’s figuring out what to do in states where, except for a brief spell in fifth grade, you don’t even know the capitals.

These states tend to be underrepresented in the media and are often not considered in the school curriculum. But this does not make them less worthy of your tourism. In fact, they have a lot to offer. Here are the five least visited states in the country and two reasons to visit each.

Vermont

An obvious reason to visit

Skiing . Skiing makes up a big part of Vermont’s tourism in any given year, and when you go to visit, you’ll understand why. Vermont is dotted with beautiful mountains up and down the state. The state’s flagship ski town, Stowe, has been called the “ski capital of the east.” What if you love skiing, but your real ski days are behind you? Don’t worry, Stowe is also home to the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum .

Less obvious reason to visit

Careers . If skiing isn’t your thing, head to Vermont in the summer. An interesting feature of Vermont is that it is covered in quarries, both active and inactive, all of which are a sight to behold. You can take a tour of active quarries like the Rock of Ages , or swim or rock jump at local quarries for a quick and inexpensive thrill. Just be careful – these careers often float at your own risk.

Montana

An obvious reason to visit

Big sky . Often considered Montana’s gem, Big Sky is one of the most prominent attractions due to its breathtaking scenery and tourist infrastructure. Activities include hiking, rafting and wildlife watching. With a vibrant arts and restaurant scene, Big Sky is a no-brainer for anyone looking to visit the treasure state.

Less obvious reason to visit

Vortex of Montana . The Montana Vortex is described as “a true quantum or gravitational anomaly that defies the laws of physics and nature.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a real quantum or gravitational anomaly in my life, so the prospect of visiting one excites me. The sensation has been labeled “difficult to describe” but, in fact, it upsets your inner balance and also creates optical illusions in a truly stunning way.

Wyoming

An obvious reason to visit

Yellowstone National Park . Telling someone to visit Wyoming to check out Yellowstone National Park is like telling someone who comes to Paris to check out a little place called the Louvre – it’s like, uh, yeah, we know. But if it’s so obvious, why haven’t you been yet? Hm? Visit Yellowstone, take photos in front of Old Faithful, and cross Wyoming off your bucket list.

Less obvious reason to visit

Smith Mansion : The Smith Mansion is a set of wooden terraces and stairs that form a home that looks like it’s taken straight out of a Stephen King novel. The abandoned log house became a hotbed of fairy tales after the owner died in a fall while working on the house in 1992. This facility is worth checking out if you’ve already found yourself in Bill Cody’s Buffalo Scenic Lane .

Delaware

An obvious reason to visit

Beaches. If there’s one thing you know about Delaware, it’s that it’s the home of President Joe Biden. But if there are two things you know about Delaware, it’s that it’s home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast. Between Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, visitors can venture into the warm waters, go whale watching, and even do duty-free shopping on the beach.

Less obvious reason to visit

The Roosevelt Bay Shipwreck . I was thrilled to share the Delaware tradition of the Punkin Chuckin Festival with you, so imagine my disappointment when I found out it moved to North Carolina due to friendlier liability insurance laws. But I’m just as happy to share with you the shipwreck of Roosevelt Bay. This shipwreck, dating from the American Revolution, was not discovered until 2006. Shipwreck artifacts that offer a unique view of the Delaware coast are still being found to this day.

Alaska

An obvious reason to visit

Watching polar bears . Did you know that Alaska is the only US state where polar bears live in the wild? If you’re willing to pay the big bucks, you can even see it up close. August-October is what they call “polar bear season” so go ahead and finally book that late summer Alaska trip you’ve always been talking about and hit two birds with one stone on your wish list.

Less obvious reason to visit

Ice Cruises. If you want to see a big chunk of ice but still aren’t ready to forgive the icebergs for what they did to the Titanic, glaciers might be your go-to. These Alaska cruise options give you the chance to see these landmasses up close and personal – something you’ll never see in Times Square or Disneyland.

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