The most over-the-top tourist attraction in every US state

Advertisement
The most over-the-top tourist attraction in every US state
  • Insider rounded up a list of over-the-top tourist attractions across all 50 US states.
  • Some states have famous amusement parks, like Disney World, Cedar Point, and Universal Studios.
  • Other attractions are natural wonders, including Denali National Park and Going-to-the-Sun-Road.

Alabama: US Space & Rocket Center

Alabama: US Space & Rocket Center
US Space & Rocket Center. Shutterstock

The Huntsville-based US Space & Rocket Center boasts one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia in the world.

It has rockets, rocket-launch simulators, and the Apollo 16, and it even offers a Space Camp.

Advertisement

Alaska: Denali National Park

Alaska: Denali National Park
Denali National Park. Shutterstock/ eyeCatchLight Photography

Denali National Park is home to North America's highest peak at 20,320 feet.

Even if you don't venture the climb, the park has an extraordinary six million acres of wildland.

Advertisement

Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park. Anton Foltin/Shutterstock

The Grand Canyon is one of the most-visited natural wonders in North America for a reason.

Between its immense size and spectacular views, this natural phenomenon is anything but ordinary.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Arkansas: Blanchard Springs Cavern

Arkansas: Blanchard Springs Cavern
Blanchard Springs Cavern. Shutterstock

This active Blanchard Springs Cavern system contains three levels of ever-changing crystalline formations.

It's believed to have been formed by an ongoing mountain spring that pours into a trout pond below the cave.

Advertisement

California: Universal Studios Hollywood

California: Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood. Miami2you/Shutterstock

California is full of attractions from the staggering Mariposa Grove to the trendy draws of Coachella. But Universal Studios Hollywood is one of its most over-the-top of the bunch.

Between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the famous studio tours, there's plenty to do and see at the park.

Advertisement

Colorado: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Colorado: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Amphitheater. Shutterstock

Red Rocks Amphitheater is a live music venue housed in a geological phenomenon.

Over the years, it's hosted famed musicians like The Beatles and Sting.

Advertisement

Connecticut: Gillette Castle State Park

Connecticut: Gillette Castle State Park
Gillette Castle State Park. Shutterstock

Gillette Castle is a 24-room mansion nestled on a 184-acre estate that was built by actor William Gillette in the early 1900s.

Advertisement

Delaware: Monster Mile

Delaware: Monster Mile
Dover International Speedway. Shutterstock

The Dover International Speedway, nicknamed the "Monster Mile," is a great place to watch NASCAR races.

Visitors can enjoy its 46-foot fiberglass monster, Miles, who's become the speedway's official mascot.

Advertisement

Florida: Disney World

Florida: Disney World
Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Charles Sykes/AP

With four theme parks and plenty of resorts, Disney World is easily the most extravagant tourist attraction in Florida.

Advertisement

Georgia: Jekyll Island

Georgia: Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island. rodclementphotography/Getty Images

Jekyll Island makes the list for its extravagant history.

It was bought by a group of millionaires who called themselves the Jekyll Island Club before it was sold to the state of Georgia in 1947.

Advertisement

Hawaii: Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii: Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park. Shutterstock

Volcanoes National Park offers viewers an up-close-and-personal look at an active volcano with stunning surroundings.

Advertisement

Idaho: Perrine Bridge

Idaho: Perrine Bridge
Perrine Bridge. Shutterstock

Perrine Bridge is a popular BASE jumping destination.

The 1,500 foot-long bridge spanning Snake River Canyon is a picturesque place to both take in the views and get an adrenaline rush.

Advertisement

Illinois: Willis Tower

Illinois: Willis Tower
Willis Tower. Reuters/Jason Reed

The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is the second-tallest building in North America at 110 stories tall.

It features a Sky Deck, which allows visitors to peer over protruding glass that sits 1,353 feet in the air.

Advertisement

Indiana: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indiana: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bryan Busovicki/Shutterstock

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the most famed automobile racetrack in the world, hosts the Indy 500 each year, which draws over 200,000 attendees on average.

Advertisement

Iowa: The "Field of Dreams" movie site

Iowa: The "Field of Dreams" movie site
The "Field of Dreams" movie site. Charlie Neibergall/AP

Thousands of people visit the "Field of Dreams" movie site in Iowa each year.

The baseball field was built for the popular Hollywood movie and remains intact to welcome visitors and baseball fans.

Advertisement

Kansas: Strataca Underground Salt Museum

Kansas: Strataca Underground Salt Museum
Kansas Underground Salt Museum. Keith Myers/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Strataca mines started as one of the largest bedded salt deposits in the world (27,000 square miles).

Today, the museum draws visitors with guided underground tours, train rides through the mine, and a Salt Safari.

Advertisement

Kentucky: Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Kentucky: Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Thomas Kelley/Shutterstock

What started as a small Kentucky woodworking shop became the home of the iconic wooden baseball bat in 1884.

Baseball fans can wander through the exhibits, and no one can miss the 120-foot-tall replica of Babe Ruth's Louisville Slugger that rests against the exterior of the building.

Advertisement

Louisiana: Bourbon Street

Louisiana: Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street. Simply Photos/Shutterstock

New Orleans is famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations, but Bourbon Street is bustling all year long.

It's one of the oldest streets in North America, and it's a hotbed for live jazz and raucous nightlife.

Advertisement

Maine: Stephen King's house

Maine: Stephen King's house
Stephen King's home. Associated Press

Maine is known for its natural parks and mountains, but Stephen King's ominous-looking mansion — complete with a wrought-iron fence decorated with bats and spiders — is a must-see attraction for horror fans.

Advertisement

Maryland: George Peabody Library

Maryland: George Peabody Library
George Peabody Library. Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

As anyone who attends Johns Hopkins University knows, the George Peabody Library is one of the most famous in the country.

It's even become a popular choice for wedding venues due to its striking architecture and ornamental balconies.

Advertisement

Massachusetts: Fenway Park

Massachusetts: Fenway Park
Fenway Park. Shutterstock

Fenway Park has dubbed itself "America's most beloved ballpark."

With a dedicated fan base and a rich history, it's definitely worth checking out if you're in the Boston area.

Advertisement

Michigan: Mackinac Island

Michigan: Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island. DougLemke / iStock

Mackinac Island manages to be both extravagant and quaint.

No cars are allowed on the island, but you can take a carriage ride to explore the fudge shops and family-owned lodging.

Advertisement

Minnesota: Mall of America

Minnesota: Mall of America
Mall of America. Mark Erickson/Getty Images

Minnesota is home to stunning national parks and the Boundary Waters, but the sprawling Mall of America is its most extravagant attraction.

It hosts 400 events and 40 million shoppers per year on average.

Advertisement

Mississippi: Windsor Ruins

Mississippi: Windsor Ruins
Windsor Ruins. Zack Frank/Shutterstock

These ruins can be difficult to locate but they're worth the trip.

The group of columns is all that remains from a mansion that burned down in a fire.

Advertisement

Missouri: Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins

Missouri: Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins
Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins. Shutterstock

Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins is a geological treasure with fantastic hiking.

The actual ruins are from a European-style castle that burned down in a fire, but the state park also features a natural bridge, bluffs, sinkholes, and more.

Advertisement

Montana: Going-to-the-Sun-Road

Montana: Going-to-the-Sun-Road
Going-to-the-Sun-Road. Shutterstock

Glacier National Park has a 52-mile highway crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass called Going-to-the-Sun-Road.

It takes two hours to drive the 50 miles of jaw-dropping views.

Look out for waterfalls and mountain goats as you enjoy the winding road into the sky.

Advertisement

Nebraska: Carhenge

Nebraska: Carhenge
Carhenge. Shutterstock

Carhenge features 39 cars stacked on top of one another in an artistic recreation of Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in the UK.

Advertisement

Nevada: Las Vegas Strip

Nevada: Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip. iStock / Donyanedomam

Sin City is the most over-the-top spot of Nevada.

With a slew of glittering resorts, restaurants, and casinos, it's the place to go for a good time, and its bright lights can even be seen from space.

Advertisement

New Hampshire: Mount Washington Auto Road

New Hampshire: Mount Washington Auto Road
Mount Washington Auto Road. Onfokus/Getty Images

Visitors can either take a guided tour or drive themselves down Mount Washington Auto Road.

It isn't a relaxing drive though, the climate changes along the winding road and dramatic cloud formations and crazy winds are to be expected.

Advertisement

New Jersey: Atlantic City

New Jersey: Atlantic City
Atlantic City. John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

This resort city is known for its casinos, robust nightlife, and famous boardwalk.

Advertisement

New Mexico: White Sands National Park

New Mexico: White Sands National Park
White Sands National Park. Shutterstock

The Tularosa Basin is home to "one of the world's greatest natural wonders."

White Sands National Park is home to enormous rolling dunes of white gypsum sand spanning nearly 300 square miles.

Advertisement

New York: Times Square

New York: Times Square
Times Square. Andrew F Kazmierski/iStock

It may make native New Yorkers groan, but there's no attraction more over-the-top and ostentatious than Times Square.

Advertisement

North Carolina: Biltmore Estate

North Carolina: Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate. Rauluminate / iStock

This 8,000-estate home built by George Vanderbilt in 1889 bills itself as "America's largest home."

The grounds are so expansive that a full tour takes several hours.

Advertisement

North Dakota: Enchanted Highway

North Dakota: Enchanted Highway
Enchanted Highway. Larry Porges/Shutterstock

The Enchanted Highway features the world's largest collection of scrap-metal sculptures.

They can be seen from a 32-mile stretch of I-94.

Advertisement

Ohio: Cedar Point

Ohio: Cedar Point
Cedar Point. Shutterstock

Cedar Point calls itself the "roller coaster capital of the world."

It has 18 coasters, 28 thrill rides, and 19 kid-friendly attractions among other unique experiences.

Advertisement

Oklahoma: Philbrook Museum of Art

Oklahoma: Philbrook Museum of Art
Philbrook Museum of Art. Shutterstock

Most art museums in North America wouldn't be classified as over-the-top, but Philbrook is housed inside an opulent Renaissance-style villa sitting on 23 acres of gardens.

Advertisement

Oregon: Crater Lake

Oregon: Crater Lake
Crater Lake. deebrowning / iStock

Crater Lake was formed over 7,700 years ago after a violent eruption collapsed a tall peak.

Now, it's the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet.

Advertisement

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Capitol

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Capitol
Pennsylvania State Capitol. Shutterstock

The Pennsylvania State Capitol is one of the most striking in the country, with stained glass, paintings, and Renaissance designs.

The centerpiece was inspired by Michelangelo's design for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Advertisement

Rhode Island: The Breakers

Rhode Island: The Breakers
The Breakers. Felix Lipov/Shutterstock

The Breakers is the largest of Newport's mansions or "cottages" that belonged to the Vanderbilt family.

Advertisement

South Carolina: Angel Oak Tree

South Carolina: Angel Oak Tree
Angel Oak Tree. Shutterstock / saraporn

South Carolina is home to many charming vacation attractions from Charleston to Hilton Head, but one of its most surprising features is a tree.

Angel Oak towers at over 60 feet tall, and experts estimate that it's between 400 and 500 years old.

Advertisement

South Dakota: Wall Drug

South Dakota: Wall Drug
Wall Drug Store. nyker/Shutterstock

Wall Drug Store, informally known as simply Wall Drug, started as a small neighborhood shop in 1931.

But today it's a 76,000-square-foot roadside attraction where weary road-trippers can stop in for food, refreshments, and the store's legendary "free ice water."

Advertisement

Tennessee: Parthenon

Tennessee: Parthenon
Tennessee Parthenon. Shutterstock

Nashville's Centennial Park hosts a full-scale replica of Athens's Parthenon. It even includes a 42-foot replica of the statue of Athena.

Advertisement

Texas: Cadillac Ranch

Texas: Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch. Shutterstock

Located off of Route 66, Cadillac Ranch is one of the funkiest roadside attractions in the country.

Three San Francisco artists created the sculpture, which features colorful Cadillac cars stuck into the desert ground, in 1974, and it's still attracting tourists today.

Advertisement

Utah: Inspiration Point

Utah: Inspiration Point
Inspiration Point. Shutterstock

Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park is a memorable and extraordinary natural attraction.

Visitors can gaze across the three levels of colorful hoodoos (also known as tent rocks).

Advertisement

Vermont: Hildene

Vermont: Hildene
Hildene. LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES/Shutterstock

Hildene, the Lincoln Family's summer home, is a Georgian revival mansion that belonged to the 16th president's son.

The estate features an observatory, formal gardens, and a farm, and it's open for tours.

Advertisement

Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg

Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg. StacieStauffSmith Photos / Shutterstock

Colonial Williamsburg is committed to recreating 18th-century life.

Many of the town's original buildings are still standing, horse-drawn carriages travel down the roads, and costumed reenactors lead classes in the shops.

Advertisement

Washington: Museum of Flight

Washington: Museum of Flight
Museum of Flight. ASSOCIATED PRESS

The enormous Museum of Flight features flight simulators, over 175 aircrafts and spacecrafts, and dozens of exhibits.

Advertisement

West Virginia: New River Gorge Bridge

West Virginia: New River Gorge Bridge
New River Gorge Bridge. Nikolai Hamel/Shutterstock

The New River Gorge Bridge is one of the most photographed spots in West Virginia.

It has the longest steel span in the Western hemisphere, and it towers at over 800 feet above the water.

Residents of Fayetteville, West Virginia, even celebrate Bridge Day to honor it.

Advertisement

Wisconsin: Lambeau Field Atrium

Wisconsin: Lambeau Field Atrium
Lambeau Field Atrium. Andy Manis/AP

Lambeau Field Atrium, home of the Green Bay Packers, is 5 stories high, with a number of dining and retail options.

Advertisement

Wyoming: Upper Geyser Basin

Wyoming: Upper Geyser Basin
Upper Geyser Basin. Shutterstock

All of Yellowstone National Park belongs on this list, but the Upper Geyser Basin, home to Old Faithful, has the largest concentration of geysers in the world.

Advertisement

BONUS - Washington, DC: National Mall

BONUS - Washington, DC: National Mall
National Mall. dibrova/Shutterstock

From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall is a powerful place to bask in history and admire striking architecture.

Advertisement