Least Visited States in America

states in America
image: Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to travel, we tend to focus more on international destinations. However, over the past few years Kim and I have made it a point to try to see more of the USA.

When visiting different states it’s definitely impressive to think of just how much there is to see at home. In 2015 we only had the chance to visit one new state. (Back in March, Kim, Lucas and I had a fun time checking out Charleston, South Carolina.)

To date I’ve been to 32 states and would love to finish visiting all 50 at some point sooner than later. In recent years we spent a little time in places like Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Not exactly states that typically come up as popular travel destinations.

Thrillist took a look at the 12 Least- Visited States in America and gave some ideas of reasons we might want to visit them.

Let’s take a look at which states made the not so popular list.

(Listed below are the states, annual visitors and reasons to visit.)

  • 12- Arkansas– 25.8 million- Visit for the outdoors.
  • 11- Alabama– 24.3 million- Civil rights sites & a large space museum.
  • 10- North Dakota– 24 million- National and State Parks, college hockey.
  • 9- Mississippi– 22 million- Great burgers, Elvis’s birthplace, beaches.
  • 8- Nebraska– 19.1 million- College football, Hunting & National Monuments.
  • 7- Rhode Island– 19.2 million- Historic mansions, 40 miles of coastline.
  • 6- Iowa– 16 million- Skiing, the party lake scene & the great bike race
  • 5- West Virginia– 15.2 million- Outdoor beauty- moutain biking, white water rafting.
  • 4- Vermont– 12.8 million- breweries, bike riding and skiing
  • 3- Montana– 11 million- National parks, resorts towns with skiing.
  • 2- Wyoming– 10.1 million- Yellowstone and other parks. Skiing at Jackson Hole.
  • 1- Delaware– 7.3 millions- Tax free shopping,beaches,mansions & historical America.

Have you been to any of America’s least visited states? If so which do you find most worthy of a visit? I’ve been to 7 of the 12 and If I had to pick one that I’ve been to visit again, I’d go with Rhode Island.

Find out more from Thrillist here.

12 thoughts on “Least Visited States in America

  1. I actually live in #3 and let’s not forget Yellowstone happens to be here also. Not just in Wyoming. But in terms of least visited, Hopefully one day we can make it to #1 :o)
    Although with Yellowstone and Glacier I don’t see that happening.

  2. Interesting but I wonder if the stats are correct on these. The numbers seem low. Also what constitutes a visitor?. Take Alabama for example it has millions upon millions driving through on the interstates on the way to Florida. Does that count?

    1. No. Unless you stop and ‘visit’ more than a gas station, you are not a visitor or tourist. You are just passing through.

  3. When we were younger Delaware was the vacation spot for us. Camping, fishing and (not sandy but pebbly) beaches. I used to live in Wyoming and it is very cool! I tried to plan a trip this year but somebody didn’t want to go. Drove through Nebraska in the 80’s, I think it was corn fields the whole length of the state…

  4. I’ve been to 49 of 50 states and missing north dakato – personally I love the bottom 5 with Delaware beach’s and love west Virginia -Vermont so beautiful
    I’m a Alabama football lover since Joe Namath days but Bama was pretty boring but roll tide
    Hope to met you someday at FF conventions or in a airport

  5. Corey- I don’t see that happening either. I’d love to visit Montana one of these days! How much time would you recommend for a visit?

    DaninMCI- Good questions. I woudn’t think just passing through would count.

    Carrie- I’ve been to Delaware a couple of times but just to go with a friend to visit his sister at the college. I’ve heard the beaches are really nice there. My only experience in Wyoming was the Devils Tower- loved it! We drove from KC to Omaha, going through Iowa most of the way. We enjoyed our visit to Omaha but need to see more of the state to see those cornfields!

    CJ- Wow! Good job! I hear Roosevelt NP is great in North Dakota. Vermont is a really nice state, even just to drive through. Birmingham sounds pretty interesting so I’m hoping to use Southwest points soon to check Alabama off at some point soon! Do you go to many of the FF events?

  6. Your stats are misleading. Delaware is the least visited state, in part, because it is one of the smallest states. Wyoming is #2 because it only has a few major draws to it, all of which are primarily seasonal.

    I am surprised that Ohio isn’t on the list. I have visited every state except Ohio and I cannot find a reason to justify a weekend jaunt to any spot in the state. Actually, I am interested in the Serpent Mounds but not sure I can justify a trip to a place where I will spend a couple of hours.

  7. Heavenly Jane- Thanks for the comment. These are not my stats, they are from Thrillist.

    Interesting comment you make about Ohio. I haven’t been there but would like to go to visit the Great American Ball Park, Progressive Field, the Pro Football HOF, experience Cincinnati’s Zinzinnati Oktoberfest celebration and I’m sure there are some more things I could come up with. They might all be things to do one time, but I’m sure the state has things worthy of visiting for! BTW- Serpent Mounds looks very interesting.

  8. Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail owned by the Alabama State Teachers’ Retirement System is wonderful if you play golf. The Civil Rights Museum is a well-done, informative 2-hour thing. Except for the barrier islands (Gulf Islands National Seashore), the MS beaches are unremarkable. Natchez, MS makes a romantic trip and, as noted, Tupelo is interesting.

    1. Alabama is a fascinating state. Last year we took a weekend trip to Selma and it proved to be a sober but worthwhile visit. It has a haunted feel to it – like an accursed place. Lots of African American teens were there making a pilgrimage of sorts (it was spring break) but Selma is relavant to any history buff.

  9. Michael,
    I would say at least (bare min.) 1 1/2 weeks. A couple days to take in Glacier. You could stay a week in Yellowstone. Make sure on your way through, you either enter or exit the Cooke city entrance for Yellowstone which will take you through what has been deemed one of the most beautiful drives in America…..The Beartooth Highway. End up in the small little ski town of Red Lodge (love Red Lodge Pizza Company) and then if you make your way to Billings, let me know. Also the battle at little bighorn is about an hour drive from Billings for history buffs.

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