The Most Popular Tourist Attraction in Every State, According to TripAdvisor
Whether you’ve planned a trip or you’re making a pit stop on a long drive, a new city has a lot to offer. Between museums, city landmarks and national parks, each U.S. state has its own culture and history tourists can learn from.
That’s why MONEY worked with TripAdvisor to identify the most popular tourist activity in every state. Their data revealed that while landmarks and museums remains most popular attraction for newcomers, tours and trips that reveal something about a particular region’s culture—whether it be a living history museum or a brewery bus tour—often outdraw the cultural landmarks.
To come up with the data, TripAdvisor looked at on-site bookings for attractions, tours and activities for all of 2017, and picked the most popular. For the seven states that did not have enough data for TripAdvisor to analyze—Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma—MONEY subbed in TripAdvisor’s highest-rated thing to do.
Here are the most popular tourist activities in each state:
Tour of Mobile
Cost per adult ticket: $29
The port in Alabama’s historic city, Mobile, played a key role in trading between France and Spain. The most popular way to experience the port is through an tour run by Gulf Coast Ducks, which cost $26 for adults, $16 for kids and $10 for infants.
Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise
Cost per adult ticket: $98
See Alaskan wildlife—including whales, sea lions and puffins—up close on the most popular cruise in Alaska. The five-hour trip starts at noon and covers 55 miles of sea around Kenai Fjords National Park.
Sedona-Grand Canyon Day Trip
Cost per adult ticket: $179.29
The Grand Canyon is easily Arizona’s most visited site, but guided tours from Sedona are the most popular way travelers elect to explore the park. The trip promises tourists in-depth knowledge on the area’s history, and includes stops at the Painted Desert and Little Colorado River Gorge.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Cost per adult ticket: General admission is free, although some special exhibitions require a ticket purchase.
The Bentonville, Arkansas, museum features American art from the colonial era until the contemporary period, with iconic American artists like Norman Rockwell, George Bellows, and Jackson Pollock.
USS Midway Museum
Cost per adult ticket: $21
California’s hottest ticket is to the longest-serving U.S. aircraft carrier of the 20th century, now docked in San Diego. The museum includes extensive galleries, holds 30 restored military aircrafts, and spans 10 acres of exhibits and displays.
Denver Mountain Parks
Cost per adult ticket: $90
This trip gets you an in-depth view of both the city of Denver and the surrounding Rocky Mountains in just one day. It includes stops at Red Rocks Park, Bear Creek Canyon and City Park.
Cost per adult ticket: $28.95
Connecticut boasts the country’s largest maritime museum. Mystic Seaport’s exhibits include four National Historic Landmark Vessels and hundreds of other historic watercrafts over 19 acres on the Mystic River.
Cape Water Tours and Taxi
Cost per adult ticket: $27
Catch a glimpse of the East End Lighthouse along the Delaware Bay on this family-friendly water taxi.
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., Hop-on Hop-Off Tour
The Big Bus tour of Washington, D.C., lets tourists to visit 40 different iconic landmarks, including the Capitol Hill, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Buses come to each attraction every 20-30 minutes, so visitors can spend as much time as they want.
Speedboat Sightseeing of Miami
Cost per adult ticket: $38
The tour operators promise a “Miami Vice-style” experience, as well as views of the multimillionaire and celebrity homes on Miami Beach, Fisher Island and Star Island, on this 45-minute speedboat cruise.
Savannah Trolley Tour
Cost per adult ticket: $33
Get a glimpse of Savannah’s Victorian-style mansions, the American Prohibition Museum, Chippewa Square and more on this day-long trip around the city.
Snorkeling in Molokini
Cost per adult ticket: $129.95
Snorkel around the ancient volcanic Molokini Crater, on Maui, with sea turtles, manta rays, eels, and 200 species of fish. The price includes snorkel gear, freshwater showers, and Hawaiian breakfast and lunch.
Historic Downtown Boise Food and Cultural Tour
Cost per adult ticket: $64
Walk around the Old Boise Historic District and Central Downtown while getting a taste of the city’s best restaurants and markets. Among the stops: the aptly named Bacon restaurant.
Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
TripAdvisor rated this Chicago River cruise, which passes by many of the city’s famed buildings, one of the top 10 attractions in the country. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers both daytime and evening options; either way, you get a full-service bar and snack bar inside the boat.
Massachusetts Avenue Food Tour
Cost per adult ticket: $39
Travel along Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis to sample authentic German cuisine, as well as local brews, Indianapolis’s “official sandwich” (a breaded pork tenderloin) and some handmade meatballs. If you’re feeling full, note that the trip may also include a few nonfood destinations, such as the world’s oldest shoe store.
Iowa 80 Trucking Museum
Cost per adult ticket: Free, but donations suggested
The museum exhibit features classic trucks from as far back as 1910, plus vintage gas pump and oil drum displays.
Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm
Cost per adult ticket: $36
This three-hour tour around horse farms in Lexington includes a look at the grounds where Seabiscuit was filmed.
French Quarter Ghost + Vampire Tour
Cost per adult ticket: $20
Experience New Orleans legends of voodoo and vampires while walking around the city’s French Quarter at night. The tour lasts about one hour and forty-five minutes, with a walking distance of just under one mile.
Portland City Tour
Cost per adult ticket: $24
Get a narrated tour of Portland’s entire peninsula on a vintage Fire Engine. You’ll get views of the area’s many lighthouses, forts and historic neighborhoods. The fully narrated trip lasts 50 minutes and takes groups of up to 12 people.
Annapolis City Tour
Cost per adult ticket: $29
This 90-minute trip includes an explanation of the Chesapeake Bay’s historic role in American commerce, plus stories from the brief era when Annapolis served as the country’s capital.
Boston Old Town Trolley Tour
Cost per adult ticket: $93.90
This two-day trolley pass lets you explore the Theater District, the Boston Tea Party Museum, Cambridge, Copley Square, and other historic landmarks, all at your own pace.
Historic Northeast Minneapolis Food Tour
This tour lets you try six acclaimed local eateries and specialty stores—including a Polish deli, Neapolitan pizza joint and authentic Tibetan cuisine—while exploring the historic neighborhoods of Northeast Minneapolis.
Tupelo Automobile Museum
Cost per adult ticket: $10
Gearheads will enjoy perusing one of North America’s largest collection of cars, with luxury and sport vehicles dating back to 1886.
Yellowstone River Whitewater Rafting
Cost per adult: $43
This half-day, 8-mile rafting trip along Yellowstone River passes by the Devil’s Slide formation on Cinnabar Mountain, and includes both exciting rapids and stops in the flat stretches for swimming and relaxing. Boats accommodate eight to 12 people, and the price includes wet suit, river shoes and splash gear.
Museum of American Speed
Cost per adult ticket: $15
Race car fans will get a kick out of the Museum of American Speed’s collection of vintage Indy Cars, NASCAR championship vehicles, and even luxury rides.
White Mountain Tour on an Aerial Tram
Cost per adult ticket: $149
See the White Mountains from an aerial tram on 4,100-foot-high Cannon Mountain. This summertime minivan tour stops along streams and valleys on the Kencamagus Highway before visiting the tram.
Whale & Dolphin Watching on the Delaware Bay
See dolphins and whales within just 10 miles of land on this Delaware Bay cruise. The estuary is home to species like humpback whales, manta rays, hammerheads, seals and bottlenose dolphins. The trip, which leaves from Cape May, includes a narrated history of the area from the captain, plus access to local food and beverages at the snack bar.
Albuquerque Sunrise Balloon Rides
Cost per adult ticket: $159
Hot air balloon is the most popular way to see New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley and Sandia Mountains. The one-hour flight starts before sunrise and gets visitors in the air just in time to see daylight illuminate the mountain range below. A continental breakfast and sparkling wine toast are included after the hot air balloon ride.