If your New Year’s resolution is to celebrate the many cultures and characters that call America home sweet home, then this is the bucket list for you. From sea to shining sea and everything in between, the Nifty 50 are brimming with brand new shops, ancient landmarks, beloved local events, and unexpected treasures.

We’ve curated a powerhouse list of attractions and activities that celebrate each state’s signature flavors, unique festivals, and vibrant faces. Check out the 51 best things to do in the United States. Ready, set, go travel!

1. Alabama

Visit Africatown in Mobile

This historic district is the site of a ghost town where Timothy Meaher illegally smuggled people from Ghana into Alabama with plans to sell them into slavery. Meaher was apprehended and the people he tried to smuggle formed a community here with many of their traditions from home. Plan your trip around a riverboat tour and float through history.

2. Alaska


Experience the Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks

Wanna see the best attraction in Alaska? Just look up. This scientific wonder is a beauty to behold, and the area around Fairbanks offers clear skies and limited light pollution. Embark on the 6-Day Northern Lights Overnight Getaway Package from Salmon Berry Tours for an incandescent weeklong adventure in the Alaska wilds.

3. Arizona

Walk in the footsteps of Wild West legends in Old Tucson

Grab an Old Tucson Theme Park admission and get a little dirt on your boots on the set of cinematic classics like “The Bells of St. Mary’s” and “Gunfight at OK Corral.”

4. Arkansas

Make Art in the Ozarks in Fayetteville

Inspired by spectacular surroundings, the artists at Terra Studios will wow you with their sculptures, blown glass, jewelry, and more. Take a class or enjoy a peaceful walk in the art garden.

5. California

Eat burritos in San Diego and San Francisco

Yep, The Golden State’s burritos are so good that you’ve got to visit two cities and take a bite out of their dueling signature dishes. Get the french fry-loaded “California burrito” all over San Diego County at Lolita’s or nosh on a vegan version at Plant Power Fast Food in Ocean Beach. Then take the scenic route north to San Francisco and devour the Mission burrito in its namesake Mission District at Taqueria La Cumbre, which is said to serve the first of these simple masterpieces filled with beans, rice, and roast beef or pork.

6. Colorado

Hit the powder in Telluride

If you’re heading to the Centennial State, chances are you want to hit the slopes and enjoy some craft beer (just a guess). Grab your gear and go snowboarding in Telluride with Christy Sports. This charming town is the hideaway of celebrities and culture connoisseurs alike, as it hosts festivals year-round, including the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in September.

7. Connecticut


Enter a “Gilmore Girls” state of mind in Litchfield County

This enchanting corner of Connecticut inspired the show’s creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, with its small-town characters and gorgeous scenery. Rewatch the revival season and see the state Rory and Lorelai-style with a visit to Averill Farm in Washington Depot and eat at Community Table.

8. Delaware

Bike the beaches in Fenwick Island

You might not think of beach-hopping when you plan a trip to the Diamond State, but the sparkling coastline awaits. Pedal along the Ocean to Bay Bike Tour this April 29.

9. Florida

Take a sunset cruise in Tampa’s Boca Ciega Bay

The folks at Dolphin Landings will whisk you away to the peaceful bay for a glowing evening. Bring a bottle of Champagne and toast to an amazing experience in the Sunshine State.

10. Georgia

Mingle with ghosts in Savannah

Hop on a vintage trolley for a guided ghost tour of the city’s exquisite architecture and haunted history with the local Cool Savannah Tours & Gifts.

11. Hawaii

Wind through the waterways in Kauai

The Aloha State is hands down one of the top U.S. destinations, and each island is unique and gorgeous. These days, Kauai is having a moment—a peaceful, picturesque moment. This island is glorious by land, sea, or river. See some of Hawaii’s most pristine landscapes, including Waimea Canyon, on a riverboat tour all over Kauai.

12. Idaho


Dance your way down the streets of Coeur D’Alene

On the second Friday of every month, join the lakeside city of Coeur d’Alene for Music Walk, a riff on the more common first Friday art walks that take place around the country.

13. Illinois

Remember a presidential romance in Chicago

Visit the site where Barack and Michelle shared their first kiss at the Obama Kissing Stone in Hyde Park, near the corner of S. Dorchester Avenue and E. 53rd Street.

14. Indiana

See the world in Valparaiso

The World Cultural Festival 2017 gathers Indiana’s many international traditions in one place, and the more the merrier. Surrounded by flavors, dance demos, and arts from all over the globe, you might forget you’re in Northern Indiana. But make no mistake, this is the face of The Hoosier State.

15. Iowa

Take in a filming location in Dyerville

In 1987, the owner of a rural plot of land got a knock on the door. Today, that location is a legend. Stand on Homeplate at the “Field of Dreams” baseball field near Dyerville.

16. Kansas

Relax at Lake Shawnee in Topeka

With babbling brooks, boating, swimming, and more, Lake Shawnee is an outdoor destination for the whole family. The Huff ‘n Puff Balloon Rally takes place there every September and fills the sky with a rainbow of colors.

17. Kentucky

Make new friends at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farms in Georgetown

Here retired racehorses run free in peaceful paddocks—the perfect reward after a fast-paced career.

18. Louisiana

Eat crawfish and dance to Cajun music in Breaux Bridge

The lively hum of accordions and violins pair perfectly with the delicious local crustacean. Find both—and lots of cayenne pepper—at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in May.

19. Maine

Take a seaside hike in Bar Harbor

Take in the coastal views and fresh air on the Ocean Trail and treat yourself to a malty, chocolaty Coal Porter at Atlantic Brewing. Cheers!

20. Maryland

Stand beneath waterfalls at Swallow Falls State Park

What’s more refreshing than the mist of waterfalls on your face? Sipping an orange crush cocktail—Maryland’s signature twist on the classic screwdriver—after exploring a park brimming with cascades.

21. Massachusetts

Get nautical in Plymouth Harbor

Visit the Mayflower II in Plymouth Harbor and stop for some famous “chowdah” at Cabby Shack. There’s nothing like early American history to make you crave New England comfort food.

22. Michigan


Eat apple cider doughnuts in Greenville

When the first leaves of the year fall, run—don’t walk—to Klackle Orchards for their scrumptious pastries. It’s a family-favorite among locals, and the orchards are a lively outdoor destination for kids both tall and small.

23. Minnesota

Go to an avant-garde theater in Minneapolis

The Mini Apple has one of the biggest theatre communities in the U.S. and The LAB Theater is known for premiering world-class contemporary and experimental productions. It can get a little weird…in a good way.

24. Mississippi

Learn about Mississippi’s rich modern history along the Freedom Trail

If you’ve ever geeked out about the Constitution and American civilian life, then follow the 444-mile path from Natchez to Nashville. This path, known as the Natchez Trace is lined with history from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement.

25. Missouri

Follow the Pony Express through the state

Set your auto-reply, put down the smartphone, and drive along the Pony Express National Historic Trail, starting in St. Joseph.

26. Montana

Kayak the Madison River, starting near Three Forks

The moderate currents and breathtaking views of the Madison River are the perfect thing to carry through the sprawling Treasure State.

27. Nebraska

University of Nebraska State Museum

Go museum hopping in Lincoln

Home to the National Museum of Roller Skating and the Museum of American Speed, Lincoln’s cultural scene is fun, quirky, and always on the go.

28. Nevada

Fly-board on Lake Lahontan

You’ve already heard there are plenty of fun things to do in Nevada. When you want to kick things up a notch, gather your friends, grab your GoPro, and flip over Lake Lahontan on the fantastic hybrid of a skateboard and a jet ski. Do it for science!

29. New Hampshire

Go pumpkin crazy in Milford

When autumn rolls around, your pumpkin spice latte—bless it—doesn’t hold a candle to the Milford Pumpkin Festival. Games, pumpkin carving, and pie, oh my!

30. New Jersey

Sip and swim in Cape May

You can go beach hopping and wine tasting all in the same place: Cape May. Take a tour of the vineyards at Willow Creek Winery and swirl and sample your way through their top sellers (and cellars).

31. New Mexico

Wander among an ancient civilization in Taos Pueblo

Explore the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America at Taos Pueblo, near the charming modern town of Taos. Local artisans and bakers set up shop in picturesque adobe homes passed down through the generations.

32. New York

New York

Find your chill in Syracuse

Hit snooze on the City that Never Sleeps, and eat and drink your way through Syracuse instead. Embark on a food and wine tour with The Sommelier Company and travel deeper into the Finger Lakes.

33. North Carolina

Boogie and booze at the Brewgrass Festival in Asheville

Drink some award-hoarding craft beers from all over the state and dance away your troubles at the Brewgrass Festival in Asheville in September.

34. North Dakota

Dance a Native jig in Belcourt

Get swept up in KeplinFest, a family-inclusive Native American cultural celebration with hiking, dancing, and plenty of eating in Sunnyside Trails, Belcourt.

35 Ohio

Eat Buckeye candy

Named after the beloved Buckeye State, this peanut butter and chocolate confection was created by Gail Tabor to serve at college football game parties. These days, you can find Buckeyes all over the state, and if you can’t get your hands on some homemade treats, find the nearest Esther Price storefront.

36. Oklahoma

Shop The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska

Opened in late 2016, The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is already one of our favorite one-stop shops for home décor, gifts, and hospitality. The retail space is inspired by writer, TV personality, and rancher, Ree Drummond.

37. Oregon


Go spelunking in a lava cave in Bend

Don’t worry; the lava in Bend’s caves isn’t molten by any stretch of the imagination. But Lava River Cave will still thrill you with its long tunnels once hollowed out by flowing lava. Need to cool off? Order some River Ale at Deschutes Brewery after your adventure.

38. Pennsylvania

Eat homemade whoopie pies in Lancaster

Since the late 18th century, Lancaster Central Market has been a gathering place for shopping, eating, and exchanging gossip. Pick up one of the region’s iconic Amish treats and take a bite out of history.

39. Rhode Island

See WaterFire light up Providence

With blazing torches and public art, the people at WaterFire hope to illuminate and enliven downtown Providence. Make sure you see the city glow in the new year.

40. South Carolina

Eat barbecue in Charleston

Other states claim to serve the best saucy, smoky meat, but SC’s mix of mustard, brown sugar, and tangy vinegar rises to the top. Grab some extra napkins and chow down at Smoke BBQ on King Street.

41. South Dakota

Go on safari in Custer

A buffalo Safari, that is. Join a Jeep full of wilderness-craving travelers like yourself and get up close and personal with these majestic creatures of the American west. Safari groups meet up at Custer State Park Resort for an unforgettable ride.

42. Tennessee

Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee

Walk in Memphis

There’s nothing like stepping into a new year to inspire your sense of nostalgia. Stroll along Memphis’ historic Beale Street Entertainment District and make your way to the National Civil Rights Museum nearby.

43. Texas

Graze your way through Wurstfest in New Braunfels

If you missed Oktoberfest, don’t worry. Go to Wurstfest for a German cultural experience like no other—the perfect storm of Bavarian and local beers and lederhosen—and it takes place in November. Wurstfest is the best.

44. Utah

March in the Utah Pride Festival in Salt Lake City

If you’re surprised to hear that this is the second-largest annual parade in the whole state of Utah, don’t be! Each June, Utah Pride fills the streets of downtown Salt Lake City with celebrations of the LGTBQ community, including a charity run, family-friendly activities, and interfaith services.

45. Vermont

Watch the seasons change in Okemo Valley

Get behind the wheel, turn up Billie Holiday’s “Moonlight in Vermont,” and drive through the colorful trees along scenic Route 100 Byway in Okemo Valley.

46. Virginia

Make a wish at the Luray Caverns in the Shenandoah Valley

Look into the depths of the Wishing Pool and make your wish for an awesome year in 2017!

47. Washington


Set sail on the Lady Washington in Grays Harbor

Featured on Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek: Generations, and more, the Lady Washington is a replica of the original Pan-Pacific trade ship of the same name. Today you can learn to sail or enjoy a little jaunt into the harbor on these vintage decks.

48. West Virginia

Soak in Berkeley Springs

Built around natural mineral springs, this small but luxurious city is an indulgent destination, and you have lots of treatments and spas to choose from. To soak in the natural springs, wander over to the Berkeley Springs State Park.

49. Wisconsin

Eat beer cheese soup in Milwaukee

For those who love comfort food—who doesn’t?—Wisconsin is seriously one of the coolest places to visit in the U.S. Why? Because Wisconsin knows beer, cheese, and cold weather. Eat the famous beer cheese soup at Milwaukee’s Rumpus Room.

50. Wyoming

Ride the Aerial Tram over Jackson Hole

This state is huge and beautiful. See the Equality State from the sky. The Aerial Tram takes you up into the mountains—perfect for reaching the slopes in the winter and hiking trails during the warmer seasons.

51. Washington, D.C.

Raise your voice in the Capital

It may not be a state, but the District is the place to have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of rallying for your cause among the nation’s most powerful people. Peaceful demonstrations take place year-round. Find fuel for your march in the form of brunch at Dupont Circle’s Rebellion.

Whether you’re gearing up for a cross-country road trip or looking for an unforgettable experience close to home, 2017 is a great year to travel through the United States. Add some of these fun places to go in the U.S. to your next itinerary.

What do you love to do in your home state?