Planning a cross-country road trip to visit the most popular attractions across North America? Here's your road map.
This graphic, discovered on Reddit, is based on 2009 data from the National Parks, state tourism and other stat sites. The figures listed in each state represent the annual number visitors to each attraction.
We should note that tourism statistics are debatable. The researcher even admitted that, "in determining the top attraction draws, the tourism industry is very controversial as well as competitive in its methods."
So what do you think? Does this map show an accurate representation of the most popular attractions across the United States?
The map probably confirms a lot of what you already knew about the most popular attractions in every state. You probably could've guessed that Yellowstone dominates two states (Montana and Wyoming, to be specific). You also could've predicted the popularity of California's Disneyland and Florida's Disney World, South Dakota's Mount Rushmore, Georgia's Stone Mountain, Arkansas' Hot Springs National Park, Arizona's Grand Canyon and Nevada's Las Vegas Strip. And who doesn't want to visit the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana? However, it does have some surprising info about tourist attractions.
Forty million people visit Minnesota's Mall of America every year, making it the most popular attraction in the US. Good ole American consumerism (which also makes Times Square in New York City more popular than historic landmark the Statue of Liberty). They even have a roller coaster in there. Speaking of roller coasters, it's a little discouraging that Cedar Point in Ohio draws that many more visitors than the US Space and Rocket Center in Alabama. And who knew that the Smokey Mountains topped Elvis' Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee?
Also, the national and state parks across this great land of ours are the least visited popular attractions in the US. The two least visited are Flint Hill Tall Grass Prairie in Kansas and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
Still, there's some good advice here if you want to visit spots ranging from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Alaska, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Maine , Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington State to Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina and the New Jersey shore boardwalk.
This story previously ran on April 24, 2019.