10 Best States in the USA To Visit as a First-Time Tourist

For first-time visitors to the United States, attempting to see everything the country has to offer can be daunting! It’s best to tackle one state at a time to maximize your trip. Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal the best states to visit if you find yourself exploring the United States for the first time. If a state isn’t found here, it’s not worth visiting!

1. New York 

Statue of Liberty, New York City, New York
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Say what you want about New York, but the state is an absolute must-visit for any tourist visiting the U.S. for the first time. Most visitors are stunned by the state’s sheer amount of things to do. Of course, no visit is complete without traveling to New York City, home of countless historic buildings, tourist traps, culturally significant sights, and some of the best pizza you’ll ever eat.  

2. Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
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Like New York, Illinois is home to one of the greatest cities in the country. Chicago has reliable and safe public transportation, is very walkable, and it has amazing architecture, and the architecture river boat tour is great,” reveals one resident. “The city is easy to explore on foot and has unique neighborhoods.” (For the record, Chicago-style pizza is pretty good, too!)

3. Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania is home to two major cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with plenty of attractions. Many people believe that Philadelphia has a perfect combination of culture and fun. “Philly has lots of history and culture,” reveals one woman. “Its city center is compact and easily walkable. There’s quite a bit of diversity to explore, and you can find affordable eats.”

4. Massachusetts

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The past meets the present in Massachusetts, home to countless cities with great cultural significance in American history. Boston is one of the most beloved cities in the country, and for good reasons: its art scene is world-renowned, its professional sports teams carry a lineage of excellence, and its residents rank as some of the friendliest in the country!

5. California

New Wave City, San Francisco, California
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Countless people call California the best state to visit because it’s so varied! From amusement parks to national forests and everything in between, no traveler will be bored in California. “California is the best state by far if you’re going to visit for a while,” expresses one woman. “We have beaches, mountains, lakes, rivers, deserts, and valleys. Our food is the most diverse out of all the states while sustaining quality, especially our Mexican food. I’d even argue that most modern American culture originates from SoCal and the Bay Area.”

6. South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
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For history buffs, visiting South Carolina is the best way to learn about the evolution of U.S. society and culture. Once deeply embedded in slavery, the state has many monuments, museums, and exhibits shining a light on the issues that eventually led to the American Civil War. But if you want to relax near the beach, the city of Charleston is a quaint, up-and-coming town with plenty of things to do.

7. Texas

San Antonio, Texas
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There’s no place in the United States quite like Texas. From the state’s culture to its history to its unparalleled barbeque, there’s something for every visitor in the Lone Star State. Historic cities like San Antonio serve as culturally-significant places that keep the heritage of Texas alive. Moreover, larger cities like Dallas and Austin give first-time visitors all the adrenaline they need to have an unforgettable time!

8. Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
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Deep in the American South is Louisiana, home to one of the most fun cities for first-time tourists to experience: The Big Easy. “New Orleans is great,” admits one traveler. “It’s pretty sketchy and dirty, but man, is it fun, historical, and unique in many ways. And while food isn’t everything, it’s worth pointing out that New Orleans has some amazing cuisine.

9. Florida

Jacksonville, Florida
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Most Americans travel to Florida once a year for one reason: to vacation. As the home of some of the world’s best destination resorts and theme parks, visiting Florida means saying “yes” to adventure! Disney World, Six Flags, Sea World, and Universal Studios are all located in Florida, making it the perfect destination for any family looking to live more adventurously. 

10. Oregon

Portland, Oregon
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The Pacific Northwest exists almost as a separate entity from the rest of the United States, and no better state exemplifies this than Oregon. If stunning scenery, breathtaking mountain views, and an unbelievable bar and restaurant culture is something you’re interested in, cities like Portland and Salem can offer everything a first-time visitor needs.

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