For a foreigner I must admit I've traveled to a great many states in the U.S. All in all, perhaps about 1/2 of the whole of America (as in U.S.A.). Since I traveled only for leisure purposes, the way I go about seeing these states is their attractions (be it nature or manmade). What I did go for in the U.S. are the national parks and this is how this list is ranked, basically. The other states that are not on the list but those I've visited are :Virginia, North Dakota, New Jersey, Michigan, Idaho & Georgia. In this sense, this list was compiled. The other half of America? I'll have to wait for retirement, hopefully! ;-)
Let's begin the tour with Utah's natural resources and its stunning vistas. It's probably one of the states with the most breathtaking national parks in both America and the world.
Arches N.P., Bryce N.P., Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point State Park, Glen Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion N.P. are some of the most spectacular parks not only in America but also the world. Utah certainly is in God's favor!
Yes, the Grand Canyon is here! This puts Arizona on par with Utah for awe-inspiring sceneries and having the crown of the lot. Less well known is Red Rock Canyon which is just an hour from Vegas and also a smaller but nice park!
Nevada's gemstone is Las Vegas which I happen to like a lot. You can read about it in my Las Vegas review should you be interested. For most from the Orient, Las Vegas is like a miracle out of sands. For me, it's pure entertainment with the best hotels for my getaway to the many national parks nearby. Shopping & food are great too! Some Americans seemed to have misgiving about Vegas, but well, I know a lot more who love it too!
Disney World, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studio & a few other theme parks make this a fun state for travelers. I'm not that fond of Miami but it is close to the Everglades should one be interested in animals!
I love the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and think it's one of the most unique parks in the world. I've this fascination with volcanoes and glaciers, so this one is special for me. Hawaii also has beautiful green lush landscapes in Maui and Kauai. Beautiful from both above and on ground.
Yes, I've seen DVDs & many documentaries on Alaska. I've even been to Fairbanks and Coldfoot in the middle of winter! Crossed the Arctic Circle and flew across the landscapes in end January. Yes, timing is not great for my Alaskan trip but I was there for the Northern Lights! This will rank higher if I was here in the Summer, I'm sure. I'll be making my trip back here for a cruise and hopefully that's in near future!
California has a good mix of cities, entertainment and nature.
First, national parks:
1) Death Valley
Other than the national park, Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument was quite a novelty for me back then in my youth. I've also had dreams about something similar to its indoor pools way before I visited the place. It's like déjà vu!
One of the most unique national parks in the world and America is found here. Carlsbad Caverns National Park. For those with interest in sand dunes, you will be delighted with White Sands National Monument. Perhaps you might have the good luck to meet some aliens in this state too! ;-) Ever heard of Roswell & Area 52?!
I love Oregon's Marionberry wine. Portland is another nice city to walk around and to simply relax and watch the world goes by. No tax in this state makes it a great shopping paradise! Imagine buying all your Apple's product here! Mount Hood is interesting as well.
There are a few national parks in the state of Washington. However, I've only been to Mount Rainer National Park. Seattle is nice other than its rainy weather. Everett, well, my favorite company being Boeing and not Microsoft! ;-) A visit to the Boeing factory is a must!
For some reasons, I'm not very fond of New York. I know, it's a favorite for most Americans. Well, Empire State Building is still around and you can always go to United Nations or Wall Street. Times Square on New Year's Eve or the Statue of Liberty. Hmm, I'm still not excited! Ooops!
I've only been to Houston and El Paso enroute to Guadalupe National Park. When I returned from Ecuador, I was asked a lot of question at the airport. That's not very nice treatment at all! Probably the worst I've ever had from the tens of times I've been to this country!
I traveled via Minneapolis many times but have actually not ventured beyond its airport. It's here because the other states I've been to was either far too long ago (like Atlantic City in New Jersey) or I didn't like it that much (like Atlanta in Georgia). Otherwise it's a non-eventful one (like Fargo in North Dakota, Idaho Falls in Idaho). To be fair, Detroit in Michigan will probably hold the same spot for now. Arlington in Virginia, if you like Pentagon?
I know, you will ask me, what about New Orleans? Well, I haven't been to New Orleans! ;-)