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What are your top favorite U.S. states and why?

Travel Forums North America What are your top favorite U.S. states and why?

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1. Posted by LesCrazy (Full Member 43 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi travellers and backpackers,

I will be going on a 1 month backpack trip in the United States and love to hear all of your travel experiences you had in the US.

So far my itinerary will be travelling from New York first to Washington D.C. After that i have no idea where to continue.

U.S. is really big and i hope to make the best of my time during my 1 month adventure.

Hope you can help.

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5642 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Regarding States, I probably would go for the western ones, because the nature and parks there are just overwhelming.
If I have to choose one state: Utah! Rent a car and drive around, you'll be impressed!
It's also easy to combine it with areas just across the state border in Arizona, Colorado or even New Mexico, Nevada and/or California.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Apr-2012, at 07:55 by Utrecht ]

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

First question, when do you start your trip? That will decide the best areas. It also depends on what type of terrain you are interested in traversing.

Sorry Michael (Utrecht), but the upper midwest also has some really cool things. South Dakota has the Badlands and Wind Cave, Minnesota has Voyaguers National Park, N. Carolina/Tennessee have the Great Smoky Mountains, Kentucky has Mammoth Cave, Washington state has the Cascades and Olympic Ntl. Park. All of these areas have great hiking and backing packing opportunities. If you want back packing and hiking, depending on the time of year, consider doing part of the Appalachian Trail

Everyone recommends the lower (lower) 48 states but we living in the upper midwest do have some spectacular areas that are equal to the southwest. Minnesota has 15,293 lakes. It's all in what you want to see/do.

If you are starting out in NY/DC then I recommend working on a route that takes you through some of the midwest and head downward through the areas Michael has recommended. Again, it does depend on your travel dates.

4. Posted by LesCrazy (Full Member 43 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

hi Utrecht and lsadora,

thanks for your timely response. i'm going on the 1st of June till 30th.

I would love to go to the western part of U.S after hearing both from you. :)

What do you think of Montana and Colorado states? I saw the Glacier Nationa Park photos and its amazing compared to Colorado's nationa park


5. Posted by marialaura78 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

MY favorite place to vacation is Key West. I love its beaches and its people, the way they live.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

6. Posted by MissHailey (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

California is my favorite :) Mostly because i live here lol. but also Missouri is so beautiful, if you dont mind the humidity !

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

My favorites are:
(1) California--home state--but there is so much to do here--beautiful beaches and bays, 8 major wine regions with over 600 wineries, fabulous waterfalls, highest mountain (in 48 of the 50 states), lowest desert (in all 50 states), 5 national parks, more than 270 state parks, volcanoes, over 1,500 miles of public waterfront, 8 major ski areas with over 300 ski trails, giant redwoods, top-ranked golf courses in the country, TV studios, cable cars, diverse people, 6 major amusement parks, scenic roads, and casinos just across the state line in Nevada in both the north and south. The other great thing is that the humidity here is zero all year round--unlike most other states--especially Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia which just are places to sweat all summer long.

(2) Utah--best if you want to see the true southwest (with Arizona a close second). 6 national parks, lots of hiking trails and a 170 mile long lake (Lake Powell) in the south of the state. Monument Valley, Arches, Moab, Capital Reef--and an interesting area in the north near Park City (olympic park is a great place to try out zip-lining or to try out bobsledding--both in the summer and in the winter). See elk, bear, moose, pheasants, and raccoons--and that's while still at home or in a hotel. They also have one of the best Shakespeare festivals in the country in Cedar City during the summer months.

(3) Louisiana--for travelers, you just have to take some time and see New Orleans and also the plantations. It's a place that has suffered a lot--but just keeps kicking--and keeps the good times rolling all the time.

(4) Washington, DC and nearby Virginia--for a capital city, you expect some things to see--and fortunately, our capital city doesn't disappoint. The Smithsonian alone is about 39 gigantic buildings--and then there are monuments everywhere--and the capital building--and the White House--and the embassies--and a great fish market--and a fun shopping area--and in nearby Maryland out near Annapolis (and Harris Island) is the place to have a great crab dinner. Also, in nearby northern Virginia (Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Harper's Ferry, Shanandoah Park, Yorktown, Jamestown), you'll find your fill of history.

(5) Tenness ee--Nashville and Memphis are the highlights here--both great towns to visit (Nashville also is great to live in, IMHO). Opryland and country music both feature.

(6) Texas--Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth are all great (not so fond of Houston or Waco or El Paso). The gulf coast is fun, and the open spaces here give you an idea of what it must be like to own a giant ranch and barbeque often.

(7) New Mexico--Santa Fe and Albuquerque are great and Carlsbad Canyons is worth a visit.

(8) Washington--fantastic in the summer. A lively place with lots going on and taking a ferry across to the San Juan Islands--and a side trip to Vancouver in Canada makes a trip here wonderful. Be sure to visit the Space Needle and also the area out near Olympic National Park (only rainforest in the US' 50 states).

(9) Vermont--Good in the fall, when the colors here are unbelievable. Not so hot the rest of the year.

(10) Florida--fun because of all the amusement parks, the Miami nightlife, Daytona at spring break, and the Florida Keys for kicking back.

8. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1116 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

CALIFORNIA, should top the list... with Hollywood and so much more. I like people from California. Base on experience, the guys Americans from California are the most humble and cool.

9. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3579 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I am going to vote for Utah. Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef National Parks plus 7 National Monuments. Monument Valley, Great Salt Lake, the Mormon Temple and the 'best snow on Earth!' for skiers.

10. Posted by doh2122 (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

All those above states are pretty beautiful and amazing. But if you want to meet some really genuinely friendly, funny and just down-to-earth awesome, go to Missouri and get right on the Katy Trail. Pretty much every little town the trail goes through are just amazing. Especially Tebbetts, MO. You'll meet a guy name Jim in his small bar called.. Jim's Bar! Probably one of the greatest times of my life with just the local folks... the population is like 26 or something. I biked across the whole thing in just 10 days and it was so rewarding. There isn't much to see, but again the people you meet there... god damn man it's unforgettable. Who would've thought, Missouri.. haha Nothing beats midwest's hospitality.