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The 10 U.S. States With the Most Under-the-Radar Tourism Destinations

Michele Debczak
Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. / Gerald Corsi/E+, iStock via Getty Images
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Some travelers approach a vacation like a scavenger hunt. Instead of visiting the most popular attractions listed in the guidebooks and tourism websites, they seek out the lesser-known destinations that locals like to keep to themselves. If you’re looking for a trip that takes you off the well-trodden path, book a flight to one of the states below.

ParkSleepFly analyzed Tripadvisor data to determine which U.S. states boast the most under-the-radar destinations. Of the 2823 Alaskan attractions listed on the travel site, 309 were labeled “hidden gems.“ With more land than most tourists can cover in a single trip, it’s no surprise that Alaska is filled with well-kept secrets. Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau and Kodiak Island off the southern coast are a few alternatives to the states’ big-ticket attractions.

Second on the list is Wyoming—another state with more natural wonders than travelers can pack into one visit. Even though it’s located in one of the country’s most iconic national parks, the Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone is considered a hidden gem. In third place is Utah, another popular destination for nature lovers. The state is famous for national parks like Zion and Arches, but less-visited properties Capitol Reef National Park are still worth the journey.

Some people like to feel like locals when they travel, but touristy landmarks are iconic for a reason. If you feel no shame in embracing your tourist status, check out these popular attractions on your next vacation.

The 10 States With the Most Hidden Gems for Travelers

  1. Alaska
  2. Wyoming
  3. Utah
  4. Hawaii
  5. Maine
  6. South Dakota
  7. New Mexico
  8. Tennessee
  9. South Carolina
  10. Idaho
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