What Americans Want to See and Do on Vacation

Jan 30, 2020

Top Tourist Attractions in U.S.

Spoiler Alert: It's Probably Not What You Think


Americans have a reputation for not getting much vacation time. But even with that reputation, it's clear that we like to travel. In 2018 alone, we collectively logged 1.8 billion tripsfor leisure alone. And it seems like that number is only going to keep trending up. But what that figure doesn't tell us is where Americans are spending their hard-earned days off.

Groupon Coupons teamed up with Viator (a TripAdvisor Company) to find out just what it is that Americans are doing when they aren't working. So, we looked at the top tourist attraction in every state and found some surprising trends. 

Americans Like Nature

It was a bit of surprise to find out that the top tourist attraction in nearly half of all states is a natural wonder. From national parks and monuments to just enjoying the great outdoors, the most-booked site in 21 states is a natural wonder. Out west, national parks reign supreme. And that makes sense, the vast majority of the United States' national parks are west of the Mississippi.

There are far fewer national parks along the Gulf Coast, but that doesn't stop visitors from enjoying their surroundings. Travelers from Florida to Mississippi get out on the water to fish, spot dolphins, or enjoy the tropical climes of Key West.

Americans Really Like Water

Of all the things to do when visiting a new place, Americans routinely choose the water. Out of 50 states, the top attraction in 16 of them is connected to water. Whitewater rafting is popular in Montana and West Virginia, and aquariums are the most popular in Connecticut and Minnesota.

The Best Way to Get to Know a Place Is Food

Lots of travelers turn to Viator to eat like a local. That's why in eight states, a food or drink tour is the most popular attraction. Wine is the main draw for visitors in California, Michigan, and New Hampshire. But neighboring Vermonters prefer beer. Foodies will be interested to know that Savannah, Fargo, and Cincinnati are known for food tours.

With a list of top attractions as far-flung as the United States, it's clear that no matter what you like to see or do on vacation there's a Viator experience just for you.

This post is sponsored by Viator.