What to Eat, See, and Do in Each State

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We recently asked our online HotelPlanner community to share their favorite things to eat, see, and do in their state. It was tough to narrow down the list to the best of the best, but here’s several snippets of what makes each destination worthwhile to visit.

Alabama

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What to See: Head to gulf shores to view sea turtles and migratory birds.

What to Do: Walk in history’s footsteps across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

What to Eat: Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa is amazing- best BBQ anywhere!

Alaska

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What to See: View the Northern Lights between September and April.

What to Do: Take an airplane or helicopter tour over Alaska.

What to Eat: Feast on wild Alaska King Crab Legs!

Arizona

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What to See: The best thing to see and visit in Arizona (most recently visited US State) is the magnificent Grand Canyon!

What to Do: Take a photo tour into the Antelope Canyon. It’s breathtaking.

What to Eat: When in Phoenix, try some cowboy steak and tamales.

Arkansas

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What to See: Crystal Bridges is the best place to enjoy great American Art.

What to Do: Go diamond hunting at the Crater of Diamonds State Park for a one-of-a-kind adventure!

What to Eat: The Wooden Spoon serves good old comfort food (like their yummy brisket Nachos).

California

Image result for sand harbor lake tahoeWhat to See: Lake Tahoe! It is so beautiful there and fun for swimming and water sports in the Summer and skiing in the Winter.

What to Do: Go on a whale watching boat ride in Monterrey, California.

What to Eat: Sauced BBQ in downtown Sacramento has the Brisket you’ll taste with amazing menu options.

Colorado

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What to See: Great Sand Dunes National Park for wildlife watching & over 14,000 ft to red-rock formations.

What to Do: Visit Colorado’s earliest settlers (the Ancestral Puebloans), at the Mesa Verde National Park.

What to Eat: Expand your palette and try some Rocky Mountain oysters!

Connecticut

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What to See: Head to the West River- to Edgewood or West River Memorial Park for beautiful sightseeing.

What to Do: Hike and explore Colorado’s 10 highest waterfalls!

What to Eat: Grab a “classic New England” – a warm lobster buttered up and served on a toasted roll.

Delaware

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What to See: Experience the scenic gardens of Wilmington’s du Pont family, at the Nemours Mansion.

What to Do: Lay out at Rehoboth Beach and swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy tax-free shopping nearby.

What to Eat: For a sweet treat, Dolles Salt Water Taffy is a Delaware must!

Florida

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What to See: Discover acres of Everglades wetlands and exotic animals at Everglades National Park.

What to Do: Skip the major theme parks and head to the Kennedy Space Center for the day!

What to Eat: Savor a slice (or 2) of key lime pie at Blue Heaven in Key West.

Georgia

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What to See: Check out ancient rock formations and gardens with over 400 native plant species at Rock City.

What to Do: The Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

What to Eat: Fried chicken or BBQ ribs with a side of cheesy macaroni and peach pie- in that order!

Hawaii

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What to See: Watch a show or presentation about Hawaii culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

What to Do: A Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour, great way to see the sights!

What to Eat: An Aloha Mixed Plate – tasty dishes from the varied ethnic groups that call Hawai‘i home.

Idaho

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What to See: Hike your way through picturesque terrain at Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve.

What to Do: Have an adventure and go rafting on the Lower Salmon River!

What to Eat: Idaho favorite- finger steaks- are not to be missed.

Illinois

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What to See: For the ultimate in city vistas, head to Willis Tower in Chicago- towering 108 stories tall!

What to Do: The Art Institute of Chicago- one of the largest & oldest art museums in the U.S.

What to Eat: Deep dish pizza only Papa Del’s in Champaign can deliver.

Indiana

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What to See: Soar 350 feet above Conner Prairie and over 800 acres of land, including Indiana’s first farms.

What to Do: Nature enthusiasts will revel at Turkey Run State Park- hiking, horseback riding, hayrides.

What to Eat: Delicious Dutch baby pancakes at hot spot Milktooth.

Iowa

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What to See: Twist and turn down the crookedest street (Snake Alley) in the world located in Burlington.

What to Do: Visit the filming locations of Field of Dreams and Bridges of Madison County.

What to Eat: Pork tenderloins, Pork chops and sweet corn!

Kansas

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What to See: Head over to the country’s biggest tallgrass prairie and discover Flint Hill’s scenic vistas.

What to Do: Click your heels to the Oz Museum, home to one of the largest privately owned collections from the 1939 movie anywhere in the world!

What to Eat: Roy’s Hickory Pit BBQ.

Kentucky

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What to See: The horses at Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is held every year.

What to Do: Explore Mammoth Cave National Park and enjoy a cave tour, go hiking or even camp out.

What to Eat: Fried pickles please!

Louisiana

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What to See: Jackson Square- watch artists paint, draw, and sell artwork.

What to Do: Take a walking or biking tour around New Orleans.

What to Eat: Feast on gumbo, red beans/rice, poboys, bread pudding or beignets, & wash it down with chicory coffee or a hurricane!

Maine

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What to See: Spend an afternoon strolling through the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

What to Do: Head to Acadia National Park with 47,000 acres perfect for hiking or biking.

What to Eat: Lobster at Lobster Shacks.

Maryland

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What to See: Watch a beautiful sunset in Ocean City and people-watch on Ocean City Boardwalk.

What to Do: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, a big attraction on important American railroad history.

What to Eat: The crab cakes are bigger and better than anywhere else!

Massachusetts

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What to See: The Freedom Trail- three miles of old colonial streets, historical landmarks, and iconic monuments!

What to Do: For some spooks, visit the historic houses of Salem at the center of the Salem Witchcraft trails.

What to Eat: From apple cider doughnuts to fresh seafood.

Michigan

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What to See: Miles of sugar-sand beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

What to Do: The Henry Ford- the best museum on American inventions.

What to Eat: Cherries at the Travers City Cherry Festival or Moomers ice cream!

Minnesota

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What to See: Plan a visit to the Gooseberry Falls State Park- spectacular waterfalls, river gorge, stone structures, and wildlife.

What to Do: The Guthrie- Take a tour during the day and watch a play at night at this historical theater!

What to Eat: Try a  Tater Tot Hotdish

Mississippi

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What to See: White sand beaches, coastal marshes, and dense forests at the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

What to Do: Visit the Old Capitol Museum- the former state building is free for all ages can explore!

What to Eat: Grab a bit at The Tomato Place, for made-from-scratch meals.

Missouri

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What to See: The Gateway Arch and all the beautiful landscape-  hills, fields, historic scenery, and monuments.

What to Do: Fantastic Caverns in Springfield- the only drive thru cave tour in North America.

What to Eat: Try some Authentic Kansas City BBQ!

Montana

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What to See: Amazing mountain views from the Montana Brewers Trail.

What to Do: Go rafting on the Yellowstone River and visit the National Parks.

What to Eat: Try their famous Huckleberry Swirl. Your taste buds will rejoice!

Nebraska

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What to See: The beautiful gardens at the Lauritzen Gardens Omaha’s Botanical Center inspire all who visit.

What to Do: Check out the one of the best zoo’s in the world- the Omaha Zoo- home to 17,000 animals!

What to Eat: Ribs, beans,  and potato salad smothered in BBQ!

Nevada

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What to See: Check out the Hoover Dam, a national historical landmark and consider a day tour!

What to Do: Head to The Mob Museum, where you’ll learn the history of organized crime in America.

What to Eat: Try a Fry Bread Indian Taco topped with house-made chili.

New Hampshire

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What to See: Hop aboard the Cog Railway and pass through scenic views of New Hampshire.

What to Do: Mount Washington for some hiking, climbing, and skiing.

What to Eat: Try a lobster roll – eaten cold or warmed up with butter. Oh, and don’t forget their maple syrup!

New Jersey

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What to See: Take the Staten Island Ferry for views of the NYC boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island.

What to Do: Head to Cape May County Park & Zoo- explore 85 acres with 200 different species of animals.

What to Eat: The White Mana in Jersey City has fantastic sliders open 24/7!

New Mexico

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What to See: Take the Sandia Peak Tramway- the world’s longest aerial tram ride- and gaze upon the 10,000-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains!

What to Do: Take a full-day tour to the Grand Canyon through AZ’s Sonoran Desert, Sedona, & Oak Creek Canyon.

What to Eat: Blue corn pancakes.

New York

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What to See: Set your sights on the Statue of Liberty!

What to Do: Ride the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls- a boat tour that takes you to the base of Niagara Falls for an incredible experience.

What to Eat: New York Style pizza and Buffalo wings.

North Carolina

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What to See: Take a photo tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway and be on the lookout for 3 scenic waterfalls!

What to Do: Go horseback riding at the Outer Banks and feel the ocean breeze as you ride along the sandy beach.

What to Eat: Snappy lunch- try their signature pork chop sandwich.

North Dakota

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What to See: Acres of painted canyons and lush green hiking trails surround Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

What to Do: Explore Knife River Indian Villages- 15 miles of trails where Lewis & Clark passed through.

What to Eat: Pitchfork Steak- oil fried & served with baked beans/potatoes.

Ohio

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What to See: Lake Erie- hundreds of miles of golden sand and resort towns for great people-watching.

What to Do: Cedar Point Amusement Park- biggest in the world with 17 roller coasters & thrill rides for all! 

What to Eat: Cleveland-style BBQ

Oklahoma

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What to See: Enjoy a scenic drive through Route 66, passing the longest stretch of road in the state.

What to Do: Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve- home to native and exotic animals (longhorn cattle, elk).

What to Eat: Van’s Pig Stand!

Oregon

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What to See: Crater Lake National Park for a spectacular view of an extinct volcano & lava cliffs rising as high as 2,000 feet around the lake.

What to Do:  A 90-minute tour below ground at Oregon Caves National Monument!

What to Eat: Bacon Maple Bar.

Pennsylvania

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What to See: The Liberty Bell & Declaration of Independence at Independence National Historic Park!

What to Do: Visit Eastern State Penitentiary- one of America’s most iconic and scariest prisons.

What to Eat: A Philly Cheesesteak.

Rhode Island

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What to See: Street performers, vendors, and musicians all along Waterplace Park and Riverwalk.

What to Do: Take the ferry to Block Island and explore 17 miles of beach.

What to Eat: Clams casino for a true Rhode Island food experience!

 

South Carolina

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What to See: Miles of unspoiled sand all along the coast of Myrtle Beach and a great spot to people-watch!

What to Do: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden- home to 2,000 animals and more than 350 species.

What to Eat: Fried chicken and southern sweet tea.

South Dakota

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What to See: The carved heads of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt atop Mount Rushmore.

What to Do: Take a guided tour of the Homestake Gold Mine- the oldest and deepest mine in the West.

What to Eat: Sugar Shack- mouthwatering burgers!

Tennessee

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What to See: Picturesque mountain views, meadows and wildlife at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

What to Do: Travel to Graceland and visit Elvis’s impressive estate!

What to Eat: A classic southern breakfast at the Loveless Cafe.

Texas

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What to See: Hope Outdoor Gallery-New murals appear each week and it’s a great place for a photo-op!

What to Do:  Visit the San Antonio River Walk and take the 45-minute tour past shops, restaurants, and old historic downtown buildings.

What to Eat: Tex-Mex or BBQ.

Utah

Arches National Park

What to See: Beautiful & ancient rock formations at Arches National Park along an 18-mile long scenic road.

What to Do: Utah’s Hogle Zoo- 45 acres of diverse exhibits for the Siberian lynx, snow leopards, and Amur tigers.

What to Eat: Scones- deep fried dough

Vermont

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What to See: Drive through the countryside- the most beautiful foliage happens in the fall!

What to Do: Grab your bike and head to the Burlington Walking Path- trail travels through beaches/parks- with great views of Lake Champlain.

What to Eat: Local artisan cheese.

Virginia

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What to See: Mount Vernon- the place George Washington called home for 45 years with views of the Potomac River.

What to Do: Hike Shenandoah National Park to the Blue Ridge Mountains, which reach heights of 4,000 feet.

What to Eat: Apple Bourbon Sorghum Caramel Fry Pie

Washington

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What to See: Head to the top of the Space Needle & see the whole city.

What to Do: Mt. Rainier- It’s covered in ice and snow all year-round. Go hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, or camping!

What to Eat: Grab a Curry Beef Hom Bow- made w/sweet dough & curry.

 

West Virginia

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What to See: Beautiful wooded park with streams and waterfalls at Blackwater Falls State Park.

What to Do: New River Gorge National Park- Have a trilling white water rafting experience!

What to Eat: Hillbilly Hot Dogs serves the best gourmet dogs in the state.

Wisconsin

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What to See: Check out the ice caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

What to Do: Visit the Green Bay Packers Stadium known as Lambeau Field and catch a game if you can.

What to Eat: Have an amazing Brat with some Wisconsin cheese on it!

Wyoming

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What to See: Catch a glimpse of a geological and iconic landmark that is Devils Tower!

What to Do: Take a wildlife safari tour of Grand Teton National Park from Jackson Hole.

What to Eat: Chicken fried steak or as the locals call it, “Cowboy cuisine.”

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