What Every State Is Best Known for

ALASKA: The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights.

Gunar Streu/McPhoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis, can be seen from Alaska between mid-September and late April, peaking in March. The further north you travel, the more likely it is you’ll be able to see the gorgeous glowing lights Alaska is famous for.

ARIZONA: The Grand Canyon

woman sitting on the edge of the grand canyon

The Grand Canyon.

Ingus Kruklitis/Shutterstock

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States, the Grand Canyon is located in Arizona. On average, more than 6 million people visit the Grand Canyon National Park each year.

ARKANSAS: Former President Bill Clinton

Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary celebrate his victory in the New York primary in a New York City disco on April 7, 1992

President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.


Bill Clinton is a native of Hempstead County, Arkansas, and served as the 40th and 42nd governor of Arkansas before becoming the 42nd president of the United States. Clinton was the second-youngest governor in the state’s history, after John Selden Roane, and had the second-longest term in the state’s history, 11 years and 11 months in total. 


people dressed as super heroes posing in front of hollywood sign

The Hollywood sign.

Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood

From the glitz and glamour of the golden age of Hollywood to the present day, California is known for being a celebrity stomping ground and for producing a majority of the film industry’s blockbusters and award-winning movies.


people skiing in colorado

Skiers in Colorado.


Colorado is the nation’s No. 1 ski and snowboard destination, home to 39 ski and snowboard resorts. A few of Colorado’s ski resorts are among the largest in the nation, allowing skiers to experience the best of the best in regards to snow-covered slopes. 


mohegan sun casino waterfall and tables

Mohegan Sun Casino.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Connecticut is famous for its incredible Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, both located on Native American reservations. Guests can enjoy fine dining, deluxe accommodations, and a wide variety of attractions and shopping opportunities. 

Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun closed temporarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but are now open.


NASCAR driver Kyle Busch after winning the race

NASCAR driver Kyle Busch.

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The second-smallest state in the country, Delaware is home to Dover International Speedway, also known as the “Monster Mile,” which hosts two NASCAR races each year.

FLORIDA: Theme parks

snow covered buildings at the wizarding world harry potter in orlando florida

Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida.

Chansak Joe/Shutterstock

Known as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando, Florida is home to fan-favorite theme parks and attractions like Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World.

All four Walt Disney World theme parks are now open after temporarily closing due to the coronavirus pandemic, as is Universal Studios Orlando, with new, improved safety measures to encourage social distancing and hygiene.

GEORGIA: Peaches

A pile of cut peaches.


Marie C Fields/Shutterstock

Also known as the setting of “Gone With the Wind,” Georgia is known around the world for its peaches. The peach is the state fruit of Georgia, and a peach is even featured on the US Mint’s Georgia quarter.

HAWAII: Surfing

a person surfing a green ocean wave


Isai Ramos/Unsplash

Hawaii is recognized as the birthplace of modern surfing, so it’s no surprise that the state is famous across the world for the water sport. Surfing dates back to the 4th century and has become a huge part of Hawaii’s history and culture. 

IDAHO: Potatoes

a person hand mashing potatoes in a silver bowl

Mashed potatoes.

Peter Horrox/Shutterstock

Idaho is the top potato-producing state and reportedly grows about 13 billion pounds of potatoes each year, most of which are brown russet potatoes. 

ILLINOIS: Deep-dish pizza

Giordanos deep dish pizza in chicago

Giordano’s deep-dish pizza.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

When it comes to pizza styles in the US, it’s usually a match-up between New York and Chicago. Though there are plenty of things to love about Chicago and the state of Illinois, the city is perhaps most well known for its famous deep-dish pizza. 

INDIANA: Indianapolis 500

indianapolis 500 racers posing behind their race car

Simon Pagenaud of France poses with Roger Penske during the Winner’s Portraits session after the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 in May 2019.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Otherwise known as the Indy 500 or the Indianapolis 500, the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is held every year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. It is the oldest major automobile race in the world.

IOWA: Cornfields

iowa cornfields with windmill in background

A field of corn grows in front of an old windmill in Pacific Junction, Iowa.

Nati Harnik/AP Images

Iowa is known across the country for its robust farming community. Iowa is the top producer in the country of corn, soybeans, hogs, and eggs, and the state has about 87,500 farms. In 2015, Iowa farmers produced more than 2.51 billion bushels of corn, according to the US Department of Agricultural Statistics Service.

KANSAS: “The Wizard of Oz”

the wizard of oz cast scarecrow, cowardly lion, dorothy, and the tin man

The cast of “The Wizard of Oz.”


“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” When Judy Garland uttered those iconic words in “The Wizard of Oz,” Kansas would forever be fondly remembered as Dorothy Gale’s home state. Today, Kansans are often reminded there’s truly no place like home when looking out on Kansas’ sprawling sunflower fields and beautiful farmland scenery. 

KENTUCKY: The Kentucky Derby

people cheering and holding champagne at the kentucky derby

People at the Kentucky Derby.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The Kentucky Derby is known for its exciting horse racing, distinctly preppy fashions, and, of course, mint juleps. The race is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, and is the longest-running sporting event in US history.


people wearing beads and hats celebrating mardi gras

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Mardi Gras, the French celebration of “Fat Tuesday” before Ash Wednesday, is an annual celebration and parade lasting about two weeks. While the biggest event unfolds in New Orleans, Mardi Gras is celebrated throughout Louisiana and is marked by drinking, delicious food, bright colors, beads, and dancing. 

MAINE: Lobster

maine lobster rolls

Maine lobster roll with coleslaw and french fries on a waterfront harbor in Maine.


Called the “sweetest, most flavorful lobster on Earth,” Maine lobster is known around the world. Lobster contributes an average of $1 billion to Maine’s economy annually, making it not only what the state is known for, but a huge economic driver for the state as well. 

MINNESOTA: The Mall of America

mall of america sign and entrance

An entrance to the Mall of America in Bloomington.

Associated Press/Jim Mone

The Mall of America officially opened in 1922 in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities. It is the largest shopping mall in the United States, with more than 500 stores and 10 attractions, including an indoor theme park. It is visited by more than 40 million people every year.

Many stores in the Mall of America have now reopened after temporarily closing during the pandemic.

MISSOURI: Budweiser

person taking Budweiser out of crate

Budweiser bottle.


Budweiser was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, due to its direct access to the Mississippi River, German immigrants moving en masse to the area in the 1800s, and nearby cave formations that allowed brewers to keep their product cool before modern refrigeration was introduced. So, next time you crack open a cold one, thank Missouri.


a cown in a field in nebraska at sunset

A cow in a field in Nebraska.

Dani O’Brien/Shutterstock

In Nebraska, one in four jobs is related to agriculture, and the state consistently ranks as one of the top cattle-producing states in the country. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture also reports that Nebraska’s farms and ranches utilize 45 million acres, which is 91% of the state’s total land area, and exported $1,318,500,000 in beef and veal in 2018 alone.

NEW YORK: Broadway

Broadway NYC billboards at night

Broadway in New York City.

Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock

New York City has countless attractions that draw millions of visitors every year. However, one of the most notable things to do while visiting New York is to attend a Broadway show. According to Loving New York, 13 million spectators annually attend one of New York City’s Broadway shows, 63% of whom are tourists, in an average year.

Broadway theaters have been closed since the start of the pandemic, but some shows are scheduled to reopen in September 2021, with more to follow.

OHIO: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

rock and roll hall of fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio.


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1983, after being chosen as the location over New York, San Francisco, Memphis, and Chicago. It attracts thousands of visitors each year. Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is considered a highly prestigious honor for the world’s most famous musicians. 

SOUTH DAKOTA: Mount Rushmore

mount rushmore

Mount Rushmore.

J. Pat Hodges/Shutterstock

Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic American tourist attractions in the country. Depicted on the side of the mountain’s face are former US presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Mount Rushmore was originally conceived as an idea to drive tourism to South Dakota and its famous Black Hills mountain region.

The history of Mount Rushmore is controversial, however, and some see the monument as a painful reminder of how the land was taken from Native Americans. In addition, Washington and Jefferson were slave owners. Some activists have called for the monument to be removed entirely

WYOMING: Mountains

a highway in Wyoming flanked by trees and a mountain in the background

Mountains in Wyoming.

Sharon Day/Shutterstock

Wyoming, one of the most mountainous states in the country, is home to the Rocky Mountains as well as the first national park in the country, Yellowstone National Park, which features mountains, large canyons, rivers, hot springs, and geysers. The most notable geyser in Yellowstone National Park is Old Faithful.

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