Americans spent $93 billion on travel in February 2023—5% above 2019 (before COVID-19) and 9% above 2022, according to the U.S. Travel Association. As more and more people venture out to make up for the last few pandemic-ridden years, you might be looking to go a little farther off the beaten path to avoid the crowds.
But it’s not always easy to learn about lesser-known travel gems or figure out how to find them. Fortunately, Stacker did some digging and found a hidden travel gem for every state, using data from Atlas Obscura.
Each state’s top hidden wonders were based on their travel rarity ratio, which Stacker calculated by taking the number of “want to visit” votes for places on Atlas Obscura and dividing those by the number of “been here” votes as of April 11, 2023. This list includes each state’s places with the highest-ranking ratio—that is, lots of people want to visit, but not many actually have—as long as they had at least 100 “been here” votes at the time of tabulation.
Here you’ll find opportunities to explore offbeat history, admire ancient geological formations, witness unexplained phenomena, and reveal long-kept secrets—no matter what state your travels take you to.
Because these locations aren’t the most obvious and out-in-the-open tourist attractions that you’d find in your garden variety travel guide, some of these locations require making special arrangements to access them. In other cases, the hidden gem might be on private property and only visible from afar. In those cases, it is vital to respect property owners and avoid trespassing.
Read on to find each state’s coolest hidden wonder.
You may also like: Must-drive roads in every state