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12 Least Visited States In The US And Reasons Why They Don’t Attract More Tourists

In the diverse landscape of American tourism, there are the blockbuster hits — the glittering cityscapes, the iconic national parks, the coastal wonders. Then there are the lesser-known gems, the indie films of travel, if you will. They don’t get the marquee lights or the blockbuster budgets. Instead, they quietly revel in their own authenticity, waiting for the discerning traveler to stumble upon their beauty. Much like the understated charm of a vinyl record in a world of streaming, the least visited states in the US have tales to tell, adventures to share, and a distinct allure for those who dare to diverge from the trodden path.

Exploring the Uncharted: Least Visited States

The United States is one of the most visited countries in the world but most people who visit or plan to visit this country, they associate it with cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, etc. but let’s not forget that the US consists of 50 states and many of them get barely if any international visitors.

Data Collection & Raning Criteria

For the purpose of ranking the least visited states in the US, we have used data from several different sources, including U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, the World Tourism Organization, and independent research websites like Statista. We have gathered the numbers from different sources, made moving averages of the data, and adjusted it for seasonality, getting to this list of 12 least visited states in the US. 

So, let’s dig in and answer the question…


alaska least visited states in the us

We’re starting the list of least visited states in the US with Alaska. On average, Alaska welcomed approximately 2.26 million visitors per year. Of these, the majority were domestic travelers, with roughly 130,000 international visitors sprinkled into the mix. However, when compared to the bustling streets of New York or the star-studded boulevards of California, these numbers might seem a bit… frosty.

Why So Chilly OThe Visitor Front?

Alaska might be the largest state in the U.S., but it’s not the most frequented, and there are a few reasons for that:

Distance & Accessibility: For many, Alaska feels like that distant cousin who lives overseas. It’s not as easy to pop by for a weekend visit.

Climate Concerns: Alaska’s chilly temperatures and long, dark winters aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (or should I say, mug of hot cocoa?).

Cost: Venturing to Alaska can be pricier than other stateside destinations. Those looking for budget vacations might balk at the price tag.

Alaska Highlights

But for those who dare to venture, Alaska offers an array of unforgettable experiences that aren’t just about spotting polar bears (though that’s pretty cool, pun intended):

Northern Lights: Nature’s very own psychedelic light show, the auroras offer a mesmerizing dance of colors in the sky.

Midnight Sun: Fancy a game of midnight baseball? With nearly 24 hours of daylight during certain months, you can!

Glacier Tours: Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of glaciers up close, either by boat or, for the more adventurous, by ice trekking.

Wildlife Galore: From majestic whales breaching in the waters to bald eagles soaring overhead, Alaska is a wildlife lover’s dream.

Indigenous Culture: Dive deep into the rich history and traditions of Alaska’s indigenous peoples at cultural centers and festivals.

Quirky Events: Ever watched moose dropping or participated in an outhouse race? Alaska’s got you covered with some of the quirkiest local events.


deepest lakes in idaho

The bread and butter (or should I say, the potato and butter?) of Idaho’s tourism lies in its vast landscapes, from the peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains to the depths of the Hells Canyon but even despite this, it’s still one of the least visited states in the US. Approximately 6.2 million fellow Americans roam those rugged landscapes annually. On the other hand, Idaho sees a humble gathering of about 40,000 international visitors each year.

Potatoes And… Privacy? Why Idaho’s Not A Tourist Magnet

Quiet Competitor: With neighbors like Montana’s Glacier National Park and Wyoming’s Yellowstone, Idaho’s wonders sometimes play second fiddle.

Marketing Mutedness: Idaho’s not out there with a megaphone, shouting about its beauty. It’s more the type to subtly hint at its awesomeness and let the truly curious come and discover.

The Great Misconception: Some think it’s all about agriculture. And while Idaho does sport the most delightful potatoes, it’s so much more than a one-crop wonder.

Idaho Highlgihts

Sun Valley: A winter wonderland, it’s the Aspen for those in the know – without the Colorado price tag.

Shoshone Falls: Sorry, Niagara Falls, you’ve got competition. Higher than its eastern counterpart, this natural beauty is an Instagrammer’s dream.

Coeur d’Alene: This isn’t just a pretty name; it’s a lakeside paradise perfect for boat trips, picnics, and some top-notch R&R.

Boise’s Boomin’ Scene: From a lively arts scene to some unexpectedly hip eateries and craft breweries, Boise’s kinda the cool kid that doesn’t need to brag.

The Scenic Byways: Particularly the Sawtooth National Scenic Byway. Imagine a road trip with a backdrop painted by Bob Ross.

Historic Wallace: A silver-mining town where every single building is on the National Historic Register. It’s like stepping onto the set of a wild west movie.


Wyoming least visited states in the us

Next up on this list of the least visited states in the US we have Wyoming. Wyoming attracts a cool 8-9 million U.S. adventurers and about 150,000 international travelers annually.

Reasons Wyoming’s Not Getting All the RSVPs:

Wide Open Spaces: Wyoming has a population density so low, even the tumbleweeds need GPS to find each other. Some folks just aren’t ready for that much elbow room.

No Direct Routes to Fame: Wyoming isn’t the poster child on most direct flights. It’s not typically a “passing through” state unless Old Faithful or Devil’s Tower is calling.

Underestimated Underdog: Wyoming’s rep is that of an empty expanse, but those in the know understand it’s packed with untouched beauty. Guess it’s the state’s little secret.

Wyoming Highlights

Yellowstone National Park: There’s a reason it’s the first national park ever. With geysers, hot springs, and grizzlies, it’s a mosaic of Mother Nature’s finest work.

Grand Teton National Park: Those mountains aren’t just for postcards. Hiking, climbing, or just some good ol’ gazing – the Tetons are grand by name and nature.

Cheyenne Frontier Days: Rodeo, anyone? Dubbed the “Daddy of ’em All,” this annual event is a wild, rootin-tootin’ celebration of the American West.

Devil’s Tower: Wyoming’s eerie, iconic landmark has been a sacred site for Native Americans and a climbing hotspot for daredevils. And if you’re thinking about mashed potatoes and aliens, you’ve watched “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” one too many times.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West: Dive deep into the history of the Wild West. This isn’t just a museum; it’s five! A feast for history buffs and cowboy enthusiasts.

Hot Springs State Park: No spa can rival nature’s own. Soak in therapeutic waters while enjoying the scenery.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our list of the world’s least visited countries.


white and green house near body of water during daytime

This small-but-mighty state may be the first to ratify the Constitution, but it’s often last on most travel bucket lists and as such, a natural fit for this list of least visited states in the US. Around 9 million domestic travelers and 60,000 foreigners dip their toes into Delaware waters or just stop by for a tax-free shopping spree.

Reasons Delaware Might Be Getting Ghosted:

Size Matters (Or Does It?): Being the second-smallest state in the U.S., some folks might think there’s less to see. Little do they know, the fun’s just concentrated!

Overshadowed Neighbors: With heavy hitters like New York, D.C., and Philly nearby, Delaware often plays the role of the understudy rather than the star.

Stealthy State: Many only know of Delaware from their history books or business dealings. It’s high time we rectified that.

Delaware Highlights

Rehoboth Beach: A sun-soaked haven that offers saltwater taffy, boardwalks, and festivals. It’s like the Hamptons without the Hampton prices.

Delaware Wine and Ale Trail: Who needs Napa when you’ve got 20 craft beverage locations offering beer, wine, and spirits? Bottoms up!

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library: Once owned by the du Pont family, this estate is a feast for the eyes with its sprawling gardens and American decorative arts.

Dover International Speedway: A sanctuary for NASCAR fans. Hear the roar of the engines and feel the rush.

Delaware Seashore State Park: A coastal paradise perfect for surfing, sunbathing, and seafood binging.

Hagley Museum and Library: The birthplace of the DuPont Company. Experience the mix of industry, innovation, and elegance.

Fort Delaware State Park: Time travel to the Civil War era and experience life as it was on Pea Patch Island.



The Nutmeg State, where people often mistakenly leave out one of the “c’s” and one of the “n’s”. It’s okay; spelling it right is like trying to remember all the Game of Thrones characters. With around 250,000 international visitors and 9-10 million domestic visitors annually, Connecticut is one of the least visited states in the US.

Connecticut: Under The Radar, But Why?

Overshadowed Elegance: Nestled between the Big Apple and Boston, it’s a bit like being the incredibly talented middle sibling in a superstar family.

Low-Key Vibes: Connecticut doesn’t scream; it whispers its elegance, like the soft notes of a cello in a string quartet.

“It’s Just a Commuter State”: Some might mistakenly think of Connecticut merely as a throughway to flashier destinations. Their loss, right?

Connecticut Highlights

Yale University: The Ivy League beauty located in New Haven, not just for the smarty pants. Its museums, architecture, and cultural offerings are a treat for all.

The Mystic Seaport: The nation’s leading maritime museum. It’s all ships, history, and a touch of seafaring mystery.

The Mark Twain House & Museum: Ever wanted to step into the world of Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer? Hartford’s got you covered.

Gillette Castle State Park: A medieval fortress meets American ingenuity. Perfect for history buffs and want tobe knights.

Covered Bridges: Connecticut boasts some of the most picturesque covered bridges, and each tells a story. Keep that Instagram handy!

Greenwich: A delightful cocktail of upscale charm and coastal allure. Who needs the UK’s Greenwich when Connecticut’s version has so much finesse?


Montana least visited states in the us

Next on this list of least visited states in the US, we have Montana. On average, Montana is visited by 12-13 million visitors every year. When it comes to international amigos making their way to Montana, the numbers flutter around the 60,000 mark annually. It’s not a metropolis-like influx, but hey, more unspoiled nature for the rest of us!

The Low Down OThe Low Foot Traffic

Geographical Peekaboo: Tucked up and nestled against Canada, Montana doesn’t exactly wave a big flag on the map of the US. It’s like that mysterious, quiet person at a party that everyone’s curious about but not many approach.

Ad Campaign Under the Radar: Unlike the flashy adverts of Cali beaches or the neon allure of Vegas, Montana’s marketing is like its nature: subtle and understated.

Isolation Sensation: Some folks like a bustling city corner with a Starbucks at every turn. Montana offers something a bit… quieter.

Montana Highlights

Glacier National Park: This isn’t just a park; it’s THE park. It’s where clouds come down to kiss the mountains and where you’ll regret wearing those not-so-comfy shoes. But oh, the views!

Yellowstone’s North Entrance: Most people flock to Wyoming’s Yellowstone gates. But Montana’s Gardiner entrance? It’s the quieter cousin with just as much charm.

Missoula’s Hipster Vibes: Craft breweries, art walks, and a pinch of that classic Montana ruggedness. It’s like Brooklyn had a baby with the Wild West.

Big Sky Resort: Ever wondered where the term “Big Sky Country” comes from? Spend a day here, and you’ll get it. From winter snows to summer hikes, it’s a year-round marvel.

The Great Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame: Yes, it’s real. And yes, you can learn the difference between a lasso and a lariat.

Bannack Ghost Town: For a touch of eeriness sprinkled with history. Remember, if a ghost cowboy challenges you to a duel, it’s okay to decline.



This list of the least visited states in the US couldn’t be complete without Vermont. An estimated 100,000 international explorers and 13-14 million US travelers don their best flannel and venture to Vermont annually.

Why Vermont Isn’t Isn’t a Mainstream Maven

Location, Location, Location: Vermont isn’t precisely on the way to…well, anywhere. Unless you’re a die-hard leaf peeper or on a pilgrimage to Ben & Jerry’s, it’s a bit of a detour.

Hibernation Station: Vermont winters can be colder than a snowman’s nose, causing some folks to tuck tail and head south.

Quiet Marketing: Vermont doesn’t shout about its charm; it whispers it through the wind rustling its iconic fall foliage. It’s like the state is playing a perpetual game of “hard to get.”

Vermont Highlights

Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour: Need we say more? Get your spoons ready and indulge in some frozen euphoria.

Lake Champlain: This freshwater giant offers islands to explore, waters to sail, and tales of a mysterious lake monster!

Stowe: Ski in the winter, hike in the summer. Plus, if you’re into craft beer, the renowned Alchemist Brewery calls Stowe home. Hello, Heady Topper!

Maple Open House Weekend: March in Vermont means maple galore. Tap a tree, savor syrup, and pancake to your heart’s content.

Covered Bridges: With over 100 of these picturesque beauties, you can literally and figuratively cross many bridges when you come to them.

Shelburne Museum: Think of it as an eclectic treasure chest of American history, spread over 45 acres. Art, architecture, and Americana in one sweet spot.

South Dakota

south dakota

You might think that Mount Rushmore alone would be enough to remove South Dakota from the list of least visited states in the US but you’d be wrong. Approximately 15-16 million U.S. residents stretch their legs and satiate their wanderlust amidst South Dakota’s vastness annually. Every year, about 100,000 international travelers decide they need some good ol’ fashioned Americana in their lives and make their way to this treasure trove.

Why’s Everyone Passing UOn South Dakota?

Hidden Gem Syndrome: With heavy-hitters like California’s coast and Florida’s beaches, the quiet charm of the Midwest sometimes takes a backseat. And we kinda like it that way—more nature for us!

Expectation vs. Reality: People might think South Dakota is just flat plains, but boy, are they in for a surprise!

Overshadowed Neighbors: With neighbors like Wyoming’s Yellowstone and Colorado’s Rockies, South Dakota’s splendors can sometimes get eclipsed in the tourism pamphlets. It’s the Jan Brady of states—always hearing “Yellowstone, Yellowstone, Yellowstone!”

Perception of Remoteness: For many coastal dwellers or urbanites, South Dakota might feel like it’s in a far-off land, akin to where the wild things are. Its central location can be perceived as “in the middle of nowhere,” rather than “the heart of everywhere.”

South Dakota Highlights

Mount Rushmore: More than just a giant stone selfie of four U.S. presidents, it’s an homage to leadership and determination.

Badlands National Park: It’s as if Mars and Earth had a baby. A surreal, rugged landscape that might just make you believe in aliens.

Custer State Park: Want to play ‘Spot the Bison’? This is your playground. Plus, the scenic drives here? Chef’s kiss!

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: Rev your engines, because this is the Super Bowl of biker rallies. Leather jackets not included, but highly recommended.

Deadwood: A town straight out of a Western, with a history filled with outlaws and gamblers. Don’t forget to tip your cowboy hat to Wild Bill Hickok.

Corn Palace: Yep, you read that right. An entire palace. Made of corn. It’s quirky, corny (pun intended), and so worth the Instagram post.



Next on our list of least visited states in the US, we have Nebraska. Roughly 19-20 million U.S wanderers choose to spend their vacation days basking in Nebraska’s understated allure annually. Nebraska might not be top-of-mind for international travelers, but around 30,000 global jet-setters do get wind of its charm and decide to stop by each year.

Nebraska: Overlooked Or Just Over-Shadowed?

Big Fish, Bigger Pond: Let’s face it; America is jam-packed with tourist-heavy states. With coastlines and mountains, sometimes the heartland just doesn’t get the love it deserves.

Quiet Achiever: Nebraska’s not about the glitz and glam. It doesn’t flaunt. It’s like that student who aces the test without waving their grade around. Humble, we call it.

Overshadowed: Next to Colorado’s Rockies and South Dakota’s Badlands and Mount Rushmore, Nebraska might seem a bit demure. But hey, everyone loves a surprise underdog story.

Nebraska Highlights

Omaha’s Old Market: Cobbled streets and unique boutiques, it’s like stepping into a simpler time. Plus, a dining scene that will have you loosening your belt buckle.

Chimney Rock: This iconic landmark guided pioneers westward. Still stands tall, guiding selfie-takers to the perfect shot.

Carhenge: Think Stonehenge but with cars. It’s quirky, it’s kitschy, and it’s oh-so-Nebraska.

The Sandhills: One of America’s most unique landscapes, these grass-covered dunes ripple on for miles. Nature’s own roller coaster.

Henry Doorly Zoo: We’re talking world-class here. From desert domes to massive aquariums, it’s a whole globe-trot in one place.

Nebraska Star Party: In the absence of city lights, the stars over the Snake River shine brighter than your grandma’s sequin collection.

North Dakota

north dakota

On average, North Dakota welcomed about 20 million visitors which may seem like a rather large number but it’s still one of the top 10 least visited states in the US. But hold your horses! This figure includes domestic visitors on leisure trips, business ventures, and even those just passing through. When it comes to international visitors, the number is a tad more modest—sitting somewhere around the 30,000 mark. It’s like comparing a bustling city to a quaint town: both have their charms, but one’s a smidge cozier.

Why The Cold Shoulder For North Dakota?

Why, you might ask, does North Dakota play second fiddle in the U.S. tourism orchestra?

Off the Beaten Path: Unlike its attention-grabbing siblings (looking at you, Florida), North Dakota isn’t on many international travel radars. Its remote location and lack of shouty landmarks can make it an underdog.

Weather Woes: With winters that can turn your nose hairs to icicles and summers that can fry an egg on the pavement, North Dakota’s climate isn’t always the most welcoming.

Marketing (or Lack Thereof): North Dakota isn’t exactly throwing Super Bowl ads or flashy billboards our way. Many folks just don’t realize what they’re missing out on.

North Dakota Highglights

For those curious souls willing to sidestep the mainstream, North Dakota boasts:

Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Named after ol’ Teddy himself, this park is a kaleidoscope of landscapes—badlands, forests, and prairies. Plus, the wildlife spotting? Top-notch.

Maah Daah Hey Trail: A mouthful to say, but oh, what a sight to see! One of the longest single-track trails in America, it’s a dream for bikers, hikers, and nature lovers alike.

Fargo: Not just a movie, folks. This quirky city offers an eclectic mix of arts, culture, and a dash of the unexpected. Ever seen a wood chipper turned into a monument? Now’s your chance!

Norwegian Heritage in Minot: “Velkommen” to the Norsk Høstfest, North America’s largest Scandinavian festival. Enjoy folk music, lefse, and perhaps even an encounter with a Viking or two.

Legendary Sunsets: The wide-open skies of North Dakota are the unsung heroes of sunset watching. Every evening offers a show that even Broadway would envy.



Around 23 million American wanderlusters and 150,000 globetrotters opt to explore Mississippi annually, placing it on the 11th spot of the list of least visited states in the US.

The Mystery Of Mississippi’s Muted Popularity

Neighborly Shadows: With iconic states like Louisiana and Tennessee flashing their jazzy and country vibes respectively, Mississippi often plays the role of the shy middle sibling.

Modest Marketing: You won’t see Mississippi blowing its own trumpet (or should we say, playing its own guitar?) with huge ad campaigns. It’s more a whisper of an invitation, but those who heed the call are seldom disappointed.

Perception Predicaments: Just like its southern siblings, Mississippi grapples with some outdated stereotypes. Time to update our software, folks!

Mississippi Highlights

The Mississippi Delta Blues: Grab a front-row seat at one of the juke joints in Clarksdale. From B.B. King to Muddy Waters, the tunes here aren’t just music—they’re a soulful experience.

Natchez Trace Parkway: A 444-mile scenic drive filled with history, hiking, and harmonious views. Instagrammers, ready your cameras!

Vicksburg National Military Park: Civil War buff? Here’s your playground. Explore the battlegrounds, monuments, and trenches of a crucial conflict.

Gulf Islands National Seashore: Golden sands, azure waters, and that elusive tranquility we’re all seeking—this is beach bumming with a touch of Southern grace.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum: A deeply moving and powerful narrative of the civil rights movement unfolds here. Bring tissues.

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art: Celebrate the artistic spirit of the South, with a deep dive into the works of this iconic 20th-century American painter.

Rhode Island

rhode island

Last but not least, we wrap up this list of the least visited states in the US with Rhode Island. A cool 23 million Americans say “Let’s scoot over to the Ocean State” annually while 150,000 worldly wanderers trade in their globe-trotting shoes for Rhode Island’s coastal charm each year.

Why Rhode Island Is One Of The Least Visited States In The US?

Diminutive Dimensions: Being the smallest state means there’s less territory to explore. Some tourists mistakenly think they can cover it during a pit stop.

Overshadowed by Siblings: With bustling neighbors like New York and Massachusetts, Rhode Island can sometimes feel like the middle child of the Northeast.

Quiet Demeanor: Unlike its flashy peers, Rhode Island isn’t known for its braggadocio. It’s more the classy, reserved type at the party.

Limited Airport Links: T.F. Green Airport, while efficient, doesn’t have the extensive flight connections that larger hubs offer.

Rhode Island Highlights

Newport: Think grandiose mansions that give Downton Abbey a run for its money, scenic cliff walks, and the iconic Newport Jazz Festival.

Providence: This capital city has WaterFire—an art installation that sets the downtown river ablaze (in a good way)—and a culinary scene that’ll make your taste buds think they’ve gone to flavor heaven.

Block Island: Just a ferry ride away, this island offers serene beaches, scenic bluffs, and the sort of tranquility you’d expect from a meditation retreat.

RISD Museum: Art enthusiasts, this one’s for you. With over 100,000 artworks, this museum in Providence is a testament to creativity.

The Breakers Mansion: Step back in time and get a taste of the Gilded Age. It’s opulence, darling!

Narragansett Bay: Ideal for those who love sailing, fishing, or just lounging by the water with a seafood platter in hand.

How did you like this list of the least visited states in the US? Did you ever get the chance to visit any of these underrated destinations? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

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