A recent Google study conducted by the research team at SFT Project analyzed a list of more than 150 tourist attractions in the US as well as terms related to visiting each attraction to find out the most googled tourist attractions in each state.

The results showcase the diverse preferences of Americans, ranging from iconic landmarks, amusement parks, museums, and the natural beauty of national parks and breathtaking landscapes.

What makes it more interesting is the fact that although certain states’ choices of tourist attractions may not seem logical based on geographical distances, the study emphasizes the possibility that residents might be willing to travel significant distances to reach their destinations, indicating their willingness to go the extra mile for their travel experiences.

Nature spots and national parks were the most popular types of tourist attractions that Americans wanted to visit, with 30 states searching for a nature spot or national park more than any other tourist attraction.

Niagara Falls has 7 states searching for it more than any other tourist attraction. These states include Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington, and Wisconsin. Residents of these states appear to be captivated by the natural wonder of Niagara Falls, drawn to its majestic beauty and potential for memorable travel experiences, despite some of the states’ travel distances.

Lake Tahoe was another natural landmark with 3 different states searching for it the most. The freshwater lake was on top of the list for searches in Colorado, Kansas, and Montana. Residents of Colorado seem to be drawn to Lake Tahoe for skiing and outdoor adventures, while landlocked Kansas residents apparently are drawn to its freshwater appeal.

Multiple national parks also made the rankings, with the Grand Canyon being the one with the most searches to visit it with 5 states searching it the most, such as Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Dakota. Rhode Island’s interest in particular could stem from its smaller size and a desire to witness the immense scale of natural formations, whereas South Dakota’s residents may want to further explore other monumental landmarks, after already witnessing their own iconic Mount Rushmore.

The Great Smoky Mountains was the second most searched national park, with 4 states searching for it the most (Alabama, Utah, Maine, and Mississippi). Residents of Alabama’s interest in visiting the Great Smoky Mountains seem to be attributed to its neighboring proximity.

Historical and cultural landmarks were also popular, with 3 states searching for a historical or cultural landmark more than any other type of attraction. Landmarks include the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and Alcatraz Island.

Amusement parks and other entertainment attractions had 7 states searching for them more than any other type of tourist attraction. Universal Orlando Studios (Oregon, Texas, and Vermont) and Universal Studios Hollywood (Alaska) were the most popular amusement parks with a total of 4 states searching for them the most. Alaska’s interest in visiting the Universal Studious Hollywood is most surprising thus far due to its geographical distance, however, this shows a desire for a unique and adventurous vacation beyond the state’s borders.

Other attractions that made the list include Disneyland, which is the top tourist attraction that Hawaii residents want to visit, and Silver Dollar City which is the most searched attraction in Massachusetts. Hawaii residents appear to be driven by the allure of the theme park’s magic and entertainment, in contrast to its own natural beauty.

Nine states searched for a beach more than any other type of tourist attraction. Myrtle Beach (already the most popular tourist attraction across all US states) emerged as the favorite beach destination. States like Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia showed a keen interest in Myrtle Beach, emphasizing their inclination towards coastal getaways. Additionally, Rehoboth Beach made the list, being the most searched beach in Maryland.

In certain states like Wyoming, New York, and Arizona, the most searched tourist attractions are within the same state. This could indicate a preference among residents to explore local destinations rather than venturing outside their state. It also raises the possibility that even when residents are in their home state, they may not have visited these popular attractions.

 

The full list of attractions that residents in each state googled to visit most:

StateTourist Attraction Most Searched
AlabamaGreat Smokey Mountains
AlaskaUniversal Studios Hollywood
ArizonaAntelope Canyon
ArkansasNiagara Falls
CaliforniaAlcatraz Island
ColoradoLake Tahoe
ConnecticutMyrtle Beach
DelawareNiagara Falls
FloridaLas Vegas Strip
GeorgiaMyrtle Beach
HawaiiDisneyland
IdahoGrand Canyon
IllinoisMyrtle Beach
IndianaGrand Canyon
IowaGlacier National Park
KansasLake Tahoe
KentuckyAcadia National Park
LouisianaNiagara Falls
MaineGreat Smoky Mountains
MarylandRehoboth Beach
MassachusettsSilver Dollar City
MichiganStatue of Liberty
MinnesotaNiagara Falls
MississippiGreat Smoky Mountains
MissouriGlacier National Park
MontanaLake Tahoe
NebraskaHoover Dam
NevadaMount Washington
New HampshireWhite Sands National Park
New JerseyNiagara Falls
New MexicoDeath Valley National Park
New YorkMuseum of Modern Art
North CarolinaMyrtle Beach
North DakotaTheodore Roosevelt National Park
OhioMyrtle Beach
OklahomaGrand Canyon
OregonUniversal Orlando Studios
PennsylvaniaCumberland Fall
Rhode IslandGrand Canyon
South CarolinaMyrtle Beach
South DakotaGrand Canyon
TennesseeMyrtle Beach
TexasUniversal Orlando Studios
UtahGreat Smoky Mountains
VermontUniversal Orlando Studios
VirginiaMyrtle Beach
WashingtonNiagara Falls
West VirginiaMount Rushmore
WisconsinNiagara Falls
WyomingGrand Teton National Park

 

Tourist attractions by type:

Type# of statesStates
National Parks16Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
Natural Landmarks/Geographical Attractions14Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania
Historical or Cultural Sites4California, New York, Michigan, West Virginia

 

Amusement Parks and Entertainment7Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Florida, Massachusetts
Beaches9Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland

 

Methodology
The team at SFT Project obtained information from Google search data regarding which tourist attractions were the most searched in each state in the past 12 months.

The study looked at specific keywords and phrases that were searched on Google, such as “visit Niagara Falls “, “things to do in Niagara Falls “, “travel to Niagara Falls”, places to see in Niagara Falls”, etc. They did so for 150 tourist attractions with over four hundred related keywords to each tourist attraction.

The team then calculated the total number of searches for each tourist attraction in each state to determine which tourist attraction had the highest number of searches.

Sources
Google Keyword Planner