The 10 Least Visited States That Should Be On Your 2024 Travel List

By: Matador Staff

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The United States is a big country that brings people in from near and far. However, there are certain states that seem to get all the love from travelers. In many cases, that’s for good reason: New York for the city and idyllic upstate escapes, California for the coast and wine country, Florida for its beaches and theme parks. And then there are the states that get a small fraction of the number of visitors from abroad or even other states. But that doesn’t mean the lesser-visited states are any less worthy of attention. In some cases, they’re even more interesting to visit for authentic experiences that haven’t yet had every angle thoroughly documented on social media.

According to numbers from state tourism authorities compiled by tour operator company Xola, these are the 10 least visited states in the country. In some cases the relatively lower traveler numbers are surprising compared to the state’s reputation (at least until you consider the lengths that need to be taken to get there). Others simply don’t see local attractions get the same hype despite being awe-inspiring. All of these states, no matter what the visitor numbers say, are worth making a point to travel to in 2024 and beyond.

Contributors: Eben Diskin, Jori Ayers, Suzie Dundas, Tim Wenger, and Nickolaus Hines

Alaska has an outsized reputation among the traveling set. It’s a cherished cruise destination (for large and small boats), a place to view wildlife like bears and eagles, and a natural haven for people who enjoy fishing and embracing outdoor adventure in both the blistering cold and the long summer days. It’s also home to Denali National Park, one of the largest and most stunning in the world. That all said, it’s far less accessible than every other state in the country — especially those in the lower 48.

Those that do make it to Alaska get there primarily by flying into either Anchorage or Fairbanks, the state’s two major airports, and Alaska Airlines operates flights from a number of major airports around the country. The truly intrepid, however, can get there via an epic road trip through Canada’s British Columbia and Yukon.

If you didn’t drive yourself there, renting a car is the best way to see all Alaska has to offer. If you’re visiting in the summer, you could easily spend a week exploring the southern Kenai Fjords National Park, known for its brown bears, sea otters, whales, and birds. You can take a sightseeing boat tour of the fjords, hit the water in a kayak, and hike the dramatic Exit Glacier – just a 15-minute drive from the area’s main town of Seward. Summer in Alaska also means hiking in Denali National Park, or taking an epic road trip north from Fairbanks on the Dalton Highway, the most remote highway in the country.

During the Alaskan winter, the state comes alive in completely different ways. Denali takes on a whole new character, with the perfect snowy terrain for cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing. For a true Alaskan experience, head to North Pole (you read that right) just a few miles from Fairbanks, where Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service can take you dog sledding and snowmobiling through the wintry wilderness. You can even try your luck ice fishing on a frozen lake and eat whatever you catch (if you catch anything, of course – it’s harder than it looks).

Notable events in 2024:

  • World Ice Art Championships (February 17-March 31, 2024): An ice sculpting contest in Fairbanks, and the largest of its kind in the world. See the wild creations contestants manage to carve from blocks of ice.
  • Sundown Solstice Festival (June 7-9, 2024): Alaska’s biggest music event to celebrate the summer solstice, the festival takes place every year in Anchorage featuring a number of popular artists.
  • Great Alaska Craft Beer and Home Brew Festival (May 26-27, 2024): A beerfest celebrating beers from all over Alaska and the Yukon. The best brews from over 25 regional breweries, cideries, and distributors across the region will be in the spotlight.
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Gary Whitton

There’s a good chance that there are more people who know the chorus of the famous John Denver song about going home to West Virginia than there are people who travel there each year. But West Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful scenery and thrilling adventure activities in the country, from waterfalls, to national parks, to rivers for whitewater rafting, to stargazing sites.

New River Gorge is a great place to start. The largest gorge in the Appalachian Mountains, this national park is home to some of the state’s most stunning natural beauty, and is an adventure travel hot spot for rafting, rock climbing, and base jumping. Rafting along the New River is one of the best ways to see the park as rafts go past huge sandstone walls and pine, willow, and aspen trees. The class II to V rapids are no joke, though, so it’s best to enlist the pros at an outfitter like Adventures on the Gorge. There are also over 1,500 climbing routes around the park, making it one of the best rock climbing areas on the East Coast, while hiking trails like the Glad Creek Area Trails lead past waterfalls.

West Virginia has beautiful waterfalls that range from huge, epic cascades like Sandstone Falls in New River Gorge and Blackwater Falls in Blackwater River State Park, to smaller falls like Babcock Mill Creek Falls. Set beside the bucolic Glade Creek Grist Mill, the latter is considered one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the entire state.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Cheat River Festival (May 3, 2024): An annual celebration of the Cheat River watershed, the festival helps raise money for watershed projects throughout the year. Bands from all over Appalachia entertain crowds with live music.
  • West Virginia Trail Fest (May 10-11, 2024): An annual event for runners of all ages to explore the hills and trails of Pocahontas County. There are four races: a 5k, 30k, 60k, and 100k. All races finish at the Snowshoe Resort.
  • Almost Heaven BBQ Bash (June 13-14, 2024): The largest barbecue competition in West Virginia with live entertainment, food vendors, and arts and crafts.

Traveling to West Virginia? Check out Matador’s West Virginia accommodation guides:

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There’s a tendency to generalize the Midwest and the states that make up the Corn Belt. The farms and rows of crops are off-handedly referred to as classic flyover country, and Nebraska, right in the center of the US, doesn’t exactly attract lines of visitors. Yet Nebraska is not only filled with natural beauty, but is also one of the foremost destinations for birdwatching.

The state is home to several lush and picturesque state parks that are perfect for hiking, biking, and camping. You can see herds of buffalo and longhorn cattle in Fort Robinson State Park in Crawford, and in true Wild West fashion, the events calendar is loaded with dozens of rodeos. For campers, Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area in Ogallala wraps around Lake McConaughy, the state’s largest lake, and there are plenty of campsites along the shoreline. Nebraska also has one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the country. The Ashfall Fossil Beds in the northeast are famous for their immaculately preserved rhino, three-toed horse, and ancient dog skeletons. Unlike some active digs, visitors can roam the excavation area and see things close up.

Perhaps the highlight of Nebraska’s wildlife viewing is the annual sandhill crane migration. Even if you’re not a bird or wildlife enthusiast, it’s worth visiting the state for this migration alone. It’s one of the largest migrations in North America, featuring roughly one million cranes (80 percent of the world’s sandhill crane population) stopping along the Platte River Valley to rest from late February to early April as they travel south. The Crane Trust runs all-inclusive overnight tours, including lodging, meals, and special viewings, so you can see experience the phenomenon in all its feathery glory.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Nebraskaland Days 2024 (June 11-June 20, 2024): A summer concert series and rodeo. There’s also a beer garden, a golf classic, and cowboy kickball on tap for the week.
  • Fort Cody Summer Music Series (Every Thursday in the summer): Bring your lawn chair and listen to some of the area’s best live music at the Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte throughout the summer.
  • North Platte Canteen Festival (September 28 & 29, 2024): A decades-long tradition, the Canteen Festival includes a market and art show, live 1940s music, and a historical performance set to music.
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Wyoming certainly has its own set of famous tourism draws, most prominently Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park. Yet as a whole, the state’s sprawling natural wonders and cowboy culture — the capital is home to Cheyenne Frontier Days, celebrating all things Wild West, and Wind River Country is a year-round destination for a classic Western experience — offer so much more to see. You can even get a taste of the covered-wagon experience of the Oregon Trail near Casper.

Nature enthusiasts, state and national park lovers, and more can easily find mountains and protected areas that would take a lifetime to fully explore. Wyoming, after all, is where the first national park was founded, and today, the state has two national parks, two national monuments, one national recreation area, and one national historic with four national historic trails.

Star Valley, an hour south of Jackson, is perfect for adventurers looking to escape the crowds. Known for its abundance of wildlife, open grasslands, and rugged mountains, Star Valley captures classic Wyoming like nowhere else. It’s particularly appealing in the winter thanks to its deep snow that’s perfect for snowmobiling and skiing. With over 300 miles of groomed trails and hundreds of acres of backcountry, winter comes with a feeling of limitless freedom that visitors can experience with rentals easily available from outfitters like Jackson Hole Adventure Rentals in Alpine. In the summer, skiing and snowmobiling are replaced by ATVing and dirt biking, particularly along Dry Creek Trail.

A fall roadtrip between Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks rivals the leaf peeping in more heavily trafficked areas of the country. Wyoming is home to more than 4,000 lakes and reservoirs, many of which are open to paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, and other water recreation.

Hikers don’t need to confine themselves to Yellowstone for some of Wyoming’s most beautiful scenery. Killpecker Dunes, part of Wyoming’s Red Desert and where you’ll find some of Wyoming’s best hikes, is home to miles of towering sand dunes and dotted with otherworldly rock formations. The Boars Tusk, a 400-foot monolith, is the core of a volcano exposed by the erosion of the surrounding rock, and you can hike three miles to the spire. While there are no designated trails in the dunes, you can explore the area safely at your own leisure, and the whole area is dog friendly. The Dubois Badlands are another surreal desert environment ideal for hikers. The seemingly endless multicolored flatlands are home to wildlife like bighorn sheep, mule deer, and antelope. The hiking loop is only four miles long, but the area’s ethereal nature and lack of crowds make it well worth a visit.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Sheridan WYO Rodeo (July 10-13, 2024): Taking place in the small city of Sheridan, the WYO Rodeo is one of the top rodeos in the country. The weeklong festivities include a pancake breakfast, a 5K race, Main Street Parade, carnival, and, of course, traditional rodeo events.
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days (July 19-28, 2024): A 10-day festival in Wyoming’s capital, Frontier Days is one of the biggest rodeos you’ll find. It includes rodeo events, concerts, and parades.
  • Laramie County Fair (July 31-August 10, 2024): This annual fair is a sampling of everything that makes Wyoming great, from a ranch rodeo and farmer’s market to good old fashioned pig wrestling.
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Delaware isn’t the smallest state in the country, but it’s close. It’s most known for being a corporate tax haven and the longtime home of Joe Biden. But anyone who’s spent time in the Mid-Atlantic knows that the state is also home to fascinating history and beaches.

Delaware’s nickname, “The First State,” alludes to its position as the first state to ratify the Constitution in 1787. Its historical associations don’t end there. There are several historic homes and museums throughout the state making it more than a worthwhile visit for history buffs. The Winterthur Museum and Gardens in Winterthur, for example, has one of the richest collections of Americana anywhere in the country. Built in the early 1800s to showcase collections of priceless antiques and art, the estate’s 175 rooms are furnished to historical accuracy and are full of decorative arts. Similarly, the Nemours Estate in Wilmington is home to the largest formal French gardens on the continent. You could easily spend a whole day exploring its 200 acres of lawns, meadows, and woodlands, or wandering the huge conservatory.

The Jersey Shore and the beaches of Charleston and Hilton Head are more famous as Atlantic Coast beach destinations, but locals know that Delaware’s beach scene can hold its own. Rehoboth Beach is one of the best beaches on the East Coast, with wide stretches of white sand and a boardwalk lined with boutiques, restaurants, and resorts. It’s also home to Funland, an amusement park that’s been a local institution since the early ‘60s. Farther to the south, you’ll find Dewey Beach, Delaware Seashore State Park, and Bethany Beach, with atmospheres ranging from young and lively to relaxing and family friendly.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Clifford Brown Jazz Festival (June 21-24): Jazz fans will want to bookmark this event happening in Wilmington’s Rodney Square. Watch multiple jazz musicians, enjoy the beer and wine vendors, and browse local community displays.
  • Delaware State Fair (July 18-27, 2024): Held annually in Harrington at the end of July, the Delaware State Fair dates back to 1869 and features concerts, a casino, and rides. In the winter, an ice rink occupies the fairgrounds and hosts open public skating and hockey sessions.
  • Firefly Music Festival (September 22-25, 2024): An annual music festival at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, a 105-acre festival grounds next to the speedway. Past lineups have included artists like Avril Lavigne, Zedd, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, and Dua Lipa.
Traveling to Delaware? Check out Matador’s Delaware accommodation guides:
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Montana’s natural beauty is no secret. Thanks to the popularity of shows like Yellowstone, neither is its cowboy culture and Native American history. Glacier National Park is within its borders, as is a small portion of Yellowstone National Park. Montana’s state parks offer the same beauty without the crowding that those two famous national parks see every year.

In the winter, Montana offers incredible skiing at places like Big Sky Resort, the second largest ski resort in the country with 5,850 acres of skiable terrain and 400 inches of annual snowfall. Montana’s snowy terrain is just as fun for non-skiers and snowboarders as well with the right itinerary.

Visitors can see Montana’s rich history first-hand dating back to prehistoric times with the Montana Dinosaur Trail. There are also numerous historical landmarks and sites, a rich gold rush history (it is the Treasure State, after all), Native American landmarks like the Little Bighorn Battlefield, and stopping points along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Before Lewis and Clark, Native Americans explored and lived on the land, and there are 12 recognized tribes on eight reservations in the state.

Exploring nature comes naturally in a place like Montana. Few places in the world are like Wild Horse Island, where bald eagles, bighorn sheep, and other native wildlife roam alongside the descendants of the horses once pastured on the island by the Salish-Kootenai. Visit the quiet Flathead Lake for fishing with a stunning view of the mountains and colorful pebbles. Fueling up on the bounty of the land is easy with high-quality farm-to-table dining throughout summer, and breweries, bakeries, cafes, and bars that’ll keep you warm through winter.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Montana Renaissance Festival (June 1-2, 2024): Montana’s largest and longest-running renaissance festival. This annual festival includes different characters, combatants, demonstrators, and delicious food and drinks.
  • Sweet Pea Festival (August 2-4, 2024): This annual arts festival in Bozeman’s Lindley Park features art, live music, and theater with food vendors and plenty of activities for kids.
  • Montana Folk Festival (July 12-14, 2024): Multiple stages feature artists and musicians both local and national. The festival includes traditional foods, two traditional art markets, folklife demonstrations and workshops, and a family area.
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Colorado, California, and Utah likely come to mind when thinking of the top mountain destinations in the US. The one state that deserves to be on that list is New Hampshire, where opportunities for outdoor recreation are plentiful.

The state’s White Mountains are home to the best skiing on the East Coast, including the famed Tuckerman’s Ravine backcountry zone and Cannon Mountain, a ski resort that rivals many of its counterparts farther west when it comes to technical skiing. This region is even home to the longest-running ski shop in the US, Lahout’s, which has been strapping up savvy skiers since 1920. In summer, you can effectively criss-cross much of the state on trails, with hiking that rivals trails in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Nowhere else in North America is such easy access to outdoor adventure found within a short drive or train ride from at least five major cities (though a New Hampshire road trip has its own draw for those up for a drive).

New Hampshire is divided into seven “regions,” each of which might as well be labeled as “beer crawl zones.” The small state has more than 90 breweries. On the culinary front, the Granite State excels in taking classic New England fare like steamers (steamed soft-shell clams) and chowder and adding a rugged, high-mountain twist. Venison dishes are popular here, which, when paired with a side of New England Clam Chowder, is a meal as iconic as the French fries and gravy found just across the state’s northern border. When it comes to arts and culture, the city of Manchester is home to the acclaimed Currier Museum of Art and is a prime stop for Frank Lloyd Wright fans, with both the Toufic H. Kalil House and Zimmerman House open for visits.

The picturesque Lakes Region invites visitors to explore its pristine lakes and charming towns. The iconic Mount Washington, with its unpredictable weather, is a challenge for hikers and a must-see for those seeking breathtaking vistas. The historic charm of Portsmouth, with its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, provides a delightful blend of culture and maritime heritage. Classic New England living can be found in New Hampshire’s quaint villages, like Hanover and Jackson. For an effortless look at the state’s natural beauty, the Conway Scenic Railroad is one of the prettiest train routes in New England.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Maple Sugaring Month (March): To not douse yourself in maple syrup is to not experience New Hampshire. Visit in March and it’s all but guaranteed to happen, as the state celebrates maple sugaring month.
  • Hillsboro Summer Festival (July 11-14): Live music, carnival rides, and fireworks are par for the course at Hillsboro Summer Festival, taking place in mid-July. Add to the docket a 5k road race, ample food vendors slinging everything from carnival fare to farm-to-table craft eats, and a parade that brings in the entire town, and you have one heck of a party.
  • Hampton Beach Seafood Festival (mid-September): New Hampshire isn’t only mountains and beer. The state’s small-but-mighty coastline produces some of the most delicious seafood on the Eastern Seaboard, and that seafood is on display at the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival. Everything from lobster to clams are steamed, fried, grilled, and smoked to perfection, and each day of the event features a lineup of live music and entertainment.
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Rural and mountainous Vermont is perfect for travelers looking for an outdoorsy retreat, from the Northeast Kingdom, to scenic backroads, to the state’s charming small towns. It’s fairly affordable, and an ideal retreat for anyone looking for a less-crowded mountain getaway. And as long as you avoid leaf peeping on a Saturday in October, it’s unlikely you’ll run into any kind of crowd, at least compared to more touristed states.

The Green Mountain State offers picturesque landscapes, ranging from lush hillsides and pretty mountain lakes to natural swimming holes, world-class fishing, bucolic farms, covered bridges, and lakeside cycling paths — and that’s just in summer. Winter brings some of the best skiing on the east coast at resorts like Killington and Stowe (as well as plenty of activities off the slopes), spring brings excitement as breweries set up their outdoor tables and farms open for maple syrup season, and fall brings a cascade of autumn colors to most of the small state’s 3.4 billion trees. Foliage festivals are commonplace come September, and apple cider donuts abound at every small town general store and farmer’s market.

Vermont also has some of the best scenic trails in the US, from hiking trails like the famous 273-mile Long Trail to the drivable Mad River byway, which passes through many of the state’s cutest small towns.

Visitors to Vermont will need to fly into Burlington, home to the state’s only airport. It’s the biggest city in Vermont, and the city’s Church Street Marketplace is an artisan paradise with local shops and restaurants, baskets overflowing with fresh flowers, and easy access to gorgeous Lake Champlain. Most of the other destinations in the state (including Motpelier, the country’s least-populated capital city) are small towns focused on outdoor adventures, though you could also plan your trip around famous historical sites, the Vermont Cheese Trail, or tasting your way through the state’s 56 breweries and dozens of orchards and farmstands.

Notable events in 2024:

  • The Vermont Maple Syrup Festival (April 26-28): There are few things more associated with Vermont than maple syrup, and this three-day festival celebrates the sugary sweetness in all its glory. In addition to festival staples like a craft market, cooking contests, and all manner of maple syrup shopping, the festival also includes fiddle shows, sugarhouse tours, syrup tastings, and, naturally, daily pancake breakfasts.
  • Von Trapp Oktoberfest (September 21): if the name “Von Trapp” sounds familiar, it’s because the Von Trapps were the family that inspired “The Sound of Music” — and they live in Vermont. Every September, the huge Von Trapp farm and Bierhall celebrates a European-inspired Oktoberfest, with beer tastings, an oompah band, cask tapping, and stein holding competitions. Wearing lederhosen or a dirndl is absolutely encouraged.
  • The Vermont City Marathon (May 26): You don’t have to be a runner to appreciate the energy of the state’s capital city during the annual downtown marathon and relay. It’s the biggest marathon in New England, and the town comes alive that weekend with live music, special restaurant events, street fairs, and spectator stations along the route. Of course, if you’re interested in becoming a marathon runner, it’s a good first race: the course is flat, scenic as can be as it runs along Lake Champlain, and available to do in segments, as you can register for a multi-person relay version, too.
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South Dakota often gets painted with the same brush as the rest of the Midwest. And while it’s not a bad brush — the Midwest is known for friendly locals, quirky only-in-America-type experiences, and low-key cool small towns — South Dakota really has no match.

South Dakota’s parks are reason enough to warrant a visit, with two in particular leading the way: Badlands National Park and Wind Cave National Park. Just like the state, the two parks are quite under-visited, ranking at the 27th and 19th least-visited parks in the lower 48. That means visitors will have Badlands National Park’s surreal landscapes of rugged canyons, towering spires, and vast prairies seemingly to themselves. Sure, you’ll likely have crowds on summer holidays on the park’s scenic hiking trails, but it’s nowhere near the crowds of parks in places like California or Utah. Wind Caves is also well-worth the visit, with both gentle and adventurous tours of the 154-mile-long underground cave, and herds of bison that roam the park’s 44 square miles above ground.

South Dakota offers Americana out the wazoo, and you can’t road trip through the state without visiting sites like the World Famous Corn Palace or the Mammoth Site near Hot Springs, where archaeologists have found more than 60 wooly mammoth skeletons. And if you like your history a little more recent, be sure to spend at least one night in the notorious gold rush town of Deadwood, once home to legends like Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane.

While South Dakota’s winter season is certainly chilly, it shines when it comes to peaceful activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Custer State Park is an especially gorgeous place to spend time in nature once it starts snowing.

But South Dakota isn’t all Wild West history and vast landscapes. It’s filled with towns worth a few days in their own right, like Hill City, an aptly named town in the Black Hills. Its Main Street is lined with art galleries, boutiques, and cozy cafes, and is the starting point for rides on the vintage 1880 Train through remote areas of the Black Hills. In Rapid City, art, history, and nature are all easily accessible. Also worth visiting is Spearfish, roughly halfway between Deadwood and Wyoming’s Devils Tower Monument, and Hot Springs, where you’ll find the famous naturally warm waters that lend the town its name.

South Dakota also has near-endless options for learning about America’s Indigenous cultures. Visitors can see the famous Crazy Horse carving at the Crazy Horse Memorial in the town of the same name, join archaeological demonstrations and guided tours at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village in Mitchell, and wander through Native American art galleries like the Journey Museum & Learning Center in Rapid City. Visitors can also travel with the Indigenous-owned Tatanka Rez Tours, which offers guided tours of the Pine Ridge Reservation and nearby historical sites, or try modern versions of traditional Lakota foods at the low-key (and highly rated) Watecha Bowl in Sioux Falls.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (August): It’s near-impossible to talk about the town of Sturgis without mentioning the world-famous motorcycle rally. It’s the biggest in the country and has tons to do even if you don’t bike. That includes concerts from A-listers (past headliners include Steppenwolf and the Doobie Brothers), bike shows, stunt shows, parades, bar crawls, mustache contests, and more. It draws about 500,000 attendees each year, so book your hotel far in advance.
  • The Annual Buffalo Roundup (September): Every year at Custer State Park, guests can watch cowboys round up more than 1,300 buffalo from the park to keep their numbers down. The buffalos that get herded are sold to farmers or treated to limit their offspring, but not killed. It attracts about 20,000 spectators and starts around 6 AM.
  • South Dakota Chislic Festival (July 27, 2024): Roughly 10,000 people attend the Chislic Festival each year, tasting all-things-chislic (seasoned meat hunks, basically). It’s your standard sprawling food fair, with artisans, entertainment, tastings, and more.
Traveling to South Dakota? Check out Matador’s South Dakota accommodation guides:
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Maine is a place of beautiful contrasts. Its 228 miles of rugged Atlantic coastline give way to the peaks of the Whites, the Longfellows, and the Appalachian mother range. A rural mountain culture built on dogged individualism shares roots with small but vibrant coastal cities where you’ll find some of New England’s best food (Portland), the trail of legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyon (Bangor), and unforgettable historic lighthouses (everywhere).

Then there’s Acadia National Park. Highlights can be seen in a day, though it’s worth setting aside more time to explore the 150-plus miles of hiking trails stretching above dramatically elevated views of the rocky Atlantic coast. Reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest, the park draws outdoor enthusiasts of all persuasions to road and gravel bike, hike, fish, and revel in the natural beauty of Mount Desert Island and its neighbors. Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Saddleback, and other ski resorts make Maine an underrated destination for downhill skiing and snowboarding.

Mainers have a distinct culture that prioritizes such activities as windjamming, odd drinking traditions, and sustainable lobster harvesting. Perhaps the most famous modern Maine native is Stephen King, and fans of the author can see the real-world inspiration for some of his stories across the state. There’s also a slew of epic state parks to visit, and you can even end your night in a lighthouse (just don’t ring the alarm). Maine’s inland lakes and mountains offer serenity and outdoor adventures, with destinations like Moosehead Lake and Baxter State Park capturing the essence of the state’s natural beauty. The fall foliage transforms the landscape into a kaleidoscope of colors, attracting leaf peepers from near and far.

Notable events in 2024:

  • Acadia Birding Festival (May 30-June 2): This high-flying event celebrates the ecological wonders of the Gulf of Maine’s birds, and there a quite a lot of them – over 200 species pass through or above the park each year. This festival offers a wealth of activities for bird enthusiasts of all levels, featuring field trips, boat trips, workshops, and lectures. Participants have the opportunity to witness some of the rarest and most beautifu birdsl in the world. The festival also provides an exceptional opportunity to learn from local bird experts and connect with fellow birders from across the globe.
  • Maine Lobster Festival (July 31-August 4): Held in Rockland, Maine, during the first weekend of August, the Maine Lobster Festival is a five-day celebration of the state’s iconic crustacean. This annual event attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world with the promise of fresh, local lobster dinners, nationally renowned entertainers, cooking contests, activities for all ages, and enough general revelry to make you forget that the event is supposed to be about celebrating lobstering rather than celebrating life in general.
  • Maine Harvest Festival (mid-November): The Maine Harvest Festival, held annually in Bangor in November, is a vibrant celebration of autumn’s bounty. Over two days, the Cross Insurance Center transforms into a bustling marketplace showcasing the best of Maine agriculture, art, and culture. Farmers and producers from across the state gather to offer their freshest harvests, including crisp apples, vibrant pumpkins, juicy berries, and flavorful cheeses. Alongside these delicious offerings, visitors can discover handcrafted artisan goods, from jewelry and pottery to woodworking and textile art. The festival also features live music performances, cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs, and educational workshops on topics like gardening, food preservation, and sustainable agriculture. Children can enjoy a dedicated play area with activities, games, and face painting.
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