Now that I've visited all 50 states, I feel comfortable saying which states are my favorites. But I'm quick to point out that there are so many other states that I love. Today I want to focus on underrated states - those places that I liked much more than I expected. These are the states where, upon hearing we were visiting from California and weren't there to see relatives, people asked us why on earth we would visit their state.
The Most Underrated States in the US
The most underrated state in the United States is Nebraska. Famously considered a flyover state, I am here to tell you that you should fly TO Nebraska, not over it. Before our visit, I had no idea how much there is to see and do there. We spent a week in Omaha, with day trips to Beatrice and Lincoln, and barely scratched the surface. Go to Nebraska.
Next on my list of underrated states is Kentucky. I didn't expect to see such diversity of people and things to do. I didn't expect such a vibrant food scene, nor the breathtaking natural beauty. The capital city, Frankfort, is small and charming with a population under 30,000. Louisville is about 20 times larger and is one of my all-time favorite cities. Both are well worth a visit. I'd love to return and see more of the Bluegrass State.
When you think of Ohio, do you think tourism? I didn't, until I'd been there. There are so many fantastic things to see and do in Ohio, including a beautiful national park, fantastic museums, and outstanding food. We spent time in Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus and I would happily return to any of them. The next time we're in Ohio my priority will be exploring Cincinnati, since we haven't been there yet. Ohio is seriously underrated!
I didn't expect to love South Dakota nearly as much as I did. There is a misconception that there's nothing to do besides visit Mount Rushmore, which couldn't be further from the truth. It may be nicknamed the Mount Rushmore State, but that's only the start to the cool things to see and do in South Dakota. The national (and state) parks we visited were fantastic, as were the many museums and cultural sites. We ate well in South Dakota and enjoyed the natural beauty and plentiful wildlife.
The last state on my list of underrated states is North Carolina. We haven't been to most of their top tourist attractions and we still found dozens of interesting places to go. We loved Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte and didn't have nearly enough time in any of them. Consider North Carolina as a future vacation destination!
Do you agree with my choices? Any other states you think are underrated? Tell me what you think in the comments!