The Most Visited States in the United States by Foreign Travelers

 

Are you curious to know which states receive the most visitors? Well, here is a list of the top ten most visited states in the United States by overseas travelers – excluding Mexico and Canada – as recognized by the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, and the reasons travelers think they’re so great.

[Also see the ten most visited cities in the United States]

10. Pennsylvania (920,000 arrivals for a 3.3% market share)

Pennsylvania has a few keynote attractions to bring in the travelers: the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, which is known for its Amish villages and antiquated way of life, Philadelphia, which was the birthplace of the American nation, and Hershey, which is a huge hit amongst chocoholics both domestic and foreign.

Reading Suggestion: Find some travel info on Gettysburg, one of Pennsylvania’s top historic destinations.

The skyline of downtown Philadelphia.

The skyline of downtown Philadelphia.

9. New Jersey (976,000 arrivals for a 3.5% market share)

You’ll find hordes of people letting loose in the casinos, strolling the boardwalk and enjoying the beach in Atlantic City, as this resort town is a huge draw for tourists because it lets them experience the Las Vegas vibe on the East Coast. If they’re not on the Jersey Shore, visitors to New Jersey will probably be experiencing the thrills of Six Flags Great Adventure or catching an event at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands.

Reading Suggestion: Princeton is more than just a university town. Find out what it has to offer.

The Green Lantern roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure. Photo credit Sarah Ackerman.

The Green Lantern roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure. Photo credit Sarah Ackerman.

8. Illinois (1,255,000 arrivals for a 4.5% market share)

[Also see our travel articles on Illinois]

Chicago, at 1,199,000 visitors, accounts for over 95% of the foreign visitors to Illinois, which should come as no surprise considering all of the things to love in America’s Second City. Firstly, there’s the pizza, which is deep-dish delicious. Chicago also has a lot of great buildings (the Chicago school of architecture anyone?) that makes its downtown center particularly striking.

The Chicago skyline stretching along the shores of Lake Michigan.

The Chicago skyline stretching along the shores of Lake Michigan.

7. Texas (1,283,000 arrivals for a 4.6% market share)

[Also see our travel articles on Texas]

The second largest state in the United States, Texas certainly has size on its side. A big part of the attraction is the vast range of geographical variation, from southwestern desert to lush forests. As far as cities go, the highlights for visitors are San Antonio, which is best known for the Alamo, site of a key battle in the Texas Revolution, and Austin, which is the state capital that’s better known for its charmingly weird inhabitants than for its politicians.

"Remember the Alamo" was the battle cry used to rally the troops in the Texas Revolution.

“Remember the Alamo” was the battle cry used to rally the troops in the Texas Revolution.

6. Massachusetts (1,422,000 arrivals for a 5.1% market share)

[Also see our travel articles on Massachusetts]

In Massachusetts, the locals are sports mad. They love to watch the Red Sox play at Fenwick Park while singing Sweet Caroline at the top of their lungs. And if they’re not there, they might be at Gillette Stadium cheering on Tom Brady and company or watching the Celtics play. Visitors who are less sports obsessed may want to leave Boston for the beaches and quaint villages of Cape Cod or travel west to the Berkshires and its mountain towns.

Reading Suggestion: Stockbridge is one of the best towns in the Berkshires!

A lovely sunset off the coast of Cape Cod.

A lovely sunset off the coast of Cape Cod.

See the top five most visited states in the United States!

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Christina is a globe-trotting journalist born and raised in Hong Kong, though a former resident of Thailand and London, who loves traveling and currently calls Sydney home. Find her on Google+.