How to find the perfect US holiday destination

If you’re planning on heading to the US for a holiday, one thing you’ll need to think about is your itinerary. America is a vast, sprawling company made up of very individual states. There’s certainly plenty to see and do.

The good news is that the team at PlayNJ have been doing a lot of homework. They’ve produced a really useful interactive map with a list of top destination for popular activities. You can quickly see which of 50 state attracts the most tourists, has the best gambling or the most things to do on a holiday visit.

So who’s the overall winner? While it drops down in some categories, California ranks the highest in the general category, with Texas and Florida not far behind. The map, however, gives you the chance to filter according to other factors, all of which gives you a much more detailed understanding of what each state offers.

• Tourism Income: While this doesn’t guarantee a fantastic time, states that make more from tourism are going to be better equipped to offer what you want. Again California hits the top spot with an income of just over $126 billion per year. Florida is some way behind with a shade under $90 billion and the lowest ranked is North Dakota which ekes out just $3.1 billion. Of course, you have to take into account that some states are more populous than others.
• Gambling: There’s no surprise here that Nevada hits the big prize when it comes to gambling. There are 363 establishments in the state, most of them concentrated in the city of Las Vegas. Second on the list is New York which has just over 200 places to gamble your hard earned money away. Vermont has no establishments at all and that’s because it bans most forms of gambling.
• Theme Parks: If you’re taking the kids on holiday, you’ll want to go on a few rides. For that, you might like to head for New Jersey which has 30 locations, including Storybook Land and Fantasy Island. Next on the list is Tennessee which has 29. Way down the rankings at 49 is Alaska which has no theme parks but does have a lot of snow.
• Zoos: Texas is full of zoos, including one of the world’s biggest in Dallas. It has 19 in all, just ahead of California and Florida which both have 13.
• Things To Do: A vague category but important none the less, this is often an indication of what variety each state provides. Florida currently has 1,699 different things to do on vacation, including visiting Sea World and Universal Studios. North Dakota is at the back end of the list with 479 things to do on holiday such as hiking around the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
• Stadiums: If you love your sport, then Texas and California have the most stadiums but there are states, like Alaska, that actually have none at all.
• Theatres: Should you wish to sample more than your fair share of culture, you’ll want a state which caters for the theatrical crowd. Surprisingly enough, Illinois has the most with 98 and New York, with Broadway at its centre, only lies 4th. Again, North Dakota has the least, with just 12 theatres.

All this, should give you a good idea of where to post your tent pegs when you organise your next holiday to the USA. But will it guarantee you happiness? Well, the answer is no. According to the research, while California may provide a lot of amenities, Hawaii and Alaska rank one and two respectively for a happy time. You may like to consider that when you plan your trip.

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