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The 7 Most Visited States in the United States

7. Illinois with 1,442,000 visitors

Illinois makes it onto this almost solely because of the appeal of its largest city, Chicago. Each year 1.378 million international visitors travel to Chicago to discover America’s second city, which is known for its deep-dish pizza, blues bars, sports teams, unique architecture and laid-back attitude. That said, Illinois is losing ground in the tourism race, as its lack of other key-note attractions has caused it to experience a lackluster growth in tourism arrivals – only 3% since 2012.

6. Texas with 1,570,000 visitors

Texas is the only state on this list to move up positions in this year’s rankings, as Texas has surpassed both Illinois and Massachusetts to become the sixth most visited state in the United States. With 1.57 million visitors, Texas received 17% more international visitors in 2013 than it did in 2012, which is one of the largest increases of any state. Houston and Dallas are the state’s most visited cities, the two of which account for 73% of the state’s visitors.

5. Nevada with 2,915,000 visitors

Virtually every visitor to Nevada in 2013 also visited Las Vegas, which is such a huge tourist destination that 2.9 million international visitors is just a drop in the bucket. Once international visitors arrive to Las Vegas they can expect to share the Strip with tons of American tourists, as Las Vegas is the most popular domestic travel destination by a mile.

4. Hawaii with 3,172,000 visitors

Though Hawaii gets a huge amount of domestic visitors, its international visitors pale in comparison to states like California and Florida. Which is not to say that Hawaii’s beaches are lacking in appeal. But the state doesn’t have the urban appeal of Florida or California and its isolated position in the Pacific limits its visitors to mostly Asian travelers.

3. California with 6,472,000 visitors

California is only one of three states to receive more than 5 million overseas visitors. Combined, the three most visited states in America account for an astonishing 73% of all overseas visitors to the United States. So why do visitors come in such huge numbers to California? Well, it’s the state with the best air connections to Asia, it has a host of amazing national parks and its two chief cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have great international reputations.

2. Florida with 7,209,000 visitors

Florida is also holding its position as the second most visited state in America, with 7.2 million visitors in 2013. The numbers make perfect sense when one considers the sheer amount of tourist attractions that can be found in Florida: the beaches and nightclubs of Miami, the amusement parks of Orlando, Disney World and the natural beauty of Key West.

1. New York with 9,804,000 visitors

Like the previous year, New York once again received more international visitors than any other state in 2013 with almost 10 million visitors or 30% of all foreign visitors to the United States. As the numbers exclude any Canadians who might pop down to Buffalo for shopping or to use the airport, New York’s incredible numbers speaks volumes about the ability of New York City to captivate foreign visitors.