Annual visitors: 22 million
Why you should visit: Tupelo's Neon Pig Cafe’s Smash burger straight-up won our Best Burger in America tournament. But if ground-beef tourism isn’t your raison d'etre, there’s still plenty to do in the Magnolia State.
Let's start with Elvis' birthplace, it's also in Tupelo. From there, you can walk up to three different music trails -- through cotton fields, churches, train depots, and nightclubs -- to learn about the roots of blues and country music. And finally, Mississippi is also home to three of the five driving trails on the Americana Music Triangle, a 1,500-mile highway route through five states with historical stops related to pretty much a million types of music from the region, including blues, jazz, country, rock & roll, R&B/soul, gospel, Southern gospel, Cajun/zydeco, and bluegrass.
When you can't talk about Buddy Guy anymore, there are also 26 miles of pristine water and white sand beaches in Mississippi, without anywhere near the number of tourists or tacky T-shirt shops you'd find in Florida. And, unlike the other beach towns on the Gulf, Biloxi and Gulfport have casinos. While you're there, hit the Beau Rivage for the best nightlife in the state, or head to the Walter Anderson Art Museum in nearby Ocean Springs.