Hear us out. We are NOT badmouthing or downplaying all that New York has to offer, but when we think of destination states, New York isn't exactly top of our list.

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Don't get us wrong - New York is incredible and those of us who live Upstate have an even greater appreciation for our mountains and rivers and lakes and all-around beauty. People who live in New York City have no idea how good we upstaters have it. We are literally surrounded by nature all of the time.

Upstate New York is a natural wonder in and of itself and many people from outside of New York are shocked to discover just how serene most of the state is. When we run into people from other states and they ask where we're from and we tell them, New York, they instantly assume we're from the Big Apple. But, there is a big difference between New York City and Upstate New York. Big.

However, we can think of other states that sound more appealing to visit over the summer than New York.  Florida and the ocean sound incredible. California and the ocean sound lovely. Hawaii is a literal tropical paradise. Even Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado where the incredible Grand Canyon can be found sounds fantastic. Perhaps we're just wishing for what we don't have.

School is almost out and families, if they've not already made summer vacation plans, are scrambling to do so, and apparently, New York is a pretty popular destination.

The research team at Gambling.com analyzed data to compile a list of the best states to visit based on things like accommodation availability, accommodation affordability, crime rates, average sunshine, and the number of attractions.

While we might be a bit surprised to learn that New York landed at number 13 on the list of destinations, we were even more shocked at the number one state to visit, according to the research. 

Are you ready for this? The number one best state to visit this summer is...Virgina! Apparently, it's not just for lovers - it's for families, too. On the other end, at dead last on the list of best states to visit this summer is Alaska. Poor Alaska.

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