The Grand Canyon State is widely admired for its vast and ancient landscapes, famous natural wonders, varied geography, and mild, year-round climate throughout much of the state. Home to some of the country’s greatest golf and recreation, Arizona’s resorts and spas are considered among the best in the world. Arizona’s diverse economy, led by health care, transportation, government, and a growing high-tech industry, offers opportunities to people from all walks of life.
One of the jewels of the American Mountain West, Colorado is where residents and visitors get that invigorating “Rocky Mountain High” feeling people have been singing about for decades. Packed full of fun things to do year-round, Colorado is beloved for its multitude of national parks, outdoor adventure, cosmopolitan cities, and quaint and charming small towns. Major parts of the economy include government and defense, mining, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing, but Colorado holds a special place in many hearts as the ideal winter destination, with abundant skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.
As the only U.S. state with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, and the only state besides Hawaii with a tropical climate, Florida boasts the longest coastline in the contiguous United States. With a variety of unique natural environments such as Everglades National Park, and world-famous amusement parks, beach resorts and endless opportunities for sun and surf, Florida is a major destination for fun-seekers from around the world. It also enjoys a modern, dynamic $1 trillion economy, the fourth largest of any U.S. state, led by tourism, hospitality, agriculture, real estate, and transportation.
From the iconic capital city of Atlanta to the coastal charm of Savannah, from the rural beauty of its scenic countryside to its awe-inspiring waterfalls, secret lake towns, and miles of trails in the northern mountains, Georgia offers a rich diversity of landscapes and lifestyles. One of the original 13 colonies, it also enjoys a long history as a leading economic engine of the South. Its top industries include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, technology, real estate, film and television, and transportation—it even boasts the world’s busiest airport, as measured by passenger and aircraft traffic.
The quintessential Midwestern state, Illinois sits at the crossroads of America’s diverse regions. Nicknamed The Prairie State, it’s noted for its vast tracts of farmland, forests, rolling hills and wetlands. It’s also home to Chicago, one of the nation’s largest cities, famous as “the City of Tall Shoulders,” with its iconic skyscrapers rising impressively from the shores of Lake Michigan. Owing to its central location and geography, the state is a major transportation hub, by land, water, and air, and it has a highly diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, finance, and professional services.
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, formed in large part by the influences of the Mississippi River, Louisiana enjoys an exceptional diversity of landscape and native habitat throughout the state. New Orleans, its largest city, is known for its colonial-era French Quarter, the fun of the Mardi Gras festival, its distinctive jazz music, and the charm of its regional architecture. Louisiana’s history as a melting pot of peoples is reflected in its unique Creole and Cajun cultures, and its economic diversity is seen in leading industries such as agriculture, oil and natural gas, and the burgeoning medical and technology sectors.
Home to five national forests and 35 state parks, New Mexico’s varied landscape and elevation is a haven for outdoor exploration. From Santa Fe to Albuquerque, a rich cultural scene and multiple World Heritage sites bring a unique flair to life in the state. The state is home to more working artists, galleries and studios than any other state per capita and its iconic cuisine is a truly unique blend of Spanish, Pueblo, Western and Mexican influences.
From the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains in the western regions, to its 300 miles of barrier island beaches, quaint waterfront towns and endless activities on the eastern coast, and in between, the wine country, bustling cities, golf resorts and natural attractions of the central Piedmont region, North Carolina packs a lot of diversity into one state. Raleigh is the capital, but Charlotte is its largest city, with over two and a half million people calling the area home. You may be surprised to learn North Carolina hosts the largest banking center in the nation after New York City, and it enjoys a diverse economy in industry and agriculture, with a growing technology sector.
Known for its long shoreline of beaches and sea islands, with vacation towns like Myrtle Beach and historic cities such as Charleston, South Carolina is a southeastern coastal state steeped in culture and tradition. Here in the Palmetto State, with its subtropical climate and mild winters, you can just as easily take a fun-in-the-sun beach trip as a back-to-nature hike and bike trek through the central Piedmont region or up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. Economically, South Carolina offers opportunity in a variety of industries, including textiles, machinery, automotive products, tourism, and agriculture, to name but a few.
This iconic Southern state is home to scenic valleys, soaring mountains, rolling hills and fertile plains, but it’s perhaps best known as the birthplace of Country music. It’s capital, Nashville, is the heart of the Country music scene, with the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, and a legendary stretch of honky-tonks, dance halls, and recording studios where many musical legends got their start. Memphis, in the southwest, is home to Elvis Pressley’s Graceland, legendary Sun Studio, the blues clubs of Beale Street and, some say, the best barbecue in the South. Tennessee’s diverse economy offers employment opportunities in the varied industries of agriculture, health care, music, finance, automotive, chemical, electronics, and tourism.
Before it became the second-largest U.S. state, The Republic of Texas was a sovereign country, and it retains that proud spirit of individualism as The Lone Star State today. Its rich history and diverse cultures are informed by major cities such as Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, as well as its vast territories, which range from the Gulf Coastal Plains in the southeast, to the gently rolling Interior Lowlands, up through the Great Plains area and on to the Trans-Pecos region in Far West Texas. While the cattle industry first defined the state, it has since developed a broad and diversified economy, leading the nation in tourism, agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers and electronics, aerospace and biomedical sciences.
The Commonwealth of Virginia stretches from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, with a long Atlantic coastline and an impressive variety of geological terrain in between, which gives the state a rich natural diversity of scenic foothills, picturesque valleys, mountainous plateaus and salty-air seascapes. While Richmond is Virginia’s historic capital city, Virginia Beach is its most populous, and the Jamestown Settlement and Colonial Williamsburg are living-history museums that reenact Colonial and Revolutionary War life. Virginia’s economy encompasses many sectors, such as agriculture, high tech, and federal government, including the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.