Arizona, a southwestern U.S. state, is best known for its reliably sunny weather and as home to the Grand Canyon, the mile-deep chasm carved by the Colorado River. Many visitors utilize Flagstaff, a Ponderosa Pine-covered mountain town, as a gateway to the Grand Canyon. Other natural features include the saguaro cactus-filled Sonoran Desert and the rugged formations of Red Rock State Park.
Minimum wage: 8.05 USD per hour (Jan 1, 2015)
Population: 6.731 million (2014)
Colleges and Universities: Arizona State University,
Connecticut is a southern New England state that's a mix of coastal cities and rural areas dotted with small towns. Mystic is famed for its seaport filled with centuries-old ships, and the beluga whale exhibits at Mystic Aquarium. On Long Island Sound, the city of New Haven is known as the home of Yale University and its acclaimed Peabody Museum of Natural History.
Minimum wage: 9.15 USD per hour (Jan 1, 2015)
Points of interest: Mark Twain House, more
Neighbouring states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York
Indiana is a Midwestern state known for its farmland and renowned auto race, the Indianapolis 500. In the capital, Indianapolis, theaters and galleries line Massachusetts Avenue, while Broad Ripple has hip bars and restaurants. The city’s Downtown is home to the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Canal Walk promenade and the Indianapolis Museum of Art and its wide-ranging collections.
Minimum wage: 7.25 USD per hour (Jan 1, 2015)
Population: 6.597 million (2014)
Points of interest: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, more
Louisiana is a southeastern U.S. state on the Gulf of Mexico. Its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures is reflected in its spicy cuisine, French dialect and bluesy zydeco. The largest city, New Orleans, is famed for its colonial-era French Quarter and raucous Mardi Gras festival. Baton Rouge, the capital, is home to the USS Kidd Navy destroyer.
Capital: Baton Rouge
Governor: Bobby Jindal
Secretary of State: Tom Schedler
Colleges and Universities: Louisiana State University,
Vermont is a state in the northeastern U.S. known for its natural landscape, which is 75% forest. It's also known for being home to over 100 19th-century covered bridges, and as a major producer of maple syrup. Thousands of acres of alpine terrain make it a popular New England winter destination for skiers and snowboarders.
Population: 626,562 (2014)
Neighbouring states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York
Senators: Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders
Colleges and Universities: University of Vermont,
Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest with terrain spanning the snow-capped Cascade Mountains to forested islands in Puget Sound. Its largest city, Seattle, is known for its thriving tech industry, vibrant music scene and celebrated coffeehouses. Its landmarks include the futuristic Space Needle and century-old Pike Place Market. Nearby, hiking trails wind through vast rainforest in Olympic National Park.
Minimum wage: 9.47 USD per hour (Jan 1, 2015)
Population: 7.062 million (2014)
State bird: American Goldfinch
Points of interest: Olympic National Park,
Kentucky is a southeastern state bounded by the Ohio River in the north and the Appalachian Mountains in the east. Its largest city, Louisville, is home to the Kentucky Derby, the renowned horse race held at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. The Derby is preceded by a two-week festival and celebrated in a museum year-round.
Population: 4.413 million (2014)
Minimum wage: 7.25 USD per hour (Jan 1, 2014)
Colleges and Universities: University of Kentucky, more
Missouri is a midwestern U.S. state covered by grassy plains and the forested Ozark Mountains. Kansas City, on the Kansas border, has jazz clubs, the National World War I Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, with giant shuttlecock sculptures on its lawn. St. Louis, on the Illinois border, is known for its 630-ft. Gateway Arch overlooking the Mississippi River.
Capital: Jefferson City
Secretary of State: Jason Kander
Rivers: Missouri River, Mississippi River, Current River, more
Points of interest: Silver Dollar City, Gateway Arch, Forest Park, more