You’ll Never Guess the Most Welcoming Region in the US

It’s the only travel destination in the country to make’s recent list

Bismarck, North Dakota. According to, the state is the most welcoming region in the U.S. for travelers.
Wide open spaces, wide open arms.

Value a warm welcome?’s annual Most Welcoming Places on Earth report is a compendium of the world’s friendliest destinations, based on data from their 11th annual Traveller Review Awards.

To rank the the world’s friendliest and most welcoming cities and regions is no small feat. As originally reported by Forbes, leveraged over 240 million verified customer reviews and chose the winners based on the amount of awarded accommodations in each city, excellence in staffing, cleanliness and safety, among other things.

“It’s that personal attention to detail when checking in or sharing helpful recommendations to explore the destination like a local that demonstrates how our partners show up and shine for travelers in a multitude of ways, each and every day,” Arjan Dijk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at, said in a release.

The resulting list is broken down into two categories, the 10 most welcoming regions and the 10 most welcoming cities, and it’s a lot of what you might expect. For example, their most welcoming city on earth is Polignano a Mare, Italy, “a picturesque town perched on a limestone cliff above the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, known for its beautiful beaches and white-colored houses.” La Rioja in Spain was named 2023’s most welcoming region on earth.

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Even less surprising is that the famously unwelcoming U.S. was almost absent from either category, barring one exception. And therein lies the surprising bit: North Dakota is allegedly the 10th most welcoming regions on earth, right after Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

“With its wide-open spaces and many national and state parks, North Dakota is a paradise for outdoors lovers. One of the top places to visit is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, an area that the 26th president of the United States used to love,” Laura Begley Bloom wrote. It’s certainly scenic, although scenic and welcoming are hardly synonymous.

That said, I’d wager that North Dakota, regardless of how it compares to the rest of the world, is still exponentially more welcoming than New York, where I’m from, so I’m in no real position to pass judgement. So if you’re in the market for a jaunt of the domestic variety, and want to be welcomed with open arms upon arrival? Consider a trip to the Peace Garden State.

Otherwise, you can view both lists of the most welcoming cities and regions here.


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