If there’s one thing that the United States knows, it’s carnivals. We like to make things bigger and better, so it’s little surprise that some of the most wild fairs in the world happen in America. Ever since the Ferris Wheel made its debut in the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the USA has been making fairs brighter, louder, faster, and tastier than anywhere else.
If you’re itching for a little adrenaline rush or just want to clog your arteries with awful yet delicious carnival food, we’ve got just the list for you. These are the three best state fairs in the entire United States. We’ve made our list based off of four criteria: food, rides, ambiance, and notoriety.
Minnesota State Fair
The Minnesota State fair might be one of the most debaucherous culinary experiences you’ll ever have. It has the highest daily attendance out of any other state fair in the country, so you know it’s doing something right.
- Can’t Miss: Stick Food. The Minnesota State Fair is famous for putting basically anything you can imagine on a stick.
- Notoriously Notable: Aisle of Breeds. Take a tour of all sorts of horse breeds, pet the horses, and even go riding on a few. I’ll be avoiding this attraction, because I’m allergic to horses.
Texas State Fair
They say that everything’s bigger in Texas. That certainly applies to the state fair. Held around the same time as the Red River Showdown, a football game between The University of Texas and The University of Oklahoma, this fair brings in all sorts of folks from both states.
- Can’t Miss: Big Tex. This huge sculpture is a giant 52 ft. cowboy that’s joined the State fair for over 65 years. He even wears real Dickies sewn custom by the nearby Dickies factory!
- Notoriously Notable: BBQ and Chili Cook off. Texas likes to brag about a bunch of stuff, but one of the most prominent is its BBQ and chili. Take a tour of the best of the best in this riveting competition.
Iowa State Fair
No offense Iowa readers, but most folks probably don’t think of Iowa when they think about road trip destinations. The only reason is because they don’t know that the Iowa State Fair is one of the best around.
Can’t Miss: Deep fried everything. There’s something about food being deep fried that makes it delectably decadent. Take a look at the deep fried Choco Pocko.This thing is basically a deep fried Nutella pie. Sign me up.
Notoriously Notable: Butter Cow. If you think there’s something hidden in the name of “butter cow,” you’re wrong. It’s literally a cow sculpted out of butter. This tradition has been going strong since 1911!
So there you have it! If you have a taste for fried--and otherwise unconventional--foods, big rides, and fun vibes, these are the three best state fairs in the country. You’ll live, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll have a great time! Memories in the making...