Snow globes and t-shirts are fine for showing friends and relatives you're thinking about them and wish they were there, but souvenirs with staying power are unique to the destination. If you're planning a trip around the United States, pick up something that really exemplifies the location. From diamonds to movie star threads, take pride in a truly all-American vacation memory.
With football a way of life, a championship Roll Tide shirt is a must.
An age old kitchen tool believed to be well over 3,000 years old, Ulu knives are traditional curved knives with a wooden handle once used as the main cutting tool of the Eskimos. You can pick one up and watch how it’s made from the Ulu Factory in Anchorage. Just be sure to check it in your luggage -- it is a knife after all.
Bring home a piece of the desert with a mini prickly pear cactus for your kitchen. You can even break off the leaves to use as aloe.
Most travelers exclude Arkansas from their US road trip, but that could end up being a major monetary misstep. Arkansas is actually the only place in the world you can bring home a diamond -- for free. Whatever you dig up at Crater of Diamonds State Park is yours to keep -- no questions asked. Located in Murfreesboro about 120 miles from Little Rock, the state park invites guests to search over 37 acres of the world’s eighth largest diamond bearing volcanic crater.
Known for Hollywood dreams and the silver screen, in Los Angeles you can actually take home a piece of the glitz and glamour. Pay a visit to "It’s a Wrap" and you'll be treated a wide selection of studio hand-me-downs. The company in the only one like it in the world that allows the general public to buy actual wardrobe pieces and props from famous sets, so you can quite literally purchase the shirt off your favorite actor’s back.
Ski country is the pride of the Rocky Mountains state so commemorate your visit with a shot ski or ski furniture for some extra unique home décor.
Home of the wiffle ball, the official company store sells everything from original balls to ties featuring balls.
Something proclaiming you visited the first state. A pin, pennant, anything to wear with pride.
While the best souvenir from Florida is undoubtedly a tan, Mickey Mouse ears from Disney World are pretty much a staple.
It’s not a trip to Georgia without picking up some peaches.
Hawaiian (Alaea) sea salt is some of the most coveted in the world. You can use it for both cooking and purifying in locally made beauty products.
Potato anything – stores run the gamut from kitschy soaps and lotions to even offering a potato survival kit.
Chicago is all about food and deep-dish pizza is where it’s at. Malnati’s ships nationwide and be sure to grab a bag of Garrett’s popcorn for the plane.
Since no one really knows what a Hoosier is, something from the Speedway is your next best option.
Quite frankly, it was hard to find something representative of Iowa (sorry). The coolest thing we could come up with was Amish furniture or clocks from the Amana Colonies, which is a national historic landmark.
Wheat weaving is a Kansas tradition and straw artists produce everything from jewelry to baskets.
While you can certainly take home a bottle of bourbon or two, the Bluegrass State offers another "only in Kentucky" kind of souvenir at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Not only can you see the world’s largest bat but you can also take home your own personalized bat.
Home of Tabasco, hot sauce is a way of life in the Bayou or mix
it up with a Creole spice set.
Old Bay seasoning. No brainer.
If you don’t feel like sporting the local Patriots garb, invest in some original Chuck Taylors.
Once you try Sander's hot fudge you’ll be ordering it by the barrel.
Minnesotans have a great appreciation of the outdoors so anything made from wood is pretty indicative of the state. Paddle art makes interesting wall décor.
You can't go wrong with a Mud Pie.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Gateway Arch, you might as well go full tourist and invest in a mini replica for your desk.
Montana is huckleberry heaven. You can sample everything from jams to energy gel.
Nebraska loves their Cornhuskers and if you’d like to “Big Red,” there is everything from Herbie Husker dolls to licensed apparel.
While you typically try to forget your Vegas vacation, if you'd like to bring home a PG piece of Sin City with a poker set or chocolate poker chips.
Stoneware from Salmon Falls sums up this preppy paradise. The blueberry pattern is a state signature.
Saltwater taffy, straight from the shore.
New Mexico is known the world over for its chiles. Red or green, hot or mild, head to Hatch, 37 miles northwest of Las Cruces. The center of a 22,000-acre agricultural belt, the tiny town is the chile capital of the world. You can find stockpiles of roasted chile to take home along with plenty of chile-infused products.
Bright lights, big city, spend some time on Broadway and get your playbill framed.
Krispy Kreme donuts. The cult bakery’s original shop is in Winston-Salem.
With a tagline of “North of Normal” (and for good reason), if you’re a fan of the movie Fargo, the best thing you can bring home is a photo with the famous “Woodchipper.” There are even fake legs as props.
The buckeye state, a buckeye is actually a locally grown nut, but what people really go crazy for is buckeye candy – nuts dipped in peanut butter fudge.
Want to dress like a local? Invest in jean overalls from Roundhouse. The oldest manufacturing company in Oklahoma, the company’s been in business since 1903, four years before Oklahoma was even a state. It is actually the largest manufacturer of jeans in America.
You can keep it weird with cult favorite voodoo donuts, or get intellectual with a book from Powell’s, the largest independent bookstore in the world.
Home to a large Amish country, a "buggy crossing" sign is always a party hit, or if you like potty humor, a piece of memorabilia from Intercourse, PA.
Del’s Lemonade. Just try it.
Aside from boiled peanuts, South Carolina sweetens a visit with the chance to take home the oldest West African art form in the U.S. -- sweetgrass baskets. A tradition brought over from West African slaves, the hand-woven baskets are composed of native sweetgrass and long leaf pine needles sewn with strips of palmetto leaves. Visitors can find weavers in stands along Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant and right in Charleston.
Black Hills gold is a special locally sourced gold alloy that is unique to the state.
Chocolate Goo Goo Clusters from Nashville are addictive and to die for. Or just head straight to the bourbon section.
You can’t be a local without a proper 10-gallon hat. Spurs and cowboy boots will complete the outfit.
The Book of Mormon would be a funny gift, but we prefer a nice bottle of Polygamy Porter (yes, it is a real beer).
Keep it sweet with some locally made maple syrup.
If Virginia is for Lovers, we’re infatuated.
Home of the original Starbucks, you can’t leave without picking up a bag of freshly roasted java beans (or seafood from Pike’s Market).
Two words: cheese curds.
Glassblowing is a state tradition.
Sour and hardy, chokecherries are the state’s signature berries. Try it in a jam or jelly.