FIFTY STATES, RANKED!
United States

 
 

My Definitive List of Where You Should Go

Click here for the bonus episode

THIRD ANNIVERSARY BONUS EPISODE! People often ask me where they should go when they visit the US. Having been to all 50 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico, which should be states), I can actually answer this. And in this not-at-all-serious episode, I try to answer that question.

Being a nerd, I created a spreadsheet and complex formula tanking each state in terms of natural scenery, historical sites, charm, cuisine, and debauchery.  I share the top ten on this episode.

When you disagree, and you will, drop me a line or pick a fight on Twitter (@wonderspodcast).

Here's the full list (with Top 10 designations for each category):

52. North Dakota - Wide open plains, ideal for solitude

51. Nebraska - Omaha is a neat city

50. Oklahoma - Tulsa is OK!

49. Kansas - Bonus for KC barbecue (really MO though), even if it is literally  flatter than a pancake

48. South Dakota - The Black Hills are spectacular

47. Arkansas - The Ozarks are lovely

46. Nevada - [Top 10 Debauchery] Sin City! 

45. Wyoming - [Top 10 Scenery] Empty gorgeous mountain landscapes

44. Idaho - Famous for potatoes! And Basque-settled mountains

43. Iowa - Famous for corn! And charming utopian villages

42. Mississippi - Delta blues, magnolias, and outstanding literature

41. Delaware - Bite-sized morsel of history

40. Minnesota - Twin Cities! One of the great centers of American music

39. Indiana - Indianapolis has the world's biggest auto race and much more

38. Alaska - [Top 10 Scenery] Biggest and most starkly beautiful part of America

37. Montana - Beautiful mountains, surprisingly hip cities

36. Alabama - I know, I know, but give it a shot. It's far more fascinating than you'd expect.

35. West Virginia - The mountains really are lovely

34. Illinois - [Top 10 Debauchery] Chicago is America's best city

33. DC - [Top 10 History] America's capital is a history gold mine, and fun off the beaten path

32. Utah - [Top 10 Scenery] Mountains and canyons and a very unique culture

31. Ohio - For a while in the late 1800s, everything came from Ohio

30. Missouri - St Louis and Kansas City are landmark cities

29. Kentucky - Rolling bluegrass, mammoth caves, and oh, the bourbon

28. Vermont - [Top 10 Charm] Green mountain postcard villages

27. Connecticut - [Top 10 Charm] Get off the highway and be surprised. Also best pizza in the US

26. New Jersey - Often mocked, but Jersey has history and fun in spades

25. New Hampshire - [Top 10 Charm] A charming state undergoing a renaissance

24. Arizona - [Top 10 Scenery] The Grand Canyon but quite a lot more

23. Colorado - [Top 10 Scenery, Debauchery] Rocky Mountain High, in every way

22. Michigan - Has everything except mountains, and more than 5,000 km of shoreline

21. Maryland - [Top 10 History] Baltimore is a special place

20. Wisconsin - Beer. Cheese. Kringle. Pretty much everything you need

19. Rhode Island - [Top 10 Charm] A ton of culture, history, and charm tucked in a postage stamp

18. Oregon - [Top 10 Scenery] Mountains, coast, and fun despite the rain

17. Washington - [Top 10 Scenery] Mountains, coast, and fun despite the rain

16. Louisiana - [Top 10 Food, History, Debauchery] Laissez les bons temps rouler

15. North Carolina - [Top 10 Charm] From the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge, NC will impress

14. Texas - [Top 10 Food, Debauchery] Get away from the crowd to find the real Texas

13. Georgia - [Top 10 Food, History, Charm, Debauchery] Atlanta for the party, the rest for the charm

12. Florida - [Top 10 Debauchery] More than just the Mouse and Miami

11. Pennsylvania - [Top 10 History] Yes, Philly, but Pittsburg, Gettysburg, and the Appalachians too

10. Massachusetts - [Top 10 Food, History]

9. Maine - [Top 10 Food, Charm]

8. Tennessee - [Top 10 Debauchery]

7. New York - [Top 10 Food, History, Debauchery]

6. Virginia - [Top 10 History, Charm]

5. South Carolina - [Top 10 Food, History, Charm]

4. Puerto Rico - [Top 10 Scenery, History]

3. New Mexico - [Top 10 Food, Charm]

2. Hawaii - [Top 10 Food, Scenery]

1. California - [Top 10 Food, Scenery, Debauchery]

 

You can tell I was "objective" because I didn't fudge the numbers to rank Oregon ahead of Washington.

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