Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Most Underrated States

When I was driving from New Jersey to DC last month, I had to take quick trip through Delaware (it ended up being four times along on the way back due to a phantom accident on the Delaware Memorial Bridge or whatever that large bridge is caused). During this stint in the southern Constitution State, I started to think about how many people don’t give that small state a second thought. Well, the view of the state from I-95 did not impress me and the smell emanating from the factories around the highway hardly succeeded in luring me into a side trip to the rest of the state… Nevertheless, I am sure that there is much to see and do in the south and east of the state. Anyway, what I am getting at is that there are a lot of states that get little press, are forgotten or just have a really bad reputation. I think people often unfairly malign these states more so than needed. At the same time, there are many states that get way too much hype and do not completely live up to it. To help correct this reputation gap, I decided to come up with a quick list of the states I think are the most underrated. I am happy to learn what you all think.

My List of Underrated States (In No Particular Order):

Maine: This state has long been hampered by its humble beginnings. Originally part of Massachusetts, it did not become its own state until the Missouri Compromise of the 1820s. When most people think of New England, they forget the former bell-weather state but it has great natural beauty and the second most-visited national park in Acadia. Besides its natural beauty, Maine features friendly small towns, small farms and the honor of being the setting for just about every Stephen King book.

Idaho: To be honest, this is one of the few states that I have not personally set foot in. Still, it seems like people always forget this states unless they are purchasing potatoes. But besides its successful agriculture industry, Idaho also boasts beautiful natural beauty that includes mountain peaks and green sweeps of rolling hills. Need I also mention the awesome blue Astro-Turf at Boise State’s football stadium? Didn’t think so…

New Jersey: The smelly factories in the north, the Sopranos, and the suburban sprawl has unfairly ruined this state’s reputation. People forget the pleasant shore, the natural beauty to the west and south of the state and the plentiful supply of Olive Gardens, Applebees and Chili’s restaurants.

Honorable Mention: West Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan

Maybe I will do a list of the most overrated at a later time…

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