Do you get annoyed by out-of-staters who believe in unfair reputations about your state or a state you’ve visited? People took to the internet to vent about the most misleading state reputations.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Ohio Is Featureless
A traveler to Ohio was confused by the reputation they’d heard about Ohio being featureless. But that’s “based on people driving across the featureless and boring parts of it via I-70,” they say. They argue Ohio “actually has a lot of history, big companies, cultural institutions, cuisine, scenic beauty, etc.”
2: No Fun in Utah
Many people view Utah as a 19th-century state where no fun is allowed because of its high Mormon population, says one person. They believe this is an unfair reputation that just isn’t true.
3: All Florida Hurricanes Are Dangerous
“Real Floridians eat Cat1 hurricanes for breakfast,” observes one commenter. While it’s true major hurricanes pose a significant danger to locals and tourists, many small hurricanes aren’t earth-shattering for residents.
4: South Dakota Is Lame
The Mount Rushmore State “is beyond underrated,” says a commenter who believes it’s one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. They cite the Badlands, Black Hills, and Mount Rushmore as being attractions people don’t consider when choosing not to visit there.
5: Arizona Is Always Hot
Nope, it’s not. “There’s more than just Phoenix,” observes a commenter. Freezing temperatures and snow are even common in the mountains of Arizona during the winter.
6: There’s Nothing in Mississippi
A visitor to Mississippi says they’ve always been fond of the Magnolia State despite many Americans having negative views of it. They describe it as having “Friendly people, warm weather, lots of history, good music, [and] good food.” A local Mississippian chimes in, saying they appreciate it and that “‘Lots of history’ is a real double-edged sword, but we do make a mean hot tamale.”
7: New Jersey Has No Natural Scenery
Head away from New York City, and there’s plenty of beautiful rural, scenic countryside in northern New Jersey, argues one person who’s tired of hearing the Garden State is buildings and no more.
8: Alabama Is Backwards
“Alabama is actually a very modern and rapidly developing state,” observes a commenter. They say it’s come a long way since the 1960s, and Huntsville in particular is a city exploding with growth.
9: Rhode Island Isn’t a Suburb
While most Americans know Rhode Island isn’t a suburb of Boston, many unfairly lump it into that category. One person says Rhode Island’s small size is a pro, as everything one wants to do is at their fingertips. They also note, “Even the [Rhode Island] accent is different from Boston, but nobody would even bother to notice.”
10: West Virginia Is a State
Even facts appear subject to bad reputations. “It is shocking the number of Americans who don’t realize it [West Virginia] is a state,” says a West Virginia resident who’s had to clarify one too many times that “I’m from West Virginia, not the western part of Virginia,” when someone mentions Richmond.
11: Texas Is Purely Politics
Seeing Texas just for its politics and nothing more is an unfair reputation, say several commenters. “I think people hate Texas more than it deserves for the wrong reasons.” Another person agrees that politics aside, Texas is “a great place for a lot of other reasons.”
12: California Is Terrible
“I feel like how the rest of the U.S. looks at California is how the world looks at the U.S.,” says a non-Californian who believes the Golden State has an unfair reputation. They describe California as being one of America’s “most diverse and beautiful states.”
The unfair reputation any state gets often depends on where the person believing the reputation lives, claims one person. They say that Southerners tend to frown upon states like California and New York, whereas Northerners tend to frown upon states like Alabama or Texas.
Any state considered a “flyover state” has an unfair reputation, maintains one person. They say, “I hate this term as it overlooks all the history, culture, food, and things to do in a giant part of our country. I feel this is mostly used by people who live on the coasts that have never or rarely spent time in the middle of the country.”
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