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12 States With the Most Unfair Reputations

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

Columbus, Ohio, skyline.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

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

Moab National Park.
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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

Hurricane in Florida.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

“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

Badlands in South Dakota.
Photo Credit: eqroy via

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

Woman holding a snowball.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

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

Marsh in Mississippi.
Photo Credit: Pierre-Jean DURIEU via

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

Entrance to a beach in New Jersey.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

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

Sweet home Alabama sign.
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“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

Sailboat in Rhode Island
Photo Credit: Paul James Bannerman via

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

Bridge in West Virginia.
Photo Credit: Barry via

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

Texas flag.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

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

Palm trees in Los Angeles.
Photo Credit: justin via

“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.”

It Depends

Man thinking.
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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.

Flyover States

A plane at sunset.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

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.”

Source: Reddit.

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Woman with a hat on.
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Person holding money.
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Fingers crossed.
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Elderly woman making the peace sign.
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