A popular travel site rank ordered all 50 states in the U.S. and at least one Florida reporter is not happy with where the Sunshine State fell.
The criteria used by site editors Kevin Alexander and Matt Lynch to reach their findings included the states’ “contributions to America, so think inventions, food/drink, somewhat productive famous people, unique physical beauty, etc.”
The writers added they expect disagreements, but after the two of them hashed out the merits and demerits of each state, the chips fell as they did.
As for the continental U.S.’s most tropical state, Alexander and Lynch wrote, “When putting together a list such as this, there can be some temptation to defy popular expectations, and go against the grain. However, Florida’s awfulness resume is so staggeringly impressive that it couldn’t go any other way. You were born for this. Embrace it.”
Among the other bottom dwellers were Delaware, Ohio, Arizona, Utah, Mississippi, Connecticut, North Dakota, Missouri, and Nevada.
At the other end of the spectrum, Thrillist’s surprising pick for “best state” was Michigan, followed by Maine, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Hawaii, Minnesota, Washington, California and Colorado.
“Far too much of the Michigan narrative centers on Detroit and its many issues,” explained Alexander and Lynch. “The Motor City’s become a scrappily rising underdog you can’t help but root for, but Michigan’s greatest strengths lie in the state as a whole.”
“Did you know Michigan has more coastline than any state other than Alaska?” they added. “Did you know it has such an embarrassment of beer riches that you can easily hit Bell’s and Founders in the same afternoon?”
“Did you know the UP (Upper Peninsula) is so remote and uniquely beautiful that it almost feels like a secret 51st state where they inexplicably love British meat pies?”
However, Miami Herald reporter Howard Cohen took exception to Thrillist’s rankings.
“Florida ranks dead last when it comes to rating the best states in the nation,” Cohen wrote. “Michigan ranks No. 1, the very best state in the union.”
He continued, “Let that sink in for awhile. Michigan, the state that gave us the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock (the poor man’s Ted Nugent), is 49 states better than Florida.”
Cohen noted that food and drink seemed to weigh heavily in the ordering.
Thrillist mentioned Alaska’s salmon, but Cohen countered, “We have Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach.”
As to Michigan and Alaska’s (ranked 16) long coastlines, Cohen wrote, “So have you had the desire to go swimming in Michigan — or Alaska lately?”
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