The Best Damn Thing In Each State
March 20, 2017 8:58 AM   Subscribe

The absolute best thing about each of the 50 states. Yes, it's Thrillist clickbait. But at least it's on one page, and relatively snark-free (sorry Florida).
posted by Etrigan (107 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Amazing how different Illinois and Oregon turn out in this list written by 2 beards from Chicago and Portland.
posted by Leelas at 9:06 AM on March 20


Jazz for Louisiana? Lebron James for Ohio?

So much fail in this article.
posted by MrGuilt at 9:11 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


No DC? Damn. I nominate the National Arboretum, for the record.
posted by R a c h e l at 9:21 AM on March 20 [9 favorites]


Yeah sure green chile is good. But the real secret sauce to New Mexico is the dry, cold, blower powder.
posted by H. Roark at 9:22 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Is it Heady Topper or Maple Syrup for Vermont?
posted by koolkat at 9:28 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


At least they got one thing right. Game, blouses, indeed.
posted by Sphinx at 9:38 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


I'm okay with PCH for California, with the honorable mention of In-N-Out. (There's actually an In-N-Out on PCH in Long Beach.)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:40 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


Man these guys really like basketball and crustaceans
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 9:47 AM on March 20 [16 favorites]


Yep, Michigan's is dead-on. You can't beat the Great Lakes, especially that Lake Superior. However, North Carolina's is just dumb. Why even bring up him owning the Charlotte Hornets? They have not been a consistent playoff team under his ownership, and really, how hard is it to make it in the top eight in NBA East?

And man, how can pass up the Linn Cove Viaduct like that?
posted by NoMich at 9:51 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


The worst part about Lake Shore Drive is drivers. And the fact that people ignore that it is legally a boulevard and not a highway, and because it is a literal noisy, smelly, ugly barrier between the city and the Lake, what sort of idiot thinks it's the best thing in the whole state?

Also, Illinois is a lot more than Chicago--she says, as a person whose family has been in the City since the fire. You might call the Lake the best thing about Illinois but that's not even exclusive to Chicago.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:51 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


GREEN CHILE IS NOT TEX-MEX.

NEW MEXICAN FOOD IS NOT TEX-MEX.

RED CHILE IS ALSO AWESOME.
posted by heurtebise at 10:08 AM on March 20 [23 favorites]


Texas: Brisket

I was scrolling hoping to see "Migas breakfast tacos" or "Whataburger", but I suppose that answer will do.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:08 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


[re: green chile] the greatest Tex-Mex topping in the world actually originated in New Mex.

Maybe that's because green chile is not Tex-Mex.

[on preview: jinx!]
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:08 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


New Mexico: Green chile

This is true.

the greatest Tex-Mex topping in the world actually originated in New Mex.


NOOO TEX-MEX HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! And who the hell calls it New Mex?
posted by joedan at 10:12 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


"Connecticut: UConn basketball"
It's so great, they can't even bring themselves to utter the pun that is the team name! Maybe because it refers to another country completely.

I'm not really sure that appreciating a Hawai'i volcano on the beach is the best way.

The "greatest" thing about Iowa is arguably one of the worst things about the electoral system.

The Swiss may be filing suit over that comment about the timing of Yellowstone geysers.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:12 AM on March 20


weak.
posted by theora55 at 10:15 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Delaware: Dogfish Head. That, and the only other thing we could think of was "that one joke from Wayne's World."

Ugh.

Beaches. The correct answer is beaches. I'm partial to Bethany, because that's where I used to go as a kid, but Dewey and Rehoboth are also acceptable answers.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:28 AM on March 20 [7 favorites]


The whole Colorado post is just setup for a stupid pot joke.

It's... not good.
posted by mochapickle at 10:30 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


what sort of idiot thinks it's the best thing in the whole state?

Uh...

Illinois is a lot more than Chicago--she says, as a person whose family has been in the City since the fire.

Well, I'm from downstate, and lived in Chicago when I was a teenager, so I've got some perspective there. I might have put "the skyline" or even "the shore" and left it at that. But what's your alternative(s)?
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:36 AM on March 20


Indiana was either going to be corn, beans, tomatoes, meth, or the 500. I guess they went with the better of the bunch.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:41 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


Rhode Island they managed to get right. There's a ton to do within walking distance of Cliff Walk, too. Newport is about as ancient a place as you're going to find in the USA, even St. Augustine didn't manage to hang on to as much of its history all along the way as Newport did.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:43 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


The best thing about Indiana is not having a reason to drive through it during construction season, or basically any time.
posted by e1c at 10:44 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


On Connecticut: Perhaps you're about to get angry because Connecticut DOES have a pro team, the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. You would be correct in that statement, hypothetical argumentative Connecticut sports fan,

The authors are peering into the soul of Metafilter.
posted by medusa at 10:47 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


Do they even use green chile in Tex-Mex? I mean, I grew up in Las Cruces, NM and had never even HEARD of Tex-Mex until I went to school north of Dallas, and there was not a single green chile in sight.

Still, yes, green chile is the correct thing to pick for New Mexico.

Picking Puget Sound for the entire state of Washington is just a fucking insult.
posted by hippybear at 10:47 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


I think they got Texas about right. We do a damn fine brisket here.
posted by sotonohito at 10:48 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


koolkat, of course it's maple syrup. I've never heard of the other thing you mention. IXNAY ON THE EADYHAY OPPERTAY

Nothing else to see here, fellow Americans! Please enjoy more Vermont pure maple syrup, and some Ben & Jerry's, too, while you're at it! There are no delicious limited-run brews of note, nope none. Have a Magic Hat #9 instead!
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 10:51 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park - please ignore this. No one outside of the state is aware of this place and we like it that way. Nothing to see here. This is not the national park you are looking for.
posted by Ber at 10:52 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


Personally, I think Cahokia is the very best thing in Illinois, honestly. Super fascinating. But on a daily level, yeh, the Lake shore is where it's at. Just not the fucking roadway.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:52 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


The best thing about Thrillist is the site giving a home to C.A. Pinkham of Behind Closed Ovens/Off the Menu fame. At least one thing about the site isn't an advertorial.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:58 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Ten bucks says this article was written less than three hours after it was pitched, and to the extent any "research" was involved it was just the authors polling their friends on Facebook for info on states they knew nothing about.
posted by saladin at 10:59 AM on March 20 [13 favorites]


Washington is correct according to me, a Washington expert.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 10:59 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Oklahoma can't have much going for it if the best they can do is a burger with extra onions.
posted by biffa at 11:05 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Hell, a majority of the hops that go in beers, from micro to macro, come from Oregon....

Nope nope nope could not be more wrong nope. WA is the hops king.

2015 North American Commercial Hop Production
Washington - 32,205 acres (70.8%)
Oregon - 6,807 acres (15%)

posted by gurple at 11:08 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


Well, I'm from downstate, and lived in Chicago when I was a teenager, so I've got some perspective there. I might have put "the skyline" or even "the shore" and left it at that. But what's your alternative(s)?

It's clearly the Horseshoe sandwich from Springfield.
posted by hwyengr at 11:10 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


Alaska: First off, they are not grizzlies, they are brown bears. And they are cool but they are not the best thing about Alaska. I think the best thing about Alaska are the salmon. The entire state runs on salmon, the people and the ecosystem. People eat them, bears eat them, sled dogs eat them, the forest flippin' eats them when the nutrients from their carcasses slips into the soil. An entire, huge industry relies on them. Whole sections of government, federal, state, and local are devoted to their existence. All five species are important to the culture and livelihood of a state that celebrates them in every possible way.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:13 AM on March 20 [20 favorites]


Heady Topper's that beer that tastes like sucking on a penny, right?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:15 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Hey, Lake Winnipesaukee! Cool. My family also had a lake house there, to which we would invite friends for quiet weekends and blow-out parties.
posted by suelac at 11:16 AM on March 20


I mean, aside from Puget Sound, they could have picked the WA apple crop, the WA cherry crop, the WA hops crop... or maybe anything that happened in the state that is the majority of the land area that happens once the highway begins to climb while leaving the western shoreline part of the state. Like, 80% of the land area. But no! It's somehow Puget Sound that is the total shit of the entire state. That place that nobody can afford to live in anymore because of Google and Amazon and etc.

I hear it's pretty to look at from a boat. If you can afford that sort of tourist activity.
posted by hippybear at 11:19 AM on March 20


I hear [Puget Sound is] pretty to look at from a boat. If you can afford that sort of tourist activity.

Why, yes, it is. And from a sidewalk or a cafe or a bike or a beach. But it's also a huge economic driver and weather-mitigator. It's most of why the vast majority of WA's economic activity and population are west of the Cascades. There's tons of good stuff in the east, though. Wine country is amazing, if you can afford that sort of tourist activity.

But you're right that they got it wrong on the hops, hippybear. They actually mistakenly gave the hops props to Oregon, which grows <1/4 of what we grow.
posted by gurple at 11:29 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


Many Connecticut sports fans never quite recovered from the loss of the Hartford Whalers, which left the state without any major professional sports teams. Perhaps you're about to get angry because Connecticut DOES have a pro team, the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA

Raised-in-Connecticut-during-the-era-the-Whalers-left person here. The people who thought UCONN's triumphant late-90's dominance was some kind of karmic balance for losing the state's pro hockey team, are the same people who thought it was funny when they read the wrong movie at the Oscars. The UCONN women's team is transcendentally good, which is great for the 11 people who watch the sport.

Also Robert Kraft can go sit on the business end of a rake because post-sports-Hartford is a smoking crater and where the hell else was I going to go on a Saturday?
posted by Mayor West at 11:32 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


LeBron James, the best of Ohio? Really?

Seven Presidents were born here, Wilbur and Orville Wright were born and raised here, we had the nation's first baseball team (okay, they're not great *now*, but they were the first!), NEIL FREAKING ARMSTRONG, Ohio has the only pennant-style state flag in the US, the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame...and apparently we are the US's largest producer of Swiss Cheese.

So no. Not LeBron James.
posted by cooker girl at 11:34 AM on March 20 [8 favorites]


Due to geographical factors, I reside 50 yards from PCH where it runs about five miles from the actual Pacific Coast. But considering relative rents, I wouldn't have it any other way. Coincidentally, the nearest InNOut is about five miles away. And I contend that the almost flavorless cheese on an InNOut Double Double is the one flaw to its near-perfect burger experience. Still, I cannot think of two other great Californian things that are not considered too "local" for the rest of the state.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:36 AM on March 20


Oh, we've got good bourbon here! Quelle surprise. I'm sure they think they're original for not defaulting to the Derby.
posted by pecanpies at 12:03 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Meh, the PCH is a great highway and all but it's hardly the best thing in the state. Like, how about the fact that California is still a damn state when 2 out of 7 days if the week it would be better off leaving the rest of the union behind it. How about "you don't need a visa to visit California" as the best thing about it?
posted by GuyZero at 12:12 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Such a useful article, it'll come in handy on my "50 states in 50 days" vacation.
posted by rhizome at 12:12 PM on March 20


The worst part about Lake Shore Drive is drivers.

This is actually true for the PCH as well
posted by invitapriore at 12:13 PM on March 20


And obviously Ohio, in the spirit of things that can actually be experienced, should be listed as "Cedar Point."
posted by rhizome at 12:14 PM on March 20 [7 favorites]


Count me in as nthing disappointment in "beer" for Oregon.

If y'all are going by crop sizes it would have to be grass. WA's hop acreage is puny in comparison to our 400,000 (yes, four hundred thousand) acres of allergy-inducing fields. But wait! Oregon is also #1 in the nation for "Christmas trees, hazelnuts, black raspberries, ryegrass seed, orchard grass seed, crimson clover, sugar beets for seed, red clover seed, fescue seed, blackberries, boysenberries, potted azaleas, and peppermint."

Damn I miss boysenberries.

Still. They should've just gone with "nature" for Oregon. The whole state is a living, breathing example of Earth's diversity.
posted by fraula at 12:14 PM on March 20 [8 favorites]


We must never forget about Job Bovi Jovi.
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:21 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]


The whole state is a living, breathing example of Earth's diversity.

Except for the people.
posted by GuyZero at 12:23 PM on March 20 [14 favorites]


LeBron James, the best of Ohio? Really?

Seven Presidents were born here, Wilbur and Orville Wright were born and raised here, we had the nation's first baseball team (okay, they're not great *now*, but they were the first!), NEIL FREAKING ARMSTRONG, Ohio has the only pennant-style state flag in the US, the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame...and apparently we are the US's largest producer of Swiss Cheese.

So no. Not LeBron James.


Ohio should be the one-two of Cedar Point and King's Island. End of discussion.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:26 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


They're just wrong about NY too - Adirondack Park.
posted by kokaku at 12:27 PM on March 20 [4 favorites]


The PCH between San Diego and L.A. is a boring dump that takes 4 hours to drive, because you can only go 20 mph along most of it. Although now that California's had some rain, maybe it's nicer. When I drove it, it was basically brown, brown, more brown, dead palm trees, oil derrick, visible ocean for about 1/4 mile, more dead palm trees, which repeats for about a hundred miles. Then suddenly a series of run-down buildings and strip malls that increases in density until a sign tells you that you're in L.A. I was not impressed.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:29 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


The PCH between San Diego and L.A. is a boring dump that takes 4 hours to drive

I've only driven it once or twice but I don't think it's the best part, yeah. The part near Big Sur is nice when it's open which is mostly not the case.
posted by GuyZero at 12:34 PM on March 20


The PCH between San Diego and L.A. is a boring dump that takes 4 hours to drive, because you can only go 20 mph along most of it. Although now that California's had some rain, maybe it's nicer. When I drove it, it was basically brown, brown, more brown, dead palm trees, oil derrick, visible ocean for about 1/4 mile, more dead palm trees, which repeats for about a hundred miles. Then suddenly a series of run-down buildings and strip malls that increases in density until a sign tells you that you're in L.A. I was not impressed.

I work like 30 seconds from PCH in Orange County, and drive it home every day, and I'll agree with most of this, but I love the brown in Southern California... maybe because I grew up with it. In the south, PCH is more about lifestyle than the views. In the north, PCH is really one of the greatest drives of all time.

BUT... If we're going for the absolute best of the state, I have to go with something like Death Valley or the redwoods or, I mean, YOSEMITE. Seriously, In n Out?!
posted by Huck500 at 12:39 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think when most people think of PCH it's mostly that, and the stretch north of Santa Monica up to Point Mugu. Lincoln Blvd through SM and Venice ain't the best of anything, nor the inland stretch through Lompoc.
posted by hwyengr at 12:39 PM on March 20 [4 favorites]


I usually try to work up some regional-snobbery grar for these, but I think it's possible I've built up an immunity to the entire genre. That or not dialing the bait in on some specific facet of regional experience just renders it basically invisible to my trolling receptors.

Quick, somebody post a fresh one entirely about beer or something so I can check.
posted by brennen at 12:39 PM on March 20


This article is clearly wrong because the best thing about Michigan is the beer—oh, New Holland! Oh, my college hangout, Founders! — and the worst thing about Oregon is the beer (yes bro I know hops grow here but MUST every beer be so overly hopped so as to have no nuance? And no I do not want to argue this point, do you have any idea how unpopular having this opinion makes me in the Pacific Northwest?)

Although I have to say this listicle must have been somewhat researched because they mentioned Petoskey stones being one of the amazing things the Great Lakes brings us and as someone who grew up in that area it warmed my heart because it's an obscure ugly but cool fossil that I enjoyed collecting (illegally?) as a child.

May I suggest as an alternative to this article the excellent recent MetaTalk discussion on hometowns? The thread has been a treasure trove of interesting facts that led me into a 2 hours rabbit hole yesterday as I learned about crossword puzzle rules and barn quilts and a low bridge with a web cam!!! (previously featured on MetaFilter in 2012 but I missed it the first time.)
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 12:46 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]


A fucking roadway is not the best of anything. Unless maybe you're an ambulance driver.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:50 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]


I only lived in Florida for a little over three years, but my partner lived there for 30. So believe me when I concur that the ridiculous news is not only the best thing from Florida but the only good thing from Florida.

As for Hawaii, the beaches are pretty good, but I'd rate the volcanoes higher. YMMV.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:50 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Having spent over half my life in Oklahoma, I feel like storm chasers, and listening to storm chasers nerd out over meteorology while driving on the radio during a storm, is the clear cut best thing about living in tornado alley. Also, i don't think I ever had an onion burger.

Also Ohio has Cedar Point, the wrights bros, Neil Armstrong (which have all been mentioned) but also BILL WATTERSON! Author of Calvin and Hobbes and goddamned American treasure. And it's not like Hobbes would ever leave to go to Miami to win a championship.
posted by midmarch snowman at 12:56 PM on March 20 [7 favorites]


Okay, I tried a few of these and then figured, what the hell.

Alabama: Secretly sneaking Allah and Obama into its name.
Alaska: Being big enough to fit all of us after global warming turns the rest of the country to charcoal.
Arizona: Being able to cook a four-course dinner on the freaking hot pavement.
Arkansas: The other 'kansas.
California: Pixar.
Colorado: Keeping Wyoming from falling down on the rest of us.
Connecticut: Naming a town Mystic.
Delaware: A laid back Veep.
Florida: Completely submersible and you can wring it out like a towel.
Georgia: They won't have to change their name when Russia takes over.
Hawaii: Volcano (everyone's got beaches).
Idaho: For poking Canada.
Illinois: Ferris Bueller
Indiana: Jones.
Iowa: For showing us the wisdom of building ballparks in the middle of nowhere.
Kansas: Dorothy Gale, the female Van Helsing.
Kentucky: For touching so many other states.
Louisiana: For exposing Bush as an uncaring jerk.
Maine: For keeping all those horror stories out of the other states.
Maryland: David Simon.
Massachusetts: All those loser presidential candidates.
Michigan: Looking like a mitten and being located where you need one.
Minnesota: Dylan, dude.
Mississippi: Ole Man River.
Missouri: I got nothing.
Montana: For freaking out agoraphobics.
Nebraska: Astaire.
Nevada: Legalized tackiness.
New Hampshire: yang.
New Jersey: The Sopranos.
New Mexico: Green chile.
New York: That lady whose head ends up on the beaches in all those sci-fi movies.
North Carolina: not being South Carolina.
North Dakota: doesn't exist.
Ohio: Rock N Roll.
Oklahoma: Surreys with a fringe on top.
Oregon: Portlandia.
Pennsylvania: Quakers, Amish and Mennonites!
Rhode Island: For being too small to even fit its own name.
South Carolina: For not really mattering.
South Dakota: Deadwood (the TV show).
Tennessee: Williams.
Texas: their border with New Mexico.
Utah: McMuffin National Park.
Vermont: yin.
Virginia: Some great suburbs.
Washington: Frasier before he turned sour.
West Virginia: A panhandle that actually fits in your hand.
Wisconsin: Madison (Dolly).
Wyoming: our only national present participle.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:11 PM on March 20 [23 favorites]


but but... what about Washington State's Stonehenge?
posted by sammyo at 1:12 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]


those onion burgers are sublime, though. if you are travelling through, i recommend a side trip out of oklahoma city to sample them. robert's, johnnie's, and sid's in descreasing order.
posted by lescour at 1:21 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think when most people think of PCH it's mostly that, and the stretch north of Santa Monica up to Point Mugu. Lincoln Blvd through SM and Venice ain't the best of anything, nor the inland stretch through Lompoc.

Thank you!

Besides, Lincoln is Route 66 and everything north is the 1.

A fucking roadway is not the best of anything. Unless maybe you're an ambulance driver.

I'm honestly not sure if you're joking, or if you think people are literally talking about a stretch of cured asphalt.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:32 PM on March 20


I'm in Minnesota. We've got scenic roadways coming out of our ears. The North Shore, enough said. Suffice to say, my bar is high. And L.A. always looks so nice on TV! I was bummed.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:42 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Rhode Island they managed to get right.

The Cliff Walk isn't even the best thing in Newport. I'd nominate the Crook Point Bascule Bridge, rusted permanently up, since it makes me smile when I see it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:44 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


[UConn's] so great, they can't even bring themselves to utter the pun that is the team name! Maybe because it refers to another country completely.

Nah, the residents are all just sick of watching people look at us funny when we talk about catching the UConn game on the weekend, and then realizing they think we're flying to Canada and watching moose or something.

I never actually saw a game, but grew up a half hour from the UConn campus and still can sing the first couple bars of the team fight song.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:48 PM on March 20


I'd say that the Kennedy Space Center is a pretty awesome thing in Florida.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:52 PM on March 20 [6 favorites]


Alabama: Secretly sneaking Allah and Obama into its name.

There's a big raised Ford truck near my place that has the vanity plate Bama, or Bamaaaa or something, and a Crimson Tide sticker, and I always want to catch the guy at his truck and say, "Yea! Obama!" and see what happens.
posted by Huck500 at 1:57 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


CORRECTION the best thing in Nebraska is actually me, i'm great

also CORRECTION the best thing in illinois is a sandwich i had there in 1992
posted by beerperson at 2:29 PM on March 20 [8 favorites]


The best damn thing about Florida (and most definitely Jacksonville) is Chamblin Bookmine, and I am ridiculously lucky to live five minutes away from it.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:58 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


God knows that they had to do the diplomatic thing and say that the best thing about Tennessee is the music and the music history, because outside of the big cities (which are overpacked to the gills with people who don't want to live outside of them), the only truly good things about the state are its scenery and its liquor.

PCH as California's best thing is kinda low-hanging fruit, the lazy person's way out. Now if they'd said Palm Springs or the Salton Sea or San Francisco stairways, that would've made me sit up and take notice. But PCH is about as lazy as saying "the beaches" for Hawaii.
posted by blucevalo at 2:58 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


I guess I would have been surprised if they'd said anything other than blue crabs for Maryland. It is probably not a coincidence that crab cakes are my favorite food. Personally, I would have gone with the Maryland accent.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:18 PM on March 20


Massachusetts: All those loser presidential candidates.

Mitt Romney is a coward who couldn't disown this state fast enough once he put in the absolute bare minimum to be afforded the title of governor. I hardly think he should have any association with us.

Michael Dukakis on the other hand.....
Dukakis unapologetically walks his “green” talk in many ways. In recent years, he’s devoted some Sunday mornings to driving around and painting over graffiti on postal collection boxes. He’s known for using Thanksgiving turkey carcasses to make soup for his family and a local senior center (last year he received 26 on his front porch and one in the mail; two remain in his freezer). And he wears a pair of Kitty’s castoff Prada sunglasses, recycling them because they’re “the best sunglass lenses I have ever worn.”

Twitter lights up every few months with new sightings of Dukakis’s handiwork. One 20-something a few years back tweeted: “On a dreary workday morning, few things make me happier than seeing Michael Dukakis pick up litter along his walk to work.”
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:31 PM on March 20 [6 favorites]


The best damn thing about Florida (and most definitely Jacksonville) is Chamblin Bookmine, and I am ridiculously lucky to live five minutes away from it.

Ok, if that's where we're headed with this, then the best thing about Florida is Tacos Al Carbon in Lake Worth. The second best is World Thrift.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:38 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Now if they'd said Palm Springs or the Salton Sea or San Francisco stairways, that would've made me sit up and take notice. But PCH is about as lazy as saying "the beaches" for Hawaii.

My partner went on a vacation to Palm Springs recently and generally loved it, but the highlight she said was that if you want to put together an outfit for cheap to look like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack that there was no better place to do it than the thrift stores there. She has a full red and green plaid suit that attests to this.
posted by invitapriore at 3:48 PM on March 20


Nah, the residents are all just sick of watching people look at us funny when we talk about catching the UConn game on the weekend, and then realizing they think we're flying to Canada and watching moose or something.

I never actually saw a game, but grew up a half hour from the UConn campus and still can sing the first couple bars of the team fight song.


I see that you can't bring yourself to utter the team name either. I am not so shy. The UConn HUSKIES!

It's actually sort of surprising that Sgt. Preston is not the team mascot.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:48 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Also, Illinois is a lot more than Chicago--she says, as a person whose family has been in the City since the fire.

Nonetheless, whatever is the "best of Illinois" will undoubtedly be in the City.

Downstate Illinois has far more in common with Indiana than it does with Chicago.
posted by she's not there at 4:26 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Question: what sort of idiot thinks [Lake Shore Drive] is the best thing in the whole state?

Answer: Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah

(Everyone who grew up around Chicago knows this song, and nobody else has heard of it.)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:59 PM on March 20


I literally spent the day on the PCH and nearby between Monterey and big sur (where it is closed until at least September due to a bridge being damaged in the mudslides). Even with most of the state parks closed, I'd be really hard pressed to say that they're wrong about this, this is an amazing area. (Also, I was literally thinking to myself that ambulance drivers must hate this road.)
posted by advil at 5:01 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


If Ansel Adams somehow made a bouillon cube of all of his nature photography

He's had more comebacks than a 4am pork roll in a queasy digestion track.

rhinestone-bejeweled Sox cap in the bleachers that are the Bay State. Extending that air-tight analogy, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are those even fancier caps with leather brims where you're like, "Who buys those?" even though deep down you have to admit they're pretty damn handsome.


Man, these guys are trying way too hard.
posted by scratch at 5:03 PM on March 20


These are the recent "loser" presidential candidates with a strong tie to Massachusetts (not including those who failed to get the nomination):

Romney, 2012
Kerry, 2004
Bush, Sr. 1992 (yeah, he was born there)
Dukakis 1988
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:13 PM on March 20


I lived in Oklahoma for almost 20 years and never heard of an onion burger until it started popping up on these sorts of US states lists and Guy Fieri-style restaurant road trip shows. I don't believe it's really a thing.
posted by downtohisturtles at 5:17 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Actually the best thing about Oregon is the weed, which is related to hops, which go into beer, so they were close I guess.
posted by vverse23 at 7:02 PM on March 20


The Cliff Walk isn't even the best thing in Newport.

No. It's the single best point of departure. Outdoorsy? Like nature and a long hike? 7 miles round trip not doing it for ya? Head east, down First Beach (Easton's Beach for terrests), and beachcomb, and stop at the Easton's Beach Oceanarium along the way to pet a shark. Then stop at Flo's Clam Shack to know you're now in seedy Middletown, and have some clamcakes for vitality (Wid vinnegah, truss me.)

Climb the hill, and gawk at the glory of St. Georges cathedral on the left, and then traverse the trails to witness Purgatory Chasm (Rhode Island Edition) and learn of a few local legends that all involve lovers tossing themselves in singles and couples from that dire cleft in the cliff, and the view is amazing.

Then troop down past the surfers at the west end of Second Beach, and beach-comb along the dunes and gentlty roiling surf from the south, until the beach is mostly a scrap given over to plovers running to and then running from gentle ocean waves, and then onto the road to Sachuest point, past the bright pink wild roses, and to the Sachuest Point Bird sanctuary itself - HOURS of trails and wildlife watching, from seals to fisher-cats to Harlequin Ducks.

More into an urban experience? Head west, past Bellvue and all its wonders (Mansions to the south, the Art Museum, the Athenaeum and the very mysterious Old Stone Mill to the north) down hill past the Catholic chapel JFK married Jackie in, and then down to the gustatory and commerce and historic delights of North and South Thames St. (Pronounced Thames, not Tems. This place is old.)

Cliff Walk is the best walk.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:30 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


So much lazy writing. At some point TFA links to another Thrillist article about the official soda in every state...in which they go on to say that the official soda of Oklahoma...is Dublin Dr. Pepper...aka Dublin TEXAS

Do Thrillist's writers know that Wikipedia exists?
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:39 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Do they even use green chile in Tex-Mex?
Chuy's now has a dozen green chile dishes on their regular menu, and more during their chile festivals. Trudy's has eight or nine. It's possible that other Tex-Mex purveyors make more limited use of green chile, in which case they need to step up or be left behind.
posted by roystgnr at 7:41 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Oklahoma can't have much going for it if the best they can do is a burger with extra onions.
posted by biffa at 2:05 PM on March 20 [1 favorite +] [!]


I lived in Oklahoma for 27 years after I was born there and this thread right here is the first time I have ever heard of an Oklahoma Onion Burger.

And I know where El Reno is, and have been there.
posted by yhbc at 7:56 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Barbecue bologna and Lebanese steakhouses are more OK to me.
posted by brujita at 8:06 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


I've spent the vast majority of my life in Wisconsin and I will agree that fried cheese curds and butterburgers are our gift to the nation. For places, I would nominate Door County, the Apostle Islands, and the Dells.

I spent four years in Montana and never got to Glacier NP but that is definitely the best part of the state. I lived nearer to Yellowstone, which is the best thing about Wyoming according to the list. So I really have no quibbles with it.
posted by AFABulous at 8:15 PM on March 20


Lake of the Ozarks for Missouri?? Bizarre choice.
posted by SarahElizaP at 9:07 PM on March 20


Me opening the article: Oh, please don't let this be one of those stupid lists where the Michigan item is something like "Mackinac fudge."

The Great Lakes?! Yea. But the only inland lake mentioned is Fenton? Nope, if you're going to talk SE MI than Oakland County's 600 beautiful lakes is it.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:11 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


"Behind Closed Webpages"
posted by infinitewindow at 10:04 PM on March 20


Re: Kansas. Barbecue is fine, as far as it goes, but the best thing about Kansas is the Smithsonian-affiliated Cosmosphere.

dances_with_sneetches: Kansas: Dorothy Gale, the female Van Helsing.

Priceless.
posted by bryon at 11:02 PM on March 20


CA should get several best things. Because we're yuge: Sequoias, redwoods, Big Sur, Yosemite, LA, SF.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:17 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


And Chicago is such a great city, surely the best thing in my home state of IL. Though I'm also partial to open prairie.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:19 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I was kind of expecting Carhenge for NE.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:21 AM on March 21


In MI Pictured Rocks.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:25 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Oh, sure, Oregon is great for beer if you fucking love hops. WOULD IT KILL YOU GUYS TO MAYBE HAVE A LAGER ON TAP EVERY NOW AND THEN SHEESH.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:06 AM on March 21 [9 favorites]


"Connecticut: UConn basketball"
It's so great, they can't even bring themselves to utter the pun that is the team name! Maybe because it refers to another country completely.


A true story in one act:

DRAMATIS PERSONAE
MY BOYFRIEND, a UConn alum
MYSELF, not from New England

ACT I:

We are having lunch at the pho place in Boston's Chinatown. It is early in our relationship

Him: "Do you want to go UConn sometime?"
Me, always up for a nature trip: "That'd be cool. When were you thinking?"
Him: "Maybe next weekend or the weekend after."
Me: "... ? You want to go to the Yukon?"
Him: "Yeah."
Me: "For a weekend?"
Him: "Yeah."
Me: "Don't we need more time?"

We spent like a good five minutes confused at each other until he figured out my problem and filled me in.
posted by brett at 5:38 AM on March 21 [4 favorites]


So, the best thing about any state can probably be found in sports, meat, alcohol, or scenery. How...stereotypical.

Re South Carolina: It's like going to a historic reenactment site, but without all the corny shit and faux blacksmiths.

[sigh] Reenactment sites generally employ actual blacksmiths. Dudes, your personal ignorance is not as clever as you think it is.
posted by desuetude at 7:15 AM on March 21


WOULD IT KILL YOU GUYS TO MAYBE HAVE A LAGER ON TAP EVERY NOW AND THEN SHEESH.

Kill no, but if you're a smaller operation, making lager is a huge pain in the ass. It ties up the tanks for a lot longer than an ale, and apparently is less predictable as well. My local tap room has one on at the moment, but can only do it in the winter, or for a special occasion because they can't afford to tie up their production like that.
posted by wotsac at 9:53 AM on March 21


I cringed, being from Tennessee, to see what dubious achievement we might hold and find that the writer almost, almost made an absolutely truthful statement -- "Between Memphis and Nashville, the Volunteer State's contributions to America's musical heritage are too numerous to cover comprehensively in this space. Stax Records. Sun Studio. The Grand Ole Opry. Graceland. Dollywood. "
Almost true because it really goes from Memphis all the way to Bristol, birthplace of bluegrass, and pretty much everywhere in between is chock full o' music legends. Not to mention the gospel music - it all gets swirled together and yes is pretty much Tennessee's best contribution to the world.
posted by Mr.Pointy at 10:23 AM on March 21


For Iowa, I would have to go with RAGBRAI--so much more fun than the caucuses, and no robo-calls involved!
posted by epj at 4:31 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


And RAGBRAI never made anybody I know angry. Anything involving that much pie can't be anything but good.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:28 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Missouri: definitely the City Museum in St Louis. Lake of the Ozarks? Ugh.
posted by Capybara at 3:12 PM on March 22


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