Now that we have given our views on all of the regions, we are going to compare the states in a much more absolute way, looking at the country as a whole. We are not going to give our full list of the ordering of the states, as obviously, we feel like judging places we saw very little of like Kentucky or Michigan doesn’t mean much. We will, however, give our top and bottom 5 states. We will start with the bottom five.
Making negative judgement always runs the risk of annoying people. If you happen to love one of these states, do try to keep in mind our taste may just be different than yours. And of course, we may have just missed some of the amazing bits from some of these states. Either way, most of these states just immediately left a bad taste in our mouths. Given we had lots of other options and plenty of ground we wanted to cover, that may have caused us to say screw you to a few of them a bit sooner than those who love them may have wished.
Here’s the video:
We actually spent a few days in Arkansas, unlike most of our lowest rated states. It just did not pop at all for us. The weather was lack luster and people were very reserved, so it was hard to have much meaningful interaction. Most of the people we did speak to were from other states. They had moved there because it was so cheap. It is true that a plus for Arkansas, but it also felt underdeveloped and that most of its major roads were full of giant semi trucks. A Californian woman who had moved there because of family told us point blank not to live there – that we could and should do better.
We didn’t even spend a whole day in Georgia. We happened to go to one of our favorite states, South Carolina, right before Georgia, which may have hurt its case a bit. Even so, our welcome was a fake welcome center that was set up by a private company to sell tours, which felt a bit unscrupulous. It also seemed run down. Even though Savannah had some lovely homes, it also had a lot of this sort of thing:
Chris also had a run in with a member of the Nation of Islam (an organization of black people that hate all whites), which certainly doesn’t say something about everyone or even most people in Georgia, but in the same way that a bad first date can sour you from having a relationship with someone, this did help to sour us on Georgia. It didn’t seem as friendly, successful and vibrant as its neighbors Florida and South Carolina.
Indiana may well be nice. We only spent a single night there, and saw very little, but so bad was the driving and our hotel, that we didn’t desire to see any more. Driving into Indianapolis, speeding was intense and pot holes were plentiful. Our hotel was one of the worst of the tour. Chris was woken up by someone in the model of the night who knocked on the door and then continued going along all the doors trying to speak to people. He made the mistake of reading reviews of the hotel at that time and found out it was quite the crack den. After barely sleeping, when the morning light came through the window, he also discovered that the creeping sensation he’d felt in the night had not been his imagination, but a giant bug in bed with him. We were much much more careful about where we booked after this hotel and it was what drove us to become such careful review readers on TripAdvisor.
As we proceeded to leave the city, we met what are still the most angry, aggressive drivers in the entire country. Given one of the things that surprised us about the US was how much driving styles varied, I do think this says something about Indiana, or at least Indianapolis. Even a very densely populated urban place like Rhode Island can have very considerate drivers, so it’s not like it’s an urban rural divide. We got flipped off, had lots of people driving right behind us to try to intimidate Chris into speeding and even got into a bit of a fight on the road with a very angry couple. I don’t think we shall be returning any time soon.
The divide between the rich and the poor in Connecticut was frankly shocking. We had no idea cities like Hartford were doing so badly. We drove all the way around Hartford just to see if it improved, but there seemed to be quite a lot of unemployment, or at least, a lot of people standing around in the middle of a work day on street corners.
Fuel prices were some of the worst in the nation, as were the prices on everything else. If you are not rich and you live in Connecticut, I sincerely urge you to move. Move almost anywhere else, and you will have a better quality of life. Connecticut appears to be entirely rigged toward the rich.
It seemed like everyone was either utterly screwed financially or owned a boat and the river to put the boat on it. There was no sign of much of a middle class.
We spent a single night there in a very overpriced hotel having very overpriced microwave meals. We also unfortunately had to do laundry in the state of Connecticut, which was the most expensive laundry of the trip by a fair amount.
We spent one night in Mississippi after one of the worst days of the entire trip. This is one of the few states where we felt actively unsafe, as we were nearly carjacked in a small town. This was a very, very bad first date indeed. We tried to still give the rest of a state a chance after that, but it was hard. Most of it looked run down with things like abandoned gas stations and grocery stores. It did not appear to be thriving at all. It’s also one of those uptight states that won’t sell you wine on a Sunday, which is a minor thing, but still annoying in the larger context of it not working for us at all. Our hotel was disgusting and horribly bleached even getting 4 out of 5 stars and I had to look through dozens of hotels and pick one not on the most direct route in order to even get that. Chris commented at the time that it felt the most remote of any state we’d been to (and we had been to Wyoming at that point) due to there being so little there. I don’t think we will be back to Mississippi.