Three Reasons to Visit Your State


#1

I’ll start. You should visit Rhode Island because:

  1. It’s small enough that you can be in the country (visit the grave of Mercy Brown, exhumed 19th century vampire), the city (visit The Providence Athenaeum, former haunt of Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft), and at the beach (stroll the Cliff Walk in Newport and spy on the summer “cottages” of some of America’s most well-known robber barons) in a single day.

  2. Providence is a great city to eat in. Thanks to the long-time presence of Johnson & Wales culinary school, there’s no lack of award-winning restaurants. Or try something local: a New York System hot wiener all-the-way with a coffee milk or an order of clam cakes and chowder (we have our own special kind).

  3. The accent has to be heard to be believed.


#2

I’ll bite. My state is not a state. It’s Washington, DC. That said, there are still three reasons to visit us.

  1. C’mon, nation’s capital. The Mall. The finest collection of free museums in the world, along with the iconic monuments and memorials of the nation. Vietnam Wall! Lincoln Memorial! Washington Monument! Library of Congress, Museum of African-American History… I could go on and on.
  2. The highest concentration of Civil War history in the country in a stone’s throw. Gettysburg, Manassas, Antietam are all close, and The Lee Mansion and D.C.'s own forts are right there (especially my favorite, good old Ft. DeRussy
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/fort-derussy
  3. Various surprising immigrant groups have settled in high concentrations in D.C., making it the best or one of the best places to eat Ethiopian, Korean, Salvadorean, Guatemalan, and Vietnamese food.

#3

Why come to New Jersey? So many reasons.

  1. Do you like history? Well then you’re in luck, we’ve got no shortage of colonial era buildings still in use, state and county parks where you can literally walk into a revolutionary war fort or an old abandoned town (Fort Nonsense, Double Trouble state park, Cooper Grist Mill) And that’s not all. Looking for something newer, maybe industrial revolution era? Hit up the Great Falls, the waterfall Alexander Hamilton himself saw and knew would power industry in America. And in the surrounding area, all the silk mills and leather mills and other factories that made NJ an industrial powerhouse in the 19th century. Looking for weirder history? Weird NJ, that’s a treasure trove of weird stuff to do.

  2. The food. And I’m not even talking about pork roll here, but that’s also something worth trying. A lot like Rhode Island, New Jersey is a culinary wonderland. Any nation’s cuisine, any price point, and loads of local craft beer and wine to go with it…you’ve got it in NJ.

  3. The variety of landscapes within such a small geographic area. New Jersey is 8,723 square miles. In those 8,723 square miles, you’ll find acres and acres of pinelands where there’s nothing for miles (Pinelands National Reserve) beaches, farmlands, dense-ass cities and just gorgeous hiking trails. New Jersey really is a pretty state, but most people who visit don’t get to see the pretty parts because their time in NJ is either passing through on the turnpike or going from Newark airport to NYC. Get off those congested highways and see everything else NJ has to offer; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


#4

Pork roll is pretty good, though.


#5

It’s not free, but I found the Spy Museum to be pretty fun last time I was in DC, especially the gift shop.


#6

oh pork roll’s terrific, haha. But it’s just a tiny toe dip into the sea of amazing culinary experiences to be had in NJ


#7

I love this thread.


#8

New Mexico! The most AO state there is because all the aliens are here. Probably.

  1. Hot springs. Tons of 'em. Wild springs and spas.
  2. White Sands National Monument. Stay overnight to get the real isolated, “Is this another planet?” feeling. I know all of your friends have Instagrammed it already, but it really does live up to the hype.
  3. A great place to drink. Gruet Winery in Albuquerque makes the nation’s best sparkling wine. The izanami restaurant at the 10,000 Waves Spa in Santa Fe has the most extensive sake menu of anywhere in the country. Bow and Arrow Brewery is the only brewery in the country owned and operated by Native American women (and their wild ales are damn good). And you’ve got to try that Taos Lightning Rye from KGB Spirits.

#9

I’m so glad you posted this @Robin_Babb. I’m a New Yorker, but love New Mexico more than any other state, and was wondering if I could get away with adding it. (You’ve saved me the need to resolve that ethical dilemma.)

Can I add a reason to the list? The smell. Thanks to piñon, I know of no state that smells better than New Mexico.


#10

Oh, absolutely the best smell - piñon and juniper, too. Makes it really easy to get poetic about this place.


#11

My cousin is from Albuquerque and, while I’ve never been to NM, I have feasted on the green chile she brings back each fall, so I’ll add that to the list of New Mexico’s highlights.


#12

Washington State!

  1. For the Olympic Penninsula - we’re talking mountains, beaches, old growth forests, funny little towns, fresh seafood, and crystal clear lakes.

  2. The sheer amount of biking, hiking & kayaking you can do on or near the sound.

  3. Seattle’s food, craziness, and gorgeous view of the water and 2 mountain ranges…on a clear day.


#13

Not too many replies yet, so I’ll jump in. You should visit Minnesota because:

  1. The Twin Cities have an amazing and underrated collection of museums. To highlight two- first, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has an incredible collection, including a series of Period Rooms allowing you to step into history. Second- the American Swedish Institute. This museum not only covers Scandinavian history in America, but preserves the Turnblad Mansion, one of the finest preserved mansions in America. Their collection of Porcelain Tile Stoves is unequaled.

  2. Food culture in the Twin Cities is amazing. We’ve got a great option for any taste. Food trucks, local fast casual, fine dining, cocktails. We’ve got an amazing ethnic food scene, including Hmong and Somalian options you won’t find anywhere else. And our burgers might be the best in the Nation. Four recommend places- The Nook, Afro Deli, Birchwood Cafe, Bachelor Farmer .

  3. Best collection of State Parks East of the Rockies. A few highlights: the Mississippi headwaters at Itasca; the unique underground tours at Soudan Underground Mine; the remarkable waterfall at Grand Portage; the native prairies of Buffalo River; the cliffs of Interstate; and the preserved forest of Lake Maria.


#14

We use an app called Roadside America when we travel domestically. Using this, we learned the center of the universe is in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was a quirky little diversion from our travels.


#15

Pennsylvania…

  1. The obvious…History, Liberty Bell…Ben Franklin’s Philly Zoo… Valley Forge…
  2. The Food! Of course the Philly Cheese Steak, Hershey’s chocolate, Snyder’s Pretzels and a great assortment of German & Dutch restaurants.
  3. Diverse landscape, from mountains to farms & loads of State Parks

#16

More reasons to visit New Mexico…

  1. Green chile. Green chile cheeseburgers! The state tourism website features the GCCB Highway…lots of deliciousness. We like Burger Boy on Hwy 14, The Turquoise Trail, in Cedar Crest. Green chile & bacon is also an amazing combo…on anything!
  2. Red Chile. Carne adovada! FYI Red chile is just ripened green chile, but it is dried then made into a sauce. We make it by deseeding the dried pods, crumbling them into a pot of hot water, and simmering them for about 15 min. Everything then goes into a food mill (throw away the skins), and the resulting paste is simmered with garlic, cumin, and salt to taste. To make carne adovada add (pre-cooked) pork chunks to the sauce and simmer or roast. Yum! As many ways to do this as there are Abuelas in NM. We sometimes go to Garcias in ABQ for their child’s breakfast of carne adovada, one egg, potatoes, beans, and a sopapilla…$6 +/-
  3. Culture. Here’s one that I’ve never seen advertised…the Chile’s restaurant in Espanola has windows and booths facing Hwy 68. Get one of those seats on a Friday night and enjoy the parade of Low Riders and other souped-up vehicles driving by…happens weekly pretty much all year long…causes traffic jams so arrive early. Couple this to a trip to a pueblo, especially on a Feast Day. Advice from experience; park near the perimeter of a pueblo and walk in…you do not want your vehicle boxed in by family members staying until late at night.

#17

This entire thread really makes me want to go to New Mexico for the first time. Also, hungry.


#18

And don’t forget the Mall of America! Great tourist trap!


#19

When most people think of Florida, they think beaches, theme parks, and the elderly, right? Here are some hidden gems for those who have never been here.

  1. Sarasota has the Salvador Dali Museum which is incredible! While in Sarasota County, you can visit Venice Beach, they have the highest concentration of sharks teeth to dig up.
  2. If you come in the winter or spring, we have great camping areas. They include areas with natural springs, awesome wildlife (gators, manatees, and the Florida black bear among them), and beachfront, of course.
  3. The Florida Keys. Such a diverse area that I just can’t list everything. The food is worth mentioning.

#20

The Dali Museum is absolutely worth a visit for most anyone who would be on Atlas O!