Not sure how this became a huge topic of debate but alas here we are. Last 4th of July weekend people took to twitter dot com to debate the rankings of the six New England states.
Stuck-in-Cape-traffic debate currently raging in my car: How do you rank the New England states, best to worst?
I’ve got …
1. Mass. (by a billion miles)
T-4. New Hampshire
T-4. Vermont (just haven’t visited enough)
6. Rhode Island
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) July 3, 2020
So I am here to give you my official rankings of the six New England states.
Now before you go all, Mean Girls, “She doesn’t even go here” on me.
Because, yes, I live in the midwest and have since 2011. I will proudly say that I was born and raised in southern Rhode Island, and my parents have now since moved to Maine and have lived there for a few years so I would argue I know quite a damn bit about New England. And perhaps my outside view of it now can clear away any bias factors for me and view it as both someone who has lived there and as a tourist.
Let’s get started.
This is tough to knock out of the number one spot. Massachusetts has so much to offer.
Let’s start with the easy and obvious answers. Boston is basically where our country started. It was the birthplace of the American Revolution and that rebel, angsty spirit still lives in the city today. It’s a perfect blend of history, culture and modern. It’s also the home to the greatest ballpark in the world and for the last two decades their sports teams have been synonymous with winning and championships. No other state in the country, let alone New England can stack up to what Boston is throwing out there sports wise.
Not to mention it has some of the best hospitals and colleges in the entire world. Again not just New England but the world, kid. Everyone who lives outside of New England loves to try and imitate a Boston accent. And believe me, when you tell people you’re from somewhere else in New England, they simply introduce you to other people by saying “This is Connor, he’s from Boston.” I mean I’m not, I rep the 401 but still Boston in foreigners minds is basically New England.
Ok let’s move on, Cape Cod. Seriously is there anyone who doesn’t love Cape Cod? The only way you don’t is if you hate the beach, sea food, water anything like that in which case, get the hell out of New England we don’t want you here anyway.
Mass also has Salem, Plymouth, Springfield which houses the basketball hall of fame, and a Six Flags New England. If you can’t find something to do in Massachusetts, you’re brain dead.
Now sure their drivers suck, and people call them “Massholes” for a reason but every state has their drawbacks. Also welcome to New England, we drive like maniacs and don’t have any manners. I’m pretty sure the British were the ones to coin the term “Massholes” as we kicked their sorry, tea and tax loving tails out of our colony.
2) Rhode Island
I feel like this one is up to interpretation for some people depending on where you grew up or always went for family vacation and that’s how it is for me. As I stated earlier, I grew up in Rhode Island, born and raised and I’ll fight anyone who wants to question this pick.
Seriously what’s not to love about this state though? People make fun of us because we are small. And what in the hell is wrong with that? First off it’s cool to say we are the smallest, the rest of you are just compensating for something. I’d rather be 50 out of 50 than something boring like number 42. Who the hell cares about that? You’re also telling me you enjoy your state being bigger, thus having to drive farther to get places? Weird flex but ok…
Now I can’t speak for northern Rhode Island, that’s basically western Mass, which is sort of blah, outside of Wright’s chicken farm. But, southern Rhode Island carries this state. We’ve got beaches, seafood, boats, scenery, you name it you got it. Please tell me about the time you went to Block Island for a day and had a bad time. You simply can’t.
Del’s is an absolute delicacy, as long as you don’t drink it with a straw or use a spoon. Yes at the end you’ll end having frozen lemonade come crashing down on your face because you are smacking the cup to get that final little bit, I don’t make the rules I just follow them.
Newport is a beautiful town, the mansions are awesome, great restaurants. My wife was born and raised in Nebraska, and she absolutely loves traveling to Rhode Island, it’s by far her favorite New England state.
It also has the best state flag of the bunch, that has to count for something.
I’m biased sure but I’m also right.
Alright here is where I’m sure some of you now really disagree with me but hear me out. When it comes to what I like to call the “rugged wilderness, northern states” of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, I have seen plenty of people flip flop between New Hampshire and Vermont as the top one with Maine being forgotten about.
I’ve heard that it’s too far away, that it’s too big, that beyond Portland there’s nothing else.
Let’s begin with Portland. Great city, low key one of the best cities in New England. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the place. Even pro baseball players that I’ve talked to who either played for the Sea Dogs or during their time with an opponent made the road trip there, absolutely loved it. It is quickly turning into a younger persons type of town. Plenty of bars and things for the younger generation to do.
It also still has that traditional, old time feel right on the water. Great seafood, great restaurants and an incredible donut shop called Holy Donut, I suggest if you’re ever there to give it a try.
There is also of course LL Bean and Freeport, Maine. You want to spend a day just shopping, it’s about a half hour north of Portland and a great place to spend all your money and a day.
Now beyond that, is Maine a bunch of wilderness? Yes it is. But it is also gorgeous wilderness in my own humble opinion.
There are so many hiking paths to take, lakes and ponds to kayak or fish in, lighthouses to explore. If you ask me, I will know I’ve made it in life if I can have a summer cabin, or what they call up there “camp” near a lake somewhere with a nice view, that would be the life. It’s not called “Vacationland” for nothing.
4) New Hampshire
“Live Free or Die” I mean damn, welcome to New Hampshire.
I know for some people this ranking feels much too low. And I can see where you are correct in that, and I would respect your rebuttal on the matter, seeing as I am a tad partial to Rhode Island and Maine.
I bet you could play a road trip game that would last all but five to ten minutes, where as soon as you jump on 95 have a race to see who can spot the first “This car climbed Mt. Washington” sticker.
As seen by the picture above, when people think of the picturesque, autumn scenery of New England, they think of New Hampshire.
North Conway is a pretty cool place, you can ski, snowboard or tube down Cranmore. Then go shopping at Zeb’s General Store, everyone has been there. And then enjoy a trip down the Kancamagus highway with beautiful scenery. The Polar Caves and Lost River are cool tourist attractions. And like Maine it has plenty of lakes, rivers and ponds for you to splash around in.
However with only 18 miles of ocean coastline, this is where I knock New Hampshire behind Maine. It has a ton of charm but misses out on the possible ocean views and atmosphere that the top three states can offer.
Shoutout to the liquor outlet right across the border and the fireworks, those are cool.
Alright here is where we start to roast some states. I’ll start off this one by saying, Vermont is just a boring version of New Hampshire.
Go ahead and tell me I’m wrong. I have people respond to that by saying “Yeah but Burlington is a secret hidden gem of New England.” Is it that much of a gem that I need to go out of my way to see it?
And then of course we get the Ben & Jerry’s defenders. “How can you hate on Vermont when they have the best ice cream in the whole world?” It’s good sure, but I mean is it heads and shoulders better than Hood? Another classic New England staple?
My little sister goes to school in Castleton, Vermont and I still firmly believe this. I’ve been to Vermont and there’s just nothing that slaps me in the face and says I need to go back there.
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) July 3, 2020
I usually agree with Tom E. Curran on most things, but this is definitely not it. In no way shape or form is Vermont number two in this list.
Just for more proof, as I am writing this, I searched ‘Things to do in New Hampshire” and Trip Advisor gave me 70 options. I did the same for Vermont and got 15. All done case closed, boring New Hampshire, Live Boring or Die should be Vermont’s motto.
I mean seriously is there a worse state than Connecticut? I mean maybe Delaware but that’s still a close race. Do people in Connecticut even defend their own state?
Here are the lone positives to Connecticut. Mystic, good pizza, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. And you know what, that’s all on the eastern side of the state, which may as well be an extension of southern Rhode Island so that doesn’t count. The greatness that is southern RI just spilled over a bit into Connecticut.
The traffic is awful, it’s too close to New York, the only people who live in Connecticut are Jets and Mets fans. It’s just a perennial loser state.
In the most Connecticut thing possible Benedict Arnold was even born there. They did literally nothing in the Revolutionary War. In fact Arnold is their biggest claim to fame, as well as, some troops once marched through it. Like both sides, British and American were like “Lol no dude, it’s okay you can have this one.” At least Rhode Island burned down a ship.
I don’t have a ton more to say because we all know Connecticut is the absolute worst. But perhaps the worst, is that Buzzfeed has a piece called 29 Reasons Connecticut is the Most Underrated State. And I’m sorry but if you need Buzzfeed to fight your battles for you, you suck.
More Rankings and Takes
And if you need more takes on these rankings may I present you with some other Couch Guy Sports personalities takes with myself included in the form of a podcast episode by Small State Big Takes.
EPISODE 91: THE CT-SLANDER POD is out! We welcome on VERY special guest @Pat_Light to talk about
⚾️ Minor League baseball
🎖 Best New England states
👀 NEVER before heard news
⚾️ Stories about being in the bigs
— Small State Big Takes Podcast (@SmallStateTakes) July 7, 2020
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