The United States is a pretty decent place to be, but states still hire advertising firms to write magic sentence fragments to convince us that every state is above average.
These slogans do offer some vague truth, though, and serve a vital purpose. They motivate us to take a dang vacation to "Pure Michigan" or "Where the Rivers Run."
But like all advertising, they're usually only telling you what they think you want to hear. Lucky for us, Thrillist decided to come up some more accurate slogans for each of the 50 states. They might not be permanently adopted any time soon, but at least they're entertaining.
AlabamaCurrent slogan: Sweet Home Alabama In 2007, Governor and probable jukebox enthusiast Bob Riley chose a Lynyrd Skynyrd song title as the official tourist motto. Or maybe he just liked the Reese Witherspoon movie. Better slogan: We Beat Your School in Football, and Your School Beat Our School at School
AlaskaCurrent slogan: Find Your Alaska If you've ever read Into the Wild, you know the kid Chris McCandless, died out in the Alaskan woods trying to find "his Alaska." Let's just meet in Canada and have a guide show me the nice parts of your state. Better slogan: You'll Be All Alone When You Die in the Snow
ArizonaCurrent slogan: The Grand Canyon State Too obvious. We all know you have the grandest canyon in the land. Better slogan: So Hot You'll Forget How Sweltering It Is
ArkansasCurrent slogan: The Natural State Favorite son/author Charles Portis, of True Grit fame, had a character in Dog of the South say: "A lot of people leave Arkansas and most of them come back sooner or later. They can't quite achieve escape velocity." For some reason this patch of woods and bean fields packs in all the gravity of Neptune. Better slogan: You'll Be Back Sooner or Later
CaliforniaCurrent slogan: Dream Big Cali has always been where people play the lottery with their futures. The big dream of California chews up the best of us, but once you're gnawed and spat, there's no finer place to give up on dreams than California. Sun, fun, and similarly unsuccessful, insecure, attractive people abound. Better slogan: We Pay Cash for Youth
ColoradoCurrent slogan: Come to Life Colorado can be the ideal for cowboys, pilots, ski hippies, rock climbers, professors, Christians, atheists, Zen practitioners, the idly rich. And anyone who wants to partake in legal edibles while watching sunsets 14,000ft up the side of a mountain — and who doesn't? Better slogan: Where People Walk for Fun
ConnecticutCurrent slogan: Still Revolutionary That first revolution was a hit, sure, but what have you revolutionized lately? Look, tell you what. Those designer sweatpants you're wearing aren't going to change the world, but I dare say that paying $200 for them might. Better slogan: Divorce Is Expensive, but You Can Afford It
DelawareCurrent slogan: Endless Discoveries Thousands of corporations store those "Endless Discoveries" in filing cabinets and hard drives all across a state that hosts more corporate formation filings than its human population. But as home to Seaford, the Nylon Capital of the World, Delaware also knows what's up. Better slogan: My Lawyers Will Contact You Shortly
FloridaCurrent slogan: Florida First The beaches are beautiful. The water is kinda sublime. And somewhere, every day of the year, someone is dumping cold water down the front of a white T-shirt while Trick Daddy plays over blown-out speakers. Better slogan: You'll Probably See Nipples
GeorgiaCurrent slogan: Georgia on My Mind The home of Coca-Cola, peach pie, trap hip-hop, and indie-rock jams, Georgia plays a role as a modern Southern melting pot. This state's slogan is already, weirdly, quite accurate. Better slogan: Peaches, Beaches!
HawaiiCurrent slogan: The Islands of Aloha Actually the most hardcore of destinations. It's a land built by lava, thousands of miles away from help. A land where people still eat SPAM as a mainstay. A land of Los Angeles traffic on Louisiana-quality roads. But then you stay a week. The Mai Tais slowly replace the blood flowing through your veins. The gorgeous sunsets and bath-temperature water cure your mainland worries. Better slogan: If Elvis Is Alive He's Probably Here Somewhere
IdahoCurrent slogan: Famous Potatoes Home of the famous tuber, as well as a place named "Hells Canyon," which any state but Arizona would trade up for. Snake River Canyon, one of Idaho's many other canyons, also lays claim to a spectacular Evel Knievel fail. He crashed a rocket car onto the canyon floor, nearly dying as a result. Better slogan: Survivable, With a Helmet
IllinoisCurrent slogan: Are You Up for Amazing? That's promising a lot, especially when downstate looks exactly like what you'd expect of the land bridge between Indiana and Iowa. No doubt, exaggerations like this lured hundreds of single daughters and sons from their homelands and into the Illinois plains, but it won't work anymore, Illinois. We have the internet now, and know where all the fun is. Better slogan: Chicagoland
IndianaCurrent slogan: Honest to Goodness Indiana It kind of sounds like someone is exasperated with the state, like, "Honest to goodness, Indiana. Do I have to tell you again?" Better slogan: Larry Bird
IowaCurrent slogan: Fields of Opportunity Q: What's an Iowa traffic jam? A: When everyone at a four-way stop insists someone else go first. Better slogan: Humidity? That's Just Corn Sweat.
KansasCurrent slogan: There's No Place Like Kansas No state more so depends on its association with a decades-old movie, as you can take at least 16 different "Yellow Brick Road Trips," including a seedy-sounding "Couples Retreat." Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Better slogan: Last in Hills, First in Your Bracket
KentuckyCurrent slogan: Unbridled Spirit Bridles are vital to the passion of Kentucky: horse racing. The slogan might as well be "Fried Chicken We Forgot to Cook," "Tobacco Drying in a Barn," or "Pouring Bourbon Down the Drain." An unbridled horse is useless, unless you want to write a poem about something useless. Better slogan: If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, Sit Over There, Far Enough Away, but Speak Loudly Enough So I Can Hear It
LouisianaCurrent slogan: Pick Your Passion Home to the original Sin City, Louisiana really does have it all -- and you have to give the state credit for making a comeback after the double blow of a hurricane and an oil spill. It's sort of an inverted Iowa, a state you visit for three days and decide you could never live there, because you'd take 20 years off your own life. Better slogan: We Serve Drive-Thru Margaritas
MaineCurrent slogan: Discover Your Maine Thing Maine is lobstermen on boats, woodsmen chopping trees, and Stephen King. The roads to and between towns are always shut down because God either hates them or thinks Mainers REALLY LOVE snow, so, unable to visit the grocery store, people subsist on tins of tomato soup half of the year. Better slogan: Preview of the Apocalypse
MarylandCurrent slogan: More Than You Can Imagine This current campaign is actually not bad for a state whose finest cultural exports include: the Blair Witch disappearing people in the woods; Snoop and Chris Partlow disappearing dead bodies into boarded-up houses with tarps and quicklime until Lester Freamon could crack the case; and Michael Phelps, Medal Hoarder. S Better slogan: Don't Need a Special Shampoo to Get Rid of Our Crabs
MassachusettsCurrent slogan: It's All Here Boston's a small town, where not many people live. Instead, if you're a Bostoner, you hunker in suburbs. You think you're better than most of the country, but you still have to have a car and decide whether you send your kids to boarding school or public school or move to Wyoming so you can play a geographical diversity card on their doomed Harvard applications in 2023. Better slogan: Time to Get on Your High Horse
Current slogan: Pure Michigan Michigan takes a lot of pride in its very shape, a high-five that Canada forever left hanging. But Michigan's also proud of its perpetual comebacks. Michigan also knows how to chill.
Check out one of Michigan's great beach towns, or Sleeping Bear Dunes, where you can sit on one of Lake Michigan's beaches, listen to some Jimmy Buffett, play in the frigid water, and shiver.
Better slogan: You Can Buy a House With a Promise to Mow the Lawn
Current slogan: Land of 10,000 Lakes
Here's a summary of the official tourism bureau’s top things to do in Minnesota: 1) check out produce, 2) drink, 3) drive around, and 4) just, you know, have fun.
Minnesotans are also famously nice. They have to be, because, during the winters, they constantly live in space station-like close quarters.
Better slogan: Land of More Lakes Than Anyone Seriously Bothered to Count
MississippiCurrent slogan: Feels Like Coming Home The state famous for being the first "difficult" word children learn how to spell also claims to be home of the blues. The devil might have gone down to Georgia once, but he lived in Mississippi. He tuned guitars and taught blues lessons at a crossroads in exchange for souls. Better slogan: We Can't Believe They Named That Whole River After Us!
MissouriCurrent slogan: Where the Rivers Run It's got an arch? So what, McDonald's has TWO, and over 36,000 locations. How many locations does Missouri have? One. Only one. Come on, slogan-makers, all rivers run. If they didn't they'd be lakes. Better slogan: Where Christian Talk Radio Comes to Life
MontanaCurrent slogan: Big Sky Country Cowboys, glaciers, and no speed limits: Montana may quietly be the coolest state in America. Unfortunately, things are changing. The lure of federal funding means the glory days of testing what exactly it means to put the "pedal to the metal" are over, with regulation imposing regular highway speed limits. Better slogan: No Limits… That We Enforce Much
Current slogan: Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice. I'm sure that there are a lot of nice people in Nebraska, but that also sounds like a lot of pressure to live up to if you're a resident.
Better slogan: They Have Corn
NevadaCurrent slogan: A World Within. A State Apart. Nevada's slogan sounds like something Donald Trump whimpers in his sleep. Melania just wants to know "Within" what? And "Apart" from what? But she's afraid of the answers, as are we all. Better slogan: Fear and Self-Loathing
New HampshireCurrent slogan: Live Free or Die Noted Newshire artists include the poet Robert Frost, novelist John Irving, and punk-rock legend GG Allin. Most remember Allin for defecating on stage during concerts. He promised to commit suicide someday while performing, but didn't follow through. Instead, he died of a heroin overdose. Frost probably wore a lot of tweed. Irving set many of his novels at the noted boarding school and sexual playground Phillips Exeter Academy. Better Slogan: Live Free, Indeed!
New JerseyCurrent slogan: The Garden State Rumor has it no new building may be constructed in Jersey without a live human being buried in the concrete foundation. Jersey is home to what's known as "The Flavor Corridor." Likely where your favorite seasoning was "max'd to the Xtreme with a ranch tornado," the strip of labs and factories along the Jersey Turnpike is a food-science nerd's kingdom. Better slogan: Born Under a Bad Sign With a Blue Moon in Your Eyes
New MexicoCurrent slogan: Adventure That Feeds the Soul New Mexico represents many things to all kinds of different weird aunts. There's the weird aunt who wears a pink visor and a tennis outfit every day. The one who's into ceramics and gives them as gifts. And there's the one whose conversion van is full of her own Navajo designs. They all like to take "hikes" — more like walks with elbows out — and complain about stinging eyes every time their boyfriends of the month make their Hatch chile hot sauce. Better slogan: So Much More Than You Saw on FX
New YorkCurrent slogan: I (Heart) NY NY's slogan is perfect for a state that... well, it's not that it doesn't like you. It only really thinks of itself. But New York City is the great equalizer: rats eat pizza, Wall Street fat cats eat pizza, homeless people grab a slice every once in a while, poor students subsist completely on dollar slice joints. As long as you don't use a knife and fork to eat it, you'll be fine. Better slogan: I'm Walking Here!
Current slogan: First in Flight
Still coasting on the ol' Wright brothers, eh? Come on, Carolina, get it together. You're a beautiful state — home to mountains, rivers, one of the world's biggest chairs, a whirligig museum — heck, you've even got the world's largest functional frying pan.
Better slogan: First Loop on the Bible Belt
North DakotaCurrent slogan: Start Your Journey to Legendary Are you a roughneck battle-ax of a man, looking to make mad money in a short amount of time, and don't care about working conditions, living conditions, or the environment? Step right up to shale country! Oh, wait — that was 2011. We fracked too much and crashed the market for hydrocarbons. Whoops. Better slogan: Go Back Home Now
OhioCurrent slogan: Find It Here This is the helpful slogan of a mom-and-pop hardware store, and for Ohio, it fits. Find just about anything here, and while you're at it, check out this week's special on mulch. Better slogan: Absolutely Worth Leaving Indiana For
OklahamoCurrent slogan: Native America The founders of modern Oklahoma, as we know it, are Curly McLain and Laurey Williams, who in the midst of an torrid love triangle with embittered Jed, resulted in a not-guilty murder verdict, statehood for Oklahoma, and over 2,000 contiguous Broadway performances. Better slogan: Not the Musical, but Similar!
Current slogan: We Like It Here. You Might Too.
This slogan fits. It feels like the Patagonia fleece your mom gave you before sophomore year of college. Eleven years later, it's still in the closet, soft and ready for cold seasons.
Better slogan: Give Portland a Rest Already
Current slogan: Pursue Your Happiness
Pennsylvania boasts one heck of an Amish country. Despite their puritanical approach to everyday living, one longstanding tradition remains: Rumspringa. This extended period of absence from their communities truly allows Amish and Mennonite teenagers to see the world, absent of the typical restrictions and restraints. At the end of their Rumspringa — essentially a more philosophical extended spring break — the young adults can choose to "pursue their happiness" in their religious communities, or agree to remain in the outside world, to keep hanging out at the King of Prussia Mall.
Better Slogan: Anyone Want Pittsburgh?
Rhode IslandCurrent slogan: The Ocean State Few know it, but "Ocean State" was the original title for the 1995 Kevin Costner movie eventually retitled Waterworld. The setting of the film is in the distant future, although no exact date was given. The most expensive film ever made at the time, Waterworld received mixed reviews, but most blame Costner's performance for tanking the film, which flopped at the box office. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Sound at the 68th Academy Awards. At no point in the film is the state of Rhode Island mentioned. Better slogan: You Probably Know an Underachiever Who Went to Brown
Current slogan: Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places.
It's as if South Carolina saw South Dakota's slogan and said, "Hmmm, looks good to us."
One of South Carolina's beautiful places is ostensibly the state's highest peak, Sassafras Mountain. The trek up this dirt hill is not for the faint of heart. In fact, the peak lies slightly over 300ft from the parking lot and is handicap accessible, so be prepared to see people in wheelchairs. People in wheelchairs with smiling faces.
Better slogan: Bill Murray's Around Here Somewhere
South DakotaCurrent slogan: Great Faces. Great Places. South Dakota toes the line with this slogan. Sure, it references the one thing we already know about the state, Mount Rushmore, truly one of the most insane endeavors ever completed in our country. But it's really not kidding about Sioux Falls. That place is, like, great. Better slogan: Technically, Everywhere Is a Place
TennesseeCurrent slogan: Sounds Good to Me You might as well put a "Meh" at the beginning. Or "I Guess" at the end. Lean in, Tennessee! Shake what your mama gave ya! Better slogan: Mountains, Music, and Moonshine
TexasCurrent slogan: It's Like a Whole Other Country In any city in Texas, you'll meet rich folk and poor folk, all of whom are capable of spitting from both sides of their mouth, not just through the middle, like people from everywhere else. Better slogan: Get Brisket and Ask for the Wet End
UtahCurrent slogan: Greatest Snow on Earth! Utah, solid guy. Your friend who doesn't even have a widescreen and everyone watches the game at his house anyway? That's Utah. An all-around good dude, that Utah, just a real straight shooter. Better slogan: We're Keeping the Bees Alive
Current Slogan: Vermont, Naturally
What to make of Vermont? Maple syrup, bone-cold winters, Ben & Jerry's, which continues to churn out great, funky ice cream.
It's a place with a guru on every mountaintop, who'll tell you the meaning of life, but then she'll want to play Hacky Sack and smoke a bowl with you. This was totally worth the $1,000 you spent to buy boots, a sleeping bag, a tent, and a tiny fold-up stove you couldn't figure out how to turn on.
Better Slogan: Liberals Who Actually Drive Stick
VirginiaCurrent slogan: Virginia Is for Lovers Everyone who lives in Virginia is a spy, FBI agent, congressperson, or general all-time best lover. That means Virginia contains a hotbed of sexy swingers. The state has such an extraordinary amount of pent-up non-monogamous, sex-positive energy, it doesn't allow its governors to serve consecutive terms in office. Better slogan: Wink, Wink
Current slogan: Washington: The State
While it is important to differentiate between the District of Columbia and the state, it's a pretty low bar.
Better slogan: What about adding a little font magic: - WASHINGTON: The State - Washington: The State? - Washington: A State. - Or maybe an anagram: "A Tan Teat's Showing"
West VirginiaCurrent slogan: Wild, Wonderful West Virginia According to its tourism website, West Virginia is a place to make childhood memories. If you're an adult, I guess you just missed the boat. Better slogan: Only Makes You Stronger
Current slogan: Stay Just a Little Bit Longer
Your primary form of hat is a foam piece of cheese and the average temperature is something like 4 degrees, so I guess you have to try and convince people to hang around a little bit longer?
Better slogan: You Have to Stay a Little Longer —Your Flight's Been Canceled Due to Inclement Weather
Current slogan: That's Wyoming
Did they even try? Although you have to appreciate the humble tourism slogans. "This is who we are, no more, no less. Love us, or leave us."
Better slogan: Almost Nothing Lives Here