Help me tell Kentucky and Tennessee apart

I’ve never lived in either, and I have to admit that they sort of blur together in my mind. What is the “feel” of each state? How (other than boundaries, capital cities, state birds, etc.) are they actually different from each other?

And after that we can do Kansas and Nebraska. Then Vermont and New Hampshire.

Actually, I confuse Kentucky with West Virginia more than with Tennessee.

Well, to me eastern Ky is mostly about coal mining, much like WV. The first thing I think about TN I guess is Memphis and barbeque, the latter being a western Ky thing too. Other than that I don’t know. I’ve actually spent more time in Indiana than I have Tennessee. I don’t believe I’ve ever been to West Virginia.

Not a lot of help, huh?

Ya know, I’ve lived in TN for … hmm … the better part of 25 years, and I can’t summon the energy to answer this question. I mean, what’s the difference between N Dakota and S Dakota? Washington and Oregon? Illinois and Indiana? Arizona and New Mexico?

The good booze comes from Kentucky.

I was going to say -

Kentucky = bourbon
Tennessee = whiskey

I can’t help with the three Dakotas (North, South, & Nebraska)

There’s at least four, then: Eastern Montana is West Dakota. (Western Montana has mountains, tourists, and trees. Eastern Montana has plains, buttes, cattle, ranchers, cattle, wind, plains, wind, and cattle.)

Bringing this back around to within spitting distance of the topic, Montana is sometimes called Montucky by the natives.

It’s colder and flatter in ND then SD.

Western Washington is Yuppie central, Eastern Washington is like most of Oregon while Northwest Oregon is pre-Yuppie (hippies).

Arizona has a big hole in one corner, desert in the south and northern reaches are hilly/mountainous and covered with green vegetation. New Mexico doesn’t have a hole.

Kentucky is bluegrass and bourbon and the Derby.

Tennessee has mountains to the east and in the central part has these really fantastic flat top hills that have really sharp edges, they have to be seen to be experienced. Kentucky has a few hills but Tennesse has really distinctive ones, much higher. Plus, whiskey.

Kentucky is a trifle, just a trifle, less seedy than Tennessee.

Ok, well I live practically on the border between K and T. As far as the “feel” of each one, I think T has more “color” and “personality”. The minute I drive over the border into Kentucky, I’m in Agriculture Central - the view is exclusively farmland, cows, ag supply stores and livestock auction houses. These things exist on the T side, of course, but it’s just less “farmy”. Land use seems a bit more varied. I’ve got no idea if these impressions would hold along other parts of the states.

Elysian - I guess you’re describing the Cumberland Plateau. I want to see those cliffs - I’ve never figured out exactly what this plateau is, although we’re living in/on it.

Hmpf. I’ve lived in Kentucky all my life and only visited Tennessee, but sir, while the two states are similar there are differences. Like every state Kentucky has its regions; coal-mining traditions in the east and a lot of midwestern style agriculture in the west. The central portion is more blue-blood and the Louisville area is more like the midwest, with a dash of Old South thrown in here and there (as with Central Kentucky) with horsebreeding. Northern Kentucky is much more oriented towards Cincinnati and the folks there often feel cut off from the rest of the state for that reason.

Kentucky is a “small” state; everyone knows everyone in politics and the bigger businesses. Tennessee has a great many more large cities: Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville just off the top of my head are all bigger than our largest cities, Lexington, Louisville and the Northern Kentucky aggregate. I’d have to do an actual population comparison to know for sure. Most of our cities are just good-size towns; mostly we’re small towns populating lots and lots of counties; 120, the third-most in the country. People here are very rooted to their county and consider it part of their identity. This seems more rural in mindset than most places I’ve been to; perhaps Tennessee as well. As I say, I’ve only lived here and only have impressions of Tennessee.

I wish I could tell you exactly – I grew up in Indiana, my grandfather lived in Kentucky, and my uncle lived in Tennessee for a while so we would visit the two states every couple of years, but I never drove. I just know that going through Tennessee eventually there’d be these breathtaking hills. Can’t be much help, sorry!

Once you get out of the cities & 'burbs …

Kentucky is mostly rural. Tennessee is mostly Southern rural. The difference is obvious to me.

When I was a kid and we had to identify states by their shape on a map, I memorized that Kentucky butted up against Ohio, Indiana and Illinois (ok, and a tiny bit of Missouri and WV too) and Tennessee was underneath Kentucky. In other words, KY was “north” and TN was “south.” Maybe it’s that way in spirit too.

Kentucky has 7 state surrounding it (with a border touching it): Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Tennessee shares a border with 8 states: Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri.

(Missouri also has 8: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky)
Kentucky has horses. Lots and lots of horses.

Kentucky has the slimiest coach in college basketball, the only man to ever have two Final Four appearances vacated by the NCAA; Calipari. Or as he’s known on some fan boards, Calishady.

Gah, the Dope hiccuped. I tried to fix my typos and everything froze.

Kentucky’s on top.

An interesting range of responses. Thanks! Anyone else?

Vermont has more mountains.

New Hampshire is fairly conservative. Vermont is very liberal.

Vermont has restaurants. New Hampshire doesn’t.