Which two U.S. states are most similar/most different?

I’m after news from the colonies - if you were to give travel advice to a foreigner framed in the sentences;
“Don’t bother visiting both [state] and [state], the experience you’ll have will be so similar,”
and
“To experience the biggest contrast between states visit [state] and [state], they’re so different,”

What states do you put in the [state] box?

My guesses at the answer; is there much to split between North and South Dakota?
And for the second, I’m guessing one of the states will be Texas…and I’m thinking one of the mini-states, maybe Vermont? Massachusetts?

Most different is clearly Alaska and Rhode Island. Can’t beat that difference in size.

Most the same would be Rhode Island and Hawaii.

Mississippi and Alabama. Very similar culture and history, in my experience (I grew up in Louisiana but traveled a lot in both states).

I agree with this.

Most different culturally (in terms of the general mindset of the residents), based solely on my experience:

Arizona and Massachusetts.

Other very similar states in the South – GA and SC, KY and TN (not as experienced with these), NC and VA (less so than the others, I think), and perhaps TX and OK.

Massachusetts is very different politically from its northern neighbors. The big split is New Hampshire although that difference is tempered at the southern border because it is part of the greater Boston area and commutable. Still, once you get much past the border area, New Hampshire is a completely different (and great) state that doesn’t have much ion common with its much more urban neighbor to the South. Vermont is fairly unique too but the part of Massachusetts that its shares a border with is rural as well so it takes longer to see the break in culture and everything else but they are certainly there. The distances I am referring to are just tens of miles or less which is trivial in most of the country but very important in tiny New England.

I live in Massachusetts very close (15 minutes) to the Rhode Island border. Rhode Island is a very strange state in most ways but the closest border crossing to me is a side road going from Bellingham, MA to Woonsocket, RI. You would know immediately when you crossed the border even if there wasn’t a small sign because it instantly switches over from mediocre suburbia to scary ghetto. Much of Rhode Island is very nice, especially Newport but it does have its idiosyncrasies both good and bad. The unemployment rate is much higher than surrounding states, the Mafia and general corruption are rampant but it has even better strip clubs than Las Vegas plus some great food in Providence and better beaches than Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is very different politically from its northern neighbors. The big split is New Hampshire although that difference is tempered at the southern border because it is part of the greater Boston area and commutable. Still, once you get much past the border area, New Hampshire is a completely different (and great) state that doesn’t have much in common with its much more urban neighbor to the South. Vermont is fairly unique too but the part of Massachusetts that its shares a border with is rural as well so it takes longer to see the break in culture and everything else but they are certainly there. The distances I am referring to are just tens of miles or less which is trivial in most of the country but very important in tiny New England.

I live in Massachusetts very close (15 minutes) to the Rhode Island border. Rhode Island is a very strange state in most ways but the closest border crossing to me is a side road going from Bellingham, MA to Woonsocket, RI. You would know immediately when you crossed the border even if there wasn’t a small sign because it instantly switches over from mediocre suburbia to scary ghetto. Much of Rhode Island is very nice, especially Newport but it does have its idiosyncrasies both good and bad. The unemployment rate is much higher than surrounding states, the Mafia and general corruption are rampant but it has even better strip clubs than Las Vegas plus some great food in Providence and better beaches than Massachusetts.

I’m not sure about states, but the two most similar *posts *are #s 6 & 7 by Shagnasty & Shagnasty respectively. :slight_smile:

Agree with Arizona and Massachusetts as the most different states. Different geology, climate, topography, demographics, density, and most of all politics.

In general, adjacent states are pretty similar. Although there are of course exceptions.
An interesting follow-on question would be which two adjacent states are most different? California and Oregon are my first WAG, but I admit to not having thought thoroughly about other potential answers. California and Arizona might also be contenders.

California and all the other states. We’ve got everything, and you other guys got nuthin’. :slight_smile:

Shag: As a native Rhode Islander, I endorse your post. It’s a very odd place. Some absolutely fantastic places, and absolutely terrible places all in a tiny package!

So would California and Nevada.

California and Oregon are becoming more similar every day.

For non-bordering states I would guess Hawaii and Connecticut.

Oops, sorry about that. I actually thought the question was about adjacent states for some reason. If it is really about comparing any two states, the combinations are endless.

I moved from New Orleans, Louisiana to rural New Hampshire/Vermont and literally went into culture shock. I didn’t understand anything about different types of heating systems, much of the slang used, why people were so standoffish and lots more. I might as well have moved to a really foreign place like Canada. I had to repeat that again when I moved to the Boston area. It is amazing how different things can be even when you stay within your own country. I think I could do better now because I have traveled a lot but I am still pretty sure that moving to Alaska would take some adjustment.

Here is the iconic song Boyz-N-Da Hood recorded in California and the reinterpretation for Connecticut sensibilities.

California - - YouTube
Connecticut - Dynamite Hack-"Boyz In The Hood"_ SEMI-OFFICIAL VIDEO - YouTube

(The above is just a joke. Connecticut is one of the wealthiest and snootiest states of all but its cities are shitty and they really do have true 'hoods. Yale University is an island in a sea of ghetto for example.)

Nevada and Utah are pretty different adjoining states.

A few years ago I wouldn’t have called Woonsocket scary, but it’s one of the few places left where people can afford to live without making an honest living. Woonsocket is another old industrial city crumbling apart. The transition is pretty obvious entering the city from any direction. It’s too bad, it has its own decent suburban areas inside the city but nothing much to make them valuable properties anymore.

:stuck_out_tongue:

Of course! Because both are islands, you see.

North and South Carolina come to mind as well as Pennsylvania and West Virginia if you leave out the Philly area. But two that always struck me as much alike are Ohio and Georgia. Small dense pockets of population with a lot of nothing in-between. More rural and backward/conservative than either cares to admit. Both are driven through or flown over more than visited. And surprisingly broad in terms of religion. Both just always had a like feel or vibe to me.

Wyoming and Montana are pretty similar, no? Is there much difference between Kansas and Nebraska? SD and ND?

Wisconsin and Minnesota.

If you want to visit the best state come to Michigan. We have the great lakes and U.P.

I thought this was the obvious answer – isn’t New Hampshire/Vermont basically one state?

Being from California, I found the greatest difference with Georgia – outside of Atlanta it truly feels like a different world.

They look roughly the same and are very similar in many ways but there is a big difference between New Hampshire and Vermont politically. New Hampshire has its own brand of conservatism and libertarianism that doesn’t exist anywhere else (I am a huge fan). Vermont also has its own types of political thought going on as well.

Bernie Sanders, the only major socialist politician in America keeps getting elected there and I can’t say that is a bad thing. Vermont’s political heritage is much more strongly influenced by the hippy and counter-culture movement than New Hampshire is because lots of disaffected hippies that were actually willing to do hard work moved there to fulfill their organic dream farm/alpaca wool business or whatever else they could envision. However, it isn’t the same thing as the mainstream progressive and socialist movements you see in places like Berkeley or Cambridge, MA. I am a huge fan of both states because they are so different from most of the U.S. but they each have different qualities.