Special thanks to those who helped me compile the list. And now, without further ado...
1) Virginia – In the spirit of narcissism, I would like to boast that this is my adopted home, and one which I will never leave, God willing. Temperate weather, history galore, my alma mater, good friends – Virginia is the pinnacle of American statehood.
2) Texas – Suffice it to say I never met a Texan I didn’t like – even if they are absurdly supportive of their homeland. Arrogant, but awesome area of the country. The state even has a WILSON COUNTY!
3) Colorado – Two words: Denver Broncos. Also, it is a very pretty, mountainous, rectangular state, and part of my family still lives out there.
4) Montana – Glacier National Park is beautiful – as is the rest of the state. Lovely area of the country.
5) Wyoming – I like rectangles (see #3). Plus, Yellowstone and Grand Teton are incredible.
6) Florida – Our family vacationed down here during the summer months – very hot. (We grew saner when we got older.) I have many pleasant memories of this place.
7) North Carolina – There is a Wilson County here – BONUS AWESOMENESS! Also, this state has a cool nickname (Tar Heels), and serves to protect Virginia against South Carolina’s insufferable arrogance.
8) Georgia – Like North Carolina, Georgia also serves to protect the rest of the states from South Carolina’s arrogance. Plus, practically unenforced high speed limits and comparatively inexpensive gasoline are cool.
9) Michigan – My sister graces the state with her presence – which overcomes the disadvantage of the cold. Plus, for some bizarre reason I like the split in the state between Upper Michigan and Lower Michigan.
10) New Mexico – Carlsbad Caverns is still my favorite National Park. Beautiful area of the country.
11) Arizona – They really need to name it Aridzona – it is HOT! It got up to 110 in a dry heat when we were visiting a mission Church there. Aside from that, the Grand Canyon rocks. Pretty country = good rankings.
12) Kansas – Kansas has many nice people (and one insane exile, but I digress…) Also, can you say Wilson County?????
13) Kentucky – Mammoth Cave was cool. Also, a land of bourbon. Good stuff.
14) South Dakota – Very pretty area of the country. Plus it has faces of famous people, etched in solid rock.
15) Tennessee – Wilson County Bonus Alert! Although I do remember throwing up somewhere in the car in the hills of the backwoods of Tennessee. Not fun. Oh well. I’ll bet Davy Crockett had similar things happen to him here…
16) Minnesota – Cold. Little else to say, although one of my best friends is from here, which gives it slight awesomeness cred…
17) Mississippi – This will be higher than it should be, simply because the spelling is irresistible. Plus it has a big river named after it. All hail big rivers.
18) Missouri – Cool arch. Jumping-off point for the Oregon Trail. Evil baseball team. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad…
19) Oklahoma – This state serves as Texas’s frying pan – a point in its favor. I have little else to say about it, for good or for ill.
20) North Dakota – Cold, but has oil and is booming.
21) Nebraska – Lots of corn when we drove through. I like corn.
22) Ohio – Despite the fact that this is one of the most important and populated states of the Union, I have no memory of this place. But there is family here.
23) Louisiana – Mardi Gras! Mosquitos! Other random stereotypes!
24) Idaho – I’m sure it’s a lovely state. Didn’t spend much time there, though, I have little intelligent to say about the state.
25) Alabama – No complaints about the state. Nothing really to say about it, though, except to mention the mild lunacy of the Alabama-Auburn rivalry.
26) New Hampshire – Dartmouth is cool. The state is cold. That’s about it. Being in New England knocks it down a peg.
27) Indiana – Is it a bad thing if you draw a total blank on a state?
28) Maine – Cold. Largely uninteresting. Moose. 1 out of 3 ain’t good.
29) Wisconsin – CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE! Unfortunately, I don’t like cheese. Or the Packers. Or the cold.
30) Pennsylvania – Never really found too much of interest there, and got really bored driving multiple hours through here. Plus, Pennsylvania is right next to New Jersey. Bad neighbors make for bad ratings…
31) Nevada – Las Vegas and desert. Great, if that’s your thing. It’s not mine.
32) Utah – It’s a Mormon paradise. Never been a believer in false faiths, sorry, even if the state has some very pretty areas…
33) Arkansas – This state spawned our nation’s most loathsome president. The ick factor is high here.
34) Alaska – I have never graced the state with my presence. Hence an admittedly undeservedly low ranking for what from all accounts is a gorgeous state.
35) Massachusetts – Politically, the state is insane. Multiple friends boosts this ranking to far more than it deserves. Boston is cool, though.
36) Iowa – The fact that politicians go here every four years to kickstart their campaigns does not help this state’s awesomeness cred.
37) West Virginia – A state which my sister fled kicking and screaming deserves to be low on any list of awesomeness. Perhaps this lack of awesomeness is due to the fact that they chose to flee, kicking and screaming from the wonderful, glorious, epic state of Virginia…
38) California – My brother goes to school here, and the state is indeed beautiful. Unfortunately, the state has a well-deserved penchant for sundry forms of idiocy, and also Hollywood. I’ve met many good Californians; they almost all left the state when they got the chance. Wish I could put this state higher, but just can't.
39) Illinois – Not a Chicago fan. Also, our current President’s “home” state. Uncool.
40) South Carolina – A state of total narcissism. I still haven’t forgiven the fact they kicked off the Civil War because they lost an election.
41) Vermont – Combining nutty politicians with near-total irrelevance and frigid weather. Go away.
42) Rhode Island – Boring, small, painful politics – what’s not to dislike?
43) Connecticut – See #42, slightly magnified. Add the one college that rejected me factor, and Grr…
44) Washington – On the Left Coast, with only a Space Needle to enliven it. Also very rainy, and I am NOT the "Singing in the Rain" type.
45) Oregon – On the Left Coast, and assisted suicide is not cool.
46) New York – Proximity to New Jersey is enough to drop this already awful state. Freezing, crazy politics, and the uncool arrogance of New York City types does the rest.
47) Delaware – The excessive tolls on I-95 are my deepest memory of the state. Not a good sign.
48) Hawaii – I have never been here, and our current president was born here. Two major strikes against it. Plus, how can a bunch of islands 2,000 miles from the continent of North America be considered a state, anyway?
49) New Jersey – I fled my home state kicking and screaming. All Jersey jokes are deserved. I will not say any more, for fear of dredging up unpleasant memories of that ugly asphalt jungle...
50) Maryland – An evil state, full of confusing roads, weird politics, and many unpleasant memories. I have sworn to burn the state down one day. (Yes, I would notify my friends who live there first before striking the match.)
Disclaimer: For those of you who object to any of these rankings...