I love New York because of the 4 seasons, the lakes, streams, rivers, rolling hills, farms, valleys, gorges, waterfalls, wineries and the fact it has almost every country compacted into one state. Although I have visited almost all of the continental states, I am biased when it comes to my loyalty to the Empire State.
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It is frustrating when we are automatically linked to NYC. New York State is 47,126.40 square miles compared to NYC which is only 302.64 square miles. While our winter months may be challenging, it is all just part of what makes us a hardy lot.
Having visited California on several occasions I understand why you love your state. Scenic views do offer a person a sense of serenity. I froze when I drove from Glendale to S.F. in August one year. Brrr
You certainly did pick some great spots and states. I love the water, so that is always a factor for me, but I also treasure the 4 seasons and the beauty each one holds.
You make a good point Kevin regarding not much chatter about Maryland. The Baltimore Inner Harbor is exquisite and many who work in D.C. and Arlington commute back to MD.
Ithaca, the Finger Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, the Adirondack Mountains and Niagara Falls are all high on my list of favorites. In Connecticut, I like Mystic and Foxwoods Casino.
Love the finger lake area..... But travel up on route 84 in CT toward Mass..... There is nothing up there except woods, the hills and foliage.... The view is breath taking!
I've never been to the Keys, although I have visited Orlando, Cape Kennedy, Daytona and my favorite Florida city St. Augustine. I love the history and narrow streets and simply put, the festive atmosphere it offers. Humidity kills me though.
I've only been to the Panhandle of Texas but never farther south. Michigan's Great Lake shoreline is magnificent and I agree West Virginia is a very scenic state to visit, although I have never camped there.
This question and all the answers are making me want to hop on a motorcycle and hit the open road. It really is a magnificent country, and there are so many places I haven't been.