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50 Reasons Minnesota is the best state in America

Bratty gossip site Gawker is counting down the 50 Worst States in America and last week named Minnesota the 45th Worst.

That actually makes us the 6th Best, which isn't half bad, except that it's the blog equivalent of "damning with faint praise."

Big surprise: Gawker chose New York as the Best--relying on nepotism over logic and reminding us of all the times the Yankees beat the Twins.

But Gawker's evaluation was clearly performed by someone who never actually visited Minnesota--at best, they shopped at Mall of America during a layover between LA and NYC. Those of us who live here can tell you quite a few more advantages to living in flyover country (including: "no earthquakes").

Here are 50 Reasons Minnesota is the Best State in America. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

The Oregon Trail, invented by 3 Minnesotans
The Oregon Trail, invented by 3 Minnesotans

50. We invented Oregon Trail, the popular educational video game.

49. Thanks to the Hold Steady, Brooklyn hipsters are envious of our old haunts.

48. Some of the world's toughest fighters call Minnesota home, including Brock Lesnar.

47. We've hosted the Nationals for gymnastics twice in the past five years.

46. Still the only state to elect a professional wrestler as governor.

45. Jim Thome's 600.

44. Black Sabbath's first single was a cover of "Evil Woman" by Minneapolis's own Crow.

43. We're the birthplace of Zubaz.

42. We're home to Target, a major convenience for shoppers everywhere.

41. We've got famous drag queens: Several top contestants from RuPaul's Drag race got their start in Minnesota at the Gay 90s (Manila Luzon and season one winner BeBe Zahara Benet).

40. The Triple Rock Social Club -- for music itinerary and menu alike.

39. We're the birthplace of the original Zombie Pub Crawl.

38. Nationally renowned artists Alec Soth and Wing Young Huie are from Minnesota.

37. We excel at relaxing: everyone has a cabin at the lake.

36. Our huge selection of quality locally-made ice cream--Sebastian Joe's, Pumphouse Creamery, Izzy's, Crema Cafe, Grand Ole Creamery--probably beats every major city in the U.S.

35. We have the best, most plentiful cross-country ski trails of any urban area in the nation.

34. It's not too expensive to live here, and with 20 Fortune 500 companies in the state, there are also plenty of jobs.

50 Reasons Minnesota is the best state in America
Corndogs at the Minnesota State Fair
Photo by Kathy Easthagen

33. The MN State Fair is the largest 12-day event in North America.

32. The continued existence of Al's Breakfast.

31. We're the hipster state.

 

30. We've got a light rail that can zip you around to major destinations within the Twin Cities.

29. Riverboats. Bands. Booze. Yep, we know how to throw a good party, nautical style.

28. The 2008 Oscars were dominated by foreigners... and Minnesotans (the Coen brothers for writing, directing, and producing, and former City Pages writer Diablo Cody for writing).

27. When President Obama spoke recently in Cannon Falls, he started off his speech by commenting on the beautiful summer weather, inspiring some hearty Minnesotans to simply yell out, "Fishing!"
 
26. We vote: In 2010, 55.5 percent of Minnesotans hit the polls, tying with Maine for the highest voter turnout in the country.

25. Maplewood-based 3M is the innovative company behind the post-it note and Scotch tape -- and a half-dozen other things that make life easier and safer.

24. The world's best apple, Honeycrisp, was bred by U of M horticulturists.

23. We inspire eco-conscious drinking with Prairie Organic vodka locally distilled from Minnesota grain.

22.  Whether you're into rock, hip-hop, or dance music, we've got you covered. The Twin Cities has a note-worthy scene for all these genres.

Minnesota music luminaries
Minnesota music luminaries

 
21. We gave the world Prince and Bob Dylan.

20. People come from around the world to be treated at the Mayo Clinic.

19. Acme Comedy Club is a favorite venue -- and audience -- for touring comedians everywhere.

18. We really don't give a #@$% what you think of our accents.


17. We're home to the Walker Art Center, one of the most celebrated galleries in the world.

16. We have the greatest ballpark in the country.

15. The nation's top two independent book publishers are both in Minnesota. You can look for the 3rd best somewhere in Manhattan.

14. DIY art is part of our DNA.

13. We were deep-frying stuff back before it was cool. 

12. The University of Minnesota is the country's most affordable school located in the heart of a big city.

11. All of our excellent neighborhood bakeries: Rustica, Sun Street Breads, Turtle Bread,
Wuollet, and Patisserie 46.

 

10. We're a nationwide hub for indie hip-hop .

9. We have the Mall of America and laid down the first-ever indoor mall (Southdale).

8. Minneapolis is a great place to be gay.

7. We've got great a great tradition of local brewing, even beyond Summit and Surly. As Kanye might say: "I'm about to go HAMM's!"

6. We have our own sound, pioneered by Prince, Janet Jackson, Morris Day & The Time, Sheila E., and two of the world's best producers (Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis).

5. Our summers are packed with festivals

4. We host one of the best -- and most historic -- rock venues in the world, First Avenue.

3. We gave the nation two GOP candidates for president and wouldn't vote for either of them.

2. With 11,000 lakes (we're too modest in our state slogan), Minnesota has more shoreline than California, Hawaii and Florida combined.

1. We survive snow storms that can destroy stadiums, and unlike New Yorkers, we actually go out and shovel our neighbors' walk instead of whining all day on Twitter.


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