However industrious its residents may be, every corner of the country values leisure. Some states, in fact, are virtually synonymous with certain ways of blowing off steam: Florida’s golf courses beckon to tourists, and Utah’s slopes are the envy of skiers everywhere. But while these pleasures may seem ideal to visitors, their appeal may be more limited for long-term residents. Who could blame locals for feeling their state’s most famed activities get a bit old after a while?
We put this theory to the test, asking more than 2,500 Americans hailing from every state the most overrated pastimes in their areas. We also asked them which activities were the most underrated in their states, discovering pursuits that outsiders might ignore. Keep reading to see how locals in each state prefer their leisure.
The Most Overrated Hobbies in America
Residents of some states seized this opportunity to renounce the activities typically associated with their areas. This was particularly true in the world of team sports, with Indiana residents renouncing their deep “Hoosier” roots, Alabamians dismissing football, and Massachusetts locals disavowing their baseball devotion, despite Boston’s deep affection for its Red Sox. In other places, less organized forms of exercise were dismissed: Californians and Hawaiians felt the virtues of local surfing were overstated, and Floridians regarded golf in similar terms.
In a handful of Northeastern states, skiing was rated the most overrated activity, as it was in Montana, Colorado, and Utah as well. Hunting was another activity named by residents of multiple states, including in the Dakotas, Virginias, and Texas. Other places seemed to resent their reputations for certain vices. In Wisconsin, which regularly rates among the nation’s heaviest drinking states, locals said getting drunk wasn’t all that fun. Meanwhile, residents of Nevada and New Jersey both picked gambling. While Las Vegas and Atlantic City may each attract droves of tourists willing to roll the dice, those who live close by may find that the house always wins.
The Most Underrated Hobbies in America
It’s hard to miss the trend visible from coast to coast: From Maine to California, residents of most states said hiking was the most underappreciated in their area. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised locals are getting in on what visitors love. According to one recent study, hiking has surpassed more exotic adventure activities such as scuba diving to become the most popular option for active travelers. While many Western states have long been renowned for their exceptional hiking, the activity was ranked most underrated by all but one state along the East Coast.
That lone exception was Florida, the country’s flattest state; residents there selected kayaking and biking instead. In the handful of other places where hiking did not prevail, fishing was often preferred. It was voted the most underrated activity by residents of four states and tied for first in three others. This may seem more sensible for states that border the ocean, including Mississippi and Louisiana. But in landlocked Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming, freshwater options seemed to keep residents content.
Use the search box in the interactive table below for a side-by-side comparison of the most overrated and underrated hobbies in your state. Search for a hobby to create a list of the other states where people think the same activities should be more/less popular.
|State||Overrated Hobby||Underrated Hobby|
|Iowa||Farming/Hunting (Tied)||Fishing/Biking (Tied)|
|South Carolina||Football/Hunting (Tied)||Hiking|
Despite the strong sentiments revealed by our results, no one else’s opinion matters when it comes to your downtime. Wherever you live, pursue the pastime you find most fulfilling – hopefully, opportunities abound in your local area. But if you’re looking for a new source of excitement, don’t overlook the unexpected possibilities around you. Be it hiking, hunting, or biking, your state may offer you more chances to stay active than you imagine.
There is one activity sure to drive you crazy, though: Searching endlessly through apartment listings without getting anywhere. That’s why RENTCafé offers up-to-the-minute records of the hottest rentals in your area, with all the information you’ll need to jump on the perfect place. Start exploring your options today, and tell your realtor to take a hike.
To create the charts shown above, we surveyed 2,587 Americans in all 50 states solicited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Reddit postings for states with inadequate Mturk responses. We asked individuals to only answer questions relating to their primary state of residence. We asked the same series of questions and collected short-answer responses from each respondent. We then analyzed the answers and organized and grouped similar answers where appropriate. We did our best to collect similar amounts of residents from each state, although some states had more representation than others. All states had at least 30 responses, but some had more than others due to response rates in certain states. Counts of responses from each state listed in the table below:
The content above is intended solely as entertainment and should not be considered an academic, scientific, or educational piece. While the content above was collected, analyzed, and presented as accurately as possible, there are limitations to our findings. While we did our best to include all answers, the variation in answers, spellings, and interpretation of responses was largely subjective. We could not ask those surveyed follow-up questions as to the meaning of their answers, so some groupings and judgment calls were made as to the meaning of answers. Because of the sample size, these figures may not represent the opinions of all members of a state and are only a small sampling.
Fair Use Statement
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