The Clear Signs Someone is a Tourist in Your State


Tourists often arrive with boundless enthusiasm and are camera–ready to capture every moment. Still, the little things—the misplaced umbrella, the bewildered look at a local menu, or the overly enthusiastic donning of cowboy hats—genuinely give them away. Charming quirks and comic faux pas in this collection expose visitors in each state.

Alabama: Barbecue Bewilderment


Sightseers in Alabama show themselves by their puzzled reactions to traditional Southern barbecue. They may express surprise at the vinegary tang of the sauce or question the tenderness of slow-cooked meats. These out-of-staters may struggle with the proper way to eat ribs or pulled pork, hesitantly using utensils when hands are the way to go.

Alaska: Aurora Excitement


Often, you can spot a newcomer to Alaska during the aurora borealis season by their inadequate nighttime attire, which fails to protect against freezing temperatures, unlike the appropriate gear worn by citizens. A captivating spectacle, the Northern Lights enthrall them far more than those accustomed to the phenomenon.

Arizona: Confusion Over Heat


Underestimating the desert heat, outsiders in Arizona quickly stand out. Lacking water bottles on short hikes in national parks, guests quickly feel the intense sun and dry conditions. Moreover, they might be more vigorously fanning or seeking shade than seasoned desert dwellers.

Arkansas: Diamond Digging Novices


At Arkansas’s famous Crater of Diamonds State Park, guests can be spotted by their overly enthusiastic yet inefficient methods of searching for gems. Residents approach the task with a practiced, methodical technique. On the other hand, outsiders leave sunburned and disappointed, not knowing the best times of day or strategies for finding diamonds.

California: Misjudged Wardrobe Choices


Many tourists in California are recognized for their inappropriate clothing for the microclimate, such as wearing shorts and sandals in foggy San Francisco. Overpriced hoodies become a necessity as they cope with the unexpected chill. It is prevalent on the iconic bridges where the chilly winds catch several by surprise.

Colorado: Struggling with Altitude


Folks new to Colorado find the high elevations challenging, evidenced by their breathlessness and fatigue upon minimal exertion. Guests may not realize the importance of hydrating and taking it slow their first few days at elevation. Contrarily, natives are acclimated and scour the heights with much ease.

Connecticut: Pizza Comparisons


Vacationers in Connecticut are mostly overheard comparing in-house pizza to New York or Chicago styles, not realizing the state’s proud tradition of its distinct pizza, especially from New Haven. Questioning the charred crusts or unique toppings, hallmarks of Connecticut’s pizzerias may occur.

Delaware: Tax-Free Shopping Spree


In Delaware, out-of-towners reveal themselves by their enthusiasm for tax-free shopping. Flocking to malls and outlets, visitors excitedly stack up purchases, utilizing the local knowledge of no added sales tax. You might hear them calculating savings aloud and marveling at the lower prices.

Florida: Sunscreen Skippers


Individuals visiting Florida underestimate the sun’s strength, resulting in noticeable sunburns. Regular beachgoers from the area understand the necessity of frequent sunscreen application and proper sun safety practices, mostly educating guests on the best sun protection methods.

Georgia: Mispronouncing Cities


Calling the city “Hotlanta” is a surefire way to identify travelers in Georgia. However, this outdated nickname isn’t used by citizens, who prefer “Atlanta” and pronounce it without emphasizing the ‘T’s. Sightseers tend to mispronounce other local place names, which amuses residents.

Hawaii: Lava Flow Fear

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In Hawaii, a cautious fascination with volcanic activity is mainly displayed, with hesitation near lava flows that are approached with respect but less fear by those familiar with the place, who know how to observe nature’s spectacle safely. Quick purchases of lava rock souvenirs occur, with many unaware of the cultural taboos against removing them.

Idaho: Potato Expectations


Visitors to Idaho sometimes show their tourist status by joking about potatoes or expecting potato-based meals everywhere they go, not realizing the state’s diverse agricultural and culinary terrain extends well beyond the spud. This anomaly leads to missed opportunities for regional specialties like trout or huckleberries.

Illinois: The “S” in Illinois


Outsiders frequently add an ‘s’ sound when pronouncing “Illinois,” a mistake natives never make, clearly indicating unfamiliarity with the area. Mispronouncing other names like “Des Plaines” amuses those recognizable with the correct pronunciations.

Indiana: Basketball Questions


A deep interest in basketball exposes those unfamiliar with Indiana—queries may involve high school gyms or the popular Hoosiers movie, which reveals only a surface-level understanding of the state’s rich sporting culture. Questions about well-known players or historical games are typical and reflect expectations that everyone shares their enthusiasm.

Iowa: Field of Dreams Queries

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Eagerness to visit the “Field of Dreams” movie site is typical in Iowa, with many asking for directions and details about the iconic baseball field, a symbol of Hollywood’s imprint on rural settings. Arrivals anticipate a bustling attraction but are met with the quiet simplicity of a cornfield.

Kansas: Tornado Misnomers

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Referring to tornadoes as “twisters” is a usual mistake by Kansas travelers, betraying their reliance on cinema myths rather than the regional vernacular, which prefers the straightforward ‘tornado.’ A naive excitement about storm chasing is expressed, with little knowledge of the dangers involved.

Kentucky: Bourbon Overload


Kentucky out-of-towners dive headfirst into bourbon tasting without pacing themselves or appreciating the subtleties of the craft, unlike locals who savor their state’s signature spirit with a seasoned method. At distilleries, the intense flavors and variety of choices visibly overwhelm them.

Louisiana: Mardi Gras Mix-Up

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Wearing Mardi Gras beads outside of the carnival season is a dead giveaway for a tourist in Louisiana. Natives don the colorful beads only during the festivities, keeping them tucked away at other times. Outsides buy these beads at souvenir shops and wear them year-round, sticking out in the crowd.

Maine: Lobster Missteps


In Maine, tourists are quickly identified at seafood shacks by how they tackle a whole lobster—often clumsily and with visible confusion. Hesitation to try delicacies like clams or mussels is also common. Meanwhile, dwellers enjoy each part of the meal while handling the crustacean with practiced ease.

Maryland: Crab Cake Critique


Vacationers in Maryland may be heard critiquing crab cakes based on their own seafood experiences. They do not realize the regional pride in this delicacy and the specific, cherished recipe that sets it apart. They expect larger cakes or different seasonings, not appreciating the traditional style.

Massachusetts: Historical Route Rigidity


Those exploring Massachusetts for the first time stick strictly to Boston’s Freedom Trail, following its marked paths and stopping at every heritage site. Locals may pass these landmarks daily while integrating historic appreciation seamlessly into their routine commutes.

Michigan: Confusing the Lakes

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Mixing up the Great Lakes’ names or underestimating their size and beauty sometimes exposes unfamiliarity with Michigan, a state whose residents profoundly acknowledge and understand these freshwater bodies. Several are struck by the water’s clarity, unaccustomed to such large, unspoiled freshwater bodies.

Minnesota: Climate Curiosity

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Out-of-staters in Minnesota express astonishment at the extreme weather, querying people about how they cope with the severe cold or unexpected summer heat. Citizens share insights on surviving and enjoying the climate extremes, from layering clothes to finding the most incredible spots during heat waves.

Mississippi: Blues Cluelessness

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A limited understanding of the blues might expose their tourist status in Mississippi. With assumptions that every bar or live music venue will fit stereotypical images of the genre, those knowledgeable about the locality appreciate its deep and varied musical heritage. Requests for famous songs frequently arise, and people do not acknowledge the rich diversity of live performances available.

Missouri: Arch Misjudgment


Those unfamiliar with Missouri are widely misinformed about the size of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Its monumental scale overwhelms newcomers when viewed up close, contrary to those used to its grandeur. The unique tram ride to the top surprises guests, as they do not expect the enclosed pods.

Montana: Bear Spray Overuse


Excessive reliance on bear spray is a clear sign they are not from Montana, with some carrying it conspicuously even in areas where encounters are rare. Those knowledgeable about the region use it judiciously, knowing its risks and appropriate times. Sightseers purchase large canisters, unaware of the correct methods for handling or storing them.

Nebraska: Cornfield Surprise


The vastness of Nebraska’s cornfields astonishes those new to the place. Unlike those who live with it daily, they do not grasp the scale of agriculture until seeing it firsthand. Some inquire about the various uses of corn, not comprehending its significant impact on the food and fuel industries.

Nevada: Vegas Strip Focus


A typical pattern among new arrivals in Nevada is sticking to the Las Vegas Strip, thereby missing the state’s rich history and diverse natural terrains. Inhabitants appreciate that there’s much more to see beyond the casino lights, mostly exploring heritage towns or the natural beauty of areas like Red Rock Canyon.

New Hampshire: Mount Washington Woes

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In New Hampshire, travelers tackle Mount Washington unprepared for its notorious weather changes, whereas people there respect its reputation and come equipped for sudden shifts in conditions. It leads to frequent rescues of underdressed or unprepared hikers who underestimate the mountain’s challenges.

New Jersey: Shoreline Expectations

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Many vacationers in New Jersey arrive with ideas about the Jersey Shore shaped by popular TV shows, expecting a nonstop party scene. Discovering the place’s family-friendly beaches and tranquil boardwalks creates a new appreciation for the state’s varied coastal offerings.

New Mexico: Chili Confusion


Choosing between “red” or “green” chili poses a dilemma for many in New Mexico, with “Christmas” being a popular choice to enjoy both. Such indecision is uncommon among those who have long settled their preferences. Some might also underestimate the spiciness of the chilis, finding the dishes more intense than expected.

New York: Times Square Cluelessness


New York guests commonly marvel at Times Square’s dazzling lights and dense crowds. In contrast, those familiar with the city opt for quieter, less crowded parts. Newcomers might also disrupt pedestrian traffic by standing still on busy sidewalks.

North Carolina: Barbecue Blunders


The pink hue of properly smoked barbecue meat mainly raises questions among those new to the state, who expect it to appear more “cooked” instead of knowing it is a sign of perfect smoking. Additionally, they request unusual sauce options, such as vinegar, in an area that favors tomato-based sauces.

North Dakota: Prairie Puzzlement


In North Dakota, the prairie terrain frequently confuses those unfamiliar with its expansive beauty. Questions about the absence of mountains or major landmarks are common, and the typical windy conditions can surprise visitors.

Ohio: Rock & Roll Rarity


An overwhelming excitement for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland usually signifies a newcomer. Those who live in Ohio treat the museum with a casual familiarity. Unlike newcomers, locals tend to be more subdued during visits, mainly in interactive exhibits.

Oklahoma: Storm Chaser Wannabes

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Several Oklahomans not accustomed to the area are excited by the potential sight of a tornado. In contrast, those experienced with the region’s weather approach blizzard threats cautiously. Furthermore, outsiders may inquire about the best storm-watching spots, unaware of the risks involved.

Oregon: Precipitation Preparation


Struggling with umbrellas in the rain is a clear sign of someone not from Oregon, as those accustomed to the place prefer practical rain jackets or accept the frequent drizzle. Umbrellas usually identify someone not native to this region, where drizzle is routine.

Pennsylvania: Cheesesteak Slip-Ups


Mispronouncing “Philly cheesesteak” and adding non-traditional toppings like lettuce or tomato are usual mistakes made by those new to Pennsylvania, particularly Philadelphia. Regulars call them cheesesteaks and know the best places to relish them authentically.

Rhode Island: Newport Naivety


The grandeur of Newport’s mansions astonishes those visiting Rhode Island for the first time, while those familiar with the history cherish the tales of its gilded past. Tourists may not anticipate the costs associated with local attractions, but they are surprised by the expense of tours and dining.

South Carolina: Tea Time Errors

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Mistaking the nature of sweet tea, either expecting it to resemble British tea or underestimating its sweetness, is a frequent error made by those new to South Carolina. Regulars enjoy this staple beverage at just the right sweetness and are aware to specify ‘unsweet’ if they prefer less sugar.

South Dakota: Rushmore Rush


Visitors to South Dakota often rush to Mount Rushmore without appreciating the surrounding Black Hills. Those who reside in the state understand its full historical and natural context, often exploring more than just the famous monument. Due to their focus, travelers also tend to miss other regional attractions like Custer State Park or the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Tennessee: Music City Missteps

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Tourists in Tennessee, particularly in Nashville, can be spotted sporting cowboy hats and boots, trying to blend in with the local music scene. Actual citizens wear such attire less conspicuously and usually only for specific occasions. Outsiders expect live country music at every venue, overlooking the city’s diverse musical offerings.

Texas: Misplaced Cowboy Gear


In Texas, new arrivals stand out by wearing cowboy boots and hats in ways that scream outsider. Whether it’s the style, fit, or just the overly enthusiastic display, the native population recognizes the faux pas immediately. Out-of-staters frequently miss the mark on how to wear these items correctly, tucking jeans into boots when it’s not the norm.

Utah: National Park Novices


Utah’s national parks attract out-of-staters who are unprepared for the rugged terrain, slip on improper footwear, or lack water supplies. At the same time, locals visit these majestic sites that are equipped for the conditions. Also, outsiders overlook the importance of carrying out all trash, a well-respected practice among those who live here.

Vermont: Flannel Faux Pas

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Those visiting Vermont can be spotted wearing pristine, stylish flannel, unlike inhabitants who sport functional, mud-splattered versions. Flannel attires of those who reside in Vermont don them as a practical response to the unpredictable weather, in contrast to those who sometimes misinterpret casual dress as a lack of fashion sense.

Virginia: Historic Misinterpretations


Some marvel at Virginia’s historical sites without understanding their full significance. Citizens have a deeper appreciation of their state’s rich history and national impact, while others focus only on the visual aspects, missing the more profound stories and significance.

Washington: Rain Gear Choices

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Non-locals in Washington, particularly in Seattle, reveal their unfamiliarity by opting for umbrellas in light rain. This choice contrasts with residents who usually wear rain jackets or brave the unprotected drizzle. Choosing an umbrella in Seattle almost guarantees identification as a visitor, as inhabitants typically prefer more practical rainwear.

West Virginia: River Rafting Overreactions


Newcomers to West Virginia show excitement and nervousness when facing the rapids on the state’s famous rivers, whereas natives approach these adventures with a calm, practiced readiness. The out-of-towners’ apprehension is visible, with exaggerated expressions and nervous laughter, which contrasts sharply with the composed demeanor of experienced rafters.

Wisconsin: Cheese Curd Curiosity


In Wisconsin, cheese curds intrigue travelers, questioning their squeakiness and flavor variety. Natives, familiar with the texture and taste, treat these as everyday snacks. Out-of-staters are sometimes puzzled about how to eat them or surprised by the cold serving temperature.

Wyoming: Wildlife Overenthusiasm


Newcomers to Wyoming are overly excited about wildlife sightings, stopping traffic for photos of animals that locals see regularly. This enthusiasm can lead to “wildlife jams,” much to the amusement of residents. They are not aware of safety distances and approach closer than recommended, which creates dangerous situations.

Written by Devin J