Thrillist gives Michigan bragging rights as best state

The Detroit News

That other state might have the top-ranked college football team, but Michigan takes the top spot in a cheeky ranking of states.

In what Thrillist is calling its Definitive and Final Ranking of all 50 States, our dual peninsulas are rated the best, way ahead of our Midwestern neighbors.

Michigan's greatest strengths, the list's compilers say, lie in the state as a whole.

"Far too much of the Michigan narrative centers on Detroit and its many issues," list authors Kevin Alexander and Matt Lynch say. "The Motor City's become a scrappily rising underdog you can't help but root for."

As for the rest of the state, Thrillist points out it has more coastline than any other state except Alaska, craft beer brewing is hot, "the U.P. is so remote and uniquely beautiful that it almost feels like a secret 51st state where they inexplicably love British meat pies," and residents apologize for entertainer Kid Rock.

In a tip of the hat to the immensely popular Pure Michigan ads, the writers conclude: "You should listen to the dulcet tones of Michigan tourism pitchman, Tim Allen, and get yourself there immediately."

Thrillist, as its name implies, is known for its lists, such as 14 Best Spanish Restaurants in America (none in Michigan), 10 Sexiest Countries on Earth, 10 Awesomely Bad Songs You Can Only Listen to at Closing Time and Every Muppet That Matters, Ranked.

Although the state ranking might not be objective, residents and officials are proud of Michigan's placement.

"We've all known that Michigan is the place to be, and it's nice to hear other people discover at what we have, the things we can offer residents and visitors and most importantly, the wonderful people who live here," said Gov. Rick Snyder, who tweeted about the ranking Monday.

The listing is "great exposure" and "a really great representation of the diversity that Michigan has to offer," said Michelle Grinnell, public relations manager at Travel Michigan, which started the national Pure Michigan campaign in 2009.

"We are excited to see that the rest of the country is starting to recognize what we in Michigan know is so great about our state," she said. "I think for people who haven't thought about Michigan before, it's a way to trigger that interest."

To be on top one of a lists, even if it's done in fun, gives Michiganians bragging rights. Like this: That state to our south, the one whose football fans need to prove they can spell their state's complicated four-letter name? Spell this: We're No. 48.

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