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Quotes About Each of the 50 States

Each of America's 50 states has its own government-appointed motto, nickname, and in most cases even a state song. But the United States has also long been a creative muse for writers, artists, and musicians, inspiring countless poems, novels, paintings, songs, and more written about the nation’s many faces.

From the golden coast of California to the bustling streets of New York, the stillness of the Southern states to the modest Midwest, endless ink has been spilled on the beauty, character, resilience, and history specific to regions all across the country. Here is a collection of quotes that capture the unique spirit of each of the 50 United States.

Alabama

While over Alabama earth these words are gently spoken: Serve, and hate will die unborn. Love, and chains are broken.
Langston Hughes

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Alaska

Nobody is accidentally in Alaska. The people who are in Alaska are there because they choose to be, so they’ve sort of got a real frontier ethic.
Marcus Sakey

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Arizona

In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is, in kind, absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.
Theodore Roosevelt

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Arkansas

If I could rest anywhere, it would be in Arkansas, where the men are the real half-horse, half-alligator breed such as grows nowhere else on the face of the earth.
Davy Crockett

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California

The future always looks good in the golden land, because no one remembers the past.
Joan Didion

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Colorado

Colorado is a grand seat to see the world from.
Will Rogers

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Connecticut

I was born and reared in Hartford, in the state of Connecticut. So I am a Yankee of the Yankees — and practical; yes, and nearly barren of sentiment, I suppose — or poetry in other words.
Mark Twain

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Delaware

Delaware is like a diamond, diminutive, but having within it inherent specific value.
John Lofland

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Florida

The very name Florida carried the message of warmth and ease and comfort. It was irresistible.
John Steinbeck

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Georgia

The best songs are the ones about Georgia. Even though I've never been there, it's the only place I still believe in Jesus.
Buddy Wakefield

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Hawaii

In what other land save this one is the commonest form of greeting not “Good day,” nor “How d'ye do,” but “Love"? That greeting is “Aloha” — love, I love you, my love to you.
Jack London

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Idaho

I think probably one of the important things that happened to me was growing up in Idaho in the mountains, in the woods, and having a very strong presence of the wilderness around me. That never felt like emptiness. It always felt like presence.
Marilynne Robinson

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Illinois

Illinois is perhaps the most American of all the states. It's the U.S.A. in a capsule. Here our virtues and our faults are most exaggerated and magnified … and the capacity for greatness is as limitless as the sweep of unending cornfields.
Clyde Brion Davis

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Indiana

As an outsider looking in, I think about Indiana basketball and it not only has championships, but championship tradition.
Kelvin Sampson

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Iowa

I had to go to France to appreciate Iowa.
Grant Wood

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Kansas

When I write, I aim in my mind not toward New York but toward a vague spot a little to the east of Kansas.
John Updike

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Kentucky

To be born in Kentucky is a heritage; to brag about it is a habit; to appreciate it is a virtue.
Irvin S. Cobb

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Louisiana

Whatever story you're telling in Louisiana, the landscape is going to become a character in it.
Nic Pizzolatto

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Maine

Maine is a joy in the summer. But the soul of Maine is more apparent in the winter.
Paul Theroux

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Maryland

Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man's habitation.
John Smith

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Massachusetts

A man may stand there and put all America behind him.
Henry David Thoreau

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Michigan

Michigan is the skyscraper, the mass production line, and the frantic rush into what the machine will someday make of all of us, and at the same time, it is golden sand, blue water, green pine trees on empty hills, and a wind that comes down from the cold spaces.
Bruce Catton

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Minnesota

What a glorious new Scandinavia might Minnesota become! The climate, the situation, the character of the scenery agrees with our people.
Fredrika Bremer

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Mississippi

When you’re in Mississippi, the rest of America doesn’t seem real. And when you’re in the rest of America, Mississippi doesn’t seem real.
Bob Parris Moses

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Missouri

In me, you have Missouri morals, Connecticut culture; this, gentlemen, is the combination which makes the perfect man.
Mark Twain

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Montana

Of all the memorable views, the best have been framed by Montana windows.
William Hjortsberg

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Nebraska

The plains of Nebraska was a world almost without a feature; an empty sky, an empty earth, front and back, the line of the railway stretched from horizon to horizon, like a cue across a billiard-board; one either hand, the green plain ran till it touched the skirts of heaven.
Robert Louis Stevenson

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Nevada

Neon looks good in Nevada.
John McPhee

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New Hampshire

Thanks to the morning light, thanks to the seething sea. To the uplands of New Hampshire, to the green-haired forest free.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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New Jersey

Everything is legal in New Jersey.
Lin-Manuel Miranda

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New Mexico

It was New Mexico that liberated me from the present era of civilization, the great era of material and mechanical development.
D.H. Lawrence

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New York

Once you have lived in New York and made it your home, no place else is good enough.
John Steinbeck

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North Carolina

If indeed there exists a physical heaven, I hope it is patterned after North Carolina between the summer hours of 6 and 8 a.m.
Ted McLaurin

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North Dakota

Freely admitted is the rural character of the state, and there is seldom an attempt to cover native crudites with a veneer of Eastern culture.
Federal Writers’ Project

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Ohio

In northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
LeBron James

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Oklahoma

Anything can have happened in Oklahoma. Practically everything has.
Edna Ferber

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Oregon

Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by our state's beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens
Tom McCall

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Pennsylvania

The things that truly last when men and times have passed, they are all in Pennsylvania this morning!
Rudyard Kipling

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Rhode Island

The town was Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.A., Earth, Solar System, Milky Way.
Kurt Vonnegut

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South Carolina

The South Carolinian has fire in his head, comfort in his middle, and a little lead in his feet.
Federal Writers’ Project

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South Dakota

This is one of the few places I have ever seen where the night was friendlier than the day. And I can easily see how people are driven back to the Badlands. In the night the Badlands had become the Good Lands. I can’t explain it. That’s how it was.
John Steinbeck

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Tennessee

Tennessee is the mother of Texas. We have never discovered who the father was.
Tex Ritter

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Texas

The Texas country that I know is the plains. At night you could drive away from the town, right out into space. And when the sunset was gone, you turned around and went back, lighted by the light of the town.
Georgia O’Keeffe

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Utah

As we crossed the Colorado-Utah border I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, “Pass here and go on, you’re on the road to heaven.”
Jack Kerouac

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Vermont

All in all, Vermont is a jewel state, small but precious.
Pearl S. Buck

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Virginia

On the whole I find nothing anywhere else in point of climate which Virginia need envy to any part of the world.
Thomas Jefferson

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Washington

Washington is nicknamed the “Evergreen State” because it sounds better than the “Incessant Nagging Drizzle State.”
Dave Barry

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West Virginia

Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain mama. Take me home, country roads.
John Denver

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin is the soul of a great people. She manifests the spirit of the conqueror, whose strength has subdued the forest, quickened the soil, harvested the forces of nature and multiplied production. From her abundance she serves food to the world.
Fred L. Holmes

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Wyoming

Wyoming seems to be the doing of a mad architect — tumbled and twisted, ribboned with faded, deathbed colors, thrust up and pulled down as if the place had been startled out of a deep sleep and thrown into a pure light.
Gretel Ehrlich

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Featured image credit: CSA Images via Getty Images

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About the Author
Nicole Villeneuve
Nicole is a writer, thrift store lover, and group-chat meme spammer based in Ontario, Canada.
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