18 Ugliest States in America

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, some states notably lack diverse natural landscapes and breathtaking scenery. With excessive urban sprawl or flat topography, these states are better known for their unique cultures than their landscapes. Here are 18 of the ugliest states in America.


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The Hawkeye State is infamous for its rolling landscape and endless farmland. Thrillist mocks the state for being “flat… and kinda boring” but admits that its northeast corner has some “pretty cliffs.”


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Delaware also has a flat landscape devoid of parkland. Frenzhub argues that with “its seemingly endless stretches of flat, featureless land, it’s almost as if Mother Nature herself dozed off while designing it.”


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The Hoosier State has endless cornfields and not much else. While northern Indiana has views of Lake Michigan and its southern border has rolling hills, the state lacks ample parkland, mainly consisting of cornfields.


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The Prairie State does boast an impressive skyline in Chicago. The rest of the state mainly consists of corn and soybean fields. The harsh winters that blanket the state in snow can be scenic, but overall, the state is a bit bland.


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Bestlife argues the Old Line State is the fourth most ugly state in America, citing its low percentage of parkland (1.28 percent), with only 46 state parks and 48 landfill sites. Its coast and western half have beautiful areas, but its central areas suffer from urban sprawl.


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The Keystone State has rolling hills in its western and central areas and a decent amount of state parks, but its eastern side is dominated by Philadelphia’s urban sprawl. But the state does boast the Allegheny National Forest and a stretch of the Appalachian Mountains.


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Thrillist contends that “Ohio has an honestly fair reputation as both flat and unforgettable.” The state also has a very low percentage of parkland, 0.77. But the Buckeye State does have over 300 miles of coastline, including Lake Erie and Pike Lake State Park.


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The World Population Review argues that “Louisiana has the 2nd worst green rating in the United States, a measly 0.10% of total acreage dedicated to parkland, 37 landfills, and 38.7 tons of trash per capita.” While the state offers excellent fishing, its low-lying position and proximity to the Mississippi River leave it vulnerable to flooding.


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Oklahoma does have beautiful sunsets but has an uninspiring, flat terrain that can seem endless and undistinguishable. But it’s not all monotonous: its eastern border with Arkansas has a more diverse mix of vibrant hills and lush forests.

Rhode Island

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This northeastern state is the smallest in the country, with just over a million inhabitants, and is often overshadowed by its better-known neighbors. The World Population Review notes that in Little Rhody, “there are only six thousand acres of parkland out of the 778,000, which is only 0.84% of the state.”


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Frenzhub describes the Cornhusker State as “a place where the horizon stretches out in flat, monotonous splendor, and the most exciting topography you’re likely to find is the occasional rolling hill.” But Nebraska does offer a peaceful, rural charm and the Nebraska National Forest.


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While some people see beauty in Kansas’s vast open plains and endless sunflower fields, others find it boring. But the Sunflower State does have hills and forests on its eastern side, offering visitors hiking trails.


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Nevada is most famous for Las Vegas, the self-billed “Entertainment Capital of the World” that attracts millions of visitors annually. The state also shares Lake Tahoe with California, with lakeside casino resorts. However, Nevada’s uninspiring desert scenes and poor architecture in Reno leave more to be desired.

North Dakota

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North Dakota features flat, expansive plains that freeze over during the winter months. However, this cold state does feature Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a diverse mix of scenic drives, hiking, and camping.

New Jersey

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Frenzhub wonders, “If unchecked urban sprawl and endless turnpikes make you cringe, then the Garden State might leave you feeling underwhelmed.” But the state also features rolling hills, beaches, glacial lakes, and the Palisades.


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The Constitution State is the third smallest and is mostly flat with nondescript suburbs and urban areas. Other states in the area overshadow the state, but it does have some quaint coastal towns and unique architecture.


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Just 0.23 percent of Georgia is parkland, and the state has 77 landfill sites. Despite this, the Peach State has some mountains north of Atlanta and scenic beaches in the south, but it is overshadowed by its neighbor, Florida.


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Thrillist argues that Missouri’s “sprawling center is a less agriculturally fatigued transition between Illinois and Kansas” but contends that the state’s south is more scenic, with “ruddy hills” in the Lake of the Ozarks area.

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