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Adam Knapp

Is Oklahoma One of the Ugliest States?

By September 29, 2011

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Obviously, I try to stay as informed as possible about our city and state, utilizing a number of tools, alerts and such to monitor news, articles and other information from across the web. Some of it is reputable, but much of it certainly is not. One thing that caught my eye recently was a commentary from the SF International Travel Examiner writer entitled "The 5 Ugliest States in America". Sure enough, Oklahoma was included.

Now my first instinct with stuff like this is to simply roll my eyes and move on. And initially, that's exactly what I did, thinking that snippets such as "infinite, lonely flatness" and "this state (along with its neighbor Kansas) is where the modern world goes to die" indicates the writer has probably been to one area of Oklahoma at most, read some internet criticism and then cranked out an article. However, one of my colleagues, Guide to US Travel Melanie Renzulli, came to the defense of the so-called ugly states, and I became curious what others think.

Personally, I think Oklahoma has a number of extremely beautiful areas, but of course I might not be objective. The middle of the state is certainly flat and covered in red dirt, but there's a great deal of variety to this state's landscape, from the green hills of the northeast to the many picturesque lakes. But what do you think? Do we belong with the ugliest of the ugly in the United States?

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September 30, 2011 at 10:38 am
(1) KIM says:

Apparently this person is either blind, never left the Highway or is a total city dweller! I grew up in Arizona…vast desert, mountains etc…one type of beauty….Oklahoma has been my home for 30 years now and I cannot imagine a more beautiful place…Lake Murray, Eufaula, the infinite flat plains…The sunsets and the PEOPLE! This is a GREAT state and one of uncommon beauty…They need to come back and really check it out!

October 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm
(2) Ross says:

Hi, Adam,

It appears to me that the reviewer has not seen most of OK. Oklahoma City is truly an aesthetically pleasing city,
vastly improved after the MAPS plan was successfully

Tulsa and Grand Lake of the Cherokees are breath-taking
as are many other places of interest within the state.

Sounds as though the article was part of a rush to
judgement, which is almost never complete in its facts.
Also, the bad press of previous years could have played
a part in the bias of the report.

I live in Dallas, though I was born in OKC, graduated from
OCU, and have seen those bad ‘ol days with my own eyes,
when we really didn’t have a leg to stand on in defending
Oklahoma”s beauty.

Thanks so much for your newsletter. I just subscribed and
enjoy it immensely!

October 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(3) Roger says:

The writer is nuts. I live in Hawaii but spent 3 weeks in OK this summer for the first time. Beautiful state.

October 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm
(4) Alisha says:

If you came through Oklahoma in the winter, and never left I-40, it would not have much appeal; however, we are RICH in geographical settings, and they must have missed all that.

October 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm
(5) W. Post says:

Living in the Netherlands, europe, my wife and i visited OK in 2009. My brother and his wife live in OKC in Putnam Heights, and we have very pleasant memories regarding out trip to OK. The people, the places, everything..

OK is OK, as far as we are concerned.

October 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm
(6) A. H. Easley says:

Oklahoma is a beautiful state. I now live in San Antonio, Texas. I just returned from Okla. City after attending my school reunion in Midwest City. I grew up in Okla around what is now Midwest City. I remember the dust bowl days as a kid and during those days you might say it was a little ugly then. North of Okla. City had deep red gullies. It really looked bad then. Now all the land has been reclaimed. It relly a beautiful State. Who ever said it is ugly has rocks in their head.

October 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm
(7) Paul says:

I was born & raised in Southern California. I have lived in Oregon and Texas but Oklahoma is my home.

I was enchanted with the state when I met a wonderful Oklahoma City woman while living in South Texas back in 1982. Her tell tale accent drew me to become a close friend.
I came to OKC for a visit in 1984 and moved here in 1988.

The only part of the state I have not explored is the Panhandle (That will come in time…) and I can agree that the diversity of the landscape is one of our greatest treasures. The other is of course, Oklahomans.

Sure, she may get a little too hot and a little too breezy at times but I love her!

October 4, 2011 at 4:07 am
(8) Island Lover says:

Yes, Oklahoma is a very ugly state even when one considers its “beauty”…..it’s just not enough to entice me to return there. For years I have said there is nothing exciting about OK except for its people…very kind and friendly….not true anymore especially after the Murray Building disaster. Also, why do so many Okies wear a t-shirt sizes way too small? Ugh! It just adds to the overall ugliness of the place. People, get out of your boxes and see other places…no! Don’t! Stay right where you are and I will stay right where I am…on a sub-tropical island!

October 4, 2011 at 7:42 am
(9) G Lowell says:

I love Oklahoma City -I was born and raised there -I return every year to visit and wish I had never left -

April 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm
(10) Jayme says:

I agree with Island Lover – Oklahoma is an ugly state. The orange clay and lack of trees is bleak and dismal-looking. Whenever I first saw Lake Thunderbird, I thought of the chocolate river from the Willy Wonka film(s).
In Missouri, we have gorgeous hills, loads of trees, and beautiful rivers and lakes.

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