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The Best Grilled Cheese in All 50 States

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A warm, gooey grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Heating bread and cheese may sound simple, but making the perfect grilled cheese can be an art form, requiring careful attention to ingredient ratios and temperature. But don’t blame us if you suddenly have a serious hankering for some melted cheese—try one of these top sandwiches.

1. ALABAMA // MELT

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

With a food truck affectionately called Matilda and a storefront in Avondale, Melt is Alabama’s top spot for grilled cheese. Served on thick Texas toast, the Classic Melt contains the perfect blend of American, Monterey Jack, and cheddar cheeses. To bring the decadence up a notch, get the Mac Melt, which has glorious mac-n-cheese inside a grilled cheese.

2. ALASKA // SPENARD ROADHOUSE

Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Head to this restaurant and bar for one of the best grilled cheeses in "The Last Frontier." Melted havarti and sharp cheddar are sandwiched between sourdough bread, and customers have the option to add grilled apple and bacon (do it!).

3. ARIZONA // TOASTED

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Offering a dozen grilled cheese varieties, this gastropub is a grilled cheese lover’s dream. The traditional 'Merika is made with cheddar and American cheese, and the Fat Elvis comes with white cheddar, bacon, peanut butter, strawberry jelly, and a banana. You can substitute pretzel bread, vegan provolone, or vegan cheddar on any sandwich, and if you haven't had a dairy overload yet, add a side of Wisconsin fried cheese curds, or take an ice cream sandwich to go.

4. ARKANSAS // THE MAIN CHEESE

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

This spot in a West Little Rock shopping center offers gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with a variety of optional add-ons, such as pickled peppers, avocado, corned beef, and pesto. Served on a wheat berry grain bread, the Main Cheese sandwich comes with a whopping six cheeses—Swiss, provolone, Muenster, aged cheddar, havarti, and pepper jack.

5. CALIFORNIA // SWEET BUTTER KITCHEN

Location: Sherman Oaks, California

Started by a caterer and her husband, Sweet Butter Kitchen is acclaimed for its baked goods and cute patio herb garden. But the SB Grilled Cheese is in a class of its own. Served on rustic millstone bread, the sandwich comes with roasted cherry tomatoes, basil aioli, and a side of shoestring French fries.

6. COLORADO // TOM'S URBAN

Location: Denver, Colorado

This Larimer Square eatery (there are also a few locations in other U.S. cities) doesn’t focus exclusively on grilled cheese, but that doesn't mean their Grilled Fig Jam and 3 Cheese isn’t the best in all of Colorado. A delectable combination of Brie, fontina, and havarti is melted with Croatian fig jam, and it’s all melted between buttered and toasted sourdough.

7. CONNECTICUT // BLEU SQUID BAKERY AND CHEESE SHOP

Location: Mystic, Connecticut

Bleu Squid is a cafe, bakery, and cheese shop all in one. While the cupcakes are heavenly, the cafe’s grilled cheese menu offers plenty of tempting options, from the Original Grown-up Grilled Cheese to the Lobster Grilled Cheese. Because the cheese shop has cheeses from around the world, customers who order a grilled cheese can enjoy everything from havarti, fontina, Muenster, mozzarella, and bleu cheese in their sandwiches.

8. DELAWARE // OLDBANKS CRAFT BISTRO

Location: Wilmington, Delaware

If you’re near Trolley Square and find yourself craving comfort food, the grilled cheese at Oldbanks Craft Bistro will hit the spot. The sourdough sandwich, with melted mozzarella and provolone, is extra scrumptious with the addition of grilled pepperoni and a tomato fondue, a playful twist on tomato soup.

9. FLORIDA // NEW YORK GRILLED CHEESE

Location: Multiple locations, Florida

Despite its name, New York Grilled Cheese is strictly a Sunshine State institution. With locations in Wilton Manors and Boca Raton, the restaurant serves grilled cheeses made in a waffle press. Get the Broadway Classic, a baked sourdough grilled cheese brushed with garlic butter and filled with gooey American and Swiss cheese. Or, if you want to add some protein, the Brooklyn Porkster adds in slow-roasted barbeque pork.

10. GEORGIA // BUCKHEAD DINER

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Buckhead Diner is an Atlanta favorite, and for good reason. The diner serves four grilled cheeses that come with delicious accouterments such as bacon, fried eggs, Granny Smith apples, and grilled vegetables. But the simplest—a Four Cheese Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, served on parmesan crusted egg bread—is perfect for when you just need some classic southern comfort.

11. HAWAII // THE NOOK

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

At this neighborhood bistro, the Roasted Mushroom Grilled Cheese gives hungry customers a true taste of paradise. Cheddar, smoked Gouda, and fontina are melted on a baguette and served with Ali'i mushrooms, bacon, caramelized onions, and mushroom au jus. To round out your meal, order a side of the polenta fries, which come with a blue cheese and balsamic aioli or a spicy Sriracha aioli.

12. IDAHO // BLEUBIRD

Location: Boise, Idaho

Owned by a husband and wife duo, Bleubird has a menu that changes seasonally. But the grilled cheese is a favorite that’s thankfully available year round. Made with melted Brie, Gruyere, and cheddar, the sandwich will rock your taste buds with the addition of fig preserves, caramelized onion, and Dijon aioli.

13. ILLINOIS // BIG & LITTLE'S

Location: Chicago, Illinois

With restaurants in River North, Wicker Park, and Lakeview, Big & Little’s has a strong presence in the Windy City. While their variety of fish tacos are great, their real gem is the Deep Fried Grilled Cheese, a beer-battered grilled cheese sandwich made with your choice of American or Swiss cheese.

14. INDIANA // MILKTOOTH

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

This superb fine diner in Fletcher Place serves unique brunch dishes made with the freshest ingredients. The cranberry walnut and Caerphilly cheddar grilled cheese, served with black truffle honey and a local sunny duck egg, is truly a work of art.

15. IOWA // THE CHEESE SHOP OF DES MOINES

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

This mecca for fromage lovers offers customers more than 100 artisan and farmhouse cheeses. While the cheese shop caters events and makes gift boxes, head to the café for a Classic Toastie, a grilled cheese made with Milton Creamery quark and Prairie Breeze & Frisian Farms Gouda. Optional add-ons are creative and include pickled shallots, arugula pesto, quince paste, almond butter, and olive tapenade.

16. KANSAS // MONARCH

Location: Wichita, Kansas

Next to the Delano District’s big clock tower, Monarch has an extensive bourbon menu and a Gold Rush Grilled Cheese worth its weight in gold. Made with smoked provolone and cheddar on baked focaccia, the sandwich comes with your choice of meat (smoked in-house every day) and side (we recommend the BBQ potato chips).

17. KENTUCKY // TOAST ON MARKET

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

This breakfast and lunch spot offers four inventive grilled cheeses, all served with a bowl of roasted tomato soup. If you’re a grilled cheese purist, opt for the simple Three Cheese sandwich, with melted mozzarella, baby Swiss, and provolone. If you want a kick of heat, though, get the Spicy Chipotle, which is made with sharp cheddar, red onions, chipotle, and molasses.

18. LOUISIANA // COWBELL

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

At Cowbell, the Adult Style Grilled Cheese is perfectly crispy on the outside and exquisitely gooey on the inside. Goat cheese is melted on rustic Italian country bread, and asparagus spears are so long that they stick out of the sandwich. A house-made tomato jam nicely rounds out the dish.

19. MAINE // THE GREAT LOST BEAR

Location: Portland, Maine

The impressive selection of craft beers at this bar and grill may attract some first-timers, but the grilled cheese turns them into loyal customers. The Almighty Cheesus Burger, sans bun, consists of a half pound of char-grilled Angus beef served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes add some much needed crunch.

20. MARYLAND // PAPERMOON DINER

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

At Papermoon Diner, the vibe is eccentric and the menu is eclectic. Served on grilled multigrain seed bread, the grilled cheese comes with arugula, a savory artichoke and Asiago cheese spread, and French fries. The diner has such devoted fans that it sells merchandise such as T-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // THE NEW WORLD TAVERN

Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts

This gastropub will open up your taste buds to a whole new world. Sip one of their hundreds of craft beers while you wait for your New World Grilled Cheese, an upscale Gouda and Gruyere combination with apple onion spread and quince paste on brioche with a side of honey truffle dipping sauce.

22. MICHIGAN // THE GRILLCHEEZERIE

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

If you ever wonder how to make a grilled cheese even cheesier, look no further than the S’mac and Cheese at this family-run sandwich shop. Artisan white bread envelopes a mass of melted aged cheddar and three-cheese macaroni. For a lighter option, go with The Shroom, a whole-wheat sandwich with an herbed goat cheese spread, Muenster, roasted wild mushrooms, and parsley pesto.

23. MINNESOTA // THE LOWBROW

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

There’s nothing lowbrow about the grilled cheese at this neighborhood restaurant, which specializes in cooking comfort food from scratch. The sandwich’s combination of aged Wisconsin cheddar and Swiss provides the perfect filling, which you can supplement with anything from bacon and avocado to red onions and jalapeño.

24. MISSISSIPPI // THE CAMP

Location: Natchez, Mississippi

Spending time in The Camp’s outdoor beer garden or on the porch overlooking the Mississippi River is blissful and relaxing. And the restaurant’s Grilled Cheese, with melted provolone and American on homemade bread, adds to the heavenly experience. For a slightly less traditional grilled cheese, get the Pimento Grilled Cheese, which comes with crab-boil seasoned fried onions.

25. MISSOURI // THE ROYALE

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

This neighborhood restaurant and bar in South City serves a Top Shelf Grilled Cheese that will make you feel like royalty. Provolone and cheddar combine with tomatoes and pesto to make a mouthwatering sandwich filling, which is served on white bread from a local bakery.

26. MONTANA // THE GARAGE SOUP SHACK & MESQUITE GRILL

Location: Bozeman, Montana

Housed in a former auto mechanic garage, The Garage Soup Shack & Mesquite Grill is a local favorite for its friendly service and tasty food. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese is a three cheese sandwich that comes with tomato and bacon, and you can choose between Texas toast and ciabatta for your bread.

27. NEBRASKA // BLOCK 16

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

This spot in downtown Omaha makes street-style food from quality, locally sourced ingredients. Each day, the chef offers a special grilled cheese sandwich, which includes combinations of cheeses such as Muenster, garlic herb Boursin, Gouda, provolone, and local white cheddar. Depending on the day, the sandwich might be loaded with rhubarb jam, house pickles, or thick cut bacon.

28. NEVADA // FAT CHOY

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Located inside the Eureka Casino, Fat Choy is an Asian-American diner that serves comfort food in the desert. The Shortrib Grilled Cheese—with onion jam, cheddar, provolone, and tomato dip—is savory, creamy, and decadent.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // THE FRIENDLY TOAST

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Once you see the bright green walls and eclectic artwork on the walls of The Friendly Toast, you know you’re somewhere special. Get the spicy D.G.G.C. (damn good grilled cheese), a cheddar and American sandwich on cayenne-cheddar bread that comes with an olive-garlic spread and a side of strawberry habanero sauce.

30. NEW JERSEY // THIRD & VINE

Location: Jersey City, New Jersey

This cheese and wine tavern is the real deal. A chef and fromager oversee the Hot Cheese Sandwiches, which range from the American (a blend of four domestic cheeses) to the Croque Madame (Gruyere, Mortadella, Béchamel, egg, and truffle). Stinky cheese lovers should order The Stinker, a grilled cheese made with Taleggio, Grayson, onions, and English mustard.

31. NEW MEXICO // STANDARD DINER

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Founded by three brothers in 2006, downtown Albuquerque’s Standard Diner is the best place for a modern take on comfort food. Their grilled cheese is made with melted white cheddar, smoked Gouda, and Gruyere, and a bourbon-bacon marmalade adds sweet, savory notes to the gooey cheese.

32. NEW YORK // LITTLE MUENSTER

Location: New York, New York

With a store in downtown Manhattan and a small takeout-only spot in Brooklyn, Little Muenster is a grilled cheese haven for New Yorkers craving some melted cheese goodness. Choose between five grilled cheese sandwiches, from the classic (with white American or cheddar) to the extravagant (with Maine Lobster). Don’t miss the perfectly balanced French Onion grilled cheese, which features Gruyere aged in a cave, caramelized onions, and arugula.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // DISH

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Dish proves that down-home southern comfort food is simply the best. Because the restaurant lets customers choose their bread and cheese, there’s a grilled cheese to match whatever mood you’re in. We suggest getting a sandwich on marble rye or multi-grain bread with Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // PEACOCK ALLEY

Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

Opened in 1933 after the end of Prohibition, Peacock Alley has history built into its walls. The restaurant was a former hotel that hosted presidents from Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy. Made with Bread Poets wheat bread from a local bakery and a mixture of five cheeses—provolone, Swiss, American, white cheddar, and mozzarella—the grilled cheese is just as impressive as the building’s history.

35. OHIO // TOMMY'S RESTAURANT

Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio

It began as a seven-seat soda fountain in 1972, and today Tommy’s Restaurant seats 125 people. The extensive Toasted Cheese section of the menu is a huge draw, and hungry customers can order a grilled Muenster sandwich with unique additions such as sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and homemade peanut butter.

36. OKLAHOMA // THE TAVERN

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Located in the hip Brady Arts District, The Tavern is the best spot to chew on a gooey grilled cheese and sip an artisanal beer. The neighborhood pub’s grilled cheese is cooked with cheese on the inside and on the outside of the bread, and it comes with a cup of tomato bisque.

37. OREGON // THE GRILLED CHEESE GRILL

Location: Portland, Oregon

Head to one of the Portland locations of Grilled Cheese Grill to get a taste of your childhood, as they promise. Built out of a converted school bus and double decker bus, the restaurants on wheels offer classic grilled cheeses with your choice of Tillamook Cheddar or American Cheese. Order the Pre-Schooler for a grilled cheese with the crusts lovingly cut off.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // MAD DASH

Location: Multiple locations, Pennsylvania

The food truck Mad Dash elevates the humble grilled cheese to a sandwich masterpiece. Once you find the truck (it travels around the Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster areas), order the Killer Grilled Cheese, a Swiss, cheddar, and American cheese sandwich made with thick bread from a local Italian bakery.

39. RHODE ISLAND // SCRATCH KITCHEN & CATERING

Location: Newport, Rhode Island

Run by a brother-sister team, Scratch Kitchen & Catering has all your grilled cheese needs covered. The Grilled Cheese Frittatas make for a perfect breakfast, and the multitude of Gourmet Grilled Cheese sandwiches hit the spot for lunch. Try the Duck Confit on marble rye for a taste of melted Gruyere, duck, and a peach and habanero marmalade.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // PERSIMMON CAFE

Location: Multiple locations, South Carolina

You can find Persimmon Cafe, which serves a tantalizing Adult Grilled Cheese, in Charleston and Summerville. The grown-up sandwich is well balanced with smoked Gouda, cheddar, prosciutto, and green apple. The cafe also serves a Grilled Cheese and Soup combo, letting you choose between pepper jack, fontina, havarti, cheddar, smoked Gouda, and goat cheese.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // PURE BLISS BAKERY & CAFE

Location: Pierre, South Dakota

Owned by a pastry chef, Pure Bliss Bakery & Cafe sells cupcakes, coffee, and mouthwatering Italian grilled cheese sandwiches. The cheese is generously portioned, the bread has gorgeous grill marks, and the daily grilled cheese lunch special comes with a tasty soup such as cheese broccoli or lasagna.

42. TENNESSEE // THE MAJESTIC GRILLE

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Downtown’s Majestic Grille lives up to its name with its magnificent Famous Grilled Cheese. Besides aged white cheddar and sourdough bread, the sandwich has bacon, tomato, and creole mustard. Get the Parmesan fries for an even cheesier meal.

43. TEXAS // SOCIAL HOUSE

Location: Multiple locations, Texas

Addison, Dallas, and Fort Worth residents have easy access to Social House, a restaurant and bar that offers a relaxing, fun place to gather with friends. After you order one of the 100 beers on tap, munch on the Social Grilled Cheese, a surprisingly delicate sourdough sandwich made with melted white cheddar, American, Swiss cheese, prosciutto, and Granny Smith apples.

44. UTAH // STATION 22 CAFE

Location: Provo, Utah

If your idea of the perfect grilled cheese starts with two slices of Texas toast, Station 22 is the spot for you. With its thick bread, gooey cheese, avocado, and pesto mayo, the Golden Griller will leave your stomach satisfied. You have the option to add grilled chicken or bacon, but the meat isn’t necessary.

45. VERMONT // WOODSTOCK FARMERS' MARKET

Location: Woodstock, Vermont

This year-round fresh food market is Vermont’s favorite spot for grilled cheese, hands-down. The Quechee Gorge sandwich is expertly crafted with smoked Vermont cheddar, provolone, and Parrano cheeses between slices of grilled, roasted garlic parmesan bread.

46. VIRGINIA // GALAXY HUT

Location: Arlington, Virginia

Because Galaxy Hut is a bar and live music venue, you have to be at least 21 years old to enter. But to those of age, order the awesome grilled cheese, which can be customized to your heart’s content. Choose between sourdough, Texas toast, and rye bread, then select amongst mozzarella, provolone, sharp cheddar, Swiss, American, and Muenster. If you’re feeling adventurous, add the vegan bacon or grilled onion for extra savoriness.

47. WASHINGTON // CAFE PETTIROSSO

Location: Seattle, Washington

Located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Cafe Pettirosso offers customers an espresso bar, pastry case, and the best grilled cheese in Washington. The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (on the weekday lunch menu) is a creamy masterpiece of toasted sourdough with havarti and Beecher’s Flagship cheese.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // THE STARDUST CAFE

Location: Lewisburg, West Virginia

The Stardust Cafe serves a Cheese and Pepper Panino to die for. Ciabatta bread is stuffed with two types of cheese (Asiago and chevre), two types of peppers (banana and Peppadew), onion, and tomato. It’s tangy, gooey, and downright delightful.

49. WISCONSIN // ALCHEMY CAFE

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

This eclectic pub is the perfect spot for grilled cheese lovers who want to up their veggie intake. The Stuffed Grilled Cheese contains local cheddar and Swiss, but it also has roasted carrots, broccoli, tomato, and red onion. Topped with cilantro pesto sauce, the toasted sourdough sandwich comes with your choice of side. We suggest the dilled potato salad and cilantro cucumber quinoa salad.

50. WYOMING // SIDEWINDERS AMERICAN GRILL

Location: Jackson, Wyoming

This grill and sports bar, which appeared in an episode of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, has 30 TVs, 28 beers on tap, and the ultimate grilled cheese. While you sit on the outdoor deck, eat the sumptuous sourdough sandwich, which features cheddar, Swiss, bacon, avocado, and tomato.

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The Smallest Town in Each of the 50 States
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From a central Florida enclave where the mermaids outnumber the residents to the town that changed its name to Joe, Montana, there’s a lot of quirky history in America’s least populated places. We’ve combed the country to find the most interesting tiny town in each state—ranging in population from one to more than 1000. Some entries describe the state’s smallest incorporated town, while others highlight the smallest census-designated place. We picked the one with the wackiest, cutest, or most surprising story.

1. MCMULLEN, ALABAMA // POPULATION: 9

In 2000, McMullen was one of the only all-black towns in America, with a population of 66. But a series of recent natural disasters has pushed residents away, from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to an EF2 tornado that destroyed 13 homes in February 2016. Now only nine people remain in the rural western Alabama town, according to a 2016 population estimate from the Census Bureau.

2. HOBART BAY, ALASKA // POPULATION: 1

Moonrise on Hobart Bay

Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps (ret.) // Wikimedia Commons

David Jorgensen has Hobart Bay all to himself. The 62-year-old has been the sole caretaker for the abandoned logging camp, accessible only via floatplane or boat, for nearly a decade. He used to live in Hobart Bay with scores of neighbors before the logging dried up in the late ‘90s. The population plummeted from 187 in 1990 to just David Jorgensen by 2010. Now Goldbelt, Inc., a former logging company which owns 30,000 acres in and around Hobart Bay, wants to turn the place into a cruise ship destination and clam farm.

3. JEROME, ARIZONA // POPULATION: 455

Jerome holds simultaneous claims as the smallest incorporated municipality in Arizona and the largest ghost town in America. Founded in 1876, the city grew out of a copper mining camp into the fourth largest city in Arizona Territory. Workers poured in to climb down the town’s mine shafts and extract as many as 3 million pounds of copper each month. The vast number of saloons and brothels that cropped up to cater to the miners in their off-work hours led the New York Sun to dub Jerome “the wickedest town in the west” in 1903. Today, Jerome’s small population of artists, shopkeepers, and hospitality workers bring the ghosts of its past to life for visiting tourists.

4. MAGNET COVE, ARKANSAS // POPULATION: 5

Magnet Cove was named for the abundance of magnetite (lodestone) in its soil, which early settlers discovered when they felt their plows and other tools strangely attracted to the ground. It remains a popular site for rockhounding thanks to its unusually rich [PDF] diversity of minerals. Today, the only businesses in Magnet Cove are a gas station and two novaculite quarries. (Novaculite is a mineral used to make whetstones, and Magnet Cove produces some of the purest novaculite in the world.)

5. VERNON, CALIFORNIA // POPULATION: 209

Vernon was founded in 1905 as an “exclusively industrial” city just south of downtown Los Angeles. Until 2015, Vernon housed about 1800 businesses employing roughly 55,000 workers —but was home to only 100 residents. The city kept its population low on purpose. All residences were owned by the city government, which evicted its political rivals and tore down houses to prevent newcomers from moving in. This enabled a ruling family to control the electorate, run the city “like a fiefdom,” and pay one city administrator a salary of $1.65 million one year. In 2015, under threat of dissolution from the state, Vernon agreed to adopt a series of reforms, including the construction of a new privately-owned apartment building that doubled the city’s population.

6. BONANZA, COLORADO // POPULATION: 1

Bonanza got its name in 1880 from silver miners who thought they’d struck it big. Over the next few decades, Bonanza grew into a copper, zinc, and silver mining boomtown, home to thousands of miners, two hotels, seven dance halls, a newspaper, a candy store, and even a baseball team. Today the town is mainly a summer vacation getaway. Although as many as 200 people own property in Bonanza today, only one man lives in town year-round: Mark Perkovich, a retired hotshot firefighter who moved in 22 years ago seeking solitude.

7. UNION, CONNECTICUT // POPULATION: 843

Trees reflected in Bigelow Pond in Union, Connecticut

Jesse Goodier // Wikimedia Commons

Founded on rough terrain with poor soil, Union was the last town settled east of the Connecticut River. James McNall, the town’s first settler, arrived from Ireland in 1727, and Union was officially incorporated in 1734. Legend has it that the town got its name because it was formed from the “union” of leftover plots of land that surrounding towns hadn’t incorporated. Today Union is a quiet residential community that prides itself on its scenic hills, trees, and wildlife.

8. HARTLY, DELAWARE // POPULATION: 71

After 280 years of townhood, Hartly faced an existential crisis in 2014. The town had no functioning government. It hadn’t collected taxes in two years. And it was somewhere between $20,000 and $36,000 in debt—no one knew exactly how much the town owed because Hartly had stopped paying for the P.O. box where it received its bills. To make matters worse, a former treasurer, convicted in 2004 of embezzling $89,000 from Hartly’s coffers, still hadn’t repaid the town for his theft. Then in December, more than 100 people, mostly out-of-towners, assembled at the local fire station to come up with a plan to save Hartly. They formed a new council and got to work reviving the town, inspiring the 2016 documentary A Hope for Hartly.

9. WEEKI WACHEE, FLORIDA // POPULATION: 5

Weeki Wachee is home to a state-estimated five human beings—and roughly 28 mermaids. More than 250,000 visitors drive each year to the small central Florida town, an hour north of Tampa, to see the Weeki Wachee Mermaids perform 30-minute live shows in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. The show began in 1947, when a navy veteran named Newton Perry figured out a way to breathe underwater using an air hose and a compressor. He built an underwater theater into the springs’ limestone and sought out “pretty girls” to train as mermaids. Today, the mermaids swim and dance alongside manatees, otters, turtles, and even alligators, stopping only occasionally to catch a breath through tubes at the bottom of their tank. The mayor of Weeki Wachee, Robyn Anderson, is a former mermaid.

10. TATE CITY, GEORGIA // POPULATION: 16

Tate City, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “isn’t really a city, more an assortment of fancy, second-home homes owned by Atlantans and Floridians and more utilitarian houses for residents working in Clayton or Dillard.” The town sprang up around a ruby mine that once attracted more than 1000 residents, and later switched to logging. (A man named Tate owned the biggest logging camp, hence the name.) After the loggers stripped Tate City of its forests, they moved on and left little behind. The sleepy town didn’t get electricity until the early 1970s.

11. MANELE, HAWAII // POPULATION: 29

Evans / Getty

Manele is the site of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, on Hawaii’s sixth largest island. Through most of the 20th century, Lanai was the site of the Dole pineapple plantation, once the most productive in the world. But today, 97 percent of the island belongs to Larry Ellison, founder of the software firm Oracle and the fifth-richest person in the world. Ellison bought the land, along with a third of Lanai’s housing, the water utility, two resort hotels, the cemetery, and most other businesses in a single real estate deal in 2012. He plans to turn the island into a luxury resort destination for the super-rich, prompting concerns for the future of the island’s residents.

12. WARM RIVER, IDAHO // POPULATION: 3

Warm River became a city thanks to a quirk in Idaho’s 1947 liquor laws that restricted liquor licenses to establishments within municipal borders. That year, Fred Lewies, an Estonian immigrant who owned and operated the Warm River Inn and Rendezvous Dance Hall, incorporated the city so that he could legally serve drinks at his bar. The town has had three mayors: Fred’s wife Berta, their daughter Lillian, and their granddaughter Lonnie. Today, Warm River still has its dance hall, but it’s also a fishing destination and a stop for tourists on their way into Yellowstone National Park.

13. MOONSHINE, ILLINOIS // POPULATION: 1

There’s one business, one house, and one person in Moonshine, and they’re all under one green tin roof. Helen Tuttle owns the Moonshine Store, a country store and restaurant she operates out of a century-old building in the middle of Eastern Illinois farmland. Each day, Tuttle serves 140 Moonburgers to customers visiting from surrounding farms (and sometimes ranging from the far flung corners of 50 states and 45 countries). The burgers aren’t very elaborate. Tuttle serves a gas-grilled beef patty on run-of-the-mill buns. But guests are invited to jazz them up themselves from a condiment table featuring mustard, mayonnaise, onions, hot pickle relish and horseradish. For years, Moonshine had a second resident: Roy Lee, Helen’s husband. But Roy died in 2015, and now Helen lives alone in the six rooms above the Moonshine Store.

14. NEW AMSTERDAM, INDIANA // POPULATION: 27

New Amsterdam was born and nearly destroyed on the banks of the Ohio River. Until 1937, the town thrived on the riverbank. It had two general stores, its churches’ pews were packed, and the houses along the river held upwards of 400 people. Then a 1937 flood wiped out most of the city and drove many of its residents away for good, but the remaining folks didn’t give up. In 2015, New Amsterdam celebrated its bicentennial.

15. BEACONSFIELD, IOWA // POPULATION: 15

US astronaut Peggy Whitson tests her space suit before blasting off to the International Space Station
Kirill Kudryavtsev / Getty

Beaconsfield may be tiny, but it punches above its weight class in terms of bragging rights. The Iowa town was the birthplace of the Hy-Vee grocery store chain, which operates more than 240 stores in the Midwest. The founders Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg (Hy-Vee, get it?) opened their first store in Beaconsfield, right at the onset of the Great Depression in 1930. Beaconsfield is also astronaut Peggy Whitson’s hometown [PDF]. In April 2017, Whitson broke the NASA record for most total days in space (at the time, 534). She’s also the first woman ever to command the International Space Station twice. 

16. FREEPORT, KANSAS // POPULATION: 5

Freeport is a dwindling town that refuses to go softly into the night. For years, the town boasted in its motto that it was “the smallest incorporated city in the United States having a bank.” But the bank left in 2009. Two years later, the post office tried to leave, too, but Freeport residents put up a fight. They petitioned the U.S. Postal Service to review its decision and hung a sign in city hall, housed in the abandoned bank building, urging visitors to “Help Keep Our Post Office—Buy Stamps.” Ultimately, the USPS was no match for Freeport’s residents. The post office remains, along with a grain elevator, a church, and five stubborn Kansans.

17. SOUTH PARK VIEW, KENTUCKY // POPULATION: 7

South Park View is quickly disappearing beneath the air traffic of Bowman Field. Since 1994, the Louisville Regional Airport Authority has been buying up homes and relocating residents under the path—and wall-to-wall noise—of arriving and departing planes. Over two decades, the program bought out more than 2000 homes at a cost of more than $260 million. But seven holdouts in South Park View have refused to accept the voluntary buy-outs.

18. MOUND, LOUISIANA // POPULATION: 18

Mound got its name because its founders built the town on top of a Native American burial mound. A century ago, Mound was a collection of cotton plantations owned by a few landed families. In those days, a planter named George S. Yerger controlled 50,000 acres and paid his workers in a made-up currency they could only spend at his company store. He also acted as town sheriff and kept prisoners in a subterranean jail buried under his store. Today, corn and soybeans grow in the fields, but the same families still live in their ancestral homes and own much of the land. Margaret Yerger, who is married to George Yerger’s grandson, is mayor.

19. HIBBERTS GORE, MAINE // POPULATION: 1

A gore is an unincorporated area, usually created when land surveyors make mistakes that leave irregularly shaped hunks of unaccounted land between town boundaries. In Maine, Hibberts Gore is home to one resident, Karen Keller, who lives 100 yards from the nearby town of Palermo. Curious reporters have been seeking her out for stories since the Boston Globe ran a profile on her in 2001, but Keller doesn’t like the attention. “These people from these big papers come. Why? What have I done? It’s a bunch of lines on a map. Nothing else.” Keller told Sunday Salon in 2013. “What have I accomplished? What have I ever done to make anyone’s life better? What good for the planet? What good for people? What good for anybody? Why? It’s hogwash.”

20. PORT TOBACCO, MARYLAND // POPULATION: 13

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Port Tobacco was Maryland’s second largest port and the seat of Charles County. Historians say it rivaled Williamsburg and Philadelphia among colonial ports, and that George Washington used to pass through town regularly on his way to see his doctor. Today, Port Tobacco still operates under an 1888 charter that bars women from holding office, imposes a $1 tax on every dog and prohibits any resident from allowing “his swine to run at large within said village.” Mayor John Hyde, a mortician by trade, told the Washington Post in 2006 that the town never got around to changing those laws, but it doesn’t enforce them anymore.

21. GOSNOLD, MASSACHUSETTS // POPULATION: 75

An 1858 landscape of Cuttyhunk Island by painter Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt // Wikimedia Commons

Gosnold comprises the Elizabeth Islands off the southern coast of Massachusetts. Most residents live on the island of Cuttyhunk, the town seat. According to news reports, in the summer Cuttyhunk’s population can swell up to 400, but in the winter, the island’s 150 golf carts far outnumber its 20 year-round residents. Cuttyhunk is home to a one-room schoolhouse with one teacher and two students. It is only accessible by a ferry which in the winter runs twice a week across Buzzards Bay, carrying food, fuel, mail, and people.

22. POINTE AUX BARQUES, MICHIGAN // POPULATION: 10

Pointe-Aux-Barques Lighthouse
Cliff Kinney // Wikimedia Commons

Pointe Aux Barques is a resort town on the tip of the thumb of Michigan’s mitten. It got its name in 1665 from French priest Claude Alouez, who thought the rocky coast resembled the prow of a ship. From 300 BCE to 600 CE, the land Pointe aux Barques would occupy was a sacred place for an ancient indigenous culture. After its disappearance, the land went unoccupied for a millennium until European colonists showed up and began logging the forest in the 17th century. In 1896, railroad baron Stanford Crapo built a resort, connecting Pointe aux Barques to wealthy Detroit families who fled to the rural township in the summer.

23. FUNKLEY, MINNESOTA // POPULATION: 10

Green Funkley Road Sign
Ed Kohler // Wikimedia Commons

Funkley mayor Emil Erickson will serve anyone who visits his town a drink—provided that they go to the Funkley Bar and Lounge, which he owns, and pay using Funkley Bucks, a made-up currency with his face on it that he prints and doles out to tourists. Erickson presides over the bar with his dog Chopper, who likes to sit on a stool next to the patrons. In the fall, big crowds of hunters visit. In the summer, Funkley gets bikers. Otherwise, there aren’t many new faces in Funkley. The city’s population recently doubled to its current 10 residents after a five-person family moved in.

24. SATARTIA, MISSISSIPPI // POPULATION: 53

Satartia’s main claim to fame is the Satartia Bridge over the Yazoo River in the Mississippi Delta. Its concrete, steel, and rust aesthetic has landed it on a website that catalogues ugly bridges. But most infamously, a team of paranormal investigators has claimed the Satartia Bridge is haunted: They saw mysterious floating flights, heard phantom moans, and smelled rotting flesh coming from the water in 2003. They suggested the source could be the indigenous Yazoo people, who according to legend were marched into the river to their deaths after refusing to surrender to the conquering French. Another theory claims the river is haunted by the crew of one of the 29 ships sunk here during the Civil War.

25. BAKER, MISSOURI // POPULATION: 3

Baker is tiny— less than a quarter-square-mile of land. But the town’s only family farms 3,300 acres of rice, soybeans, and wheat in fields that extend beyond Baker’s boundaries. Mark Rinehart took the land over from his father, Max, and now works it with his son, Eric. Mark told the Missouri News Scene his proposal for boosting the U.S. rice market in 2014: “Drink more beer, eat more rice, or both.”

26. ISMAY, MONTANA // POPULATION: 21

Ismay wasn’t always named Ismay. Until the 1910s, the town was called Burt. Then a railroad division superintendent renamed the place Ismay, a mashup of his two daughters’ names, Isabella and Maybelle. Then, in 1993, as part of a Kansas City radio station’s publicity stunt, the town agreed to change its name to Joe, Montana, in honor of the NFL quarterback who had just been traded to the Chiefs. Sports Illustrated picked up the story, and soon the town was selling hundreds of “Joe, Montana” t-shirts, coffee mugs, and golf balls. More than 2000 visitors descended on the town the first time it hosted “Joe Day.” And the Kansas City Chiefs flew the entire town down to see a game and hang out with Joe Montana. When Ismay ended the stunt eight years later, the town had enough money to buy itself a new fire truck and build a community center—named for Joe Montana.

27. MONOWI, NEBRASKA // POPULATION: 1

Elsie Eiler is all that’s left of Monowi, the only incorporated town in America with one inhabitant. She is the mayor and the owner of the Monowi Tavern, the only business in town. She lives half a mile away from the bar in a mobile home. Each year, she taxes herself to raise the money to keep Monowi’s four streetlights on. For decades, there was another resident in Monowi: Eiler’s husband Rudy, an avid reader. He died in 2004. The next year, Elsie built a library behind the tavern and stocked it with 5000 books. The library was her husband’s lifelong dream, and Elsie dedicated the building to Rudy.

28. CALIENTE, NEVADA // POPULATION: 1108

The land that would become Caliente was first settled in the early 1860s by Ike and Dow Barton, two escaped slaves from Arkansas. For a while the place was called Culverwell, after Charles and William Culverwell, who owned a ranch on the land. In 1901, when Union Pacific and another railroad got into a territory dispute over who could lay down track in a narrow canyon near the ranch, William Culverwell ended the land battle “with his shotgun.” He gave Union Pacific the right to build a railroad grade through his property and the rival company dropped its claim. The town quickly grew to more than 5000 residents thanks to the train depot. It was renamed Caliente after the discovery of nearby hot springs.

29. DIXVILLE NOTCH, NEW HAMPSHIRE // POPULATION: 8

A man casts his ballot in Dixville Notch's midnight primary election in 2016
Alice Chiche // Getty

The residents of Dixville Notch have cast the first votes in every U.S. presidential election and primary since 1960. Thanks to an obscure New Hampshire law, voting precincts with fewer than 100 voters can open their polls at midnight on election day and close them as soon as everyone has cast their vote. A local hotelier started driving his employees to the polls at midnight in 1960 as a publicity stunt for his resort. The polls closed at 12:07 a.m., and the town became the first precinct to report election results. It wasn’t long before presidential candidates began visiting Dixville Notch every four years.

30. TAVISTOCK, NEW JERSEY // POPULATION: 5

A group of golfers founded Tavistock in 1921 to evade blue laws in nearby Haddonfield that banned sports on Sundays. When 19 former members of the Haddonfield Country Club got fed up with the restrictive rules, they incorporated Tavistock, a quarter-mile splinter of Haddonfield. There they created a new country club with a new golf course, which stays open seven days a week. The Tavistock government also lets its country club sell liquor, which is illegal in Haddonfield.

31. WHITES CITY, NEW MEXICO // POPULATION: 7

Kentucky teacher Charlie White founded this town near the entrance of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the 1920s. White built tourist accommodations on the only road in or out of the park. “White’s Cavern Camp,” a collection of 13 visitor rooms, a gas station, and a house for his family, grew into Whites City. White’s children and grandchildren eventually added a theater, a saloon, and a museum of curios including a stuffed two-headed snake. In 2008, the White family auctioned off the entire city for $1.55 million. (Before the final auction, the family listed it on eBay for $5 million.) The new owners sold Whites City again in April for an undisclosed sum.

32. OIL SPRING RESERVATION, NEW YORK // POPULATION: 1

A Franciscan missionary named Joseph DeLa Roch D’Allion made the first recorded mention of oil in North America here in 1627. The Seneca and earlier indigenous peoples knew about the oil long before, and used the spring’s petroleum-laden waters for medicinal purposes. The U.S. federal government officially recognized Oil Spring as a Seneca reservation at the end of the 18th century, but by the 1850s white squatters, including future New York governor Horatio Seymour, had taken up residence. The Seneca waged a legal battle to evict the squatters and have retained control of the land ever since [PDF].

33. DELLVIEW, NORTH CAROLINA // POPULATION: 13

In 1925, the Dellinger family had a problem: stray dogs kept raiding their chicken coops and killing their poultry, but local laws prevented them from shooting the mongrels on sight. Luckily, they had a cousin in the state assembly. That year, state representative David R. Dellinger proposed a bill to incorporate the town of Dellview, populated almost exclusively by Dellingers. The town never collected taxes, provided a police force, or offered water or sewer services. But it did pass a local ordinance that made it legal to shoot stray dogs. In 1978, no one in Dellview responded to a Census Mapping Survey and the state declared the town inactive.

34. RUSO, NORTH DAKOTA // POPULATION: 4

Ruso was founded in the early 20th century by protestants from Ukraine who wanted to escape the influence of the Russian Orthodox church. Many took homesteads for farming and ranching in North Dakota. By 1910, 71 percent of the state’s population was first- or second-generation immigrants. The new arrivals named Ruso nostalgically, either after a Russian word meaning “south of us” or a combination of the first letters in SOuth RUssia.

35. RENDVILLE, OHIO // POPULATION: 36

Rendville is a former coal mining town with an outsized influence on the history of labor and civil rights in the U.S. Founded in 1879 by William P. Rend, the town quickly gained notoriety as a place where black men could get work as coal miners. Rend hired black and white workers in large numbers, despite violent threats from white miners in neighboring towns. Rendville produced the first black man and woman to serve as mayors in Ohio—Isaiah Tuppins and Sophia Mitchell—along with the country’s first black woman postmaster general, Roberta Preston. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor and cofounder of the National Urban League, and Richard L. Davis, cofounder of the United Mine Workers of America, both worked in Rendville.

36. LOTSEE, OKLAHOMA // POPULATION: 2

George Campbell had been letting Boy Scouts and church groups camp on his ranch for years. But in 1963, the nearby cities of Tulsa and Sand Springs were racing to annex as much surrounding land as possible, and Campbell worried that if either city gobbled up his ranch, he would have to follow local ordinances prohibiting the campers. So he filed to incorporate a new town and named it after his daughter, Lotsee. Today, Lotsee Spradling and her husband Mike are the only two residents in town and their ranch takes up nearly all of its area.

37. GREENHORN, OREGON // POPULATION: 2

With an elevation of 6306 feet, Greenhorn is Oregon’s highest city. Founded during an 1860s gold rush, Greenhorn now serves as a vacation retreat and hunting outpost for a handful of part-time residents. Two people, Joyce Pappel and Ron Bergstrom, account for the town’s entire permanent population. Greenhorn collects no taxes and has no sewers, power lines, or police.

38. CENTRALIA, PENNSYLVANIA // POPULATION: 5

A smoking crack opens in a highway near Centralia, Pennsylvania caused by underground coal fires
Don Emmert // Getty

In 1962, a trash fire in Centralia’s dump spread into an underground coal seam and wouldn’t stop burning for the next two decades. In 1981, a 12-year-old boy was nearly sucked into the subterranean inferno when the ground gave out beneath him. Two years later, Congress set aside $42 million to buy out the town’s 1100 residents, but nine holdouts refused. After another two decades, they won the right to stay in their homes. Those that remain alive are Centralia’s last residents.

39. WATCH HILL, RHODE ISLAND // POPULATION: 154

Watch Hill is a blue-blooded beachside village—home to the Ocean House, a grand hotel built here just after the Civil War—where wealthy families have spent their summers for more than a century and resisted letting newcomers into their enclave. But in 2013, nouveau-riche pop star Taylor Swift plunked down $17.75 million in cash for a 16-room waterfront mansion. For the rest of us, one of two Watch Hill beaches is open to nonresidents.

40. JENKINSVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA // POPULATION: 43

A nuclear reactor in Jenkinsville, South Carolina at sunset

DJSlawSlaw // Wikimedia Commons

Jenkinsville successfully installed sidewalks, curbs, and streetlights through federal grants. But Jenkinsville is also the site of a slightly larger construction project: two nuclear reactors. Joining its existing 30-year-old reactor is a pair of new 1117-megawatt reactors, the first such structures built in the U.S. in three decades. They’re scheduled to start running by 2021, and each will provide enough electricity to power 640,000 homes.

41. HILLSVIEW, SOUTH DAKOTA // POPULATION: 2

It might be hard to find Hillsview, a half-square-mile patch of territory near South Dakota’s northern border. There used to be two signs that pointed toward the town from the highway, but vandals stole one of them, and the county took down the other down, reasoning that they couldn’t direct drivers to a place with no services to speak of. Now Hillsview’s two residents, a mother and son named Helen and Cletus Imberi, use the town’s only revenue—a small transportation allotment—to keep the Hillsview’s eight streetlights on, which illuminate their home, an abandoned school, and a hardware store.

42. SAULSBURY, TENNESSEE // POPULATION: 112

Saulsbury used to be renowned for its valuable sand. In the 1870s, the sand mining industry took off and the town shipped 47 different kinds of sand to nearly every state in the country.

43. LOS YBANEZ, TEXAS // POPULATION: 19

In 1980, Israel Ybanez snapped up an auctioned parcel of government land in western Texas with one goal: open dry Dawson County’s only liquor store. He incorporated the town in 1983, installed his wife as mayor, got his liquor license, and opened a take-out beer store. For three decades, Ybanez did brisk business as the only booze merchant for miles, eventually expanding to also sell wine and spirits. Ybanez died in 2014, but there are three liquor stores in Los Ybanez today.

44. BONANZA, UTAH // POPULATION: 1

Bonanza is a company town, owned by the American Gilsonite Co., at the center of the only commercial gilsonite mining operation in the world. You may not have heard of gilsonite, but this shiny black subspecies of asphalt is the stuff that shades the ink in your printer and seals your car to keep dust from drifting in from the road. Most of the company’s 225 workers live 48 miles away in Vernal, but Bonanza still encompasses 26 houses, processing plants and administrative buildings.

45. NEWFANE VILLAGE, VERMONT // POPULATION: 113

Newfane Village is a small incorporated enclave within the larger town of Newfane—a cluster of old, historic homes and small stores surrounded by forest. The settlement dates back to 1825 and its “village” status is a holdover from an archaic local government structure that Vermont abandoned by the 1930s. With its idiosyncratic government and its 60 white-clapboard, black-shuttered homes, Newfane Village has been described as a “microcosm of Vermont” and the “epitome of small-town New England.”

46. CLINCHPORT, VIRGINIA // POPULATION: 66

Clinchport started as a port for loggers transporting logs down the Clinch River to Chattanooga. The loggers rode the logs downstream, guided them into port at Chattanooga, and then hitched a ride back to Clinchport to chop down another tree. The town grew until 1977, when the Clinch River flooded and washed away many of its homes and businesses. Clinchport was never rebuilt. Today the Clinch River is renowned for its biodiversity. With over 130 species of fish and 40 species of mussels—many of them threatened or endangered—it is the most biodiverse river in the country.

47. KRUPP, WASHINGTON // POPULATION: 49

The town of Krupp was incorporated in 1911 and still officially bears that name—but everybody calls the place Marlin, because of a grudge against the Germans that dates back to World War I. During that conflict, the German Krupp gun factory manufactured much of the artillery the Axis powers fired on Allied soldiers. Queasy about this association, the town started calling itself Marlin, after John Marlin, the town’s first white settler.

48. THURMOND, WEST VIRGINIA // POPULATION: 6

William D. Thurmond, a former captain in the Confederate army, got 73 acres of land along the New River Gorge in 1873 as payment for his work as a surveyor. With rich coal fields and access to a nearby railroad junction, Thurmond’s property quickly attracted miners and merchants from across West Virginia. Saloons and gambling houses quickly followed. The town of Thurmond came to be known as the “Dodge City of the East” and was described as “hell with a river through it.” As the coal industry dried up, so did the town, until only five residents remained by 2015. That year, Thurmond became the smallest town in America to unanimously ban housing and employment discrimination against LGBT people.

49. ODANAH, WISCONSIN // POPULATION: 13

Odanah is the seat of government of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians on the Bad River Reservation. During the 1850 Sandy Lake Tragedy, 400 Chippewa died of disease, starvation, and cold when the federal government tried to force them to relocate west of the Mississippi. In 1854, the government granted the tribe permanent reservations in Wisconsin. Today, the Bad River Band has more than 7000 members, most living on the roughly 125,000 acres of undeveloped land in the reservation.

50. (PHINDELI TOWN) BUFORD, WYOMING // POPULATION: 1

All of Buford belongs to Pham Dinh Nguyen, a Vietnamese businessman who bought the place solely to promote his brand of gourmet coffee. He even unofficially renamed it PhinDeli Town Buford after the coffee. Nguyen, who reportedly walks around his native Ho Chi Minh City wearing a cowboy hat and calling himself “the mayor,” paid $900,000 in an online auction to buy Buford’s five buildings in 2013. He leases the town to a caretaker named Jason Hirsch, who runs a convenience store and gas station called the Buford Trading Post. It is the town’s sole business and the only place in America where you can buy PhinDeli coffee. Hirsch, however, doesn’t live in town. Buford’s one resident is Brandon Hoover, who lives in a modest house behind the gas station. Hoover shares Buford with a horse named Sugar, Buford’s unofficial mascot.

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The Best Dive Bar in All 50 States
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Dive bars are the perfect antidote to exorbitant cocktail prices and highfalutin mixologists who insist on putting a dozen ingredients into your whiskey sour. These casual, unpretentious spots serve a variety of inexpensive beers, cocktails, and (occasionally) snacks. Although there are tons of dive bars scattered across the country, we’re choosing the best dive bar in every state, based on the bar’s drink menu, reputation, and overall aesthetic.

1. ALABAMA // THE UPSIDEDOWN PLAZA

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded in 1962, the Upsidedown Plaza might be the ultimate spot for good drinks and good times. It stays open until 2 a.m. every night, giving patrons plenty of time to play pool, dance to oldies, and sing karaoke.

2. ALASKA // SANDBAR

Location: Juneau, Alaska

Sandbar serves Alaskan beer on tap and delicious halibut fish and chips. The friendly bartenders, three pool tables, and golf game machine keep customers coming back.

3. ARIZONA // RIPS BAR

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

People come to Rips Bar to let loose and forget their troubles. Expect to find killer ales and cocktails, a fun rockabilly vibe, and bar games including pinball, pool, and darts. There’s also karaoke, open mic events, and all-day drink specials.

4. ARKANSAS // THE WHITE WATER TAVERN

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Head to this hole in the wall for strong whiskey, cheap beer, and live music. The atmosphere is eclectic, with tons of twinkle lights, graffiti on the walls, and a Miller Lite clock behind the bar. There’s also a canoe hanging from the ceiling.

5. CALIFORNIA // CLOONEY’S PUB

Location: San Francisco, California

Situated in the Mission district, Clooney’s Pub is a casual spot famous for its circular bar and friendly service. Happy hour starts bright and early—at 6 a.m.—and for entertainment, there's a pool table and TV.

6. COLORADO // THE SINK

Location: Boulder, Colorado

bar back at The Sink
The Sink

With $3 well drinks, $4 drafts, and $5 martinis during happy hour, the Sink knows how to please. Everyone from chef Anthony Bourdain to former President Barack Obama has visited the bar, which has been open since 1923. Order the bar’s legendary burger and pizza as you marvel at the trippy artwork on the walls and ceiling.

7. CONNECTICUT // THE HUNGRY TIGER

Location: Manchester, Connecticut

Originally a soda and ice cream shop, the Hungry Tiger is now a beloved dive bar and music venue. Sunday brunch features cheap Bloody Marys and Bud Light pitchers, and the spot serves delectable burgers, wings, and sliders.

8. DELAWARE // FAMOUS TOM’S TAVERN

Location: Hockessin, Delaware

With $3 beer and $4 wine and liquor, Famous Tom’s brings the boozy goods. The TVs play plenty of NFL games, so you can watch your favorite teams as you sip your drink.

9. FLORIDA // FREE SPIRITS SPORTS CAFE

Location: Miami Beach, Florida

Bartenders pour generously at this Miami Beach bar. After you knock back a few drinks, try the perfectly greasy chicken fingers and fries and relax in front of a sports game.

10. GEORGIA // NORTHSIDE TAVERN

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

North Side Bar
Daniel B., Yelp

Built in the ‘40s, Northside Tavern was a neighborhood grocery store and gas station before it morphed into a blue-collar bar. With live music seven nights a week and paintings on the wall dedicated to blues and jazz musicians, this dive bar is a music lover’s paradise.

11. HAWAII // HANKS CAFE HONOLULU

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Located in Honolulu’s Chinatown, Hanks Cafe Honolulu is a tiny bar with a big heart. The bartenders are friendly, the walls feature island-inspired portraits, and a jukebox and live music keep guests happily entertained.

12. IDAHO // WHISKEY RIVER

Location: Nampa, Idaho

Whiskey River has been around for almost a decade, offering a full liquor bar and tons of bottled beers. There’s a dance floor, darts, pool tables, and a jukebox, and the bar stays open until 1 a.m. every night.

13. ILLINOIS // THE DOUBLE BUBBLE

Location: Chicago, Illinois

People rave about the Double Bubble. The neighborhood bar serves craft beers at reasonable prices, and the TVs play plenty of football games. If you’re an Irish whiskey fan, be sure to get a Jameson shot.

14. INDIANA // CHECKERED FLAG TAVERN

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Checkered Flag Tavern
Linda M., Yelp

Checkered Flag Tavern has a great selection of draft beers, liquor, and burgers. Named for the Indy 500, naturally, the bar has plenty of non-alcohol related entertainment including a photo booth, pool table, darts, and live music on the weekends.

15. IOWA // THE HIGH LIFE LOUNGE

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

The High Life Lounge is a popular destination for beer aficionados. Lovers of Miller High Life (the “champagne of beers”) will especially love this bar, which has a ‘60s and ‘70s vibe thanks to the vintage beer signs and retro wood paneling. If you work up an appetite, try the fried dill-pickle spears and the cheese curds.

16. KANSAS // JOHNNIE’S ON SEVENTH

Location: Kansas City, Kansas

Established in 1934, Johnnie’s On Seventh has long been one of Kansas’ favorite watering holes. The retro vibe and friendly regulars will make you feel right at home, and the darts, shuffleboard, and popcorn machine will keep you entertained all night.

17. KENTUCKY // T. EDDIE’S BAR AND GRILL

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

If low-key bars that serve cheap beer are your thing, head to T. Eddie’s Bar and Grill in Germantown. With 42 craft beers, a fenced-in back patio, and karaoke nights, you can’t go wrong.

18. LOUISIANA // SNAKE AND JAKE’S CHRISTMAS CLUB LOUNGE

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Katie D., Yelp

Situated in a dark shack, Snake And Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge gives all who enter it the ultimate dive bar experience. Christmas lights illuminate the tiny space year-round, and the bar serves cheap local beers and shots every night (including Christmas).

19. MAINE // SPRING POINT TAVERN

Location: South Portland, Maine

Drink specials, good pub food, and live music? Check. Spring Point Tavern serves well drinks and Jell-O shots, and there are darts and pool to help guests unwind from the day’s stresses.

20. MARYLAND // BUCK MURPHY'S BAR

Location: Odenton, Maryland

Walking down the stairs to this basement dive bar will transport you to a simpler time and place. Everyone seems to know everyone else, and the cold beer and homemade spicy chili will make you feel right at home.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // THE VICTORIA BAR

Location: Greenfield, Massachusetts

The Vic is the ultimate place to down lagers, fireball shots, and Irish coffee while you watch a Red Sox game. The family-owned and -operated bar also has three big-screen TVs, a jukebox, and darts.

22. MICHIGAN // BANFIELD'S BAR

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Banfield’s Bar opened in 1982 and has been drawing in locals ever since. The hole-in-the-wall serves strong drinks and tasty burgers, and it hosts events such as ‘70s karaoke nights.

23. MINNESOTA // SKINNERS PUB & EATERY

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Owned by husband and wife duo Pete and Molly Skinner, Skinners Pub & Eatery is a laid-back bar that serves beer on tap, wine, tacos and pizza. The big TV screens by the bar, plus the low prices, make regulars come back again and again.

24. MISSISSIPPI // THE PROJECT LOUNGE

Location: Biloxi, Mississippi

Customers rave about the friendly service, strong drinks, and rib-eye steak sandwich at the Project Lounge. The dark, smoky dive bar has an electronic jukebox and is cash-only.

25. MISSOURI // THE HAUNT

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

The haunt
Terri Daniels

Billed as a tavern for the macabre at heart, the Haunt is a Goth-themed dive bar with $2 well drinks, $11 domestic buckets, a pool table, and live music. If Halloween is your favorite holiday, you’ll love the spooky décor and horror films playing on the TV.

26. MONTANA // THE RHINOCEROS

Location: Missoula, Montana

Since 1987, the Rhino has impressed customers with its beer and scotch selections. With 50 beers on tap and more than 50 single-malt scotches, this dive bar also offers pool, shuffleboard, and plenty of good times.

27. NEBRASKA // BEER CITY

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Across from Hitchcock Park is Beer City, a bar that offers $2 fireball shots every Monday, $5 pitchers on Wednesday, and karaoke on Friday nights. There are also free peanuts and popcorn, pool and darts, 11 TVs, and mini-golf in the back.

28. NEVADA // DOUBLE DOWN SALOON

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

double down bar exterior
Jonathon S., Yelp

Since 1992, Double Down has been a haven for people who want to break away from the pricey Vegas strip. Dubbed the anti-Vegas, this bar serves eye-popping drinks like the original bacon martini (Slim Jim garnish and all). There’s also pool, pinball, and live music.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // PENUCHE’S CONCORD

Location: Concord, New Hampshire

Penuche’s really promotes music and emerging artists. Bands play often and open mic opportunities abound. Whether you order beer or cocktails, this bar will put you in a partying mood.

30. NEW JERSEY // JIMMY GEEZ

Locations: Haledon and Oak Ridge, New Jersey

Jimmy Geez
Jonathan M., Yelp

Jimmy Geez dominates the north Jersey dive bar scene. You’ll find more than 20 beers on tap, chicken wings galore, and plenty of TVs tuned to sports games. Jimmy Geez also hosts live music and trivia nights, making it the ultimate hangout spot.

31. NEW MEXICO // SILVA’S SALOON

Location: Bernalillo, New Mexico

In 1933, a former bootlegger and moonshiner named Felix Silva opened Silva’s Saloon. Today, the biker bar is the longest continuously running business on historic Route 66. Dollar bills, raunchy photos, and old liquor bottles decorate the space.

32. NEW YORK // MILANO’S BAR

Location: New York, New York

Located on Houston Street a few blocks north of Little Italy, Milano’s Bar might be Manhattan’s best old-school dive bar. It’s been open since 1880! All-day-and-night specials include Tecate, Narragansett, and Rolling Rock.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // LOCAL BAR

Location: Apex, North Carolina

Local Bar began in the ‘30s as a gas station, but today it serves cold drinks to happy customers. Besides $1 Jell-O shots and Monday movie nights, the bar also has live music, pool tables, horseshoe pits, and dart boards.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // BORROWED BUCKS ROADHOUSE

Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

There’s something for everyone at Borrowed Bucks, from beer pong on Tuesdays to ladies’ night on Wednesdays (women can get $2 Schooners). Between sips of your beer, munch on the pizza and wings.

35. OHIO // BECKY’S BAR

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Although Becky’s Bar is near Cleveland State University, it’s not just for students. Since 1986, Becky’s has served a diverse group of diehard customers who enjoy the PBRs and IPAs, mozzarella sticks, and arcade games. There’s also a jukebox, biweekly karaoke, and multiple big screen TVs that play football, baseball, and basketball games.

36. OKLAHOMA // ORPHA’S LOUNGE

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Located in downtown Tulsa, Orpha’s Lounge is a small, welcoming joint with two pool tables and plenty of drink specials. Just be aware that some patrons still smoke inside.

37. OREGON // THE LOW BROW

Location: Portland, Oregon

Opened in 1998, The Low Brow might be the best place to unwind in Portland. The dimly lit bar discourages patrons from being glued to their screens, and the menu includes everything from nachos to kale salad.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // JAMES BAR

Location: Enola, Pennsylvania

For more than two decades, James Bar has served cheap drinks to thirsty Pennsylvanians. A neon Bud Light sign in the window greets customers, who can sip beer from Mason jars and play tunes on the bar’s jukebox.

39. RHODE ISLAND // CAPTAIN SEAWEED'S FAMILY PUB

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Captain Seaweed’s is a true dive bar—and proud of it. The walls of the Fox Point bar feature nautical décor, making it the right place for people who like sipping beer near ship wheels, life ring buoys, pirate paraphernalia, and whale artwork.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // TATTOOED MOOSE

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

the tattooed moose
Jimmy S., Yelp

Despite its extensive craft beer selection and tasty food, this downtown dive is down-to-earth and unassuming. Get the grilled cheese sandwich or the bar’s namesake burger, and wash it down with your choice of pale ales, pilsners, and porters.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // THE THIRSTY DUCK

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Thirsty Duck is a popular destination for affordable drinks, great pizza, and live music. You’ll find groups of friends and coworkers singing karaoke, playing pool, and tossing darts.

42. TENNESSEE // DINO’S

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Dino's
Alex W., Yelp

As East Nashville’s oldest dive bar, Dino’s has built a rock-solid reputation as a top-notch spot. Beers include a selection of Coors, Budweiser, Stiegl, Yuengling, Miller High Life, and Tecate. Food options include cheeseburgers, fries, and fish and chips.

43. TEXAS // THE ABBEY UNDERGROUND

Location: Denton, Texas

This British tavern, located in Courthouse Square, has a little something for everyone. From imported beers and ciders to stouts and lagers, the Abbey Underground has an impressive alcohol menu. Different nights have musical themes ranging from big band and funk to disco trash and ‘90s dance.

44. UTAH // X-WIFE’S PLACE

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Having fun at X-Wife’s Place won’t break the bank, thanks to cheap beer cans and shots. Customers can play pool inside or head to the big outdoor patio to play cornhole.

45. VERMONT // OTHER PLACE

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Other place
Matt S., Yelp

Dive bar connoisseurs love Other Place (The OP), where there’s plenty of beer, mimosas, and Bloody Marys to go around. The sports-themed tabletops, pool table, and occasional movie nights make The OP a neighborhood institution.

46. VIRGINIA // LYNNHAVEN PUB

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Friendly bartenders and a stellar selection of seasonal and Virginian craft beers make Lynnhaven Pub stand out from other bars. The mouthwatering brisket and barbecue tacos are also beloved.

47. WASHINGTON // THE MULE TAVERN

Location: Tacoma, Washington

Although the Mule Tavern serves an abundance of beer and cocktails, Moscow Mules are its specialty. Bartenders make ginger beer from scratch by juicing lemons and ginger, adding cane sugar and water, and carbonating the liquid. Moscow Mules are $4 during happy hour, and well drinks are just $3.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // THE BOULEVARD TAVERN

Location: Charleston, West Virginia

At the Boulevard Tavern, craft cocktails focus on bourbon and gin. You can’t go wrong with any of the bar’s signature cocktails, the best of which is the West Virginia Coal Rush, a honey-infused bourbon. Live music and open mic nights, as well as reggae Sundays, keep excitement levels high.

49. WISCONSIN // SILVER DOLLAR TAVERN

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Less crowded than nearby bars, Silver Dollar Tavern has been a family-owned bar since 1933. The shuffleboard, darts, and pool are a big hit with loyal customers. The bar is cash-only, but there’s an ATM inside.

50. WYOMING // THE BUCKHORN BAR & PARLOR

Location: Laramie, Wyoming

Buckhorn bar
RunAway B., Yelp

The Buckhorn Bar is older than you. It’s been around since 1900, and today visitors can see the bar’s famous bullet hole, elk, and two-headed calf on display. Tuesday is $1 pint night, Wednesday is karaoke night, and Thursday is the night for $1 jack-and-Cokes.

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