3 Flattest States in the U.S.

Either because of the visual representation from The Wizard of Oz or the fact it lies in the Great Plains, many assume Kansas is the flattest state in the United States. After thinking about the state’s topographical reputation, a professor and graduate student at the University of Kansas conducted a study of flatness across the contiguous United States. While people might think of flatness in many different ways, Jerry Dobson and Joshua Campbell used geographical data to determine the percentage of flatness across each state. The three flattest U.S. states, according to this rigorous, peer-reviewed study, are as follows.

North Dakota

North Dakota

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As one of the least populous states in the United States, and the flattest, some might not automatically think of North Dakota as a vacation destination. But North Dakota residents and other fellow Midwesterners know that North Dakota offers a distinctive culture and breathtaking landscapes. Once having a strong Native American presence, the state is home to historical sites and small museums dedicated to specific people and events, such as Fort Buford and Fort Union Trading Post. You can also travel along the Enchanted Highway, which has one of the best roadside attractions in the United States. Here are some other fabulous locations for fun times in North Dakota:

Fargo – Fargo is North Dakota’s largest city, even if it’s small when compared to other large cities in the Midwest. This city is North Dakota’s hub for arts and culture. The city has several museums, including the Fargo Air Museum, The Plains Art Museum, and Bonanzaville, a historic area of the city where you will find artifacts and Fargo’s first house.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Established by President Truman in 1947, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a paradise for those who love to hike, camp, and connect with the outdoors. The least flat part of North Dakota, the park offers 100 miles of trails and ample opportunity to view the region’s distinct wildlife. Also, you can see several historical sites with background information on Teddy Roosevelt’s time there in the late 19th century.

Devils Lake – This 160,000-acre lake is North Dakota’s largest body of water. The lake area draws outdoor enthusiasts all year long for fishing, ice fishing, water sports, and more. The lake gets its name from the Native American lore, which tells of bad spirits in the water.

National Buffalo Museum – The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, North Dakota, has lots of art and exhibits. It’s dedicated to educating the public and honoring the North American bison who live in the region.

Illinois

Illinois

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While a good portion of rural Illinois consists of expansive agricultural fields, this flat state in the Midwest is home to one of the largest urban centers in the world. One of Illinois’s greatest assets is the juxtaposition of Chicago’s hustle and bustle with the more serene locations and activities found in Central and Southern Illinois.

Whether you find yourself in Chicago for the first or the 50th time, these are three locations you have to visit at least once in your life:

Navy Pier – This Chicago landmark allows visitors to participate in fun events and cultural activities with the panoramic backdrop of stunning Lake Michigan. Families will enjoy the rides and the Chicago Children’s Museum. All visitors can try out multiple dining options and enjoy live music and shows.

Millennium Park – Located in downtown Chicago, Millennium Park is home to Cloud Gate. This famous art installation looks like a big silver bean. The park has several fountains, a rock climbing wall, multiple dining options, and a pavilion for live entertainment.

Art Institute of Chicago – Art lovers cannot miss a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago located next to Millennium Park. Here, you can see famous paintings such as American Gothic by Grant Wood and Water Lilies by Claude Monet.

Don’t underestimate the rest of Illinois, where you can enjoy many different highlights, such as:

Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum – Road-trippers looking to “get their kicks on Route 66” can soak up the history at the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Illinois. The museum offers thousands of pieces of memorabilia associated with the historic route and its importance throughout the country.

Starved Rock State Park – After visiting Starved Rock State Park, you might doubt Illinois is a flat state. Starved Rock State Park has 18 canyons along the Illinois River and 13 trails giving access to stunning waterfalls.

Springfield – Illinois’s capital city is home to the Lincoln Tomb and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Although he was born in Kentucky, Lincoln spent many years in Springfield prior to his presidency. Visitors will find numerous historical landmarks and can also visit the Illinois State Museum.

Florida

Florida

5 U.S. Cities With Perfect Weather in August

What U.S. cities offer the perfect weather for August? Well, it turns out there are several, and they are varied enough to offer something for everyone. The United States offers a wide array of weather patterns (some even within the same place), so if you want to beat the heat and cool off in a breezy summer vacation spot this August, the perfect destination may be closer than you think!

Before we jump in, let’s consider what “perfect weather” entails. The human body is designed to operate optimally at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We feel most comfortable at this temperature and will not be reaching for a blanket or desperately trying to cool off. In addition, most people prefer low humidity and some sunshine on a daily basis.

With those qualities in mind, let’s take a look at which cities offer a much-needed summer reprieve from the heat while also providing pleasant surroundings throughout the month of August.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California

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While many California beach towns are going to be sweltering during the late summer, that’s not the case in San Francisco. The average historical highs for the city hover between the mid-60s and low-70s throughout the month of August, and the lows are a nice, gentle 55 degrees. Visitors can also expect plenty of days of sunshine, making the city an excellent place to spend your August vacation.

San Francisco offers tourists the chance to see some iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge or Alcatraz Island, and — even though it won’t be sweltering outside — it is still summer, so stopping by the original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is a good choice, too.

Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

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If you’d rather head for the mountains than the beach, Denver has lots to offer August vacationers. While the average highs are a little above the preferred range (sitting at around 90 degrees), the average lows are a lovely 55–59 degrees. In addition, it’s important to note that Denver has very little humidity. You may need to stock up on the ChapStick, but you’ll be able to comfortably spend hours in the sunny outdoors.

Elitch Garden offers a seasonal water park that is at its peak in August. The Museum of Nature and Science and the Downtown Aquarium also offer some fun (and educational) opportunities for families. Overall, Denver has plenty of summery activities to keep the spirit of the season alive — without baking visitors in the heat.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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With average highs in the high 70s and lows in the mid-60s, Milwaukee offers a lovely reprieve from the sweltering summer heat. It also has a lot to offer as a destination with family-friendly attractions like the Horticultural Exhibit, County Zoo, and Art Museum. The area is also well-known for its breweries and proximity to Lake Michigan. Visitors may also learn a little more about the fascinating history of the Great Lakes while they’re there.

Whether visitors are looking to spend some time outdoors, soak in some culture, or simply sit back and relax with a nice, cold beer, Milwaukee has a lot to offer. It’s an excellent destination for families, couples, or friends wanting to get together and have a true summer break on the lake.

Daily trivia question

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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The Pacific Northwest may be known for its gloomy drizzle most of the year, but summers in the area offer an amazing break from the temperature spikes gripping much of the rest of the country. Seattle, with average highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 50s and 60s, offers a perfect August getaway. Visitors will be thrilled with a trip to the historic Pike Place Market or with a visit to the breathtaking display of the Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Seattle also might be one of the coolest vacation spots around, offering both the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture. However, it should be noted that it is not, as many people mistakenly believe, the state capital (that title goes to much-smaller Olympia).

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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Portland is another Pacific Northwest destination that promises a great summer experience with ideal weather. With a historical average high around 80 and lows in the mid-50s, Portland offers comfortable August days and cool nights. That gorgeous weather is a perfect excuse to get outdoors and see some of the great attractions Portland has to offer including the International Rose Test Garden and Portland Japanese Garden.

More adventurous and outdoorsy types will find the hiking trails at the Hoyt Arboretum or through Forest Park excellent ways to get up close and personal with the beautiful towering trees of the Pacific Northwest.