Maine: Overall, I like Maine, but mostly because I truly adore all of the Maine residents I know (Judie, Peter, Holly, JP, Danny, and Tommy, who arguably compose 2/3 of the population). Also, they have funny buildings with cows on top of them.
The downside to Maine is that it's too big. You people who live in the 38 other states that are bigger than Maine might pooh-pooh that statement, but believe me, in New England, Maine is a mighty behemoth of endless highways, occasionally littered with moose carcasses and bear dung. Driving to Maine is like driving forever, with nary a lobster shack in sight to mark the end of your journey.
Also, Maine is cold and it has blackflies.
Second of all, it rains a lot in Mass, even when the neighboring states all have sunshine and warm breezes going on. I don't know why this is—maybe God is punishing Massachusetts for giving us the Kennedys? Regardless, the damp weather in this state puts the "England" in New England.
That being said, Massachusetts is a lot like Connecticut, which I consider a good thing. They understand our pain when it comes to the high cost of living, road construction, and governors who are suspected of fraud. I suspect that if the entire state of Connecticut was sucked up by aliens and transported just over the border, most of us wouldn’t even notice, except we'd be the only people not talking funny, and we’d complain about the rain more.
New Hampshire: I will admit that I haven't traveled deep into the heart of New Hampshire—Portsmouth is about as far as I ever get. (I had a great-aunt who lived in Nashua, but again, we're really still looking at "just over the border.") Here's what I've discovered about New Hampshire: they have deliberately set up their highways and side roads to confuse the heck out of tourists. I'm talking, of course, about rotaries and roundabouts.
One time while visiting Portsmouth, my friend Cat and I decided to take a little road trip (we urgently needed Cool Ranch Doritos, so an emergency supply run was necessary). We drove half a mile away from the hotel, got lost in a roundabout, and (I am not making this up) wound up in MAINE. Maine! I didn't even think that was geographically possible!
New Hampshire: a lovely place to visit, but I usually only wind up there when I'm lost.
Rhode Island is beautiful, and with the abovementioned food (johnny cakes, New York System hot wieners, clam cakes, and doughboys), it's very easy to get fat while living there. I know I did.
Vermont: Did you know that in 1968, Vermont passed an ordinance banning all roadside advertising from its highways? And that said ordinance still stands today? AND that they apparently don't believe in pesky things like lights on their highways? Now imagine you're driving in Vermont when it's not broad daylight. They have mountains, so there's lots of fog, too. You're low on gas and you need the facilities. But there is nary a highway sign nor even a dimly flickering streetlight to guide you to where you want to go. That's right: you're gonna die.
On the plus side, the one event I did in Vermont resulted in the largest number of book sales I've ever had in one place. So Vermont is clearly full of readers, which means it can't be all bad. And those mountains? They're the Green Mountains, which means they have Green Mountain coffee at all the rest stops—if you happen to accidentally stumble across one in the dark.
Connecticut: Ah, Connecticut. My home state. Famous for having the most boring nicknames ("The Nutmeg State," "The Insurance Capital of the World" . . . have you fallen asleep yet?) and for having the highest number of potholes per square mile in the nation. We can't keep a sports team—the Hartford Dark Blues (MLB), the Hartford Blues (NFL, and see what I mean about stupid names?), the New England Blizzard (ABL), and the Hartford Whalers (NHL) have all left Connecticut simply because our residents refuse to leave their homes between November and May to attend a sporting event. We're bland, blasé, and antisocial.
We're not all bad, though. Connecticut has long been cited as the one state in the nation that does not have an accent. That's right: the rest of you should be talking like us. And we are adamant about making sure there are bright lights and cheap advertising plastered all over our highways. Let me reiterate this once again: this is a good thing.
Also, we have the UCONN women's basketball team. So there's that.
There you have it: my review of New England. Each state has its own personality and character flaws, just waiting for you to explore them. Have fun. Personally, I don't like to leave my house between November and May.