What Does Your State Shop For?

by Honolulu Mother

Estately (a real estate blog I guess?) put together a map showing what item each state shops for more frequently than any other state:

Thrillist also wrote it up here:


You can scroll down to see the complete list from each state. Hawaii’s looks mostly right, though I’m not sure what’s up with that Flowbee. Some other states have explaining to do — Colorado and Kansas, is it the long winters? Rhode Island, I feel your pain.

How about your state — does the list surprise you?


86 thoughts on “What Does Your State Shop For?

  1. My state –
    padded underwear / pet snakes / THC vape juice / laser tag set / dog Halloween costume

    I can see the vape juice, laser tag set and dog Halloween costume. Pet snakes and padded underwear – ummm – don’t know about that.

  2. Makes me wonder as most people I know don’t use Google Shopping to actually buy anything. So, what is their demographic? I do get the motorized kayak actually because more and more people seem to use them for fishing.

  3. I interpret this as “the state searched for these things more than any other state”, not “these are the most searched thing in the state”. So some state has to be the leader in searching for the Borat mankini, adult underoos, or velour tracksuits.

  4. I understand the coyote urine if the objective is to keep garden-wrecking (eating) deer away.

  5. plaid pants / zombie apocalypse survival kit / Ed Hardy shirt / camo wedding dress

    Awesome! The Walking Dead is filmed here.

    On the rat traps in Rhode Island – my dad in Mass. had a mouse infestation in his car last year which he discovered when he was visiting us (apparently very common in the Northeast over the winter). They had chewed through a bunch of wires and did quite a bit of damage but I remember the guy at the dealership down here referring to the mice as rats and my dad was so offended.

  6. Illinois really likes wine i guess – electric wine openers and huge wine glasses. I’m surprised it isn’t more eclectic actually.

    I always knew there was something off about Indiana. Blow up dolls and eggstractors?
    INDIANA: shark costume / Tiddy Bear / Eggstractor / blow-up doll / cloche hat

  7. Can I hijack? DD#1 would like to visit – RIT, RPI, WPI, Penn State and Vanderbilt. OK, I know that Vanderbilt is no where near the other four, but it is in between Texas and these other schools. She has done a little research and we attended a college fair last night. She is planning to do some more research after AP tests are over, so she might reduce the number of schools, but she realizes we are somewhat maxed out for a week long trip.

    By Texas driving standards, these look close enough to do a visit one day, drive to the next and do a visit, etc. Is that true? The “difficulty” is that RPI has a prospective women students day Monday, Aug, 7 that she’d like to attend. RPI appears to be “in the middle” of the grouping of 4. Penn State has standard tours M-TH that week, and RIT has M-F that week. WPI’s calendar doesn’t go out that far.

    Any suggestions, given your knowledge of the Northeast that makes this easier? My only thought was to fly in/out of Albany and make a bit circle back to it.

  8. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Worchester Polytechnic Institute. They are all a mouthful, and mostly seem to be referred to by initials.

  9. Ha! NJ has a Gucci fanny pack! I have an image of Tony Sopranno wearing this over his velour track suit. Or the Situation sporting it on the Jersey Shore!

    RI – must be elsewhere. That’s one thing I haven’t searched for… tick control? Yes. Exterminators to remove a skunk nest who use “have a heart” traps? Yes. Rat traps? Nope.

  10. Austin – I think RIT, RPI, and WPI makes for a great week trip. Perhaps you can defer Vanderbilt for a long weekend in Nashville?

  11. The rest of RI’s list… speedos and body suits. Hmmm. Looks like folks are gearing up for the summers at Scarborough beach. The rat traps kept their cars rodent free so when Memorial Day hits they are ready.

  12. Austin, FYI, my colleague’s daughter just got a great Microsoft internship as a sophomore entering after a year of community college at RIT (?) and my New York-bred colleague likes all 3. Just agreeing with the value of your trip based on fresh data

  13. Hofstra is having an open house in 2 weeks. Thoughts? I know they are putting a lot of money into STEM, including CS, which is in an engineering school. The location is convenient. A friend of ours is a freshman there this year. But he would need to get some amount of merit aid to afford it.

  14. MooshiMooshi – If you are there in August would love to meet up IRL.

    I do realize they are about 3 hours apart – that is a one way trip from where we live to either Houston or Dallas and we consider that “nearby” and while not ideal, will make the round trip in one day.

    That said, 3 hours on google maps is not always 3 hours in reality! We were wondering if we can hit one per day – M-Th RIT/RPI/WPI and Penn State? We were thinking of doing Vanderbilt on that Friday/Saturday, if possible.

    If DD does not get the city internship she applied for, and gets into the WPI camp, then we will pick her up at the end of the camp and do the other schools the following week.

  15. Mooshi, my brother went to Hofstra and enjoyed it, although he was a liberal arts major. And he graduated 25 years ago, so his experience probably isn’t all that relevant to your DS.

  16. RPI, RIT and WPI are nowhere near each other. This would take several days

    She said, “visit one day, drive to the next and do a visit, etc.” that should work it’s 3.5 hours from RPI to RIT and then RIT to WPI is 3 hours. In theory you could do it in a day if you left really early.

  17. Thanks Rhett – We are also having to plan around the schools “tour” times and also not be exhausted zombies by the last visit!

  18. That said, 3 hours on google maps is not always 3 hours in reality!

    I once worked in Rochester there is never any traffic, ever. The route from WPI to Penn State also has you missing NYC but MM would know about the traffic on 84.

  19. The I-84 route is really tedious and can have traffic in places, especially around Worcester itself, Waterbury, and Danbury. If you hit construction, there can also be traffic. Google Maps says 6 hours, but that seems short to me.

  20. When would you go to Penn State during that week? The roads from RPI>>RIT>>WPI are not likely to be crowded, but to get from WPI to Penn State is 12 hours.

  21. I take 84 often during the summer because of visits to camp and to see family in central CT. It is hot or Miss because they always seem to be doing a construction project some place that takes it down to one lane. We sat in a 30 minute backup last week to exit from 90 to 84. If you allow an hour cushion for unexpected traffic, you should be fine.

    Waze helps a lot, but sometimes there aren’t a lot of wazers reporting in rural NY or PA.

    I think google maps has a feature that allows you to plug in the time of day and day of the week to get a typical time duration based on typical volume.

  22. Austin, I suggest you investigate flying in to one airport, and out another, e.g., fly in to Pittsburgh, out of Boston.

    I realize there may be a one-way car rental charge as well, but it might be worth it. It seems like there’s not the penalty for one-way flights (or alternatively, the savings with round trip bookings) that there used to be.

    WRT the Monday event, perhaps there are pleasant ways to spend a weekend in western PA/NY, e.g., Niagara falls?

  23. When would you go to Penn State during that week? The roads from RPI>>RIT>>WPI are not likely to be crowded, but to get from WPI to Penn State is 12 hours.

    It would make a heck of a lot more sense to go the other way – WPI to RPI to RIT to Penn State. RIT to Penn State is only 4 hours.

  24. Austin – having actually driven all the roads you’re talking about, I suggest:
    Fly into Albany on Sunday 8/6
    doing the RPI event on Monday, then drive to Worcester 2.25 hours
    WPI on Tuesday (the early tour if you can), drive to Rochester 5.3 hours, probably a little less
    RIT on Wednesday (the later tour), drive to State College 3.5hours
    Penn St on Thursday (early tour), then go to Philadelphia (3.5 hours) or Pittsburgh (2.5 hours) where you could just do fun stuff or visit more colleges on Friday (e.g. CMU in Pittsburgh) if you want to.
    Nashville is 10.75 hours from Penn St…you’ll want to fly that.
    Good Luck!

  25. Finn – Niagara Falls is, best case, 6 hours driving from RPI. If pre-RPI weekend fun is desired, I’d suggest NYC and maybe taking the train vs driving from there to Albany where Austin could pick up a car for the rest of the excursion.

  26. I forgot about needing to do RPI on Monday. Fred’s route makes much more sense. Another option would be to fly in Thursday and do WPI on Friday, then see some sights over the weekend, got to RPI Monday, then RIT and Penn State.

  27. Two of my friends are in Rochester today. They flew there last night to attend an accepted student event today at the University of Rochester. I’ve never been to that part of NY state.

    OT, I dont use google to search for stuff I want to buy, but my search engine tends to drag me back to google if I can’t find what I’m looking for on other sites.

    My recent searches involve silver shoes or sandals for DD. I’ve found a lot of beautiful shoes, but many have heels that are too high. I think I finally found a pair that fits and she likes.

  28. Lauren – totally off topic, but I was wondering if there was cake cutting at a bat mitzvah. And are there certain designs that are preferred?

  29. “e.g. CMU in Pittsburgh”

    If you’re going to visit CMU, you may as well visit Pitt as well. Their campuses are in very close proximity to each other.

  30. Lauren – they got good weather. A little cool & breezy, but sunny & dry.

  31. I’m just starting to use Waze. In an unfamiliar area, it had me get off the interstate, drive on city streets, and get back on the highway less than two miles (but a couple stoplights & a RR crossing where the train stopped) later, and did a similar thing for a couple blocks with a busy 5-lane road and side streets. Does that happen often, and how can you circumvent it?

    We aren’t ready to visit colleges yet, but as long as people are talking about it–is about half a day per campus correct?

  32. Crisis in Westchester county…only 3 Starbucks are serving the unicorn frappucino. It’s sold out in all of the other locations.

    Lots of angry girls, and many frustrated parents that are the drivers. Luckily, one of the three is right near my home use and they’re taking photos now. I don’t think people like the drink, but they want the photos!

  33. Fred, they missed a miserable day downstate. Cold, gray and rainy. My DH is coming back from CA and I know he’s not happy to be coming back to this damp cold that has only disappeared for a few days so far this month.

  34. In an unfamiliar area, it had me get off the interstate, drive on city streets, and get back on the highway less than two miles (but a couple stoplights & a RR crossing where the train stopped) later, and did a similar thing for a couple blocks with a busy 5-lane road and side streets. Does that happen often, and how can you circumvent it?

    Ay there’s the rub – I’ve found if it’s telling you go a different way it’s for a good reason*. My motto is, “Always trust the Waze!”

    * Going to the airport it tells me to go through the South End. Why would I do that, silly Waze? As it turns out the Berkley St entrance to Storrow Drive is closed.

    ** Driving down the highway heading to the airport to come home. Cruising along at 75 and Waze suddenly starts telling me to take the next exit. Yeh… whatever. Round the next bend – dead stop. Next week it tells me the same thing and I take the exit and while it takes me through hill and dale, I get where I’m going on time.

  35. Louise, there is a candle lighting ceremony. The candles used to surround the cake and the cake would be cut later by the catering staff for dessert. It’s not cut in front of the guests. I am not sure why, but the cakes have been replaced by decor such as the kids name, or a big letter surrounded by candles. Family and friends still come up to light candles, but most people don’t have cakes this year.

    There is generally a blessing over the challah and the bread is cut in front of the guests after the blessing.

  36. We’ve been driving a lot from NY to New Jersey and Long Island. One day in March, we had to drive from northern NJ (Bergen co for Denver and Rhode) to Suffolk county. I would not attempt this drive without Waze. It still took two hours, but Waze knew how to save us from certain bridges and highways.

    Sometimes, Waze has taken us on crazy routes when everything is a mess. This happened once in Queens on Thanksgiving and once in Los Angeles on a vacation. Both routes took us through some so so neighborhoods. We weren’t thrilled, but it does save time if you trust the app. Also, it only works really well when other Wazers report problems. You can adjust certain preferences in settings such as avoiding tolls or highways.

  37. Rhett, that’s what I expected–that there would always be a reason, so I followed it. Traffic before and after our jaunt off the interstate was fine. Maybe going 50, but certainly not like the stop and go and then wait for a TRAIN that we got by taking the detour. Same with the blip off the busy street. It was heavy traffic, but moving so well before and after the detour of a few blocks that I have a hard time imagining what could be in-between and not backing traffic up to where I would’ve seen it.
    Lauren, I know you’re a big Waze user, so if those are the only times it’s happened to you, I’m good. Is there any way to see more than the next step?

  38. “We aren’t ready to visit colleges yet, but as long as people are talking about it–is about half a day per campus correct?”

    IMO, it depends on what stage you are in the college selection process.

    Early in the process, I think half a day is reasonable, e.g., when you’re trying to narrow down types of colleges (e.g., rural SLAC vs large urban university), or just getting a feel for what’s out there.

    But further into the process, e.g., when deciding where to apply, or making a final choice, a longer visit might be more appropriate, especially if classes are in session and you can sit in on classes, or do overnight visits.

  39. I have shopped for mini wine bottles, one of my state’s most popular items. I like sparkling wine, but opening up a large bottle is often a waste so I like the idea of smaller bottles.

    I use Google map for driving and the reviews comparing Waze with Google don’t persuade me to change. But maybe I’ll go ahead and try Waze for myself anyway.

    Actually, I only started using Google exclusively after some bad experiences with our car’s built-in GPS, which seems slow and doesn’t seem to give the best directions. It uses current traffic conditions, maybe even Waze data. Once it weirdly sent us into the hinterlands of the Bronx instead of our usual direct highway route when we were traveling to NJ. The thing is that it’s hard to know in hindsight if the suggested route was truly significantly faster.

  40. Google bought Waze so you should be able to get similar results if you use Google maps instead of Waze. Google is picking up some of the same traffic data, speeds and even Wazer reports from the Waze app to change routes. We have to drive to Long Island a lot, and sometimes the traffic is terrible on every possible route. This happened to us a couple of weeks ago when we had to go on a weeknight for Passover. We used Waze, but we weren’t moving so my husband asked me to check google maps. The alternate route that google maps suggested was slightly different, but gave us the same predicted arrival time.

    S&M, Waze sometimes does stupid things like telling you to make a left turn on a major road with no traffic light. There are some things that it just isn’t smart enough to know such as when you shouldn’t be cutting through the south Bronx, but if the alternative is sitting (and not moving) on the Cross Bronx Expressway- it tries to get you out of sticky situations. I would just say be cautious if you’re really in an unfamiliar city because we really don’t mind in the Bronx since I know the borough, but it wasn’t fun to do a similar trip in LA when we had no idea where we would end up. You can touch the first instruction that is in words at the top of the map, and then just keep swiping. You can preview the whole route in advance – before you leave on the trip.

  41. S&M – Google maps does use waze data, but its algorithm is different. It will alert you to an accident or road closing or major traffic tie up that it discovers while you are en route and ask you if you would like to change your previously chosen route. It doesn’t tell you to get off the highway at every tie up. However, neither one is able to figure in street level rail crossings, in my experience. I always preview a route with Google on my phone, even a wellknown local one, especially now that i have day care pickup once a week, to figure out which of the five possible routes to take and when to leave.

  42. We used google maps in Boston last fall when we landed at the airport at about rush hour and were trying to get to our hotel near Fenway on a game night. My DH is not as trusting as me, but I was navigating! It took us through all these narrow little streets with lots of ‘veer right’ types of intersections. The route seemed crazy, but every so often we’d get close enough to the highway to see that it was basically at a standstill. I hadn’t thought through losing our signal in the tunnels though!

  43. RMS,

    Ahaha. “People need to realize—and it is my objective to make them realize—that afternoons spent relaxing at the beach are completely overrated, as is summertime in general,”

  44. If Google has bought Waze and is using some of its data, maybe I’ll just stick with Google, which is what I’ve used before We were using Waze and Siri recently (which may use Google–not sure). Just after Waze announced a problem ahead, Siri said there was an alternate route that would save us 2 minutes, did we want to take it. I liked that, because it showed me both routes. Waze announces so many vehicles on the side of the road it makes me laugh. Maybe those are a problem in some places, but the shoulders here are broader than some roads I’ve driven on in Europe.

  45. Oh, and I don’t think any of them have figured out that left turns across multiple lanes at heavy traffic times can be a problem, or that parking lots are often connected.

  46. I was in one of those really large convention centers this week (spanning multiple city blocks) and went in the wrong door for the ballroom I was looking for. I wasn’t even sure it was in a connected building, so I google mapped it to see make sure I was walking along the most direct route (thankfully I had the street address for the ballroom). As I was walking, I was surprised to see an instruction that said to go up a flight of stairs, just as I was reaching an escalator. It was pretty impressive.

  47. Oh, and I don’t think any of them have figured out that left turns across multiple lanes at heavy traffic times can be a problem, or that parking lots are often connected.

    They need to work in the UPS mapping software with its avoidance of left turns.

  48. Somewhat related to the topic, have you noticed that shiplap to cover your walls is a thing? I’m late to the game, having only recently noticed it on HGTV’s Fixer Upper and other home design shows. I would not choose it for my home, and I could see it becoming the wood paneling of future home decorating tastes. Thinking of this, I’d love to time travel and see what future home owners have to say about current trends. I still think granite counters will be right up there with gold and avocado colored appliances, but I could certainly be wrong!


  49. Joanna on Fixer Upper is obsessed with shiplap. She only has one decorating style. The reason that show is successful is that she and Chip and their kids are so attractive and likable, not because she’s a great designer.

  50. They need to work in the UPS mapping software with its avoidance of left turns.

    That’s a great idea, especially for an aging population.

  51. “Joanna on Fixer Upper is obsessed with shiplap. ” — Yes. It made me wonder if she has some financial connection that incentivized her to promote it.

  52. CoC, did you see the new Property Brothers episodes were filmed nearby? I think one is in your town or neighboring town.

  53. In one case I know the exact house they used, but I have been unable to catch those episodes. I couldn’t tell which ones they were.

  54. There were a few articles last week about the new episodes so I programmed my DVR because I wanted to see the houses in Scarsdale. The articles were actually interesting because they contained interviews with local contractors, florists and decorators. They shared a bit of the process and talked about how great Drew and Scott are to partner with on the show. The Scarsdale episode was the Buying and Selling show so you have two chances to see how horrible the properties are even when you’re spending over a million.

  55. I saw that episode too, and I thought the makeover of the house for sale was one of the nicest I have seen them do. They loooove working in the New York area. They have so many fun families with strong TV friendly personalities to choose from, and big budgets. Trying to transplant the Love it or list it pair, hillary and david and their Long Island? contractor, into Raleigh NC is a major fail. You need abrasive clients to match up with the abrasive show hosts, and what can you really do with 50K for an hour long show? Fixer Upper is about the hosts – the clients are irrelevant.

  56. I think Love it or List It started out in Canada, actually. Likewise the early Property Brothers shows. There seem to be plenty of oddly abrasive personalities in Canada, contrary to myth and legend.

  57. Both of the shows started in Canada. We watched a special about Drew and Scott and a third brother. It was when they built/renovated a ranch for family friends. Shared a lot about their family and background. All of the earlier seasons were filmed in/near Toronto.

    Many HGTV shows seem to originate in Canada. The network used to be much smaller and they owned small stations that they got through an acquisition. These were based in Canada, so they dumped some of the programming into the US for little to no additional cost.

    A few of the shows became big hits such as The Property Brothers and Love it or List it. They were smart to make US versions as the shows became so popular.

  58. I may have mentioned this already, but the family who bought my parents’ home is gutting it and putting in shiplap! I drove by when I was last in town and could see through the open windows those telltale sideways white boards!

    Kind of an interesting family: I believe the dad captains a pilot boat on the ship channel and works odd hours, so he needs an office at home (and maybe a separate place to sleep for quiet?). They only have one child, which seemed too small a family for our four bedroom house, but knowing his occupation it makes some sense.

  59. The original US HGTV shows were design or fix it yourself, plus house hunters. The Canadian ones really got the network going. Iron Chef is back, too, for a limited run on Food network. I confess my favorite among the current shows is Cooks vs Cons. Somehow Geoffrey Zakarian turned out to be a good and funny host for this one. No one beats Ted Allen, of course.

  60. I gave up on the Food Channel when they stopped having cooking shows and everything was just competitions. I just watch PBS now for actual cooking shows.

  61. RMS – the one couple I know in the LA Area is now divorced. One big issue was definitely money. The guy didn’t make enough to live there. He made a decent enough salary (above $100k) but they could never gain traction on buying their own home. She didn’t want to move out of the area wrongly thinking that it was the best place on earth. Now they are stuck still more, both have to rent separate apartments, have to stay near each other because he has the kids on weekends and the COL isn’t getting cheaper.

  62. It is so crazy in San Francisco, but I don’t know how much more so than in earlier booms. I remember thinking we could never buy a house back in the early 1990’s, and when we did in the late 90’s we had to buy one that needed a lot of work (it was the house no one wanted!).

    I will say that I have seen several “for rent” signs in apartment buildings – more than I have noticed since around 2008, and there is talk of a slight softening. A bunch of apartments were completed over the past year or two, so there is a tiny bit of relief, but things have swung back to blocking by neighborhood groups of any new housing proposals. Someone always will try to stop a new building because it blocks a view, will add too much traffic and congestion, and/or doesn’t have enough low income housing included.

    I think the article alluded to the fact that few people are able to move up and out – from the apartment to the starter home to the bigger home – so they stay put, and that leads to very small inventory.

  63. I have a friend who is separated from her husband (he cheated) but she won’t divorce him because they would have to sell the family home that she is still living in, and she can’t get a new place in the city with a bit of yard for her dog with only half the proceeds.

    I think she is basically waiting for him to pass away – he is 70+ and has several medical conditions.

  64. My husband was in west cost office last week and he took his cousin out to dinner. He’s one year out of college and working in financial services. He asked to take the bread home! He told my husband that San Fran seems much more expensive than NY metro. He’s from a NY burb and lived in NYC for a summer. He said his parents help with rent, but he barely has money for everything he needs because so much of his income is going to pay rent and commute. He does not own a car. The finance firms don’t offer the same perks as tech. No free food in office, no free transportation to/from work and no free gym etc. That market makes NYC look affordable!

  65. This sentence jumped out at me from the article linked by RMS:

    “A family of four with an income of $105,350 per year is considered “low income,” because that is 80 percent of the $115,300 median income for those areas. ”

    Interesting math.

    Of course, if the median income is correct, then a true 80% doesn’t lend itself to the headline and its six-figure reference.

  66. I was headed out on Friday, just catching up. Thanks for all the advice on the college visit trip.

    On Waze – one benefit if you turn it on all the time, it learns some of your preferred routes. Yes, the left turn thing without a light is a “glitch” IMO. I did contact them about that and they said it is a frequently complaint, and hinted they might be working on it. The problem seems to be that if there is a line of cars at the light, it thinks it is re-routing you to a faster route, and until that street backs up continues to think it is the better route.

    S&M – Here vehicle on side of the road is helpful as we have the requirement to slow down or change lanes if there are people and especially fire/police on the side of the road. It also helps if people are aware and can let the vehilce or the tow truck back on the road. In an effort to “add more lanes” they are shrinking and even eliminating shoulders. But, that doesn’t stop cars from breaking down or having accidents.

  67. A state trooper was killed her last year so they’ve had a renewed emphasis on enforcing the law to move over a lane if there are stopped vehicles.

    And besides that, something happening on the side of the road slows down traffic because everyone slows down to look. So it is very helpful to know if there are vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

  68. Ha! I just skimmed the article and didn’t even notice that error, Finn.

  69. “A state trooper was killed her last year so they’ve had a renewed emphasis on enforcing the law to move over a lane if there are stopped vehicles.”

    A similar death of a police officer here triggered the passing of a move over law.

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