Missoula carries a well-known slogan you can see on the beer cap above. The home to the University of Montana is, as one Montanan told us, "filled with hippies, brooding artist, poets, microbrewers, bike commuters, river surfers, and so much more. All around town, you'll see 'Keep Missoula Weird' stickers. Though it's a blatant rip-off of Austin's slogan, it still rings true."
We could have gone the easy route here and told you Omaha is the only urban center in the state, and is home to the College World Series AND Warren Buffett. But you want oddball? Try this little town that gets as close to Peter Griffin's utopian Petoria as any place in the world. Monowi, once a thriving metropolis of 150, now has a population of exactly one person, making it the smallest town in America. Elsie Eiler not only serves as proprietor of the friendly Monowi Tavern, she's also the mayor, town librarian, and civic liquor control board. And if being an entire city run by one person doesn't make you different than the rest of the state, we're not sure what does.
Anyone who's driven through Nevada can safely tell you there's no need to drive through Nevada. The place makes Mars look lush. The only respite is the occasional small town anchored by a sad little casino and a gas station with slot machines. And then there's Lake Tahoe, nestled right on the California border and filled with emerald-green trees and crystal-clear blue water. It's like the reward at the end of the long, dusty Nevada trail and has much more in common with the Sierra Mountains than anywhere else in the state. But when you combine the scenery, outdoor recreation, and fantastic food with the Nevada-required casinos, it makes for one of the best places in America to have a bachelor party.
If there were a metro area anywhere near Hanover, it would have found itself squarely on this list. While most of New Hampshire is full of isolationist "Live Free or Die" types, who lives in a far-flung New England state to escape urban bullshit, Hanover is more like "I'm rich, leave me alone." The area is literally an hour from ANYTHING, yet somehow boasts some of the most expensive real estate and highest cost of living in the state. Meaning that there's either some serious collusion going on in the real estate market, or rich people are willing to grossly overpay to never have to deal with the common folk.
While most of the state is either NYC/Philadelphia suburbia or coastal beach towns, Newark is a distinctly urban place with its own skyline and character. Newark has its own miserable airport, its own professional hockey team, and its own rapper who reps the city hard every chance she gets (Queen Latifah, in case you missed it). And sure, Jersey City might also have a big-city ambience in suburb-and-beach-filled Jersey, but it feels more like an extension of New York than its own Jersey pride-filled metropolis. Plenty of New Yorkers make the commute into the city from Newark, but once you set foot there something feels decidedly different.