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The Best Gifts to Give from Every State

Send a bit of local flair with these state favorites.

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Alabama

Treat loved ones to an indulgent taste of the South by sending a mouthwatering pecan pie. For a dessert that’s harder to find nationwide, offer a buttery chess pie instead. This is the best kept secret in every state.

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Alaska

Jade is Alaska’s official gem and a favorite souvenir of travelers. Wrap up a jade necklace or figurine with the green gem for a unique gift. Check out these astonishing facts about all 50 states.

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Arizona

For a fresh take on poinsettias, give loved ones a cactus this holiday. The desert plants are easy to take care of and will last way after the mistletoe goes dry.

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Arkansas

Mount Ida is known as the quartz capital of the world, and with the resurging popularity of crystals, they’ll be a lovely addition to anyone’s home, whether you buy into their healing properties or not.

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California

Any Californian who’s moved elsewhere is probably missing In-N-Out Burger big time. Wrap up a classic T-shirt with the logo to kindly remind your loved one that any other burger joint simply can’t beat it. Here are the most famous inventions from every state.

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Colorado

At third in the country for both number of craft breweries and number of breweries per capita, Colorado seems to enjoy its beer. Pick up a six-pack of your favorite local microbrew.

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Connecticut

If you aren’t from Connecticut, you might not know that its residents are known as Nutmeggers (as opposed to Connecticuters, Connecticotian, or any other mouthful), likely because its traders would mix wooden nutmegs with the real thing. Send your friend a batch of snickerdoodles, spiced up with a heavy dash of nutmeg.

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Delaware

Anyone who’s spent summers at Rehoboth Beach is probably familiar with the taffy from Dolle’s Candyland. Send a box for a taste of July on Christmas. Here are the best weekend getaways in every state.

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Florida

Don’t let Key West have all the fun—send over a key lime pie for a citrusy addition to a dessert spread that’s oversaturated with chocolaty and cinnamon-heavy treats.

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Georgia

Quite frankly, my dear, your friends will love this gift. Gone with the Wind is set mostly in Atlanta, so a copy of the book or movie, or a collector’s item will be a fun addition to their collections.

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Hawaii

Give the gift of music with a ukulele. Even if your friend isn’t musically inclined, the instrument will make a quirky addition to a gallery wall or shelf display.

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Idaho

An Idaho potato might not be the most exciting present, but a bag of Idaho Spud candy bars will be a sure treat for any state native. These are the funniest street names in every state. 

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Illinois

Sweet-and-salty combos are hard to beat, and there are few better sources than Chicago mix popcorn. Find a bucket loaded with caramel- and cheese-flavored popcorn for an addictive treat.

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Indiana

The original Love sculpture by Robert Indiana is fittingly displayed in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Buy your friend a mini version of the sculpture or a canvas print with the same design.

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Iowa

To celebrate the Dutch history of many of its residents, Iowa has two major tulip festivals—one in Pella and another in Orange City—that each attract more than 100,000 visitors every year. Buy an Iowan a bouquet of the real deal, or a decorative plate with a tulip pattern.

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Kansas

Anyone who’s never been to Kansas might not be familiar with bierocks, a German pastry filled with hamburger and cabbage. Surprise a former Kansan with a frozen pack to pop in the oven for a nostalgic comfort food.

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Kentucky

About 95 percent of bourbon in the world is made in the Bluegrass State. Treat a loved one to a bottle of the good stuff to make it a jolly holiday indeed.

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Louisiana

Wrap up some Cajun heat with a Louisiana-made hot sauce. Tabasco will give a classic kick, but you can also get the taste of the Pelican State with local favorites like Louisiana Hot Sauce and Crystal. This is the highest-paying job in every state.

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Maine

Any shellfish lover will be delighted to open a box of lobster rolls. Send a kit of frozen Maine lobster, complete with New England-style rolls and mayo.

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Maryland

Send former Marylanders the crustaceous treat of a crab cake. Don’t forget to add a tin of Old Bay seasoning for their every seafood need (well, every food need, really).

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Massachusetts

Brown bread—or Boston brown bread, as it’s known outside of New England—is a dense, molasses-based treat that’s steamed in a can instead of baked and tastes way better than it sounds. Even for Bay Staters it’s becoming a rarity, so they’ll be delighted with a can of B&M Brown Bread. This is the top-selling Walmart product in every state.

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Michigan

Sweet treats are a crowd-pleaser, but Michiganders will be particularly giddy drizzling Sanders dessert topping over ice cream (or eating it by the spoon). Wrap up a jar of the ever-popular milk chocolate, or get a gift set that has other flavors too. Here are the best ice cream shops in every state.

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Minnesota

Minnetonka moccasins are a cozy choice for the cold holiday season and are sure to warm any Minnesotan’s heart. They’ll transition straight from snuggling by the fireplace to braving the sub-zero wind-chill.

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Mississippi

Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, making an Elvis album or novelty item a fun choice. The city’s namesake also makes tasty Tupelo honey, which takes longer to crystalize than other honeys. Send a jar to a friend for a sweet treat to stir into tea or drizzle into yogurt.

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Missouri

According to legend, gooey butter cake was invented when a St. Louis baker added too much butter to a coffee cake, creating the rich, sticky confection that ended up catching on. This is the most charming small town in every state.

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Montana

Huckleberries are common throughout the Rocky Mountains, but they’re particularly popular in Montana. Send a jar of huckleberry jam or a bottle of huckleberry syrup for a welcome change from the usual strawberry and blueberry.

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Nebraska

Omaha Steaks are a classic gift for a reason—any griller will a pack of Nebraska-raised filets and sirloins to throw on the barbecue.

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Nevada

Get inspired by Las Vegas’ glittering lights by giving a marquee light sign. Get ones in your friend’s initials, or stick with a holiday-related phrase. Here is the best amusement park in every state.

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New Hampshire

The iconic Old Farmers’ Almanac made its debut in Dublin, New Hampshire, in 1792. Get your hands on a vintage copy from one of the last 200-plus editions, or pre-order a copy of next year’s to prepare for the year ahead.

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New Jersey

Legend has it that after a storm in Atlantic City, soaked a candy shop, the owner quipped that all he could offer was “salt water taffy.” That tasty candy has stuck around boardwalks on the Jersey Shore, so send an assortment to a friend to share the love.

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New Mexico

Instead of using New Mexico chile peppers to spice up your dinner, buy some for decoration. Send a chile ristra add some spice to a loved one’s décor, or a wreath of chiles for an even more festive take.

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New York

No cheesecake can compare to a tall, velvety slice of New York-style cheesecake. Find one with a buttery graham cracker crust for a traditional favorite.

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North Carolina

Cheerwine has a cult following in North Carolina, but it’s tough to find it outside the region. Send a case of the cherry cola for a refreshing change from Coca-Cola. This is the best-kept secret in every state.

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North Dakota

Even though its “true” events supposedly took place in Minnesota, the film Fargo made the North Dakota city a household name. Wrap up a DVD of the 1996 movie or a boxed set of the TV show.

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Ohio

Even if they’re not Ohio State fans, your friends will still love Ohio buckeyes—the candy, that is. The addictive chocolate and peanut butter treats look like a buckeye tree nut and are total crowd-pleasers.

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Oklahoma

More than 400 miles of Route 66 cut through Oklahoma, making it the state with the longest stretch on the path. Send some nostalgia of the “Main Street of America” with a retro Route 66 sign.

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Oregon

Marionberries are a type of blackberry only grown in Oregon. Share some of the love by sending a jar of marionberry jam. This is the best place to go apple picking in every state. 

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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Dutch settlers liked to decorate their barns with colorful hex signs, which are now a symbol of the state. Go for the traditional six-pointed star, or find one with a bird to symbolize luck and happiness.

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Rhode Island

The official beverage of Rhode Island is coffee milk, but you’ll rarely find anyone drinking it outside the state. Send coffee syrup, which is stirred into milk like chocolate syrup, so loved ones can enjoy it no matter where they live.

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South Carolina

Sweet grass baskets used to be used for gathering rice on plantations, but the tradition is still alive, thanks to weavers who make the baskets for decoration. Support a local artist by gifting a handmade one.

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South Dakota

Made only in South Dakota, Black Hills gold is the base of gorgeous jewelry. Traditional pieces use green and pink gold shaped like leaves and flowers. Here is the cheapest gas in each state.

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Tennessee

The sound of Nashville is a fun gift this holiday. Wrap up a Johnny Cash or Kitty Wells CD to honor the Nashville-born influencers, or send an album from your favorite contemporary country artist discovered in Music City.

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Texas

A nice pair of spurs will always attract compliments, whether at the ranch or out for brunch. Go for basic brown, or find western boots with a funky pattern and colors.

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Utah

While any beer from Salt Lake City-based Wasatch Brewery will be a treat for a beer-lover, a six-pack of the cheeky Polygamy Porter is guaranteed to earn a smile. As the tagline says, why have just one?

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Vermont

Vermont maple syrup will raise anyone’s breakfast game, but the syrup isn’t limited to pouring over pancakes. Send some maple candies, maple butter, or maple cookies for that same taste of Vermont. This is the craziest world record in each state.

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Virginia

Take the dirty work out of picking the right holiday roast by sending a Virginia ham. Whether cured or honey glazed, it’s sure to make the meal extra special.

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Washington

Seattle and coffee go hand in hand, and the options go way beyond Seattle’s Best and Starbucks. Send a package of locally roasted beans that make the best aroma to wake up to.

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West Virginia

A West Virginia pepperoni roll—basically pepperoni baked into soft bread—isn’t your typical stromboli. Because of a law defining its bakers as meatpackers, who have tougher standards, you can’t find them in most states, so a pack of frozen pepperoni rolls will thrill any West Virginian.

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Wisconsin

Nothing says “Wisconsin” quite like cheese. Send a gift box with cheddar and crackers, or find a package of cheese curds for a unique snack.

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Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is the only place in America where bison have lived freely since prehistoric times. Find a bison mug, ornament, or stuffed animal to remind your loved one of your home, where buffalo roam. Next, check out the best hidden gem in each of the 50 states.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.