If I hear of one more list in which Louisiana is ranked at the bottom, I’m going to have a conniption fit. Who or what is creating these lists? In the last 24 hours (as of writing this), Louisiana has been ranked worst for nurses, second-worst for working moms, worst for police officers and in January, Politico Magazine ranked Louisiana the worst state  — period.

I’m fed up with the bashing of our great state and I’m taking a stand. In response, I’ve created my own list, one that shows which areas Louisiana is ranked at the top. Here are 10 Reasons Why Louisiana Is The Best:

  1. Best Food: If you disagree with this, you have no taste buds. Louisiana is rich in culture so of course the food is going to reflect a variety of flavor profiles. From seafood to fried food, our state has inspired a host of cookbooks, product lines and restaurants.
  2. There’s a reason Louisiana is known as the “sportsman’s paradise.” Name your favorite outdoors activity and there’s a place or a way to do it. Albeit, snowboarding and skiing may be off the table, you can always waterski.
  3. Best Winter: We have the best winter in the nation. Why? Because we hardly even have one, so in my book, Louisiana has it made.
  4. Best Hot Sauce:From Louisiana Hot Sauce to Tabasco Sauce, we know how to spice things up. They may be staples on dinner tables within the state, but I know better than to leave the stateline without my own personal bottle of Tabasco on hand.
  5. Best Parties: A Louisiana party is unlike any shindig in the world. The food and drinks are guaranteed to be top-notch and the music will be lively and loud. Not to mention, the dancing. In case you didn’t know, folks in Louisiana love to dance and can cut a rug at a moment’s notice. And of course, Mardi Gras. Enough said.
  6. Best Beer: Yes, Abita beer was my first love but with the breweries popping up in the north, I have developed an affinity for SB’s breweries: Great Raft, Red River and Flying Heart.
  7. Best Shape: I’m not referring to our level of fitness (see Best Food above). I’m talking about the actual shape of the state. It’s the shape of a boot. A boot! That’s because Louisiana kicks other states in the rear.
  8. Best Sports Teams: Granted, I know we have a lot of Dallas Cowboys fans in the area (it’s difficult to not root for our hometown athlete, Dak Prescott), but I believe you should support the team of your state. So go Saints, Pelicans and LSU! And now, we can say go Mudbugs, Rafters and Lady Rafters!
  9. Best Festivals: With over 400 festivals throughout the state, Louisiana knows how to attract a crowd. Jazz Fest in New Orleans has been entertaining audiences since 1970 and Lafayette’s Festival International is a music and arts festival celebrating the French culture. In Shreveport, we have our own selection of festivals: Mudbug Madness, Red River Arts Festival and my new favorite, the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival.
  10. Best People: Louisianans are strong and proud. When one of the country’s worst natural disasters struck the Pelican State, it was up to us to ban together, survive and rebuild. The unity experienced in the months and years following Hurricane Katrina is a testimony to the willpower and compassion among residents.