A midwestern state where you could see a Porshe and a John Deere tractor on the same country road on your way to eat a Pony Shoe (or if you're hungry, a Horse Shoe) with your neighbors who happen to be a farmer, a stock broker, a doctor, and a hippie (i.e., very diverse). Illinoisians are infatuated with the outdoors, as shown by the multitude of state parks throughout the state. Although there sometimes tends to be tension between the Chicagoans and Downstaters, both unite together in their loyalty and pride in Illinois.
Notable cities (from south to north): Decatur, Charleston-Mattoon, Springfield, Danville, Urbana-Champaign, Bloomington, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island-Moline, Chicago and suburbs.
Although the uplands area is a bit "backwoods", it is a wonderful state full of friendly people and incredible views (after all, it is the state of "smiling faces, beautiful places". In how many other places are you no more than three hours from beach or mountains from ANYWHERE in the state...?
Here's a news flash for everyone: REDNECKS, unfortunately, inhabit all 50 states from California to Maine