Idaho Panhandle? Texas Isn’t Alone. What Exactly IS A Panhandle Anyway?
Ok, so I had HEARD of the Panhandle before I moved to Amarillo. The problem was, I didn't know exactly what a panhandle was exactly.
I thought it was just some fancy name or title that had been bestowed upon an area.
So as I always do when I'm getting ready to move, I start to look into the city and its surroundings. It wasn't until recently that I finally looked up what a panhandle was.
Just in case you didn't know, a panhandle is a long and narrow projection of a larger territory that is NOT a peninsula. It's the narrow part of a state that is kind of pulling away from the main part of the state.
Ok, got it. I think. So for Texas, it's the top of the state where it essentially turns into the shape of a box before bleeding into the enormity of the state. That would make sense based on the description of a panhandle.
Oklahoma? Yeah, that's easy, it's that long sliver that runs across Kansas, Texas, and Colorado.
What about Florida? I hear about the Florida panhandle all the time. Same concept, it's that stretch of the state that borders Georgia and Alabama.
So there you have it, the three panhandles in the United States.
Wait, what? There's SEVEN more encompassing six more states? Get out of town. I had to dig more. What other states have panhandles that we aren't thinking of?
Idaho, of COURSE Idaho. It's that long-running thin strip that borders Canada at its point. Ok, there's four states and panhandles.
Alaska, a state none of us ever seem to think about has a pretty long panhandle that runs along the southeastern part of the state.
How about Connecticut making the list? I didn't even think about this one, but its panhandle is an extension of the southwestern part of the state. The amazing thing about this one is that the panhandle is all one county.
A couple of other states with a panhandle are Nebraska and Maryland, but there's one more state we're missing and it's the most unique one on the list.
Stumped? I know I was. That state would be West Virginia. It's a tricky one to pick up because you don't think of a state having such a strange territory, but West Virginia has a panhandle at the northernmost part of the state, and another that extends out on the eastern part of the state.
Cool right? So there you have it, your history lesson for the day. If you want to dig in a little deeper, go and check out this World Atlas article. This little nugget is how I found out about all these panhandle gems.