I read a ton of travel listicles, and I think this one by Estately.com — The Top Ten States for Spending Summer By The Shore — might be the dumbest one ever composed.

Terrible criteria will always result in a skewed ranking, and I don't think Estately's could have been more bizarre — a litany of meaningless, oddly selected facts.

First criterion: How many ice cream shops are near the beach. Who really cares?

They also measured the number of shark attacks in each state's waters since 1837. Scientists recently proved that you are more likely to be bitten by deranged Uruguayan soccer star Luis Suarez than a mako, tiger, hammerhead, or great white.

They also toted up skin cancer rates, and Florida scored poorly there. Maybe that's because the state is full of Caucasian geriatrics, not because the sun there is more intense than in Texas, which is pretty much entirely at the exact same latitude.

They also gave lots of weight to each state's total miles of shoreline. Louisiana did very well in that category. But when was the last time you went to the beach in Louisiana? Never? Because almost every inch of Louisiana's 8,000 miles of shoreline is an alligator- and snake-infested swamp? Yes? Thought so.

Yeah, yeah, they did measure a couple of things that made some sense, like average water temps and number of sunny days, but there was no consideration given to how pretty or ugly the beaches are.

And so New York state tops their list (despite the fact that Jaws's descendants still lurk offshore), followed by California, and then Mississippi's Redneck Riviera, which really is no great shakes next to Alabama's snow-white beaches, which were not ranked.

Texas, our Texas comes in next, sargassum-befouled, oil-spattered, brown sand and chocolate surf or not.

Galvestonian Shari Latif built this sargasso monster this week.

Image: Shari Latif

While at the beach here, Estately says, be sure to visit Cloud 10 Creamery's sole location in Rice Village, a mere 50 miles from the Seawall.

Moving on, there's Massachusetts (brrr), Louisiana (Grand Isle or bust, cher), North Carolina (never been to that coast, don't know), Oregon (makes me think of cool tidal pools full of anemones and urchins and stuff), and New Jersey (meatballs).

A typical Louisiana beach, which explains why many Louisiana folk prefer Bolivar.

Coming in at number 10 is Florida. Yes, Louisiana is a better beach destination than Florida.

Oh yeah, Hawaii was unranked.

Maybe the ice cream shops 50 miles inland are not up to snuff. 

Look, from Port A down to South Padre, Texas beaches are fine. And I love even homely old Galveston and Bolivar. But better than Florida and Hawaii? Come on.

As Houstonian Clint "Hydro" Heider puts it, " I love our beaches. But in the same way you love a mangy, three legged dog that [craps] on your carpet and steals your hamburger off the table."

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