What Is a Panhandle State?

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A panhandle state features a narrow strip of territory projecting out from the main part of the state that is not a peninsula. It derives from the visual similarity of this region’s geography to the projection of a pan’s handle.

Oklahoma is a classic panhandle state; the western part is long and narrow where it stretches between Texas to the south and Kansas and Colorado to the north. The adjacent part of North Texas is also considered to be that state’s panhandle. Other panhandle states include Alaska, Florida, Idaho and Maryland. West Virginia has two panhandles — one in the east and the other in the north.