The perfect itinerary for an epic USA roadtrip (48 states at once)

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  • Post author: Andrew D'Amours
  • Post published: December 28, 2022
  • Post category: Travel Inspiration / Trip Itineraries & Destination Discoveries
  • Post comments: 22 Comments

Do you like roadtrips? They happen to be a very American tradition and we found the perfect itinerary to visit every state in the continental USA during 1 epic roadtrip. A great trip idea for those who have a lot of time but want to stay closer to home .

Personally, I love roadtrips and I hit the road as much as I can, despite also being an aviation geek: you can like both, right? What matters is traveling and seeing new places , no matter how.

So here are the maps and details of the 2 itineraries that allow you to see all the lower 48 states at once, depending on your travel preference.

Basics of the 2 epic USA roadtrip itineraries

The USA is a huge country, almost as big as Europe (it’s even larger than Canada when considering land area alone).

So the USA has a lot of variety in terms of landscapes, but even in terms of culture too (even if many who aren’t from the country don’t realize that).

If you aim to eventually visit every state, any 1 of these 2 itineraries is a great way to almost all of them at once. The only 2 states you’ll have left to visit after this roadtrip will be Hawaii and Alaska.

There’s a version for national parks and points of interest and a version for cities.

50 state tour route

I’m on the quest to visit all 50 states myself (in addition to also visiting every country obviously), and I’m not doing too bad with 47 already.

But let’s just say it would’ve been much quicker to get to 48 at once with this roadtrip instead of having to do it over dozens of trips.

Here are the details.

48-state roadtrip – national parks/points of interest version

Here’s a map of the 1st itinerary.

50 state tour route

It was conceived by American Ph.D. student Randy Olson, on  his blog , and it was done scientifically to optimize the routing: each stop represents a national park or a point of interest.

So you’re not just seeing every state, you’re seeing cool parts of every state (which sadly wasn’t our case in North Dakota during our very random 1200-miles-nonstop-in-2-days Flytrippers roadtrip across the Midwest just for fun).

Good times. Roadtrips always make for great stories.

Anyway, the itinerary has also been optimized to be as efficient a route as possible to see all 48 states, so you can rest assured you won’t be wasting any time.

If you only stop to sleep, you can complete this roadtrip in only 9 days, but we recommend taking at least a couple of weeks to explore all these places obviously.

And gas is significantly cheaper in the US in case you were wondering. You can start anywhere, it’s a continuous loop, and it passes through many spots near the Canadian border.

You can even take a shortcut from Michigan to Vermont through Canada, as the stop in Cleveland is only to keep Americans without a passport from crossing into the Great White North.

Here is the complete list of all 50 landmarks (48 states + Washington, DC + a bonus stop in California):

1. Grand Canyon, AZ 2. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT 3. Craters of the Moon, ID 4. Yellowstone National Park, WY 5. Pikes Peak, CO 6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM 7. The Alamo, TX 8. The Platt Historic District, OK 9. Toltec Mounds, AR 10. Elvis Presley’s Graceland, TN 11. Vicksburg National Military Park, MS 12. French Quarter, LA 13. USS Alabama, AL 14. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL 15. Okefenokee Swamp Park, GA 16. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC 17. Lost World Caverns, WV 18. Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, NC 19. Mount Vernon, VA 20. White House, Washington, D.C. 21. Colonial Annapolis Historic District, MD 22. New Castle Historic District, DE 23. Cape May Historic District, NJ 24. Liberty Bell, PA 25. Statue of Liberty, NY 26. The Mark Twain House & Museum, CT 27. The Breakers, RI 28. USS Constitution, MA 29. Acadia National Park, ME 30. Mount Washington Hotel, NH 31. Shelburne Farms, VT 32. Fox Theater, MI 33. Spring Grove Cemetery, OH 34. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY 35. West Baden Springs Hotel, IN 36. Abraham Lincoln’s Home, IL 37. Gateway Arch, MO 38. C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, KS 39. Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, IA 40. Taliesin, WI 41. Fort Snelling, MN 42. Ashfall Fossil Bed, NE 43. Mount Rushmore, SD 44. Fort Union Trading Post, ND 45. Glacier National Park, MT 46. Hanford Site, WA 47. Columbia River Highway, OR 48. San Francisco Cable Cars, CA 49. San Andreas Fault, CA 50. Hoover Dam, NV

These are all very enticing attractions, for the most part. It seems I’ve only seen 14 of those, so maybe I should hit the road again after all.

How about you? Tempted?

48-state roadtrip – city version

Here’s a map of the 2nd itinerary.

50 state tour route

If you’re more of a city slicker, the map’s author has created a 2nd version that routes you through amazing cities instead.

It is slightly shorter but quite as impressive: it makes you go through the “Best City to Visit” in each state, according to TripAdvisor .

But you won’t have all the lower 48 states, unlike the other itinerary. That’s because no city in Vermont, West Virginia, or North Dakota made the top 400 cities to visit ranking, unfortunately. So plan on making a few extra detours if you want to hit all states at once with this version of the itinerary.

Here is the complete list of all cities:

  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • San Francisco, California
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Park City, Utah
  • Jackson, Wyoming
  • Billings, Montana
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Portland, Maine
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • New York City, New York
  • Ocean City, New Jersey
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Wilmington, Delaware
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Houston, Texas
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Branson, Missouri

I do a little better on this list, with 31 already visited. You can see I love cities. How about you?

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If you were looking for an excuse to go on a roadtrip, this is it. And since we always enjoy giving you more for your money, we think 48 states instead of only 1 or 2 is something you’ll enjoy!

What’s the coolest roadtrip you’ve ever been on? Tell us in the comments below.

See the deals we spot: Cheap flights

Explore awesome destinations : Travel inspiration

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Discover free travel: Travel rewards

Featured image: The itinerary (image credit: Randy Olson)

Original publication date: May 29, 2018

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Andrew D'Amours

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This post has 22 comments.

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Hello Andrew, the PHD student suggests in the 1st Itinnerary that the one stop to make in Washington State is the Hanford Nuclear Reservation?! Flat out, that is a terrible idea. It is in the middle of nowhere, I am just shocked it’s mentioned. Out of all the beautiful and amazing places to see in such a diverse state as Washington, a Nuclear Site was chosen? Surely this student could have done so much better. Thank you for allowing comments.

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Having been all around the Olympic Peninsula, I agree that’s there are better stops. But my understanding is that he really optimized for the quickest way to do all 48 and had to choose a point of interest that wasn’t too far off that optimal path, hence that choice (I think).

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thanks for sharing this information with us.

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I have taken a road trip from California to the the most northeastern part of theUS. west Quaby light house. it was my 1st trip across the us. .I seen so many amazing places.

Quite the drive for sure! Must have been epic.

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Why do Americans always think the Statue of Liberty is in NY? it is in NJ. I’ve done road trips now that have taken in 39 states. Here’s a quiz to see how well you know the USA: Which state has only one syllable? Only one city has been name-checked on the moon. In which state is it? Which is the most Northerly of the contiguous states? In which state were Tennessee Williams and Elvis Presley born? Which was the last of the contiguous states to be admitted into the USA? Which four states all share a border with each other? Which state has the lowest population? Twelve cities are name-checked in “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” but only three states. Which? Which state has the longest name? Which two states have the most borders with other states? In which state is the geographical centre of the USA – and which one if you exclude Hawaii and Alaska? Which of the states of the USA has respectively the most Northerly, Southerly, Easterly and Westerly points?

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Wow, these comments are very rude for no reason. Thanks for the article, maybe when I graduate from college I’ll consider hitting part of one of these itineraries.

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“it’s a huge country (even larger than Canada when considering land area alone).”

Canada – 3.855 million mi² USA – 3.532 million mi² Where does this math fail you?

Where did reading fail you :P? It explicitly says “ when considering LAND area alone ” The quote you copied literally has a link provided under “even larger than Canada” and if you read that, it explains how Canada is only larger than the US due to water area being counted 🙂

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There is no stop in North Dakota on the city version. You should stop in Fargo after Billings and before Sioux Falls

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I’m 46 years old .. I have been to all 50 states and I’m 17 away from all 50 twice .. I have driven to 47 .. flown to Alaska, Hawaii and Washington..

Wow! That’s impressive :O

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This is awesome

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This is inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

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“this roadtrip in only 9 days“ is extremely false statement. It is only 9 days if you are driving non stop, no breaks to even get out of your car, get gas, or actually see these places. From start to finish drive time it is 225 hours, 16 minutes = 9 days. Wow. Take some time to enjoy the view.

Yes, that’s what we said too 😛

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Thanks for the tip 😊

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Do you know the total distance of this itinerary? At what moment of the year doing this trip would be the best? Thanks!

Hi! It is 13,699 miles (22,046 km) for the landmarks itinerary and 12,290 miles (19,780 km) for the city version. You can even have the Google Maps links on the creator’s original post (I’ve reposted the link below). As for the timing, I guess it depends on your preferences, but I’d want to avoid that top half of the country (so half the itinerary) in the winter for sure! http://www.randalolson.com/2015/03/08/computing-the-optimal-road-trip-across-the-u-s/

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Crappy itinerary! Does not even include Zion National Park… and so many stops in the North Eastern states?? Nobody cares about those places except maybe a couple of places.

As explained, the PhD student who built the itinerary wanted to have one stop per state, and there are many states in the North-East so that’s why there are many stops there. I agree that Zion is an iconic spot, but his goal was also to optimize a routing that was as short as possible so that’s why it’s billed as an itinerary to see all lower 48 states at once and not an itinerary to see *the best spots*. But those interested in doing this can definitely adapt it and add many interesting stops for sure 🙂

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Curtis, you are crappy. Obviously this is meant as a guide that can be adapted to add spots. I think it’s awesome.

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50 state tour route

Scenic States

How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips: Epic US Road Trip

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If it’s been your dream to tour the entire US, you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’ll provide an overview of how to visit all 50 states in 12 trips.

I tried to keep these trips to a few days to two weeks at the most. If you take two trips in a year, you can visit all 50 states in 6 years!

How To Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips

My approach is to separate the 2 non-contiguous states (Hawaii and Alaska) into their own trips and then divided the 48 contiguous states into 10 regional trips.

These are listed from west to east and north to south, but the actual order you take these trips is completely up to you.

50 States in 12 Trips

Trip 1: Hawaii

Kick off your journey to 50 states in the latest state to join the US.

Hawaii is a tropical paradise with plenty of beaches for different types of travelers, as well as history and culture that needs to be preserved and respected.

This trip takes you to beaches, volcanoes, historic villages, and a memorial to a war that changed the course of world history.

Google Maps Itinerary

Fly In: Daniel Inouye International Airport, Honolulu (HNL)

Days 1 to 2: Honolulu

Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Iolani Palace

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach

Honolulu Zoo

Diamond Head

Days 3 to 4: North Shore, Oahu

Waimea Bay Beach

Haleiwa Town

Ka'ena Point, Waianae, Hawaii

Kaʻena Point State Park

Days 5 to 6: Kona, Big Island

Honokohau Beach (swim with manta rays)

Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona)

Keauhou Bay (swim with the dolphins)

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Mauna Kea Observatory, Hilo, Hawaii

Mauna Kea Observatory

Fly Out: Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA)

Alternative Day 7: Back to Honolulu

Fly Out: Daniel Inouye International Airport, Honolulu (HNL)

Other Information

Best time to visit: April to May, September to October

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 7 days

Related Articles:

  • 20 Best Places To Visit In Hawaii
  • Best Oahu Beaches
  • How to Swim with Dolphins in Kona
  • Best Way to See Hawaii’s Manta Rays

Trip 2: Alaska

The 49th state is worlds away from the continental US, with its vast glaciers, dramatic snow-capped mountains, abundant wildlife, and northern lights.

Fly In: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)

Day 1: Anchorage

Anchorage Museum

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Days 2 and 3: Seward

Humpback Whale Breaching, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park (spend one whole day here for whale-watching and exploring)

Alaska SeaLife Center

Lowell Creek Waterfall

Waterfront Park

Seward Mariner’s Memorial

Day 4: Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali from Stony Hill Overlook, Denali National Park, Alaska

Stay overnight for a chance to see the northern lights

Days 5 and 6: Fairbanks

Running Reindeer Ranch

Museum of the North

Pioneer Park

Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

Aurora Ice Museum, Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks, Alaska

Aurora Ice Museum

Chena Hot Springs (spend a night or two here for a chance to see the northern lights)

Day 7: Back to Anchorage

Fly Out: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)

Best time to visit: September to March if you’re after the northern lights; May to September is whale-watching season

  • West Coast National Parks
  • Best Places to See Northern Lights

Trip 3: Pacific Coast States

The Pacific Coast States feature mountains, waterfalls, forests, and of course, neverending beaches, all against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.

I’ve included an eastward drive to Las Vegas because it’s close enough to Los Angeles to make it worthwhile. Its glamor amid the desert is also a nice break from all the beach cities.

Washington Oregon California Nevada

Fly In: Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Days 1 to 2: Seattle, Washington

Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

Space Needle

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Museum of Pop Culture

Pike Place Market

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Great Wheel

Days 3 to 4: Portland, Oregon

International Rose Test Garden

Powell’s City of Books

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Oregon Maritime Museum, Portland, Oregon

Oregon Maritime Museum

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Optional Side Trip: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Add one more day to your Portland stay if you plan to see the waterfalls along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area.

Days 5 to 6: San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field Beach

Golden Gate Bridge

Fisherman’s Wharf

Lombard Street

Day 7: Pacific Coast Highway, California

Half Moon Bay

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Bixby Bridge

Santa Barbara

Days 8 to 9: Los Angeles, California

Santa Monica Pier

Venice Beach

Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Griffith Observatory

Days 10 to 11: Las Vegas, Nevada

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Strip

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay

Bellagio Fountain

High Roller

Fly Out: Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)

Best time to visit: September to October means great weather in Seattle, Portland, and Las Vegas, as well as fewer people; San Francisco and Los Angeles have great weather all year round

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 12 days to comfortably explore each city, but you can make this trip in 8 days if you stay in each city for only a day and drive the PCH without stopping or take the I-5 instead.

  • Portland, Oregon Waterfalls
  • Best Things To Do In San Francisco
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Sightseeing In Los Angeles
  • Best Things To Do In Las Vegas

Trip 4: Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains is one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on earth, featuring rugged landscapes surrounded by lakes, rivers, forests, and desert scenery.

This trip will take you around the national parks that preserve this magnificent geography and to the cities that thrive in this gorgeous backdrop.

Colorado Utah Idaho Montana Wyoming

Fly In: Denver International Airport (DEN)

Days 1 to 2: Denver, Colorado

City Park, Denver, Colorado

Denver Art Museum

Larimer Square

Union Station

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Days 3 to 4: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel (if you’re a big fan of haunted places or movie sets, this is a great place to stay a night).

Trail Ridge Road

Days 5 to 6: Salt Lake City, Utah

Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

Temple Square

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Natural History Museum of Utah

This Is The Place Heritage Park

Liberty Park

Days 7 to 8: Boise, Idaho

Old Idaho Penitentiary Site

Boise Whitewater Park, Boise, Idaho

Boise Whitewater Park

Freak Alley Gallery

Basque Block

Camel’s Back Park

Days 9 to 11: Glacier National Park, Montana

The drive here from Boise and from here to Yellowstone takes around 12 hours, so plan accordingly.

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana

Lake McDonald

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Days 12 to 13: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Montana

Grand Prismatic Spring

Old Faithful

Fly Out: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)

Optional Side Trip: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park

Add 2 more days to your trip if you plan to explore Grand Teton National Park

Fly Out: Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)

Best time to visit: September to October are the best months to go on this trip; fewer tourists in the cities, plus emerging fall colors and wildlife in the national parks

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 14 days, plus 2 days if you want to explore Grand Teton National Park

  • Best Things To Do In Denver
  • Best Things To Do In Salt Lake City
  • Best Things To Do In Montana
  • Best Things To Do In Grand Teton National Park

Trip 5: Southwest

The American Southwest is home to several natural wonders and historic cities. This trip takes you to the most visited national park in the country and to extraordinary cities.

Arizona New Mexico Oklahoma Texas

Fly In: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Day 1: Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona

Papago Park

Hole In The Rock, Phoenix, Arizona

Hole In The Rock

Desert Botanical Garden

Old Town Scottsdale

Days 2 to 3: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Days 4 to 5: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Petroglyph National Monument

San Felipe de Neri Church, Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico

ABQ BioPark

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Sandia Peak Tramway

Day 6: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe Plaza

Palace of the Governors

La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico

La Fonda on the Plaza

Canyon Road

Days 7 to 8: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Skydance Bridge

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Oklahoma City Zoo

Stars and Stripes Park

Days 9 to 10: Austin, Texas

University of Texas Tower

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Lake

Greetings From Austin Mural

Fly Out: Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

Best time to visit: March to May are the ideal months to take this trip; great weather, fewer crowds (especially in the Grand Canyon).

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 10 days

Best Things To Do In Austin, Texas

Trip 6: The Great Plains

The Great Plains is literally a wide expanse of flatlands covered in prairie and grassland in the middle of the US. This trip takes you through the states comprised almost entirely of The Plains.

North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas

Fly In: Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS)

Days 1 to 2: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Painted Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Painted Canyon

Days 3 to 5: The Great 8 , South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial

Custer State Park

Jewel Cave National Monument

Wind Cave National Park

Badlands National Park

Missouri River

Days 6 to 8: Omaha, Nebraska

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Omaha, Nebraska

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (Bonus State! Cross this bridge and you can be in both Nebraska and Iowa at the same time.)

The Old Market

The Durham Museum

Lauritzen Gardens

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Days 9 to 10: Wichita, Kansas

Great Plains Nature Center

O J Watson Park

Douglas Design District

Keeper of the Plains

The Keeper of the Plains Statue

Mid-America All-Indian Museum

Fly Out: Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT)

Best time to visit: Early fall (September to October) has the best weather, fewer tourists in the city, and wildlife are active in the national parks

How many days to allot (minimum): 10 days minimum

  • Best Things To Do In North Dakota
  • Best Things To Do Around Mount Rushmore
  • Best Things To Do In Nebraska
  • Best Things To Do In Wichita, Kansas

Trip 7: Great River Road States

The Great River Road follows the mighty Mississippi River and encompasses 10 states. To keep this trip to less than two weeks, this trip will cover five out of the 10 states.

Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana

Fly In: Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)

Days 1 to 2: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnehaha Park

Matt’s Bar and Grill – Home of the Original Jucy Lucys

Mill City Museum

Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Stone Arch Bridge

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Days 3 to 4: Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa State Capitol

East Village

Rotary Riverwalk Park

Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Des Moines Art Center

Days 5 to 6: St. Louis, Missouri

Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park

The St. Louis Wheel

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

Forest Park

Days 7 to 8: Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

Buckstaff Bathhouse, Hot Springs, Arkansas

Buckstaff Bathhouse

Gangster Museum of America

Garvan Woodland Gardens

Mid-America Science Museum

Days 9 to 11: New Orleans, Louisiana

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

French Quarter

Jackson Square

New Orleans Jazz Museum

New Orleans City Park

The National WWII Museum

Fly Out: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

Best time to visit: April to May and September to October (shoulder seasons) are the best time to go on this trip.

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 11 days

  • Best Things To Do In Iowa
  • Best Things To Do In Hot Springs, Arkansas
  • Best Things To Do In Louisiana

Trip 8: The Great Lakes

The Great Lakes—Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario—stretches across eight US states. The region features miles and miles of shoreline, thick forests, and pristine waters.

This trip takes you to five of the eight states of the Great Lakes region and two of the Great Lakes (Lakes Michigan and Erie).

Wisconsin Illinois Indiana Michigan Ohio

Fly In: General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)

Days 1 to 2: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mitchell Gallery of Flight

Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Harley-Davidson Museum

Milwaukee Riverwalk District

Veterans Park

Historic Third Ward

Days 3 to 4: Chicago, Illinois

Cloudgate

Millennium Park

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Lakefront Trail

The Art Institute of Chicago

Willis Tower

Days 5 to 6: Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana

Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana

Days 7 to 8: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Japanese Garden, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Heritage Hill

Riveredge Trail

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Ah-Nab-Awen Park

Days 9 to 10: Cleveland, Ohio

Edgewater Park

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Cleveland Public Square

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Rockefeller Park & Greenhouse

Fly Out: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

Best time to visit: April to May and September to October are the best months to visit this region (summer means mosquitoes and winter means road closures and unforgiving weather).

  • Best Things To Do In Chicago, Illinois
  • Ohio Showdown: Cleveland vs Columbus

Trip 9: Southeast A: Mountains, Music, and Culture

The Southeast states are known for their diverse experiences, making this region a memorable road trip destination.

This trip takes you through five of the Southeastern states, from the Appalachian Mountains, bluegrass country, Music City, the center of the civil rights struggle, and down to the former Seafood Capital of the World.

West Virginia Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Mississippi

Fly In: West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW)

Days 1 to 2: New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia

New River Gorge

Days 3 to 4: Louisville, Kentucky

West Main Street ( Whiskey Row )

Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Old Louisville Neighborhood

Kentucky Derby Museum

Days 5 to 6: Nashville, Tennessee

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Honky Tonk Highway, Nashville, Tennessee

Honky Tonk Highway

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

The Gulch Neighborhood

Grand Ole Opry

Days 7 to 8: Birmingham, Alabama

Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham Civil Rights District, Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Civil Rights District

Railroad Park

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Days 9 to 10: Biloxi, Mississippi

Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum

Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art

Biloxi Beach, Biloxi, Mississippi

Biloxi Beach

Biloxi Shrimping Trip

Ship Island

Fly Out: Gulfport–Biloxi International Airport (GPT)

Best time to visit: April to May are the best month for all the cities on this trip; best weather, Kentucky Derby season, and fewer crowds. But there are more events in Nashville in the summer, plus Biloxi Beach is the perfect escape in winter from the colder weather up north.

  • Best Things To Do In West Virginia
  • Best Things To Do In Nashville, Tennessee
  • Best Things To Do In Alabama

Trip 10: New England

Beaches, lighthouses, chowder, lobster: yup, you’re in New England.

This trip takes you to cities, towns, and a national park rich with history, culture, and cuisine, all set against breathtaking natural scenery.

Maine Vermont New Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut

Fly In: Bangor International Airport (BGR)

Days 1 to 2: Acadia National Park, Maine

Sunrise over Frenchman Bay as seen from Cadillac Mountain Summit, Acadia National Park, Maine

Days 3 to 4: Burlington, Vermont

Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont

Church Street Marketplace

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum

World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet

Days 5 to 6: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Market Square

Black Heritage Trail

Strawbery Banke Museum

Prescott Park

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

Days 7 to 8: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Common

Freedom Trail

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

Fenway Park

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Spectacle Island

Days 9 to 10: Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers Mansion, Newport, RI

Newport, Rhode Island Mansions Tour (the starting point is at Newport Mansions Welcome Center at The Breakers)

Days 11 to 12: New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University

Beinecke Rare Book Library

New Haven Green

Lighthouse Point Park

East Rock Park

Fly Out: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

Best time to visit: New England weather is generally comfortable all year round (except Maine winters), but the spring months (April to June) mean fewer tourists (and maple syrup season in Vermont!), summer months (July to August) mean more events but also more crowds (baseball fever in Boston!), and fall months (September to October) present beautiful fall foliage.

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 12 days to thoroughly explore, but you can probably shorten it to 10 days

New England Wineries

Trip 11: Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic states are surrounded by mountains to the north, lakes to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Within is a mix of hundreds of years of history, bustling industrial towns, and sprawling metropolitan areas.

This trip takes you through modern cities, serene beach towns, and historic neighborhoods.

New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland Washington, DC

Fly In: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

Days 1 to 2: New York City, New York

Central Park

Central Park

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Empire State Building

The National September 11 Memorial Museum

Statue of Liberty

Day 3: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Washington Square

Independence National Historical Park

Rocky Statue, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Penn’s Landing

Day 4: Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City Boardwalk

Atlantic City Beach

Tropicana Atlantic City (said to be the luckiest casino)

Day 5: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Cape May–Lewes Ferry (cross Delaware Bay)

Lewes Beach

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach

Days 6 to 7: Baltimore, Maryland

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, Baltimore, Maryland

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

National Aquarium

9/11 Memorial of Maryland

Top of the World Observation Level

Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum

Fly Out: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

Optional Side Trip: Washington, DC

Add up to 2 more days to your trip if you plan to explore Washington, DC

Washington Monument

Things To Do In Washington, DC For Free

Best time to visit: Spring months (late March to May) are the perfect time to go on this trip; best weather, fewer crowds, especially for the beach towns.

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 7 days (up to 2 extra days if visiting Washington, DC)

  • Unusual Things To Do In New York City
  • One Morning In Philadelphia

Trip 12: Southeast B: The Atlantic Coast States

This second set of southeast states borders the Atlantic Ocean, which means this is a beach road trip!

Along the way, you’ll get to experience each one’s unique charms. From urban beaches to rural, quiet ones, you’ll get to appreciate them all.

Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Florida

Fly In: Norfolk International Airport (ORF)

Day 1: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

King Neptune, Neptune's Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Neptune’s Park

Day 2: Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Emerald Isle Beach, North Carolina

Emerald Isle Beach

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Salty Pirate Waterpark

Days 3 to 4: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach

Broadway at the Beach

SkyWheel Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade

Day 5: Tybee Island, Georgia

North Beach

Tybee Island Light Station & Museum

Tybee Island Marine Science Center

Mid Beach, Tybee Island

Tybee Beach Pier, Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Beach Pier

Days 6 to 7: Savannah, Georgia

Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia

Forsyth Park

Chippewa Square

Savannah City Hall

River Street Boardwalk

Leopold’s Ice Cream

Days 8 to 9: Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Jacksonville Beach Pier

Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Jacksonville Beach

Beaches Museum

Cradle Creek Preserve

South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground

Fly Out: Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)

Optional Side Trip: Miami, Florida and Miami Beach, Florida

Your Detailed Guide To An Awesome Miami Weekend Trip

Add at least 1 day to explore Downtown Miami, and 2 more days to explore Miami Beach (see our detailed 3-day Miami itinerary )

Optional Side Trip: Florida Keys

Florida Keys Road Trip: Everything You Need To Know

Add at least 5 days to drive through the Florida Keys and back north to Miami (see our detailed Florida Keys road trip guide )

Fly Out: Miami International Airport (MIA)

Best time to visit: Beach road trips are best driven during the summer months. But if you prefer to have the beaches all to yourself, early spring (avoid the spring breakers) and fall would be ideal.

How many days to allot (minimum): At least 9 days if your last stop is Jacksonville Beach, and at least 17 days if you plan to travel all the way through the Florida Keys.

  • Best North Carolina Beaches
  • Best South Carolina Beaches
  • Best Georgia Beaches
  • Best Things To Do In Savannah, Georgia

Which of These Trips Will You Take First?

It’s incredible that you can break down 50 states into 12 trips, and what’s even more amazing is that you can take them at your own pace!

Go on one or two trips a year, combine adjacent trips into a bigger trip, or take a few months off and go on a 50-state pilgrimage!

Go Out and Explore

50 state tour route

10 Stunning Lake Ontario Beaches in New York

50 state tour route

12 Waterfalls in Ohio You Must Absolutely See

50 state tour route

Walt Disney World Christmas Decorations

10 Best Places To Get A Juicy Lucy In Minnesota

10 Best Places To Get A Juicy Lucy In Minnesota

50 state tour route

10 Best Children’s Museums in the US

50 state tour route

12 Must-Visit Vermont Breweries in 2023

50 state tour route

North to South

Quit Your Job and Travel the World: How we did it and you can too!

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One year. One couple. One small car… Fifty states.

We hadn’t originally set out to explore our entire home country, but location independence is a beautiful thing. See how our 6-state plan turned into a 50-state quest on our 2015 road trip in the U.S.!

Our Trip at a Glance

*Includes cost of gasoline ($1.4K) throughout our road trip, 3 oil changes ($200) for our Yaris, plus car rental ($600) in Hawaii (1 week) and Alaska (2 weeks).

An Evolving U.S. Road Trip Itinerary

How, exactly, does one decide to embark on a 50-state quest?

In the beginning, our destination was just St. Louis. Coming from California, we set out early to see some places on the way, but my friend’s wedding was the end of the planned itinerary.

And then I wanted to visit my twin brother in Chicago.

I’d seen too little of my twin since graduating high school — Yes, I have a twin. No, we’re not identical. — so it was high time we caught up. After some quality twin time in the Windy City Ian and I took a short trip around the northern U.S. to go camping with friends over in Yellowstone National Park. It was some time around then that I got the crazy idea we should visit all fifty states. I really wanted to see the East Coast. And visit New York City. And get totally soaked at Niagara Falls.  And we didn’t have any upcoming travel plans to stop us. As we made our way back to Chicago, we let the idea settle in.

We then came up with a general route plan and made it our official mission to continue on and visit all fifty states in one year’s time.

Before we knew it, we were eating chocolate in Hershey, Pennsylvania, visiting family in Virginia and Florida, airboating in the Everglades, and booking flights to both Hawaii and Alaska.

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

We reached each of the 50 states in the following order:

In that year, we reached the easternmost point of the U.S. at West Quoddy Head  (photo), the southernmost point of the contiguous 48 in the Florida Keys, and the southernmost point of the entire U.S. on Hawaii’s Big Island, where  I jumped off a cliff into the ocean (which was f***ing crazy, in hindsight). We didn’t make it to Point Barrow in Alaska (the northernmost point), but Alaska’s absolutely amazing, so I don’t doubt we’ll return to do that soon.

Trip Highlights

I’ve written posts about some of these — more to come soon!

  • airboating in the Everglades
  • Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls (post)
  • camping in rural Missouri in the middle of a storm
  • sleeping in a renovated barn for two nights in West Virginia
  • this Airbnb cat (photo)
  • New York City (post)
  • staying at an awesome summer camp in the Adirondacks (post)
  • prairie dogs (photo)  at Badlands and Teddy Roosevelt national parks
  • barely missing a tornado (video) in South Dakota
  • my ever-evolving road trip playlist
  • taking Amtrak’s  Coast Starlight train (website)  from Los Angeles to Seattle
  • hiking and sand boarding in Great Sand Dunes National Park (photo)
  • eating our way around New Orleans (post)
  • seeing a real Saguaro cactus on week 2 (post)  of our trip
  • wilderness camping at White Sands National Monument (photo post)
  • Washington D.C. (post)
  • spotting a gila monster (photo)  in Nevada
  • seeing the Northern Lights in both Yellowstone (post)  and Alaska (post)
  • scuba diving (post)  and cliff jumping (post)  in Hawaii
  • visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios (post)

We took so many photos on this trip — way too many to squeeze in here.  Luckily I was organized and created a hashtag for this trip, so you can view our favorite road trip moments on Instagram.

Major U.S. Road Trip Destinations by State

We found a battleship!!! This park is probably one of the coolest things to see in Mobile, Alabama. We found out about it on TripAdvisor and then later discovered we had a view of it from our hotel room at the Holiday Inn! #NTSroadtrip2015 #alabama A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Oct 9, 2015 at 11:41am PDT
  • Hatcher Pass
  • Matanuska Glacier
Shot of the Week: The Grandest of Canyons — About this photo: northtosouth.us/grandest-of-canyons #grandcanyon #NTSroadtrip2015 #roadtrip #usa #arizona #landscape #beautiful #scenery #sunset #desert #thegreatoutdoors #wanderlust #worldtravelbook #worldtravelpics #NTSshotoftheweek A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on May 22, 2015 at 2:35pm PDT
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Saguaro National Park
  • Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
This morning’s sunrise from the tent was breathtaking. Yesterday we departed Colorado, made it to Mexican Hat, UT just before sunset, and camped in Monument Valley last night. Luckily we oriented our tent perfectly for this morning view! Don’t you wish you could start every day with a view like this? Now we’re California bound, just eight hours to go! #NTSroadtrip2015 #arizona A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:55am PDT
  • Little Rock
  • Los Angeles
  • Mojave National Preserve
  • San Francisco
  • Trona Pinnacles
  • Colorado Springs
  • Great Sand Dune National Park
Who can guess which state we’re in? HINT: Look for the wildlife! #NTSroadtrip2015 A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Oct 5, 2015 at 11:23am PDT
  • Universal Studios
  • Universal Islands of Adventure
  • Celebration
  • Sanibel Island
  • Everglades National Park
  • Volcanoes National Park
  • South Point
Greetings from under water on the Big Island! We just got back from our week in Hawaii, which I’ll be posting about this week on the blog. But for now, check out my post from our favorite snorkeling destination this trip — complete with photos and video using my Sony RX100 III with the Iklelite underwater housing! northtosouth.us/snorkeling-two-steps-honaunau-bay-big-island-hawaii #NTSroadtrip2015 #hawaii A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Jan 22, 2016 at 10:26pm PST
  • West Yellowstone
Exploring Downtown Chicago today on #NTSroadtrip2015 — This is the biggest, most sprawling downtown I’ve ever seen! A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Jun 2, 2015 at 1:43pm PDT
  • Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark
  • Daniel Boone National Forest
  • New Orleans
  • Acadia National Park
  • West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
  • Campobello Island (Canada)
  • St. Croix Island International Historic Site
Today was a long, foggy day. After some nice, hot, two-dollar showers at the camper supply store near Seawall Campground, we spent about an hour at Seawall Beach tiptoeing around the barnacles (and spiders!) just taking in the peace and quiet with the fog in our eyes and the ocean in our ears. From there we hit up Thurston’s, a local lobster restaurant with a harbor view and then set out for Bar Harbor and the Acadia National Park loop drive, which would take us the rest of the day to complete. We just picked up some camp dinner fixin’s (where we had our first celebrity moment — one of our blog followers, Tim, recognized us from social media — cool, huh?) and we’re now headed back to camp for the night. Tomorrow I think we’ll head east to the eastern-most point of the United States, but we’ll see what we feel like doing in the morning… #NTSroadtrip2015 #maine #acadianationalpark #seawall #yoga #treepose #beach #eastcoast #roadtrip #usa #ocean #thegreatoutdoors #calm #quiet #serenity #peace #nomadlife #lovemylife #happiness #stylishtravelgirl A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Aug 20, 2015 at 5:10pm PDT
  • Chesapeake Bay

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Mystic Seaport
  • Cape Cod National Seashore
Summer dreamin’ in Cape Cod at Wellfleet’s Pleasant Point #NTSroadtrip2015 #massachusetts #worldphotographyday #WorldTravelPics A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Aug 19, 2015 at 1:42pm PDT
  • Minneapolis

MISSISSIPPI

A common sight throughout the American South, you could swear there are more churches than homes in some places! Here’s a nice, semi-historic looking one in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s a cloudy day, but the weather’s just fine for the State Fair. (We drove by, but didn’t go in.) Next stop: Little Rock, Arkansas! #NTSroadtrip2015 #mississippi A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Oct 10, 2015 at 11:46am PDT
  • Johnson Shut-Ins State Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada)
Hoover Dam, y’all! #damthatscool #nevada #arizona #NTSroadtrip2015 #hooverdam #dam #keepoff #travel #landmarks #river #coloradoriver #bridge #danger @worldtravelpics #worldtravelbook A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on May 13, 2015 at 3:32pm PDT
  • Valley of Fire State Park
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
From L.A. to Nevada to the Grand Canyon (and lots of cool places in between), week one of our U.S. road trip kicked ass! Photo: the open road at Valley of Fire State Park (my favorite week one destination) — Recap here: northtosouth.us/us-road-trip-week-one #parks #NTSroadtrip2015 #roadlesstraveled #openroad #valleyoffire #nevada #roadtrip #usa #wanderlust #desert #clouds #travel #explore #thegreatoutdoors #worldtravelbook A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on May 21, 2015 at 7:01am PDT
  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • White Sands National Monument
Wanderlust and White Sands: Roaring wind. Rippling sand. Rolling dunes. All were present on the night we backpacked out to our backcountry campsite at White Sands National Monument. As luck would have it, we’d gotten the last available site. And we were grateful. Otherwise we’d’ve had to backtrack 30 miles toward Las Cruces and the nearest campground. More about this photo: northtosouth.us/sunset-hike-white-sands-national-monument/ #wanderlust #whitesands #NTSroadtrip2015 #backpacking #hike #sunset #dunes #worldtravelbook #worldtravelpics #NTSshotoftheweek #travel #getoutside #thegreatoutdoors #newmexico #usa #clouds #landscape #backcountry #camping #nature #beauty #worldtraveler A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on May 28, 2015 at 7:22am PDT
  • New York City
  • Adirondacks
  • Niagara Falls

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
First time I’d busted out my poofy jacket since the Grand Canyon. It was pretty chilly at the top of the Great Smoky Mountains. And not a bad view either! || Photo by @inorman || #NTSroadtrip2015 A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Sep 27, 2015 at 8:40am PDT
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Oklahoma City
“Oooooo-klahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain…” What comes next??? #NTSroadtrip2015 #oklahoma A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Oct 11, 2015 at 5:24pm PDT
  • Hershey’s Chocolate World

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Myrtle Beach

SOUTH DAKOTA

  • Badlands National Park
I think I’ll just hang out here for awhile… #NTSroadtrip2015 #southdakota A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Jun 19, 2015 at 4:21pm PDT
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Mexican Hat
  • Washington D.C.
A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Sep 12, 2015 at 3:20pm PDT
  • Crystal Mountain

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Seneca Rocks
Thar she blows! Old Faithful, in all her geyser glory #NTSroadtrip2015 #AroundTheWorldPix A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman ? (@northtosouthtravel) on Jun 23, 2015 at 2:04pm PDT
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park

While we didn’t make any major stops in 10 states on this trip (Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont), we drove through and experienced each and every one!

Weekly Recaps and Posts from the Road

One day I will finish these. I promise. But until then, you can view a portion of our weekly U.S. road trip re-caps  or view  all of my posts from our U.S. road trip.

  • Week One: California, Nevada, Arizona
  • Week Two: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
  • Week Three: Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri
  • Week Four – Six: Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota
  • Week Seven: Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Alberta (Canada)
  • Week Eight: North Dakota back to Chicago
  • Week Nine – Twelve: Chicago & Oshkosh
  • Week Thirteen: Chicago to Pittsburgh
  • Week Fourteen: Hershey to New York City — Halfway to 50 States!
  • Week Fifteen: Exploring the Northeastern Coast
  • Week Sixteen & Seventeen: Maine to the Adirondacks
  • Week Eighteen: Niagara Falls to Washington D.C.
  • Week Nineteen: Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky
  • Week Twenty: Tennessee and the Carolinas
  • Week Twenty-One: Georgia and Florida
  • Week Twenty-Two: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas

How many U.S. states have you visited? Which one was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Replies to “One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile”

Wow, what an incredible trip, and I love the way this post is set up, linking to all of your articles about different highlights. We have taken two similar trips, but never for a whole year! I can’t wait to read more about your trip – where are you off to next?

Thanks, Tara! Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

We’re in Australia now and will be heading to Fiji in a couple days. I’m excited!

The most burning question I have is this; did you guys do all of your continuous US travel in the Yaris? I drive a Honda Fit and the thought of pushing that thing up the Rockies scares me. It struggled in the FL panhandle this summer.

Please let me know your tips! I want to go to Yellowstone but felt it was a no go due to car.

We sure did! Every state except Alaska and Hawaii were all in the little Yaris. On steeper hills, turning off the AC for a short period definitely helped when it seemed we weren’t getting enough power, but we really didn’t have any trouble. And it’s definitely not a low-mileage car, either. Of course not weighing down the car with heavy stuff is helpful too.

Driving the Yaris was essential to keeping the road trip affordable because we saved so much on gas.

Of course I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re not comfortable with it, but we drove through the Rockies and all over Yellowstone in the tiny car. 🙂

Thanks for your reply! I’ve got 50,000 American Airline miles so we’re going to fly to Yellowstone. But, knowing you did it in a Yaris gives me confidence to do it in a Fit. Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Yosemite, here I come. 🙂

Congrats on your nuptials!

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Epic USA Road Trip: Guide to Traveling All 50 States in 50 Days

Going on an incredibly ambitious journey, I set out to travel all 50 states of the United States in just 50 days after having traveled the world for free two years early (actually from Germany to Antarctica without money).

This new challenge would take me from the northeastern corner of the country in Portland, Maine, to the picturesque islands of Hawaii in the Pacific. As I started this adventure, my goal was to visit each state and face one unique challenge that embraced the spirit and essence of that particular state. 

50 state tour route

I planned my route to ensure a smooth and efficient journey, considering the shortest path across the country. The route resembled the shape of a “W,” starting from the northeast and heading southeast, then south, traversing the Midwest to the north, and journeying south again across the majestic Rocky Mountains. 

Finally, I would head north along the breathtaking West Coast until I reached Seattle. From there, I would board a plane to Alaska and continue my journey to the magnificent state of Hawaii, where I would conclude my incredible adventure.

50 state tour route

To make this audacious feat possible, I had to consider several vital aspects that would contribute to the success of my adventure. Let’s dive into the seven factors that made my travel work:

1. The Right Vehicle

Traveling all 14,000 miles within the 48 mainland states required careful planning and preparation. I acquired a well-equipped van that became my trusty companion throughout the journey.

50 state tour route

The van was equipped with a mini kitchen, allowing me to prepare meals on the go and saving valuable time that would have otherwise been spent searching for restaurants or diners.

50 state tour route

For example, in Montana, I enjoyed cooking a meal in my van using food from a supermarket, relishing the region’s flavors. Unfortunately, there was no time for a campfire or a farmer’s market to improve this.

Advice for you: Plan Your Route

50 state tour route

Carefully plan your route, considering the most efficient path across the country. Consider visiting iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Arizona Grand Canyon, or the California Golden Gate Bridge—research lesser-known gems such as the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee or the stunning coastline of Oregon.

By planning your route strategically, you can include these must-see attractions. 

The shortest route across all 50 US states here

2. Choose Parking Options

50 state tour route

I frequently parked and slept in Walmart parking lots for safety, convenience, and easy access to amenities.

These locations provided a secure place to spend the night, and they were situated next to their grocery stores, allowing me to stock up on supplies and use clean restroom facilities quickly. This strategy ensured a comfortable and hassle-free experience as I traveled from state to state.

50 state tour route

In Ohio, I parked at a Walmart, took advantage of their free Wi-Fi to plan my next day’s challenges, and conveniently restocked my supplies before heading to the next destination. 

Advice for you: Overnight Accommodations

Consider a variety of overnight accommodations to suit your preferences and budget. While hotels and motels provide comfort and amenities, camping in national parks or RV parks can provide unique experiences and bring you closer to nature.

50 state tour route

For example, you might find yourself camping under the stars in Yellowstone National Park or waking up to the sound of crashing waves at a beachfront campsite in Florida .

RV park guide for North America

3. Research and Plan

To execute my challenges efficiently, I meticulously pre-planned all 50 of them before setting off on my adventure.

50 state tour route

Each challenge was carefully tailored to reflect the unique characteristics and offerings of the respective state.

For instance, in Tennessee, I decided to immerse myself in the rich musical heritage of Nashville by attempting to write and perform a country song within 24 hours. With the help of local musicians, I tried to compose a heartfelt ballad that captured the essence of the state’s vibrant music scene. The result was called “great entertainment” by the locals, not sure if I’ll make it one to become a country singer.

Advice for you: Start your Research Early

50 state tour route

Before your trip, take the time to research each state and its unique characteristics thoroughly. Identify the key attractions, landmarks, and cultural aspects that define the shape.

50 state tour route

This will help you tailor your challenges to reflect the essence of each location. Consider engaging with locals , browsing travel blogs, or consulting guidebooks to gather insights and ideas.

Seek Local Expertise and Support

50 state tour route

Engage with locals who can provide valuable insights and guidance. Connect with musicians, artists, or experts related to your challenge. They can offer advice, share their experiences, and even collaborate with you to enhance your challenge.

In Tennessee, the assistance of local musicians helped create an authentic and memorable country song experience.

Ideas for planning your trip here

4. Set Necessary Boundaries

50 state tour route

While there were numerous opportunities along the way, such as friendly invitations to people’s homes or exciting prospects to extend my stay in a particular state, I set firm boundaries to ensure I stayed on the quickest route.

It was essential to resist the allure of these detours and remain focused on my goal. In Utah, despite being tempted by invitation to experience the stunning beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park, I reminded myself of my time constraints.

I continued along the planned route, appreciating the park’s wonders from afar.

Advice for you:  Set Boundaries

50 state tour route

While spontaneous invitations and opportunities may arise, setting boundaries is essential to stay on track. Consider prioritizing attractions and activities that align with your interests and goals.

50 state tour route

For example, if you’re passionate about history, you might decline an invitation for a night out to ensure you have enough time to explore historical sites like Independence Hall in Philadelphia or the Alamo in Texas.

Let’s pause for a moment to enjoy Michael’s video trailer of this epic trip:

5. Time Management

To maximize my time and cover as much ground as possible, I devised a strategy to drive through at least two states daily, particularly in the smaller northeastern states. This approach allowed me to allocate more time to the vast and expansive states like Texas and California, where countless miles of driving awaited me. 

Advice for you: Time Management

50 state tour route

Plan your time wisely to make the most of each state’s offerings. You can allocate a shorter amount of time in smaller states, allowing you to spend more days in larger states with extensive attractions.

For instance, you could spend an hour or two exploring Rhode Island’s charming coastal towns and then allocate two days or more to fully immerse yourself in California’s vibrant culture and natural beauty . 

6. Recover from the Pace of Traveling

50 state tour route

The intense pace of the journey started to take a toll on my energy levels after reaching the 30th state, usually sleeping at most six hours and driving at least 500 miles a day. 

50 state tour route

To combat extreme tiredness and maintain my stamina, I developed a routine. Along with the much-needed fuel from copious amounts of coffee, I made it a daily practice to jump out of the van for a 45-minute run.

50 state tour route

Even in the scorching heat of Death Valley, I would lace up my running shoes at 7 am , embracing the solitude and tranquility of the early morning hours while marveling at the breathtaking desert landscape.

50 state tour route

Advice for you: Combat Fatigue

Long journeys can be physically and mentally exhausting.

Take care of yourself by incorporating rejuvenating activities into your routine.

50 state tour route

For example, enjoy a scenic morning jog along the beach in Florida or practice yoga in a serene park in Oregon.

Additionally, consider incorporating relaxation hours into your itinerary, where you can indulge in a (quick) spa treatment or enjoy a leisurely day exploring a quaint town.

Read also: Travel while you can (and not a second later!)

 7. Challenges

50 state tour route

The adventure wouldn’t have been complete without embracing thrilling and exciting challenges. 

In New Orleans, known as the birthplace of jazz, I took on the task of learning to play the trumpet within a mere 60 minutes. With the guidance of a local marching band, I immersed myself in the city’s vibrant musical culture, creating harmonious melodies that resonated with the soul of New Orleans. 

50 state tour route

Another remarkable feat was sprinting into the depths of the Grand Canyon within 60 minutes, conquering its 6,000-foot vertical descent and embracing the sheer grandeur of nature’s masterpiece. 

Additionally, I seized the opportunity to throw a memorable party in the quaint town of Boring, Oregon, infusing the city with life and joy through a festive celebration that brought the community together. About ten people may have joined my spontaneous party.

Furthermore, I sought to experience unique encounters in each state. I visited an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania, immersing myself in their traditional way of life and engaging in conversations in old German, connecting with a rich cultural heritage that still thrived in this modern age.

50 state tour route

Ideas for your 50 States Challenges:

  • Conquer a Hiking Trail : Challenge yourself to tackle a marked hiking trail in each state. Each trail offers breathtaking scenery and physical challenges, from the Appalachian Trail in Maine to the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington.
  • Sample Local Delicacies : Indulge in the culinary delights of each state by trying a signature dish or local specialty. From clam chowder in Massachusetts to beignets in Louisiana or deep-dish pizza in Illinois, immerse yourself in the flavors that define each region.

50 state tour route

  • Take on a Water Adventure : Engage in water-based activities that showcase the unique waterways of each state. Try white-water rafting in Colorado, snorkeling in Florida’s vibrant coral reefs, or kayaking in Alaska’s pristine fjords .
  • Attend a Local Festival : Time your trip to coincide with a traditional or cultural festival in each state. Whether it’s Mardi Gras in Louisiana, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico, or the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, these events offer a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and celebrations.

50 state tour route

  • Challenge Yourself in Outdoor Sports : Engage in exhilarating outdoor sports and activities . Go surfing in California, skiing in Colorado, zip-lining in Georgia, or rock climbing in Utah. Each state offers its adrenaline-pumping adventures.

50 state tour route

  • Explore National Parks : Visit iconic national parks and challenge yourself to explore their unique features. Hike the rugged terrain of Zion National Park in Utah, witness the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, or marvel at the towering sequoias in California’s Sequoia National Park.

50 state tour route

  • Engage in Historical Immersion : Learn about each state’s history by visiting significant landmarks and museums. Explore the Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, or the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.

50 state tour route

Additional Challenges for Visiting US Cities: 

  • Explore Street Art : Discover various cities’ vibrant street art scenes nationwide. Challenge yourself to find and photograph unique and captivating street art pieces in cities like Miami , New York City, or San Francisco. Capture the creativity and cultural expressions found in these urban landscapes.
  • Attend a Live Sporting Event : Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of a live sporting event in different cities. Whether it’s catching a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, experiencing the energy of an NFL game in Dallas, or cheering on a basketball match in the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City, join the local fans and embrace the excitement of American sports. Looking for more thrilling experiences? Consider these captivating day trips from Boston to complement your sports-filled itinerary.
  • Engage in Music History : Dive into the rich music history of cities known for their musical legacies. Challenge yourself to explore iconic music landmarks, such as visiting Graceland in Memphis, the former home of Elvis Presley, or walking the historic streets of Nashville, known as the “Music City,” and soaking up the sounds of country music. Explore the birthplace of jazz in New Orleans or visit Motown’s Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit for a deeper appreciation of America’s musical heritage.

Remember, the key is to personalize the challenges to your interests and preferences. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a foodie, or a culture lover, these challenges offer a fantastic way to create unforgettable memories and fully experience the diverse offerings of each state.

50 state tour route

Embrace the spirit of adventure, and let the obstacles enhance your journey through all 50 states.

Wrapping up

50 state tour route

In conclusion, my adventure to travel through all 50 US states in 50 days was an extraordinary journey that tested my endurance, planning skills, and ability to adapt to new challenges .

I completed this incredible feat by meticulously considering various aspects, such as traveling in a well-equipped van, utilizing Walmart parking lots, pre-planning challenges, setting boundaries, maximizing time, combatting fatigue, and embracing exciting experiences.

From the stunning landscapes and diverse cultures to the unique challenges and encounters, this adventure allowed me to explore the rich tapestry of the United States and create memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.

50 state tour route

Award-winning motivational speaker, Michael Wigge, specializes in documenting incredible stories about achieving victory over challenges. ‘How to Travel the World for Free’, ‘How to Barter for Paradise’ (where he turned an apple into a Hawaiian dream home through his skills in bartering for bigger, better things), and ‘How to Travel Europe Blindfolded’ are just three of his seven travel shows. He shared his amazing success stories on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (alongside co-guest Katy Perry) and the Today Show. His TV programs and books have been broadcast and published internationally.

Based on his incredible experiences overcoming challenges, Wigge began performing motivational speaking engagements and started CMW Coaching & Speaking. His most successful corporate keynotes are Challenge-4-Change Leadership Success and Challenge-4-Change Sales Success. He currently delivers presentations in the corporate arena, on college campuses, and for private clients in the US and as a speaker in Germany .

Keep reading about epic journeys:

  • Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Bike crossing the States
  • Tru-hiking the Appalachian trail

50 state tour route

Science Says This Is the Perfect U.S. Road Trip

50 state tour route

Ashley Corbin-Teich/Getty Images 

What if you took a list of 50 must-see American attractions and plotted a road trip to hit all of them? Your route would likely look like this, says  Discovery News , which partnered with a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University and used an algorithm to come up with what they say is the perfect cross-country American road trip .

You may disagree. Though the idea of a best-of-the-best itinerary is fun (if gimmicky), the attractions on this route are subjective. Discovery News may rate the Terrace Hill Governor's Mansion in Des Moines as a must-see, yet you might give it a disinterested shrug. There are quite a few places on this list that some experts might consider second- or even third-tier sites (such as the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, Fox Theater, Hanford Site, and others).

The itinerary is contrived to fit Discovery News ' criteria of:

  • Remaining solely in the United States
  • Including designated national landmarks, historic sites, and national parks and monuments
  • Including only one attraction in each one of the lower 48 states (except for California, which got two).

The White House in Washington, D.C., rounded out the 50 picks. The issue is that some states are overflowing with road trip-worthy national landmarks and others are, well, not so much. This explains why a governor's mansion makes the cut while Zion National Park and Niagara Falls do not.

Methodology aside, this is a pretty comprehensive itinerary that does hit many iconic American landmarks. And if hitting all the states in the contiguous United States is one of your goals, this route accomplishes that. The researchers used an algorithm to come up with a loop that allows you to start this road trip in any state and follow it until you’re back at your starting point.

Grand Canyon, AZ

No question—of course , you need to see the Grand Canyon when you're driving through Arizona. Whether you go to the South Rim or North Rim (open May through October) depends on what time of year you're visiting. There are lookout points where you can get some nice photos if you don't have a lot of time, but a longer trip will allow you to dive deeper into this natural wonder.

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Utah is overflowing in natural beauty with five show-stopping national parks , but it's Bryce Canyon National Park that made the top of this list. Consisting of large gravity-defying rock formations known as hoodoos, geology-lovers should give themselves plenty of time to enjoy this park.

Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID

Want wilderness? The Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho is an official Wilderness Study Area. This ancient lava-shaped landscape's nature remains "substantially uninfluenced by humans," which is hard to come by these days. A looping road takes you through a big part of the park and there are lots of places where you'll be able to park and explore the caves and craters on foot.

Yellowstone National Park, WY

Another bucket list place for multitudes of Americans is Yellowstone National Park , known for its geysers, amazing vistas, hot mud, and the way the ecosystem has rebalanced with the reintroduction of wolves. There are also entrances to the park in Montana and Idaho.

Pikes Peak, CO

Attracting more than half a million visitors every year, Pikes Peak is one of the most popular mountains in Colorado due to its proximity to the town of Colorado Springs . In this part of the state, you'll also find the Garden of the Gods nearby, an area filled with dramatic rock formations that jut out of the ground.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM

TripSavvy / Alisha McDarris

Caves, cacti, desert, and fossil reefs are all at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Spelunkers can even arrange for permits to travel off-trail on self-guided or ranger-guided trips underground. Non-spelunkers can explore the caves on foot or sign up for a guided tour, which will allow you to walk through more physically challenging parts of the cave.

The Alamo: San Antonio, TX

The Alamo as a fort was significant in the creation of San Antonio and its designation as "Military City, U.S.A." Just in case you don't remember, this is the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo (before Texas officially became a state) between Mexican and Texan soldiers including the famous raccoon hat-wearing Davy Crockett.

Platt Historic District: Sulfur, OK

Thirty miles of trails in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in the Platt Historic District (formerly Platt National Park) are available for a variety of skill levels of hikers and have varying scenery among them, such as waterfalls, wildlife, Travertine Creek, ponds, and lakes.

Toltec Mounds: Scott, AR

Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park contains ancient mounds—what remains from a "ceremonial and governmental complex"—from A.D. 650 to 1050 when the area was inhabited by prehistoric Native Americans. It's a short drive away from the Arkansas capital of Little Rock.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland: Memphis, TN

Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion is like a time capsule and the home captures all the King's favorite 1977 kitsch. The best time to visit is in August during Elvis Week when mega-fans come together to celebrate his life and music.

Vicksburg National Military Park: Vicksburg, MS

A key city in the opinion of both sides fighting the Civil War, Vicksburg, Mississippi , was the site of a 47-day long battle. Here, you can see an ironclad ship used on the Mississippi River during the war, visit 1,400 monuments and memorials, and watch battle reenactments.

French Quarter: New Orleans, LA

There's always something to see, hear, do, and eat in the New Orleans'  French Quarter . You'll find many revelers enjoying the neighborhood's open container laws on Bourbon Street at night, but there is also plenty of history to explore during the day in this charming district.

USS Alabama: Mobile, AL

At home in the Mobile Bay, the USS Alabama is a World War II battleship that saw action in the South Pacific. You can buy a ticket to walk around the ship and learn about the United States' military history from the inside.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station: Cape Canaveral, FL

Kids and adults alike can imagine their space-explorer dreams at Cape Canaveral , a historic site and home to three rocket launch pads. Here, you can see where the U.S. space program began and tour the Kennedy Space Center and Visitor Complex .

Okefenokee Swamp Park: Waycross, GA

The Okefenokee Swamp Park is nature like you've likely never seen it before. The Natural Wildlife Refuge covers nearly half a million acres. Surrounded by the sounds of animals, it's a peaceful place to enjoy nature and learn about swamp ecosystems.

Fort Sumter National Monument: Charleston, SC

Located in the Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter is the site where the American Civil War began. You'll have to catch a ferry to get to this island, but when you get there you'll find a small museum that tells the story of the first battle.

Lost World Caverns: Lewisburg, WV

About five hours from the Blue Ridge Mountains , West Virginia's Lost World Caverns inspire awe. Here, you can travel on a simple self-guided cave tour on trails 120 feet down, or you can go all in, deeper, on a four-hour guided excursion, where few humans have traveled.

Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center: Kill Devil Hills, NC

The Wright Brothers weren't the only ones trying to fly, but their few moments sustained in the air in 1903 were historic. At the National Memorial Visitor Center , you can see the spot where the first successful flight first took off. It's located in North Carolina's Outer Banks, which also happens to be a great beach destination .

Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon, VA

Mount Vernon is the historic home of George Washington, who was not only the United States' first president but was also a hero of the Revolutionary War. Visiting the place he lived is one way to get a peek into the home life of the historical figure.

White House: Washington, D.C.

It's easy to see the White House from the street when you're exploring Washington D.C., but if you want to take a tour of the inside, you will have to submit your application directly to your congressional representative way ahead of your visit. The process is a little complicated, but at the end of the day, there's no charge for a tour. If you're not a U.S. citizen, applications must be submitted to your home country's embassy in Washington, D.C.

Colonial Annapolis Historic District: Annapolis, MD

Annapolis has more 18th century structures standing than any other city in the United States. Sometimes called the "Athens of America," the downtown area draws more than two million visitors per year. It's also home to the U.S. Naval Academy , which is open for tours.

New Castle Historic District: New Castle, Delaware

If you can't get enough of colonial buildings, set your GPS for New Castle, Delaware. Founded in the 17th century, this charming colonial city beset with cobblestone streets has many historic homes you can visit, such as the Dutch House and the Amstel House. You can learn more in the museums and at and the Old New Castle Courthouse, which was the location of the colonial and state government until 1777.

Cape May Historic District: Cape May, NJ

Down the shore, you can check out the famous Cape May lighthouse at New Jersey's southernmost point. There are also many historic homes and businesses in this area, some that date back to the mid-1800s. Not far from Cape May, you can also visit the beaches and boardwalk in Wildwood , one of the beach towns in New Jersey.

Liberty Bell: Philadelphia, PA

When you're in Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell is a must-see. At the Liberty Bell Visitor center, you can see the bell in person and learn all about its long journey from practical noise-maker to a symbol of freedom. Many historians believe this was one of the bells rung when the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall .

Statue of Liberty: New York, NY

When visiting New York City, you can take a ferry from Battery Park out to Liberty Island to see the iconic Statue of Liberty . However, tickets need to be purchased in advance if you want to climb to the top and the National Park Service only allows 240 visitors per day to do so. If you don't have a ticket, you can still walk along the grounds and tour the National Museum of Immigration. 

Mark Twain House & Museum: Hartford, CT

In Hartford, Connecticut, you can visit the home of one of America's most famous authors. You won't see rivers and riverboats at Mark Twain's house in Connecticut, but you will see the place where he wrote his most famous novels from "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Prince and the Pauper."

The Breakers Mansion: Newport, RI

In Rhode Island, you can see the Newport mansion of the Vanderbilts, one of America's richest families. Referred to as their "summer cottage," The Breakers is a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo and open for tours. Visiting is a fun way to take a fun peek into the lush lives of the wealthy at the turn of the century.

USS Constitution: Boston, MA

In Boston, you can climb aboard and tour the USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard. And if this visit inspires you to seek out more of Boston's military history, you're just a short walk of the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum.

Acadia National Park, ME

Maine's pristine Acadia National Park is one of the east coast's hidden gems. The best time to visit is in the fall when the leaves change color and light up the whole landscape in shades of red and gold.

Omni Mount Washington Hotel: Bretton Woods, NH

New Hampshire's Mount Washington was first explored by colonists in 1642, but three centuries later in 1900, construction began on the Omni Mount Washington. The century-old resort in a popular ski area is now a luxury hotel that has attracted elite guests from presidents like JFK and authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Shelburne Farms: Shelburne, VT

At Shelburne Farms in Vermont, you can learn about sustainable agriculture and indulge at their farm-to-table restaurant. The farm holds programs about historic preservation, natural resources, and farming practices. It's located just seven miles south of the Vermont capital of Burlington.

Fox Theater: Detroit, MI

The Fox Theater isn't your run-of-the-mill cinema chain. When it opened in 1928 it had the second-largest seating capacity in the world with more than 5,000 seats. It's one of the largest surviving movie palaces of its era and has since been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Spring Grove Cemetery: Cincinnati, OH

Not just historic and beautiful, Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery is enormous, spanning over 700 acres. You could spend a whole day enjoying the peaceful grounds and exploring the lakes, islands, footbridges, and protected wooded areas. Historic figures laid to rest here include Civil War-era Major General Joseph Hooker and Salmon P. Chase , the founder of Cincinnati Law School.

Mammoth Cave National Park, KY

Not far from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Mammoth Cave National Park is the world's longest cave system with more than 400 miles of underground caverns. Much of the cave was first mapped out in the late 19th century by Stephen Bishop, a slave who was the first person to cross what was known as the "Bottomless Pit" and discover the sections beyond it.

West Baden Springs Hotel: West Baden Springs, IN

The most historic and luxurious hotel in Indiana, the West Baden Springs Hotel hosts special events, entertainment, and historic tours, for those staying or not. It's worth visiting just to take a gander at the humungous atrium that spans 200-feet across and has a fireplace so big that it can burn 14-foot logs.

Abraham Lincoln’s Home: Springfield, IL

In Springfield Illinois, you can tour the home of President Abraham Lincoln. The museum is filled with personal artifacts of the Lincoln family and the tour explores his rise as a lawyer and politician leading up to his presidential campaign.

Gateway Arch: St. Louis, MO

You don't just have to look at the arch, you can go to the top of it! In St. Louis, the Gateway Arch's tram will take you to the top for some incredible 360-degree views of the Twin Cities. The arch was completed in 1965 and is one of the city's most popular attractions.

C.W. Parker Carousel Museum: Leavenworth, KS

In Leavenworth, Kansas, you can take a spin through the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum . Here you'll find restored carousels that date back to the mid-1800s like the Liberty Carousel and a Primitive Carousel and can learn about the history of C.W. Parker's carousel factory, which produced about 1,000 carousels during its time.

Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion: Des Moines, IA

In Des Moines, you can tour the governor's mansion at Terrace Hill . The governor's mansion hosts special events such as the "Tea & Talk" series and the annual garden party and the ​piano competition. While you're in Des Moines, the State Capitol is also a beautiful building worth seeing.

Taliesin: Green Spring, WI

In Wisconsin, you can visit one of world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wight's creations at Taliesin Wisconsin. You'll be able to walk around Wright's home, which is also a designated National Historic Landmark, and studio, where he lived during the beginning of his career.

Fort Snelling: Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN

Originally built as a frontier post in the 19th century, Fort Snelling is located near the Mississippi River. The fort tells the tense history of the region's new arrivals and the Native Americans who already lived here and in visiting you can learn the story of the Dakota War of 1862 and how the fort was used as an internment camp. On the river outside of the fort, you'll find a memorial for those that did not survive.

Ashfall Fossil Beds: Royal, NE

A must-visit for dinosaur lovers of all ages, more than 200 fossils have been recovered from the Ashfall Fossil Beds in Royal, Nebraska. Here, you'll find remnants of North America's prehistoric rhinoceroses and horses that roamed the land millions of years ago.

Mount Rushmore: Keystone, SD

TripSavvy / Lauren Breedlove

It was a massive project, that extended over decades, to carve the presidents' heads into a granite bluff at Mount Rushmore . Just down the road is Crazy Horse Memorial , which is even bigger—although still under construction

Fort Union Trading Post: Williston, ND

Located right on the North Dakota-Montana border, Fort Union was one of the region's most important fur trading posts between the years of 1829 and 1867. It was here that Northern Plains Indian Tribes peacefully traded furs for goods until the smallpox epidemic decimated the area.

Glacier National Park, MT

One of Montana's many natural gems, Glacier National Park is full of turquoise lakes, snowy meadows, precipitous mountains, and 25 active glaciers. The park is a part of the Rocky Mountains and shares a border with Canada's neighboring province of Alberta .

Hanford Site: Benton County, WA

If you've got a taste for dark tourism and are curious about what it would be like to walk around a decommissioned nuclear testing location, Washington's Hanford Site is open for visitors. It was here where the U.S. government conducted its plutonium research as a part of the infamous Manhattan Project, which would lead to the development of nuclear weapons.

Columbia River Highway, OR

Not just a scenic road, this highway is historic and has been well cared for over the years. Driving along this stretch of road, you'll be able to see the Pacific Northwest's temperate rainforests, which offer great opportunities for hiking and biking. There are also dozens of waterfalls to see when you get to the Columbia River Gorge, including the popular Multnomah Falls .

San Francisco Cable Cars: San Francisco, CA

When you're in San Francisco, you have to ride one of the city's iconic streetcars in the place they were invented. Of course, after you've had your fun riding up the city's steep hills, there is plenty more to enjoy in the city from the food scene to the Golden Gate Bridge views.

San Andreas Fault, CA

You've probably heard plenty about the San Andreas Fault , an area of high tectonic activity where the Pacific plate meets the Atlantic plate, but did you know there are spots where you can see it for yourself? Many sections of the fault are easy to visit throughout California and you can find fault sites near Palm Springs , Frazier Park, Pinnacles National Park , and even San Francisco .

Hoover Dam: Boulder City, NV

TripSavvy / Deanna Mazzola

On the border of Nevada and Arizona, you can see one of the country's greatest feats of engineering. The Hoover Dam draws approximately seven million visitors a year and while you're there, you can walk across it, crossing state lines and even a time zone border, and take a tour of the plant to learn more about how it works. 

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See all 50 states in 160 hours

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If you’re considering a seriously crazy summer road trip, check out the route data-blogger Stephen Von Worley created that starts in South Berwick, Maine, and ends in Taft, Mont.

The Fifty, Swiftly route he created a few years ago outlines the fastest way to see all 50 states and Washington, D.C. — not that he’s ever done it or knows anyone who has.

“Average 55 mph with stops, swap in fresh drivers as necessary, and you’ll traverse every member of the contiguous U.S. in just under 124 hours,” Von Worley writes on his Data Pointed blog . His Google map marked with driving legs that you can view on your smartphone covers 6,813 miles.

For those pushing for the grand sweep, fly from Spokane, Wash., to make a “three-legged loop to Honolulu, Anchorage, and back” to bag Alaska and Hawaii, adding 36 hours to the journey. The grand total: 160 hours to tag every state in the union.

How much time is that? Well, there are 168 hours in a week.

But don’t expect to go souvenir shopping on this journey. On the Lower 48 ride, you’ll average 2.6 hours per state during this drive-a-thon. With Alaska and Hawaii added in, you’ll spend “anywhere from a few seconds to eight hours in each state,” Von Worley says in an email.

The recommended vehicle for the trip isn’t a cushy SUV but a box truck, preferably used, outfitted with a bed and a fridge for your team of drivers. Yes, a team of drivers and cheerleaders is what you’ll need to do the Fifty, Swiftly.

Other road-trip ideas to check out: MotorcycleRoads.US challenges two-wheelers with a Nifty Fifty list that points to the most scenic rides to conquer in each state. (Mulholland Highway is the entry for California).

It’s also worth consulting 2014’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips from WalletHub, which provides insight into which states you want to be road-tripping in and why.

Info: Google map with directions of Fifty, Swiftly driving route

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50 state tour route

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How to visit all 50 states

This land is your land, this land is my land…

By Mary Kearl | Published Feb 21, 2020 7:36 PM EST

US map with pins

When I was a teenager, I stumbled across a Xerox copy of a blank U.S. map. There, my parents had written down the years I first visited each state, and I realized I was well on my way to spending time in all 50 of them.

I visited the remaining 10 before I turned 22, checking that item off my bucket list, and now, I’m reliving the experience as my husband and toddler cross states off their lists. They’re at 35 and 15, respectively.

What does it mean to “visit” all 50 states?

New Mexico state line sign

That’s up to you to decide, but you’ll definitely run into a lot of people with lots of opinions about it. The debate always centers around questions such as whether or not it counts if you don’t spend the night, if you only drive through a state, or if you just have a long layover.

Googling the topic will lead you down a deep rabbit hole, but my family’s rule of thumb has always been simple: Visiting a state means at least getting out of the car (or leaving the airport) and buying something, even if it’s just a snack from a gas station. Sure, that’s a pretty low bar—but it’s the one I grew up with and I’ve stuck to.

I later discovered there’s a membership organization called the All 50 Club , which helps travelers achieve and celebrate the goal of visiting all 50 states. They have their own official definition of what it means to actually visit a state, and as it turns out, my parents’ rule is quite close to that.

According to the All 50 Club, you’ve only visited a state after having “set foot on the ground of that state and breathed the air.” They’re also adamant that neither layovers nor flying over a state counts as visiting.

Depending on how hard you want to make things for yourself, you can either stick to this definition (or any other you find out there), or come up with your own. As long as a rule makes sense to you and whoever is accompanying you on your adventure, it works.

Planning and budgeting

People at the Four Corners monument

For $5 in the off-season and $10 during peak season, you can pay to visit (or stand in four states at once) at the Four Corners Monument .

So how much does it cost to visit all 50 states? That will depend on how many you can fit into one trip, your method of transportation, and whether you opt for budget, mid-range, or luxury accommodations and travel options.

According to Budget Your Trip , the average budget traveler spends $82 per day in the U.S., not including airfare. This jumps up quite considerably to $224 for mid-range, and $663 for luxury travelers.

In 2016, my husband and I spent slightly less than $5,000 on a 44-day road-trip across the U.S. by bike , where he crossed seven new-to-him states off his list. This is well around the average 30-day budget U.S. trip for a couple, according to Budget Your Trip. If you’re looking to drive, Investopedia says you can go from New York City to Los Angeles in seven days for about $1,100. That’s not only cheaper, but also way faster. (Just remember to buy a piece of gum or something every time you hit a gas station in a new state.)

For those living in the contiguous U.S., the big-ticket items will be Alaska and Hawaii, so you’ll probably have to plan dedicated trips to both these destinations. A 7-day Alaska vacation can cost around $3,000 per person , while a 7-day Hawaiian vacation costs about $5,300 for two . To check these items off your list, putting some money on the side and planning ahead is the best alternative.

Keep track and exercise your bragging rights

Biker by Texas state line

Bullet holes are apparently commonly found among state border-crossing signs

While my parents’ map was a great analog method of keeping track of our state visits, there are now many other options that range from physical to digital. My sister gifted us with a scratch-off state map for our baby, but we use Google Docs for logging states on the go. Doing so gives us both (and eventually our little one) editing privileges.

There are other more specialized apps, like Polarsteps , that help you take a closer look at the exact trajectory of your trips. Polarsteps is good for tracking any trip on your mobile device, but if you use it for keeping tabs on the states you’ve visited, you’ll know exactly which ones you set foot in during a particular trip. The All 50 State Club also recommends their own Travel Goal Getter app , plus other physical options for keeping track.

For even more bragging rights, you can pick up a souvenir at each location. I collect bells, my husband collects patches, and our baby gets magnets. We also try, where possible, to take a picture in front of the state sign when crossing the border.

Embark on further adventure

If you’ve already visited all 50 states or the idea sounds too easy or bland, there’s more you can do. If you’re feeling creative and ambitious, here are more elaborate options you can challenge yourself with:

  • Visiting a national park in every state.
  • Running a marathon in every state—there’s a club with specific guidelines for this one. It includes almost 5,000 members who’ve run more than 318,000 marathons.
  • Visiting all 50 by motorcycle , like Guinness World Record holder Danell Lynn.
  • Paddling in all 50, like Eric Straw did in his Canoe 50 Campaign.
  • Biking in all 50 , like 71-year-old retired school teacher Dianne Franz.
  • Doing a speed tour of all 50 . These are dubbed “cannonball runs” and have been accomplished by a select few All 50 Club members. They’ve visited all states in as little as 6 days, 17 hours, and 31 minutes.
  • Accomplishing the task with babies. Two of the youngest known travelers to see (or nap through?) all 50 states did so at 42 days old and six months old .

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Are you ready for a Road Trip? Explore these eleven incredible cross-country road trip routes across the U.S.!

50 state tour route

Pacific Coast

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Border to Border

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The Road to Nowhere

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The Great River Road

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Appalachian Trail

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Atlantic Coast

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The Great Northern

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The Oregon Trail

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The Loneliest Road

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Southern Pacific

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Home / The Loneliest Road

The Loneliest Road

Running coast-to-coast through the heart of America on an odyssey of more than 3,000 miles from sea to shining sea, US-50 passes through a dozen different states and four state capitals, as well as the nation’s capital, Washington DC. Along the route are some of the country’s most magnificent landscapes: the Sierra Nevada and the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, the endless farmlands of the Great Plains, and the desiccated deserts of Utah and Nevada. It follows the footsteps of pioneers and gives a reverse timeline of national development. Heading west to east, you can travel back in history from the cutting-edge high tech of contemporary Silicon Valley, across the Wild West frontier of the mid-1800s, and through lands the likes of Daniel Boone and countless others pioneered in the 1700s, before arriving at the Atlantic Ocean near some of the oldest and best-preserved colonial-era landscapes in the United States.

All the way across the country, US-50 passes through literally hundreds of timeworn small towns, the great majority of which have survived despite the modern onslaught of Walmarts and fast-food franchises. Blue Highways author William Least Heat-Moon writes about US-50, “for the unhurried, this little-known highway is the best national road across the middle of the United States.” The route offers such a compelling cross-section of the nation that Time magazine once devoted an entire issue to telling the story of the road it called the “Backbone of America.”

The Golden Gate Bridge at dusk

From its start at San Francisco, the route cuts across California’s midsection, passing the state capital of Sacramento before following the route of the old Pony Express up into the Sierra Nevada to the shores of Lake Tahoe and into Nevada. The Nevada portion of the route, dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America” by travel writers and tourist boards, is one of the most compelling long-distance drives in the country—provided you find miles and miles of little more than mountains, sagebrush, and blue sky compelling. The Great Basin desert continues across half of Utah, but then the route climbs over the Wasatch Front and onto the national park-packed red-rock country of the Colorado Plateau.

Continuing east, you cross the Continental Divide atop the Rockies, then follow the Arkansas River along the historic Santa Fe Trail. For fans of vanishing Americana, the route comes into its own here across the Great Plains, with its hypnotically repetitive landscape of water towers, windmills, railroad tracks, and one small town after another.

After bisecting Missouri from Kansas City to St. Louis, US-50 crosses the Mississippi River into a much older and more settled landscape, through the agricultural heartlands of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. After climbing into the Appalachian backwoods of West Virginia, US-50 emerges suddenly into the wealth and power of downtown Washington DC before passing through the still perfectly picturesque fishing and farming communities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Notable Sights Along the Loneliest Road

  • South Lake Tahoe, CA – Visit one of the biggest and deepest lakes in the country
  • Carson City, NV – Named in honor of explorer Kit Carson, Nevada’s capital city is rich with Wild West history.
  • Great Basin National Park, NV – Find solitude amid alpine forests, ancient bristlecone pines, wildflowers, and glacial lakes.
  • Canyonlands & Arches National Parks, UT – Explore arid wilderness, high plateaus, deep canyons, and sandstone arches in these two must-visit parks.
  • Million Dollar Highway, CO – Take a scenic drive along a classic stretch of two-lane blacktop that forms a swirling ribbon through the San Juan Mountains, the wildest and ruggedest peaks in the Colorado Rockies.
  • Garden of Eden in Lucas, KS – Experience one of the country’s oldest and oddest folk-art environments, the sort of place that puts the Gothic back in American Gothic.
  • Kansas City, MO – Museum lovers will have plenty of options to choose from in this history-infused city.
  • Serpent Mound, OH – See two fascinating remnants of the Mound Builder people who once lived in this part of what is now Ohio.
  • Manassas and Arlington, VA – Visit the site of the first major land battle of the Civil War and the final resting place of over 400,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, and public servants.
  • Washington D.C. – Walk through the monuments that embody nearly two centuries of American political history, then take your pick of museums showing off everything from ancient art to the first flying machines.
  • Ocean City, MD – Enjoy a fun-filled day or long weekend with the best array of old-time funfair attractions in the Mid-Atlantic.

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The Loneliest Road Travel Maps

Map of the Loneliest Road through California.

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This Map Shows the Quickest (and Ultimate) Road Trip Across America

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Planning holidays in USA? This map has got you covered for a great American road trip this year. Did you know you can now travel with Culture Trip? Book now and join one of our premium small-group tours to discover the world like never before. A few years back a savvy University of Michigan researcher figured out the fastest route to drive across the US, hitting all the country’s major landmarks before coming full circle.

50 state tour route

Using a carefully calculated algorithm, it would take about nine days of driving – or 224 total hours – to complete the 13,699-mile (22,046-kilometre) journey across the United States, according to Randy Olson ‘s calculations.

If you’ve got the time to complete the full circuit, you’ll encounter some of the United States’ most famous sights, including Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Washington DC’s White House, New York’s Statue of Liberty and Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. And if you were curious, Randy calculated the whole thing in less than a minute. Genius.

Here’s a full list (in order) of everything you’ll encounter on your holidays in USA for an epic road trip:

Grand Canyon, Arizona

50 state tour route

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Pikes Peak, Colorado

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

The Alamo, Texas

The Platt Historic District, Oklahoma

Toltec Mounds, Arkansas

Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Tennessee

50 state tour route

Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

USS Alabama , Alabama

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Okefenokee Swamp Park, Georgia

Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina

Glacier National Park

Lost World Caverns, West Virginia

Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, North Carolina

Mount Vernon, Virginia

White House, Washington DC

Colonial Annapolis Historic District, Maryland

New Castle Historic District, Delaware

Cape May Historic District, New Jersey

Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania

Statue of Liberty, New York

The Mark Twain House and Museum, Connecticut

The Breakers, Rhode Island

The Liberty Bell

USS Constitution , Massachusetts

Acadia National Park, Maine

Mount Washington Hotel, New Hampshire

Shelburne Farms, Vermont

Fox Theater, Michigan

Spring Grove Cemetery, Ohio

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

The White House

West Baden Springs Hotel, Indiana

Abraham Lincoln’s Home, Illinois

Gateway Arch, Missouri

C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, Kansas

Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, Iowa

Taliesin, Wisconsin

Fort Snelling, Minnesota

Ashfall Fossil Bed, Nebraska

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Mt. Rushmore

Fort Union Trading Post, North Dakota

Glacier National Park, Montana

Hanford Site, Washington

Columbia River Highway, Oregon

San Francisco Cable Cars, California

Golden Gate Bridge

San Andreas Fault, California

Hoover Dam, Nevada

Love maps? Check out this handy map that shows you every single airport’s Wi-Fi codes across the world !

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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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Born to be Boomers - Lifestyle blog for the over 50 crowd

Top 100 Bucket List Road Trip Ideas For 50 States

50 state tour route

With COVID, family vacations are being redefined. No longer is it easy to hop on a plane and go to your dream destination and more people are looking into the best road trip ideas for their vacation. More than half (54%) of American drivers surveyed say that they prefer a road trip to a plane ride when getting away this summer.

The new normal means taking road trips to state parks or scenic drives to your favorite destinations. Here are our top bucket list picks for the best road trip ideas for all 50 states in the US and more importantly the best US road trips that are near you. We put each state in alphabetical order so you can find that state’s road trip ideas with ease and plan the best road trips vacation.

My hope is you can use this article as a resource for many years to come as you travel our beloved United States. Enjoy and let us know the best road trip near you in the US! **As long as COVID is around please check to make sure certain sites are open and accepting visitors.

 Alabama

Alabama’s best road trips offer mountains or beaches and something in between! There is plenty to do in Alabama, especially if you are in the civil war and civil rights history buff. Be sure to look into Montgomery , where you will find plenty of history here.

  • National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
  • Dexter Parsonage Museum – Dr. Martin Luther King’s home.
  • Civil Rights Memorial Center.
  • Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.
  • First White House of the Confederacy.

Alabama’s Coastal Connection Scenic Byway

Who doesn’t love the beach? One of the best sites along the 17 miles of AL Highway  182 is Gulf State Park. The 3.5 miles of sugary sands separate Gulf Shores and Orange   Beach .

When you go to Alabama’s Gulf State Park you will have 2 miles of sandy white beaches and 25 miles of biking trails. The parks offer fishing pole rentals so you do not have to bring your gear unless you want to. You can fish right from the Gulf State Fishing and Education Pier which is the largest pier on the Gulf of Mexico.

Alabama's Gulf State Park

Huntsville Mountaintop Road and U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Florida is not the only state with a rockin’ space program. You will want to check out the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville and see their museum. Saturn V Hall, Moon Crater, Military Park, Rocket Park, Shuttle Park, Rocket Shop, and Mining Sluice. Visit the Saturn V Hall, Moon Crater, Military Park, Rocket Park, Shuttle Park, Rocket Shop, and Mining Sluice. Huntsville is a city in the Appalachian Region of Northern Alabama so you can see mountains too. Head over the Huntsville Mountaintop Road .

 Alaska

Anchorage is the perfect spot to venture from when looking for great Alaskan road trips. Alaska is definitely offering the best national and state parks in the US. If you love wildlife Alaska is a must-see state.

Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass Scenic Drive is about 3 hours from Anchorage, round trip. It is located in the Talkeetna Mountains between the towns of Willow and Palmer. Hatcher Pass is a favorite for locals who love recreation or a scenic drive. Hike in alpine tundra dotted with wildflowers and ptarmigan, ski fresh, deep powder, or visit Independence Mine Historical State Park.

Alaska Road Trip

Denali Park and Preserve

Denali National Park is the third largest park in the United States and is 6 million acres. It’s 92 miles and about 5 hours from the park entrance to Kantishna, the end of the park road.

After the first 15 miles, your vehicle will not be allowed and you will have to take a tour or use the park hop on hop off shuttle bus.

The summer bus tours begin as early as May 20th. There is a 7-hour half-day tour that will take you for the first 53 miles of the road or a full-day 13-hour bus tour covering the entire 92 miles that begins June 8th.

 Arizona

Starting out from Phoenix , there are a couple of great stops on the way to your destinations like Flagstaff and Sedona . Route 66 is also in Arizona for those that love anything retro.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands . The park is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon; a mile deep, and up to 18 miles wide. You will see layered bands of colorful rock that reveal millions of years of geologic history. It is often considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World .

Grand Canyon State Park Arizona

Antelope Canyon

The best months to visit Antelope Canyon  are between the end of March and early October. You must have a Navajo guide to be able to enter the park at Antelope Canyon .

Antelope Canyon Arizona

During this time, from spring to fall, you will see light beams that enter the Upper Antelope Canyon  which creates a unique phenomenon. If you visit Antelope Canyon  during winter, you will miss the colors of the light beams.

 Arkansas

Arkansas is highly underrated for tourism but it is a beautiful state for road trips . I know this because I used to live there and road trips were one of our favorite things to do. Whether you head north or south from Little Rock there is so much to see. There is a reason why it is called the Natural State !

Hot Springs Park

Hot Springs National Park is the smallest and oldest of the parks in the National Park System. It dates back to 1832 when Congress established, 40 years ahead of Yellowstone, so Hot Springs is the first federally protected area in the nation’s history.

Hot Springs Reservation, which was renamed Hot Springs National Park in 1921, was created to protect the 47 naturally flowing thermal springs on the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain . Visiting the park is free.

Hot Springs Arkansas Road Trip

Ozark Mountains

If kayaking, fishing and hiking are in your wheelhouse then the Ozarks in Arkansas are for you. There is a variety of lakes, rivers and streams in the Ozarks. The drive is absolutely beautiful from Little Rock .

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 California

California, the third-largest state, covers a lot of lands that will give you a variety of topography to choose from when planning your road trip. It runs a little under 800 miles from top to bottom.

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway is considered one of the most scenic highways in the US. The highway stretches from California’s northern border to San Diego . Your drive will take you about 12 hours with no stops. But who does not want to explore at least a couple of places?

There is one great reason to start your road trip in the North and head South! You will be driving on the lane that is closest to the ocean!

Pacific Coast Highway Best Road Trip

Redwood Forest

Everyone knows that Redwood Park is the home to the tallest trees on Earth. The parks also protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild river-ways, and nearly 40-miles of rugged coastline so there is definitely more to see than the trees.

Redwood Forest Best Road Trip

Golden Gate Park

If you want to fly into a major city in California then we suggest starting in San Francisco ! You will want to see the Golden Gate Park and Bridge in San Francisco. There are more than 1000 acres to explore and ten lakes. They just celebrated their 150 year anniversary.

Japanese Tea Garden Road Trip

The offer segway, scooter and bicycle tours. There is a museum, a carousel for the kids and my all-time favorite, the Japanese Tea Garden.

Stops In Between San Francisco and Los Angeles

Monterey, California  – Home to the excellent Monterey Bay Aquarium and the internationally famous Monterey Jazz Festival.

San Simeon, California  – The Hearst Castle is one of the truly unique attractions to see on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip.

San Luis Obispo, California  – Offering a beautiful 18th-century Spanish mission to tour, and the Madonna Inn, a popular hang out for celebrities in the 1950s is a unique place to spend a night.

Los Angeles

Most folks complain there is not much to see on the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles due to obstructed views but that does not mean that you can not see some cool stuff in Los Angeles , like, Malibu , Hollywood , Dodger Stadium and other cool sites.

Hollywood Best Road Trips

San Diego is known for is cool eateries and even cooler surfer culture. You can visit their many beaches as well as The USS Midway Museum, San Diego Zoo , and La Jolla Park. There is lots of wildlife from the seals and sea lions sunning themselves on the beach and rocks in San Diego .

 Colorado

Colorado offers amazing views right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains . This is a great state to see 14,000-foot peaks, Hot Springs and historic towns.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado Best Road Trip

Starting from Denver, Taking a tour through the Rocky Mountain National Park will take you through many gateway towns that are fantastic points of interest, like Lyons, Grand Lake, Kremmling, Hot Sulfur Springs and Winter Park.

Great Sand Dunes

Another unique road trip in Colorado is to the tallest dunes in North America, The Great Sand Dunes National Park . At  Great Sand Dunes , you can hike, sand-board, sled, splash in Medano Creek, or wander anywhere in the wilderness of dunes and mountains.

50 state tour route

 Connecticut

From a beautiful seashore in Eastern Connecticut to the iconic towns of Northwest Connecticut there is much to do here.

Coastal Connecticut

Hop on Route 1 and tour the coastal sea towns of Connecticut. You will find 120 miles of shoreline to explore from Greenwich to Stonington. On this trip, you will find lighthouses, vineyards and historical homes.

Connecticut Seashore Best Road Trip

Drive The Connecticut River

The Connecticut River spans 4 states and cuts Connecticut in half from north to south. You will see sights like Covered Bridges, the Gillette Castle State Park and the Mark Twain House . The castle resembles a medieval fortress.

 Delaware

Delaware is one of our smallest states and because of that, you can usually do a road trip on one tank of gas! It is a great opportunity to explore the beaches of Delaware from the top to the bottom. Here are the must-stop beaches on your road trip to Delaware.

Cape Henlopen State Park

There is plenty to do at Cape Henlopen State Park like hiking and swimming and it is one of Delaware’s most popular beaches . There you will find the WWII observation tower and military bunker . You will get amazing views if you climb the tower. If a clam bake is on your bucket list then you can dig for clams near the fishing pier. The Nature Center offers free bike rentals for visitors!

50 state tour route

Seashore State Park Campground, Rehobeth Beach

Delaware’s Seashore State Park is one of the state’s most popular destinations and a great choice for your road trip. The park offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and Rehoboth and Indian River Bays to the west. Be sure to stop by the park when they are having their famous Sandcastle contest in July.

 Florida

Florida, like California, offers a diverse number of regions that make it great for road tripping! The East Coast of Florida is vastly different from the West Coast and Northern Florida is completely different from South Florida . Then you have Central Florida right in the middle and the Panhandle in the Northwest corner.

In addition, each region in Florida has different names to help identify who they are. As an example, I live on the Treasure Coast , due to its unique history with pirate ships crashing on to our reefs. There is the Gold Coast – Fort Lauderdale and the Historic Coast – St. Augustine, etc.

On the East Coast of Florida , you can use A1A and travel up the coast to see the unique towns and beautiful beaches from Miami to Jacksonville. There will be areas where it will cross over to the mainland.

South Florida Road Trip

There are three primary areas to see on a South Florida road trip so we will start in Miami which is central to all of them. Leaving Miami you can go south to the Southernmost Point in the United States in Key West or head north to the Coastal Cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach . If you are heading west from Miami you can get to the West Coast on the Tamiami Trail .

50 state tour route

We also can not leave out the Everglades, west of Miami, which offers really cool eco-tourism options for those that are looking to get close to the swamps of Florida. You can include the Everglades if you are going south to the Keys or west to the Gulf.

North of Miami

North of Miami you can take a scenic drive up A1A and see all of the beach towns like Miami’s South Beach and Miami Beach . You could spend a whole vacation here but be sure to keep going and visit Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach too.

Another great town to see is Palm Beach where you can see some of the most famous mansions like Mar a Lago and the Kennedy Compound .

50 state tour route

South and West of Miami

South and west of Miami, you are heading right into the Everglades and the famous Florida Keys .

You can start your road trip with a tour in the Everglades National Park where you will see Airboat tours and promises of seeing our unique ecosystem and wildlife in Florida .

The Keys offer world-class fishing and snorkeling while you are there. You can also stop at Robbie’s to feed the Tarpon in Islamorada . It is a Florida tradition.

We love the Keys and have been many times. There is nothing better than driving on their two-lane road, US 1, as you enter Key Largo and ending up in Key West for those beautiful sunsets at the Southernmost Point of the US. On your way, you will pass through towns like Islamorada, Marathon and Duck Key .

The Gulf Coast

From Miami, you will head out on US Route 41, also knows as the Tamiami Trail . This road also parallels I-75 for much of the way. The Tamiami Trail runs west straight to Naples and will continue up the West Coast of Florida to Tennessee.

50 state tour route

You will be to access the northern section of the Everglades National Park and be able to stop in and see the Big Cypress National Preserve on the way to Naples.

50 state tour route

You may not want to go that far but will take you up the Gulf Coast to see great little towns like Naples and Sanibel Island , famous for its seashells. Sarasota is another great stop if you are interested in the history of the infamous Ringling Brother’s Circus.

You can end your trip in Tampa where you can the historic neighborhood of Ybor City or head over to see some more beaches in Clearwater.

North Florida

St. Augustine is America’s oldest city and offers bed and breakfast accommodations and is a must-stop for any foodie. There is a ton of history and cool museums to visit in St. Augustine.

One of my favorite road trips to take in North Florida is to the Historic Coast and visit St. Augustine . St. Augustine is an easy trip from Georgia and Orlando. Points to hit from either direction are the famous Daytona Beach where you will find the Daytona Speedway and beaches that you can drive on. To the north of St. Augustine you will find Jacksonville Beach and Amelia Island .

50 state tour route

 Georgia

Georgia is a favorite here at Born to be Boomers! You have the coastal areas in the Southeast corner of Georgia and the top third of the state is mountains.

The Islands of Coastal Georgia

The islands off the Georgia coast are called barrier islands because they form a barrier, or wall, blocking ocean waves and wind from directly hitting the mainland.

St Simon's Island Best Georgia Road Trip

Georgia has fourteen primary barrier islands – from north to south they are Tybee Island , Little Tybee Island, Wassaw Island, Ossabaw Island, St. Catherine’s Island, Blackbeard Island, Sapelo Island, Wolf Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island, St. Simons Island , Jekyll Island, and Cumberland Island , the largest of Georgia’s barrier Islands. 

Tybee Island Georgia Best Road Trip

Not all of these island are accessible by car but there are still many that you can visit.

Starting in Savannah you will first be able to see Tybee Island . This is Savannah’s beach but is about 25 minutes from Savannah due to all of the wetlands. From there you can island-hop to Jekyll Island, St. Simon’s Island and then Cumberland Island .

Cumberland Island is only accessible by Ferry. There is camping and one hotel on Cumberland Island. You will need a bike and good walking shoes.

North Georgia Mountains Road Trip

If you have not been to the North Georgia Mountains then you are in for a treat. The Northeast Georgia Mountains is an area that starts in the northeast corner of Georgia, United States, and spreads in a westerly direction. The mountains in this region are in the Blue Ridge mountain chain that ends in Georgia . 

North Georgia Mountains Best Road Trip

Starting from Atlanta, you can get there from several interstate options that will end up being a loop to get you back to Atlanta. You can take I-85 or I-75 to North Georgia and come back down to Atlanta.

Whichever way you head up the town of Helen needs to be on your list. Other great areas to visit are Blairsville, Dahlonega and Brasstown Bald . You could also do the Winery Trail and Apple picking on Apple Alley (GA Hwy 52). You can see our last road trip to Georgia .

 Hawaii

North shore of kauai .

Kauai’s  dramatic  North Shore is full of rugged mountains, lush taro fields, heavenly beaches and spectacular sea cliffs. There is a 17-mile stretch of coastline with multiple north shore beaches that are lined with cliffs up to 3,000-foot tall.

You will see lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, and sea caves. This shorter trip on our list is for a more relaxed day of driving. If you start in the morning you will have lots of time for hiking, nature watching, eating, and learning the history of this singularly beautiful coast.

Molokai: East Molokai via Kamehameha V Highway

One of the loveliest sea-level coastal drives in the Islands takes road trippers from Molokai’s main town Kaunakakai past several centuries-old loko ia (Hawaiian fishponds), and at times right beside tranquil or tempestuous shoreline on its way to breathtaking end-of-the-road Halawa Valley and Beach.

Hawaii Best Road Trip

Hawaii’s fifth-largest island, Molokai is only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point and is home to the highest sea cliffs in the world and the longest continuous fringing reef. Molokai remains true to its island roots, with a high percentage of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry who continue to preserve their rural lifestyle thanks to their love of the land. 

Follow Highway 470 to Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kalaupapa Peninsula lookout and  Pala’au State Park  on Molokai’s north shore . It is also known as Kalae Highway .

 Idaho

Idaho is known for its outdoor lifestyle, fly fishing, lakes, rivers and beautiful views making it a great road tripping state. Idaho is one of our more beautiful states so there is plenty to see on a road trip. More than two-thirds of the state is protected land. The best way to take in Idaho’s high mountains, crystal-blue rivers, and rolling golden fields is by driving its scenic byways . There are actually 30! We will show you are two top picks.

Leaving Boise for Sun Valley is about a 6-hour drive on Highway 21, also known as the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway . Road-trippers pass old mining towns and inviting hot springs in central Idaho. Drive on the windy forest access roads that funnel into remote sections of wilderness on Sun Valley.

Idaho Best Road Trip

Mesa Falls Scenic Byway

From Ashton, Idaho on Idaho 47, the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway heads northeast into the lush landscape of the Targhee National Forest . It’s a loop that runs for nearly thirty impressive miles all the way to the Island Park area on Route

The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway includes the popular Warm River Campground and two of the most spectacular waterfalls in the West — lower and upper Mesa Falls . At the upper falls, you can stop at the historic Big Falls Interpretive Center to learn about the geology and history of the area.

 Illinois

Illinois boasts some pretty cool state parks and scenic road trips in very quaint small towns.

Illinois Route 66

Looking for the past? Route 66 stretches over 300 miles. The famous Route 66 symbolically begins at Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain and continues for 300 miles southwest through Illinois (or about 435 miles if you take all the original side roads). It crosses the Mississippi outside St. Louis and heads west to Santa Monica, California.

50 state tour route

Of you are looking for iconic statues, vintage neon signs, motels and restaurants this is the road trip for you! Joliet Area Historical Museum’s Route 66 Welcome Center is where your trip will begin.

Great River Road – Illinois National Scenic Byway.

Follow along the Mississippi River on the Great River Road for 550 miles of wineries, bed and breakfasts and beautiful small towns. Catch a ride on a Mississippi River Boat or rent a kayak to see the views.

Be sure to tour the home of Ulysses S Grant in Galena , Illinois where your road trip can start.

 Indiana

Indiana is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and is just a quick trip away from Chicago . Indiana has some unique road trips that are a must for your road trip bucket list.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Just 30 minutes outside of Chicago, just beyond the border in Indiana , you will find the Indiana Dunes National Park with expansive views of Lake Michigan’s shoreline. The Dunes are almost 200 feet in some spots offering amazing views to those who climb them. In addition, you will find a water park, cool wineries and brewery trails along the shores of Lake Michigan .

50 state tour route

Heritage Trail – Indiana Amish Country

The Heritage Trail is a 90-mile loop that has been called the most scenic drive in America by Life Magazine. This area of Indiana is known for its rolling hills and beautiful scenery from the roadways. If you love Amish home-cooked meals and crafts this is the perfect road trip for you!

Iowa is not just cornfields and flat lands. There is much to do in this great mid-western state.

Iowa Great Lakes

The main attractions of the Okoboji area are the glacier-carved lakes. This beautiful chain of lakes extends from the Minnesota border southwest several miles and covers approximately 15,000 acres in Northwest Iowa.

The Iowa Great Lakes include Iowa’s largest natural lake, Spirit Lake and five interconnect lakes: West Okoboji, East Okoboji, Upper Gar, Lower Gar, and Minnewashta. Spring-fed West Lake Okoboji is a beautiful shade of blue and 134 feet deep.

It is the centerpiece of the five chain lakes, and the surrounding communities provide the backdrop for Okoboji’s year-round playground. Pikes Point State Park is located within the city limits.

Iowa Great Lakes Road Trips

Great River Road Scenic Byway

You can follow along the Mississippi River for over 300 miles in Iowa too! Visit iconic Mississippi river towns and Limestone Bluffs in Iowa . There are 18 Interpretative Centers along the river for learning more about this historic river that helped to build the US.

 Kansas

Follow the Yellow Brick Road all the way to Kansas ! There is plenty to do in this not so flat state. I thought it was flat! After researching where the cool places are I have found out it is not just miles of flat land.

Land and Sky Scenic Byway

Traveling along the Land and Sky Scenic Byway gives you the opportunity to experience the Wallace Branch of the Great Western Cattle Trail . The Great Western Cattle Trail is currently under National Park Service consideration as a National Historic Trail .

50 state tour route

Mount Sunflower

You can scale the highest point in Kansas at Mount Sunflower and explore the deep canyons and rugged landscape of the Arikaree Breaks . At 4,039 feet, it is 3,300 feet above the state’s topographic low point, which lies on the opposite side of the state.

The byway focuses on agriculture and features thousands of acres of rotating crops, livestock and wildlife along the route.

 Kentucky

Kentucky has it all. Mountains, bourbon and horses are a few of my favorite things.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

There are 4 ways to do a Kentucky Bourbon Trail . There is a Northern, Western, Southern and Bluegrass Bourbon Tour. My favorite is to go on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® in Northern Kentucky. Visitors can explore their booming craft distillery scene. I love trying new foods and drinks so a Craft Tour is right up my alley. I love anything that is a little more creative than the other guy.

Bourbon Barrels Best Road Trips

In Kentucky , whichever Bourbon Trail you choose you can purchase a passport for your travels. Once you have completed all 4 Bourbon Trails in your passport then you will receive an Official Bourbon Trail Tasting Glass!

Kentucky Horse Farms

Lexington Kentucky is known as the Horse Capital of the World . It is also Kentucky’s second-largest city. You will start at Thoroughbred Park in Lexington and work your way to the country and drive by some of the most famous Thoroughbred Barns in the US.

Kentucky Horse Farms

After driving by the beautiful farms of Kentucky , you’ll arrive at Keeneland Racecourse , a Thoroughbred racing facility that is also a National Historic Landmark. Keeneland is a smaller track but takes pride in maintaining its longstanding racing traditions. They hosted the Breeder’s Cup for the first time in 2015 where American Pharoah was the first horse to take the Grand Slam of horse racing, winning all for high stakes races.

 Louisiana

Louisiana is a southeastern state that’s a true “melting pot” of many cultures and people. The French, African and French-Canadian make up some of Louisiana’s ethnicities. It’s famous for its unique  Creole and Cajun culture, food, jazz music, and Mardi Gras festival. There is plenty of nature there too so you can also find fishing, wildlife, state parks, and historical sites.

Cajun Country Road Trip

US-90, the main route through Cajun Country , follows the route of the Old Spanish Trail, the historic cross-country highway that, in the early days of the automobile, linked San Diego, California and St. Augustine, Florida. You can go deep into the bayou to see the gators and old cypress trees growing in the swamp.

Louisiana Bayou Road Trip

You will definitely want to stop and tour the  Tabasco Factory  on Avery Island , just south of New Iberia. Learn about the area’s unique geology. Avery Island is a salt dome.

Make sure to visit  Jungle Gardens , a 170-acre botanical gardens featuring all kinds of birds, flowers, trees, and, of course, alligators.

Louisiana Plantations and River Road

Hop on Louisiana’s famous River Road to see all of the grand estates and former plantations along the Mississippi River . Learn the history behind these majestic homes and see historic museums and tours of America’s past.

Louisiana Plantation

Mark Twain once said, while he was touring down the Mississippi, that the waterway looked like a street with all of the homes and estates on either side.

Here are some notable plantations in the New Orleans area:

  • Oak Alley Plantation
  • Bocage Plantation
  • Houmas House
  • Laura Plantation
  • St. Joseph Plantation
  • Destrehan Plantation
  • Whitney Plantation
  • San Francisco Plantation
  • Ormond Plantation
  • Nottoway Plantation

 Maine

From skiing the mountains in the west to the coastal shores on the east, Maine has a lot to offer someone who is heading out on a road trip.

Coastal Maine

You can start your adventure on Route 1 which will take you up the coast of Maine. And with 5000 miles of coastline, there is plenty to see and do. The museums, lighthouses and food are amazing. Can anyone say Lobstah Lobstah Lobstah?

50 state tour route

You will be able to visit historic, iconic towns like Rockland, Rockport Portland, Camden and Kennebunkport on your Maine Road Trip .

Acadia National Park

Located on the seaboard of Eastern Maine, Acadia National Park provides an awesome road trip with a loop road that will take you around the park.

Coastal Maine

Acadia Park is a photographer’s dream with some of the most rugged coastline you will ever see. Easily accessible by car there is the main park loop that you can follow and stop to get the scenic Acadia Mountain photos you came for.

 Maryland

Maryland offers some of the best historical sights in the nation being one of the original states.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad and African-American Heritage Travel

If you really want to make this a great African American Heritage Travel Tour then we suggest that you start this road trip from Washington, DC at the   Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture .

50 state tour route

Once you have left DC you will travel to Maryland to visit the spots where both free and enslaved African Americans helped to shape our nation and Maryland. You will be able to visit the Underground Railroad and learn about Dorchester, Maryland’s history and see how Harriet Tubman’s life unfolded.

Chesapeake Bay Loop

When you drive around the Chesapeake Bay , Maryland’s most famous estuary, you will find classic bay towns to explore. You will encounter a diverse ecosystem including marshes, wetlands, sandy beaches, rivers and creeks, as well as open water.

50 state tour route

Be sure to stop in Annapolis Maryland, America’s Sailing Capital , and the capital of Maryland . It is also the home of the US Naval Academy. The other towns to explore on the Chesapeake Loop are:

  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Cambridge, Maryland
  • Chesapeake City, Maryland
  • Easton, Maryland
  • Havre de Grace, Maryland
  • Rock Hall, Maryland
  • St. Michaels, Maryland

 Massachusetts

Massachusetts has much to offer when it comes to great road trips. Just like the other New England Coastal States, you have the best of both worlds.

Coastal Lighthouses Road Trip

The Massachusetts Coast is dotted with lighthouses all along its eastern seaboard. There are 47 active towers. Some of them even come with some cool ghost stories! Some of Massachusett’s best towns to visit are Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket , which are located on the coast.

Massachusetts Lighthouse

You will be able to climb the lighthouses of Massachusetts and see the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the historical towns that have cared for them over the years. Massachusetts has some of the oldest lighthouses in the US.

Revolutionary War Road Trip

If you are in Boston this is a great time to follow the Revolutionary War in Massachusetts .

You will start your trip in Boston and visit the Freedom Trail which is a 2.5 walking trail. This is a 90-minute walking tour that takes you to some of the best historical sights in Boston. Once you are on the road leaving Boston, you can visit the famous towns of Concord and Lexington . You will find historical sights like the home of Henry David Thoreau and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery .

 Michigan

With Michigan being surrounded by lakes makes it the perfect road trip state. On either side of Michigan, you will find the pristine waters of the Great Lakes where you are able to follow along the shoreline.

Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

Starting at New Buffalo at the southern state line, you can follow the shores of Lake Michigan to hit the Michigan Wine Trail. You can hit several towns on your way. The Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area is a 173-acre tract of magnificent dunes along the Lake Michigan shore. One other notable town to stop in is Holland, Michigan where you can also visit the Tulip Time Festival in April. The tulips can bloom until May.

50 state tour route

Sunrise Coast

Before heading to Lake Huron , I would suggest starting in the Bavarian town of Frankenmuth, MI where there are nearly 3 million visitors a year. Dubbed Michigan’s Little Bavaria you will enjoy the German architecture, water parks, horse-drawn carriages and covered bridges. It is also Christmas there all year long!

Frankenmuth MI

Once you leave Frankenmuth, head over north to Eastern Michigan. Now called the Sunrise Coast , it has the historic Heritage Route along US-23 and features Lake Huron , with its shipwrecks, beautiful lighthouses, and miles of beaches.

50 state tour route

Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses a 35 mile stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail winds through forests and the Port Oneida area with its 19th-century farmsteads.

 Minnesota

Minnesota borders Lake Superior and Canada . It is loaded with lakes which is why it is called the Land Of 10,000 Lakes ! The Mississippi flows from its source, Lake Itasca .

North Shore Scenic Drive – Lake Superior

You will start your road trip in Duluth, one of Minnesota’s largest cities and the world’s largest freshwater inland port. The North Shore Scenic Road is designated as an All-American Road . You can drive this 145-mile scenic byway to see the cliffs and ruggedness of the shoreline on Lake Superior .

Minnesota Lakes

There are plenty of hiking opportunities where you can see waterfalls and streams along the way. You can also check out the Superior National Forest which is more inland but provides millions of acres of land to explore.

Beer and Wine Trails

There is nothing better than visiting the places that make our favorite adult beverages. And Minnesota does not disappoint when it comes to this. Head down to Southern Minnesota for the Minnesota Beer Trail where you will find more than 20 Microbreweries to visit and do taste tests. Please drive responsibly!

Vineyards in Minnesota

If wine is more your speed then you will want to check out The Great River Road Wine Trail where you will find 4 of the 10 wineries on the Minnesota side of the Mississipi River.

 Mississippi

Located deep in the South, Mississippi offers some of the coolest back road scenic trails loaded with historical sites.

Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway spans 3 states and there is plenty to see and do on the 300 miles located in Mississippi. You can experience both Native American History and Civil War History on the trail. Choose a theme for your road trip or do both! Either way, you will be driving through 10,000 years of history.

Natchez Trail Mississippi

The Trail follows the “Old Natchez Trace” a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, “Kaintucks,” European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents. There is also hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping along the trail.

Mississippi Music Trail

There are actually 2 trails to choose form in Mississippi . One for Country Music Lovers and the other for Blues Lovers.

The Mississippi Country Music Trail has 34 markers that you can visit. Country Music greats like Conway Twitty, Elvis Presley and Tammy Wynette all have a marker on the trail.

50 state tour route

Ride down Highway 61 on the Mississippi Blues Trail in the Mississippi Delta . Check out the charming small towns along the way. Your travels will show you some of the most famous Mississippi artists who lived near Highway 61 included: B. B. King, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Robert Nighthawk, Sunnyland Slim, Honeyboy Edwards, Sam Cooke, James Cotton and Jimmy Reed.

The markers on both tours will tell you the history of the person represented and how they impacted the State of Mississippi. Check out the Gateway Blues Museum in Tunica that also doubles as a visitor’s center.

 Missouri

Missouri offers many things for the serious road trip. There seems to be a rivalry between St. Louis and Kansas City when it comes to BBQ and Music. You will want to make sure to see both perspectives while traveling through Missouri ! And don’t forget the largest beer producer in the world, Anheuser-Busch is located here too.

Missouri’s Route 66

Here are a few things that Missouri’s Route 66 has to offer while you are leisurely traveling down memory lane. Route 66 is well preserved in Missouri and for good reason.

50 state tour route

Your trip starts in St. Louis, where you will see the St. Louis Gateway Arch and walk across the  Chain of Rocks Bridge . Cross another signature bridge in Devils Elbow, visit landmarks from the  Trail of Tears  in Waynesville. Cool off in the Meramec Caverns where Jesse James allegedly hid out! Make sure you plan to spend a day in Springfield, the official birthplace of Route 66.

Missouri Historic Water Mills Trip

Fall is a great time to get in the car and visit Missouri’s picturesque water mills but they are a sight to see all year long. There are literally dozens of mills that are both private and public in the state of Missouri .

Alley Mill, Eminence Missouri

Many of the Mills are in state park systems so you will have the best access to those. You can start at the northern spot near the Mark Twain Forest , where the Dillard Mill sits, and work your way south through the Ozarks . The Alley Mill is the most popular with tours available for visitors.

 Montana

Montana has miles of open roads that makes it perfect for road trips. The first thing people love to do here is Yellowstone National Park Gateway and Glacier National Park . The  Beartooth Highway  is a 68-mile route through the Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains that is often heralded as the most beautiful road in America. And while these road trips will not disappoint by any means there are so many things to do it may be worth it to book some extra time here.

Lewis and Clarke Trail

Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery had a rough time in Montana and you can follow along their path. Starting with the Missouri River and meeting at the Yellowstone River . Heading east they followed the waterway all the way to its headwaters in the east.

Missouri River Montana Road Trip

You will find many museums and markers showing you the way. Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center is overlooking the Missouri River .

Indian Country Road Trip

Drive along the clear waters of Flathead Lake as you head down to Phillipsburg. Spend time at the  National Bison Range  in  Moiese . Look for bison, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and black bears.

Flathead Lake Montana Road Trip

Mine for Montana sapphires as you loop back around to head north. End your trip to Columbia Falls which is the gateway to Glacier National Park .

 Nebraska

Located in the Great Plains of the United States, Nebraska is more than just cornfields and flatlands. From lakes and lazy rivers to unusual rock formations like Chimney Rock or fossil hunting at the Ashfall and Agate Fossil Beds , there is something for everyone in Nebraska!

Scenic Byways Road Trip

There are plenty of scenic byways that you can explore in Nebraska .

Nebraska Grasslands

  • Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway – South Sioux City to Valentine offers some of Nebraska’s top outdoor playgrounds.
  • Bridges to Buttes Byway. Wyoming border to Valentine’s high bridges of Valentine to the high plains near the Wyoming border. Check out the Toadstool Geologic Park and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.
  • Gold Rush Byway. Chadron to Sidney US 385 is considered one of the most scenic and historic roads in the nation.
  • Western Trails Byway . Wyoming border to Ogallala see towering formations and pine-shaded bluffs just like the folks did in covered wagons.
  • Lincoln Highway. US 30 across the state offers pioneers, cowboys and Pony Express riders with cultural and natural treasures.
  • Heritage Highway. Edison to Brownville explore the Missouri, America’s longest river.
  • Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway. Follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as the follow the Missouri River and make their way through Nebraska.
  • Sandhills Journey. Grand Island to Alliance see world-class natural wonders, sand dunes, Sandhill Cranes and the Nebraska National Forest rise from the plains.
  • Loup Rivers Scenic Byway. Dunning to Wood River and see farmlands, red barns and silos, and views of the Sandhills area and Calamus River.

Lazy River Road Trip

Have you ever heard of Tanking? Neither had I until I did some research on fun things to do in Nebraska . Water tanks are not just used to get water to their livestock, they also use the water tanks to go down the lazy rivers and waterways of Nebraska! Cold weather does not stop the fun either!

50 state tour route

  • Tank Down the Elkhorn, Waterloo
  • Crazy Rayz Tanking, Spalding
  • Dusty Trails, North Platte
  • Get Tanked, Ericson

Dismal River Nebraska

 Nevada

Did you know Nevada is the second-largest gold producer in the world? Me neither! Even though Nevada is the gambling and entertainment capital of the work this state has so much more to offer than just casinos! There is much to see while traveling the back roads of this western state!

Great Basin Highway

From sandstone canyons to alpine lakes there is a lot of history to learn on the Great Basin Highway , which follows Nevada’s U.S. 93.

Great Basin National Park

It will take you through eight Nevada state parks. You will end up at Great Basin National Park , so you can see Wheeler Peak and the Lehman Caves system.

Reno to Lake Tahoe Loop

Starting in Reno you will work your way southwest to Lake Tahoe . See the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe which are surrounded by towering peaks.

50 state tour route

You can make stops around Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley, the capital town of Carson City, historic Virginia City where Mark Twain got his start.

 New Hampshire

If you like mining and gemstones then New Hampshire is the state for you! You can experience the White Mountains and their lakes and rivers along the way. There is ample opportunity for hiking, SUP, kayaking and whitewater rafting on level IV rapids!

New Hampshire even offers 18 miles of seashore on the Atlantic. There are literally 100s of options since New Hampshire roads often crisscross giving you many different paths.

Great North Woods

See wildlife including moose, black bear and deer in this less populated section of New Hampshire . It is a must-see for nature lovers.  Visit the Mahoosuc region, which will bring you to the White Mountain National Forest and Nash Stream State Forest in eastern New Hampshire.

Seacoast Byway

Yes, it is only 18 miles but it is packed with history and beautiful seaside towns so plan on spending more than a day here. The Byway connects ten units of the State Park system as well as numerous local and private parks and recreational attractions. 

50 state tour route

Take an excursion to visit the islands of New Hampshire . White Island is off the coast and owned by the Coast Guard and can be seen on an excursion. It is an active lighthouse used today, fog horn and all.

 New Jersey

NJ is the most densely populated state so taking a road trip may seem a little daunting with traffic. Just getting down the shore brings memories of packed roadways of everyone trying to enjoy their summer homes and rentals. But New Jersey may surprise you. Southern NJ and the far north of the state offers more of a country feel. The state has many small towns that have a history to tell.

The Jersey Shore

I have fond memories of spending my summers at the Jersey Shore with my mother and my father coming over for the weekends. We had a house on the bayside and there was nothing better than approaching the bridges going over the marsh to make our way to Avalon , where I could swim right from our dock.

Cape May NJ

Starting in Historic Cape May you can make your way up the Jersey Shore visiting the small towns that line the coast. Visit the boardwalks and find Ocean Drive in your favorite towns. Make sure to hit stops like  Absecon Lighthouse  in Atlantic City or  Barnegat Lighthouse . There are 18 lighthouses in total and 11 are open to the public.

Historic Delaware Valley Road Trip

If you love history and a scenic drive you can leave Cape May travel through the famous New Jersey Pine Barrens while headed to the western side of NJ. The Delaware Scenic Byway officially starts in Historic Frenchtown and ends in Trenton at the Washington Crossing Historic State Park.

Washingtons Crossing State Park NJ Road trip

On December 25th, 1776, George Washington crossed the icy Delaware River at Johnson’s Ferry at night. This act would forever change the Revolutionary War when they marched towards Trenton and defeated their enemy.

 New Mexico

New Mexico has 3 main sites you will want to visit. They have more UNESCO World Heritage Sights that any other state in the US, which shows why New Mexico is The Land Of Enchantment .

  • Chaco Culture National Historical Site – The center of ancestral Pueblo culture between 800 and 1250.
  • Carlsbad Caverns National State Park – 300-limestone caves notorious for their size, mode of origin, and abundance
  • Taos Pueblo – the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States

You will find a variety of Natural Wonders on the 25 Scenic Byways on your road trip to New Mexico!

Route 66 cuts right through the center of New Mexico starting at the Blue Swallow Motel . If neon signs, classic cars and retro motels are something you love then Route 66 is a great choice. Be sure to stop at the Route 66 auto museum.

50 state tour route

The best part about starting your road trip on this iconic route is about halfway through, you can go north or south to see some other interesting points of interest in New Mexico.

Enchanted 8 Road Trips

If you are looking to explore the whole state, NewMexico.org has put together the best one I have seen called The Enchanted 8 Road Trips. 1100+ miles and 17 stops will not cover everything there is to see in New Mexico but it certainly covers most of it.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument New Mexico Road Trip

You will start in Carlsbad to visit the caverns, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , then off to Roswel l for all of the creepy alien stuff! Continue through the state visiting Native American towns, White Sands National Park and meet Smokey Bear!

New Mexico Road Trip

The trip covers many of New Mexico’s other national and state parks but more importantly you get to see Pie Town. The perfect stop for all pie lovers! You will end up in the northern part of the state where you can experience the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad .

 New York

New York state has so much to offer the road tripper. Being one of the 13 original colonies there is plenty of history in every corner of the state. Some of the top places to visit?

  • New York City
  • Niagara Falls
  • Adirondacks
  • The Catskills
  • Long Island – including their barrier islands like Fire Island and Shelter Island
  • 1000 Island s

Albany to Niagara

Start your trip on Route 20. This iconic back road has been nicknamed America’s Main Street. Head west and make your way to The Great Lakes Seaway Trail and drive along Lake Ontario where it meets with Niagra Falls .

Niagara Falls Road Trip

One of the first roads in America to be designated as a National Scenic Byway , the Great Lakes Seaway Trail includes unique historical locations and cultural heritage sites you definitely do not want to miss. The trail connects popular sites like Presque Isle, Niagara Falls, and the Thousand Islands.

Adirondacks Road Trip

With 14 Scenic Byways, there is a good reason to choose the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states. There are over 100 communities waiting to welcome you to this diverse area of mountains, lakes and waterfalls that offer world-class rafting, hiking and kayaking. There are 12 regional destinations to choose from.

Adirondack Mountains NY Road Trip

Here are a few of our favorites!

  • Adirondack Coast. Lake Champlain
  • Adirondack Seaway. Five Ponds Region – Star Lake, Cranberry Lake and Wanakena Lake.
  • Lake George Region. Queen of the American Lakes,” with 109 miles of shoreline and 300+ islands .
  • Lake Placid Region. From the coast of Lake Champlain where American Revolution battles were waged to Schroon Lake where a pristine wilderness hugs the lakeside village.

 North Carolina

North Carolina is one of my favorite east coast states. You have the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the west and miles of gorgeous beaches in the east. What’s not to love where friendly people and good food are in abundance?

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs all the way from Cherokee to the North Carolina State Line. You will be able to stop in scenic areas like Asheville and Blowing Rock .

50 state tour route

Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain peak in the Eastern United States with an elevation of 6,684 ft. It is only accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway . Linville Falls is the deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon and hosts 350,000 visitors annually.

Outer Banks National Scenic Byway

The  Outer Banks National Scenic Byway  begins in the north at Whalebone Junction , the joining of US 64-264, US 158, and NC 12, in Nags Head, Dare County. Byway travelers following the  Byways NC 12 south are in between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Pamlico Sound on the west. See 137 miles of North Carolina’s famous Outer Banks coastline where you will take a couple of ferries to make your way to the beaches.

Outer Banks North Carolina Road Trip

Here are a few of our favorite sights!

  • Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge.
  • Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC.
  • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station.
  • Canadian Hole.
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
  • Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.
  • Ocracoke Island Lighthouse.

 North Dakota

North Dakota is the nineteenth largest state in area, the fourth smallest by population so the roads are not crowded at all. They are known for their parks, The Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the International Peace Garden . The Great Plains give way to the rugged Badlands near the border with Montana, where the Theodore Roosevelt National Park spans the Little Missouri River .

Theodore Roosevelt National Park South and North Unit

The South Unit 36-mile Loop Drive will take you to several points of interest like Sunset at Wind Canyon, Painted Canyon Visitor Center Overlook, Ridgeline Nature Trail, Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Ranch Cabin, Boicourt Trail, Buck Hill Trail, Oxbow Overlook, River Bend Overlook, Cannonball Concretions Pullout. Continue about 70 miles away on the much less traveled 14-mile North Unit Scenic Byway to extend your drive.

In addition, you will most likely see animals who call the Theodore Roosevelt National Park home. For the best viewing hit the park early in the morning to view bison, elk, pronghorns, longhorn cattle, horses, mule deer, prairie dogs, and hundreds of bird species.

Painted Canyon North Dakota Road Trip

Standing Rock Native American Byway

The  Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway  spans 35 miles of the beautiful landscape while you drive alongside the Missouri River.

Buffalo North Dakota

Catch glimpses of buffalo and explore the deep historical roots of the great Lakota spiritual leader Sitting Bull, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and visit the final resting place of Sakakawea.

Regardless of the time of year, you can find interesting and fun experiences in  Ohio .

  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  • National Museum of the US Air Force.
  • Cedar Point Amusement Park.
  • Hocking Hills State Park.
  • Amish Country.
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Coastal Ohio Lighthouse Road Trip

Ohio is home to several lighthouses along the coast of Lake Erie. There are 8 lighthouses located on the mainland. Your trip will start at Ashtabula Harbor Lighthouse which is 100 years old. You will continue for 162 miles following along Lake Erie and ending at the Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society .

Ashtabula Harbor Lighthouse

You will take I-90 most of the way but there are some opportunities to stay close to the lake on some of the back roads.

Hocking Hills State Park- Logan, OH

If you enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors, hocking hills is the perfect Ohio park to visit on your road trip. The southernmost point of Hocking Hills is Ash Cave is the most spectacular feature of the entire park. Ash Cave is the largest recess cave in the state.

50 state tour route

Southern Ohio has some beautiful scenery. Spend time hiking at Old Man’s Cave , and explore all of the beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls the park has to offer.

 Oklahoma

In Oklahoma , Cimarron County is the only county in the U.S. that touches four states: Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Kansas. Oklahoma has parts of four mountain ranges: Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas and the Ozarks .

Oklahoma Waterfalls Road Trip

There are 5 waterfalls located in some of the most magical places in Oklahoma. You can discover them in this 300+ mile loop road trip that starts in Oklahoma City and ends in Davis, Oklahoma at Turner Falls . And don’t worry, if 5 waterfalls are not enough there is, even more, to add to your itinerary.

Turner Falls OK Road Trip

Here are our top 5:

  • Bricktown Falls
  • Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge
  • Medicine Park
  • Chickasaw National Recreation Area
  • Turner Falls

Southeast Oklahoma Mountain Gateway Byway

Head to Southeast Oklahoma and check out the Mountain Gateway Scenic Byway . You will follow Hwy 59/270 for 22 miles between Heavener and the Arkansas state line.

Ouachita Mountains Road Trip

The byway winds through the valleys of the Ouachita Mountains and the 26,445-acre Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation area. There are several side roads and other scenic byways that you can take explore these heavily forested mountains in Oklahoma . 

 Oregon

Oregon is one of the most unique and geographically diverse states. It offers volcanoes, mountains, rivers, waterfalls. ocean, forests and even a high desert. With its mild climate and impressive scenery, it makes it the perfect place to road trip! Oregon has more scenic byways and tour routes than any other state.

Pacific Coast Highway – Oregon Coast

Oregon’s coast stretches for over 360 miles and makes for the perfect road trip. If you have the time. plan to take this slow because there are many stops along the way. There are plenty of public lands so you can experience the Oregon Coast . You will start out in Astoria and make your way to your final destination of Brookings , which is located in the famous Banana Belt known for its mild temperatures.

Oregon Coast Road Trip

Here are some must stop towns and sights along the way:

  • Astoria –  Visit Fort Stevens State Park, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific.
  • Cannon Beach – National Geographic listed Cannon Beach one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world in 2013.
  • Garibaldi – A quaint fishing village and ride the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad to Rockaway Beach.
  • Depoe Bay – Gray Whales love it here and you will see the smallest navigable harbor in the world.
  • Newport – Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Oregon’s last remaining wooden lighthouse.
  • Yachats – Sea Lion Caves, Heceta Head Lighthouse and the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
  • Florence – Cross the Siuslaw River bridge and see miles of high dunes and sandy beaches heading to Coos Bay. Visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area,
  • Coos Bay – Charleston to Bandon Tour Route hugs the coast. US-101 in Bandon is at the mouth of the Coquille River.
  • Brookings – Drive the byway that hugs along cliffs and rocky shores dotted with tide pools. Beyond Pistol River, a famous windsurfing spot, 12 miles of coastline are designated as the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, with overlooks, hiking trails and beach access. Just south of Brookings, the banana belt, you can see the largest area of coastal redwoods in the state.

Hell’s Canyon Scenic Byway

Hell’s Canyon is America’s deepest river gorge. You will start in La Grande and make a horseshoe drive for over 200 miles through the scenic Wallowa Mountains and Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area and finalize your road trip near Baker City and I-84 .

Hell's Canyon Road trip

  • Le Grande – The stopping point for many pioneers who headed west on the Oregon Trail in the 1800s.
  • Elgin –  Eagle Cap Excursion Train, will take you through the deep canyons of the Grande Ronde and Wallowa rivers.
  • Minam – Minam and Wallowa rivers flow through canyons and just beyond you will see the snowcapped Wallowas. The Minam State Recreation Area has riverside camping for fishing and rafting. The byway descends into the Wallowa Valley, known as the “beautiful valley of winding waters.”
  • Enterprise – See the scenic farms and ranches with an Old West feel with its 19th-century architecture.
  • Joseph –  Wallowa Lake is a deep-blue alpine lake formed by glaciers and wedged between high peaks of the Wallowa Mountains. Wallowa Lake State Park offers a recreational area. The Wallowa Lake Tramway whisks passengers toward the summit of 8,200-foot Mt. Howard for easy access to high-altitude hikes.

 Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is my birth state and home to many historical sites from the Revolutionary War . They also have an abundance of mountains and lakes that offer beautiful views for an epic road trip!

PA Route 6 Heritage Trail

The Route 6 Trail is over 400 miles and takes you through Crawford, Erie, Warren, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Wyoming,  Lackawanna, Wayne and Pike Counties . Integral to America’s early history, US Route 6 was designated as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway through the 14 states it crosses. You will find historical sites, small quaint towns, museums and an art community boasting over 400 artisans, crafters, galleries, and artist studios.

PA Grand Canyon Road Trip

Some notable stops on Route 6:

  • PA Grand Canyon  – Hike Pine Creek Rail Trail and train rides on the Tioga Central Railroad.
  • Kinzua Bridge State Park and Skywalk – The Kinzua Viaduct, constructed in May 1882, is the highest and longest viaduct in the world, measuring 301 feet high and 2,053 feet long.
  • Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton – S teamtown National Historic Site is a railroad museum and heritage railroad located on 62.48 acres.
  • Grey Towers National Historic Site – The ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, first director of the United States Forest Service. 
  • Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton – The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum documents the history and technology of the lumber industry of Pennsylvania and is located near the Allegheny Forest.
  • Drake Well Museum and Park in Titusville – The Drake Well Museum and Park is a museum that interprets the birth of the American oil industry in 1859.

PA 7 Wonders Road Trip

There are seven natural wonders to explore in Pennsylvania . With over 500 miles you will visit the most scenic areas of Pennsylvania .

Ricketts Glen State Park Road Trip

  • Pine Creek Gorge – Located in the PA Grand Canyon
  • Coudersport Ice Mine – Ice in the summer that melts in the winter?
  • Cherry Springs State Park – Perfect for star gazing!
  • Archbald Pothole State Park – See the 38-foot glacial pothole.
  • Ringing Rocks County Park – See a field of 10-foot high rock piles that make ringing sounds when struck.
  • The Glen Natural Area at Ricketts Glen State Park – The highest concentration of waterfalls in PA. 22 Waterfalls in all.
  • Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park – America’s only all-water cavern & farm-nature-wildlife park.

 Rhode Island

This small but mighty state offers coastal views and historical sights in its seaside colonial towns. It is known as the Ocean State for a reason!

Coastal Rhode Island Road Trip

For our coastal trip, we will be starting in Providence and ending up in Westerly, Rhode Island . A Rhode Island coastal trip follows U.S. 1 and 1A, otherwise known as Coastal Rhode Island where you will see ritzy homes, lighthouses, islands, bays and inlets.

Newport, Rhode Island Road Trip

Some notable stops:

  • Slater Mill Historic Site
  • Saunderstown
  • Point Judith and Block Island
  • East Beach and Misquamicut State Beach
  • Watch HillWatch Hill

Natural Wonders Road Trip

Rhode Island has some of the most beautiful spots to visit that are a part of the natural landscape.

Sakonnet Point, Little Compton Rhode Island Road Trip

Here are some spots to see:

  • Stepstone Falls, West Greenwich –  Arcadia Management Area
  • Misquamicut Beach, Westerly – Amazing sunsets and the most popular beach in RI!
  • Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Charlestown – The refuge is situated along Ninigret Pond.
  • Kettle Pond, Charlestown – Great swimming and fishing. also known as Watchaug Pond.
  • Marsh Meadows Wildlife Preserve, Jamestown – Conanicut Island with their beautiful marshland and wildlife.
  • Beavertail State Park, Jamestown – Conanicut Island offers ocean and rocky cliffs to explore and a historic lighthouse.
  • Cliff Walk, Newport – 3.5-mile scenic walk in Newport.
  • Sakonnet Point, Little Compton – Beach and harbor views with a historic lighthouse!

 South Carolina

Take a trip to the Palmetto State to discover all the rich Civil War history, sandy beaches and beautiful scenery a  South Carolina road trip has to offer! While in the Low Country you will want to check out the fresh seafood and natural wonders on the marsh islands.

Lighthouse Coastal Road Trip

Check out 8 historic lighthouses that follow along the South Carolina Coast . You will see many of the sights in the Low Country of South Carolina . Coastal Charleston is a historic city, and along the way see southern plantations. Fort Sumter is where the Civil War’s opening shots were fired. To the north is the Grand Strand , a roughly 60-mile stretch of beachfront known for golf courses and the vacation town Myrtle Beach .

Cape Romain Lighthouse South Carolina Road Trip

  • Georgetown Light or North Island – South Carolina’s oldest light
  • Cape Romain’s 1827 Lighthouse – via boat tour Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cape Romain’s 1857 Lighthouse – via boat tour Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
  • Charleston Lighthouse  – Sullivan Island
  • Morris Island Lighthouse – Folly Island
  • Hunting Island Lighthouse – Hunting Island State Park
  • Harbour Town Light House – Hilton Head Island
  • Leamington Lighthouse – Hilton Head Island. Located in a gated community, but you may be able to get in when you let them know you want to photograph the lighthouse.

South Carolina Plantation Road Trip

In the antebellum period, it is estimated that there were over 2,000 plantations in  South Carolina , with most of them in the historic Low Country area. Today you will find several plantations open for tours. We recommend staying close to Charleston for a Plantation Road Trip as many folks spend a couple of hours at each plantation.

Magnolia Plantation, South Carolina Road Trip

There are 6 Plantations you can visit within 45 minutes of the Charleston area.

  • Magnolia Plantation
  • Boone Hall Plantation
  • McLeod Plantation Historic Site
  • Drayton Hall
  • Middleton Place Plantation
  • Charleston Tea Plantation

 South Dakota

The state of South Dakota is expansive and located in the mid-west. Rolling prairies lead to twisting mountain roads and the dramatic Black Hills National Forest.

The Black Hills is home to 2 historical monuments carved right into towering granite peaks. You will want to see Mt. Rushmore , the iconic depiction of 4 revered U.S. presidents, and Crazy Horse Memorial , a tribute to the storied Native American tribal leader.

The only traffic jams you will experience in South Dakota may be the wild Buffalo who decided to get on the road with you!

Badlands and Black Hills

You will leave Rapid City head towards Wall . Just south of Wall you will find the Badlands National Park where you can hop on the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway .

Badlands State Park Road Trip

You will want to stop at the Scenic Overlooks to admire the views and take photos. Explore the expansive, awe-inspiring cave system on a specialized tour or try your hand at gemstone panning.  

50 state tour route

Here are some points of interest:

  • Rapid City – Bear Country, USA is a drive-through wildlife park.
  • Wall – Visit the famous and funky Wall Drugs and the National Grasslands Visitor Center
  • Badlands National Park  – Drive along the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway
  • Deadwood – No rules. No regrets. That is the Deadwood Motto. See where the Goldrush of the 1800s was.
  • Hill City – Second oldest city in SD.
  • Keystone – Mount Rushmore.
  • Wind Cave National Park – One of the longest and most complex caves in the world.
  • Hot Springs – Six major thermal springs.
  • Custer Park – Drive the 18-mile loop to see the wildlife.

Native American Scenic Byway

Breathtaking views of the  Missouri River, diverse landscapes, and tribal history and culture are showcased on the Native American Scenic Byway running north and south through central South Dakota .

Standing Rock South Dakota Road Trip

You will see the following Indian Tribe Reservations:

  • Yankton – Lewis & Clark Lake and the Meridian Bridge.
  • Crow Creek – The Crow Creek Indian Reservation is located on the east bank of the Missouri River.
  • Lower Brule – Drive the beautiful country on the western side of the Missouri Valley.
  • Cheyenne River – Indian Reservation located on the tributary.
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribes – Sitting Bull Monument

 Tennessee

Tennessee offers so much when it comes to road trips! Its capital, Nashville , is centrally located and is the heart of the country-music scene. Visit sights like the long-running Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum . Check out the legendary stretch of honky-tonks and country music dance halls. The Northeast portion of Tennesse offers the Appalachian Highlands with beautiful mountain views and pristine mountain lakes and streams. Memphis is deep in the southwest corner and is the home of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Sun Studio and the blues clubs of Beale Street .

East to West Road Trip

Depending on how much time you have, the Ultimate Tennessee Road Trip would be a drive across the state from the northeast corner at The Tri-City area of Bristol , Kingsport and Johnson City, through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Knoxville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. I-40 continues with stops in Nashville all the way down to Memphis in the Southwest corner. Much of Interstate 40 follows along Rt. 66! Interstate 40 is the third-longest interstate highway in the US. 

Nolichucky River, Erwin, Tennessee Road Trip

This is really two road trips in one. If you are not interested in driving the entire state of Tennessee , you can break this up into sections. I would recommend either choosing East Tennessee and sticking to the Appalachian Highlands and mountains going from Bristol to Chattanooga or opt for doing the drive from Nashville to Memphis .

Here are some notable stops, in addition to the ones mentioned above, along the way:

Eastern Tennessee

  • Bristol, Tennessee – The birthplace of Country Music. Home to Bristol Motor Speedway.
  • Carvers Gap – Hike to Roan High Knob on the Appalachian Trail from Carvers Gap
  • Jonesborough, Tennessee – Tennessee’s Oldest Town
  • Knoxville – Scenic Newfound Gap Road through Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
  • Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg – The Tail of the Dragon scenic road offers more than 300 curves on this 11-mile stretch of beautiful mountain views.

Nashville to Memphis

  • Nashville – Check out the Natchez Trail and get off the Interstate
  • The Elephant Sanctuary – After leaving Nashville, take a detour from I-40 to visit these magnificent animals.
  • Jackson, Tennessee  – the largest town in between Memphis and Nashville. Jackson is home to the Casey Jones Home and Railway Museum.
  • Loretta Lynn’s Ranch  – Located 65 miles west of Nashville.
  • Music Highway  – refers to the section of I-40 between Memphis and Nashville.

 Texas

Texas is the second largest state in both area and population. There are 4 regions to explore while in the state of Texas, Central, East, West and the Gulf Coast.

Gulf Coast Texas Road Trip

With over 300 miles of coastline, there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, museums, aquariums and lighthouses. And don’t forget about the water activities! If putting your toes in the sand is your jam then the Texas Coastline is sure to please.

Padre Island, Texas Road Trip

You will start your trip at Galveston and make your way from Galveston to Padre Island . Unlike other coastal areas, there is not just one road that hugs the coastline. You will have to do some zigzagging to get back to the coastal areas.

Here are some notable stops on the Texas Gulf Coast:

  • Galveston Island – A historical town where the Hurricane of 1900 hit. Stop at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge after leaving town.
  • Rockport – A quaint laid back town full of art galleries and festivals.
  • Port Aransas – If you are looking for a quieter area Port A is the place to visit.
  • Corpus Christi – On the island side of Corpus Christi, the Padre Island National Seashore is the longest stretch of uninhabited beach in Texas. See the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium.
  • South Padre Island – Just a few miles from the border, you will love its clear water and white sand beaches.
  • Port Isabel – Charming and historic Port Isabel offers a historic lighthouse and is one of Texas’ oldest towns.

South Texas Loop Road Trip

Start in the capital city of Austin , the Live Music Capital of the World , where you will find amazing restaurants, as well as many parks and lakes that are popular for hiking, biking, swimming and boating.

Austin Texas Road Trip

You will leave Austin and head west to the Big Bend National Park . There are 100 miles of paved roads in the park. Dagger Flat Auto-Trail is an improved dirt road that will take you from khaki-colored desert to a forest of giant yuccas.

Big Bend National Park Road Trip

  • Santa Elena Canyon – Carved out by the Rio Grande you will see beautiful natural rock formation as well as a great hiking area.
  • Hot Springs – Rest those aching muscles in a hot spring!
  • Search for Ruins – Search out these ruins and historic buildings to look for the Mariscal Mine, Dorgan House

After Big Bend , you will head back east to San Antonio where you will find the historic Riverwalk Area among other historical neighborhoods there.

Riverwalk San Antonio Road Trip

Some notable spots in San Antonio are:

  • Alamo Heights – See the Blue Hole and the starting point of the San Antonio River.
  • Downtown Riverwalk – See the banks of the San Antonio River.
  • King William Historic District – Do a half-day walking tour in this historic art district.

As you head back to Austin from San Antonio , on your final leg of the loop, be sure to stop by Blue Hole Regional Park , a swimming hole with rope swings in the lush forest.

Utah is known for having some of the best skiing in the country, and the mountains near  Salt Lake City  receive an average of 500 inches of snow per year. They also have 27 state and national scenic byways for you to be able to view those inspiring landscapes Utah is famous for.

All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12  

Highway 12 from Panguitch to Torrey passes through twisting canyons, red rock towers, pine forests and pioneer towns. Scenic Byway 12 is considered one of these nation’s most beautiful drives. You will find incredible landscapes, national parks and monuments, recreation areas and state parks.

Calf Creek Falls Road Trip

There are many points of interest on Scenic Byway 12:

  • Panguitch – Visit the Bryce and Red Canyons
  • Henrieville – Located in Bryce Valley and is an original Pioneer town.
  • Kodachrome Basin State Park – 5,800 feet above sea level, offering 2200 Acres of Canyon Country.
  • Lower Calf Creek Falls – Grand Staircase Escalante hike leading to a 126-foot-high waterfall and refreshing swimming hole.
  • Burr Trail Road – Originally a cattle driving road, you will see Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
  • Boulder – See yellow domes of ancient sandstone across deep green fields.
  • Escalante – Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument  is partly named for the Escalante River, which flows from Boulder Mountain to the Colorado River. 
  • Spooky Gulch – Hiking through the slot canyons.
  • Torrey – The gateway community for Capitol Reef National Park.

Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway

You can travel from Monticello to Monument Valley, Blanding to Mexican Hat via Natural Bridges or Bluff to Hovenweep . These routes can take you on a wide swing east into Colorado and south into Arizona . There is more than one way to view the sites on this scenic byway.

Natural Bridges, Utah Road Trip

A tour of the Utah portion of the Trail of the Ancients has some of these points of interest:

  • Four Corners Monument – Ancestral Puebloan history and it is the only place where four states meet, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.
  • Edge of the Cedars State Park and Museum – largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) pottery on display in the Four Corners Region
  • Natural Bridges National Monument – See the stunning natural bridges carved by water over thousands of years.
  • Hovenweep National Monument – The Monument contains six separate prehistoric ruined villages dating from the Pueblo period.
  • Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – See a red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border, is known for the towering sandstone buttes.
  • Moki Dugway – This is a narrow two-lane gravel road. Containing several tight switchbacks and sheer drop-offs. It’s not for the faint of heart and considered one of the most dangerous roads in Utah.

 Vermont

Vermont. also known as the Green Mountain State , is well-known for its natural landscapes, which are primarily forested. In the New England region, it’s also known for being home to more than 100 19th-century covered wooden bridges, and as a major producer of maple syrup. Thousands of acres of mountain terrain are crossed by hiking trails and skiing slopes.

Vermont Lighthouse Road Trip

Heard to Northern Vermont and the shores of Lake Champlain to see the lighthouses of Vermont . Hop on to the Spirit of Ethan Allen to see the Lighthouses that can only be seen from the lake.

Vermont Lighthouses Road Trip

  • Windmill Point Lighthouse in Alburgh – located on a private property, you can still see the lighthouse from the road.
  • Isle La Motte Lighthouse on Isle La Motte
  • Juniper Island Light, Juniper Island in South Burlington – Oldest Cast Iron Lighthouse in the US.
  • Burlington Breakwater Lights – South and North Tower in Burlington – 2 Lighthouses in one town. They are not open to the public but can be seen from the shore or a sightseeing cruise.
  • Colchester Reef Lighthouse and Museum in Shelburne

Covered Bridge Road Trip

It is a New England tradition to see the more than the 100 covered bridges in Vermont . There are more covered bridges in Vermont than any other area in the US. Most were built in the 1800s and Vermont holds claim to the longest covered bridge in the US. See a Covered Bridge replica in Bennington’s Covered Bridge Museum and explore how covered bridges were made.

Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge

Here are the top Covered Bridges in Vermont:

  • Kissing Bridge
  • Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge
  • Pulp Mill Covered Bridge
  • West Dummerston Covered Bridge
  • Brown Covered Bridge

Montgomery, Vermont has the most Covered Bridges:

  • Comstock Covered Bridge
  • Fuller Covered Bridge
  • Hopkins Covered Bridge
  • Hutchins Covered Bridge
  • Longley Covered Bridge
  • West Hill Covered Bridge

 Virginia

If you are thinking about Old Dominion for a road trip, you will not be disappointed. Virginia has a diverse landscape with the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Shenandoah Valley to the Atlantic Seashore .

There are eight Natural Wonders in the State of Virginia . Starting from Washington, DC you will head west and south to see all of these sites. Spend some time in the Shenandoah Valley after you leave Washington to extend your trip.

Luray Caverns Road Trip

  • Great Falls Park – Great Falls is located on the Potomac River just 15 miles outside of DC. A unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the park’s origins date back to 10,500 BC.
  • Luray Caverns – Founded in 1878, the Registered Natural Landmark reaches peaks up to 10 stories high.
  • Crabtree Falls – Located in Lexington, Crabtree Falls is the tallest cascading, picturesque waterfall, east of the Mississippi.
  • Virginia Natural Bridge – This bridge was once counted as one of the Natural Wonders of the World. George Washington surveyed the Natural Bridge site for Lord Fairfax.
  • Burkes Garden – Described as God’s Thumbprint due to its bowl-shaped valley, Burkes Garden is the Commonwealth’s highest valley and largest rural historic district.
  • Breaks Interstate Park – This park is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the South” and is located just on the border of Virginia and Kentucky.
  • Natural Tunnel – This tunnel was once described as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” 
  • Jefferson Pools – The natural hot springs of Jefferson Pools spa structures were visited by Thomas Jefferson himself and are known for their healing properties. The Gentlemen’s Pool House is the oldest spa structure in the entire country.

Eastern Shore Road Trip

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is among the most isolated regions of the country, and you can see dozens of small towns and villages that have stayed the same since the start of the original colonies in the US.

50 state tour route

Here are the points of interest:

  • Assateague Island – Okay, I know this is in Maryland but sometimes you have to break the rules to see the cool things. Although popularly known as Chincoteague ponies, the feral ponies actually live on Assateague Island, MD.
  • Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge – The Refuge faces the Atlantic Coast and offers the only ocean beaches in this part of the state.
  • Eastern Shore Peninsula – Here you will have access to the Chesapeake Bay waterfront. 
  • Accomac, Onancock  and  Eastville – Three small towns, none of which has changed much since Revolutionary times.
  • Norfolk – Cross the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay via a 23-mile-long bridge and tunnel that brings you to the maritime jewel.
  • Virginia Beach – Virginia’s most southern point, before the route, turns inland and south into North Carolina.

 Washington

Washington State is full of many types of geological wonders where the mountains are also volcanoes. It has some of the best landscapes in the country, including beaches. With over 3,000 miles of shoreline, be sure to take advantage of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean : the beaches, the tidal pools and whale watching are out of this world.

Whale Watching Washington State Road Trip

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

Starting in Olympia , this 350-mile byway is what the Evergreen State is all about. The byway goes around the entire Olympic Peninsula. You will see the national park and rain forests, along ocean beaches, then extends south to the border with Oregon.

50 state tour route

Some points of interest on this scenic byway:

  • Olympia – Olympia, the capital of Washington state, is at the southern end of Puget Sound.
  • Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center  – The Museum Library Research Center shows how nature and the Squaxin Island Tribal culture relate.
  • Port Townsend – The town was supposed to be the New York of the west and is one of only three Victorian Seaports in the United States.
  • Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge – The refuge is a sanctuary for over 250 species of birds, 41 species of land mammals and eight species of water mammals. 
  • Hurricane Ridge and Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center – Located in the Olympic National Park, it is the most easily accessed mountain.
  • Marymere Falls – One of the most popular waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula. 
  • Hoh Rain Forest – During the winter season, rain falls so frequently in the Hoh Rain Forest that it contributes to the yearly total of 140 to 170 inches (12 to 14 feet) of precipitation each year. 
  • Ruby Beach -This is one of the most visited areas of Olympic National Park. There are thousands of marine species where the coastal waters are a safe haven for them.
  • Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center – The center stands high on the cliffs of Cape Disappointment.
  • Long Beach, Washington – This century-old North Head Lighthouse was completed in 1898. Long Beach is located on the 28-mile Long Beach Peninsula.

Cascade Loop

This is a 440-mile road trip that includes several road trips in one. But if you are going to go … GO BIG!

If you really want to see everything Washington State has to offer this is the only way to do it. You will start out from the waterfront city of Everett, head east over Stevens Pass, into the alpine villages and snowy capped mountains.

50 state tour route

Here are the points of interest on this road trip:

  •   Everett – Explore this waterfront community and the downtown area before heading to the mountains.
  • Snohomish – Located right in between the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, it is also known as the ‘Antique Capital of the Northwest’.
  • Monroe – If you love agriculture then Monroe is for you.
  • Skykomish – Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Steven’s Pass
  • Leavenworth – Their architecture is right out of Bavaria and you will feel like you are in the Swiss Alps. 
  • Wenatchee – Located on two rivers, the Columbia and Wenatchee, sitting right at the foothills of the Cascades. Also known as the “Apple Capital of the World”.
  • Entiat – Visit the Ribbon Cliff landslide along the shoreline of the Columbia River. For the best views visit Daroga State Park.
  • Lake Chelan Valley – Wineries and outdoor recreation.
  • Pateros – Visit where the Columbia and Methow Rivers meet.
  • Twisp  – Check out the North Cascades Highway and the Loup Loup Pass crossing to the Okanogan Trails Scenic Byway.
  • Winthrop – A western town right by the Okanogan National Forest.
  • Washington Pass Overlook – Liberty Bell Mountain, North Cascades Highway Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • Diablo Lake – At glacier-fed Diablo Lake you will see the wildlife habitat and snow-topped mountain peaks, islands, and waterfalls and the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center.
  • Sedro-Woolley – Visit their historic downtown with a colorful past.
  • Deception Pass Bridge & State Park – Cross over Deception Pass to get to Whidbey Island for this great photo opp!

 West Virginia

West Virginia is the only state completely within the Appalachian Mountains . This gives it its nickname, The Mountain State . There are several regions that are uniquely special and visiting them is its own unique road trip.

West Virginia Road Trip

  • New River – Greenbrier Valley -Coming from its mountain sources, the Greenbrier River meets the ancient New River.
  • Eastern Panhandle – This area is full of history, scenery and small-town charm and located just a short drive from Baltimore and DC.
  • Hatfield-McCoy Mountains – These mountains have true stories of Native American leaders, feuding families and coal mining history.
  • Metro Valley – Charleston, the state’s capital, and Huntington, home of Marshall University.
  • Mid-Ohio Valley – A gentle landscape of peaceful farmsteads, and historical sites.
  • Mountaineer Country – Visit Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg and Bridgeport 
  • Northern Panhandle – Lies along the Ohio River and has a more mid-western feel.
  • Mountain Lakes – Visit the shores of five big lakes located in the region.
  • Potomac Highlands – Outdoor activities and historical sites are located between West Virginia’s highest mountain peaks and dramatic scenery.

Byways and Scenic Trails are always our favorite choice when visiting. You can see several regions from one Byway in West Virginia .

The Staunton – Parkersburg Turnpike National Scenic Byway  

From Parkersburg to Elkins you will see mountain vistas, dense forests and quaint small historic towns. You will visit 5 distinct areas when following The Staunton – Parkersburg Turnpike which is a historic highway from Staunton, Virginia across West Virginia to the Ohio River. 

  • Parkersburg Area
  • Weston Area
  • Beverly Area
  • Durbin Area
  • Staunton Area

Mountain Parkway Byway  and  Mountain Parkway Backway  

There are two routes in northern  Webster County, West Virginia . The Mountain Parkway Byway is a scenic byway that follows West Virginia Route 20 for 9.8 miles, traversing the headwaters of several mountain streams including the  Right Fork Little Kanawha River, Jerry Run, and the Left and Laurel Forks of Holly River.  

Little Kanawha River, West Virginia Road Trip

The Mountain Parkway Backway explores the backroads in the same area, is 32 miles long, and follows stretches of the Right Fork Little Kanawha River and Left Fork Holly River for portions of its route. Some of the Backway roads are gravel.

Here are some points of interest for the Byway:

  • Jerry Run Summer Theater
  • Hacker Valley
  • Holly River State Park

Here are some points of interest for the Backway:

  • Boggs Mill Stone
  • Johnson Home
  • Mollohan Mill
  • Hanging Rock

 Wisconsin

Wisconsin has coastlines on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior . Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin. It is known for the Milwaukee Public Museum, where there are re-created international villages. There is also a Harley-Davidson Museum, displaying classic motorcycles. There are several beer companies headquartered in Milwaukee where you will find many brewery tours.

Lower Wisconsin River Road and Wisconsin Dells Road Trip

Located on the Wisconsin River, a tributary of the  Mississippi River , the Wisconsin Dells offers scenic beauty for miles. The  Wisconsin River  is described as the hardest working river in the world. You will want to look for its unique Cambrian sandstone rock formations and tributary canyons.

The  Wisconsin River  originates in the forests of the North Woods Lake District of northern  Wisconsin , in Lac Vieux Desert near the border of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It flows south across the glacial plain of central  Wisconsin , passing through Wausau, Stevens Point, and  Wisconsin   Rapids .

Wisconsin River Road Trip

The Lower Wisconsin River Road  is a designated Wisconsin scenic byway that travels 100 miles along WIS 60 following the Wisconsin River  from Lodi to Bridgeport/Prairie du Chien . From Prairie du Chien, it is about a 30-minute trip north to Wisconsin Dells .

Wisconsin Dells Road Trip

Here are the many activities you will find along the Lower Wisconsin River and Wisconsin Dells:

  • Outdoor Activities: Hiking Canoeing, Kayaking
  • Street music and festivals
  • Winery Tours
  • Trolley Tours

Highway 33 Scenic Drive

Highway 33 is one of Wisconsin’s “Coast to Coast” routes, reaching both Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River . It is 200 miles across the state from Port Washington to La Crosse . It is also apart of the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive . You can also continue your trip along the Mississippi River or Lake Michigan.

50 state tour route

Some points of interest:

  • Wildcat Mountain State Park
  • Grandad Bluff
  • West Bend 
  • Baraboo 
  • Port Washington

 Wyoming

Wyoming is broken into four regions. Wyoming is home to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The regions are meant to guide you through parts of the state that shouldn’t be missed, including national forests, state parks, mountain ranges, historical sites and more.

Yellowstone Road Trip

The most popular road trips in Wyoming are Yellowstone and Grand Teton and for good reason. We are going to combine two of them because of their popularity. But if you do not have this kind of time then you can certainly break them up.

Grand Teton and Yellowstone Road Trip

There are several scenic routes to explore on your way to arriving at  Yellowstone National Park  and  Grand Teton National Park , many of which are accessible from Rock Springs and Green River , Wyoming.

Yellowstone Wyoming Road Trip

All of this will however depend on where you fly into. Many folks opt for Salt Lake City due to affordable flights and make the 8-hour trek into Wyoming .

Grand Teton National Park

Here are some Scenic Byways to consider using to get to Yellowstone and Grand Teton:

  • Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway
  • Mirror Lake Scenic Byway
  • Bridger Valley Historic Byway
  • The Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway

50 state tour route

I would love to hear about your bucket list road trip ideas in the comments!

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The Abroad Blog

A Guide To Traveling To All 50 States

Table of Contents

Hello The Abroad Blog readers! Today’s post is such an exciting one as it’s my official announcement of my journey to traveling to all 50 states, and the place where I’m going to document all my US travel guides! Feel free to follow along @nicole.rosania to read travel guides for every state in the form of in-feed posts. I’m also saving all of the in-feed posts to an IG guide called “50 States” and creating stories to document the highlights of every state.

As for my blog, I already have city and state guides published for most of the states I’ve been to, such as my recent Things To Do In Minneapolis guide for Minnesota. Because of this, I will not be writing brand new guides for all 50 states, as this will just be a repeat of information. Instead, I will be updating this post often with links to these guides as I write them so that all of my USA state guides are easily discoverable in one place. This will eventually be HAS BECOME one giant guide to traveling to all 50 states!

You can keep track of where I’ve been with this map:

The USA Placeholder

Disclaimer: Since first publishing this post, I’ve completed my goal of visiting all 50 states (June 25, 2023)! And I did it before I turned 25! Navigate to each state below for a quick overview.

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The Idea

As you can tell from this blog post and some of my more recent Instagram posts, I kicked off my 50 state challenge in May 2021. In theory, I should’ve done this back in January at the start of the new year, but 1) I didn’t think of it then and 2) COVID cases were peaking. The ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic has continuously improved in the past few months here in the US thanks to mass vaccinations, so I feel more comfortable traveling now than I did in January.

To back track even more, I thought of this idea because of COVID. If it weren’t for the international pandemic, I’d probably be typing this post from a cafe overseas somewhere. In typical Nicole fashion , I would’ve found a way to scrape together some money and make that work. However, this past year has kept me at home. At first I was upset about it (we all were), but changed my mindset and decided to use this year to explore more of my home. This began in 2020 with more frequent day trips around my home state of Massachusetts and New England , and eventually turned into this challenge: Traveling to all 50 states!

(Written May 2021:) No International Travel For Me Anytime Soon…

With international travel still on hold for the foreseeable future and domestic travel on the rise, I’m more excited than ever to explore more of the US this year. I always told myself I would travel to all 50 states by 50, but as I continue to set my focus on traveling internationally, establishing my career, and one day a family, this goal may not have been feasible. I mean… when would I ever visit Kansas? A quick PTO weekday trip? Probably not.

So, here we are. I’m only 22, with a completely remote job (in the travel industry may I add), and with an itch to explore more of the US. So, I’m taking advantage of it and seeing as much of the US as I can now! I originally told myself I would complete this challenge by the end of the year, but that’s a bit ambitious, so instead I’m just going to try and complete it before international travel makes a full recovery.

Other Travel Accounts Doing The #50StateChallenge

Lastly, I want to acknowledge some other awesome travel accounts who inspired me to turn this crazy idea into action. Some of my fav travel bloggers, Kate and Maggie at Two Sisters Abroad , are doing a similar challenge except Kate is trying to visit ALL 50 states before the end of 2021. Plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico! Crazy! My favorite YouTubers, Kara and Nate , are currently traveling the US in a van and are also trying to knock off their remaining 20 states this year.

Now you know how this crazy idea came about. Let’s hop into my guidelines.

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The Guidelines

I need to preface this challenge by saying I am NOT going to be traveling to ALL 50 states this year. Or even next. Props to Kate for doing this, but that’s too much for me. I’ve also been to states like Florida and New Hampshire dozens of times and am not interested in returning at the moment. Instead, I’m going to focus on visiting all the new states I have yet to explore. As of early May 2021, I’ve been to 28/50. Thus, my challenge is to visit the 22 states I have left ASAP. No hard deadline here.

Of course I will naturally be revisiting some states throughout the course of the next year because of road trips and what not, but I’m prioritizing visiting what I have left. This way, I can successfully say that I’ve been to all 50 states and have the rest of my life to revisit those I loved the most.

I count day trips as visits, even internationally, as long as I spend a good chunk of time there. I usually do some sightseeing to ensure I cross off any major attractions, along with sampling some local food, shopping for a souvenir or two, and chatting with a local. I’m always on the move and am a firm believer that you can get to know a place in just one day.

As mentioned above, I will be documenting this journey both through travel guides on here and on Instagram, and plan on having my camera with me at all times. I also like to purchase post cards wherever I go, but other than this, I’m not setting any other “rules” for myself. I just want to feel like I made the most of my time in the destination!

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The Plan

So now you know how this crazy idea came about and what the “50 state challenge” entails. At this point you may be asking yourself…  Nicole, how in the heck are you going to find the time to do this? Pay for this? Even plan for this?

Let’s break it down…

I’m Working With Partners

First, I am beyond grateful (and very excited) to share that I’ve grown my blog’s readership to a place where I can work with partners. This means I’ve been working with hotels, tour companies, tourism boards, and more to produce sponsored content (both on here and Instagram) in exchange for a comped stay, meal, tour, or wait for it… money!

This has always been a dream of mine and I’m so happy it’s finally coming to fruition. I’ve worked really hard this year to boost my blog’s SEO, Pinterest strategy , and even Instagram content to grow my following organically, and it’s working!

So, I’m thrilled to share that I will be working with several hotels and tourism boards in the next few months as I work my way across the US. There’s a mutual benefit to doing this as I get to fund my trip and further develop my Media Kit, and smaller companies in the travel industry get promotion! Obviously flights, rental cars, gas, etc. are funded on my own, but these partnerships make my constant travel sustainable.

My Job Is Entirely Remote

In terms of time, as I mentioned previously, my job is entirely remote. Even without the pandemic…there’s no office. This allows me to be a full-time digital nomad and work from wherever! I will definitely be taking full advantage of this in the coming weeks as I work remotely from national parks out west-  without having to take PTO or squeeze trips into the weekends.

Planning Regional Trips

Lastly, logistically, this challenge is a bit hard to complete without road tripping or #vanlife. I’m going to instead accomplish this goal by planning a handful of region-focused trips. For example, a s outhwest road trip , a midwest road trip covering 6 states from Michigan to Minnesota, etc. This way I won’t be on the road 24/7 when traveling to all 50 states.

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The States

Now that you have some background on the challenge, here’s a list of every state in the US that I’ve been to so far with links to all my guides! I’ve updated this as I’ve visited all 50 states.

PS. These are listed in the order I visited them, although most of them happen to be in geographical order. I’ve been featuring the states in this order on Instagram as well, not alphabetically.

1. Massachusetts

The Old State House in Boston, MA

Massachusetts is my home state and therefore the first state I ever visited! From summers in Cape Cod to Octobers spent in Salem to guiding tours around Boston, I’ve seen it all. Here are my travel guides for the Bay State…

  • How To Spend A Weekend In Boston
  • 5 Places To Visit During The Holidays In New England
  • Introducing The Freedom Trail History & Photo Tour
  • How To Spend A Spooky Day In Salem, MA
  • Walking The Freedom Trail In Boston
  • Ultimate 11 Day USA Road Trip Itinerary
  • The Ultimate New England Bucket List
  • 15 Most Instagrammable Places In Boston
  • 25 Things To Do In Boston (and Beyond!) During The Summer

2. New Hampshire

Fall leaf peeping in New Hampshire

Known for its mountain ranges, leaf peeping and downhill skiing, here are some highlights for the Granite State…

  • 10 Ski Resorts In New England You Need To Visit
  • Why You Need To Stay In A Getaway House
  • Best Places To Leaf Peep In New England & Beyond

Staying at the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe

This state is more than just maple syrup, wooden bridges, and ski resorts. Add these VT classics to your Green Mountain State bucket list…

  • How To Spend A Winter Weekend In Stowe, Vermont

Acadia National Park in Maine

Maine, also known as the Pine Tree State, is the most northeastern state in the US. It’s also the largest in New England – taking up more than 1/2 the area! Famous for its rocky coastline, lobster, lighthouses, blueberries, and the end of the Appalachian Trail, here are my guides for Maine…

  • How To Spend A Weekend In Acadia National Park

5. Rhode Island

Exploring Block Island in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US, but don’t miss it! From its lively capital city to its college towns and beautiful New England coastline, there’s a ton to do in the Ocean State…

  • What To See In Washington DC, NYC, & More

6. Connecticut

Firehouse Deli in Fairfield, Connecticut

The last state I visited in New England quickly turned into my second home when I chose to attend Fairfield University for college! Connecticut is home to quaint coastal towns, the Long Island Sound, & my alma mater! Here’s what you should check out in the Constitution State…

  • The Ultimate 11 Day USA Road Trip Itinerary
  • Ultimate New England Bucket List
  • The Ultimate Fairfield, CT Restaurant Guide

7. New York

Visiting all 50 states New York

New York is so much more than just NYC! Be sure to check out the Hamptons, Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, and Niagara Falls when visiting the Empire State. Here are some more ideas for your next trip…

  • 15 Best Things To Do In NYC Year-Round
  • The Ultimate New York City Holiday Guide

8. New Jersey

LBI is my favorite part of the Jersey Shore

Located right across the Hudson, the Garden State is home to the world’s largest boardwalk, well-known beaches on the infamous Jersey Shore, the Miss America pageant, and so much more…

9. Pennsylvania

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania is one of the most historical states in the USA as this is where the Declaration of Independence was signed. More importantly, it’s also home to the Philly cheesesteak! The Keystone State is one of the largest states in the northeast, so there’s a lot to see including Philadelphia, Lancaster, Gettysburg, and Pittsburgh…

  • How To Spend 12 Hours In Philadelphia, PA & Wilmington, DE

10. Delaware

A day at Rehoboth Beach is a must when visiting Delaware

Welcome to the first state in the USA! I’ve crossed through Delaware a few times on road trips and really only visited for the first time this spring. This small state is often overlooked, but here are some fun highlights for the First State…

11. Maryland (& Washington D.C.)

Washington DC is a must when visiting all 50 states

The Old Line State, also nicknamed the Free State, is known for its fresh crab and major cities – including the capital Annapolis, Baltimore, and nearby Washington D.C…

12. Virginia

Governor's Palace is one of the top things to do in Williamsburg, VA

I first visited Virginia on a day trip from DC years ago, and have since been back multiple times. At this point, I’ve covered most of the state! Aside from the Arlington/Alexandria area, I recommend exploring Richmond, Norfolk, Appalachia, and the Historic Triangle when visiting the Old Dominion State…

  • Things To Do In Williamsburg, Virginia (Plus Yorktown and Jamestown)

13. North Carolina

North Carolina is a must when visiting all 50 states

The Old North State was my first state visited in the southeast. NC has it all – foliage and mountains in the west, beautiful beaches along the eastern coast (where my Outer Banks fans at?!), major cities, and ideal weather year-round. My recommendations for your next visit include: Outer Banks, Raleigh / Durham, Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington! Here’s your go-to weekend guide for Charlotte…

  • One Weekend In Charlotte
  • Visiting The Biltmore Estate

14. South Carolina

South Carolina is a must when visiting all 50 states

My new home! South Carolina is known for its coastal charm, tropical climate, and of course – Charleston! Here are some highlights of the Palmetto State for your next trip…

  • The Perfect 3 Day Charleston Itinerary
  • Things To Do Around Hilton Head Beach
  • Best Places To Eat In Charleston, SC
  • Best Rooftop Bars In Charleston
  • Best Coffee Shops + Cafes In Charleston, SC

15. Georgia

Georgia is a must when visiting all 50 states

Welcome to state #15/50 aka the Peach State! Georgia is known for its metropolitan capital city, golden isles on the coast, SEC football, and of course – its peaches (you probably already knew this thanks to Justin Bieber!). I’ve been to Georgia a handful of times now to visit family and explore…

  • How To Spend 2 Days In Savannah, Georgia
  • How To Spend A Weekend In Georgia: Atlanta & Mystic Falls
  • What To See In Saint Simon’s Island, Georgia
  • The Ultimate Guide To A Girls Weekend in Savannah, GA

16. Florida

Florida is a must when visiting all 50 states

The last state I visited on the east coast was the Sunshine State! Florida is known as the “Beast of the Southeast”, meaning that there’s SO much to do here. Check out my guides below to read about some major highlights from past trips…

  • Ultimate Guide To A 5 Day Florida Keys Road Trip
  • Highway 30A Florida Road Trip
  • Weekend in Sarasota

17. Washington

Exploring Washington state

Welcome to Washington, the only state ever named after a president! Washington or the Evergreen State, is the gem of the Pacific Northwest, packed with beautiful coastline, national parks, skiing, and rainy cities. I first visited WA in 2008, before I knew anything about travel blogging, and was grateful to visit again last September. Here’s your WA bucket list…

  • The Perfect Itinerary For A Week In The PNW

Explore Oregon when visiting all 50 states

Welcome to the Beaver State! The *other* gem of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is known for its Columbia River, the deepest lake in the US, cheesy vampire movies, and the eclectic city of Portland…

An Alaskan cruise is the best way to explore this state

The 19th state I visited in the US was Alaska in August 2013 on a Royal Caribbean family cruise! A cruise is the BEST way to explore the Last Frontier State. Recommended cities include: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park!

20.  Wyoming

Wyoming 50 state guide

Ah, the Wild Wild West! A visit to the least populated state in the US needs to be on EVERYONE’S bucket list. This trip was one of my favorite family vacations EVER! Here’s some ideas for the Equality State: Jackson Hole, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Tetons National Park.

Hawaii state guide

The 21st state I visited was an absolute dream — Hawaii! My family and I visited the island of Kauai and the Big Island in June 2016, and embraced the ~aloha lifestyle~ by diving, swimming in waterfalls, dancing at a luau, & more. I hope to go back and visit Maui and Oahu, but I have great memories of the Aloha State from our trip!

22. California

California state guide

The most populous state in the US is home to iconic cities plus 9 national parks. A road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway has been on my list for YEARS, but I’ve been lucky to visit Cali a few times already. I even lived in the Golden State for a summer in college working for EF Education First! This allowed me (+50 international teens) to travel around daily. Hop off the plane at LAX and follow these guides…

  • The Best 3 Day Los Angeles City Guide
  • Why You Need To Do A Malibu Wine Safari

23.  Colorado

Colorado state guide

I’ve only been to Colorado once and hope to go back a dozen more times to ski & hike. My Dad and I flew into Denver and skied at Vail during my spring break in 2017. My bucket list for the Centennial State still includes Breckenridge, Aspen, Denver, and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.

24. Tennessee

visiting all 50 states

Tennessee, or the Volunteer State, is known for its country music, Elvis, whiskey, and hot chicken!!! I’ve explored this state 3x now and already can’t wait to go back. My recs…

  • How To Spend A Long Weekend In Nashville
  • Unique Things To Do In Nashville

25. West Virginia

West Virginia travel guide

Country roads take me home! Unless you go to school here or live near Pittsburgh, it’s easy to skip over this one. However, my day trip here in August 2020 blew me away! Here’s my recommendations for the Mountain State: Harpers Ferry, Charleston, and New River Gorge National Park.

26. Kentucky

Kentucky travel guide

Known for the Bourbon Trail, its fried chicken, and one of the most famous horse races in the world, Kentucky has so much to offer! I visited for the first time during a road trip in summer 2020 and loved Louisville. Here are my recs for the Bluegrass State:

27. Indiana

Indiana Dunes beach

I’ve driven through the Hoosier State 2x now on road trips! This quintessential Midwest state is home to one of the US’s newest (and smallest) national parks, the Indy 500, big time colleges, and more…

  • Indiana Dunes Beaches You Should Visit

Ohio travel guide

Known for its corn, amusement parks, football, and its 3 major cities, the Buckeye State shouldn’t be overlooked when visiting all 50 states. I crossed through the entire state on a road trip during summer 2020. Here are some highlights for YOU!

29. Michigan

Michigan state guide

This time last year I kicked off my #50stateschallenge and did a big Midwest road trip to cross a few new states off my list! My first stop was Michigan — I flew into Grand Rapids and stopped in Holland for the famous Tulip Time festival before continuing on through Indiana to Chicago. Here are a few recs for the Great Lakes state…

  • Complete Guide To Visiting Grand Rapids & Holland, Michigan

30. Illinois

guide to visiting all 50 states

Welcome to Illinois! My 30th state and the Prairie State, named after all of its prairie grass. I visited Illinois for the first time last May and can’t wait to explore more of it. Highlights include the capital Springfield and of course, Chicago — the crown jewel of Illinois! Known as the Windy City, this city lies right on the edge of Lake Michigan and is super fun in the summer months.

  • How To Spend 3 Days In Chicago

31. Wisconsin

Wisconsin travel guide

I was in Wiscooooo aka the Badger State last May and was able to visit both Milwaukee and Madison. Aside from its cheese, Wisconsin is also known for its craft beer scene and sports. Keep reading for YOUR tips:

  • What To Do In Milwaukee & Madison, Wisconsin

visit all 50 states

IO-WOW!!! The Hawkeye State was the 32nd state I visited & I was so pleasantly surprised. I drove through the northeast corner of the state on the way from Madison, WI to the Twin Cities and loved the scenery. I’m not sure what will ever bring me back here, or what would bring you, but to stay consistent with my guides for #all50states , here’s Iowa for ya.

  • Fun Things To Do In Decorah, Iowa

33. Minnesota

Minnesota state guide

Welcome to Minnesota, also known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. This was the last state I visited on my Midwest road trip last summer and has sooo much to offer! Here you’ll find the Twin Cities, which are actually 2 separate cities located 15 minutes from each other. Here’s your tips:

  • Things To Do In Minneapolis and St. Paul

34. Montana

50 states challenge

The Treasure State, also known as Big Sky Country after this state’s famous mountain is one of my favs of all 50 states. It’s HUGE (look at a map) & has so much to do year-round. I crashed my friend’s cross country road trip last June and LOVED my time here! Keep reading for tips for a few cities and Montana’s crown jewel, Glacier National Park:

  • Bozeman, Montana Travel Guide

Visiting all 50 states

Idaho is known as the Gem State after the abundance of gems found here, along with its potatoes. I visited here on a road trip from Montana to WA & only had a day. Idaho is big — it’s larger than all of New England combined, so there’s a ton to see / do. I’d love to come back here to ski one day!

  • Things To Do In Coeur d’Alene, Idaho For A Day

Nevada state guide

Last summer, my sister and I road-tripped for 12 days across Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. We started in Vegas & ended in Phoenix — full itinerary linked down below. Nevada blew me away. The state was named after the mountain range “Sierra Nevada” and is known as the Silver State, although it’s actually the largest gold-producing state in the US. Here’s my recs for you:

  • The Ultimate Southwest Road Trip Itinerary

Hiking the Navajo Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park

Welcome to the Beehive State! I visited Utah last summer on a southwest road trip & spent multiple days exploring all the beauty this state has to offer. Utah is known for its epic skiing in the north and red rock national parks in the south. Here’s what you need to know before you go…

38. Arizona

Visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

AZ was the final state visited on my southwest road trip and is one I hope to go back to several more times! The Grand Canyon State is known for well… the Grand Canyon, along with its hot & dry desert climate, red rocks, saguaro cacti, and Navajo land. Here’s your guide:

39. Louisiana

Exploring the French Quarter in New Orleans

This past January I crossed a major item off my bucket list of visiting all 50 states and did a weekend girls trip to New Orleans! Although there’s so much to see in the Pelican State, I mainly spent my time in LA exploring the Big Easy. Here’s my recs for your upcoming trip + a few Louisiana state highlights…

  • Top Things To Do In New Orleans

40. Mississippi

all 50 states

We’ve made it to the 40s!!!! The Mississippi River is well known for its river cruises, Civil War history, and iconic city stops. Mississippi’s Gulf Coast shouldn’t be overlooked and is easily drivable from New Orleans! I visited a few cities in the Magnolia State earlier this year on a southeast road trip, including Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and Gulfport. Other popular cities include Jackson, Vicksburg, and Oxford, where Ole Miss is located.

  • Fun Things To Do In Biloxi, Mississippi

41. Alabama

Alabama state guide

Sweeeeet home Alabamaaa! I crossed over the AL border earlier this year on a southeast weekend trip and loved what I saw! The Yellowhammer State is known for its Southern hospitality, Civil Rights movement, SEC football, & is called the “Heart of Dixie”. Be sure to visit Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, or Huntsville during your time here.

  • 10+ Things To Do In Mobile, Alabama

42. Oklahoma

visiting all 50 states

During my time in the Sooner State, I partnered with Visit OKC to visit the arts district, Bricktown, and the Myriad botanical gardens. Also be sure to see Tulsa and the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo along historic Route 66 in Claremore, OK. Click the blog post below to read all about my journey through Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

  • Oklahoma Travel Guide

43. Arkansas

traveling the United States

Over Memorial Day weekend of last year I drove from Oklahoma through Arkansas to check off some more of all 50 states. Arkansas is famous for its natural scenic beauty, clear lakes, and abundant wildlife, and is known as the Natural State. Arkansas has lots of hot springs and hikes, but I just saw the northwest corner when I visited. Here are some suggestions for your road trip: Bentonville, Fayetteville, Little Rock, and exploring the Ozarks.

  • Best Things To Do In Bentonville, Arkansas

exploring the USA

Incoming: A guide for a state I never thought I’d visit… Kansas! Kansas is one of the classic “fly over states” in the middle of the US, but also is a common drive through state on cross-country road trips. Here’s some info for the Sunflower State, if you ever find yourself here: Topeka is the capital of Kansas, Wichita is the largest city, and Kansas City splits the states of Kansas and Missouri, although the best BBQ can be found on the Kansas side.

45. Missouri

visiting all 50 states

Missouri was final state I drove through last May on my Quad State road trip. The Show Me State is known for its BBQ, iconic landmarks like the Gateway Arch, strong agricultural industry, & the Ozarks. There are a few stories that explain how Missouri got its nickname, with the most popular dating back to 1897 when a train conductor demanded “you’ve got to show me” to passengers who claimed to have free passes. This slogan is now on most Missouri license plates!

Austin texas weekend

We’re getting really close to covering all 50 states! The Lone Star State is the 2nd largest state in the US and has several major cities. I’ve been to a few of them this past year as part of my journey to all 50 states. Major cities include: Austin, the capital of Texas known for its SOCO (South Congress) neighborhood, Lady Bird / Lake Travis area, and Rainey Street. Dallas has the paved Katy Trail and Dallas Cowboys. Did you know Fort Worth is a separate city from Dallas? Fort Worth is smaller & is more traditional “Texas”. See Sundance Square and head to the Stockyards for some quintessential Texas fun.

  • Best Itinerary For A Weekend Trip To Austin, Texas

47. New Mexico

visiting all 50 states

New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment State and after a full week of exploring Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos, I now know why. This area is famous for Taos ski resort and the Taos Pueblo, White Sands national park, its native culture, and arts scene in downtown Santa Fe, especially along the galleries of Canyon Road. Check out this state guide:

  • 6 Day New Mexico Itinerary: Albuquerque, Sante Fe, & Taos

48. South Dakota

how to visit all 50 states

I just road-tripped through South Dakota to cross off state #48 and was seriously BLOWN AWAY by how much there is to do around Rapid City. I don’t know anywhere else in the US that has national parks, hiking, wildlife, family activities, a city, AND history! Here’s my recs for your future trip to the Mount Rushmore state:

  • 20 Things To Do In Rapid City, South Dakota (and near the area)

49. Nebraska

visiting northwest Nebraska

While I was in the Dakotas last week with my Dad, we drove 1.5 hours south from Rapid City to cross Nebraska off the list. We only spent the day here, but it was a nice way to see #49 ! If you’re trying to visit #all50states , you need to be strategic about trips and plan to cross a few states off by region. If you still need to see the Cornhusker State, hit up Chadron and follow this itinerary:

  • Visiting Northwest Nebraska

50. North Dakota

Places to go in North Dakota

After 2 years of traveling to all 50 states (plus DC + Puerto Rico!), and sharing a detailed guide to them all on socials / my blog, we’ve made it to #50 /50 — the Flickertail State! A few years ago I read about the Best For Last Club online and knew when I finished all 50 states, I’d save ND for last. Fast forward a few years and here we are… in Fargo, ND — not only becoming a member of the club, but partnering with the tourism board during my visit. Here’s my recs for Fargo & beyond:

  • Places To Go In North Dakota: Fargo, Bismarck, & More

And that brings us to the very end! I first published this post when I kicked off this challenge in May 2021 and am thrilled to be wrapping it up, a little over 2 years later — in July 2023 after visiting all 50 states. I hope this post directs you to any travel guide you need for visiting the US and inspires you to visit as many as you can. As for my next adventure? Stay tuned!

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A guide to traveling to all 50 states

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Wow! This is so awesome and so ambitious! Looking forward to your adventures as you travel to all 50 U.S. states. Good luck and safe travels!

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Such an awesome challenge! I would love to do this as well but can’t wait to read up on your experience! My dad has traveled to all 50 states but he cheated — he’s a pilot xD

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So fun! Have a great time. We have been doing the same but over the years 🙂

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What an exciting challenge! I’d love to visit all 50 states! Although living in the UK, this one might take me quite some time to complete! I can’t wait to follow your journey! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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I have always wanted to do this! We’re from MI so it’s hard to road trip east coast/west coast. So we typically have to fly. Good luck and have all the fun on your trip!

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I love this! We have always focused on international travel but are sticking to The States for a few months this summer and all when we get back from Costa Rica. This is so helpful for some ideas for where we are going. I am definitely taking notes and will bookmark this for reference. Thanks for putting this together! What an amazing adventure!

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What a helpful guide! It is actually my mission to see all 50 states at some point. I don’t think I will complete them all this year, but I’m at 33 right now and hope to see all 50 within the next 2-3 years. 🙂

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What an incredible idea. I really would love to do something like this too. I’ve made it to 10 so far, which considering I’m not American I think is pretty good. But there are so many great states out there to visit. Looking forward to following your journey and getting some good ideas for what to do when visiting some of these beautiful states

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What a fun idea! Good luck with your challenge!

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This is so great! I am so happy that you’re living the life you always wanted and can now support your travels with some kickass partnerships. Wish you all the best for your challenge 🙂

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Thank you so much! It is a bit crazy, but I’m super excited about it!

Thanks for following along! Good for your dad!

That’s so cool! How many do you have left?

Thanks for following along Hannah! I hope you complete your goal one day!!!

Thanks Chelsea! Michigan is a bit isolated, but I did a great midwest road trip that started in Michigan in May. I worked my way down to Indiana Dunes, to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, through Iowa, and up to MSP!

Thank you so much for your kind note! I also have always been focused on international travel but am so excited to explore more of the US this year! I hope my posts help you to plan some trips of your own 🙂

That sounds like a wonderful goal! No need to rush it! You’ll definitely get there sooner than later with less than 20 left.

For not being American, this is amazing Emma! I’m assuming some of your 10 include NY and CA? These are always the most popular for tourists! Thanks so much for following along!

Thanks Denise!

Aw this is so sweet, thank you so much for your kind words!

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Family Gap Year Guide

The perfect road trip map to drive across the United States

Summer is the perfect time for a road trip, and spring is the perfect time to plan one! With the weather warming up, we tend to get itchy for travel. Today I’ll share our perfect road trip map to see any part (or all) of the United States. Let’s hit the road and take that great American road trip!

traveling family in front of van

When we started our family gap year , two and a half years ago, we planned to travel from the Pacific Northwest, down the coast of California, through Texas to Florida, and then up the east coast.

We did just that, but then we continued to travel and have now circled the United States four times — and we’re preparing for our fifth round! Each route has been a little different, which has helped us hit new regions, see diverse landscapes, and visit unique attractions.

The perfect United States road trip map

So where do you want to go? From coast to coast, there is SO much to see and do in the United States. It’s one of the biggest countries in the world, and your experience can be just about anything you’d like — from a tropical adventure in south Florida, to the snowy mountains of Colorado, to the misty Pacific Northwest. You can head to New York and experience that big city life or escape to the quiet plains of the midwest.

There are two different kinds of road trips: those that are focused on the destination and those that are focused on the journey. Maybe you’re driving on a road well-known for its beauty, like the Going-To-The-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, or maybe you’re driving just to get from city to city and visit the hot spots.

But ideally, you can combine both of those goals and see gorgeous landscapes on your way to fun activities!

Don’t miss: Our Family Gap Year Itinerary

The best route to visit all 50 states at once

Unless you’re a very extreme or long-term traveler, I’m guessing you don’t plan to hit every single state — but if you are, I can point you in the right direction!

Check out Randy Olson’s  optimal US road trip maps , or visit TripSavvy’s list of  must-see American attractions  in an ordered loop you can begin at any point. These are two great resources if you are trying to go everywhere!

Our biggest tip for traveling the whole country: go south in the winter and north in the summer! Yes, being snowbirds is basically our life goal.

The best road trips by region in the United States

I’d love to share our favorite road trip routes in each region of the US. This will help you plan the perfect road trip in your own neck of the woods, or anywhere you plan to visit across the country!

For more details on fun things to do in each region of the US, check out my guest post on The Art of Travel: Visiting all 50 US States

Getting misty in the Pacific Northwest

We’ll always have a soft spot for the northwestern corner of the country, as that was our very first stop on our full-time family travels. We had never visited before, so the giant trees and almost-perpetual rainbows had us captivated.

Head to Seattle for a wide range of activities : go up to the top of the Space Needle, ride a wooden boat on Lake Washington, wander through Pike Place Market, and visit Amazon HQ .

pike place market

If you’ve got plenty of time to spend in Washington, consider driving the Cascade Loop, visit Mount Rainer National Park or Olympic National Park, or look for orcas in the San Juan Islands.

Then go south to Portland and browse the shelves at Powell’s Books and eat a Voodoo Doughnut. Head just to the east to visit gorgeous Multnomah Falls, then drive to the west coast to visit Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.

Your Pacific Northwest road trip map

Cruise down the coast of California

pacific coast highway

I couldn’t write a blog post on great road trips without including the Pacific Coast Highway ! We got to drive highway 1 down the coast of California near the end of 2018, and we’ll never forget it!

Start in San Francisco — visit the redwood trees and drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. From there, follow highway 1 and drive through Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Big Sur. Stop in San Simeon and see the elephant seals. Then cruise through the southern California beach towns of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Malibu, and end your journey at the Santa Monica Pier (or continue on to San Diego).

Your Pacific Coast Highway road trip map

pacific coast highway map

Get your kicks on Route 66

winslow, arizona

Having lived in Arizona for many years, we’ve driven along Route 66 more than once. Yes, it extends all the way “from Chicago to LA”, but there are some great iconic landmarks you can still visit along the Mother Road in Arizona, so it’s our pick for the southwestern region of the US.

Top stops along the way include the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, “standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona”, the Meteor Crater, Twin Arrows, Seligman, and Kingman. Visit soon — some landmarks are sadly wasting away.

All 50 States Tip: Once you get to Kingman, it’s just about 90 minutes to get to Las Vegas, if you need to check Nevada off your 50 state bucket list!

meteor crater

Your Route 66 road trip map

Complete the Texas Triangle

Texas boasts a number of major cities, living up to the saying that everything is bigger in Texas! And you can visit each of these metro areas when you take a triangle-shaped road trip in the middle of the state.

san antonio riverwalk

Start in San Antonio: walk the Riverwalk and tour the Alamo. Drive up to Austin for some great live music and nightlife. At the peak of the triangle you’ll find Dallas: smell the flowers at the Dallas Arboretum, play around at the National Videogame Museum, and eat a steak…because you’re in Dallas and living that cowboy life.

Head southeast to Houston and visit the Houston Space Center, and then drive to the coast to ride the rides at the Pleasure Pier in Galveston.

All 50 States Tip: If you’re coming to Texas from Arizona, you might try to time your trip so you hit the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico on your way. It happens in October and is well-worth the stop!

Your Texas Triangle road trip map

Glide along the Gulf Coast

You’ll find small beach town charm and pristine white sugar sand along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It’s one of our favorite spots in the country!

gulf shores beach

Start in New Orleans and soak up all the French Quarter has to offer, including muffalettas, beignets, and really great jazz. Then drive east, across the bottom of Mississippi and Alabama. Leave I-10 to drive south to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and then stick to the roads closest to the beach as you drive along the Florida panhandle, stopping at any beach towns that take your fancy.

If you’ve got the time and the budget, continue heading into central Florida for some fun at the theme parks, and then drive south to our next road trip recommendation…

Your Gulf Coast road trip map

Road trip through the tropics

In Southern Florida, you can get a real taste of the tropics without having to leave the continental US! Miami is just a 3-hour drive from Orlando, and about another 3-hour drive will take you through the Keys all the way into Key West.

In Miami, visit the colorful Wynwood neighborhood, and make sure to grab some Taiyaki ice cream! Then head over to South Beach and check out the nightlife.

taiyaki ice cream in miami

In Key West, walk down Duval Street and say hi to all the chickens that roam free. Make sure to have a slice of key lime pie and watch the sunset in Mallory Square.

Your southern Florida road trip map

Adventures in Appalachia

Discover the delights of the southeast in what you might call the “Appalachia” region. You can make a bit of a circle traveling through Savannah and Atlanta in Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Charleston, South Carolina — or the other way around!

UNC botanical gardens

See the Spanish Moss in Savannah, taste every Coke product in the World of Coke tasting room in Atlanta, experience Music City in Nashville, stroll the botanical gardens at UNC Charlotte, and take a carriage ride through Charleston’s cobblestone streets.

This route will also take you through Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Asheville — other great cities to explore, so be sure to stop if you have time!

Your Appalachia road trip map

Explore US history in the mid-Atlantic

Heading north, the mid-Atlantic states are a great place to learn about our country’s history and visit some of the biggest, busiest cities in the world.

In Virginia, you can experience colonial life at Historic Jamestowne. In Washington DC, you could spend hours and hours exploring all the free museums and memorials (and don’t forget to visit the pandas at the National Zoo).

All 50 States Tip: Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia is just one hour west of DC, and there you can hike part of the Appalachian Trail!

In Pennsylvania, you can visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

independence hall in philadelphia

Then drive up to New York City and experience the Big Apple! If you’re visiting after Broadway has reopened, definitely take in a show. Take the requisite visits to Times Square and Rockefeller Center, and stroll through Central Park.

imagine memorial in central park

Ride the Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park and tour the Statue of Liberty. Then, take the Q train to Coney Island and eat some hot dogs and deep-fried Oreos.

That’s right — historic sites AND deep-fried Oreos. You’re welcome.

All 50 States Tip: This is where you should check off Delaware and New Jersey, too. Visit Rehoboth Beach and Atlantic City and enjoy the beaches and boardwalks!

Your mid-Atlantic road trip map

Take a pilgrimage to New England

Get it…pilgrimage?

All 50 States Tip: As you head north, stop in at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut and stroll the cliff walk in Newport, Rhode Island.

Get your dose of history by walking the Freedom Trail in Boston, and have some fun on a Duck Tour. Then drive north for a trip through the most quaint, picture-perfect New England port towns. Walk around Portsmouth, New Hampshire, then make your way into Maine.

I was born and raised in Maine, so yes my New England road trip is a little Maine-heavy!

Visit Dock Square in Kennebunkport for some primo shopping and a summertime treat, like a fresh-squeezed lemonade or ice cream from Aunt Marie’s.

lemonade in kennebunkport

Then, head to Old Orchard Beach for a day of fun at the beachside amusement park, Palace Playland. Do NOT leave without getting an order of pier fries — and eat them like the locals, doused in vinegar and caked with salt.

pier fries in old orchard beach

Portland is a much-loved Maine “big city” so take a stroll through the Old Port and check out the unique shops and bars. Then, if you’ve got the time, drive to Acadia National Park and catch the earliest sunrise in the United States.

All 50 States Tip: If you’re headed to the midwest from New England, drive through Vermont and tour the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, then stop at Niagara Falls in New York!

Your New England road trip map

Meander through the Midwest

Things get a little tricky in the Midwest and central US just because there are so many options for where to go and in what order. So I’ll detail the two routes I would take, but you can mix-and-match the cities in this section and the next, and curate your own perfect road trip map through the middle of the country!

If you’re coming from the Northeast, stop in Cleveland, Ohio to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then head to Detroit, Michigan to visit the Motown Museum and take the Coney Dog Challenge .

motown museum in detroit

If you’d like, stop to explore Cincinnati on your way to Louisville, Kentucky. In Louisville, see how they make baseball bats at the Louisville Slugger Factory and learn all about horse racing at Churchill Downs (or hey, time your road trip to attend the Kentucky Derby!).

Check out the Indy 500 track in Indianapolis, or try your hand at some duckpin bowling. Then drive west to Chicago. See The Bean, eat a Chicago dog and some deep-dish pizza, and admire the artwork at the Art Institute of Chicago. If you must have the full Ferris Beuller experience, go to the top of Willis Tower and put your forehead against the glass.

the bean in chicago

Head north and cross into Wisconsin. Visit the Milwaukee Public Market and get your fill of local cheese! From there, go to Minneapolis and get lost in the Mall of America or go downtown and toss your hat in the air a la Mary Tyler Moore.

All 50 States Tip: You can drive about 3.5 hours from Minneapolis to Fargo, North Dakota, where you can join the Best for Last Club (IF North Dakota is your 50th and final state visited)!

As your last midwestern stop, head south to Iowa and explore Des Moines. Walk through the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and visit the famous bridges of Madison County.

All 50 States Tip: You can fit Nebraska in here by heading to Omaha — enjoy a leisurely walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and then have a nice sit-down dinner in Omaha’s Old Market. Or, if you prefer, you can visit the other side of Nebraska on our next route.

Your Midwest road trip map

Go through the Gateway to the West

Start your exploration of the central US in St. Louis and go up in the Gateway Arch. Then, on your way to Oklahoma City, stop in Bentonville, Arkansas to tour the Walmart Museum and the Crystal Lakes Museum (both free and worth the visit!).

In Oklahoma City, visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial (the site of the 1995 bombing) and the Land Run Monument. Then head north to Kansas and stop in Hutchinson to go 650 feet underground into the Strataca Salt Mine.

kansas salt mine

From there, drive west to Denver. There’s lots to do here! Stand a mile high on the Capitol steps, relax in one of the many parks, get your game on at the 1Up Arcade Bar, and take in the majestic view of the Rocky Mountains.

After you’ve gotten your fill of Denver, it’s time to visit the Dakotas. On the way, you can take a quick detour into Nebraska to stop by Chimney Rock, of Oregon Trail fame.

In the southwest corner of South Dakota you’ll definitely want to stop and see Mount Rushmore. Then drive north to Medora, North Dakota and visit the prairie dogs at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. From here, you’re in a great place to take our final road trip route!

mount rushmore

Your Gateway to the West road trip map

Tour the western national parks

glacier national park

Last summer, we took an epic road trip across the US and the final third was comprised mostly of national parks on the western side of the country. We had a blast and saw some incredibly diverse, beautiful terrain.

Start in Glacier National Park and spend a day driving the Going-To-The-Sun Road. Then head to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and be sure to see Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring.

grand prismatic spring

After Yellowstone, stop in at Grand Teton National Park, just south of Yellowstone. We missed this one but hear it’s a must-see.

From there, go south to Zion National Park in Utah and drive through the breathtaking red rocks. Then drive into Arizona and visit the Grand Canyon. You’ll see so many wonders on this trip that you’ll never forget it!

Your western national parks road trip map

Our top road trip tips

As expert US travelers (we’ve been to 49 of the 50 states — just gotta make it to Alaska!), here are some of our top tips to consider while you plan your road trip:

1. Make a plan but stay flexible

It’s good to know where you plan to be and when, how long it will take to get there, where you plan to stay, and what you want to do while you’re there. Especially in this post-Covid world, a lot of activities require planning ahead.

That being said, leave room for flexibility wherever possible. If we know we’ll be spending the night somewhere on the way to a destination, we won’t book a hotel until we’re almost ready to stop. Sometimes we are able to drive further than planned, and sometimes things come up and we get delayed — like the time it took 7 hours to drive 20 miles in New Mexico!

2. Prep your car

Fill your tires, check the oil, top up the fluids. Give yourself every reason to believe your car will get you from point A to B to C…and home again!

Also, consider getting your car detailed or deep-cleaned ahead of time, and be prepared with paper towels and wet wipes to keep things clean.

3. Stay comfy and entertained in the car

You’ll be seeing some incredible things…but also spending a lot of time just driving down the highway. A pillow and a blanket per person goes a long way, as does trivia games, books, podcasts, and (when all else fails) well-charged devices!

4. Pack light

You need some clothes and your phone. Not much else! Your phone (assuming it’s smart) is your map, your entertainment, and your way out in an emergency. Like I mentioned, toss in a blanket and pillow, maybe some non-screen books and games, and you’re good to go! Oh and snacks. Because is it really a road trip if you don’t have snacks? (No.)

Visit our sister site for some truly incredible road trip car hacks !

5. Combine touristy attractions with local hidden gems

A Google search can easily tell you the must-do activities in every city you visit, but also visit Atlas Obscura for some more, well, obscure things to see and do!

I sure hope this has given you some great information on where to road trip in each region of the US. Combine two or three routes (or all of them!) to create your own perfect road trip map to really see and experience this beautiful country, by car!

Thinking of heading out on a full-time family travel journey? Learn absolutely everything you need to know in our Family Gap Year Academy !

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No Home Just Roam

We're on an 8 year, 50 state road trip... and beyond

The Ultimate 50 State Road Trip

Our dream started in 2009.

Shae and I had applied to become group home (foster care) parents in California, but we were living in the UK at the time. We had to be in the US before they’d process our application any further, so we sold most of our stuff, bought one-way plane tickets and went to stay with her parents in Portsmouth, VA. After a couple of interviews we got the answer we’d been waiting for – yes, they were offering us the job!

We packed up what little stuff we had left, shipped it to our new home and started driving to Orange County, stopping in Nebraska for a couple of weeks on the way for our job training.

Welcome To Colorful Colorado Sign

Every day of the road trip we stopped to explore some of the country. We loved the old-time feel of Manitou Springs in Colorado, Shae picked up some jewelry at a Native American artisan market in Santa Fe (New Mexico), there was a quick swing by of the Grand Canyon and more.

It was my first proper American road trip (I’m British) and we said to each other that it’d be great to do a 50 state road trip in the future. To be honest though, it was just a pipe dream that I wasn’t sure we’d ever get to do.

Shae at the Grand Canyon

Fast-forward six months and the job hadn’t worked out as expected, so we handed in our notice and made the journey back from the west coast to the east coast. We took a different route this time and visited different parts of the US on the way back, again stopping each day to explore more as we went. Conversations about how a 50 state road trip should be part of our future plans continued.

Another Cross-Country Road Trip

The following year was Shae’s 30th birthday and I was trying to plan a surprise weekend away for her and some of her friends. I couldn’t get everyone together in the same place, so a new plan was hatched – a surprise two week road trip to visit them all around the US instead.

Ohio was first on the list, then on to Las Vegas, California and back to Virginia via South Carolina, with many other stops along the way. As you might have guessed, we chatted on that journey about the 50 state road trip dream. But once again, it was only a dream.

Stephen & Shae Pepper Las Vegas

Life Changes

That was 2011 which feels like a lifetime ago now. And for our hamster it was a lifetime ago (RIP Cookie Sprinkles).

A lot changed in the subsequent years including new jobs, buying a home, creating websites that earned us additional income, getting Truffles (our dog) and setting up a non-profit with Shae as its Executive Director.

Truffles Pepper

2016 brought about some significant changes with the non-profit and it was time to decide whether to continue or let it come to a natural end. While we were discussing it with Shae’s Mom, she asked me what my dream was.

As you can probably tell from the story above, my answer was that at some point in the future I’d love for us to do a 50 state road trip and blog about it. I didn’t think about it any further until a few days later though, when Shae said she thought we should pursue this dream.

Could We Afford It?

One of the reasons the ultimate road trip idea had always been a distant dream was because we’d figured it’d be really expensive. Driving around the country and living in hotels would mean we’d need a huge amount of money saved up.

Or would it?

In 2014, I’d started learning about airline miles and hotel point reward schemes. We’d been avidly collecting miles and points so we could travel for free and I’d been learning as much as I could about how to make those points go even further.

Based on how much we were earning through my other websites and how we could maximize our points for free hotel stays, we realized this long-held dream of an epic 50 state road trip was actually possible.

Plan, Plan And Plan Some More

As an INTJ , my mind immediately started racing with all the planning. It was March 2016 at the time and we’d already scheduled a month-long trip to Australia and New Zealand in November / December 2017. Although it’d only give us a few days to recover from jet-lag, January 1, 2018 seemed to be the perfect date to set off.

That gave us ~21 months to sell our house, finish paying off our debt, sock some money away in savings as a buffer and hopefully increase the earnings from my other websites as they’d be our main source of income for the road trip.

The next step was deciding how long the road trip should be. We didn’t want to do a ‘take-the-most-efficient-route-by-driving-through-a-corner-of-each-state’ road trip just so that we could say we’d visited each one. Instead, we wanted to take our time so we could experience and explore everything that each state has to offer. With 50 states (plus DC), we figured a five year road trip would do the trick.

US Map

Yep, A Five Year Road Trip!

That’d give us an average of five weeks in each state, spending less time in smaller states (sorry Rhode Island) and more time in larger states (hellooooooo California).

So that’s what we’re doing. On January 1, 2018, we started our 5 year, 50 state road trip all round the US.

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About Travel 50 States

My parents instilled a love of travel within me since my childhood, when they took my sisters and I on some memorable trips around the United States, exposing us to historical sites and vast landscapes. My dad has visited nearly all 50 states, but my mother has visited EVERY one of the 50 states, a grand accomplishment, and a tradition that I will strive to live on with my own family. This blog is a way for me to chronicle my travels, as well as share my experiences with others.  My hope is that I can be a resource for your own journey, whether it helps you to learn about places you plan to travel, allows you to reminisce about a similar journey you’ve taken, or simply brings you along for the ride.

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All information is Copyright(c) protected US50 COAST to COAST. Tour across America and see the USA on US 50, also known as Highway 50 or Route 50.  'US 50 Coast to Coast' documents a journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  

Please sign-in and let us know who you are and which city/country is your home. we will not use this information to mail advertisements. this web site will lead you to many interesting places. please bookmark at this time route50.com. this allows you to return and continue your journey without delays. o.k..

German, French. Spanish, Italian Translation through AltaVista Let us now travel along Route 50 also known as Highway 50. Enjoy the journey.

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                                ( Have you noticed the difference in mileage when traveling from East to West versus West to East?

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  • This Web site is dedicated to the promotion of Route 50, also known as US 50 or Highway 50. Frequent changes should make it beneficial to visit 'www.Route50.com' once a week. Recommend you add this site to your preferred list. Occasional announcements or promotions serve to underwrite some of my expenses. If you like to post a message, please send e-mail to [email protected]

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This is pretty nifty. Just enter your  zip code in the site below, and it tells you which gas stations have the cheapest prices on gasoline in your zip code area.   It's updated every evening. Be a good neighbor and pass this along!

Old Barn on Route 50 between Fairfax and Middletown, Virginia Richard Elliott , 29 Sep 1985

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From coast to coast, come along on a journey, from the atlantic to the pacific, on route us 50.

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FOR two years we planed and prepared for a trip on US Route 50 from Ocean City, Maryland to San Francisco , California. We believe that Route 50 crosses some of the most beautiful parts of America. On May the First we watched the sun rise above the Atlantic Ocean and departed on our journey to the Pacific Ocean where we observed the sun set twenty days later. Our trip was memorable and inspirational.

As we crossed the country, we met and talked with people from different backgrounds and affiliations. everybody was proud of his or her heritage and place of residency., the eastern shore of maryland is a jewel for vacationers. the area is located between the chesapeake bay and the atlantic ocean. us 50 begins in ocean city and that is where our journey starts. we will travel from the atlantic to the pacific., washington, dc, is also known as the district of columbia. us 50 travels through the center of our capital. for someone who wants to tour this beautiful city, follow the us 50 sign and you will see all the famous monuments., virginia is for lovers. our trip will take us through northern virginia and the northern tip of the shenandoah valley. it is a regent of great contrasts. modern civilization and historic battlefields are in close proximity., west virginia is a state that caters to tourism. you will find beautiful and well-maintained state parks for your enjoyment. many nature trails allow you explore the beauty of this state. relax and forget the hectic life in the city. we did; we were so impressed that we stayed an extra day..

Southeastern OHIO has beautiful rolling hills. The mighty Ohio River has left its marks everywhere.  Early settlers crossed the river and later farmed the interior land. A scenic drive from Belpre takes us past the states first capital city called Tecumseh, later renamed to Chillicothe.   Finally, we reach the Queen City Cincinnati.

INDIANA is a small state with a big heart.  Railroad tracks have joint us beside the road.  These tracks will stay with us almost till California.  We can see old telephone poles that are 14 feet high and spaced 50 feet apart.  we admire the work of stone artisans that create building blocks from white sand stones.  A visit to the George Rogers Clark National Historic Park transforms us back to the year of 1779.

Southern  ILLINOIS    from the Wabash River on the Indiana boarder to the Mississippi River in East St. Louis is sparsely settled.  Farming is the main industry in this part of the state.  Carlyle Lake was created to control frequent flooding along the Kaskaskia River.  This 26,000 acre lake lets you enjoy camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing and hunting. 

After leaving the St. Louis Area, long considered the gateway to the American West, US 50 runs through the middle of  MISSOURI. This part of the state is known as the Lake of the Ozarks Region.   State parks feature beautiful swimming beaches, many miles of shoreline for excellent fishing, boat ramps, cabins and plenty of space for camping.  Show your respect to Old Drum by having your picture taken with him in front of the Johnson County Court House in Warrensburg.

KANSAS captured our hearts. The Sunflower State is known for Midwestern hospitality. Gone are the days of -rip-snortin' and gun-slingin'. A cowboy riding with The Great American Cattle Drive '95 expressed his feelings to us. 'I'm a lonely cowboy and I've followed the Chisholm Trail with a herd of Longhorn steers from Fort Worth, Texas, to Dodge City, Kansas, in the Spring of `95. I will have to follow the Longhorns 'till I am too old. Juan Pirtle-cowboy, Arizona.'

As we follow the arkansas river through the great plain into the colorado rocky mountains, we are fascinated by the beauty of the land. we must climb to an elevation of 11,312 feet highway 50 crosses the continental divine over the monarch pass.  the black canyon of the gunnison national park may be one of the most incredible canyons in north america.  several overlooks allow us to view the gunnison river 2,000 feet below.  it was not until the year 1901 when abraham lincoln fellow and william torrence successfully passed through the canyon in a rubber raft. fellow described his observation in the following way: the roar of the waterfalls was constantly in our ears, and the walls of the canyon, towering a half mile in height above us were seemingly vertical. occasionally a rock would fall from one side or the other, with a roar and crash, exploding like a ton of dynamite when it struck bottom, making us think our last day had come.  a visit to the colorado national monument leaves a memorable impression., we still can see the colorful canyons in utah. as we crossed the green river, our thoughts went with john powell as he explored this territory in 1869. in delta, we met valerie mason from the chamber of commerce. she gave us a lot of interesting information and asked us to write to our congressmen and senators to support route 50 in the preservation act of the national highway system. there is talk that highway 50 should not be maintained as a national artery of the infrastructure. we promised to write our representatives in washington to maintain funding for this beautiful scenic route. as we have seen and can attest, us 50 is of vital importance to tourism, not only for this country but also for many visitors from abroad who come and visit us., the nevada. visitors guide describes the pony express territory as follows: 'visitors will be well-rewarded by the almost surrealistic intensity of the wild western landscape, deep blue skies, jagged stone horizons towering above the bone white play as of the valley floors and the hypnotic rhythm of the telephone poles marching single file, in a solemn procession beside the road.' us 50 follows roughly the path of the pony express riders., california   the golden state.  our final destination is in site.  how appropriate the state motto   "i have found it" applies to us.  those who arrive from the east must cross high mountains to reach the rocky cliffs and sandy beaches that line the shores of the pacific ocean in the west.  one can admire thick redwoods in the north and barren deserts in the south.  california ranks first among many statistics.   diversities are to numerous and are left for you to explore., yes, america the beautiful is the greatest country on earth. we have sorted our notes and pictures and written a book about our trip along route 50, the sights and the people. i hope my book will encourage others to take a journey across america and see this beautiful country. only those who have experienced the tranquility of nature will fight to preserve it., always remember: our public land is not for sale, to obtain information on ordering a copy of, us 50 coast to coast,           travel anecdotes & advisories.

Ray Derby from Derby Enterprises has designed these special decal.  They should generate conversation along the way.  Go to   http://www.signs-derby.com/catalog/item/4027930/5344006.htm   

                     Link Exchanges with other Web Sites                 To Join the Route 50 WebRing 

                            A Spiritual Pilgrimage                         by Wulf Berg

Learn more about this Web site or how to promote Route 50

VIEW OFFICIAL RIDE GUIDE WITH FINAL ROUTES AND ESSENTIAL INFO.

On site registration is available but it’s faster if you sign up !

50 States Ride Presented By Signal Financial

Saturday, September 30th

Choose a Route

Select one of four route options that matches your idea of a good time. Each route packs in nice scencery, good bike infrastructure, and a real challenge. Which will you take on?

Diamond Route

presented by

Therme Group US

This most challenging route touches every state-named avenue to polish hardened explorers.

Diamond Route Riders

Ride Details

The 60 mile Diamond Route presented by Therme US starts and finishes at Kraken Kourts and Skates.

Check-in: 7:00 AM-7:45 AM Group Start: 8:00 AM

Arrive early to check-in and drop off any clothing or small items (no valuables please).

If interested in riding with a group, plan to gather at a marked off area where Ride Marshals will help coordinate.

More details are forthcoming including the route map, course profile, and details on pit stops.

– 60 mi. –

Roundabout Route

– 30 mi. –

Wegmans

Participants square up to this trek around the city before coming full circle in triumph.

The 30 mile Roundabout Route presented by Wegmans starts and finishes at Kraken Kourts and Skates.

Check-in: 8:00 AM-8:45 AM Group Start: 9:00 AM

Triangle Route

– 10 mi. –

EYA

Trying all that comes their way, riders angle for success and give legs to this route.

The 10 mile Triangle Route presented by EYA starts and finishes at Kraken Kourts and Skates.

Check-in: 9:30 AM-10:00 AM Group Start: 10:15 AM

Straightaway Route

Straightaway

– 2 mi. –

KinderCare

This kid-friendly outing is straightforward fun with no curves thrown on an extra safe trail.

Check-in: 10:30 AM-11:00 AM Group Start: 11:15 AM

The route will be entirely on the Metropolitan Branch Trail with a straight shot down to Alethia Tanner Park where there will be a stop featuring fun games for kids. After taking on the challenges, participants can turn around to return in the opposite direction from when they started out.

The 2 mile Straightaway Route starts and finishes at Kraken Kourts and Skates.

More details are forthcoming including the route map and details on the pit stop.

Things to Know in Advance

-The three longest rides take place on streets with varying levels of bicycle infrastructure. Participants will share the road with motor vehicle traffic.

-The 50 States Ride is self-guided. Participants will be spread out along the route (not in a big group) and navigate using the provided physical cue sheet or with free turn-by-turn navigation on their smartphone using the Ride with GPS app. 

But, You Will Be Supported…

Seriously Great Pit-stops

Enjoy carefully considered on course support at each of our awesome pit-stops so you can refuel with snacks, hydration, and high-fives.

Snacks

Helpful Ride Marshals

Each route will have optional ride buddy groups led by a Ride Marshal — a WABA volunteer who is there to help you navigate and offer encouragement and support.

Ride Marshall

Have a Question?

If you are wondering about something we haven’t covered, first check out answers to our frequently asked questions. If there’s still something we have missed, you can reach out to us.

Sign Up Today!

This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Tour the city on this storied ride, connect with the bike community, and support better bicycling in our region. Act fast to get in on the fun!

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Vice President Harris targets Trump as she rallies for abortion rights in Wisconsin

VP Harris was in Wisconsin Monday to kick off series of nationwide events focused on abortion

50 state tour route

President Joe Biden uses the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision to focus on abortion rights, a critical issue in this year’s election. Democrats remain furious that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade less than two years ago.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 7, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, in Big Bend, Wis. Harris is embracing her position as the Democrats’ leading champion for abortion rights in this year’s election. Harris visits Wisconsin on Monday for the first in a series of nationwide events focused on abortion, which remains politically potent almost two years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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WAUKESHA, Wisc. (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris blasted Republicans as extremists for trying to ban abortions as she rallied women in the key battleground state of Wisconsin on Monday, marking the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade by leading Democrats’ charge for restoring reproductive rights.

She singled out Donald Trump, who is tightening his grip on the Republican presidential nomination , for saying he was “proud” of helping to limit abortions. Trump nominated three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court during his term in office, paving the way for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“Proud that women across our nation are suffering?” Harris said. “Proud that women have been robbed of a fundamental freedom? Proud that doctors could be thrown in prison for caring for their patients? That young women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers?”

“How dare he?” she added.

The barrage reflects the White House’s intense focus on abortion rights during this year’s presidential campaign. Back in Washington, Biden convened a meeting of his reproductive health care access task force to discuss threats to emergency care and new steps for implementing executive orders on the subject.

The Democratic president described Roe v. Wade as “a fundamental right” that had been “ripped away.”

Biden, Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff are holding another rally focused on abortion in Virginia on Tuesday. In addition, Harris’ trip to Wisconsin is the first stop in a nationwide tour to talk about reproductive rights.

A voter stands in a booth at a poling site while filling out their ballot in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

In her speech on Monday, Harris described abortion as an integral part of the country’s tradition of personal liberty.

“In America, freedom is not to be given. It is not to be bestowed. It is ours by right,” she said. “And that includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body — not the government telling you what to do.”

Harris shared stories of women who have miscarried in toilets or developed sepsis because they were denied help by doctors concerned about violating abortion restrictions.

“This is, in fact, a healthcare crisis,” she said. “And there is nothing about this that is hypothetical.”

Wisconsin faces an ongoing legal battle over abortion. When Roe v. Wade was overturned, Republicans argued that an 1849 law that was still on the books would effectively ban the procedure except in situations where a mother’s life was at risk.

“These extremists want to roll back the clock to a time before women were treated as full citizens,” Harris said.

Clinics across the state stopped offering abortions until a court ruled the law did not apply to abortions . Republicans have appealed the decision , and the case will likely be decided by the state supreme court. They’re also pushing for a voter referendum that would ban abortions after 14 weeks , holding a hearing on the proposal on Monday.

The White House is pushing against the limits of its ability to ensure access to abortion without new legislation from Congress, where control is split between Democrats and Republicans.

On Monday, Biden administration announced it was creating a team dedicated to helping hospitals comply with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires hospitals receiving federal money to provide life-saving treatment when a patient is at risk of dying.

The Department of Health and Human Services said it would beef up training at hospitals around the law and publish new information on how to lodge a complaint against a hospital.

Some advocacy groups have criticized HHS as not responding aggressively enough to such complaints. Last week, the Associated Press reported that federal officials did not find any violation of the law when an Oklahoma hospital instructed a 26-year-old woman to wait in a parking lot until her condition worsened to qualify for an abortion of her nonviable pregnancy.

The White House has repeatedly turned to Harris, the first woman to serve as vice president, to make its case on abortion. Her outspokenness contrasts with Biden’s more reticent approach . Although he is a longtime supporter of abortion rights, he mentions less often and sometimes avoids using the word abortion even when he discusses the issue.

“I think the real star from a messaging standpoint is the vice president,” said Mini Timmaraju, head of Reproductive Freedom for All, the activist organization formerly known as the National Abortion Rights Action League. “Look, Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris. Joe Biden has asked Kamala Harris to lead on this issue. This is going to set us up for a great contrast with the other side.”

While Harris and Democrats have embraced abortion as a campaign issue, Republicans are shying away or calling for a truce, fearful of sparking more backlash from voters.

Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, recently made a plea to “find consensus” on the divisive issue.

“As much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice, and I don’t want them to judge me for being pro-life,” she said during a primary debate in November.

Trump has taken credit for helping to overturn Roe v. Wade, but he has balked at laws like Florida’s ban on abortions after six weeks, which was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, another Republican candidate who dropped out of the race over the weekend.

“You have to win elections,” Trump said during a recent Fox News town hall.

Vice presidents are rarely decisive figures in reelection campaigns. However, Harris has faced additional scrutiny because of Biden’s age — he would be 82 at the start of a second term — and her status as the first woman, Black person and person of South Asian descent to serve in her position.

Abortion has reshaped Harris’ tenure as vice president after earlier struggles when dealing with intractable issues like migration from Central America.

Jamal Simmons, a former communications director for Harris, said abortion “focused her attention and her office in a way that nothing had before.”

“Focusing on abortion rights tapped into the vice president’s legal background, her political values and her substantive knowledge in a way that I saw no other issue do while I was there,” he said.

Associated Press writer Amanda Seitz contributed from Washington.

CHRIS MEGERIAN

Moscow Metro Underground Small-Group Tour - With Reviews & Ratings

Moscow metro underground small-group tour.

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Free Cancellation
  • Duration: 3 Hrs
  • Language: English
  • Departure Time : 10:00 AM
  • Departure Details : Karl Marks Monument on Revolution Square, metro stop: Square of Revolution
  • Return Details : Metro Smolenskaya
  • If you cancel at least 4 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel within 3 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
  • Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Go beneath the streets on this tour of the spectacular, mind-bending Moscow Metro! Be awed by architecture and spot the Propaganda , then hear soviet stories from a local in the know. Finish it all up above ground, looking up to Stalins skyscrapers, and get the inside scoop on whats gone on behind those walls.

Know More about this tour

We begin our Moscow tour beneath the city, exploring the underground palace of the Moscow Metro. From the Square of Revolution station, famous for its huge statues of soviet people (an armed soldier, a farmer with a rooster, a warrior, and more), we’ll move onto some of the most significant stations, where impressive mosaics, columns, and chandeliers will boggle your eyes! Moreover, these stations reveal a big part of soviet reality — the walls depict plenty of Propaganda , with party leaders looking down from images on the walls. Your local guide will share personal stories of his/her family from USSR times, giving you insight into Russia’s complicated past and present. Then we’re coming back up to street level, where we’ll take a break and refuel with some Russian fast food: traditional pancakes, called bliny. And then, stomachs satiated, we are ready to move forward! We’ll take the eco-friendly electric trolleybus, with a route along the Moscow Garden Ring. Used mainly by Russian babushkas(grannies) during the day, the trolleybus hits peak hours in the mornings and evenings, when many locals use it going to and from their days. Our first stop will be the Aviator’s House, one of Stalin’s Seven Sisters, followed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — and you’ll hear the legends of what has gone on inside the walls. Throughout your Moscow tour, you’ll learn curious facts from soviet history while seeing how Russia exists now, 25 years after the USSR.

Local English-speaking guide

Pancake snack and drink

Additional food and drinks

Tickets for public transport

Souvenirs and items of a personal nature

Tips and gratuities for the guide

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Dress standard: Please wear comfortable shoes for walking. For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people

Traveler Reviews

This tour exceeded our expectations. Nikolai (Nick), our tour guide, was very knowledgeable, thorough, and has a great personality. He didn't take shortcuts and really covered everything that was on the agenda in great detail. We saw beautiful metro stations and learned the history behind them, including many of the murals and designs.

We did the tour with Anna her knowledge and understanding of the History surrounding the metro brought the tour alive. Well done Anna!

This tour was amazing!

Anna was a great tour guide. She gave us heaps of interesting information, was very friendly, and very kindly showed us how to get to our next tour.

Amazing beauty and history.

An excellent tour helped by an absolutely amazing guide. Anna gave a great insight into the history of the metro helped by additional material she had prepared.

great tour and guide - thanks again

great will do it again, Miriam ke was very good as a guide she has lived here all here life so knew every interesting detail.a good day

Amtrak in Ohio: Backers hope where there's a will, there's a railway

50 state tour route

Mitch Radakovich's car is older than he is.

But that doesn't faze the 24-year-old Cincinnati native, who travels by foot and bus between his home in Over-the-Rhine, his office downtown and wherever else he wants to go in Greater Cincinnati.

"I really only live a 'car-lite' life," Radakovich said. "To go completely car-free is really exciting to me."

Fueling his excitement, at present, are plans to expand Amtrak passenger service across Ohio.

Those efforts took big steps forward late last year, with four Ohio-centered expansion proposals winning federal dollars.

And while new Amtrak service is still years away, the four projects are now guaranteed additional federal funding for planning and, absent missteps, construction.

Radakovich will join fellow volunteers of a rail advocacy group called All Aboard Ohio as they promote passenger train possibilities during the Cincinnati stop of their Whistle Stop Tour.

Where are Whistle Stops on the tour? 

All Aboard Ohio, one of more than nearly 200 individuals and groups publicly supporting the four Ohio proposals, will review the options and next steps during an event downtown at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Its presentation is open to the public, with limited space still available.

The group opened its Whistle Stop Tour in Dayton last week, with upcoming presentations planned for Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo and Crestline, Ohio.

"This is something I want for Ohio," said Erin Rosiello, the group's chair. "This is something everyone should want for Ohio."

Where would new passenger trains travel? 

Passenger train travel got a big boost late last year from the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

That happened Dec. 8 when the department's Federal Railroad Administration announced 69 grants of $500,000 each to governments and other groups looking to establish or expand routes.

The four Ohio proposals were among them:  

  • The Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland-Dayton corridor – known as 3C+D – would connect Ohio’s four largest metropolitan areas, home to about 57% of the state’s 11.8 million residents. With three to five daily round trips, between 400,000 and 800,000 people would use this line a year, according to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. 
  • The Midwest Connect line would connect Pittsburgh to Chicago, through Columbus and Fort Wayne, Indiana. With six daily round trips, 200,000 to 400,000 riders would use this route a year, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning group said. 
  • New passenger train travel from Cleveland to Detroit, passing through Toledo, would have an annual economic impact of $100 million, according to Amtrak's Connect US Corridor Vision report of 2020.  
  • The Cardinal, Amtrak’s existing train from New York to Chicago with a stop at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, would expand from three to seven days a week. 

After they spend the first grant, backers of the projects will get more federal money to look at key logistics: which trains and tracks to use, how fast and often trains will run, and what passengers will pay for tickets.

"Those are the important questions," said Mark Policinski, CEO of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. "If those aren't answered satisfactorily, there is no next phase."

Where does Amtrak operate in Ohio now? 

Amtrak passenger trains currently stop in six Ohio cities. 

The Capitol Limited , a daily 764-mile line from Washington, D.C.., to Chicago, hits five of them in the northern part of the state – Alliance, Cleveland, Elyria, Sandusky and Toledo. The Capitol, launched in 1981, makes 16 stops on each 18-hour one-way trip. The Ohio stops come in the middle of the night – Cleveland at close to 3 a.m. while heading west and close to 2 a.m. returning east. 

The Cardinal, a 1,146-mile train from New York to Chicago, hits only Cincinnati in Ohio, arriving around 1:30 a.m. while westbound and about 3:30 a.m. while eastbound. The line, launched in 1977, travels three times a week, making 32 stops on each leg of 26 1/2-plus hours. 

Capitol ridership was about 126,000 for the year ended Sept. 30, down from pre-COVID traffic of close to 210,000 a year. About 83,000 people rode the Cardinal in the last fiscal year, down from 2019 ridership of 109,000.  

Central Ohio, meanwhile, has been without passenger trains for decades, with Columbus’ last service ending in 1979. That makes it the largest city east of the Mississippi River without passenger rail, said William Murdoch, executive director of Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

Amtrak supports expansion in the state, with plans to tie into some 5,000 miles of existing Ohio tracks. "They are thinking like a business," Murdoch said.

What are the obstacles to Amtrak expansion?

To move forward, however, Amtrak will need to work with Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation, the freight lines that operate in Ohio, to win track-sharing agreements that keep passenger service on schedule. "On-time performance is imperative," said Joseph Schwieterman, a transportation expert and professor at Chicago's DePaul University.

Amtrak will also need stations along the way. It could use Union Terminal in Cincinnati and Cleveland's Lakefront Station site for the 3C+D line – both are included in its 2020 plan – but would need space in Dayton, Columbus and other cities along the route.

Ohio needs more passenger rail to expand its economy and jobs, supporters believe. More train service would allow Ohioans to live in one city and more easily work in another.

Trains will also take cars off roads, reducing congestion and pollution; and make across-state travel easier for people who don't drive for financial, health or other reasons.

The 3C+D project alone would have a statewide economic impact of $47 million a year, according to a November study conducted for All Aboard Ohio. Amtrak, in its 2020 study, put the potential statewide impact of 3C+D service at close to $130 million a year. 

When does All Aboard Ohio meet in Cincinnati?

When Radakovich took over as director of the southwest chapter of All Aboard Ohio last summer, three people came to his first meeting. In December, more than 30 showed up.

They'll need patience as they wait for Amtrak to expand. The planning alone will take five or six years.

"Sometimes things take time, but that's no reason not to plan for the future," said Radakovich, a data scientist at Procter & Gamble Co.

As they wait for plans to play out, All Aboard members talk about such issues as how to improve current local Amtrak service and bus travel on Greyhound.

Next week, they'll take up more close-to-home matters with guest Cincinnati City Council member Mark Jeffreys. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Walnut Hills Public Library, 2533 Kemper Lane, and open to all.

Moscow driver

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Moscow Metro

Introduction of moscow subway system (metro).

Richly Decorated Central Hall of Novokuznetskaya Station

Nowadays the Moscow Metro has 12 lines, light subway and monorail. All stations are unique and beautiful in their own way. Unfortunately, in order to visit them all, you need to spend many days. I invite guests to visit the ones that have the greatest cultural and historical interest from my point of view. Among them are the Revolution Square, Arbatskaya, Kievskaya (Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line № 3); Kievskaya, Belarusskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Komsomolskaya (the Ring line number 5). Let us dwell a bit on each.

Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line

Subway station "revolution square".

Sign “Ploshchad Revolyutsii” in Archway with Bronze Figures

Most recently - in the year 2008-2010 – the Eastern lobby was renovated. Because of the terrorist attacks in the Moscow subway that took place several hours before the planned opening of the East lobby after renovation, the solemn part of the event was canceled.

Subway station Arbatskaya

Subway Arbatskaya is located on the same subway line as the station "Revolution Square." It was founded in 1953. It received the name in honor of the Arbat Street. It has one ground lobby (Western). Initially, the lobby was in a separate building, but the new building of the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense started, the lobby appeared to be in its atrium. The old exits were bricked up; a new entrance was built into the building of General Staff of the street Vozdvizhenka. There is a huge frame with a missing portrait in the ground lobby - until mid-1950 there was a portrait of Stalin. According to some reports, it survived, but closed with plaster.

The lobby was restored and partially reconstructed in 2007-2008.

The depth of the station is 41 meters.

Pylons are finished with red marble at the bottom, decorated with bouquets of flowers made from ceramics. The floor is laid out with gray granite. The walls lined with glazed ceramic tiles, white top and black bottom. The station hall is illuminated by massive bronze chandeliers in the form of rings.

Subway station Kievskaya

There are several subway stations "Kievskaya" in Moscow, located on different branches. This name is quite popular. It comes from the capital of Ukraine - one of Russia's nearest neighbors - the city of Kiev. The name is fully consistent with the idea of the subway station. The interior the station devoted to Soviet Ukraine and the reunification of Ukraine and Russia. The station is decorated with a large number of paintings .Twenty four murals depicting workers of Soviet Ukraine are placed on the arch above the pylons. The wall from the side of platform also contains frescos, mainly with images of fantastic plants. Pylons are decorated with light marble and additionally decorated with colorful ceramic cornice. The butt of the station has a large mosaic, depicting festivities to celebrate the 300 anniversary of the reunification of Ukraine and Russia.

Opened in 1953, this subway station for a long time was the final (1953-2003).

The station has one lobby, combined with the station ring line and located in the building of the Kievskaya railway station. The diameter of the central hall station is 9.5 m, the diameter of side one is 8.5 m. The depth of the station is 38 meters.

= Ring Line Subway =

It opened in 1954. The station received its name after the Kiev station, and locked the Ring line. During the construction of the station many projects were proposed, but the victory in the competition won the Kiev architects who made the construction of the station. It is the only station of the Ring Line which is not located in the Central Administrative District of Moscow.

The station has a pylon structure. Eighteen pylons are decorated with mosaic panels of glazes, decorated on the theme of Ukrainian history and friendship between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, which started in the mid-17 century.

On the front wall of the central hall of the station a large panel with molding in the form of flags and a mosaic portrait of Lenin in the center are located. There are lines of the Soviet national anthem around the portrait, and under the portrait - the words of Lenin. One of the ways out of the station was designed by French architects modeled on the Paris Subway in 2006.

At one of the mosaics – “The Struggle for Soviet power in Ukraine "- modern passengers observe a mobile phone and PDA in the hand of one of the guerrillas, and on his knees - a laptop. In fact, he uses a field telephone, which was really a heavy thing (guerrillas holds it in two hands), and thing that people see a laptop is the lid of a box with a telephone. However, these phones have begun to produce only in the second half of the 20-ies of XX century. We must assume that the mosaic depicts a foreign field telephone transmitter.

Subway station Belorusskaya

The founded of the station was in 1952. It received the name after the Belarusian railway station nearby. The station has two ground-based lobbies. The Western one goes to Tverskaya  Zastava. It is decorated with beautiful carvings. The Eastern one leads to Butyrskiy shaft and Forest Street. The Eastern lobby is known for its majolica panels.

The station Belorusskaya is located at a depth of 42.5 m below ground. The diameter of the central hall is 9.5 meters.

Pylons are faced with light marble. The walls lined with white ceramic tiles, the floor is covered with ceramic tiles, gray, white and red colors. Lamps placed on pylons, in the form of vases made of glass and marble. The theme of decoration is economy and culture of Belarus. Decorative pattern on the floor repeats the theme of traditional Belarusian embroidery. Decorations of the ceiling consist of stucco decorations and 12 mosaic panels depicting the life of the Belarusian people.

Subway station Novoslobodskaya

Built in 1952, Subway station Novoslobodskaya got its name from the eponymous street:  the station is located at the very beginning of it.

Novoslobodskaya is pylon station of deep foundation (its depth is 40 m) with three arches.

Exit to the street is through the ground lobby with column portico, located on Novoslobodskaya Street lined with gray marble. Pylons of the underground station are faced with marble from the Urals. Thirty two spectacularly illuminated stained-glasses, placed inside the pylon and bordered by steel and gilt brass are splendid decoration of the station. A remarkable mosaic "World Peace" is located at the end of the central hall. The picture depicts a happy mother with a baby in her arms; it was the face of Stalin at the picture: the child gave a hand to him. But in times of Khrushchev the face of the former leader of USSR was removed from the panel. The walls are lined with bright marble; floor is covered with white and black granite slabs, placed in a checkerboard pattern.

Subway station Komsomolskaya

The station was built in 1952 and named in honor of the Komsomolskaya Square, which is situated nearby.

This subway station is the station of the deep bedding. Its depth is 37 meters. The station has column and three- arched design. Cast iron decoration is used in the construction, monolithic slab used as a tray for a collapsible finishing. The length of the boarding hall is 190 meters; width of it is 10 meters. There are 68 octagonal columns at station.

The main theme of the interior of the station is the fighting of the Russian people for their independence. The ceiling is decorated with eight station mosaic mural made from glazes and precious stones. Six of them represent the Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy, Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, Alexander Suvorov and Mikhail Kutuzov, the Soviet soldiers and officers at the walls of the Reichstag.

 Two other panels, depicting Stalin ("Victory Parade" and "Presentation of the Guards Banner"), were replaced after the dethronement of Stalin's personality cult in 1963. New panels depict Lenin's speech in front of the Red Guards and the Motherland on the background of the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower.

The yellow ceiling is decorated with mosaic and moldings. The hall is illuminated by massive chandeliers hanging between the panels; platforms are illuminated with smaller chandeliers. The columns are decorated with marble capitals and trimmed with light marble, as well as the wall station. The floor is laid with pink granite. There is a bust of Lenin at the end of the hall. At the opposite end of the escalator is a large Florentine mosaic of the Order of Victory with red banners on the background. The ground lobby of the station is decorated with bas-reliefs.

In conclusion...

Each of the stations of the Moscow subway is attractive and interesting in its own way. Each has its own long and fascinating history and is beautifully decorated. The Moscow subway is a whole world, which can be talking about for hours. I suggest you short - no more than one hour and a half - and a fascinating journey through the world of the Moscow subway. The pleasure is guaranteed!

Sculpture Park "Art Muzeon"

Mausoleum and necropolis.

  • Bombing in Moscow Metro On March 29, 2010, another tragic event happened in Moscow that shocked not only the citizens of the Russian Federation, but also many people from countries that oppose the threat of terrorism. In the early morning rush hour, two women bearing suicide weapons blasted themselves in the subway trains of the Moscow Metro.
  • The Best Redesign of Moscow Metropolitan Map 2013 Russia's leading internet and graphic design agency has won an online vote for the best redesign of the Moscow Metro map. Art. Lebedev Studio is a design company in Russia, founded in 1995 by Artemy Lebedev. They redrew the Moscow Metro map for a second time in three years, with even cleaner graphics and a raft of new details and won more than 50% of the online vote.

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About Me in Short

Guide, Driver and Photographer Arthur Lookyanov

My name's Arthur Lookyanov, I'm a private tour guide, personal driver and photographer in Moscow, Russia. I work in my business and run my website Moscow-Driver.com from 2002. Read more about me and my services , check out testimonials of my former business and travel clients from all over the World, hit me up on Twitter or other social websites. I hope that you will like my photos as well.

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Music icon Pink to perform at PNC Arena in 2024; Here's how to snag tickets

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- P!nk is a pop icon and has been so for decades. Her North Carolina fans will have a chance to see her this year!

On Monday Pink announced dates for her North American tour and it includes Raleigh.

She's bringing the tour to the PNC Arena in Raleigh on November 11, 2024. The show will feature a special guest and KidCutUp.

In 2023, Pink toured across arenas and stadiums worldwide and is now gearing up for her highly-anticipated North American tour, P!NK LIVE 2024.

According to Livenation, P!nk sold nearly 3 million tickets and grossed a staggering $350 million last year in her stops across Europe, the UK, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Her 2023 Summer Carnival Tour emerged as a standout, securing its position as one of the top-grossing tours of the year, as recognized by Billboard.

Pink released her last album "Trustfall" in 2023 and told Good Morning America it was her best yet.

How to get P!nk tickets

Tickets for the newly announced dates of P!NK LIVE 2024 Tour will be available starting with Citi and Verizon presales beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.

Presales: Citi is the official card of the P!NK LIVE 2024 Tour. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. until Thursday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. through the Citi Entertainment program.

Verizon will offer an exclusive presale for the P!NK LIVE 2024 Tour in the U.S through Verizon Up . Customers will have access to purchase presale tickets for these newly announced dates beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 10 AM until Thursday, Jan. 25 at 10 PM.

Facts about P!nk

  • Pink's real name is Alecia Beth Moore
  • Performed in Philadelphia nightclubs starting at age 14
  • Before going solo was a member of two separate girl groups: Basic Instinct and Choice
  • Released first solo album: "Can't Take Me Home" in 2000
  • After the album's release Pink opened for *NSYNC during the boy band's tour stops

Full list via People Magazine

SEE ALSO | Pink gives away 2,000 banned books at Florida "Trustfall Tour" concerts

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Moscow Metro Tour

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Description

Moscow metro private tours.

  • 2-hour tour $87:  10 Must-See Moscow Metro stations with hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • 3-hour tour $137:  20 Must-See Moscow Metro stations with Russian lunch in beautifully-decorated Metro Diner + hotel pick-up and drop off. 
  • Metro pass is included in the price of both tours.

Highlight of Metro Tour

  • Visit 10 must-see stations of Moscow metro on 2-hr tour and 20 Metro stations on 3-hr tour, including grand Komsomolskaya station with its distinctive Baroque décor, aristocratic Mayakovskaya station with Soviet mosaics, legendary Revolution Square station with 72 bronze sculptures and more!
  • Explore Museum of Moscow Metro and learn a ton of technical and historical facts;
  • Listen to the secrets about the Metro-2, a secret line supposedly used by the government and KGB;
  • Experience a selection of most striking features of Moscow Metro hidden from most tourists and even locals;
  • Discover the underground treasure of Russian Soviet past – from mosaics to bronzes, paintings, marble arches, stained glass and even paleontological elements;
  • Learn fun stories and myths about Coffee Ring, Zodiac signs of Moscow Metro and more;
  • Admire Soviet-era architecture of pre- and post- World War II perious;
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Sparrow Hills from Luzhniki Metro Bridge – MetroMost, the only station of Moscow Metro located over water and the highest station above ground level;
  • If lucky, catch a unique «Aquarelle Train» – a wheeled picture gallery, brightly painted with images of peony, chrysanthemums, daisies, sunflowers and each car unit is unique;
  • Become an expert at navigating the legendary Moscow Metro system;
  • Have fun time with a very friendly local;
  • + Atmospheric Metro lunch in Moscow’s the only Metro Diner (included in a 3-hr tour)

Hotel Pick-up

Metro stations:.

Komsomolskaya

Novoslobodskaya

Prospekt Mira

Belorusskaya

Mayakovskaya

Novokuznetskaya

Revolution Square

Sparrow Hills

+ for 3-hour tour

Victory Park

Slavic Boulevard

Vystavochnaya

Dostoevskaya

Elektrozavodskaya

Partizanskaya

Museum of Moscow Metro

  • Drop-off  at your hotel, Novodevichy Convent, Sparrow Hills or any place you wish
  • + Russian lunch  in Metro Diner with artistic metro-style interior for 3-hour tour

Fun facts from our Moscow Metro Tours:

From the very first days of its existence, the Moscow Metro was the object of civil defense, used as a bomb shelter, and designed as a defense for a possible attack on the Soviet Union.

At a depth of 50 to 120 meters lies the second, the coded system of Metro-2 of Moscow subway, which is equipped with everything you need, from food storage to the nuclear button.

According to some sources, the total length of Metro-2 reaches over 150 kilometers.

The Museum was opened on Sportivnaya metro station on November 6, 1967. It features the most interesting models of trains and stations.

Coffee Ring

The first scheme of Moscow Metro looked like a bunch of separate lines. Listen to a myth about Joseph Stalin and the main brown line of Moscow Metro.

Zodiac Metro

According to some astrologers, each of the 12 stops of the Moscow Ring Line corresponds to a particular sign of the zodiac and divides the city into astrological sector.

Astrologers believe that being in a particular zadiac sector of Moscow for a long time, you attract certain energy and events into your life.

Paleontological finds 

Red marble walls of some of the Metro stations hide in themselves petrified inhabitants of ancient seas. Try and find some!

  • Every day each car in  Moscow metro passes  more than 600 km, which is the distance from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
  • Moscow subway system is the  5th in the intensity  of use (after the subways of Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai).
  • The interval in the movement of trains in rush hour is  90 seconds .

What you get:

  • + A friend in Moscow.
  • + Private & customized Moscow tour.
  • + An exciting pastime, not just boring history lessons.
  • + An authentic experience of local life.
  • + Flexibility during the walking tour: changes can be made at any time to suit individual preferences.
  • + Amazing deals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the very best cafes & restaurants. Discounts on weekdays (Mon-Fri).
  • + A photo session amongst spectacular Moscow scenery that can be treasured for a lifetime.
  • + Good value for souvenirs, taxis, and hotels.
  • + Expert advice on what to do, where to go, and how to make the most of your time in Moscow.

Write your review

  • Preplanned tours
  • Daytrips out of Moscow
  • Themed tours
  • Customized tours
  • St. Petersburg

Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro Tour is included in most guided tours’ itineraries. Opened in 1935, under Stalin’s regime, the metro was not only meant to solve transport problems, but also was hailed as “a people’s palace”. Every station you will see during your Moscow metro tour looks like a palace room. There are bright paintings, mosaics, stained glass, bronze statues… Our Moscow metro tour includes the most impressive stations best architects and designers worked at - Ploshchad Revolutsii, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Kievskaya, Novoslobodskaya and some others.

What is the kremlin in russia?

The guide will not only help you navigate the metro, but will also provide you with fascinating background tales for the images you see and a history of each station.

And there some stories to be told during the Moscow metro tour! The deepest station - Park Pobedy - is 84 metres under the ground with the world longest escalator of 140 meters. Parts of the so-called Metro-2, a secret strategic system of underground tunnels, was used for its construction.

During the Second World War the metro itself became a strategic asset: it was turned into the city's biggest bomb-shelter and one of the stations even became a library. 217 children were born here in 1941-1942! The metro is the most effective means of transport in the capital.

There are almost 200 stations 196 at the moment and trains run every 90 seconds! The guide of your Moscow metro tour can explain to you how to buy tickets and find your way if you plan to get around by yourself.

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    3-hour tour $137: 20 Must-See Moscow Metro stations with Russian lunch in beautifully-decorated Metro Diner + hotel pick-up and drop off. ... At a depth of 50 to 120 meters lies the second, the coded system of Metro-2 of Moscow subway, which is equipped with everything you need, from food storage to the nuclear button. ...

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