The Ultimate Summer Road Trip

April 6, 2018

(Photo by Alan Solomon/Chicago Tribune/MCT/Sipa USA)


This best way to see the U.S.A. is by car (or RV, if you prefer). There are so many wonderful things to see, and unique places to visit. But if you want to visit every state (except Alaska and Hawaii), and see one thing in each of those states, then you need a mathematical formula to compute the most efficient route.

First, Tracy Staedter from Discovery News took to determining the one thing in each state that should be visited. Then she enlisted Randal Olson, a data expert, to determine the best way to accomplish visiting each of those landmarks in the shortest amount of time.

The criteria was simple: 

  1. The trip must stop in each of the 48 contiguous states.
  2. Every stop must be a National Landmark, Historic Site, National Park, or National Monument.

The final result? This route totals 13,699 miles and would take over nine days of actual drive time. 

Click here to see the entire route, and the landmarks you'd visit in each of the 48 states.