United States Road Trip!

optimal road trip USA

Have you seen the “Optimal road trip around the USA” map that’s been making the rounds online? We thought it looked pretty exciting, so we looked up the details.

It looks like the compiler of the map and a buddy wanted to see what kind of road trip would hit the biggest (as they determined them) landmarks in all 48 lower states. We’ll attach the list below. Then they set up a computer program to find out the optimal way to travel between them.

Obviously, the trip isn’t going to be perfect. For one thing, I bet you can think of more than one place in your state that’s worth seeing. For another, the ‘fastest’ route is not always the ‘best.’ The third problem, that it’s probably not perfectly optimal, is a harder question. (See the Traveling Salesman Problem.)

On the other hand, if you have the time to spare (And it would be a lot of time- just the driving takes 9 1/3 days! Not counting eating, sleeping, and actually stopping at the landmarks.), this could be a pretty incredible way to get a whirlwind tour of these remarkable states we live in.

What about you? Would you go? What do you think people should see in your state?

The List:

  • Arizona’s Grand Canyon
  • Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument found in Idaho
  • Yellowstone National Park of Wyoming
  • Colorado’s Pikes Peak
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park found in New Mexico
  • The Alamo of Texas
  • The Platt Historic District found in Oklahoma
  • Toltec Mounds of Arkansas
  • Elvis Presley’s Graceland of Tennessee
  • Vicksburg National Military Park found in Mississippi
  • French Quarter of New Orleans in Louisiana
  • USS Alabama in Alabama state
  • Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
  • Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp Park
  • Fort Sumter National Monument found in South Carolina
  • West Virginia’s Lost World Caverns
  • Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center in North Carolina
  • Mount Vernon in Virginia
  • Washington DC’s White House
  • Colonial Annapolis Historic District of Maryland
  • Delaware’s New Castle Historic District
  • Cape May Historic District found in New Jersey
  • Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania
  • New York’s Statue of Liberty
  • The Mark Twain House & Museum found in Connecticut
  • The Breakers up in Rhode Island
  • USS Constitution found in Massachusetts
  • Maine’s Acadia National Park
  • Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire
  • Shelburne Farms of Vermont
  • Fox Theater found in Detroit, Michigan
  • Spring Grove Cemetery of Ohio
  • Mammoth Cave National Park found in Kentucky
  • West Baden Springs Hotel of Indiana
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Home found in Illinois
  • Gateway Arch in Missouri
  • Kansas’ C. W. Parker Carousel Museum
  • Iowa’s Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion
  • Taliesin found in Wisconsin
  • Fort Snelling in Minnesota
  • Ashfall Fossil Bed found in Nebraska
  • South Dakota’s famous Mount Rushmore
  • North Dakota’s Fort Union Trading Post
  • Glacier National Park in Montana
  • Hanford Site found in Washington
  • Columbia River Highway in Oregon
  • San Francisco Cable Cars in California
  • San Andreas Fault found in California
  • Hoover Dam in Nevada

The Map:


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