How much of America have you really seen? If you’ve got 2-3 months and adventure on the brain, you might want to consider Dr. Randal S. Olson’s ultimate United States road trip.
Dr. Olson works as a Senior Data Scientist, and in his free time he works on a multitude of awesome projects… like finding the best way to drive around the US. He used a mathematical equation to compute the most ideal route that allowed travelers to stop in all 48 contiguous states, while seeing the best of the US.
Prior to mapping out the route, Dr. Olson set a few rules for the end results: The car must go through all 48 contiguous states, stops are only permitted at National sites (monuments, parks, etc.) and the entire road trip must stay within the perimeters of US borders.
The end result was better than Olson ever even hoped for. He writes on his blog, “The result was an epic itinerary with a mix of inner city exploration, must-see historical sites, and beautiful natural landscapes. All that was left was to figure out the path that would minimize our time spent driving and maximize our time spent enjoying the landmarks.”
With good weather, clear roads and no unforeseen delays, the entire trip would take around 224 hours (over 9 days) of straight driving. Yet, if you get out and enjoy all of the destinations you can expect to spend closer to 2-3 months traveling.
Here’s an outline of the map he created:
And a list of all locations in order:
Even if you don’t have time to complete the entire itinerary, you can at least travel through portions of Dr. Olson’s master plan.