Scientists Say This is the Ultimate U.S. Road Trip

Scientists Say This is the Ultimate U.S. Road Trip


Are you looking to explore the US? Do you like road trips? According to science, this is the ultimate US road trip.

Yes, if you’re thinking about taking a road trip across the United States, the ultimate US road trip has finally been mapped out for your convenience. It was planned by Doctor Randy Olson, a senior data scientist at the University of Pennsylvania. The idea was proposed to him by Tracy Staedter of Discovery News.  

But How?

Olson employed a sophisticated genetic algorithm that came up with the best routes and the lowest amount of backtracking.  He reports the trip will require driving a total of 13,699 miles or 224 hours of driving. If you wanted to drive the entire circular route in one long road trip you would need (numerically-speaking) approximately 9.33 days. Olson says, however, that in reality, it would actually take between two and three months to do it.

True Distance

 The map uses “true distance” or the shortest route by road between every landmark. Additionally, this road trip map even allows you to start and finish in your home state. You simply consult the map to locate your home starting point. Then, you follow the mapped out route until you arrive back home.

This road trip across the continental US is so well-conceived that you will be able to visit every single important landmark in each of the 48 (continental) states. Just get your friends in the car, crank up the tunes, hit the gas and drive. Let’s go!

The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip/Image: Dr. Randy Olson/Google

The Landmarks

  1. Grand Canyon, AZ
  2. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  3. Craters of the Moon National Monument, 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, New Orleans, 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, DC
  21. Colonial Annapolis Historic District, MD
  22. New Castle Historic District, Delaware
  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, Detroit, 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