Have you ever dreamed of taking some time off in the summer and traveling to every one of the lower 48 states in the USA? How about doing it in nine days? Scientists have figured out the perfect route.

Brilliant! A scientist by the name of Randall Olson did just that. His goal was to route the eager traveler to each of the lower 48 states stopping at a notable destination. His criteria for coming up with the road map was based on three factors:

  1. The trip must make at least one stop in all 48 states in the contiguous U.S.

  2. The trip would only make stops at National Natural Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Parks, or National Monuments.

  3. The trip must be taken by car and never leave the U.S.

If you drove straight through you could do the trip in nine days (assuming optimal driving conditions) If you wanted to really enjoy each stop and spend a little time,  the trip would take two to three months to complete.

Some of the notable stops here in the Midwest include:


  • Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
  • West Baden Springs Hotel, IN
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Home, IL
  • Gateway Arch, MO
  • Taliesin, WI
  • Des Moines, IA


Wanna give it a try? Click HERE check out Randal's interactive map he put together with the exact route and stops for each state.