The route will take me to these states in this order: Washington (my home state), Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and finally back to Washington.
The states in bold are the ones I haven’t visited yet, and that’s one of the main reasons for this trip. By the time I reach Michigan, I will have driven in all 48 contiguous states. Alaska and Hawaii will have to wait for next year.
Another major feature of this journey is searching out and consuming the best local cuisine all over the country. I’ll have barbecue in the west, craft beer in Colorado, southern food in Mississippi, Creole in New Orleans, cheesesteak in Philadelphia, pizza in New York, seafood in Maine, buffalo wings in Buffalo, and more pizza in Chicago.
Of course, there will also be a lot of beautiful and historical places to stop along the way. I’ll be driving through the Bonneville Salt Flats, hiking in the Colorado Rockies, visiting Gulf and East Coast beaches, driving across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, meandering through the Appalachians, visiting the Smithsonian and nearby memorials in DC, the US Mint in Philadelphia, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, Craters of the Moon in Idaho, and topping it all off with a boat ride on the Snake River through Hells Canyon.
Finally, here is a current map of the states I’ve already visited. I will include updated maps as I go.