The American road trip is a dream that almost everyone has had at one point or another. From Steinbeck to Kerouac, countless individuals have attempted to capture the oft-spoken elegance and sprawling wonder of the North American country known as the United States of America.

Yet, the journey across, around and amidst the states remains as daunting as ever. Until now.

Discovery News, with the help of Michigan State University doctoral candidate, Randy Olson, posed the question: is there such a thing as the perfect American road trip? According to their findings, there is.


So, get your buddies together. This route not only takes you all over the USA but also hits landmarks in each and every contiguous state.


You probably already have the perfect playlist ready, but now you have the perfect expedition to go along with it. This route is the most efficient way to see the most stuff on one trip.


Created using a sophisticated algorithm, this path allows you to start in any state – just hop on at the point that runs through yours and keep going until you’re back at your starting point!


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

Source: Discovery

As a bonus, Olson made a route that hits a ton of major US cities as well as a map that covers Europe. I need to start recruiting some good buddies and get out there – the (most efficient) road is waiting.

Share this with your friends, and don’t forget to call shotgun!