5 Epic Reasons You Should Visit All 50 States

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Traveling isn’t just about visiting a certain number of countries or checking off items on your imaginary bucket list. At least for us, it isn’t about either of these! However, when you have the opportunity to achieve a certain goal, you should embrace this. To visit all 50 states, for example, is not something that everyone has the opportunity to do. By the end of 2016 (or early 2017), we are hoping to have visited every US state and want to celebrate this achievement by reviewing each one that we have visited over the last 5 years.

A Collaborative Review

What better way to celebrate our achievement than by collaborating with some of our travel blogging friends from around the world who have also experienced each state (some of which have visited all 50 also!).

Over the next few weeks and months, we will be introducing a series of posts titled “5 Epic Reasons You Should Want to Visit [INSERT STATE]”. Each post will focus on promoting each state across America and specifically highlight 5 reasons why visitors should experience them.

We will update this list periodically with links to every post so that you can quickly access your favorite state and share your thoughts on why you love visiting there.

Why Travel USA?

If you read our article a couple of months ago discussing the difficulties in visiting all 50 states, you will realize that it isn’t as simple as it sounds. Distance, cost, time among other factors are all reasons why many people never accomplish the dream of exploring all 50 states.

But by the time we had visited around half of them, we realized that it was an achievable goal to experience all 50 and we want to celebrate this by hopefully inspiring others to visit as many of these as possible.

visit all 50 states

States such as New York, California and Florida will always attract visitors due to their iconic attractions, but what about the lesser known states such as Arkansas, Nebraska, and Delaware.

Are you aware of landmarks and attractions in these states? Have you ever considered visiting some of these lesser known locations? Over the next few months you will be introduced to a variety of states you may be unfamiliar with but hopefully, you will be encouraged to add some of them to your upcoming travel plans.

lincoln nebraska

Let’s start by sharing five generic reasons why we think you should explore all of the States. Be prepared to take your time traveling around because for those of you unfamiliar with the geography of North America, USA is an incredibly large country and each state is directly comparable with countries in Europe for example!

1. Natural Beauty

The United States of America is full of natural beauty. From the gorgeous landscapes throughout Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades in Florida, there is plenty to keep you interested as you explore everything the States has to offer.

visit all 50 states

2. Local Cuisine

Whether you want to sample some cajun delicacies in Louisiana or perhaps some local Texas barbecue, the majority of States have something unique that represents the community. We encourage you to taste local restaurants rather than the typical chain establishments that you can find across America.

new orleans cuisine

3. City vs Small Town

If you love the hustle and bustle of city life or simply prefer to relax in small town America, there is something for everyone. The ultimate 24-hour city of the world or a typical historic town along Route 66, USA has everything you could want to experience.

new york city

4. History

Although America is a relatively new nation in comparison to other countries around the world, if you an avid historian there is plenty here to keep you interested. From the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Civil Rights Movement in Little Rock, Arkansas there is a plethora of history waiting to be uncovered.

visit all 50 states

5. Melting Pot

The USA is a proud nation but at the same time is a melting pot of cultures. Diverse neighborhoods are prevalent throughout the country making this an attractive aspect for visitors who want to experience different cultures while exploring this beautiful nation.

melting pot in new york city

Why Visit Each State?

We would like to thank everyone in advance for contributing to this series! We will update the following links as we publish each post.

Summary

How many US states have you experienced? Which is your favorite? Whether you have a fond appreciation for natural beauty or perhaps you want to enjoy a little retail therapy on 5th Avenue in New York City, the United States has it all!

We started our journey in Arkansas and our final state will be either Hawaii or Alaska (at the time of publishing this post we are not sure which will be our final one!) but all 50 offer something unique. We hope that you enjoy all our reviews and perhaps you can add some of your favorite experiences in each of the states around this historic nation.

weekend wanderlust


34 COMMENTS

  1. Great points. My son is 14 and I think we need to grab the map and count up how many states we have been to as a family. Would be fun to make a plan to visit the rest before he finishes high school.

    We (and I mean me), focus so much on foreign countries, it’s easy to forget exploring our own country!

    • When we started out Alexa, it was never about visiting all 50 states! But then once you start counting them up and realize you have been to 30+…well it’s then kind of cool to start thinking about all 50. And hopefully by January 2017, Hawaii will be our final one. Hoping to book Alaska over Labor Day but we will see 🙂

      You are so correct about traveling internationally. You frequently forget what is right on your doorstep but honestly, why not try to have the best of both worlds (if you can of course!)? 🙂

    • It’s such a cool way to get around and see so many hidden gems around the States. Frequently when you fly, you miss out on a lot of experiences and just get to see the ‘top’ spots in and around a city which is fine but there is nothing quite like road tripping to get the full-on experience 🙂

  2. David and I just counted up the states we have visited and there are 44 of them. Six more and we will have done the lot. Can we get the 50 crossed off before you do? The punchline in this is that we don’t live in the U.S – we live in Australia. The U.S is a fantastic place to travel in even when you have to fly across the world to get here. p.s Tight now we are in Massachusetts.

    • That’s impressive Lyn!! Is that a challenge I hear from you? LOL! You have certainly been to more states than I bet a very high percentage of Americans. I arrived in the States in 2006 but Heather and I started our adventure together in 2010 so that’s when we started technically counting states that we have been to.

      BTW, which are the 6 states you have still to visit?

  3. I am super impressed by my mom-in-law who has been to all 50 states. She did most of them on roadtrips in the 1940’s and 1950’s with her parents. There were just 48 states back then, and she visited Hawaii and Alaska as an adult with her own kids after they became states.

    • That’s a cool story Michele, always like to hear how others achieved the magical number of 50! I can imagine it was much more difficult to visit the 48 states back in the 40s and 50s so kudos to her for achieving that. Of course, I am sure it was nice to experience the final two with her own kids.

  4. I have been to around half of the states. But the record’s not too impressive because most of that happened before I was 10. I got Alaska and Hawaii out of the way early, and then several road and train trips up the east coast, a bus trip between Miami and Los Angeles, and some more random trips to the mid-west filled out my list. And those are trips I’ve just repeated over and over. So I still have a big chunk of the top left corner (minus Washington State) to fill-up.

    • Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to experience the other 50% of the states that you are missing. Regardless of how many you visit, I think the most intriguing aspect is exploring as much as you can and appreciating the beauty that surrounds you. It’s not about hitting all 50 states, that just kind of happens with time in my opinion. Sure once you hit a number it will cross your mind to go for all 50, it’s cool to do right…but the reality is that even if you can only travel in and around your own back yard, just getting out and exploring is the most important aspect! 🙂

  5. My husband and I have each visited all 50 states – by the time we turned 51. So all 50 states in 50 years. And we are always asked our favorites – to which we reply the state we currently live in – and Hawaii. Hawaii has it all.

    • That’s a cool achievement and has a nice ring to it…50 states in 50 years! You could probably write an intriguing story with that headline 🙂 Given that Hawaii is one of our final 2 states to hit, I will have to reserve my judgement but I definitely take your word for it given the positive feedback I have received from other folks on this beautiful set of islands.

  6. Great post, I have a huge fascination with America and it’s on my bucket list to visit all of the states.. In a couple of years I hope to do a big roadtrip around America!

    • Thanks so much for your kind comments Rachel! It’s always nice to hear people responding with such an appreciation and positive remarks. A road trip around America is definitely the way to go if you have the time to pull it off. I could imagine doing an epic trip around all 48 states and then maybe even driving from Seattle all the way to Alaska before flying over to Hawaii…now that would be one awesome trip to hit all 50 in one go 🙂

  7. I would love to visit every state! Now that we’re starting a family, it’s likely we’ll be switching our travel gears away from international travel for a while and focus on the U.S. You’re right – there is a TON of stuff to experience here! Virginia happens to be my favorite state, and I’m proud to call myself a Virginian due to the history, natural attractions, and cultural melting pot found here. 🙂

    • That’s great that you are focused on exploring more of the United States! I know as avid travelers we all love the idea of exploring all corners of the globe but reality has to set in at some point and make us realize that sometimes you just have to look in your own back yard to travel more. There is so much to see here in the States and once you start getting out and exploring them…well, you will be on your way to hitting 50 in no time! 🙂 We LOVE Virginia by the way, so much history to learn about!

  8. I’d love to road trip all over the States at some stage. I’ve spent some time on the west and east coasts but the middle is largely undiscovered for me. I read an amazing blog post about Utah recently and the landscapes look incredible.

    • Utah is beyond spectacular! It is definitely in our top 3 favorite states just because of the amazing scenery and the Mighty 5 national parks that are all equally breathtaking. Can’t wait to go back and explore more! There is A LOT to see in the middle but sounds like you have the right plan with a road trip…it’s the best way to discover many of those lesser known states because trying to fly into each of them can get expensive pretty quickly given that many of the states don’t have major international airports.

  9. Covering all 50 States is a challenge. I grew up taking road trips across the country, deep into Mexico and Canada. It’s time to count up which States I’ve missed. Your list is a good spur! #weekendwanderlust

    • Thanks Elaine! We LOVE taking road trips and it’s by far the best way to explore a lot of the states. It really is more difficult than many people think to visit all 50 states. We are almost there and it’s nice to reflect on our experiences. But even when we hit the magic #50, there will still be so much more that we have to experience in all 50 states! Just encourages us to keep traveling right 🙂

  10. Great list of reasons – and I love the cars zig-zagging down the flower covered hill! I manged to visit 15 States when I lived in the US for 6 months a few years ago – but would love to get back to cover the rest! #weekendwanderlust

    • Ah, the iconic Lombard Street in San Francisco 🙂 Love how you noted that as one of your favorite images in this post. It’s a cool experience to see the vehicles winding down the street for sure! Thanks so much for your kind comments Vicki, hope you have the opportunity to head back over Stateside and explore more of the beauty here.

  11. I have the desire to visit all the States. I have not been actively working towards the goal since I am trying to travel outside the country as much as possible (for now). But, I am really excited about the opportunity to learn more about this country. I now the possibilities ar eended.

    • You are so right Ruth about endless opportunites around USA! Whether you love natural beauty or prefer the urban lifestyle, there is pretty much everything you could wish for in the United States. With so much to see though, it takes a long time to experience just a small amount of what there is to offer. We have been incredibly fortunate to hit 48 states so far and of course we are excited about reaching 50, but what is more important to us is being able to keep traveling and experiencing everything else that is out there that we still have to discover!

  12. If you haven’t been to Nebraska (my homestate), I’d recommend visiting for its delicious steaks, never-ending fields of corn, sandhill crane migration in the spring (great for photos), small towns and the friendly local folks! 🙂 There’s so much we haven’t seen in the US, but right now we’re tackling the rest of the world as we live abroad.

    • We had a great time in Nebraska! We spent some time in Omaha before heading over to explore Lincoln (really cool State Capitol by the way!) and then just road tripped through the state before crossing into Kansas. Definitely concur with your comments about the state in general, great food and really friendly folks…what more could you ask for 🙂 Thanks for your comment Joy and good luck with your travels around the world!

  13. Great post. This is really useful list while we are in USA. I have noted down all the places. I am planning for USA visit. I would like to visit all these places.Lets see for how much days I will get to stay there. Thanks for sharing.

    • We are glad that you have found this beneficial! There are so many places in USA to experience and we would never be able to share everywhere but at least you have a start and if you have any questions about any of the states, please let us know Vidya!

  14. Love this collaborative idea, I wish I could say I had been to more than a handful of the US states. Great inspiration! We are off to Florida this summer which is exciting, and I hope to tick off all of the things you mentioned!

    • Thanks Amanda for your comments! We actually just got back from a 4th of July trip to Florida, though this time we just hit the north-east corner with Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Where are you planning on visiting in FL?

  15. My grandparents visited all 50 states and every continent! They did some trips almost 2 months long just in the U.S. and they were not wealthy people. I’ve made it one of my life’s goals to do the same…. or at least all 50! I’m not yet halfway there but I just got started and like the idea of spending more time in a place to really get to know it and it’s people. I guess it really will take me my whole life at that rate, haha. However, the few trips I’ve done have absolutely all made it into my most enjoyable experiences ever.

    • Good luck with your quest! Kudos to your grandparents as well because that’s an amazing accomplishment, we would love to be able to do the same though visiting every continent may be a little trickier (and expensive!) than the US state. I really love your idea Leslie of spending as much time as possible in each state. Spending time there is how you really learn a culture rather than just bypassing everything the locals see and simply visiting the tourist attractions.

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