Have you ever counted which of the 50 states you have ever been to? Well one of the fun things my wife and I do is count all the states we’ve been to, in an attempt to get to all 50! Hoping to get there within the next few years.
How many do you have? Have you counted?
One of the things that one must consider is, “what is the criteria for adding a state?”
Some might reason that simply crossing the border considers yourself as seeing a state. Or even having a stopover on a plane in a particular state. Do those things count?
Well lets consider the criteria……
Criteria for Adding a New State to Your List
In my estimation, adding a state should be ONLY and ONLY IF you did something worthwhile in that state. While that might bum some of you out knowing your state total might be down a few, it is the ONLY fair way to do it…
If you have never been to Iowa, and someone asks you “what did you see in Iowa?” What could you possibly say? “Yes I loved the airport,” or “Yes I did, the sign just over the border is beautiful!” To me, that is just flat out ridiculous.
That means cross out any states in which you previously thought you have “SEEN” and really only “SAW” for a brief moment or from a mile high in the sky. Do something memorable in each stop.
That does not mean you have to spend more then 1 day in each stop, it simply means SEE something noteworthy or memorable. Whether that takes you a day, a week, or a month.
Here is the criteria in a nutshell for adding new states:
- See something memorable or noteworthy in every state you add
- Stopovers or border hopping do NOT count
- Preferably try to see the main sights or cities of a particular state (E.g. in South Dakota try to see Mount Rushmore)
With this newfound criteria, chances are your state numbers have dwindled a bit… Don’t fret. Now we are going to focus on easy ways to add a ton of states faster then you can imagine!
How to Add States Quickly
The good news is while their are outliers, such as Hawaii and Alaska, you can see the other 48 states strikingly fast with a few tricks and tips. What do I mean tricks and tips? Simply put, rather then seeing 1 state at a time you can see 4 states in the course of a weekend.
Here are some ways to do it:
- Take a Cross Country Road Trip. This is really easy if you live on one of the coasts. You can drive from one coast to the other. Go a way in which you can see the most amount of possible states possible. Then take you time to see something in each new state. You can sometimes add up to 10-15 new states doing it this way! Obviously the longer the better.
- Drive up the East Coast. That is an easy way to add 15 states! And the East Coast has some real beautiful sights and coastline to see in most of its states.
- Spend Weekends in Border Cities. Spending a weekend in Kansas City makes very possible seeing Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. Not bad huh? Or a weekend in Memphis makes seeing Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama all possible. There a ton of cool cities that happen to be really close to other states. This can make it really easy and fun! Think outside the box. But remember, don’t just cross the border 🙂 do something!
What to See in Each State
This is up to each individual, but my recommendation is see the main sights or cities in each state.
If your in NY, go to the city first. If your in Wyoming, go to Yellowstone first. But some states such as Florida, Texas, and California have so many big cities and sights that it makes it hard to choose what to see. How do I decide in that case?
Do what interests you the most! Simple as that. All that matters is you see something 🙂