If you’re like most travelers, you have a full bucket list of things you want to do in your lifetime.
One of my bucket list goals is to visit all 50 states in the USA. From talking to other travelers, I’ve learned that the best way to accomplish this goal is to pick a city that borders several states and take day trips from one state to the next.
Take advantage of staying in a central location, and you’ll be much closer to crossing all 50 states off your bucket list.
Let me show you how to do this, starting in a city like Columbus.
Photo via Flickr by Always Shooting
Columbus, Ohio is the perfect city for adventurous travelers who want to see all 50 states. It’s near several other fun cities like Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Detroit, which are all in different states.
Book your hotel in Columbus and plan to check out nearby cities during the day. Don’t forget to explore Columbus, which is the capital of Ohio and has a plethora of historic sites. Plus, Cleveland isn’t far away and offers magnificent views of Lake Erie. Music lovers will enjoy the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
After a three-hour drive east from Columbus, you’ll arrive in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Known for its natural beauty, Pittsburgh is also popular among movie producers. With its long list of attractions and activities like the Phipps Conservatory and the National Aviary, Pittsburgh is a city that you’ll want more time to explore.
Pittsburgh also has lots of beer gardens for those who enjoy trying new brews. In fact, you’ll run out of time during your day trip before you’ll run out of options for drinks.
Just under three hours west of Columbus is Indianapolis, Indiana.
Popular attractions here include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, which showcases the history of racing and displays rare race cars. While you could spend a lot of time at the museum, you don’t want to miss getting a quick look at Indianapolis monuments like the Central Canal and Indiana War Memorial.
For a relaxing day, head over to Eagle Creek Park and stroll through the greenery.
Head north toward the shores of Lake Erie, and you’ll hit Detroit, Michigan. The drive is a bit longer than three hours, but your destination will be worth the extra time.
This blue-collar city has long been known as a pillar of the auto industry. Now it’s a vibrant city featuring beautiful new architecture and attractions that will make you want to check out Detroit 2.0. Visit the Motown Museum and the Detroit Historical Museum for a taste of the city.
Like the other trips you’ll take on your quest to visit all 50 states, this trip is like a sampler platter. Most items are great for a bite or two, but you’ll want more of others.
When you discover a city you love, put it on your to-do list and take a friend on your return trip.