We’ve featured the work of Brian DeFrees and his epic time lapse video before.
Brian made a map of his 12,000 mile, 2 month journey across the US, and although it looked as if Brian saw just about every major landmark in the US during his trip, truth be told he missed a few major attractions along the way.
Is there a perfect route for seeing all the national landmarks in the United States in the least amount of time? Probably not. But one data scientist tried coming up with a mostly perfect route.
What’s the Best Route to See All Major US Landmarks?
- no state (of the contiguous 48) would get left out, and the route would make at least one stop in each state
- the stops would include either a National Natural Landmark, National Historic Site, National Park, or a National Monument
- you could make the trip using just a car or RV (no airplanes, boats, etc.)
Since it would take millions of years of computing time to chug through each possible itinerary , Randal and Tracy had to compromise on a ‘pretty good route’, one that’s still based on a computer algorithm that Randall developed, and also used in finding an optimal way to locate Waldo.
Here’s the route.
And how long might this trip take?
Randal says that if there weren’t any traffic (or road construction) you’d need 9.33 days of driving time. Factor in normal travel times though, and you’re looking at a two to three month long trip.
If you’re of the programming bent, Randal has made his Python code freely available, so you can make your own custom – and optimal – road trip.
Want one for Europe? Randal also has the code for a European road trip too.
Randal says that his software will help perfect any sized trip, whether just through your own home state or around the entire world.
Optimal trip planning resources:
- Randal’s blog article on his optimal US road trip
- View Randal’s interactive road-trip map
- Another map with a route that stops at popular American cities
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