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The Ultimate US Roadtrip, According To Science

Got a spare 9.33 days?

Gone are the days when going on an adventure meant simply packing the esky, getting into the car and tearing off, nothing between you and your unknown destination but the open road.

In our hyper-connected age, it was always inevitable that algorithms would get into the mix – and now they finally have. Thanks to Randy Olson, a PhD candidate at Michigan State University, we now know how to take the ultimate US road trip. Olson has determined the optimal routes between 50 major landmarks, historical sites, national parks and national monuments across the US.


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His 22,050-kilometre journey covers all 48 states on the mainland, and would take about 224 hours (or about 9.33 days) to complete. However, for normal people who are interested in actually stopping to see the sights instead of zooming past them, Olson estimates that the loop would take two or three months to complete.

Randy Olson’s optimal US roadtrip. Click here for the active map.

Don’t feel like spending hours driving through the rural flatlands of the American midwest (it’s called “flyover country” for a reason)? Not to worry: Olson has also released a slightly altered route that avoids North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia altogether. Make of that what you will.

(h/t The Bold Italic. Lead image The Friendly Fiend/Flickr)

Plan your next US adventure with Qantas.