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One Man’s Perfect Road Trip (51 Photos)

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There’s a popular story out right now from Discovery that shows the “perfect” road trip as designed by a computer algorithm. The algorithm not only factors in popular tourist destinations, but also plans for the most efficient route. This goes against the essence of what a road trip should be. A road trip should take us away from the hectic schedules that everyday life throws at us. From work to our kids ever-increasing activities and events, hitting the open road is a chance to rejuvenate ourselves. To connect again with our adventurous spirit.

We American have a love affair with our cars and the open road, and nothing appeals to us more than “the cross-country” trip. Driving is built into our cultural DNA. It transports us back to a better, simpler time. Some of my best memories of road trips are not from the things we planned to see, but from things discovered along the way.

We are blessed to live in this vast country of extraordinary ecological diversity. You can drive for twelve hours and never leave the state of Texas, or you can drive for an hour and pass through the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico at the Four Corners.

From my time in the military and during my career, I have been fortunate to see quite of bit of this great country. But, I have barely scratched the surface. This country is big, and there is still so much I want to see.

Below is my list of destinations I would like to see in all fifty states and DC. I built this list from the heart, not an algorithm. There are a few places on this list I have already visited, but would certainly welcome the opportunity to see again. I would love to hear in the comments which places are on your list.

Alabama – The U.S. Space & Rocket Center

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Alaska – Denali National Park

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Arizona – Grand Canyon National Park

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Arkansas – Hot Springs National Park

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California – Yosemite National Park

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Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park

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Connecticut – Mystic Seaport

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Delaware – Air Mobility Command Museum

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Florida – Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

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Georgia – Okefenokee Swamp

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Hawaii – Volcanos National Park

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Idaho – Sawtooth National Recreation Area

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Illinois – Starved Rock State Park

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Indiana – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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Iowa – Field of Dreams

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Kansas – Dodge City

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Kentucky – Wild Turkey Distillery

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Louisiana – The New Orleans French Quarter

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Maine – Acadia National Park

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Maryland – Antietam National Battlefield

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Massachusetss – Lexington Battle Green

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Michigan – Mackinac Island

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Minnesota – Superior National Forest and Boundry Waters Wilderness Area

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Mississippi -Vicksburg National Military Park

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Missouri – The Gateway Arch

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Montana – Glacier National Park

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Nebraska – Strategic Air & Space Museum

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Nevada – Hoover Dam

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New Hampshire – The Cog Railway

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New Jersey Thomas Edison National Historic Park

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New Mexico – White Sands National Monument

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New York – Niagara Falls

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North Carolina – The Wright Brothers National Memorial

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North Dakota – Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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Ohio – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Oklahoma – Route 66

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Oregon – Crater Lake National Park

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Pennsylvania – Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell

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Rhode Island – The Breakers

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South Carolina – Charleston

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South Dakota – Mount Rushmore

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Tennessee – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Texas – The Alamo

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Utah – Bryce Canyon National Park

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Vermont – Stowe

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Virginia – Thomas Jefferson’s Home at Monticello

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Washington – Olympic National Park

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West Virginia – Blackwater Falls State Park

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Wisconsin – The Harley Davidson Museum

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Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park

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Washington DC – Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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