3 to go!

Yesterday, Frasier and I were talking about my quest to visit all 50 states, and the fact that I may have a chance to get to the last three (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire) if I accompany Matt to his work conferences again this fall. They’re responsible for my first foray into New England last year.

We were discussing what constitutes a ‘visit’: does it count to just set foot in the state, or to drive through it, or do you have to spend time there? I’ve always counted setting foot in the state, though I disqualify that if I’ve only been to the airport (that really only applies in Amsterdam… it’s the only place where I’ve been a few times but haven’t left the airport). Anyway, I decided to figure out where I’ve been in each state, because there are probably some I should revisit for technical reasons. Like the fact that I’ve only spent about 20 minutes in Arizona.

  • Alabama
    I’ve driven across the Gulf Coast twice, and been to Mobile and the beach on Dauphin Island. I’ve also had their crappy boiled peanuts from a roadside vendor.
  • Alaska
    Spent 2 days in Anchorage, 2 days in Seward, and three at Denali National Park. Visited Talkeetna, Hope, Kenai, and Soldotna, and glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park.
  • Arizona
    I’ve actually driven in Arizona twice: I drove across the Hoover Dam and turned around, and I also cut through the corner driving back from Vegas, between Mesquite, Nevada and St George, Utah. As far as I’m aware, I’ve never actually set foot in Arizona, though.
  • Arkansas
    Once many years ago while visiting Kansas City, we drove to Bentonville and visited the Wal-Mart Museum (which is in the original Wal-Mart store). I hate Wal-Mart, as you probably know, so it was pretty great.
  • California
    I’ve driven down the coast of California (I took highway 1 from Crescent City – the first time I saw the Pacific! –  to San Francisco) . I’ve spent about a little over a week total in San Francisco, several days in LA, and a few days in San Diego, where I took the trolley to Tijuana. I’ve also visited Yosemite, and took the classic Fear and Loathing drive through Baker and Barstow to Vegas.
  • Colorado
    I’ve spent time in Denver (saw the Dalai Lama speak there!), at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, and I’ve hiked in the Rockies. I also visited Mesa Verda when I was staying in Santa Fe.
  • Connecticut
    While Matt was speaking at a conference in Worcester, I drove through Connecticut to visit Mystic Seaport.
  • Delaware
    I’ve driven through the toll-laden hellhole that is Delaware between Washington DC and NYC. I’m also fairly certain we drove up the eastern part of the state; we took the Chesapeake Bay bridge and hugged the coast heading up toward Annapolis, but I’m not sure whether we went through Delaware or stuck to Maryland.
  • Florida
    I’ve been to Orlando about as many times as the average American. Maybe a few more, since my brother and his family live there. I’ve also been to Tampa, St Augustine, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Key West.
  • Georgia
    Apart from a million layovers at ATL, I’ve spent a few nights in Atlanta, a few more nights in Savannah (and Tybee Island), had lunch in Macon, and visited Juliette.
  • Hawaii
    Spent a week on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. We just decided we’re going back in October!!
  • Idaho
    I’ve only driven through Idaho on my way from Montana to Washington, though I did have lunch and shop in Sandpoint, which is far fancier than one would expect of Idaho.
  • Illinois
    I grew up in Chicago. I’ve only seen south-of-Chicagoland a few times on my way through to the south, though. It’s better known as “Kentuckinois”.
  • Indiana
    I know I’ve been to Indiana more than I recall, but I’ve spent time in Gary (yep), Indianapolis, and I’ve taken the interstate through and back to the east coast more than once.
  • Iowa
    Des Moines a couple times, and the Quad Cities.
  • Kansas
    I’ve been in KCK a few times while visiting Kansas City, and I’ve taken the turnpike through to Texas.
  • Kentucky
    There have been a couple unfortunate layovers (both a surprise) at the Cincinnati airport (in KY), and a related night at the hotel there. I’ve driven through Kentucky on the way back from the southeast. (I’ve totally been to the Colonel Sanders Museum in Corbin, near Lexington.) Also, I got sick from a Waffle House in Paducah, and have driven through the Land Between the Lakes twice.
  • Louisiana
    New Orleans twice, and Baton Rouge when we drove through from Mississippi.
  • Maryland
    I’ve visited Baltimore a couple times, and Annapolis once.
  • Massachusetts
    Matt and I went to Boston for the first time last year, when he had to attend a conference in Worcester. Hoping to do the same again this fall!
  • Michigan
    I’ve been to Upper Michigan twice a year for most of my life, since my grandparents lived there. I’ve also been to Detroit twice.
  • Minnesota
    I live here. About the only part of Minnesota I haven’t been to is the northwest corner, north of Crookston.
  • Mississippi
    Drove from Memphis to New Orleans down the Great River Road, which took us through the horrible armpit of America. I learned to play blackjack and skeet-shoot in Tunica. A crazy man threw bottles at us in Vicksburg. I’ve also driven across the Gulf Coast twice and spent time in Biloxi.
  • Missouri
    I’ve been to Kansas City several times, and St Louis once. Also St Joseph and Carthage to visit scary roadside attractions.
  • Montana
    I drove across Montana on highway 2, hiked in Glacier National Park, and spent two nights in the middle of nowhere.
  • Nebraska
    I’ve driven through Nebraska four times. My only stops there have been to use the bathroom or eat. There’s really not much to stop for in Nebraska.
  • Nevada
    Been to Vegas 5 times, and visited the Hoover Dam and Mojave Desert.
  • New Jersey
    I visited New Jersey at least once as a kid, because my aunt and uncle lived there. Otherwise, I’ve pretty much just driven through on the way from DC to NYC.
  • New Mexico
    I’ve spent more than a week in New Mexico, between Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Taos. I could spend much more time there, as it’s one of my favorite places.
  • New York
    I was in NYC as a teenager and again almost 10 years ago, and I’ve driven though upstate to places like Cooperstown and Niagara Falls.
  • North Carolina
    Drove up the east coast: Wilmington, Morehead City, Outer Banks.
  • North Dakota
    I’ve been to Fargo and Grand Forks for a few unspectacular visits, and also spent time in Dickinson with Cindi’s family.
  • Ohio
    Drove through a couple times on the way to/from the east coast, and visited Cleveland once. I remember what the outside of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame looks like, and that’s about it.
  • Oklahoma
    Drove through on the way to and from Texas. Stopped to see Oklahoma City, shortly after the bombing. Depressing, as expected.
  • Oregon
    I visited friends in Portland, and spent the night in Roseburg on my way to California.
  • Pennsylvania
    Visited Philadelphia a couple times, once as a kid and once as an adult. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Pittsburgh!
  • Rhode Island
    I only spent a couple hours driving around Rhode Island, mostly lost in Providence.
  • South Carolina
    A couple visits to Charleston, and otherwise I’ve only been up the coast: Hilton Head, Beaufort, Myrtle Beach, and the infamous South of the Border.
  • South Dakota
    We go here a lot lately, thanks to a boy I live with who grew up in Watertown! I’ve also been to the Black Hills and Badlands at least three times. We visited Sioux Falls recently, too.
  • Tennessee
    I’ve been to Nashville three times, Memphis once, Murfreesboro for Bonnaroo,  and Lynchburg twice for the Jack Daniels Distillery.
  • Texas
    We stayed with my ex’s mom in Fort Worth and visited Dallas, Houston, Waco, and San Antonio.
  • Utah
    I’ve only driven through Utah once on the way back from Vegas, but it’s gorgeous and I want to go back.
  • Virginia
    As I’ve been to DC many times, I’ve spent a lot of time nearby in Virginia. I’ve also been to Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Richmond.
  • Washington
    My first visit was on my west coast trip, when I weht to Spokane, Mount Rainer, and drove up to Vancouver in addition to Seattle. Matt and I went back to Seattle to hang out with Steve and Colleen at Bumbershoot a couple years ago, too.
  • West Virginia
    Like Arizona, I’ve only driven a little ways into West Virginia, just to have been there.
  • Wisconsin
    I’ve spent far more time in Wisconsin than is probably healthy.
  • Wyoming
    Haven’t been to Wyoming for at least 10 years, but we visited Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Casper, and Devil’s Tower when I was a kid, and saw Devil’s Tower again when I was older.

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