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I tried to find out how many states the average American has visited, I came up with an article from 1988 stating that a study found the average is 20 states. I'm sure if I spent some time searching I could find a more current answer but that sounds about right in my circle of family and friends.

 

I'm curious, if you have been to only a few states (around 10), have you traveled extensively within those states.

 

If you have been to most of the states (35+), have you just driven through? Spent a few days there?

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My grandfather has probably been to 15 states at the most but I would bet it's closer to 10. His family has been in east Texas for 200+ years. I would say he knows a 100 mile radius extremely well having lived in that area his entire life. With the exception of my dad (and my dad's children/grandchildren) all his family has lived in that area too so he never felt the need to travel much. He was also a pastor so he didn't travel much for work either.

 

My BIL has only left his home state 3 or 4 times in his life. He's a farmer with a lot of cattle and land so it's hard to get away. He's farming his grandparent's land, so again he has deep roots in the area. I bet he knows every person and business in his county and the counties surrounding his farm.

 

I've been to 42 states. I've spent the night in all but a handful of those. I would say that other than the four states I have lived in, I have not travelled extensively in many of those states, but at least spent the day. Most of my travel has been to visit family or related to my husband's work.

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I've been to about 40 states.  Some of them I just drove through.  Some I vacationed at for a day or so.  Some I've been to many times.  Some for business, some for pleasure.

 

One year my whole vacation was Utah.  It takes a long time to see all the major sights in Utah.  :)   Alaska too.  :)

Edited by SKL
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I've visited 47 states. 12 of those I've only driven through once and just spent a few hours in them. The others I've spent more time in. We've moved around some. So I've lived in Oregon, California, New Mexico, Missouri and West Virginia. I've had family or good friends living in several other states including Washington and Massachusetts. So in the states I've lived in, I know the whole states fairly well. In the ones where I've visited friends and family, I tend to just know the city or region they live in. Other states I'v visited, I just know the popular tourist destinations. 

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I've spent at least one night in 9 states:

 

Lived in MO and IL

Vacation in FL

Band trips in high school to WI and OK

Visited family or friends in IN, WV (too young to remember), and TN

And a random one-night stay in IA.

 

I have been to KS and OH, but haven't spent a night there. Drove through KY, MS, and AL. So 11 plus 3 drive throughs.

 

I have only been to more than one city/area in MO, IL, and IN.

 

ETA: I have also been to Mexico once, but do not have a passport. I really, really do not like to travel.

Edited by BarbecueMom
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I have at least driven through 47 states, but if you include Hawaii (which I haven't driven through! haha!) , I have been to 48..  I haven't been to Maine or Alaska.

 

I have lived in Michigan (1 year), Indiana (5 years), Washington (4 years), California (17 years) , and North Carolina (11 years).  The rest of my years were overseas.

Edited by DawnM
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I have relatives who have been to very few states.  Like you said, it's hard for some folks to get away, assuming they even want to.

 

I know my dad hasn't been very far, but I guess he's been to at least the bordering states??  My mom has gone a little farther, but only a few times.  She got her first and only passport so she could go with me to my kids' birth country for the visit and pickup trips.  :)  I had taken her to Disney and the Bahamas years before.  I think she would enjoy traveling if her health were better.  Most of my siblings haven't been overseas or to many states, except for work.  I guess they think my kind of traveling is a waste of money.  They have their own preferred ways of wasting money.  :)

Edited by SKL
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I tried to find out how many states the average American has visited, I came up with an article from 1988 stating that a study found the average is 20 states. I'm sure if I spent some time searching I could find a more current answer but that sounds about right in my circle of family and friends.

 

I'm curious, if you have been to only a few states (around 10), have you traveled extensively within those states.

 

If you have been to most of the states (35+), have you just driven through? Spent a few days there?

We have traveled a lot in the states we've been to, but it also helps that we've moved cross continent three times and when we planned our moving routes we stopped along the way to see the sights.

 

Dh and I have both been to 39 states, but not always together. So he has been to California and I have not, but I've been to Maine and he hasn't. In general, his parents lived in the Rockies and West Coast when he was growing up so he was extensively traveled in that region before we met, while my family lived in Michigan but traveled heavily on the east coast and New England area when I was a child though we did do some South and Mid-West.  There are very few states that are cross overs of not visited for us, but in that list we've both never been to Rhode Island or Oklahoma.

 

Our kids have visited about 20 states. 

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Let me think.

Alabama, California,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,Kentucky, Maryland,Michigan, Minnesota,Missouri, Montana,Nebraska, Nevada,New York, North Carolina,Ohio, Pennsylvania,South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia,West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

 

Alabama was a few hours (went to see where Helen Keller was from, toured her house), lived in CA and IL, spent a week visiting relatives in Kansas, lived a year or so as a wee tot in Maryland, visited sister a few times when she lived in Nevada, several vacation trips to Tennessee, flew to a wedding in Dallas, TX, spend a weekend at a conference in Rochester, NY, spent a few weekend trips up in Wisconsin, and drove through and/or stayed a night or two or three in most other states as part of road trips.

 

Not counting New Mexico, all I did was get off the plane and see a thunderstorm off in the distance before getting back on the plane. And we did drive for ten minutes or so through Georgia, but since the car did not stop that state doesn't count either :-)

Edited by JFSinIL
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I have at least driven through 47 states, but if you include Hawaii (which I haven't driven through! haha!) , I have been to 48.. I haven't been to Maine or Alaska.

My husband has also been to 48 states, Hawaii and Maine are the two he hasn't visited. I told him he isn't allowed to go to Hawaii without me.

 

His dad was a truck driver for a few years. When my husband was in college, he got his CDL and would drive with his dad on some school breaks which allowed him to see most of the continental US.

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I have relatives who have been to very few states. Like you said, it's hard for some folks to get away, assuming they even want to.

 

I know my dad hasn't been very far, but I guess he's been to at least the bordering states?? My mom has gone a little farther, but only a few times. She got her first and only passport so she could go with me to my kids' birth country for the visit and pickup trips. :) I had taken her to Disney and the Bahamas years before. I think she would enjoy traveling if her health were better. Most of my siblings haven't been overseas or to many states, except for work. I guess they think my kind of traveling is a waste of money. They have their own preferred ways of wasting money. :)

My grandfather didn't have a passport until he was in his 70's and went to the Ukraine. I do think he has been to Mexico too. My grandmother has never had a passport but she has been to Mexico.

 

I have 5 siblings. Two of my brothers enjoy traveling, one doesn't mind traveling but doesn't seek it out either. My sisters hate to travel.

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And we did drive for ten minutes or so through Georgia, but since the car did not stop that state doesn't count either :-)

I bet I know right where you are talking about in GA. . We visited the children's museum in Chatanooga about 5 years ago and I remember thinking we must have taken a wrong turn to be in GA, then a few miles later we were back in TN.

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I have only been to 8, and just 2 as an adult - California (live here) and Nevada. I am jealous of all you travelers :) I have seen a lot of California, however . . . and that would count as about 8 more back east wouldn't it? ;)

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I've lived on both coasts and in the middle -- California, Washington, DC, and the Midwest, so have had a chance to also travel to and stay in other states in those general regions.  But I guess generally we just seem to travel a lot.  We love to travel, and have good friends and family all over so we do try and visit them and stay a bit.  I road-tripped across the country a lot as a child, and we've done a few of those with our own children too.  So I'd say that most states we've actually visited and stayed at least 4 days, but there have been a few -- Indiana and Ohio come to mind -- that we alway just end up driving through.

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I have lived in 8 states, stayed at least a night in another 17, and traveled through at least another 15, so I have visited 40 (+?) states.

Most of it comes from the fact that my father was in the Army, so we moved around a lot, and we drove a few times across the U.S. while in the process of relocating.  Even so, the number seems high to me, given that I spent half my childhood in Europe. Of the time I was in the U.S., 3 years were in Hawaii, which definitely curtailed interstate travel for a while. I moved to New England once I left home, so I added a bunch of states on my own pretty quickly. I could probably visit most of the rest on a summer road trip, if I felt the urge to do so, but I don't, for now. Maybe when dd11 starts looking at colleges?

 

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I have been to 45 (the ones I'm missing are Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and North Dakota). Most of those included some amount of significant stop. A few were just drive throughs...most notably Texas which I don't really feel like I've seen. 

 

I've been on two long cross-country driving trips. We live on the East Coast and have done many trips in the NE. A few years ago we did a long roadtrip to New Orleans and visited a lot of the SE. We've also been lucky to have family weddings and graduations in fun locations that give us an excuse to go to places we might not otherwise...one was the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. 

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My husband has also been to 48 states, Hawaii and Maine are the two he hasn't visited. I told him he isn't allowed to go to Hawaii without me.

 

His dad was a truck driver for a few years. When my husband was in college, he got his CDL and would drive with his dad on some school breaks which allowed him to see most of the continental US.

 

Well, just to be honest, my Hawaii trips were not really vacation spots.  I traveled through Hawaii to get to Asia.  I sometimes stayed overnight.  I have never gone on a one week Hawaiian vacation.

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I've lived in 4 states (MN, TX, TN, AK) and due to moves and visiting relatives while living in such spread out states, I have at least driven through most of the eastern states.  We've also visited NY, D.C., the Carolinas, AL and FL on vacation, so those scooped up a lot of coastal states.  Other than briefly being in the Canada side of Niagara back when you didn't need a passport, I've never set foot outside the country, or further west than the middle of TX.  

Dh has actually worked in all of the continental US states and Puerto Rico.  He's also worked in several other countries.  Due to his job he's much more well traveled than I.

 

 

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I have lived in CA, DC, MT, OR, MS, SC, HI, and MD.

 

I have visited NV, UT, WA, ID, WY, CO, SD, TX, MN, MO, LA, AL, MI, TN, KY, IL, OH, PA, VA, WV, NC, GA, FL, AL, ME, & WI. Almost all of those were for at least one night and some sight seeing. The exceptions are TN, KY, WI, OH.

 

We will be adding NY this week for 4 days at Niagara Falls. :D

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States I have visited and explored more than one spot are

New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, and Maine

 

States I traveled to for work or a doctors appointment:

Connecticut, Wisconsin, Ohio, South Carolina, Illinois.

 

States I have visited a specific location for family/targeted vacation:

Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virgina.

 

I have driven through Delaware.

 

I visit Washington DC with some frequency.

Edited by kewb
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We've been to 49 states (missed Alaska) and almost always have done fairly extensive visiting in them - esp if there are national parks there (some state parks too).

 

I can't say we've seen everything though.  There's so much to see and do that there's always somewhere new to go.  We lived in FL for 5 year (6 for me) and vacationed there often in other years doing everything from the Dry Tortugas to some of the northern springs, but this past March is the first time I'd gone to Panama City Beach..

 

I see no point in merely driving through a state, though there are definitely some states with far less to stop and look at.  Nonetheless, there are always towns...

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I have been to all 50 states :D

 

I have lived in 9 states. When I was growing up, we'd vacation (camp, usually) in neighboring states, so when we lived in Utah, we visited Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Imagine that times nine and you get a lot of states!

 

Dh is at 36 states visited, almost all of those with me. We have decided to count a "visit" if we eat or spend the night in the state, not just driving through. This summer he's knocked out Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas :)

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I've really properly visited about 25 states - as in, very purposefully spent time in them - at least about a week, say - and gone for some purpose like a vacation or to live there.

 

I've been through much more - more like 40, IIRC. Some I have set foot in, but only briefly, like Colorado and Arizona and Texas, but spent less than a day there. Others I've just ridden through in a car or on the train like New Hampshire and North Dakota. When I was 16, a friend and I did All Aboard America (I think that's what it's called) where you get a certain number of stops and take the train all over. It was awesome. We did a loop from NC out to California, up the coast, then along the northern line through Chicago and then back home. It was grueling but also great. We stayed with family along the way and got stranded in Chicago for a day, which was excellent.

 

Dh has a higher count than me. He did both legs of the big cross-country Green Tortoise trips after he finished college. If you're not familiar with that, it's a weird hippie bus that takes you from National Park to National Park - you get out during the day and sleep on the bus at night.

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<snip>

 

I see no point in merely driving through a state, though there are definitely some states with far less to stop and look at.  Nonetheless, there are always towns...

 

 

To get to a better state on the other side!

 

LOL!  For sure.

 

I've moved from coast-to-coast twice - once going west, when I was 10, then going east, when I was 50ish.   We didn't have the time to explore every state we had to drive through.

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To get to a better state on the other side!

 

This is true when you've either already seen the state (or enough of that area of the state) or have a limited time frame and a destination one wants to be at (like visiting relatives or heading to FL).  We definitely do some of those.

 

But we also love our road trips - many times even when returning from visiting relatives.

 

Back roads almost always beat highways for scenery.  We've had some of our best meals and met really cool people when in the middle of nowhere just moseying on.

 

We're in full agreement with Charles Kuralt:

 

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything."

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This is true when you've either already seen the state (or enough of that area of the state) or have a limited time frame and a destination one wants to be at (like visiting relatives or heading to FL).  We definitely do some of those.

 

But we also love our road trips - many times even when returning from visiting relatives.

 

Back roads almost always beat highways for scenery.  We've had some of our best meals and met really cool people when in the middle of nowhere just moseying on.

 

We're in full agreement with Charles Kuralt:

 

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything."

 

Oh, I agree. I was mostly kidding. We go to see relatives 12 hours away every summer. We've made a LOT of interesting stops en route and taken a number of different routes. But sometimes you just want to get home - this year, we drove through fast as we could.

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I've been to a majority of states. I live in the middle of the country and many of them were camping vacations as a kid. We obviously flew to Hawaii and when we vacationed in Florida, we would fly. I'm missing most of the upper east coast and OR, WA, and Alaska. 

 

My goal is to visit all 50 and revisit a few. 

 

I actually enjoy driving. The states I need to add will involve flying, however, and that's not in budget right now. 

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Yes. Colorado has infinitely more appeal to me than Kansas. Every year we fantasize about folding up Kansas and tunneling through the fold.

 

Kansas and Nebraska would fit into our "lower tier" vacation states.  Comparatively, Iowa was kind of neat though.

 

I don't know that we have "a" favorite vacation state among the continental 48.  It all depends upon our mood and finances.

 

HI wins overall for us.  We'd probably be living in HI if finances weren't a barrier.

 

If we also include Canada, we love the Maritimes and parts of Ontario, but I'd join many from those provinces and spend winter in the Caribbean.

 

For year round living, I still really like where we are in PA.  Decent weather for four seasons and fairly close to many interesting spots.

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Oh, I agree. I was mostly kidding. We go to see relatives 12 hours away every summer. We've made a LOT of interesting stops en route and taken a number of different routes. But sometimes you just want to get home - this year, we drove through fast as we could.

 

We always make the decision of whether we are interested in "quick" or "enjoyable" when traveling.

 

We've also been known to take interstates to X point to "jump" to an area and get off there to start our "trip."

 

It all depends... but in general, we've visited the 49 states (or at least parts of them).  ;)

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I don't know that we have "a" favorite vacation state among the continental 48.  It all depends upon our mood and finances.

 

 

 

We don't have "a" favorite and would be hard pressed to decide whether we prefer mountains or desert.

Top of our list are CO (Rockies), OR (Cascades), CA (Sierra) and UT/AZ/NM (Colorado Plateau). Real mountains or real canyons. 

A flat state will never be a vacation destination for us.

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I bet I know right where you are talking about in GA. . We visited the children's museum in Chatanooga about 5 years ago and I remember thinking we must have taken a wrong turn to be in GA, then a few miles later we were back in TN.

Yup. We visited Nashville, took oldest son to see Sewanee up in the hills, I know we drove through Chattanooga at some point coming or going, and the road did just loop into Georgia for a brief stretch.

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I haven't visited that many states, but we've visited lots and lots of places in the 5 states that surround my state.  It's easy to do day trips or camping trips that close, and our budget has been small for many years, so that's the majority of our traveling.  

 

 

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Yes. Colorado has infinitely more appeal to me than Kansas. Every year we fantasize about folding up Kansas and tunneling through the fold.

Poor Kansas! We drove through on the way to CO once and I never thought we would get to the mountains! The sunflower fields are beautiful but I wanted to see mountains.

 

I will say that my cousin got married in Lawrence, KS and we had the best weekend with family there. We drove north to south through KS many times when I was a kid and I have seen some of the most spectacular thunder storms. It is a different kind of beauty than in other states for certain.

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When I went on that train trip cross country as a teen that I mentioned above, my friend pulled a blanket over her head as we entered Kansas and said, "Let me know when we're out of Kansas. The flatness freaks me out." And then she stayed under there for the whole state.

 

Sorry, Kansas. I thought you looked interesting... but I didn't have a chance to get out of the train either...

Edited by Farrar
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Lived in: Missouri, Colorado

Visited/Stayed In:  Arkansas, Arizona, California, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah. Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

Driven Through:Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia

Haven't Visited: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio,

 

Other: Alaska (Visited via Cruise ship)

 

 

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We drove north to south through KS many times when I was a kid and I have seen some of the most spectacular thunder storms. It is a different kind of beauty than in other states for certain.

 

I LOVE prairie thunderstorms (as long as they don't hurt anyone).  My favorite to date has been in SD.

 

I'm not sure why, but we can see beauty in all sorts of land/water.  I love islands - esp when they have mountains (hence HI).  I also love the deserts and prairies and Everglades and... everything and anything, but cities.  I've never seen beauty in a city TBH.  There are neat museums and aquariums and other places to visit, but not what we consider beauty.

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I have lived in 8 states, stayed at least a night in another 17, and traveled through at least another 15, so I have visited 40 (+?) states.

 

 

I just remembered one more state!

 

In a storm, my flight to got diverted to Memphis, and the airline put us up for the night. There were also about 50 Elvis impersonators walking around the hotel. Since it could only happen there (well, maybe in Vegas too), I think that should count as a visit to TN.

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  I've never seen beauty in a city TBH.  There are neat museums and aquariums and other places to visit, but not what we consider beauty.

 

Have you traveled to cities in Europe? 

Paris? Venice? Dresden? Not beauty to you?

 

Pic below is in my favorite city of the world

 

But there are also beautiful cities in the US. Can anybody find Santa Barbara not beautiful?

post-19227-0-20317300-1467065500_thumb.jpg

post-19227-0-20317300-1467065500_thumb.jpg

Edited by regentrude
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Have you traveled to cities in Europe? 

Paris? Venice? Dresden? Not beauty to you?

 

Seriously, neither hubby nor I find beauty in man made things like cities.  We're at the point now where we usually avoid them, though I still have Italy on my bucket list - mainly for the history - and Venice would be interesting to visit.

 

A walk through the woods along a stream?  Awesome.  Hills, beaches (esp those without much development around), mountains?  Terrific.  A walk in a city (Paris or otherwise).  Eh - no big deal - and too crowded.  Museums are often worth visiting for the history they contain, but we can skip the rest.

 

YMMV

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Been to 40.  Delaware was a drive through.  The Carolinas were mostly airport layovers, I can't remember going further than an airport hotel during a storm.  Otherwise have at least stopped at one tourist spot in all.

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