Web Catch: Plan your US road trip with this map showing the optimal route


People love their road trips. But planning them? That can be kind of a pain.

That's where data visualization expert Randal Olson comes in. He used an algorithm to figure out the optimal way to road trip across the entire mainland United States – touching all 48 states, with stops at a historical landmark in each one. This is the result:

The Minnesota stop? Fort Snelling.

Check out his blog post for a list of each landmark in each state. It's all reachable by car, and you can start anywhere along the 13,699-mile path. As long as you follow it, you'll end up with as efficient of a historical U.S. road trip as you can get.

It'll still take more than nine days of actual driving, however.

He also made a version if you're interested in stopping in major cities, though it doesn't hit every state. Click here and scroll down to read it.

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