Does it Count if you just "drive"thru a state?

I count Utah even though I just changed planes in SLC. However, the plane was small enough that we used stairs and walked on the tarmak. Since my feet were on the ground and there was no roof over me, I count it.

But I drove to MI from WI and was only in IN on the interstate. I don’t think my feet touched the ground / no roof. I guess I count it, but put it in a different category.

Flyovers definitely do NOT count.


  1. Did your bare foot touch the soil, or did your bare foot rest on top of the sole of your shoe while the sole of your shoe rested on asphalt that covered the soil? Perhaps a toe in the dirt should be the standard.

  2. I don’t understand the roof overhead part. If they built a roof over an entire state, then nobody “in” the state would actually be there?

Let’s suppose someone asks you if you’ve ever been to a certain state. Having driven through w/o stopping, you reply in the negative. They then observe that you must never have seen such and such landmark and you respond that you have driven by it. That person is going to think you’re a bit whacky, as do I.

I’ve always stated (pun intended), “I’ve been in or through X states.”

So, in actuality, I’ve been in or through 49 states. Have yet to get to Hawaii.

If the tires of your car exclude you from the claim why wouldn’t the soles and heels of your shoes exclude you?

Food for thought: How about if you ordered at a McD drive-thru window and ate it in the car while driving thru a state without otherwise stopping. Could you claim visitation?

I went from San Francisco to Chicago in the California Zephyr train and set my feet (shod) on the ground only in Denver between the end cities (slept on the train overnight east of Denver), but I claim to have been in every state along the train route.

I’ll grudginly agree to the airplane overflight being an excluder. I flew over Syria on the way from Jerusalem to Beirut, with a feet-on-the-ground change of planes in Amman, Jordan, and I flew over Newfoundland between Frankfurt and Fort Dix but I don’t say I’ve been to Syria or Newfounland.

I guess I count the state if I have been “outside”. So I probaly would not have counted Utah if I used a jetway. If it had been a uncovered catwalk, I’m not sure (that is elevated from the ground but uncovered)

I don’t need barefoot (Shoes are OK), though I coul see the bare earth / lawn counting and concrete / asphault not counting.


I have only visited Utah by:

  1. Having had a layover in the Salt Lake City airport; and
  2. Setting foot just inside Utah at the Four Corners.

I count Utah, but I don’t feel like I’ve really visited the place. It feels like I’m cheating at the “states visited” game.

I need to go back.

All these questions about what does and does not count imply that there is, or should be, some sort of universally-accepted set of rules.

My rules are just that—my rules. You can follow whatever rules you want. If you ask me, for example, whether i’ve ever been to New Jersey, you’ll probably get a response along the lines of “Not really. I’ve driven through on the turnpike a bunch of times, but i don’t really think that counts.”

If i ask you whether you’ve ever been to Utah, and you answer yes, but then later reveal that your sole experience of the state was changing planes at Salt Lake City’s airport, you might get a bit of a :dubious: from me.

Everything was much easier when people came home with salt shakers with the state name and landmark on them.

We always followed the “restroom rule.” That is, you can count a state (or province) if you used the restroom. Your feet had to be on the ground to get into it (travelling on an aircraft didn’t count), and you were using a local service in doing so.

I’ve spent the night and/or eaten in restaurants in many American states and all the provinces of Canada, and obviously used the restroom when I did so. So they count in my list. Even the state of Maine, which I’ve only ever driven through (though I gassed up and hit the gas station restroom) counts. But by the “restroom rule,” I still cannot count Indiana, since in spite of driving from Michigan to Illinois and back again a few times, I’ve never stopped on the short stretch of road in Indiana to even use the restroom.

OK, but what if you spent a lot of time in a state but never used the restroom there? Hypothetically, you visit a resort at Lake Tahoe that straddles the state line. You never leave the resort, but the entire resort is in California, except the restroom, which is in Nevada. Have you then never been to California?

So, what if your car has a sunroof or is a convertable?

There’s no potty in the hotel rooms? Or are all the bathrooms in the entire place specially built on the Nevada side of the line? :wink:

If you’ve slept there, you’ve been there. If you’ve peed there, I think it counts. Even in airports & embassies.

This is the rule that I use as well. If it’s inside the airport grounds, it doesn’t count, otherwise a foot on soil (or pavement) is needed.

Last summer I spent 24 days hiking through Utah, Arizona and Colorado. I didn’t want to leave out New Mexico, so I visited the “Four Corners” monument. And just to be sure, I had lunch in a nearby NM town.

Hey, I’ve done New Mexico!


Drive-thrus count, unless you were sleeping or if they are at night and on an interstate.

Airports don’t count.

Perfect! Having been to California a few times before, I could head for the restroom in Nevada (which I’ve never been to) and thus add it to my list! Now, where exactly is this resort? :wink:

My family’s rule is that airports don’t count but feet and wheels do. There are some states I’ve driven through with great appreciation and enjoyment but haven’t stopped in except to gas. I’ve seen more of those states’ features than some folks do of the state they live in, and by our rule the drive counts because I was paying attention.

At first I thought the OP might have meant that, but to visit the Virgin River canyon enroute from Las Vegas to LA would be backtracking quite a bit.

I agree, though, that the Virgin River canyon is a spectacular drive: been through it once or twice myself.

Ah, the dog marking his territory principle.