Where should my family travel to in your state?

My husband came up with the idea that by the time our three-and-a-half year old daughter goes off to college, she should have set foot in all 50 states. We’re not going to tell her we’re doing this; hopefully at some point she’ll figure it out on her own. We’ll probably start this next year, and hopefully culminate with a high school graduation trip to Hawaii. She’s already been to Ohio (where we live), Kentucky, and Indiana, so no need to include those. We’re going to count layovers and driving through, so this won’t require a ridiculous amount of vacations.

I’d like to plan some trips out starting next year. If you live near a good place for family travel, tell me about it! Bonus points if it’s somewhere we’re unlikely to get to without it being our final destination, like North Dakota or something.

Thanks much!

Hit FOUR STATES at once by going to Four Corners! There’s a USGS brass cap set where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. It’s a nicely-paved setting, everything is labeled, and you can take a picture of your daughter in four states at once!

I’d also suggest Monument Valley, on the Utah-Arizona border, not too far from Four Corners.

Aren’t the Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri , and Arkansas borders close, too? Not like 4 corners but fairly close in proximity.

If you’re a canoeing, camping sort of family, I would suggest the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness here in Minnesota, or if you’re a driving and sightseeing type of family I would suggest driving up Highway 61 on the north shore of Lake Superior. If you like large crowds of people and shopping, there’s always the Mall of America, which has a bonus indoor theme park. There’s another theme park called Valleyfair, but I can’t vouch for that.

On your way to Minnesota you could stop off at the Wisconsin Dells, waterpark capital of the world (supposedly) and/or Baraboo, Wisconsin, for the Circus Museum. BTW, don’t discount North Dakota. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is amazing, and you could travel on from there to Makoshika State Park in Glendive, Montana.

True story. The monument wasn’t placed at the point where the four corners met. Surveying in the middle of a desert is difficult and they missed the four corners by over six hundred yards.

But rather than move the monument they moved the border lines to the point where the monument had been placed.

If I recall correctly, the OP is originally from my area so presumably she doesn’t need my advice on places to visit.

But for anyone else bringing a child into western NY, I’d recommend Niagara Falls. The Strong Museum in Rochester is also nice.

But who am I kidding? If you come to visit New York, you’ll go to Manhattan.

In Georgia? Fly into Atlanta, then drive and get a ferry pass to Cumberland island. Then go see Savannah, Sea Island and St Simons in the way to the Okefenokee Swamp. Work a trip to South Carolina and Florida in on the way.

Or, you could do a mountain trip to NC, SC and GA around the Highlands area.

You won’t regret it.

If I was the head of a street gang, I would challenge another street gang to a fight and meet up at the four corners. We could just beat the hell out of each other and cause general mayhem in four states at once. The jurisdictional legal consequences would be interesting.

When you visit Montana make sure to visit Glacier National Park in the northwest corner and and Little Bighorn National Monument in the southeast corner. And swing by Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. :slight_smile:

Even more complicated that you imagine. In addition to the four states that meet at that point, it’s also the meeting point of two different Native American nations (the Navajo and the Ute).

Not “my” states, but you could do the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway to cover Virgina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Probably works better if you don’t mind camping, but there are likely hotels nearby as well. Great scenery, wildlife, nature stuff.

You’re close enough to Nebraska to make the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha a good trip for a three day weekend. Nebraska is hardly a world leader in anything but cow-tipping but that zoo is a marvel. The Desert Dome and the Aquarium are absolute musts.

As you’re traveling west on I-80, you could stop at the Great Platte River Road Archway to get your minimum daily recommended amount of americanna. It’s really pretty cool, you can blow through it in a couple of hours.

The surveyors who walked the Western US and set markers and recorded distances and bearings did a HELLUVA job, for damn little pay. Sometimes the accuracy of their old records is downright spooky!

There were fraudulent surveys. Some guys sat at home and made up everything. “Screwing the government” is a time-honored tradition in the United States.

CORRECTING the fraudulent surveys would be more bother and inconvenience, not to mention COST. Plus, in the following decades, many subsequent surveys were made, based upon the fraudulent monuments. So the government made the determination that the monument set into the ground is what prevails.

It does cause problems for researchers in modern times, but life isn’t fair.

I’m sure that the original government surveyors would be aghast at the development today in lands they considered to be completely worthless, such as Las Vegas or Phoenix.

Depends on how one defines “close”, but I think they’re close enough: the intersection point of MO & OK & KS (near Joplin MO) is about 50mi directly N of the intersection point of MO & OK & AR.

California: Lake Tahoe (summer and winter); Yosemite Nat’l Park; Mono Lake; the eastern Sierra Nevada, along Hwy 395, between Mono Lake and Lone Pine (crystal clear night skies and millions of stars! Ever see hundreds of shooting stars in one night?); DVNP (= Death Valley Nat’l Park); Joshua Tree Nat’l Park; Sequoia Nat’l Park; Calaveras Big Trees State Park; GGNRA (= Golden Gate Nat’l Rec Area); Napa’s wine country;

and for cities it’s San Francisco and San Diego/Coronado/La Jolla;

and for beaches it’s San Diego’s MB, PB & OB (Mission, Pacific & Ocean Beaches); Santa Barbara’s East Beach; Venice Beach near L.A.; and Zuma Beach near Malibu;

and for scenic drives there are many but my favorites are to drive along the coast on the PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy, or Hwy 1) between San Francisco and Monterey, and between Malibu and Santa Monica; and also drives over the Sierra Nevada mountains on Hwy 120 (the Tioga Road) and on Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass). I’ve done all the passes over the Sierra, in car and on motorcycle, and those are my favorites.

Deserts have a rough and subtle beauty. DVNP in the spring is very pretty.

For hikes, hike to the top of Half Dome, and do the Mount Whitney Trail.

Letchworth State Park - the Grand Canon of the East. Beautiful fairly small park with a small hotel in it, or cabins and camping areas that you can reserve. I have personally stayed in both cabins and camping areas there.

Connecticut. Hm. Mystic has a Seaport, which is interesting. The aquarium is spiffy also [a previous roommate worked there back in the 90s so I got to go in after hours and hang out with him.] Rocky Neck State Parkhas some nice beach areas, and a lovely campground. We share a border with Rhodes Island, Newport of course is known for some phenomenal 1800s mansions.

As a Tennessean I can accept this idea for a way to get a states count bumped effectively. Not too long ago I tried to find the line of longitude that went through the most states and it was near the one described here. The line of latitude is even more impressive.

If you want to do it, you can do all six New England states in less than a day!

If you come to Illinois, you will of course want to see Chicago. It’s one of the most awesome cities in this country, IMHO.

Outside of Chicago, Illinois has a lot to offer as well, particularly the Lincoln sites in and around Springfield.

I had to find where that longitude thing was: see this post in a Geography trivia thread.

Hilton Head. And you’d have plenty of local company. Probably half the license plates in Hilton Head are from Ohio during the summer.