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A Guide To Traveling To All 50 States

Hello The Abroad Blog readers! Today’s post is such an exciting one as it’s my official announcement of my journey to traveling to all 50 states! Now…this is coming a bit late. I did formally announce this challenge on Instagram in early May and am well underway documenting my journey there. Feel free to follow along on Instagram @nicole.rosania to read travel guides for every state in the form of in-feed posts. I’m also saving all of the in-feed posts to an IG guide called “50 States” and creating stories to document the highlights of every state.

As for my blog, I already have city and state guides published for most of the states I’ve been to, such as my recent Things to do in Minneapolis and St. Paul guide for Minnesota. Because of this, I will not be writing brand new guides for all 50 states, as this will just be a repeat of information. Instead, I will be updating this post often with links to these guides as I write them so that all of my USA state guides are easily discoverable in one place. This will eventually be one giant guide to traveling to all 50 states!

You can keep track of where I’ve been so far with this map:

The USA Placeholder
The USA

Additionally, I figured this post would also be a good way to keep my readers updated on my progress. Now that that’s all squared away, let’s hop into the details of my crazy challenge, shall we!

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The Idea

As you can tell from this blog post and some of my more recent Instagram posts, I kicked off my 50 state challenge in May 2021. In theory, I should’ve done this back in January at the start of the new year, but 1) I didn’t think of it then and 2) COVID cases were peaking. The ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic has continuously improved in the past few months here in the US thanks to mass vaccinations, so I feel more comfortable traveling now than I did in January.

To back track even more, I thought of this idea because of COVID. If it weren’t for the international pandemic, I’d probably be typing this post from a cafe overseas somewhere. In typical Nicole fashion, I would’ve found a way to scrape together some money and make that work. However, this past year has kept me at home. At first I was upset about it (we all were), but changed my mindset and decided to use this year to explore more of my home. This began in 2020 with more frequent day trips around my home state of Massachusetts and New England, and eventually turned into this challenge: Traveling to all 50 states!

No International Travel For Me Anytime Soon…

With international travel still on hold for the foreseeable future and domestic travel on the rise, I’m more excited than ever to explore more of the US this year. I always told myself I would travel to all 50 states by 50, but as I continue to set my focus on traveling internationally, establishing my career, and one day a family, this goal may not have been feasible. I mean… when would I ever visit Kansas? A quick PTO weekday trip? Probably not.

So, here we are. I’m only 22, with a completely remote job (in the travel industry may I add), and with an itch to explore more of the US. So, I’m taking advantage of it and seeing as much of the US as I can now! I originally told myself I would complete this challenge by the end of the year, but that’s a bit ambitious, so instead I’m just going to try and complete it before international travel makes a full recovery. Maybe by summer 2022? Don’t quote me on that.

Other Travel Accounts Doing The #50StateChallenge

Lastly, I want to acknowledge some other awesome travel accounts who inspired me to turn this crazy idea into action. Some of my fav travel bloggers, Kate and Maggie at Two Sisters Abroad, are doing a similar challenge except Kate is trying to visit ALL 50 states before the end of 2021. Plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico! Crazy! My favorite YouTubers, Kara and Nate, are currently traveling the US in a van and are also trying to knock off their remaining 20 states this year.

Now you know how this crazy idea came about. Let’s hop into my guidelines.

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The Guidelines

I need to preface this challenge by saying I am NOT going to be traveling to ALL 50 states this year. Or even next. Props to Kate for doing this, but that’s too much for me. I’ve also been to states like Florida and New Hampshire dozens of times and am not interested in returning at the moment. Instead, I’m going to focus on visiting all the new states I have yet to explore. As of early May, I’ve been to 28/50. Thus, my challenge is to visit the 22 states I have left before/in 2022. No hard deadline here.

Of course I will naturally be revisiting some states throughout the course of the next year because of road trips and what not, but I’m prioritizing visiting what I have left. This way, I can successfully say that I’ve been to all 50 states and have the rest of my life to revisit those I loved the most.

I count day trips as visits, even internationally, as long as I spend a good chunk of time there. I usually do some sightseeing to ensure I cross off any major attractions, along with sampling some local food, shopping for a souvenir or two, and chatting with a local. I’m always on the move (a gal on the go if you will) and am a firm believer that you can get to know a place in just one day.

As mentioned above, I will be documenting this journey both through travel guides on here and on Instagram, and plan on having my camera with me at all times. I also like to purchase post cards wherever I go, but other than this, I’m not setting any other “rules” for myself. I just want to feel like I made the most of my time in the destination!

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The Plan

So now you know how this crazy idea came about and what the “50 state challenge” entails. At this point you may be asking yourself…Nicole, how in the heck are you going to find the time to do this? Pay for this? Even plan for this?

Let’s break it down…

I’m Working With Partners

First, I am beyond grateful (and very excited) to share that I’ve grown my blog’s readership to a place where I can work with partners. This means I’ve been working with hotels, tour companies, tourism boards, and more to produce sponsored content (both on here and Instagram) in exchange for a comped stay, meal, tour, or wait for it… money!

This has always been a dream of mine and I’m so happy it’s finally coming to fruition. I’ve worked really hard this year to boost my blog’s SEO, Pinterest strategy, and even Instagram content to grow my following organically, and it’s working!

So, I’m thrilled to share that I will be working with several hotels and tourism boards in the next few months as I work my way across the US. There’s a mutual benefit to doing this as I get to fund my trip and grow my media kit, and smaller companies in the travel industry get promotion! Obviously flights, rental cars, gas, etc. are funded on my own, but these partnerships make my constant travel sustainable.

My Job Is Entirely Remote

In terms of time, as I mentioned previously, my job with Serengetee is entirely remote. Even without the pandemic- there’s no office. This allows me to be a full-time digital nomad and work from wherever! I will definetly be taking full advantage of this in the coming weeks as I work remotely from national parks out west- without having to take PTO or squeeze trips into the weekends.

Planning Regional Trips

Lastly, logistically, this challenge is a bit hard to complete without road tripping or #vanlife. I’m going to instead accomplish this goal by planning a handful of region-focused trips. For example, a southwest road trip, a midwest road trip covering 6 states from Michigan to Minnesota, etc. This way I won’t be on the road 24/7 when traveling to all 50 states.

Traveling to all 50 states

50 State Challenge: The States

Now that you have some background on the challenge, here’s a list of every state in the US that I’ve been to so far with links to all my guides! I will update this as I continue traveling to all 50 states and writing.

PS. These are listed in the order I visited them, although most of them happen to be in geographical order. I’ve been featuring the states in this order on Instagram as well, not alphabetically.

1. Massachusetts

The Old State House in Boston, MA

The Old State House in Boston, MA

Massachusetts is my home state and therefore the first state I ever visited! From summers in Cape Cod to Octobers spent in Salem to guiding tours around Boston, I’ve seen it all. Here are my travel guides for the Bay State…

2. New Hampshire

Fall leaf peeping in New Hampshire

Fall leaf peeping in the White Mountains

Known for its mountain ranges, leaf peeping and downhill skiing, here are some highlights for the Granite State…

3. Vermont

Girl poses in front of the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT in winter weekend

Staying at the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe

This state is more than just maple syrup, wooden bridges, and ski resorts. Add these VT classiness to your Green Mountain State bucket list…

4. Maine

Acadia National Park in Maine

Jordan Pond at Acadia National Park

Maine, also known as the Pine Tree State, is the most northeastern state in the US. It’s also the largest in New England – taking up more than 1/2 the area! Famous for its rocky coastline, lobster, lighthouses, blueberries, and the end of the Appalachian Trail, here are my guides for Maine…

5. Rhode Island

Exploring Block Island in Rhode Island

Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US, but don’t miss it! From its lively capital city to its college towns and beautiful new England coastline, there’s a ton to do in the Ocean State…

6. Connecticut

Firehouse Deli in Fairfield, Connecticut

Firehouse Deli in Fairfield

The last state I visited in New England quickly turned into my second home when I chose to attend Fairfield University for college! Connecticut is home to quaint coastal towns, the Long Island sound, & my alma mater! Here’s what you should check out in the Constitution State…

7. New York

Visiting all 50 states New York

Washington Square Park in New York City, NY

New York is so much more than just NYC! Be sure to check out the Hamptons, Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, and Niagara Falls when visiting the Empire State. Here are some more ideas for your next trip…

8. New Jersey

LBI is my favorite part of the Jersey Shore

LBI is my favorite part of the Jersey Shore

Located right across the Hudson, the Garden State is home to the world’s largest boardwalk, well-known beaches on the infamous Jersey Shore, the Miss America pageant, and so much more…

9. Pennsylvania

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania is one of the most historical states in the USA as this is where the Declaration of Independence was signed. More importantly, it’s also home to the Philly cheesesteak! The Keystone State is one of the largest states in the northeast, so there’s a lot to see including Philadelphia, Lancaster, Gettysburg, and Pittsburgh…

10. Delaware

A day at Rehoboth Beach is a must when visiting Delaware

A day at Rehoboth Beach is a must when visiting Delaware

Welcome to the first state in the USA! I’ve crossed through Delaware a few times on road trips and really only visited for the first time this spring. This small state is often overlooked, but here are some fun highlights for the First State…

11. Maryland

Washington DC is an independent district located between Maryland and Virginia

Washington DC is an independent district located between Maryland and Virginia

The Old Line State, also nicknamed the Free State, is known for its fresh crab and major cities – including the capital Annapolis, Baltimore, and nearby Washington D.C…

12. Virginia

Governor's Palace is one of the top things to do in Williamsburg, VA

Governor’s Palace is one of the top things to do in Williamsburg, VA

I first visited Virginia on a day trip from DC years ago, and have since been back multiple times. At this point, I’ve covered most of the state! Aside from the Arlington/Alexandria area, I recommend exploring Richmond, Norfolk, Appalachia, and the Historic Triangle when visiting the Old Dominion State…

13. North Carolina

14. South Carolina

15. Georgia

16. Florida

17. Washington

18. Oregon

19. Alaska

20. Wyoming

21. Hawaii

22. California

23. Colorado

24. Tennessee

25. West Virginia

26. Kentucky

27. Indiana

28. Ohio

29. Michigan

30. Illinois

31. Wisconsin

32. Iowa

33. Minnesota

34. Montana

35. Idaho

36. Nevada

37. Utah

38. Arizona

As I mentioned above, I plan on updating this post often as I continue traveling to all 50 states and writing over the course of the next year. Check back often for updates! Happy travels!

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A guide to traveling to all 50 states

 

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20 Comments

  1. kmf May 29, 2021 / 2:37 PM

    Wow! This is so awesome and so ambitious! Looking forward to your adventures as you travel to all 50 U.S. states. Good luck and safe travels!

  2. Jori May 29, 2021 / 2:49 PM

    Such an awesome challenge! I would love to do this as well but can’t wait to read up on your experience! My dad has traveled to all 50 states but he cheated — he’s a pilot xD

  3. Ashlee Fechino May 29, 2021 / 3:01 PM

    So fun! Have a great time. We have been doing the same but over the years ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hannah May 29, 2021 / 3:03 PM

    What an exciting challenge! I’d love to visit all 50 states! Although living in the UK, this one might take me quite some time to complete! I can’t wait to follow your journey! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  5. Chelsea May 29, 2021 / 4:16 PM

    I have always wanted to do this! Weโ€™re from MI so itโ€™s hard to road trip east coast/west coast. So we typically have to fly. Good luck and have all the fun on your trip!

  6. Linzey May 29, 2021 / 9:37 PM

    I love this! We have always focused on international travel but are sticking to The States for a few months this summer and all when we get back from Costa Rica. This is so helpful for some ideas for where we are going. I am definitely taking notes and will bookmark this for reference. Thanks for putting this together! What an amazing adventure!

  7. Taylor May 30, 2021 / 12:48 AM

    What a helpful guide! It is actually my mission to see all 50 states at some point. I don’t think I will complete them all this year, but I’m at 33 right now and hope to see all 50 within the next 2-3 years. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Emma May 30, 2021 / 2:46 AM

    What an incredible idea. I really would love to do something like this too. I’ve made it to 10 so far, which considering I’m not American I think is pretty good. But there are so many great states out there to visit. Looking forward to following your journey and getting some good ideas for what to do when visiting some of these beautiful states

  9. Denise May 31, 2021 / 9:04 PM

    What a fun idea! Good luck with your challenge!

  10. Magicandbliss June 2, 2021 / 8:08 AM

    This is so great! I am so happy that you’re living the life you always wanted and can now support your travels with some kickass partnerships. Wish you all the best for your challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:06 PM

    Thank you so much! It is a bit crazy, but I’m super excited about it!

  12. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:06 PM

    Thanks for following along! Good for your dad!

  13. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:07 PM

    That’s so cool! How many do you have left?

  14. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:07 PM

    Thanks for following along Hannah! I hope you complete your goal one day!!!

  15. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:08 PM

    Thanks Chelsea! Michigan is a bit isolated, but I did a great midwest road trip that started in Michigan in May. I worked my way down to Indiana Dunes, to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, through Iowa, and up to MSP!

  16. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:09 PM

    Thank you so much for your kind note! I also have always been focused on international travel but am so excited to explore more of the US this year! I hope my posts help you to plan some trips of your own ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:10 PM

    That sounds like a wonderful goal! No need to rush it! You’ll definitely get there sooner than later with less than 20 left.

  18. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:10 PM

    For not being American, this is amazing Emma! I’m assuming some of your 10 include NY and CA? These are always the most popular for tourists! Thanks so much for following along!

  19. Nicole Rosania
    Author
    June 7, 2021 / 3:11 PM

    Aw this is so sweet, thank you so much for your kind words!

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