I have not yet hit all fifty, but I am working on it. The rules are, visits that only pass through the airport on the way to somewhere else do not count, but if I were to get away from the airport even for a couple of hours, that would count. And driving through in a car does count, even if I didn't stop. I'm not sure I've had to actually apply either of these rules, but it's good to know what the parameters are.
I'm pretty sure I've been through the Minneapolis airport, I remember looking out the plane window and saying “wow, they really do have a lot of lakes”. Whatever, it doesn't count.
Alaska (twice!), Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawai‘i (three times! truly, I am blessed), Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.
The most recent ones checked off the list were Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Lorrie and the girls were away at some Harry Potter con, so I took an awesome road trip westward to Indianapolis, then south to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, and back via West Virginia, crossing three states off the list and also seeing Mammoth Cave, which has been on my bucket list for at least forty years. I have an unfinished blog post about this and someday you might hear about it.
Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia were the last low-hanging fruit. None of the states I haven't been to yet are convenient driving distance from Philadelphia, and many of them are large and far apart:
Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
The prospect is a bit daunting but Katara and Toph are getting older and in a few years will be able to take care of themselves, which will leave more time for driving tours of the Great Plains.
Maine and South Carolina are closest to where I live. I need to start planning more carefully. One road trip I've always wanted to take is to circumnavigate Lake Michigan. I might start in Chicago, drive up through Wisconsin, stopping in Neenah (does the foundry give tours? I can look at the outside, at least) and in Plover (because of the name). Then into the Upper Peninsula, over the Straits of Mackinac, down through Michigan, and back to Chicago via Indiana. This was a bit more attractive when it checked off three states instead of only two, but that's the way it goes. And I didn't get as much time as I wanted to look around Indianapolis.
I have not yet visited American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam. But I have been to the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
To make that map, I said “Gee, I wish there was a web site where I
could click on a map of the U.S. to change the colors of the states,
and then download a PNG of the result. And then I typed
Barry Stiefel set it as a goal to visit all fifty states in the course of a one-week vacation (both weekends included) and actually acomplished this literal tour de force.
His web site has disappeared, but here is an archived copy of his description of how he accomplished this feat.