My goal of seeing all 50 states was down to 4 places that are probably the most unique in our nation. Driving through Iowa, the Dakotas, and Minnesota are one of the most stress free ways to escape gridlocked traffic jams. There are not many famous things here like the Golden Gate Bridge or Statue of Liberty. It is more like a return to rural America of the past.
High Quality of Life
My mind escaped the hectic pace of city driving where corn fields replace traffic snarls. Iowa grows the most corn in the nation. Quality of Life is rated high as pollution and crime is rated low. It is worth the trip through this state to experience a beautiful and peaceful drive. National parks are really nice here.
The Dakotas are known for brutal weather. Our summer drive in over one hundred degree heat was combined with winds that shook the car. A sign on the interstate reminded us that the next exit was sixty plus miles. It is like this place stood still while the rest of the country grew. Highways and towns feel like covered wagon travel.
Land of 10,000 Lakes
Minnesota is known for lakes, and they range from tiny ponds to the grandeur Lake Superior. Tall sticks to guide snow plows in the winter are everywhere. We stayed at a fancy lodge on a lake one night. Other stops were to a small family owned fishing camp and at a resort on Superior that felt like ocean front property.
The largest mall in America can be found in Bloomington. It is worth the visit to see an inside amusement park and the enormity of this place. Traffic and city life here contrasts with the serene life in most of the rest of the state. Shop until you drop could take days here. Five hundred plus stores and 4.2 million square feet is very impressive.
Something for Everyone
I spent a lot of time on research before visiting this area. The far western side of South Dakota has Mt Rushmore. The northern tip and eastern side of Minnesota has many parks, lakes, and boating areas. In between are a lot of really cool little towns and quiet spots to observe nature. Ask your computer questions and click websites for details.
Check with those you love when planning. My wife would have thrown me into one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes if we had not visited the Mall of America. Kids may love one of the inexpensive fishing camps. These 4 peaceful states completed my tour of America. Discover what you like best here and enjoy the ride.