When I was at my cousin's wedding in June, she mentioned an ongoing contest she has with her family. They compete to see who can visit the most states.
For the purposes of their game, a state can only be claimed if a person meets one of these three criteria:
1) Spent the night
2) Ate at a local (non-chain) restaurant
3) Got a speeding ticket
This led me to make a map of my own. However, I have used a stricter standard for counting states, districts, and territories I have visited. In blue are states I remember spending the night in. In grey are other areas I entered into the boundaries of. I spend Labor Day Weekend 1989 in Nebraska and Iowa, but I have no memory of them so they are grey. I have spent a lot of time in the District of Columbia, but since I never spent the night there it is grey.
Alaska and Hawaii are not pictured and I have been to neither of them. I have not been to any of the US territories, so they are not pictured either.
Overnight states (blue): 27
States I entered (grey): 11 plus D.C.
The still outstanding places are Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and the unincorporated territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
If I was in my cousin's game, I would have a sizable lead over all of them at 29. However, anyone who has a parent in the military has an advantage in games like this. I lived in four different states in three different time zones before I turned 11.
How many states have you visited?