Road Trip Genius Calculates the Shortest Route Through 47 National Parks

Screenshot From Randalolson.com
Screenshot From Randalolson.com

The “Optimal U.S. National Parks Centennial Road Trip” map is the creation of road trip mastermind Randy Olson. The trip includes stops at all 47 national parks in mainland America (for the sake of practicality, the 12 national parks in Alaska, Hawaii, and other U.S. territories were left out).

Olson came up with the ideal route by plugging his destinations into the Gurobi TSP solver. TSP, or the Traveling Salesman Problem, refers to calculating the shortest route between a number of cities and ending up back where you started. It’s the same task he faced when creating the ultimate road trip across America and the optimal strategy for searching for Waldo.

To complete this latest trip, Olson suggests drivers set aside at least two months to fully take in the 14,500 miles worth of sites. It follows a circular route, so travelers can enter at any point they like from North Cascades in Washington to Dry Tortugas in Florida. For true NPS enthusiasts, this list is just the beginning: The service also includes hundreds of monuments, battlefields, and historic sites not included on the map.

The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavor in Each State

iStock/Tatomm
iStock/Tatomm

Summer is almost here, and as scorching hot days become more prevalent, so will the opportunities to eat ice cream. Familiar flavors like vanilla and chocolate can be found in every part of the country, but in some states, unique specialty flavors reign supreme over the classics. To see which ice cream flavor your state prefers, check out the graphic below.

WorkWise Software compiled this list using Google Trends to determine which popular ice cream flavors are searched the most in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Unsurprisingly, vanilla and chocolate are two of the most-searched ice cream varieties, but neither flavor claims the top spot. That distinction belongs to cookies and cream, which topped search results in 14 states.

The list also includes a few flavors that are hard to find outside specific regions. Superman ice cream, a swirl of blue, red, and yellow, is most popular in its home state of Michigan. In Pennsylvania, residents are searching for a state specialty called teaberry ice cream, which is pink and tastes like a wintergreen mint.

After reading through the full ranking below, check out our list of the best ice cream parlors in each state.

Map of most popular ice cream flavors by state.
WorkWise Software

The Most-Googled Mental Health Symptoms in Each State

iStock.com/eclipse_images
iStock.com/eclipse_images

Before visiting a doctor for a medical diagnosis, many people turn to Google to learn more about symptoms like sweaty palms, back pain, and morning sickness. But physical ailments aren't the only conditions people are self-diagnosing on the web—the map below from TermLife2Go shows the most-Googled mental health symptoms by state.

For this report, the life insurance agency compiled a list of the common mental health conditions from sources like NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), TalkSpace, and MentalHealth.gov and used Google Trends to determine which symptoms people are searching for.

TermLife2Go found that social media and internet addiction, major depressive disorder, and memory loss were the most-Googled mental health terms from the past year, with one of the three conditions topping search results in 13 states. In Alaska, where some northern residents deal with constant darkness during the winter, people are searching for seasonal affective disorder. Financial stress is the most searched-for mental health symptom in New York, which also happens to be one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.

Map of most Googled mental health symptoms in the U.S.
TermLife2Go

Whether your medical symptoms are mental or physical, it's always better to consult a professional rather than rely on the internet for help. But if you can't resist asking Google about what ails you, there is a right way to search for your symptoms—learn more here.

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