You don’t know big and diverse till you’ve tried to drive across America. Ohio, merely our 34th-largest state, could swallow Ireland and still have room for dessert. Georgia alone has five distinct regions Tetrised between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, and it only takes six hours to drive from top to bottom. Texas, that whole other country, is almost 12 hours wide if you’re zipping from Texarkana to El Paso. Which, as an American who appreciates weird and wonderful places, you totally should one day.
There is a beauty in changing things, which makes long road trips through molding vistas so enchanting (just ask the people who drive for a living). Hairpin curves on Colorado's Pike's Peak highway are brushstrokes of asphalt against mountain slopes and pine tree needle beds. Nevada’s Valley of the Fire is a red sedimentary world of special effects. Keep driving west and you’ll extend the day with a sunset bleeding through the sequoias of Muir Woods or staining the surf orange on Venice Beach. You don’t even need to park to admire the Pacific Coast in Oregon -- someone has already blazed that trail for you. Just get out and enjoy that ride, and the other most scenic drives out there in every one of these sprawling, beautiful states of yours.