Today, that 106-mile road trip to Chicago would be significantly cheaper. Oil prices have fallen to historic lows, and a gallon of gasoline is less than $2 in most states. That might be a bad thing for struggling U.S. oil companies or the environment, but it's a great thing for people who want to go on road trips.
A new series of maps from Howmuch.net, a cost information website, demonstrates just how far gas will get you these days. The maps show how far you can drive from major U.S. cities with just $50 of gas. In the maps below, the lightest green area can be reached with only $10 of gas. The darkest green area can be reached with $50. Their estimate is based on a car that gets 24 miles to the gallon.
Here is the map for Atlanta. $50 gets you to Washington, and almost to Miami, though not quite:
Bostonians can take a nice trip into Canada or down to North Carolina:
Drivers from Charlotte can get to Memphis, Tampa, New York or Detroit:
The $50 range from Chicago includes both Nebraska and New York:
Drivers from Cleveland can make it to Des Moines or New Hampshire:
Drivers from Denver can reach more than a dozen natural parks:
Houstonions have a lot of great options for a $50 trip, including the Florida panhandle or the Gulf coast of Mexico:
With $50, drivers from Kansas City can get to Chattanooga or the Badlands:
Drivers from Las Vegas can hit a lot of attractions, including tons of parks and protected areas:
The situation from Los Angeles is similar, with $50 taking you up to Sacramento or down into Mexico's Baja Peninsula:
From Miami, your driving options are obviously more limited:
Even $50 of gas away from Minneapolis, and you're still in either the Midwest or Canada:
From New York $50 will take you to Acadia National Park, Toledo, Oh. or Durham, N.C.:
From San Francisco you can make it to Crater Lake in Oregon, or almost all the way to San Diego:
A $50 drive from Seattle will take you into British Columbia or California's Red Wood forests:
And Washingtonians can make it to Maine, Michigan or Georgia:
Try it out, but remember that these are one-way trips -- you'll need to buy more gas if you want to get home.
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