50 States in 6 Years: Obama Reaches Travel Milestone

President Obama looks out the window aboard Air Force One.

With his May 8 visit to South Dakota on Air Force One, President Obama has become only the fourth president to visit every U.S. state during his term.

“I am thrilled to be here,” Obama said at the start of his commencement address for the Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, where he promoted his proposal for free community college. “I have now been to all 50 states as president, and I was saving the best for last.

“To the other 49, I hope you take no offense,” he added.

It wasn’t Obama’s first time in South Dakota, but it was the first time he had come as president. Only Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush also visited all 50 states while in office.

To celebrate the achievement, Pete Souza, the White House’s chief official photographer, published a photo gallery featuring a picture from each state Obama has visited.

Seventy-five million international tourists visited the United States in 2014. For most people, including Americans, there simply isn’t enough vacation time or money to see all 50 states in one trip. But it’s still a long-term goal for many.