22. Kentucky

Bourbon — betting — and beer!! State number 22, Kentucky — and my college roommate, Carolyn! — showed us a great time. We came just in time for the Keeneland Spring Meet, and made a stop at the Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery.

Woodford Reserve was beautiful. The whole drive in from the highway was full of rolling, green hills, winding fences, and gorgeous horse farms. Our tour guide was great and we got to see the mash room, their huge copper pot stills, and the building that houses thousands of barrels and aging bourbon.

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Next — we were off to the races!! Keeneland was a cool mix of very casually-dressed people who go there just to bet (and know the whole science and method behind it) and dressed-up and half-drunk people who were just happy to be there and drink Keeneland Breezes. We lucked out with gorgeous weather, but Carolyn and I both lost nominal amounts of money betting on the horses with the biggest butts.

We also found time for visit a few breweries (West Sixth and Mirror Twin). Mirror Twin had a Cinnamon Toast Crunch beer that was so delicious, it made us very thankful we bring growlers on trips like these! Our last day brought with it a hike at Red River Gorge. Driving through the Gorge was gorge-ous (see what I did there!?) but the hike itself — Indian Staircase — proved to be too difficult/fear-inducing/athletic for everybody but Matt.

Kentucky impressed us, entertained us, and fed us well!!

 

 

19. Louisiana

I ALMOST forgot about our very fast and very WET trip to Louisiana! We visited New Orleans in August, adding the leg onto our last Minnesota visit for about $40 extra per ticket. We had a sweet Air BnB, lots of recommendations, and were excited to drink our way down Bourbon Street!

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That was… until the torrential rains started the second we landed. Very long story short, most roads were totally underwater because pumps weren’t working. We ended up on a grassy median in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rivers of water. We couldn’t get to our Air BnB because the roads were closed… and we were all but stranded.

So, we changed in the car and did what we do best… found a BREWERY!! In our two days in Louisiana, we visited with my sorority sister, Ella, and stuffed our faces with beignets.

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We also wanted to take a bayou tour, but didn’t want to pay $60 for an ultra-touristy one close to New Orleans. So we drove about an hour away to Houma, had some po boys, and took a tour with Annie Miller’s Son’s Marsh and Swamp Tours. We highly recommend them! The guy who took us on the tour had been doing it for decades and called the alligators by name up to the boat.

Before we left, we made it up to Baton Rouge for Matt to run the LSU track, and he ended up meeting the insanely nice Senior Associate Athletic Director. He showed us all around the inside facility and gave us a preview of the new track they were putting in at the time.

We loved our very rainy stay in Louisiana, but never made it to Bourbon Street. I think that means we’re due for a trip back!!

14. North Carolina 

TRACK: Duke

BREWERY: NoDa Brewing, Free Range, Wooden Robot,

COST: Gas money, $90 hotel (Priceline express deal!)

North Carolina has always been one of my favorite states for it’s laid back demeanor and proximity to the coast. We stopped in Charlotte on our way back north from Dante’s graduation. Our first stop was NoDa Brewing, a spot I first read about in an in-flight magazine and was excited to try! The building was simple but awesome, and beers were good. Next up was Free Range, where Matt kicked my ass in scrabble and we listened to some awesome local tunes. Also in this picture we are very shiny. (???)

By this point – were hungry, tired of driving, sunburnt as all get-out, and didn’t even opt for a local dinner (FAIL). We picked up two Domino’s $5.99 pizzas and ate them in bed!! By the time evening rolled around, we forced ourselves to get out and go to Wooden Robot Brewing. A few sips in, we were so tired and full of pizza, we struggled to finish the beer!!

The next morning, we stopped at UNC for a track and Matt was really disappointed to find out it NO LONGER EXISTS! They must be doing some resurfacing. So we went to Duke, (or “Puke” as he fondly called it) and he ran the track and we walked around their amazing/georgeous/super cool campus!

Kind of a lame attempt at North Carolina-ing, but I have no doubt we’ll be back.

 

 

Thanks for reading about our latest adventure!!
You can check out our full list of breweries and tracks in every state we’ve visited.
Be sure to follow (link on the right sidebar!) and you’ll get a quick email when we post something new!
-Devin and Matt 

13. Georgia

TRACK: Savannah State University

BREWERY: TBA! And there’s a reason!

TRAVEL COST: Just some gas money
Our trip to Georgia was a short, but fun one. I’ve been to Savannah before, but Matt had not (and in this blog, it doesn’t count if we haven’t explored it together).

When looking for a brewery, the hours we’re TERRIBLE! I knew there had to be a reason why they all closed at 7 on a Saturday night. We found out from some brewers in South Carolina that Georgia has some of the worst brewery laws in the country. They can only be open so many hours per week, can’t directly sell pints (just give tours), and that made it impossible to fit a brewery into our Savannah dinner plans. We’ll catch one next time.


We did have some great BBQ tacos and saw some of the beautiful Spanish Moss that makes Savannah look like a perfect southern postcard. We took some time to walk around the historic district, visit the outside of Bonaventure Cemetery (it was closed – our timing wasn’t really that great for this trip), and we also drove around in circles for years looking for parking!!

Plus we took this disgustingly corny pic (we take two dance lessons and now we’re experts…)

We absolutely want to go back, see some more, and DRINK GEORGIAN BEER! Luckily tickets are insanely cheap from our airport.

 

 

Thanks for reading about our latest adventure!!
You can check out our full list of breweries and tracks in every state we’ve visited.
Be sure to follow (link on the right sidebar!) and you’ll get a quick email when we post something new!
-Devin and Matt 

12. South Carolina 

TRACK: University of South Carolina
BREWERY: Hilton Head Brewing (HHI), Salt Marsh Brewing (Bluffton), River Rat Brewing (Columbia).

COST: About four tanks of gas
This trip had special meaning was a great way to add states to the list of places we’ve visited together. We went down for my little brother, Dante’s, graduation from Parris Island Marine boot camp! I have never been so proud of that kid.

Parris Island was muggy, buggy, and as Private First Class Dante put it: “everything here is trying to kill you.” Beautiful nonetheless, and the island oozes pride and patriotism from every corner.

We were lucky enough to have an amazing place to stay for this trip (if you’re reading this, thank you again!), and as soon as we got back: Matt and I drug Dante out to Salt Marsh Brewing! The outside patio was awesome and the back bar is made from an old shipping container. When the bartender asked Dante what kind of beer he liked, he said “uhhh… Budweiser?” GAG! We’ve got some teaching to do.

In all, it was a great trip with AMAZING food!! We were joined by my mom and cousins Vince and Judy from California (don’t have a pic on my phone of all of us – sorry Mom!!)


After the graduation was over (and a day at the beach) we hit up Savannah, Georgia! Our trip back also snaked us through Columbia, where Matt got his track and we stopped at yet another brewery.

 

 

Thanks for reading about our latest adventure!!
You can check out our full list of breweries and tracks in every state we’ve visited.
Be sure to follow (link on the right sidebar!) and you’ll get a quick email when we post something new!
-Devin and Matt 

3. Florida

The third state we visited together, and really our first “vacation”, was  a quick trip to Florida to visit my sister and brother-in-law! They live near Tampa and basically always have impeccable weather.

AND THEY HAVE A BOAT!! So we got to enjoy the sunshine and walk around on some little islands. I’ve visited plenty of times before, so it was fun showing Matt around the area.

Our visit to Tampa cost us $180 each round trip for flights. A good deal, but before we learned the tricks to getting them for really cheap. This was really the trip that sparked our idea to visit all 50 together!

I visited Anclote Brewing a few years ago, but this trip, Matt got to run a track!

Thanks for reading about our latest adventure!!
You can check out our full list of breweries and tracks in every state we’ve visited.
Be sure to follow (link on the right sidebar!) and you’ll get a quick email when we post something new!
-Devin and Matt 

50 First States: An Introduction

Welcome to our blog!

IMG_5466.jpg We are Devin and Matt: a Pittsburgh transplant and a displaced Minnesotan, respectively. Right now, we live on the East Coast and together, we love four things:

  1. Tracks
  2. Breweries
  3. Hiking
  4. Exploring new cities

Matt, a recovering track star, started a goal of running every track in the state of Minnesota right around the time we met. He made it to 233 before we moved.

Conveniently, before I met Matt, I was on a mission to visit every brewery I could! (Much less healthy, arguably more fun). I made it to 21 unique breweries in Minnesota.

Now that we’re together and living in a more travel-friendly area of the U.S., we’ve decided to visit all 50 states together.

There’s one catch: we are CHEAP people.  

Follow our adventures as we seek the best hikes and the best tastes in every state — on a serious budget!