This summer, cruising under the I-5 through California’s main Valley come the Los Angeles Basin, i unwittingly stumbled upon a many exasperating development: the country strip mall. First, let me state that ns don’t hate. I’ve gained nothing versus Petco, Starbucks, OfficeMax, et al. When overcome by the desire for a cubic yard of kitty litter, a carafe the pre-Columbian frappasmoochino, or fifty gross of pink highlighter pens, I’m there in a jiffy!

But, Mr. Genuine Estate Tycoon, did girlfriend have come plop your shopping facility smack dab in the center of what was previously nowhere? Okay, the land was cheap. And yes, girlfriend did traffic studies and also proved the the interstate and distant suburbs would drench every little thing you built in a raging torrent of eager consumerism. But your retail monstrosity drains the wildness from the countryside for twenty mile in every direction! Sure, friend can’t see it from everywhere – however once you understand it’s there, girlfriend feel it. In the countryside drawl of a bordering rancher, the flat-out sucks!

Which begs the question: simply how much away deserve to you gain from our civilization of generic convenience? and how would you figure that out?

As ns hurtled under the highway, a pair of gold arches crept over the horizon, and the proverbial lightbulb smacked me in the forehead. Come gauge the creep the cookie-cutter commercialism, there’s no far better barometer than McDonald’s – ubiquitous fast food chain and inaugural megacorporate colonizer of tiny towns nationwide.

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So, I set out to recognize the farthest point from a Micky Dee’s – in the reduced 48 states, at least. This venture required information, and the pretty folks at AggData were kind enough to administer it to me: a complete list of all 13,000-or-so U.S. Restaurants, in CSV format, geolocated for maximum convenience. Indigenous there, a little bit of software engineering gymnastics, and…

Behold, a image of the contiguous united States, fancy by street to the nearest domestic McDonald’s!


The contiguous United states visualized by the distance to the nearest McDonald's.

As expected, McDonald’s swarm at the population centers and also hug the highway grid. Eastern of the Mississippi, there’s wall-to-wall coverage, except for a grasp of meager gaps centered on the Adirondacks, inland Maine, the Everglades, and outlying West Virginia.

For best McSparseness, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map: the barren deserts of main Nevada, the arid hills of southeastern Oregon, the rugged wilderness that Idaho’s Salmon flow Mountains, and the conspicuous fine of blackness ~ above the high levels of northwestern south Dakota. There, in a patch of roll grassland, loose hemmed in by Bismarck, Dickinson, Pierre, and also the better Rapid City-Spearfish-Sturgis metropolitan area, we uncover our answer.

Between the small Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and also Glad sink lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles far-off from the nearest McDonald’s, as the raven flies, and 145 mile by car!

Suffer a big Mac attack out there, and you’re hurtin’ because that certain! for a coupla hours, at least, uneven graced through the tender blessings the “manna from heaven” – that is, a fast food waiting drop indigenous the Medi-Copter.

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Update #1: check out “The Hungry Midwest” because that a regional zoom the this map.Update #2: The McFarthest Spot has moved!