If you were to measure the widest possible distance between the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States, it would measure about 2,800 miles right across. For a more specific answer, you would need to measure the distance between two cities or locales.
You also need to know if you are measuring the entire country or just the contiguous United States. The contiguous U.S. is also known as the continental U.S. It is the part of the country that stretches from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast.
Driving Across the Country
Keep in mind that the distance between the distance from the East Coast to the West Coast depends on the route one takes as well as the starting and ending points. The distance one would have to drive to reach the other coast would also wind around more. You would not be traveling a straight distance.
If you were to drive the shortest possible route, you would drive from an area just south of San Diego, California, to just south of Brunswick, Georgia. In total, you would drive 2,671 miles along Route 80.
If you wanted to drive the longest route, you would cover 3,527 miles along Route 50. You would travel from Point Arena, California, to West Quoddy Head, Maine. West Quoddy Head is the easternmost area of the U.S.
The East to West Distance
If you include Point Barrow in your calculation and measure to the tip of Florida, the distance is nearly 4,300 miles across the U.S. Point Barrow is located at the northern point of Alaska.
The North to South Distance
The longest distance that runs north and south in the U.S. is 1,650 miles. This period runs from Maine to Florida. Keep in mind that this refers only to distances within the contiguous states, not including Hawaii and Alaska.
The most northern and southern points in the U.S. are not on the main continent. The southernmost point in the entire U.S. is Hawaii Island. The northernmost point is Point Barrow in Alaska.
The Alaskan border along Canada measures 1,538 miles, and the entire Canada-USA border is 3,145 miles. The Mexico-USA border is about 1,951 miles in length. The borders are not an accurate depiction of the length of the country, but they do provide some insight into how large the U.S. is.
American Coastline Distances
In total, the U.S. has 12,383 miles of coastline. The Atlantic coastline is 2,069 miles long, and the Pacific coastline is 7,623 miles, including Hawaii. Alaska itself offers 1,060 miles of coastline.
The distance across the country depends on several factors, including the way you plan to travel. For example, flying by plane allows travelers to fly to their destination in a straight line. People who drive across the country will drive many more miles than the plane will fly. Additionally, traveling across the northern region is very different than traveling along the southern portion of the country.