Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (2024)

Traversing the diverse landscapes of the United States by road has been a popular pastime since the early 20th century and driving vacations continue to capture the passions of Americans today. In fact, a 2019 Ford study conducted by OnePoll found that 73 percent of Americans would rather drive to their holiday destination than fly. So, why not take on the nation's longest road?

Most people know about the classic road trips—Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)—but the northern half of the U.S., especially the Midwestern states, often falls off the radar. Route 20 (US-20) runs right through this region, bookended by Newport, Oregon, and Boston, Massachusetts. The route is 3,365 miles long (Route 66 is 2,448 and the PCH is 665) and passes through 12 states. Most people allocate at least a week to traverse Route 20, which takes 52 to 60 hours just to drive.

01of 12

South Beach State Park: Lincoln County, Oregon

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (1)


5580 SW Coast Hwy, Newport, OR 97366, USA

Phone+1 800-551-6949

If you plan to cross the country from west to east, then you'll begin your journey at Oregon’s South Beach State Park on the Pacific Coast. South Beach offers plenty of camping (including electrical hookups, hot showers, restrooms, picnic areas, and an RV dump station), so you can stay over the night before and get an early start. This Lincoln County patch of coast also features miles of hiking and biking trails, a playground, disc golf, kayak tours, and more. If the weather is terrible (as it often is on the Oregon coast), you can visit nearby Hatfield Marine Science Center or the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

02of 12

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks: Montana/Wyoming

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (2)


Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA

Though two separate parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are often included in the same itinerary for their close proximity (about an hour's drive). Yellowstone, located at the corners of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, is America’s oldest national park. It's packed with hiking trails, geologic features like geysers and pools, rolling meadows filled with wildflowers, and wildlife (grizzlies, wolves, and bison) you're unlikely to see anywhere else. You could while away weeks in Yellowstone, but at least dedicate a day to this pit stop on your Route 20 tour. After you're done, head toward the jagged peaks of Grand Teton National Park, a mountainous region of Wyoming. For camping, Fishing Bridge RV Park in Yellowstone offers electrical hookups, but it can't accommodate large RVs. Many road trippers camp in a nearby privately-owned park like Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park instead.

03of 12

Boise River Greenbelt: Boise, Idaho

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (3)


Boise River Greenbelt, Boise, ID, USA

Boise is an outdoor lover's paradise. It is home to the Bogus Basin ski resort, the Idaho Botanical Garden, hiking trails at Table Rock, and a portion of the ever-famous Oregon Trail. Perhaps its most stunning natural feature, however, is the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25 mile-long waterway that the Boise Parks and Recreation Department has worked laboriously for years to make as scenic as possible. What was once a runoff river is now lined with lush trees, walking and cycling paths, wildlife viewing areas, and wetlands. Walk or cycle (there are nearby rental kiosks) as little or as much as you want along the Greenway; it's the perfect way to stretch your legs after a long stint of driving.

04of 12

Fort Robinson State Park: Dawes County, Nebraska

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (4)


Soldier Creek Rd & US Hwy 20, Crawford, NE 69339, USA

Phone+1 308-665-2900

Fort Robinson State Park is home to the Fort Robinson Museum and History Center, but there’s much more to this 22,000-acre space than Old West history. Here, you can hop on a Jeep or horse-drawn tour of the historic preservation site, play golf, go swimming in the indoor, Olympic-size Lindeken Pool, dine at the Fort Robinson Restaurant, go for a picnic, or go exploring by way of kayak or canoe. The on-site Post Playhouse puts on eight theatre shows per week (rotating between several musicals), which makes for great evening entertainment before turning in for the night in this small, often-overlooked Nebraska town.

Continue to 5 of 12 below.

05of 12

Carhenge: Alliance, Nebraska

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (5)


2151 Co Rd 59, Alliance, NE 69301, USA

Phone+1 308-762-5400

Route 66 has the colorful cars of Cadillac Ranch, but US-20 offers another bizarre twist on "car art" with Alliance's Carhenge. As the name implies, Carhenge is a quirky roadside attraction where several cars have been painted and stacked to resemble England’s famous Stonehenge. The monument to motoring was built in 1987 by Jim Reinders to honor his late father. Reinders studied Stonehenge while traveling in England to replicate the structure with 38 vehicles forming an almost 100-foot circle. There is a secondary exhibit at Carhenge where stoppers-by can paint their mark on the vehicles.

06of 12

Millennium Park: Chicago, Illinois

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (6)


Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, USA

Get your picture taken in front of Chicago's famous Cloud Gate (i.e. "The Bean") and take a break from the car in the Windy City. Millennium Park, operated by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, plays the dual role of park and museum, featuring interactive exhibits throughout the 24.5-square-mile urban sanctuary. You'll find prominent artworks and features like Lurie Garden and Crown Fountain, and because Millennium Park sits on top of a parking structure, it’s actually considered the world’s largest rooftop garden. If you're traveling in a camper, park on the outskirts and take the "L" (the rapid transit system) into town.

07of 12

RV and Motorhome Hall of Fame: Elkhart, Indiana

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (7)


21565 Executive Pkwy, Elkhart, IN 46514, USA

Phone+1 574-293-2344

Many who attempt this 3,300-mile road trip do it in a recreational vehicle. So, what better way than to honor your ride than by visiting the RV and Motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana? This Midwestern town is, in fact, where many American campers are built. Its 100,000-square-foot museum illustrates the history of traveling by RV and reflects on early industry giants like Airstream and Winnebago. Here, you'll see the oldest Winnebago, the smallest Airstream, and some of the more bizarre RVs to ever hit the market.

08of 12

Cedar Point: Sandusky, Ohio

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (8)


Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH 44870, USA

The U.S. is filled with amusem*nt parks, but few can hold a candle to Cedar Point. This park offers entertainment for all ages, from easy rides to some of the world’s most adrenaline-pumping roller coasters. Cedar Point bills itself as the "Rollercoaster Capital of the World," and considering it has six different coasters surpassing the 200-feet-high mark, it would be tough to refute that claim. The Sandusky, Ohio, park encompasses 350 acres of thrill rides (17 coasters in total), water parks, dining and shopping complexes, and more. However, the park is only open between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Continue to 9 of 12 below.

09of 12

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Cleveland, Ohio

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (9)


1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA

Phone+1 216-781-7625

About an hour from Cedar Point is the bustling city of Cleveland, whose crown jewel attraction is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Officially opened in 1985, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame showcases the history of the musical genre across seven levels of exhibits. You can stand just a few inches from some of the most iconic items in rock history, including instruments and memorabilia that once belonged to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley. You can even learn about what it takes to record a hit song. On the other hand, it may be best to avoid a trip to the Hall if the Cleveland Browns are playing a home game. The massive NFL crowds like to frequent this attraction, too, which could compromise the experience.

10of 12

Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens: Erie, Pennsylvania

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (10)


423 W 38th St, Erie, PA 16508, USA

Phone+1 814-864-4091

You don’t have to choose between visiting gardens or the zoo when you visit Erie, seeing as this Pennsylvania town has rolled both into one highly-rated venue. At the Erie Zoo and Botanic Gardens, you can marvel at equally exotic flora and fauna. Exhibits include a children’s zoo, the Michele Ridge Rose Garden, a tropical greenhouse, African lions, river otters, and alligators. Between the exhibits, you can set the kids loose on the many carnival rides scattered around the park. You can also pack in a picnic lunch and eat it at Glenwood Park.

11of 12

Baseball Hall of Fame: Cooperstown, New York

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (11)


25 Main St, Cooperstown, NY 13326, USA

Phone+1 888-425-5633

No drive through upstate New York would be complete without a visit to the museum that honors America’s favorite pastime. Stand in the shoes of baseball’s greatest sluggers and view items that are forever etched into Americana, such as the gloves Ricky Henderson wore when he swiped his 939th base or a baseball that was smacked more than 500 feet by Babe Ruth. The Hall is filled with exhibitions like Baseball at the Movies, which reflects on baseball’s role on the silver screen, and the Sandlot Kids Clubhouse, where your little ones can blow off some steam. Cooperstown, where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located, is right next to Otsego Lake, which offers kayaking, boat tours, and fishing.

12of 12

Freedom Trail: Boston, Massachusetts

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (12)


139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Phone+1 617-794-7512

The long journey ends in Boston, on the city’s famous Freedom Trail. First established in 1630, Boston is filled with history on America's founding fathers. The Freedom Trail directs you through downtown Boston on a 16-stop, 2.5-mile historical walk that passes by Park Street Church, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Paul Revere House, and Old North Church, Boston's oldest surviving church. Stop by the National Park Service-operated visitor center in Faneuil Hall to grab a map of the trail or start a guided tour.

Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S. (2024)


Your Road Trip Guide to the Longest Road in the U.S.? ›

The highway runs from Boston, Massachusetts in the east to Newport, Oregon in the west. That's 3365 total miles! Route 20 will take you right to the natural wonders of Yellowstone. Route 20 passes through several big cities (Boston, Cleveland, Chicago) and a bunch of small towns through 12 states.

What is the longest road trip route in the US? ›

America and road trips go hand in hand, although Route 66 is probably the famous road trip in the world, the longest road trip in the United States is actually Route 20 which connects Boston, Massachusetts on the east coast with Newport, Oregon on the Pacific coast in the north west of the country.

What is the longest drive you can take in the US? ›

The longest drive between any two cities in the contiguous United States stretches more than 3,600 miles from Cape Flattery, Washington, to Key West, Florida.

Where does US 20 start and end? ›

The highway's eastern terminus is in Boston, Massachusetts, at Kenmore Square, where it meets Massachusetts Route 2. Its western terminus is in Newport, Oregon, at an intersection with US 101, within a mile of the Pacific Ocean.

Where does the longest road start and end? ›

By The Numbers

The estimated number of miles covered by the Pan-American Highway, which starts in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and stretches to the tip of Argentina in Ushuaia.

Is Route 66 the longest road in America? ›

US Highway 66, popularly known as “Route 66,” is significant as the nation's first all-weather highway linking Chicago to Los Angeles. When contrasted with transcontinental corridors such as the Lincoln Highway and US Highway 40, Route 66 does not stand out as America's oldest or longest road.

Which US state takes the longest to drive across? ›

When it comes to driving distance, Alaska is the longest. It's a large territory. To begin with, the journey to Alaska is far less challenging than most people imagine. Traveling from the U.S. to Alaska, it's impossible to ignore the breathtaking grandeur of Mother Nature.

Does highway 20 go through Yellowstone? ›

Google Maps and other mapmakers may show US 20 going through Yellowstone National Park; however, it officially has a gap inside the park and resumes in Wyoming at the East Entrance. The Montana section of US 20 is entirely within Gallatin County.

Where does US 30 start and end? ›

The western end of the highway is at US 101 in Astoria, Oregon; the eastern end is at Virginia Avenue, Absecon Boulevard, and Adriatic Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The "0" as the last digit in the number indicates that it is a coast-to-coast route and a major east–west route.

Where does US 25 start and end? ›

U.S. Route 25 is a US highway in the east part of the United States of America. It goes from north to south. The road begins in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Ohio River and ends in Brunswick, Georgia, close to the Atlantic Ocean.

What is the loneliest road in the United States? ›

In July 1986, Life magazine published an article that gave US 50 in Nevada the name "The Loneliest Road in America". The article portrayed the highway, and rural Nevada, as a place devoid of civilization.

Is it safe to drive the entire Pan-American Highway? ›

The treacherous, inhospitable terrain is extremely dangerous to travelers, who are also vulnerable to kidnapping or other violence by guerrillas, drug traffickers, and smugglers. Those seeking to travel the length of the Americas on the Pan-American Highway typically bypass the Gap by boat or plane.

What is the longest drivable road in North America? ›

According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world's longest "motorable road".

What is the longest continuous route in the US? ›

US Route 20 is the longest in the United States, spanning 3365 miles and linking the hectic metropolitan landscapes of Boston, Massachusetts, to the tranquil coastal splendor of Newport, Oregon. This transcontinental route runs east to west across the country, passing through landscapes and settlements in 12 states.

What is the longest distance you can travel in the US? ›

Extreme distances

Greatest distance between any two points in the 50 states: 5,859 miles (9,429 km), from Kure Atoll, Hawaii, to Log Point, Elliott Key, Florida.

What is the longest straight route in the US? ›

ND-46 W (USA): 194km (121mi)

This asphalted road links Oxbow (in Cass County) and Streeter (Stutsman County). It's a straight road with a few kinks breaking up slightly the straight parts for 1 h 56 min. North Dakota claims its Highway 46 is the longest straight road in the US and Canada.

What is the longest route in Ticket to Ride USA? ›

The longest route includes all the red trains (50 trains) and does not include all the blue trains of the smaller routes branching off. Note that the branches do not count although they are connected. The Trans America Express (worth 10 points) card in Ticket To Ride is awarded to the player with the longest route.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carlyn Walter

Last Updated:

Views: 5840

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carlyn Walter

Birthday: 1996-01-03

Address: Suite 452 40815 Denyse Extensions, Sengermouth, OR 42374

Phone: +8501809515404

Job: Manufacturing Technician

Hobby: Table tennis, Archery, Vacation, Metal detecting, Yo-yoing, Crocheting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Carlyn Walter, I am a lively, glamorous, healthy, clean, powerful, calm, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.