Cross Country Moves: Major Interstates to Know

cross-countryThere are many reasons that might cause you to move across the country. Perhaps you are changing jobs, or maybe you are moving to be closer to family or a significant other. Whatever your reason for making a cross-country move, you have to find a method for getting yourself and your belongings from your current home to a new one several hundred miles away.

With current prices for flying or freight shipping your possessions becoming out of reach for many people, driving to your location is quickly becoming the best option for a cross-country move. There are several major interstates that can help you get to your new home quickly and easily with a few fun stops along the way.

Interstate 75
With a length of approximately 1,787 miles, I-75 begins in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The interstate passes through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia on the way to its conclusion in Hialeah, Florida. When I-75 was constructed, it was built parallel to an existing interstate that traveled a path of a similar length known as Dixie Highway. The original Dixie Highway has since been demolished, but I-75 has become known as Dixie Highway Redux for its comparable track.

If you are looking for a break along this route, interesting stops include Luna Pier, a small beach community on Lake Erie, and the Roebling Bridge over the Ohio River, leading from Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington features a tribute to Secretariat as well as live horse shows throughout the day, and Norris Dam in Lake City, Tennessee, provides great views of Norris Lake and the surrounding countryside. You might also consider stopping at the Georgia Aquarium or the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, both in Atlanta, on your trek.

Interstate 95
This interstate has earned its nickname, Atlantic Coast Highway, for obvious reasons. If you drive its nearly 1,926-mile length, you will see Miami, Florida, at one end and Houlton, Maine, at the other with the rest of the roadway never straying far from the coastline. Throughout its distance, you will pass through 15 different states, including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Even with all of this distance, what is most impressive about I-95 is the wide variety of interesting places where you can stop, sightsee and explore. For example, you can see the world's largest bug in Providence, Rhode Island, a 58-foot sculpture of a termite. This interstate also takes you through parts of New York City, over the George Washington Bridge and onto the New Jersey Turnpike, which features rest stops named for famous Americans as well as the world's largest light bulb in Edison, New Jersey. Once you arrive in South Carolina, you will want to look for the billboards featuring Pedro and advertising South of the Border, the perfect stop for photos, souvenirs and the local reptile lagoon.

Interstate 70
The 2,153 miles of I-70 have been nicknamed the Trans-Siberian American because of its exhaustive route across the country from Cove Fort, Utah, to Baltimore, Maryland. With great views of the St. Louis Arch and Glenwood Canyon directly from the highway, I-70 spans most of the Midwestern states, including Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Despite its useful route, I-70 sometimes has a reputation for being an unexciting path across the Great Plains. However, you can find plenty of places to stop, stretch your legs and take in a little scenery along this interstate. In Goodland, Kansas, you will find an 80-foot easel displaying a massive Van Gogh painting, and in Lucas, Kansas, a short 16-mile jaunt from the interstate, you can see the Garden of Eden created with nearly 200 concrete statues. The Candy Factory in Columbia, Missouri, offers a tour and nearly any type of candy you could crave for your cross-country journey. Finally, you can see the second-largest cross in the world, Cross at the Crossroads, in Effingham, Illinois.

Interstate 10
The amusing nickname "The Neck Beard" applies to I-10 as it stretches for 2,460 miles across the underside of the country from Santa Monica, California, to Jacksonville, Florida. Maintaining a route that passes through southern states like Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, I-10 provides a safe route of travel, even in the winter months when many other interstates face snow and frozen roadways.

With such fair weather throughout your journey, there are many different stops available along I-10. For example, the Joshua Tree National Park in Twentynine Palms, California, is known for its iconic trees just as Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona, is known for its cacti. The Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley, Arizona, is the only place to see a missile that could launch a nuclear warhead, and a short detour to Tombstone, Arizona, will put you in the infamous O.K. Corral. The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is not far from I-10, nor is the Space Center Houston. There are several space centers and national parks throughout this route that would make a perfect rest stop or overnight camping location.

Interstate 40
With 2,555 miles of coast-to-coast roadway, The Big 4-0 is the busiest route from the East to the West, especially after it joins with Route 66 in Oklahoma City. One end is in Barstow, California, and the other is in Wilmington, North Carolina. Between these two points, I-40 passes through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee to give you a simple path across the entire United States.

The great distance from one end to the other may make you want to take in some of the possible stops along the way, most especially including the Grand Canyon's beautiful cliffs and the 13,000-year-old trees of the Petrified Forest National Park in Winslow, Arizona. Other spots for nature-lovers along I-40 include Hot Springs National Park near Little Rock, Arkansas, and Smokey Mountains National Park on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. If you enjoy live music, I-40 runs through the busy hubs of Memphis and Nashville. Art aficionados will find Georgia O'Keeffe's work on display in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a large River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina.

Interstate 80
The mostly flat and repetitious route of Interstate 80 across the Great Plains and into the Rocky Mountains has earned this interstate the nickname Lincoln Highway Redux. The nearly 2,900 miles of roadway stretches from San Francisco, California, to Fort Lee, New Jersey, with Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in between those two points.

If you are looking for points of interest along I-80, you do not need to go any farther than Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park in North Platte, Nebraska, for a look at this notorious figure of the Wild West, or visit the museum-in-a-bridge Archway in Kearney, Nebraska. In Audubon, Iowa, you will find Albert the Bull, a 30-foot tall beast, as well as Elk Horn, Iowa's favorite windmill. You may find the 40-foot glass walls of the Holy Family Shrine in Gretna, Nebraska, a great place to stop for some peace and relaxation on what could be a stressful move. If these statuesque locations are not what you are looking for, try the Seneca Caverns in Bellevue, Ohio for an hour-long tour of nature.

Interstate 90

Interstate 90 has earned its nickname, America's Great Road, thanks to its impressive length of 3,102 miles from the West Coast to the East Coast. Like I-70 and I-40, I-90 transverses the nation, but this interstate is often less trafficked than the others because of its route far to the north of the country. With one end in Seattle, Washington, and the other in Boston, Massachusetts, I-90 also covers Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

Highlights along I-90 are as varied as the geography of this interstate. You can see the Boston Freedom Trail in Massachusetts and pass within short distance of Niagara Falls in New York. If you decide to stop in Cleveland, you can visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There are plenty of museum and shopping choices in Chicago, and you can visit the historical sites of Little Bighorn and Mt. Rushmore from I-90. Whether you want to see the Big Sky of Montana or visit one of the first Starbucks locations in Seattle, I-90 has many different options.

When you decide to undertake a cross-country move, driving yourself and your belongings will likely be the most cost-effective and efficient method of travel. With one of these interstates, you will have an almost direct path to nearly any location, making your move easier and less stressful.