U.S. 20: 3,365 Miles from Coast to Coast
In the 1940s and ‘50s the inimitable Nat King Cole was one of the country’s most popular singers. Nat sang about a highway – Route 66. He had you envisioning all of the scenery from Chicago to Los Angeles. You would swear you saw the Burma Shave signs flash past.
Sadly, Route 66 is no more. It has been gobbled up by the interstates – a functional system that expedites travelers across the United States.
Many believe that only memories of a wonderful bygone era remain. In the 40s and 50s traveling across the country on a two-lane road was an adventure. You waved at strangers, and they actually waved back. You stopped for gasoline, and an attendant actually waited on you. There was none of this “self-serve” stuff of today.
Memories linger, but reality overtakes us. Must the romance die?
No – not at all!!! There is a road with all the appeal and romance of “ol’ Route 66” – except for the service station attendants. That road is U.S. 20.
It leaves Boston in a westerly direction and crosses Massachusetts. In New York it travels through Albany, and across the tops of the 11 Finger Lakes. Before reaching Buffalo, the highway turns in a southwesterly direction and parallels Lake Erie.
At the southern tip of Lake Erie, U.S. 20 turns west again. It goes through the northern tip of Pennsylvania. Shortly after entering Ohio, the road passes through downtown Cleveland and travels on to Toledo.
U.S. 20 travels across northern Indiana, through South Bend, before dropping around the southern edge of Lake Michigan. It enters Illinois at the southeastern corner of Chicago, circles the city on the west, and then heads west again.
When U.S. 20 crosses the Mississippi, it immediately enters Sioux City, Iowa. It crosses northern Iowa and Nebraska. Just west of Laramie, Wyoming, U.S. 20 goes north, then turns west and travels right through the heart of Yellowstone National Park.
Upon leaving Yellowstone, the highway goes in a southwesterly direction to Boise. There it heads west once again into Oregon and reaches the Pacific at Newport.
We invite you to consider leaving the interstates and drive Through the Heartland on U.S. 20. It will provide you with a sense of adventure. It will rekindle the romance of a road that Nat King Cole sang about over sixty years ago.
We know you will have a ball doing it!!!