Though it may be the longest road in the USA, a trip down Route 20 will feel anything but. The coast-to-coast journey connects Oregon to Massachusetts, crossing 12 states, Yellowstone National Park, Carhenge and the Jell-O Museum along the way. So pack your camera – it's time to meet the most weird and wonderful road in the USA.
Starting off on the West Coast
The coastal city of Newport, Oregon serves as the start (or end) point of your Route 20 adventure. Famed for its marine life and aquariums, and you can find the best of both at the popular Yaquina Bay. Will you be brave enough to traverse Shark Bridge? Nearby, the area's iconic lighthouse and nearby tide pools have been a fabled stopping point for decades.
Once you've had your fill of fresh seafood, wild beaches and the bluest ocean views, the next state on your journey east is Idaho, passing through downtown Boise at the base of the Rocky Mountain Foothills.
Stop at the aptly named Craters of the Moon for strange lunar landscapes formed of dormant lava fields, then head to the Idaho Potato Museum for tours, special exhibits and "Free Taters for Out of Staters!"
Yellowstone National Park
The Route 20 stretch through Montana lasts for just 10 miles, but that's more than enough to cross another state off your list. Passing into Wyoming, you'll find Yellowstone National Park – the very first in the world – with wilderness so sprawling that it spreads into three states.
The otherworldly landscape here is a place of geysers, hot springs, alpine rivers and verdant forests, not to mention the stunning wildlife that calls it home. Bison, moose, elk, grey wolves, and grizzly and black bears all roam free in the dramatic scenery, and Yellowstone offers plenty of information on how to share the park with them safely and kindly.
Iconic stops in middle country
From the wild and mystic landscapes of Yellowstone to something a little bit closer to home.
Shortly after you arrive in Nebraska you might just catch sight of a familiar scene in the distance – the formation of Stonehenge recreated in old cars. Having spent time working in England and been captivated by the iconic landmark, Carhenge was built in 1987 by engineer Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father. It has since become a popular spot for locals and visitors to catch celestial events.
Heading deeper into the heart of the country, stop off at the Ashfall State Historical Park, where palaeontologists work to unearth rare specimens in the fossil beds, before hitting the picturesque small towns and villages of Iowa. Film and baseball fans will also want to seek out the legendary diamond used as the filming location of Field of Dreams.
Big cities and big thrills
On to Illinois, where Route 20 takes a jaunt along the Mississippi River before passing Chicago's South Side. Take a break to enjoy the famous hot dogs, deep-dish pizza and buzzing character of the Windy City, or keep cruising to cross into the industrial landscapes of Indiana.
Once you hit Ohio, be sure to stop in at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where you’ll find Elvis Presley's car, David Bowie’s costumes, Jimi Hendrix's drawings and Lady Gaga's meat dress – carefully preserved and treated, of course.
Then head to the Cedar Point amusement park, roller coaster capital of the world, which is housed on an island in Lake Erie.
To the East Coast
Staying by Lake Erie, the fourth largest of the five great lakes, you'll pass into Pennsylvania and the rural upstate landscapes of the eastern states. New York state lies not much further, with Albany County providing a quaint spot for a wander around beautiful Romanesque revival, art deco and modern architecture.
Alternatively, head to the Finger Lakes for glacial landscapes, gorgeous hikes and towering waterfalls – plus a few nearby vineyards for good measure. Or for a quirkier stop, the Jell-O Museum and the Original American Kazoo Company are the place to pick up a few stories and souvenirs to take home.
The grand finale
And so the final stretch into Massachusetts brings your road trip to an end. As the Boston skyline looms ahead, you'll have officially conquered the longest road in America.
Head to Quincy Market for a cup of world-famous clam chowder before enjoying a celebratory drink at the Green Dragon Tavern – a tribute to the popular drinking spot of the Sons of Liberty with the "Headquarters of the American Revolution" nickname proudly emblazoned on the bar signage.
If you fancy a final jaunt off Route 20 then the nearby town of Salem, site of the infamous witch trials, is the perfect spot for fascinating historical sites, vividly-coloured houses, beautiful shopping streets and plenty of museums around the town’s history and beyond. Be sure to pick up some local Blackjacks and Gibralters from Ye Olde Pepper Candie, America’s oldest candy company.
If you're ready to start your next adventure, hire a car with Alamo today!