Road Trip Guide: Heading East on U.S. Route 60

What to know before you hit the road.

Route 60, Cibola National Forest, New Mexico
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Travelers tracing this east-west route will find themselves on a wildly varied road trip, with remote stretches of two-lane highway that give way in places to a major freeway with multiple lanes of traffic in each direction. Nearly 2,700-miles long, U.S. Route 60 originally started in Los Angeles, California, but this stretch was removed in 1964 and later replaced by Interstate 10. Today, Route 60 rambles through seven states until it terminates at the Atlantic Ocean — and along the way, you'll encounter antique-filled towns, extraordinary hiking, and sweeping forests.

Where to Find U.S. Route 60

Starting in Brenda — a community in southwest Arizona — and heading east until it reaches Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S. Route 60 may very well be one of the best road trips you’ve never heard of.

Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona
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Where To Stop

After beginning your journey in Arizona, you’ll travel northeast until you reach Surprise, Arizona, where the highway’s name temporarily changes to Grand Avenue until you reach Phoenix. A nice pit stop for those who are already itching to get out of the car is Camelback Mountain, which has quick hikes for those simply seeking great views, and strenuous hikes for avid outdoors men and women. A particularly popular hike is the mountain’s Echo Canyon Trail, which boasts an excellent vantage point of the Phoenix Valley.

Once you exit the Arizona’s state border, you’ll find yourself in Catron County, New Mexico. Here, you’ll cut through the Cibola National Forest, a spectacular landscape that covers more than 1.6 million acres of land with elevations ranging from 2,700 feet to well over 11,000 feet.

You'll make your way through a sliver of Texas by driving across the Texas Panhandle, and cross the entirety of Oklahoma. With 168 miles of shoreline, Oklahoma’s Kaw Lake is a perfect place to stop for a day. Visitors will enjoy fishing, sailing, and horseback riding. If you’re traveling with an RV, you have the option to camp here as well (there are hundreds of campsites to choose from).

Before leaving Oklahoma, stop in Bartlesville, which is famous for its Art Deco architecture. American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower is one of the area's main attractions. Built in 1956, this 19-story tower is the only realized skyscraper ever built by Wright and is a significant piece of Bartlesville history. Take a tour inside the tower and visit the ever-changing exhibitions that feature works of art, furniture, and textiles.

West Virginia State Capitol Building, Charleston, West Virginia
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You'll encounter a number of amusing road side attractions while driving through Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky (think: a herd of horses created from scrap metal) but save a significant portion of your trip for West Virginia.

In this state, road trippers can meander along the scenic Midland Trail. Drop by Old Central City, a historic town that's home to dozens of antique shops, museums, and farmer’s markets, and is known to locals as the Antique Capital. About 50 miles east, you’ll reach West Virginia’s capital city, Charleston. Formerly a frontier town, Charleston is now a meticulously groomed upscale city. Visit the Culture Center, where you’ll find a state museum, libraries, and a theater that holds special events throughout the year.

Though you may be tired, you’ll feel fully restored when you see the shorelines of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay: the 200-mile-long body of water that runs from the Susquehanna River to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy stretching your legs in Colonial Williamsburg or visit Virginia’s capital, Richmond, which has recently become a destination in its own right. Check out the Civil War monuments, slow-smoked pulled pork at Alamo BBQ, and spend the night at the new Quirk Hotel before beginning your trip home.

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