All You Need to Know About I-15

Interstate 15 starts in Sweetgrass, Montana and ends in San Diego, California, after covering 1,433 miles of the western United States.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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Interstate 15 runs from Sweetgrass,
Montana
to
San Diego
, California, covering 1,433 miles of the western United States.
Whether you’re brushing up on
road trip essentials
for a drive to the California coast or just touring Big Sky Country, I-15 is chock-full of fun things to see, do, and eat! From world-class water parks to mermaid-themed tiki bars, the interstate is lined with unforgettable activities and delicious cuisine.
Below, we've put together the ultimate guide to Interstate 15: where it starts, where it ends, and most importantly, what you can do to make the most of your journey along I-15. Let’s get this show on the road!
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What is an interstate highway?

Simply put, interstate highways are long road segments that connect major U.S. cities. Usually, interstates are one or two-digit numbers, and they’re marked by red, white, and blue signs
Interestingly, the
highway numbering system
was built with a secret code in mind—but most people don’t know it! For example, highways that end in odd numbers, like I-15, run north-south. Interstates that run east-west end in even numbers.
Major highways tend to end in zero or five, and low-numbered interstates start on the west coast (I-5) and work their way east (to I-95). So, just from its number, we know that I-15 is a major highway near the west coast that runs north-south—how cool is that?

What states does I-15 run through?

Interstate 15 runs through several urban meccas, including
Salt Lake City
and
Las Vegas
, on its way through six states. These are the state lines you’ll traverse on I-15:
Though construction on I-15 began in 1957, major improvement projects were ongoing as recently as 2009. 
An excellent interstate highway system doesn’t come cheap—the road work on I-15 between 2002 and 2009 alone cost $349 million. And that number pales in comparison to the entire cost of the U.S. interstate system: a whopping $600 billion!

Major interchanges on I-15

We know how easy it is to lose focus during an all-day road trip. Stay on the lookout for these major interchanges so you don’t miss your exit:
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Best places to eat along I-15

If you grab a gas station sandwich or some greasy fast food and keep plowing along the interstate, you’ll regret it—trust us on this one. Plus, how could you pass up some of the incredible options for food along I-15?
Here are our go-to restaurants on the road:
  • Stone Brewing Company
    (Escondido, CA): There’s something for everyone on Stone Brewing Company’s
    all-day menu
    . Plus, you’ll get a chance to stretch your legs in its magnificent one-acre beer garden!
  • Pioneer Saloon
    (Goodsprings, NV): Pioneer Saloon is home to the world-famous Ghost Burger, and it’s open until 8 p.m. each night. That’s not even the best part, though—the restaurant is dog-friendly, so you and your puppy pal can both enjoy Nevada’s best!
  • Blackfoot River Brewing
    (Helena, MT): If you’re spending the night in Montana’s capital, you won’t regret checking out Blackfoot River Brewing’s awesome selection of
    apps and IPAs
    .
  • Sip ‘n Dip Lounge
    (Great Falls, MT): By the time you’ve made it to Great Falls, you’ve just about traversed all of I-15—so celebrate by stopping at Sip n’ Dip lounge! Its quirky, tiki bar vibe is complete with live mermaid performances, and it’s kid-friendly until 8 p.m.
Of course, you never want to run the risk of getting
a DUI
(or any distracted driving ticket!), so be sure to plan your brewery visits for the end of your driving day.
Pro Tip If your heart is set on visiting a certain restaurant, be sure to plan your driving hours ahead of time—that way, you’re sure to arrive when the bar, brewery, or saloon is still open.

What is there to do on I-15?

From top-notch museums to all-star water parks, there are plenty of ways to spice up your drive along I-15. Keep an eye out for these pit stops along the way:
  • USS Midway Museum
    (San Diego, CA): This is the perfect place for Air Force and Navy enthusiasts alike—you can tour a famous American aircraft carrier and its fleet of planes and, if you’re lucky, snag a ticket to a Top Gun movie night!
  • Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car
    (Primm, NV): Make a quick stop to see the bullet-riddled Ford stolen by the notorious criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
  • Pinball Hall of Fame
    (Las Vegas, NV): Vegas isn’t all gambling and casinos—it’s also home to the world’s largest pinball museum!
  • Pioneer Park
    (St. George, UT): This 52-acre park in Utah is a rock climber's paradise. If you prefer to keep two feet firmly on the ground, though, there are plenty of scenic hikes in the park (or you could play it safe with a nice picnic and BBQ).  
  • Seven Peaks Water Park
    (Provo, UT): With 15 different play areas, slides, and pools, Seven Peaks is the best way to cool off during your cruise down I-15. 
MORE: 8 pro tips for long car rides with kids

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