All You Need to Know About I-40

Running east to west, I-40 connects Barstow, CA and Wilmington, NC, covering 2,556.61 miles.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
From Barstow, CA to Wilmington, NC, Interstate 40 covers 2,556.61 miles, making it the third-longest interstate highway.
If you were to drive the entire length of Interstate 40 from east to west, you would pass through eight different states! Although not all of us have the time for such an epic road trip, any time you spend on I-40 can be an adventure. From world-famous fried chicken to a literal meteor crater, there’s plenty to see and enjoy along Interstate 40.
We're here with all there is to know about traveling the I-40. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of this massive highway and consider some of the must-see spots on the way!
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What is an interstate highway?

Interstate highways are a network of major roads across America. They link large metro areas and create thoroughfares between the most populated areas in the country.
Even though the purpose of interstates is pretty clear, the numbering system can be a little confusing. Usually, one or two-digit numbers indicate a highway that crosses state borders or connects two separate major cities. I-40 has an even number ending in a zero, which indicates two things: first, the even number means it is an east-west route, and second, the zero shows that I-40 is one of the more important interstate routes.

What states does I-40 run through?

Barstow, California
, to
Wilmington, North Carolina
, I-40 passes through eight states on its way through America. Here’s a list of where I-40 can take you, including the miles the third-longest interstate covers:
I-40 shares 1.53 miles with I-35 on its way through Oklahoma.

Major interchanges on I-40

Wherever you’re headed on I-40, you’re going to need to get off the highway at some point! To make sure you don’t miss your exit, here are some of the major connections and interchanges to be aware of:
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Best places to eat along I-40

It’s important to take breaks during long drives to stretch your legs and grab a meal to keep you going! Here are some of the best places to eat along your I-40 journey:
  • Satchmo's
    (2320 N Fourth St, Flagstaff, AZ 86004): An unpretentious
    New Orleans
    -style cafe serving up slow-smoked BBQ dishes and gumbo. Open from 11 am to 8 pm.
  • Cheever's Cafe
    (2409 N Hudson Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73103): Open from 10 am to 9 pm, this elegant bistro offers Southwestern food, fancy cocktails, and an upscale dining experience that’s not to be missed.
  • Capeo
    (425 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114): A dinner-only venue, stop by this fancy Italian restaurant from 5 pm to 9 pm for a classy meal.
  • Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
    (310 S Front St, Memphis, TN 38103): For those travelers seeking a relaxed atmosphere and fried chicken comfort, check out Gus’s chain restaurant from 11 am to 9 pm.
  • Ambar
    (2901 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201): Open from 11 am to 10 pm, this traditional Balkan restaurant serves large and small portions, and offers regional drinks.
Pro Tip If you’re planning on stopping for a meal on your trip down I-40, be sure to plan ahead. There’s nothing worse than showing up at a venue and finding it closed for the season.

What is there to do on I-40?

Besides taking you through cities like Little Rock, Memphis, and Oklahoma City, the I-40 runs through every landscape from mountains to desert—there’s no shortage of things to see on your cross-country journey! 
However, if you’re looking for a few points of interest along your way, here are some options for things to do on I-40:

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Before you head out on your journey down I-40, make sure you have the right coverage to keep you safe on the road. Don’t want to spend hours calling around to insurance companies?
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