The Interstate 44 highway (I-44) covers 633 miles and runs from Wichita Falls, TX in the west to St. Louis, MO in the east.
I-44 connects the great states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri and is known locally as the “Central Freeway.” There have been several attempts to extend the Texas portion of I-44 to the city of Abilene, but so far none have been successful.
If your road trip is taking you down I-44, you’d probably like to know what you can expect along the way.
Jerry can help with that. We’ll tell you all about I-44, from major junctions to look out for to some good places to stop for food along the way.
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What is an interstate highway?
An Interstate is a highway that passes through multiple states and connects major cities to each other throughout the country.
A numbered system of mostly one or two-digit numbers is used to name and code Interstates. Routes that run north-south are represented by odd numbers, while even numbers are used for east-west routes. The largest, most important Interstates typically end in a zero or a five.
Interestingly, I-44 has more of a southwest-northeast alignment, as opposed to the typical east-west orientation indicated by an even number.
What states does I-44 run through?
I-44 passes through three states:
Missouri. Across its length of 633 miles, it connects the cities of Wichita Falls, Oklahoma City, Joplin, and St. Louis.
The majority of the route—329 miles—is located within Oklahoma, compared to 293 miles in Missouri and a paltry 15 miles in Texas.
Major interchanges on I-44
If you’re traveling along I-44, you’ll want to keep an eye on the exits along the way. Here are some of the major interchanges and connections to be aware of:
US 82 / US 277 / US 281 / US 287 in Wichita Falls, TX
I-40 in Oklahoma City, OK
I-35 in Oklahoma City, OK
I-49 / US 71 near Joplin, MO
I-55 / I-64 / US 40 in St Louis, MO
Best places to eat along I-44
One of the most fun parts of being on the road is finding new and interesting places to eat. There are plenty of good places to grab a bite along I-44, so here are a few options:
The Branding Iron (Wichita Falls, TX): This classic Texas BBQ joint has been a local favorite since 1974. They serve a bevy of smoked BBQ meats, sandwiches, and platters, as well as all the southern sides you could ask for.
Cattleman’s Steakhouse (Oklahoma City, OK): Cattleman’s is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Oklahoma City and has served famous clientele like John Wayne and Gene Autry. You won’t find a better place to get a good steak and a stiff drink than this classic OKC establishment.
Frida (Oklahoma City, OK): This modern venue is a great place to try Southwest cuisine, as imagined by chef Quinn Carroll. There is an expansive patio if you want to sit outside and eat, and the whole menu is available for carryout in case you don’t want to take too much time off the road.
Salt + Smoke (St. Louis, MO): St. Louis is a BBQ town. In fact, you’re pretty much traveling through the heart of BBQ country on I-44! Salt + Smoke is a newcomer to the scene, offering classic BBQ with exciting twists—perfect if you’re feeling adventurous. Make sure to try the burnt ends if there are any left.
Pro Tip Before you make a detour, make sure that the place you want to eat is actually open! There’s nothing worse than showing up hungry to a restaurant that’s closed.
What is there to do on I-44?
If you’re in the mood to stop during your journey up and down I-44, you’ll find that there are plenty of interesting things to see and do along the way.
Here are a few attractions you can find off I-44:
The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum in Wichita Falls, TX
Find affordable car insurance with Jerry
Before you hit the road on I-44, make sure you have a good car insurance policy.
Jerry comes in. Jerry is the world’s first super app for car owners and the easiest way to compare quotes online. It’ll be the simplest thing you do all week—just download the app and enter your information.
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