U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-07-2007, 04:29 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,816 posts, read 12,321,925 times
Reputation: 4767

Advertisements

A lot of people here as well as friends in real life have said that you can't see the "real America" unless you leave the Interstate highways and travel the backroads, the U.S. Highways, or state routes. I've never taken a cross-country trip before, but I've been from Boise all the way through Utah to Las Vegas and the landscape was pretty cool and different for me cause I'm more used to green landscapes. But that's just the natural landscape, not the human one.

How many of ya'll agree with those cliched claims that the Interstates make everything the same and destroy what makes each region and town unique. That if you want to see and experience life in a different part of the country you must go into small towns away from the major highways. Does one miss out on a lot traveling long-distance using the Interstate system and not using state roads or U.S. Highways? A famous writer, I forgot his name, once said upon the completion of the INterstate system that its now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.

A lot of songs I listen to talk about the "cold Interstate" vs the pleasantness of "old dirt roads" and faded backtops or two-lane highways.

And even for the natural landscape. In the movie "Cars", its said that local, older roads moved "with" the land while the Interstate just went "through" it. I've noticed there's at some truth to this. In Western Maryland and Virginia the Interstates blast through mountains (there's a huge man-made canyon on I-68 in Western Maryland that's since been a geological site - Sideling Hill) and use tunnels. That movie also said about Route 66 vs. I-40 is that on the Interstate people drove to make good time while on Route 66 people drove to "have a good time". How true is this?

Do ya'll prefer to prefer to use the major highways vs. backroads when traveling?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-07-2007, 06:56 PM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,756,341 times
Reputation: 828
Interstates are for speed, commerce and defense, not for tourists. So yes, leave them when you actually want to see something about a place. Objectively, they do none of their intended jobs very well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2007, 07:35 PM
 
Location: yeah
5,716 posts, read 14,568,708 times
Reputation: 2829
I hate interstates through rural areas. They're nice (wide and fast) just to get across town, though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2007, 08:11 PM
 
5,858 posts, read 14,044,713 times
Reputation: 3482
I only use them when I am in a hurry. Otherwise, I'll take the parallel routes and the "blue highways".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2007, 11:01 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 14,422,518 times
Reputation: 3867
The Interstate system was built to provide speedy, effecient travel. For this reason, most small towns and cities were bypassed by the system.

The Interstate system croses some beutiful physical terrain but, if "seeing America" equates to experiencing the downtown core of small cities and towns, then the a traveller seeking that experience should stay off the Interstate system and stick to the older US routes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2007, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,281,351 times
Reputation: 464
The problem is that a lot of cities "moved" out to the interstate by building malls, etc along interchanges, junctions, and plain old exits. Most of these places have the same Applebees, the same Shells, the same Super 8s like anywhere else. Drive into town and see ... dead ghost downtown.

The interstate system is so necessary that if it didn't exist, we would need another kind of Eisenhower to invent it. Not all cities with interstate access have been hallowed out, though, only those that were useless pit stops back when main trunk roads were slow and meandering. To get from Home City to Exciting Place, you should take the interstate and get gas in Whocaresville, and get off at Destination Awesome City.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2007, 11:48 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 58,586,358 times
Reputation: 14925
My favorite scenic interstates are

I 77 between Wytheville VA and Bluefield WVA

And I 81 between Abington VA and Roanoke VA
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2007, 02:44 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,345,028 times
Reputation: 9919
As a trucker, I don't really favor Interstates over U.S. and state highways. There are plenty of good U.S. and state routes that will save you LOTS of miles AND travel time. In Ohio, for example, the best way to get from Dayton to anywhere in VA or points South of it is to take U.S. 35 down to Charleston, WV then hit I-64/77. Just about all of it is four lane road. Best way from Columbus, OH to Michigan is U.S. 23 North to I-75 instead of I-70 West to I-75 North. If I'm going West of Lincoln, NE on I-80 from Dayton or other areas near here, I'll take I-70 to Kansas City, then I-29 North into Iowa then pick up Nebraska Route 2 over to Lincoln.

I truly love the back roads and have run many of them around the country in a big truck as well as our car. When you see miles and miles of Interstates, it's sometimes nice to wash your eyes out with a "skinny road' every once in a while!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2007, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 3,985,336 times
Reputation: 397
For road tripping, I try to stick along the US routes vs. interstates unless it is a ling and and there is nothing scenic at all.

Example. Seattle to San Fransisco. You can do I-5 or US 1 or 101. I did the combination of US1 and 101 and I am glad that I did it. Much more to see.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2007, 08:56 PM
 
5,858 posts, read 14,044,713 times
Reputation: 3482
Quote:
Originally Posted by M TYPE X View Post
The problem is that a lot of cities "moved" out to the interstate by building malls, etc along interchanges, junctions, and plain old exits. Most of these places have the same Applebees, the same Shells, the same Super 8s like anywhere else. Drive into town and see ... dead ghost downtown.

The interstate system is so necessary that if it didn't exist, we would need another kind of Eisenhower to invent it. Not all cities with interstate access have been hallowed out, though, only those that were useless pit stops back when main trunk roads were slow and meandering. To get from Home City to Exciting Place, you should take the interstate and get gas in Whocaresville, and get off at Destination Awesome City.
Best example of this I've seen is Rockford, Illinois.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top