Interstate 64 — or I-64 for short — stretches from Missouri to Virginia. The drive is lined not only with gorgeous scenery but also with vibrant cities and towns just begging for a pit stop. Plan your journey with this state-by-state rundown of must-see attractions.
The famous St. Louis Arch serves as the perfect starting point for this interstate excursion. Take the tram up 630 feet to the very top, and get ready to experience great views of downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi River, and Illinois. On a clear day, you can see for up to 30 miles! St. Louis has so many wonderful spots to visit like the Missouri Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Zoo if you love being outdoors with nature and animals. The Urban Chestnut Brewing Co and Six Flags St. Louis also cannot be missed in this city.
I-64 enters Illinois through Clinton County and then into Washington County. Mount Vernon, Illinois that is worth a stop on this road trip. A 4-hour drive from Chicago, this area is a very low-key destination. The Jefferson County Historical Village and Cedarhurst Center for the Fine Arts are worth a visit. While driving on I-64 through Illinois, you will pass over Skillet Fork, which is a 98-mile river in the southern part of the state. It is a tributary of the Little Wabash River, which you will also pass over on this road trip at the border of Illinois and Indiana.
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While driving through Indiana, there is a time change from the Central Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone by milepost 61. If you’re looking for some physical activity, the Interlake State Recreation Area is just north of I-64 in Lynnville. This place is great for backpacking, biking or horseback riding. For another outdoor experience, 40 minutes further east along I-64 in Hoosier National Forest is the Rickenbaugh House just south of the highway. It is a stone house built in 1874, first used as a post office and church house.
Under an hour from the Hoosier National Forest along I-64 is Louisville, Kentucky. A trip to this city is not complete with a visit to Churchill Downs, the facility that hosts the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby Museum and Louisville Mega Cavern are also must-see spots in Louisville. Just over an hour and a half further east of I-64, you’ll be in Lexington, Kentucky. There is so much to do in Lexington from visiting the horseracing arena, Keeneland, to the Enoteca district. Your road trip is not complete without passing through another national forest. I-64 passes through the northern part of the Daniel Boone National Forest in the Cumberland District.
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The New River Gorge has beautiful views along the drive while on your road trip. It also offers ample opportunities like whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, hunting, and camping. You’ll also pass through the state capital of Charleston, where you can explore the State Museum, trek through the Kanawha State Forest, and Mountain Stage, a popular live music venue. Other major West Virginia cities worth stopping at when exploring I-64 are Huntington, Beckley, and Lewisburg.
On the eastern end of the road trip, I-64 passes through several wonderful cities in Virginia. There is a popular saying, “Virginia is for Lovers,” so making a stop in the state capitol, Richmond, can be a mini romantic getaway. At just about the end of the highway you’ll be in Chesapeake, Virginia where the Oak Grove Lake Park and Dismal Swamp Canal Trail are a perfect way to spend a day. Just 30 minutes east is Virginia Beach (though you will have to switch over to I-264 for some of this drive), and there is no better way to end a road trip than sand, seashells, and waves.