Explore Route 40 exists as a resource for leisure travelers, road warriors and local residents to feature local restaurants and attractions along U.S. 40 and ALT-U.S. 40 in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
The National Road – U.S. 40’s original name, was the first federally-funded highway in the United States, providing an early east-west route connecting the East Coast and Midwest, via the Appalachian Mountains. The historic nature of this highway is often forgotten, as the majority of distance travelers in the U.S. prefer faster, safer interstate highways to older two-lane roads.
But, regardless of the changes in the way we travel, these older, historic roads still contain hidden gems – local, family-owned restaurants, historic sites and towns still alive in spirit – most of which are bypassed by the interstates. And that’s the goal of this blog – to help Americans take a detour off the “blue roads” and reconnect with our history and culture as a nation.
Other historic roads or auto trails seem to have a greater following surrounding them, like the Lincoln Highway or Dixie Highway. The National Road…not as much. So again, that’s why this blog is here – to get the word out about overlooked places in rural America, and to help fill in the major gap on travel writing in Appalachia. So although this blog is open to attractions all Route 40, the main focus is on the section that was the National Road, particularly the ~120 mile section from Cumberland, Md., to Wheeling, W.Va.