Dan knows that the fastest way to California…

…is on an airplane. But if you happen to be driving across the country or know anyone who is or can’t stand the New York winter and are getting itchy for travel, you might be looking for the most direct directions available. No stopping. No fun. No scenery. Just driving. See the country at 80MPH. Speaking from the perspective of someone who did this very drive four times in fifteen months, take it from me. This is the fastest way.

You can drive from New York to California in four days. Easily. New York to Indianapolis is 708 miles. Indianapolis to Oklahoma City is 739 miles. Oklahoma City to Gallup, NM is 679 miles. Gallup, NM to Los Angeles is 665 miles. And I’m sorry. My car and my ass might not agree, but every time I’ve traversed the 2791 miles from New York to LA, I’ve mused on the size of our great nation and ultimately decided, “Eh. Not that big.”

And, of course, it can take less than four days, even with a full night’s sleep each night. My friend David and I did it in four, but still got to LA at 2PM on Day Four after lingering at a Denny’s in Barstow for a while (because I know how to do fun, America). Pam and I did it in three. The estimates for stopping above are delightful and break the trip into four equal chunks with the added security of staying in bigger cities, but I’ve never actually stopped in any of those cities.

Anyway, here are the directions. Say hi to Effingham, Illinois for me.

Exit Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel

Take I-78 W. (exit 14C)
120+ miles

Merge onto I-81 S.
36.5 miles

Merge onto I-76 W.
151.9 miles

Merge onto I-70 W.
369.5 miles

At INDIANAPOLIS, stay straight
to go onto I-65 S.
1.9 miles

Merge back onto I-70 W.
220.7 miles

Take the I-55/I-70 exit on the left
towards ST LOUIS.
1.2 miles

Merge onto I-70 W.
18.9 miles

Take the I-64 W/I-55 S/US-40 W exit on the left.

Take the I-55 S exit, exit number 40C, towards I-44 W.

Take the I-44 W/GRAVOIS AVE exit, exit number 207/290C,
towards TULSA/12TH ST.

Take I-44W
484.0 miles

Take the I-35 S exit, exit number 133,
on the left toward OKLA. CITY/DALLAS.
0.3 miles

Merge onto I-35 S.
6.2 miles

Merge onto I-40 W.
1215.2 miles

Around BARSTOW (CA), I-40 W
becomes I-15 S.
70+ miles

Merge onto I-10 W.
40+ miles

Good job. You’re in LA. And don’t worry…if you stick around, tomorrow I’ll get you back to New York.

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