U.S. Highway 1

This article is an itinerary.

U.S. Highway 1 is 2,390 miles long (3,846 km) and follows the eastern coastline of the United States. The north end is in Fort Kent, Maine and the south end is in Key West, Florida.


The north end of U.S. Highway 1 has always been in Fort Kent, Maine and in 1926 ended in Miami, Florida. In 1938 the ending was extended to Key West, Florida. It is also the longest north-south highway in the United States. Although a good part of the route hugs the Atlantic coastline, a large part is quite distant from the coast. Originally, US 1 was built to provide quick travel before the Interstate system was built. Now that Interstates are the primary mode of quick transportation, most of US 1 within city limits is regulated by stoplights. Plan on a much slower trip than a run down I-95, but one in which you drive past city greens and quaint shops on some stretches. If you take this route, your aim should be to have a relaxing, medium-speed drive.

Most events in early United States history happened along the Atlantic coast in cities like New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. Some of these events include the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812

Get in

The end of Route 1

It is possible to drive U.S. 1 in either direction. The mile markers in Florida begin in Key West at zero and go northward and in Fort Kent, Maine there is a sign that proclaims on one side it is the beginning and on the other side that it is the end. You might want to pick one or more states and travel the route through those states.



There are 529 miles of highway in Maine, the second longest stretch and only 4 miles shorter than the mileage in Florida. Traveling south in Maine some of the cities and towns you will see are: Fort Kent, Madawaska, Grand Isle, Caribou, Ellsworth, Bucksport, Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Waldoboro, Newcastle, Wiscasset, Bath, Brunswick, Freeport, Yarmouth, Portland, Saco, Biddeford, Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and Kittery.

New Hampshire

The coast line of New Hampshire is fairly short and therefore U.S. Highway 1 is short also. You will visit the Seacoast region and the cities of Portsmouth, Hampton and Seabrook.


Traveling from Salisbury at the New Hampshire border southward one passes through the North Shore towns of Newburyport, Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, Topsfield, Danvers, Peabody, Lynnfield, and Saugus.

Here the Route enters Greater Boston, passing through Malden, Revere, Chelsea, Boston, and Canton.

Continuing south you'll follow what was known as "the Old Boston Post Road" and pass through Westwood, Norwood, Sharon, Walpole, Foxborough, Wrentham, Plainville, North Attleborough, and Attleboro to the Rhode Island border.

Rhode Island

From Pawtucket at the northern border of the state, Route 1 travels through Providence, Cranston, Warwick, East Greenwich, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Narragansett, South Kingstown again, Charlestown and Westerly.


Crossing into the state over the Pawcatuck River, Route 1 travels west along the coastline and heads through several historic cities such as New London, New Haven, Bridgeport, Fairfield, and Stamford.

New York

Route 1 enters New York at Port Chester and passes through Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, New Rochelle and Pelham in Westchester County where it is known as the Boston Post Road. From there the road passes through the Bronx and Manhattan before leaving on the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey.

New Jersey

From Fort Lee at the eastern border of the state, Route 1 travels through Palisades Park, Ridgefield, Fairview, North Bergen, Jersey City, Kearny, Newark, Elizabeth, Linden, Rahway, Woodbridge Township, Edison Township, New Brunswick, North Brunswick Township, South Brunswick Township, Plainsboro Township, West Windsor Township, Lawrence Township, and finally Trenton, before crossing the Delaware River and entering Pennsylvania.


Upon entering Pennsylvania, Route 1 travels farther southwest through North Philadelphia. After leaving the Philly area, Route 1 turns south and enters Maryland.


Route 1 crosses the Mason and Dixon Line just north east of Rising Sun and then heads roughly south west through Conowigo, Bel Air, Kingsville, Baltimore, Elkridge, Laurel, College Park, Hyattsville before entering the District of Columbia.

District of Columbia

The Highway enters the District of Columbia along Rhode Island Avenue and turns left onto 6th Street. A right on Constitution Avenue brings the traveller along the edge of the National Mall. Route 1 turns left onto 14th Street in front of the Washington Monument, although it is illegal for drivers to turn left at this intersection (instead, one must turn left onto 15th Street, left again at the second traffic light onto Jefferson Place, then right onto 14th Street). From there Route 1 passes the Jefferson Memorial and crosses the Potomac River into Virginia.


Immediately upon entering Virginia, Route 1 heads through Arlington and Alexandria, then south to historic Fredericksburg and then to Downtown Richmond. South of Richmond, Route 1 traverses Petersburg before crossing into North Carolina.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, US 1 runs along I-85 through Henderson. It then proceeds toward Raleigh becoming Capital Blvd. It then latches on to the I-440 Beltline around the western side of Raleigh and continues as a freeway south of Raleigh through Cary. It is a freeway south of Cary though Sanford and to Southern Pines. As of 2011, the section from Southern Pines to Rockingham is under construction being widened to four lanes. It continues south along the geological fall line to South Carolina.

South Carolina

Two lanes for much of its length in South Carolina, US 1 here is farther from the interstates and remains an important route in its own right. Tracing the ancient coastline of the Cretaceous period, Hwy 1 connects many of the state's oldest inland settlements and is the primary means of access from the sparsely populated sandhills region to both Columbia and the NC capital of Raleigh. 1 enters the state north of Wallace and passes through Cheraw and Camden, there widening to four lanes and running approximately parallel to I-20 into Columbia. As Gervais St., Highway 1 is a primary street in Columbia's central business district and passes directly in front of the statehouse. Leaving the capital, US 1 continues west roughly along the route of I-20 through Batesburg-Leesville and Aiken, entering Georgia at Augusta.


From South Carolina, US1 goes from Augusta south thru Wadley, Swainsboro, Oak Park, And Lyons. It continues through Santa Claus And Baxley before continuing through Waycross and Homeland.


If you travel south through Florida on U.S. Highway 1, some of the towns or cities you will pass by include: Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Ormond Beach, Holly Hill, Daytona Beach, South Daytona, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Grant, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Dania, Hollywood, Hallandale, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Miami, Coral Gables, South Miami, Kendall, Perrine, Homestead, Key Largo and the rest of the Florida Keys to Key West, where it ends at an intersection in front of Key West's City Hall. The highway is 533 miles long through the state of Florida.

Stay safe

US-1 travels through the big cities of New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Miami on the Atlantic Seaboard. New York City has been known as a city ridden with crime, which has not been true since the early 90s or so. However, you may want to be cautious in parts of North Philadelphia which Highway 1 traverses. If you do plan to stop in the City that Never Sleeps, though, you'll still want to exercise caution because driving in NYC is not necessarily a "smart" option due to crowded streets.

US-1 also travels through the Florida Keys. Most of US-1 in the Keys is a two lane street heading north and south. Though there are rails alongside each lane on the bridges, take care because some South Floridians are considered to be "reckless" drivers.

Go next

Fort Kent and Key West are the termini of the highway, but US-1 goes through many large cities, many of which are found in the Drive section of this article.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.