Of all the interesting facts about Albany and the Capital Region, this is one of the more awe-inspiring.

At some point in your life, I am sure you have ventured out on a road trip with no particular destination in mind. You just go where the road leads you. That is one of the most beautiful things about living in the United States: the freedom of the open road. It's a journey of exploration and personal reflection, and unknown destinations always bring the most enjoyable and greatest learning experiences.

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That said, there is also something awe-inspiring about driving on a stretch of pavement that can connect you with points of interest thousands of miles away. An artery of local pavement that you traverse daily may seem mundane through a small lens, but when you expand your frame of reference it becomes a hell of a lot more interesting. One of those roads goes right through Albany and the Capital Region and could lead you to the town that is home to the Pacific Ocean beach pictured above.

Which Albany Roadway Is Part of America's Longest Federal Highway?

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America's longest highway starts in Boston at the Massachusetts statehouse and eventually runs all the way across the nation to Newport, Oregon. Along the way, it runs through 12 states including Pennsylvania, Illinois, Montana, and so many more. Historic Route 20 says the federal highway is the nation's longest at 3,365 miles with 376 of those miles running right through New York state. And a good chunk of Route 20 goes right through the heart of the Capital Region. It rolls through the bucolic landscape of Columbia County, through downtown Albany and then Guilderland, out to Duanesburg and beyond.

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So maybe the next time you are sitting in that Western Avenue traffic, waiting at a light the specter of where that road leads will make your travels a little more enjoyable. Maybe it's the direct connection to Boston, the birthplace of our nation. Or maybe knowing you could hit the gas and eventually end up at Yellowstone, one of our nation's natural wonders, will make that slice of pavement seem a little less mundane and commonplace. And as I mentioned above, a little more awe-inspiring.

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