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Get Your Kicks on ... Route 50?

Route 66 sure gets a lot of hype, but have you sent groups along U.S. Route 50 lately? Probably not. In July 1986, Life magazine dubbed the Nevada portion, "The Loneliest Road in America." And yet, from rural mountain ranges to desolate deserts and miles upon miles of rich farmland, Route 50 stretches across 3,073 miles from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California. It spans 12 states and links four state capitals—offering the most complete cross-sectional journey along the United States midriff.

If you're looking for an itinerary to conquer a country, consider Route 50. Here are some pit stops to get your started.

Maryland: Stroll Ocean City's board walk and enjoy 10 miles of beaches before embarking on the cross-country journey.

Washington, D.C.: Route 50 passes directly through the nation's capital. You can get out and see all the sites, or catch views of monuments and government buildings along the way—including a glimpse of the White House in the distance.

Virginia: Sky Meadows State Park is located about one mile south on US 17 and provides primitive camping opportunities and hiking trails to the Appalachian Trail.

West Virginia: Take a rest from resting your legs and explore Cathedral State Park, an ancient hemlock forest. While West Virginia is hilly and mountainous, the park is situated on a gently-sloping ground.

Ohio: Route 50 passes right through Cincinnati. Take a day to explore the city before hitting the road again.

Indiana: George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes offers lessons about 18th-century frontier life experienced by pioneers during the American Revolution. Reserve an hour for the park's movie and the Clark memories, but if you have more time, recreational opportunities abound.

Illinois: Have your clients ever seen a white squirrel? Apparently, the albino squirrels of America all converge in Olney's city park.

Missouri: Welcome your groups to the West with a look at the Gateway Arch, which stands 630 feet high and 630 feet wide. 

Kansas: Newton offers museums, shops, golf and more.

Colorado: Send your group on a stroll across the world's highest suspension bridge—just 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River. Also note that Route 50 passes through its highest elevation point at 11,312 feet at Monarch Pass.

Utah: As your group travels through Salina Canyon, tell them to enjoy views of rugged red canyon wall and desert trees.

Nevada: Great Basin National Park offers tremendous views. Main attractions include the Lehman Caves, Wheeler Park and Lexington Arch.

California: Finish up in Sacramento, where groups can enjoy farm-to-fork favorites, Northern California wine and so much more.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.

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