The Ultimate I-40 Road Trip in the 2018 Chevy Traverse

Several years ago, as you would depart Wilmington, NC going West on Interstate 40 you would be greeted with a sign on your right that declared:

Wilmington to Barstow, CA Road Trip Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Summer of Chevy

Due to the novelty of this installment, the sign was stolen many times and after 4 replacements the NC DOT decided that it would just not spend the money on putting up a new one anymore.

The memory of that sign has inspired us to take the ultimate road trip to the final destination heading West on Interstate 40 to Barstow, California in our 2018 Chevy Traverse!

Check out how our very own Fernez Family preps for a Summer Road trip:

If you are ready to pack up the family and make your own memories this summer we have put a list together for you of the “MUST SEE” stops on this Westward Bound Great American Road Trip!

Starting with….

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Wrightsville Beach-Wilmington, NC - Jeff Gordon Chevy - Summer of Chevy
Wrightsville Beach, NC was noted North Carolina’s Best Beach – it is the perfect home for those with active outdoor lifestyles.

Year round, Wrightsville Beach, NC is home to many outdoor enthusiasts who love the versatility of the area.  Known for its crystal blue waters and spacious beach, surfing and standup paddleboard (SUP) competitions, and much more, it’s easy to find something to do here. No wonder Wrightsville Beach was voted North Carolina’s best beach.

In another 159 miles, turn on Exit 273B to

The Carolina Basketball Museum

carolina basketball museum - summer of chevy road trip
Photo courtesy of

College Basketball is THE sport in North Carolina, and whether or not your family sides with UNC, Duke or NC State, this historic stop can’t be missed.  The sports lover in you will dive headfirst into the timeline showing the infamous Tobacco Road rivalry.

199 miles later, stop over in

Catawba Falls


hike catawba falls - jeff gordon chevrolet - summer of chevy
Photo courtesy of

Stretch your legs and work up an appetite by stopping over for a breathtaking hike in Catawba Falls.  Just 30 minutes outside of Asheville, NC this Blue Ridge waterfall is over 100 ft high and is located at the Southern tip of Pisgah National Forest’s Grandfather Ranger District, just south of the Old Fort grade on I-40.

With hiking trails and several different waterfalls this natural marvel is now open for public exploration.


Clean off your hiking shoes and heads just 27 miles West to enter

Asheville, NC


Photo courtesy of IPM Corp


You may want to stick around for a few days.  Downtown Asheville, NC is filled with iconic landmarks, independent shops, breweries, and some world-renowned dining all tucked away in a mountain community vibe.  Venture out to the Biltmore, George Vanderbilt’s Winter Estate complete with century-old gardens, hiking/biking and an on-site winery.  Tour the treasured American Pisgah and Nantahala Forests if you didn’t get enough Blue Ridge Mountain beauty in your last stop.

After you have had your fill of top-notch cuisine hop back in and head 82 miles west to


Gatlinburg, TN

Photo courtesy of

Have you tried white-water rafting?  Gatinlinburg has access to several classes of rafting due to its location off the Big Pigeon River.

Ready for an epic zipline adventure?  Check out CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains Zipline Tour.  Complete with World-Class Ziplining and Mountain Biking adventures, CLIMB accommodates groups of all sizes.

And if you are a Blake Shelton fan mark your calendars – the country star plans to open the third Ole Red Restaurant and Entertainment complex right off the Gatlinburg Parkway.

Get back on US-441N towards I-40 W and in one hour you will be in

Knoxville, TN

With a walkable downtown, people love to explore and discover vibrant murals, local music, historic sitesart museumsparksgreenways and more.  Check out Zoo Knoxville, commonly referred to as “The Red Panda Capital of the World” because of their success in breeding red pandas.

Continue on to I-40 for another 180 miles and you have entered Music City –

Nashville, TN

Photo courtesy of

Whether or not you are a country music fan, a MUST DO while in Nashville is visit the Country Music Hall of Fame.  This recently renovated 350,000 square foot museum showcases so much of American music history complete with the historic letterpress operation Hatch Show Print and a casual taqueria.  You can also take part in the ongoing battle over who has the best hot chicken in Nashville!

On your way to Memphis, TN, make quick stops at the Loretta Lynn Ranch and the Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum.

Continue your music education by making a stop in

Memphis, TN

Photo courtesy of

About 3 hours outside of Nashville, you will be in the Western end of Tennessee.  Memphis boasts to be the home to the Blues, the Birthplace of Rock and Roll and the best place in the country for BBQ (there are many in the Carolinas that will debate that opinion).

The Gibson Factory is here.  Graceland is here.  Get lost on Beale Street, dubbed “America’s Most Iconic Street.”

150 miles to

Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Roland, AK

Photo courtesy of Arkansas State Parks

Just outside of Little Rock, AK, take a break from the city trips and take in a day hike at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.  There are hiking and biking trails with varying levels of difficulty, and the peak of the mountain reaches more than 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River Valley.

In about 333 miles – YOU ARE NOW AT THE EXACT HALFWAY POINT to Barstow, CA! –

Nicoma Park, OK

278 miles to

Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX

cadillac ranch jeff gordon chevy summer of chevy

This offbeat roadside attraction features 10 graffiti-covered Cadillacs standing upright in a row, buried nose-first in the ground. The sculpture is the brainchild of Amarillo millionaire Stanley Marsh III, who chose classics dating from 1948 to 1963, the “Golden Age” of the American automobile.

Continue on I-40W and in about 278 miles you will enter

Albuquerque, NM

albuquerque jeff gordon chevy
Photo courtesy of

Any I-40 road trip would be incomplete without a stop in Albuquerque, where the famous Route 66 brought visitors from all over the country.  Historic neon signs still glow along old Route 66 through Albuquerque, which is now Central Avenue. Alongside vintage signs, you’ll see new versions put up by businesses that are continuing the aesthetic traditions of Route 66, and many museums and tours to show the growth of the city since 1926 (when Route 66 was first commissioned).

You are so close – almost done!

En route to Flagstaff, be sure to stop and check out the Meteor Crater and the Petrified Forest National Park.

About 323 miles outside of Albuquerque, you will enter

Flagstaff, AZ

Photo courtesy of

In the middle of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, Flagstaff is an active city where a mix of small town charm and endless outdoor adventures will welcome you in.  Take in a guided tour of everything from the Grand Canyon to haunted city homes to old Route 66 stops.  Visit Coconino National Forest to see endless amounts of varying terrain including red rock, southwest desert, pine forests and frozen tundra – all in one place!

And finally, in about 352 miles you will enter…

Barstow, CA

You made it!  You have seen Interstate 40 in its entirety, coming up just shy of a straight away coast to coast road trip!


All Summer Long Jeff Gordon Chevrolet will feature our vehicle lineup in areas unique to our Coastal Community.  Explore Wilmington, NC along with us, as we showcase our Chevys in different parts of the Cape Fear Region.  Hit up Historic Downtown HotspotsCruise the Waterways and Discover Wilmington’s Unique Parks and Gardens all in the comfort of your driver’s seat.

Join our “Summer of Chevy” Event on Facebook for all the details about upcoming “Pop-Up” Events and Giveways June – August!


The all-new 2018 Traverse is a step ahead of the competition when it comes to offering cargo space, Wi-Fi technology and safety features like the industry-first Front Center Air Bag.

Ready for the road-trip of a lifetime?  Check out our Chevrolet Traverse inventory so you can be well equipped.

2018 Chevy Traverse VS 2018 Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander - Summer of Chevy - Jeff Gordon Chevy








Maximum Cargo Space

98.2 cu. ft. 81.7 cu. ft. 83.7 cu. ft.

4G LTE Wi-Fi


Surround Vision Camera



Front Center Air Bag




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