Interstate 5

How long is I-5?

I-5 is the 12th longest interstate at roughly 1,381 miles. It stretches across the western states from north to south, and travels next to or close to the Pacific Ocean for the majority of its journey.

Where does I-5 end?

This interstate ends north of Seattle at the Canadian border, and south of San Diego at the Mexican border. It is a complete north-south interstate! Anyone traveling it in its entirety will certainly experience a wide variety of temperatures, environments and cultures.

Map of I-5

Attractions near I-5:

If the nickname “The West Coast Highway” wasn’t already taken by Highway 1, it would be highly appropriate for Interstate 5. Maybe it would settle for the “Pacific Interstate”.

As the interstate runs through a number of large number of coastal cities, there are ample opportunities for fun, sun, food and more. Below are a few of the many highlights that can be found when traveling it:

  • Chihuly Garden and Glass
    Seattle, WA
  • Portland Center Stage at The Armory
    Portland, OR
  • Wilamette Valley Wine Tasting
    Portland, OR
  • Sacramento History Museum
    Sacramento, CA
  • Alcatraz Island
    San Francisco, CA
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
    San Francisco, CA
  • Fort Tejon Historic Park
    Lebec, CA
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
    Santa Clarita, CA
  • Universal, Warner Bros and Walt Disney Studios
    Burbank, CA
  • Grauman’s Chinese Theater and Hollywood Walk of Fame
    Hollywood, CA
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Homes
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach
    Santa Monica, CA
  • Queen Mary Tour and Aquarium of the Pacific
    Long Beach, CA
  • Disneyland
    Anaheim, CA
  • Solana Beach and Beaches at Del Mar
    Del Mar, CA
  • San Diego Zoo
    San Diego, CA

When was I-5 started and completed?

As with almost all interstates, giving an exact date for beginning construction is difficult because portions of the road existed prior to the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. I-5 utilized parts of existing highway US 99 and its corridor. After the act was passed, construction began in various cities, such as Seattle in 1960.

It was completed on October 12, 1979, in California.

States I-5 travels through

Although I-5 is the 12th longest interstate in the United States, it only travels through 3 states. This is mainly due to the fact it travels the entire length of California, a very long state, from top to bottom. Below are the three from north to south:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California

I-5 Major Cities

Interstate 5 passes through 5 major cities. One of those, Los Angeles, is the 2nd largest city in the United States. It should be noted that the interstate passes close to, but not through, several large cities including San Francisco and San Jose. These 2 cities have played an important role in America’s technology boom.

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Sacramento, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Diego, California

Major Connections & Interchanges

  • Seattle, WA
    I-90 E to Spokane, WA
  • Portland, OR
    I-84 E to Salt Lake City, UT
  • Sacramento, CA
    I-80 E to Salt Lake City, UT
  • Los Angeles, CA
    I-10 E to Phoenix, AZ
    I-15 N to Las Vegas, NV
    I-15 S to San Diego, CA
  • San Diego, CA
    I-15 N to Las Vegas, NV
    I-40 W to Little Rock, AR