Route 66 – Get Your Kicks on the Most important Road of America


I need to admit, I felt giddy hopping on the legendary Route 66. Referred to as The Mom Street and the Most important Road of America, Route 66 was the primary thoroughfare by way of the US for many years. I had listened to Nat King Cole’s velvet voice sing about it for years and had visions of drive-in diners, neon lights and classic automobiles lining the route. That track had an enduring impression.

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

Make sure you get your street journey playlist prepared and be sure to have a bit of Nat King Cole on there to listen to his clean jazz whilst you drive the open street.

“Should you ever plan to motor west
Journey my approach, take the freeway that’s the perfect.

Get Your Kicks, on Route Sixty Six

Historical past of Route 66

Route 66 spans throughout America from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Inbuilt 1926, Route 66 was a street of desires passing by way of eight states. The historical past of route 66 has endured by way of the years and has grown in recognition all through the 21st century. It’s on the high of any street trippers dream trip.

The Mom Street

John Steinbeck gave Route 66 its title The Mom Street within the Grapes of Wrath. In the course of the Nice Despair, Route 66 was crammed with folks dreaming of a greater life within the West as they escaped the drought stricken southern plains often known as the Mud Bowl.

Throughout World Warfare II troopers and navy autos used this street extensively because it was probably the most direct route by way of the nation from Chicago to Los Angeles.

dave on route 66

As households flocked to route 66 to take their summer season holidays to see the Grand Canyon and different iconic websites in California and Arizona it grew to become often known as the Most important Road of America. It was a rip roaring good time by way of the 50s to the 70s.

This was a busy and thrilling route by way of America. However that each one modified in 1985 when the necessity for velocity was on the high of individuals’s checklist. Because the interstates got here in, the previous roads connecting the east to west, went out.

These days are lengthy gone and immediately, the 3940 km (2448 miles) route is a shadow of its former self with solely pockets nonetheless clinging to a bygone period.

What Occurred to Route 66

Why did Route 66 crumble? Within the 1980’s, the freeway system was constructed bypassing many of the cities positioned alongside the route. With vacationers driving on to the vacationer sights of Arizona and California quick and effectively on Interstates as an alternative of the gradual backroads of Route 66, most cities alongside the historic Route 66 fell into disarray.

However over time, some started to rebuild and pockets of nostalgia have cropped up all through the route. The attract of the street journey nonetheless holds robust and it’s on the high of many individuals’s bucket lists to take this driving tour throughout America.

You’ll be able to drive your entire route 66 and it’ll take about 2 weeks (three weeks if you happen to actually need to take your time) to take action. However you are able to do parts of Route 66 as nicely. There are numerous parts which you can drive. As we stated, route 66 passes by way of eight states with loads to discover in every. If you’re “driving west” just like the Nat King Cole track, you’ll begin in Chicago, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and eventually finish in Santa Monica, California.

Issues To See On Route 66

Automobile leases could be booked a technique if you happen to don’t have your individual. So there isn’t a excuse to not drive this historic freeway if you end up in America. (Or a minimum of a portion or two). Because it spans throughout America, there’s a superb likelihood you may be someplace near Route 66 throughout your United States travels.


chicago sign route 66
  • Route 66 begins downtown Chicago and there’s a signal that states, “Route 66, Historic Route Begins”
  • In Pontiac there’s the Illinois Route 66 Corridor of Fame and Museum showcasing the historical past of route 66.
  • Bloomington, Atlanta and Lincoln – Alongside this route you’ll discover the bizarre Paul Bunyon scorching canine statue, the world’s largest coated wagon, and Abe Lincoln holding an ax. There are soda retailers and diners.
  • And if you happen to spend the night time, make sure you catch a film on the Skyview Drive In Theatre in Litchfield. It’s one of many final remaining unique drive in on Route 66.
  • Learn extra: The Greatest Issues to Do in Chicago, High 10 Scorching Spots to Eat in Chicago


an outpost saloon on route 66
So many deserted roadside sights alongside the route
  • The primary metropolis right here is St. Louis welcoming you along with her gateway arch. It’s the largest metropolis on Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • In Missouri, you’ll be crossing the Chain Rocks Bridge as you cross the Mississippi River
  • There’s a Cuba within the US positioned in Missouri and it’s formally designated Route 66 Mural Metropolis depicting scenes from the Route 66 heyday.
  • there’s one other Route 66 Museum in Lebanon


  • Kansas is the shortest part of Route 66
  • Baxter Springs has the Coopers Dry Items Retailer and diner courting again to 1865 and the historic Bush Creek Bridge
  • There’s the standard previous gasoline station, nook retailer and museums alongside Route 66.


grave on route 66
Right here Lies the physique of Billly Pretzel, Final Man Who Touched My Etsel
  • The alternative of Kansas, Oklahoma has the longest part of Route 66
  • In Oklahoma you’ll go by way of Tulsa and Oklahoma Cities on Route 66
  • There are a few museums alongside this route – The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton and the Nationwide Route 66 Transport Museum in Elk Metropolis exhibiting artifacts celebrating the spirit and historical past of route 66.
  • Make sure you see the previous vaudeville Colman Theatre in Miami
  • Seize a traditional soda pop at POPS in Arcadia


abandoned gas station route 66

When you enter the Lone Star State there are many issues to see on Route 66

  • Maintain a watch out for the leaning water tower in Groom
  • Cease in at Amarillo to see the Cadillac Ranch and the Massive Texan State Ranch
  • And in Texas, you’ve got made it half approach from Chicago to Los Angeles. Seize lunch on the Midpoint Cafe which is the oldest repeatedly operating cafe on the route.
  • Snap a photograph as you’ve pushed 1139 miles already and you’ve got 1139 to go!

New Mexico

  • the foremost metropolis is Albuquerque New Mexico
  • Tucumcari has a superb portion of Route 66 sights with a dinosaur museum, roadside motels and previous gasoline stations.
  • Santa Rosa has the Route 66 Auto Museum and Blue Gap
  • Learn extra: The Very Greatest Historic Websites in New Mexico


wells fargo and old town facades in arizona

Arizona has a variety of Route 66 Sights which can be nicely preserved. See our full Arizona Street Journey

  • Winslow Arizona – I can not consider we didn’t make it to Winslow Arizona. I like the Eagles and I’m at all times singing “Standin’ on the nook of Winslow Arizona…” from Take it Simple.
  • Williams, Arizona, is taken into account the perfect preserved stretch of Route 66 and right here it feels as if time has stood nonetheless.
  • The Grand Canyon isn’t on Route 66 however it’s positioned simply north of Most important Road America and is definitely worth the detour to see this pure canyon clocking in a 277 miles (455 km) lengthy, a mile (1.6 km) deep. It lives as much as the hype
  • Learn Extra: Arizona Street Journey – The Final 10 Day Itinerary


The ultimate cease on the nice American street journey. That is the place dreamers ended their journey looking for the American Dream. A few of the websites to see which can be particular to Route 66 in California are.

Route 66 Indicators And Roadside Sights

As Individuals migrated west searching for work, it captured the creativeness of the nation. Fortunately, a variety of the indicators, roadside sights, and memorabilia have been preserved. Probably the greatest issues about driving Route 66 is to drive with no plans.

Waft and cease while you see one thing nostalgic or historic. You’ll discover a variety of roadside sights alongside the route 66 and as vacationers and Individuals journey extra to revisit a less complicated previous, extra sights are opening up.

All alongside the route from Chicago to California cities cling to a not so distant previous and some vacationers who got down to recreate their very own American Dream by driving alongside the long-lasting route making it the final word street journey.

The cities that have been bypassed by the Interstates refuse to stop and entice guests from world wide desirous to catch a glimpse of America’s glory days.

There are previous automobiles on show, a soda store and 50’s model gasoline stations, a vibrant downtown and naturally Route 66 indicators and leftover advertisements from its heyday.

There are previous motor accommodations, The Street Kill Cafe, a Texaco Fuel Station and the previous common retailer. If you’re going to purchase any souvenirs, purchase them in Seligman as a result of they’ve the whole lot highlighting the historic Route 66.

It truly is an incredible journey. The picturesque panorama with cows grazing within the distance and rolling hills surrounding our lonely stretch of street takes you again to a time when folks didn’t stare at their telephones and when household was before everything.

It’s not straightforward to navigate Route 66 with simply Google Maps however there are apps and information books that will help you out.

It’s good to have that further safety as a result of at occasions, we felt utterly remoted. There have been moments the place we barely noticed one other automobile on the route. We drove it on the finish of summer season throughout shoulder season so that could be the case. We frequently we puzzled if we had taken a flawed flip, however fortunately, quirky indicators would at all times pop as much as tell us we have been moving into the precise straight.

My favorite have been the advertisements for Burma Shave. These quirky indicators lined up in teams of 5 instructed a bit of story with a foolish punchline on the finish, punctuated by a last signal promoting “Burma Shave”

A variety of occasions you’ll come throughout run down buildings and ghost cities. If it might’t entice vacationers, cities utterly shut down.

We beloved driving the historic Route 66. There has by no means been a greater time to take a street journey throughout America. Whereas folks plan on staying nearer to residence, it is a nice locations to begin.

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