Route 66, formerly known as the “Main Street of America,” is an iconic road that stretches from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. This historic highway, which played a significant role in American culture, offers a journey by way of time, taking you on a road trip filled with nostalgia, scenic beauty, and unique attractions.
From Chicago to Santa Monica, Route 66 is one of the most well-known roads in American history. Officially established in 1926, this iconic road served as the main route for travelers moving between America’s Midwest and West Coast.
From the 1930s road migrants took to escape the Dust Bowl to the inspiration for Pixar’s Cars, Route 66 represents a bygone era, representing everything from loss to new beginnings.
Which Section of Route 66 is the Most Desirable?
Route 66 crosses three time zones and eight states. The section between Springfield, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, the road west of Seligman, Arizona, and the Oatman Highway through the Black Hills of Arizona are among the most well-preserved.
What is the Colorful Natural Attraction Along Route 66?
The Natural Wonders of Route 66
This is the Grand Canyon 5-6 million years of erosion and weathering have sculpted this monument to nature’s power into the earth.
The sculpted geological display is filled with layers of vibrant hues. With a length of 477 km and a width of 29 km, it is the largest canyon in the United States.
What is the Most Famous Stop on Route 66?
Oklahoma’s Blue Whale of Catoosa is located in Catoosa. This giant blue whale in a small lake is one of the most well-known roadside curiosities along Route 66.
Enter the whale if you dare, or simply grab souvenirs at the gift shop after you’ve snapped your photo.
Best Places to Visit on Route 66
This article explores the top 10 must-see locations along Route 66, providing a detailed guide for an unforgettable journey.
1. The City of Chicago, Illinois
Start your Route 66 adventure in Chicago. Explore the historic Route 66 Starting Point sign in Grant Park and the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum to learn about the rich history of the road.
2. The City of St. Louis, Missouri
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St. Louis’ Gateway Arch is a symbol of westward expansion. Take a tram ride to the top for stunning views. Do not miss the Chain of Rocks Bridge, an iconic Route 66 crossing, while in the city.
3. The City of Springfield, Illinois
Discover Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and explore the Illinois State Capitol. The Cozy Dog Drive-In, famous for inventing the corn dog, is a must-visit.
4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the Oklahoma City National Memorial in Oklahoma City. Don’t forget to visit the Milk Bottle Grocery, a classic Route 66 photo spot.
5. The Tucumcari, New Mexico
Tucumcari’s retro motels and vintage neon signs make it the quintessential Route 66 town. Explore the town’s murals and the Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum while staying in a historic motel.
6. Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park
A detour to Petrified Forest National Park offers an otherworldly landscape with petrified wood and colorful badlands. The Painted Desert Visitor Center is a great starting point.
7. Phoenix, Arizona
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“Standin’ on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona” was immortalized by the Eagles in their song “Take It Easy.” Visit La Posada, a beautifully restored Harvey House, and have your photo taken at the iconic corner.
8. Arizona’s Grand Canyon Caverns
The Grand Canyon Caverns offer an intriguing subterranean adventure 200 feet below the surface. This natural wonder is accessible by guided tours.
9. Kingman, Arizona
Kingman is a treasure trove along Route 66. Visit the Historic Route 66 Museum and Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner for a traditional American meal.
10. Santa Monica, California
Complete your journey at the Santa Monica Pier, where Route 66 ends at the Pacific Ocean. Celebrate the conclusion of your historic road trip by dipping your toes in the water and riding the famous Ferris wheel.
As you travel along Route 66, you will encounter countless other attractions, offbeat roadside stops, and scenic vistas that make this iconic journey a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experience.
Be sure to capture the nostalgia and charm of this historic road, and don’t be afraid to explore the small towns and hidden treasures along the way. Route 66 provides a unique slice of American history and culture that cannot be found elsewhere.