It may be a bit of a cliche in that so many people always mention Route 66 when talking about the best road trips worth doing, but from having travelled the length of Route 66 myself, I have to say that the journey is one you must do. It is about driving but also much more given that you get to go through quite unique towns and meet some amazing people on this type of drive i.e. especially when you stop off in a small town in the middle of nowhere and then talk with a British accent.
Where is Route 66
Route 66 is a route that takes you right across the length of the United States and runs all the way from Chicago, Illinois in the East, all the way across and down to Los Angeles, California. This drive takes you across over 2000 miles of road and across a stunning range of views, cultures and environments. Interestingly though, this is no longer the main route across the states, with a new freeway having been built and finished in the 1970s. Route 66 though has a history and a certain mystique and now attracts a number of drivers who have taken to these roads to once again make it a route to be taken.
The beauty of this route in part is that it takes you past a number of very wacky, interesting, unique and fascinating attractions. The route is also embraced by those small towns along the route that understandably seek to benefit from the visitors who pass through. The towns in other words seem to embrace the drivers staying or going through their towns and this makes, from my experience, a friendly experience.
Best Sites along the way – Route 66
Some of the best attractions on this route you must try and see and which I particularly enjoyed:
- Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
- Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona)
- Roy’s Cafe and Motel (Amboy, California)
- Chain of Rocks Bridge (Madison, Illinois)
- Williams Store – Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store – the oldest store on the route (Riverton, Kansas) Historic Site
- Fort Baxter site (Kansas)
- Meramec River U.S. 66 Bridge (Eureka, Missouri)
- 66 drive-in theater (Carthage, Missouri)
- Ruins of the Whiting Bros. Gas Station (San Fidel, New Mexico)
- The World’s Largest Totem Pole (Foyil, Oklahoma)
- Route 66 Museum (Clinton, Oklahoma)
- Midpoint of Route 66 – Cafe (Adrian, Texas)
- Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica, California)
In recent years the US National Park Service have tried to protect and develop Route 66, seeing it as a national treasure of sorts. Only around 80% of the road survived but what is left is now being protected and communities are again thriving as a result of the interest once again in this historical and classic road.
It is not unusual these days to see some very old classic cars on Route 66 as car fanatics drive the route in style. There are some excellent places to eat along the route and each place with its own local specialities. I do love other drives such as Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego and up through California, and drives in Europe such as a recent drive I did through the Swiss and Italian Alps. If I have to choose one route though, It has to be Route 66!