If you’re a fan of road trips and Americana, then Route 66 is likely on your bucket list. Also known as the Main Street of America, Route 66 is an iconic highway that spans across eight states, from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. While it may no longer be the main thoroughfare for cross-country travel, Route 66 still retains its allure and charm as a historic and cultural landmark. So, hop in your car and join us on an adventure as we explore the beauty of Route 66 today and discover some of the fun things to see along the way!
- Chicago, Illinois: The Journey Begins Start your Route 66 adventure in the vibrant city of Chicago. Explore the famous Route 66 sign at Adams Street and Michigan Avenue, take a stroll down the historic Route 66 corridor, and visit the Route 66 Welcome Center to pick up maps and guides for your trip. Don’t miss the chance to sample some classic deep-dish pizza or hot dogs while you’re in town!
- St. Louis, Missouri: Gateway to Fun As you make your way through Illinois, you’ll cross into Missouri and reach the gateway to fun – St. Louis. Check out the iconic Gateway Arch, a symbol of westward expansion, and take a ride to the top for panoramic views of the city. Visit the Missouri History Museum to learn about the history of Route 66 and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Delmar Loop, a vibrant entertainment and shopping district along Route 66.
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: History and Culture As you continue your journey, you’ll enter Oklahoma and reach Oklahoma City, a city steeped in history and culture. Explore the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, which commemorates the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, and learn about the rich Native American heritage at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Be sure to stop by the iconic Route 66 landmark, the Milk Bottle Grocery, and snap a photo for your travel memories.
- Amarillo, Texas: The Cadillac Ranch and More As you venture into the Lone Star State, you’ll reach Amarillo, Texas, known for its quirky roadside attractions. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Cadillac Ranch, a unique art installation featuring a row of colorful Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground. Grab a bite at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, where you can attempt the legendary 72-ounce steak challenge, and indulge in some Texan hospitality.
- Santa Fe, New Mexico: Southwestern Charms As you cross into New Mexico, you’ll reach the enchanting city of Santa Fe, known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Explore the historic Santa Fe Plaza, filled with adobe buildings, art galleries, and unique shops. Visit the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the U.S., and immerse yourself in the rich Native American and Hispanic heritage of the area.
- Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona: Ancient Wonders As you approach Arizona, make a stop at the Petrified Forest National Park, a mesmerizing landscape of colorful petrified wood, fossilized plants, and stunning rock formations. Take a hike along the park’s trails and marvel at the ancient wonders preserved in the park for millions of years. Don’t forget to stop by the Painted Desert Visitor Center and the Rainbow Forest Museum to learn more about the park’s fascinating geology and history.
- Grand Canyon, Arizona: Nature’s Spectacle No trip along Route 66 is complete without a visit to one of the most famous natural wonders in the world – the Grand Canyon! Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a breathtaking spectacle of rugged cliffs, deep canyons, and stunning vistas. Take a hike along the canyon rim, or for a more adventurous experience, go on a guided rafting tour along the Colorado River. Be sure to catch a mesmerizing sunset or sunrise over the canyon, and don’t forget to capture some awe-inspiring photos to cherish the memories.
- Santa Monica, California: End of the Road Finally, as you near the end of your Route 66 journey, you’ll reach the sunny shores of Santa Monica, California. Walk along the famous Santa Monica Pier, with its iconic Ferris wheel and historic carousel. Dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean, and take in the vibrant beach culture of Southern California. Celebrate the end of your epic road trip with a delicious meal at one of the many beachside restaurants, and reflect on the unforgettable memories you’ve made along the way.
In conclusion, Route 66 is not just a highway, but a nostalgic journey that takes you through the heart of America, with its rich history, diverse cultures, and breathtaking landscapes. From the bustling streets of Chicago to the sunny beaches of Santa Monica, Route 66 offers a plethora of fun things to see and do along the way. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an unforgettable adventure along this iconic route. Get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime on this classic American road trip. Happy travels!