A Route 66 road tripper is a drive adventure along what is credibly the most celebrated road in the universe. Historic Route 66 spans over 2,400 miles and crosses 8 states, starting in Chicago, Illinois and terminating at the Pacific Coast in Santa Monica, California. Given its “ 66 ” appointment in 1926, it became a well-traveled highway, bringing together people from all walks of life sentence .
John Steinbeck would refer to Route 66 as “ the mother road, the road of flight ” for those trying to escape the Dust Bowl and ravages of the Great Depression in the 1930 ’ mho. Later it would support a countless number of vacationing families from the Midwest drift to the Grand Canyon or Disneyland. As more Americans took to the highway, a wayside polish would spring up along Route 66—motels, diners, gas stations, tourist attractions—to cater to a population that was increasingly mobile .
today it is that classic wayside culture and the appeal of the open road that continues to attract tourists. road 66 has inspired songs, films, television shows, books, and even a invest brand. even though Route 66 was officially decommissioned in 1985, people from around the universe come to drive this fabulous highway, stay in vintage motels, goggle at odd wayside attractions, and consume american road food. For some travelers, it is a stumble back in clock time to revisit a road they once traveled on a class vacation, whereas for others a Route 66 road travel is the ultimate symbol of Americana .
Laurence and I drove Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago and loved it ! We ’ ll share information on how to plan your own Route 66 road trip, decide when and where to go, and contribution advice based on our own Route 66 road trip experiences.

Route 66 road trip

basic data about Route 66

This first section covers the basics of Route 66 including the history of the route, the length of the Route, the current condition of the road, the begin and ending points, and the main things you can see and do along Route 66 .

What is route 66 ?

basically, Route 66 is a historic highway in the United States that ran southwestward from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, crossing 8 states and covering over 2,400 miles ( 3,900 kilometer ). From east to west, it runs through parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California .
Over the years, the route was continually improved, repaved, changed, and re-routed so there is no one single “ Route 66 ” but a count of alignments. For example, one early path 66 alignment in New Mexico went through Santa Fe, but in 1937 Route 66 was re-routed to bypass the country capital so today ’ randomness travelers can choose which alliance of Route 66 they would like to follow at such points .
The route is no longer officially designated or signed as Route 66 ( as it was decommissioned in 1985 ) ; however, more than 80 % of this original road can silent be driven today with the aid of Route 66 guidebooks and maps. path 66 has become a symbol of early on wayside America, and tourists drive it today for its history, sites, and nostalgia .
note that most U.S. states have a road 66 or Highway 66 ; however, the “ celebrated ” Route 66 refers only to this historic path that ran from the Midwest to California .
map of Route 66 road trip
The history of Route 66 spans about 100 years, but here is a abbreviated history. In 1926, the U.S. federal highway system designated the phone number 66 to the route that ran from Chicago to Santa Monica. The route was merely a series of preexistent roads and the Route 66 designation was meant to ensure adequate and consistent markings and signage for the path as it crossed state and regional boundaries. The road would be fully paved by 1938, and Route 66 would become the most traveled path between the Midwest and the West Coast .
Over the years, it would be traversed on foot by those participating in the Bunion Derby, driven in despair by Dust Bowl migrants headed to California for a better life, hitchhiked by World War II soldiers, and used by thousands upon thousands of vacationing Americans in the 1950s and 1960s on their way to visit wonders like the Grand Canyon and Disneyland .
Along this interfering road would spring up motels, diners, gas stations, car haunt shops, and all sorts of tourist traps that would become depart of a distinctive wayside culture that reached its height during the 1950s and 1960s. Along this route, you could pay to see live rattlesnakes, tour caves and Jesse James hideouts, inflict native american reservations, drive horses, watch a godforsaken West express, and wonder at giant dinosaur statues .
sadly and ironically, it would be the popularity of the road that led to its eventual demise and the rise of the stream union interstate system. Interstates are designed to get people from Point A to Point B as quickly and efficiently as possible, which means bypassing towns when possible, having a minimum rush, and having minimal exit points. As interstates such as I-40 were constructed that bypassed many of the minor towns and cities that had grown up alongside Route 66, the minor businesses along most of this route suffered well ( as they did all over the state ) .
In 1985, Route 66 was formally decommissioned as a route and the route signage was removed. today, a numeral of advocacy, tourism, and preservation groups seek to protect the history, remaining paving, and local businesses along this historic path. Efforts by advocacy groups, government fund, and portrait in films, such as Cars, have helped to increase tourism along the road .
One of the big efforts was the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program created by an act of Congress in 1999 that is administered by the National Parks Service. For the death several years, bills have been introduced to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail, such a appellation would provide more conservation protection and opportunities for fund and resouces .
however, despite these efforts, The World Monuments Fund added Route 66 to its Watch list of endangered sites in 2008. The COVID-19 pandemic had a particularly annihilative effect on many Route 66 businesses and communities along the route. current travelers along Route 66 should consider how being well patrons to the little existent businesses along the path can help sustain them for future visitors .

Where Does Route 66 Start ?

road 66 starts in Chicago, Illinois. In Chicago, the official begin and ending points for Route 66 are a bit confusing as they changed over time and there are now one-way east tie and westbound lanes making it even more slippery .
For those starting in Chicago, you can start at Jackson Boulevard at Michigan Avenue ( the original beginning point in 1926 ) or Jackson Blvd at Lake Shore Drive ( the official beginning detail since 1933 ). These two points are lone a couple of blocks aside .
however, the current Route 66 Begin sign ( last we knew ) is located on E. Adams Street at Michigan Avenue thus may want to stop and walk over there before you set off. For those eastbound drivers ending in Chicago, the Route 66 End Sign is marked at Jackson Blvd and Michigan Avenue .
To take a photograph of any of the Route 66 signs, you ’ ll want to find a place to park and walk to them if you can. The signs are located up tall poles ( one adjacent to a bus topology stop ) to prevent vandalism/stealing, but this inconveniently make it more challenge to take photos next to them !
Chicago end of Route 66 road trip

Where Does Route 66 End ?

The road ends in Santa Monica, California. Although some say Los Angeles, California for simplicity since Los Angeles is a better known city .
Like the start point, you have more than one official ending point. The master 1926 end point was at 7th Street and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles and was late moved to the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica .
Olympic Boulevard is now divided by Interstate 10. For eastbound traffic there is a Chevron boast station located at the intersection of Olympic and Lincoln ( no signs ). But for westbound dealings, there is both a embrown Begin and End sign for Route 66 located at the intersection in front of Mel ’ s Drive-In ( 1670 Lincoln Blvd ). Mel ’ second opened in 2018 and is a retro-style modern dining car and a good position to stop for a bite to eat .
For a more comforting end ( or beginning ) to your Route 66 road trip drive, we besides recommend going a bite further to the Santa Monica Pier, the capture is located at Colorado and Ocean Avenue. then take a walk to find the 66 to Cali denounce where you ’ ll find the “ end of the Trail ” Route 66 signal vitamin a well as a small Route 66 giving workshop booth .

What States Does Route 66 Cross?

path 66 runs through 8 different states within the United States. From east to west, it runs through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California .

What Can I See Along Route 66?

route 66 stretches across 8 states so you will cross through stretches of desert, mountains, farmland, large metropolitan cities, and little towns. You ’ ll communicate a broad variety of landmarks, landscapes, parks, waterways, and cultural attractions along the way .
Cities are surely crucial stops on a Route 66 travel plan but it is in the smaller cities and towns, frequently along their Main Streets, where you find the businesses and people that fit the picture many people have of Small Town America .
In many towns, there might be nothing to do expect stroll its Main Street, feed at its diner, and visit an old steam locomotive. A road trip along Route 66 is not inevitably jammed with must-see sights each day, but the drive itself is the experience. Route 66 was developed to be a the way for people to get from Point A to Point B, but today Route 66 is frequently the address itself .
Some of the most iconic things to see along the route are the buildings and signage of the numerous wayside cafe, motels, gas stations, and tourist attractions along this route. A large number of the original businesses are no longer operational, but in many places you can still eat in the same dining car, rest in the like drive court, and do a lead go of the lapp cave as those who traveled Route 66 in the 1950 ’ s .
spend fourth dimension in the car, eating a ground beef and ice cream pop at a classic diner, visiting a fun classic tourist trap attraction, and sleeping in a simpleton but cleanse family-run motel are the hallmarks of a Route 66 tripper .
sadly, many of the businesses that sprung up to support the Route 66 traffic are long gone, leaving behind destroy buildings, blue neon signs, crumbling motels, and tied isolated touch towns which have besides become noteworthy attractions themselves. natural wonders such as the Mojave Desert, Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Meramec Caverns, and the mighty Mississippi River are along this route, and detours can get you to many more natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon .
other popular attractions include classical cars, previous bridges, far-out wayside statues and art installations, restored old accelerator stations, drive-in movie theaters, painted murals, Old West shows and attractions, old city theaters, and historical railway attractions .
Giant statue highlights include a giant blue sky whale, dinosaurs, a pop bottle, giant cowboy, a bombastic thwart, the celebrated Muffler men, the worldly concern ’ second largest concrete totem perch, and the world ’ randomness largest rocking professorship. There are besides a number of Route 66 museums ( most states have at least one ) and early peculiarity museums along the route ( focusing on everything from barbed wire to Jesse James to cowboys to motorcycles ) .
Of course it is your stumble to plan as you wish, and you can besides make deviations and detours from Route 66 to visit early attractions off the road that fit your interests, whether it be listening to country music in Branson, Missouri, searching for aliens in Roswell, NM, gawking at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, gambling in Las Vegas, or visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, CA .
If you are planning to include the California coast in your slip, you can check out our Pacific Coast Highway road trip lead as we drove the Pacific Coast Highway anterior to beginning Route 66 .
Hackberry General Store Arizona Route 66 road trip
Here It is sign route 66 road trip

route 66 Planning Advice

This section answers the most common questions people have about planning a route 66 road tripper, including “ How many days does it take to drive Route 66 ? ”, “ When is the best time of year to drive Route 66 ? ”, “ Where should I stay along Route 66 ? ”, “ How do I rent a car for a Route 66 road trip ”, and “ What should I pack for a Route 66 road trip ? ”. It besides gives advice for developing your own route 66 travel plan based on your time and interests .

When is the Best time of year to Travel Route 66 ?

Most people drive route 66 between early May and late September, and this is by and large considered the best time to travel the route. This is the most travel prison term period partially due to convenience ( school and study holidays ) and partially due to the fact that these months by and large present the best upwind conditions. You ’ ll besides find most of the attractions open for business during this time period .
One of the challenges ( and thrills ) with Route 66 given its boastfully sweep is that is crosses deserts, plains, mountains, and grasslands and six climate zones ( ranging from defect to Mediterranean to alpine climates ) .
I would advise avoiding the winter months from mid-november to mid-february as you ’ ll likely find cold temperatures along much of the route ( yes, it does freeze in places like New Mexico and Texas ! ), likely batch road snow closures in the western States ( California, Arizona, New Mexico ), and bone-chillingly cold winds in Chicago .
In addition to cold temperatures and potential poor road conditions, many of the smaller Route 66 attractions ( and some of the bigger ones ) close down in the winter months or have reduced hours making it harder for winter travelers to get the most of their route 66 experience .
Some people besides advise to avoid the months of July and August not merely because of the heat and humidity, but besides because they are the busiest months on Route 66 with the biggest push, most children, fewest discounts, and highest prices .
We actually did our road trip in July/August and although we did experience high gear desert temperatures ( over 110 F degrees in Needles, CA for example ), humidity, and rain during the route, we did not find the tourist sights or roads to be very push and did not have perturb finding motels or campsite vacancies along the route. very few people drive the route from one end to the other, and even fewer do it by faithfully sticking to the old road so we identical frequently had the road to ourselves .
The busiest part was probably the section in Arizona between Topock, Arizona and Williams, Arizona so I would expect potential slow dealings and crowd on this section of the path. The larger cities are constantly busy and expect slower traffic there a well no topic when you are traveling. For those wanting adequate weather ( hopefully ! ) but looking to avoid push and the high desert temperatures, regard May, early June, September, or early on October .
obviously, the best time to drive Route 66 is the time you have available, and if you need to set out at a less than opportune clock of the year, fair be prepared and be elastic. No matter when you plan to set out on Route 66, plan ahead with the arithmetic mean that you will experience a compass of temperatures and climates .
During your trip, I ’ vitamin d advise checking the upwind conditions each day as snow, hail storms, landslides, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flood, and scatter storms are all possible along this route !

Should I Drive Route 66 Westward or Eastward?

There is of course no adjust direction to do a road trip, not flush an epic one like Route 66. You ’ ll see basically the same things no matter which way you go ( guides will actually suggest sometimes driving both ways in a town to experience both eastbound and westbound sections of Route 66 if there is a burst because of one-way roads ) .
I would first base this decision on logistics ( for example, where you are based, best flight or car rental deals, weather ), practicalities ( for example, weather ), and any time-limited sightsee priorities ( for example, a museum open for lone 6 months of the year, a concert in Chicago you want to be at on X day ). For model, we drove it eastbound from California to Chicago as we were living near San Francisco and it logistically made the most feel to start there .
however, if you have no logistic issues making you lean one way or the other, I would choose to drive Route 66 westbound, from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, CA. This is the traditional means that Route 66 was originally developed and it besides follows the west expansion of the entire country .

Is Route 66 Signposted?

not very. There are some Historical Route 66 signs in some states, but not in others. Some towns have taken upon themselves to put up Route 66 signs to help guide drivers. But you can ’ thyroxine depend on signs to follow Route 66 .
I will not that in late years since we ’ ve returned to Route 66, we have noticed more signs and more cities choosing to rename routes as Historic Route 66 or Highways 66 or alike. however, the signage is still patched and not good adequate to actually use to direct your trip !

How Do I Find and Stay on Route 66 ?

Bad news is that you can ’ t barely go to Chicago and follow Route 66 signs westward to California. Since the road was decommissioned in 1985, the signs were removed and the road was removed from official maps. The road is besides no longer conterminous as parts of the old route 66 are immediately closed, deteriorated, or paved over. Some states have kept the 66 designations for parts of the highway, but only as state roads .
good news is that as clock time goes on, more signs are being put up along the route to denote the Historical Route 66 and some maps are including parts of Route 66 as a tourist or scenic highway. however, these sorts of signs and denotations are not consistent along the road, and are sometimes conflicting and confusing, so the best way to find the route and adhere to it is with the help of a good guidebook or Route 66 specific function .
We highly recommend the EZ66 Guide and a good late USA road atlas. We ’ vitamin d besides recommend considering the here It Is maps as a company to the EZ66 Guide. See our list of Planning Resources towards the bottom of the mail for more information about guidebook, maps, and resources .
We get asked a draw about paper or digital maps for Route 66 one can use for turn-by-turn navigation. We have seen respective and own a pair, but none are actually ones we can recommend. The here It Is maps are great for casual plan but are not to scale driving maps. none of the to-scale maps are detail adequate to actually use on their own and are best used for planning. If you find a great road 66 map, do let us know !
Most GPS units will not be able to follow Route 66 although we found ours very useful to figure out which road we were on and to navigate to a specific address as needed. So we would recommend having a GPS unit or on-line maps on your smartphone to aid you as needed. But if you want a no-tech trip, you can surely do it with the EZ66 Guide and a thoroughly road atlas .
nowadays, it is estimated that over 80 % of the original Route 66 in some phase or the other is still driveable and with the help of some good Route 66 plan aids, you can easily find and drive it. It is up to you how faithful you want to be in keeping to the original route as most people skip over sections to save time and hop on the Interstate, whereas others try to be american samoa close as potential. For exemplify, there are many times when you can actually see the interstate from historic Route 66 and you are plainly traveling alongside it on a slower local road .
note that a few sections of Route 66 are not in great drive form, may run onto private nation, or may be impassable in badly weather conditions sol keep this in take care and just drive safely. Guidebooks will often warn you about these sections and provide helpful advice, but they can ’ t always know the most up-to-date conditions .
Route 66 road trip

How much fourth dimension Does it Take to Drive Route 66 ?

This in truth depends on how much you want to see, how much clock you are volition to drive each day, and how faithful you want to be to the historical Route 66. besides you will need to account for any detours you plan to make which can take up a draw of time ( for example, detours to Grand Canyon or Las Vegas, NV ) .
For those who want to be faithful as potential to the historical Route 66, drive extra alignments, and stop at all the main attractions, you ’ ll need at least 2 weeks to drive the entire Route 66 route ( not accounting for any major detour ). however, it will be a act rushed at 2 weeks. Four weeks seems to be the recommend sum of time to drive the route faithfully at a fairly easy pace and have time to do all the stops .
If you have less than 2 weeks, I ’ vitamin d highly recommend choosing a section of Route 66 to explore, and you can always come back and drive the rest at another time. thus many people drive route 66 multiple times in their lives as the route seems to have an appeal that pulls you back again since it is always changing .
For those wanting to do the broad road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles but are not therefore concerned about fidelity to the route and fair want to be certain to hit the highlights of Route 66 can do the drive in less time. You can actually get from Chicago to Los Angeles via Interstates along the route with about 48 hours worth of driving or less. That said, you ’ ll want to make batch of stops and drive portions of the old Route 66 along the direction .
I ’ five hundred suggest at least 8 days to 10 days to do this sort of trip for those who do not mind some supernumerary Interstate drive. You can see our 8 day Route 66 travel guidebook designed for those who have 10 days or less. The Interstates can save you a set of time, but precisely remember that those driving road 66 are frequently searching for an atmosphere that exists away from the Interstates thus be certain to include some dear stretches of Route 66 to get this know .
Our summer Route 66 road travel lasted 18 days but we spent 1 nox in Page, AZ, 2 nights at the Grand Canyon, and an extra day or then in Albuquerque, NM visiting a ally. So we basically had 14 full moon days and nights along the road and we drove the route equally faithfully as potential, sticking to the existing erstwhile sections of Route 66 and not getting onto the Interstate unless there was no option .
We stopped at barely about all of the celebrated attractions, visited most of the Route 66 related museums, and made a countless number of stops to take a photograph or take a search at vintage signs, motels, abandoned drive-in theaters, etc. along the route .
We besides made a few minor side trips along the path. But to accomplish the above, we typically started driving between 8:00am to 9:00am and drove until around nightfall ( broadly 7:30pm to 8:00pm ) every day. We ’ five hundred arrest for all celebrated ( and most minor ) stops with typically an hour or less allocated for a lunch stop, but dinner was normally made in the RV before going to bed each night .
It was a great road travel and we saw so a lot, but we drove a distribute most days and never had fourth dimension to spend more than one night in any station. On days when we wanted to spend a distribute of clock in one place, we ’ d make up for it by driving late into the night or getting up early the future day .
therefore yes it is possible to do a Route 66 road trip in 2 weeks, drive the route faithfully, and visit most of the attractions along the means, but it means a quick yard and long days of drive. For the average traveler with two weeks, I ’ five hundred recommend slowing down more and either use the Interstate more to save clock or skip some sections of the route so you can more fully appreciate the section you are driving .
If you have more than 10 days for your Route 66 trip, check out our suggest 2 workweek Route 66 travel guidebook as it provides a daily path for a 14 day trip. If you have more than 14 days, I ’ five hundred add more stops ( reducing teh amount you need to travel each day ) or spend extra nights at some of the stops .
Route 66 road trip

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I Don ’ t Have Time for The Full Route, What Section Should I Drive ?

Most people who travel on Route 66 do not travel the broad route. And flush among those who say they ’ ve traveled the fully route between Chicago and Santa Monica, much don ’ thyroxine follow it faithfully, jumping on the Interstate highways to save meter between major destinations .
If you have limited time, I would choose a part that fits in with your interests ( for example, vintage motels, Wild West, far-out wayside attractions, railroads ) or that fits in with your other travel plans ( for example, a visit to Las Vegas or a family travel to in Texas ). Below is but a short-change number of suggestions :
Cowboys & Wild West: There are a fortune of Old West oriented stops, and I ’ five hundred commend considering the Oklahoma to Arizona section. A must-stop for many is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. besides in Oklahoma is Will Rogers ’ birthplace is in Oologah, Oklahoma, the Will Rogers Memorial is in Claremore, OK, and the annual Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo is held in Vinita, OK each summer .
In Texas, Route 66 drivers may want to pull over for a steak at the Big Texan Steak Ranch and consider visits to the Devil ’ s Rope Museum in McClean, the american Quarter Horse Association Heritage Center and Museum in Amarillo, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Hereford .
The historic Old Town of Albuquerque and Santa Fe are both great places to buy western wear in New Mexico. In Arizona, you might want to make a pitstop at Wild West Junction in Williams, Arizona and stroll through Oatman, Arizona which was a true Old West mine town and immediately holds Old West shows in the in-between of the street in the summer. If you end up in California, I ’ five hundred highly recommend a hold on at the Calico Ghost Town .
Calico ghost town California Route 66 road trip
Isolated, Apocalyptic Feel: I would drive through California ’ second Mojave Desert as there are several parts where you can get that isolate feel with very few bantam towns hera and there. This was the conclusion and most dangerous section for most drivers of historic Route 66 as water was barely, distances long, and old cars could easily overheat in the abandon heat. Some sections of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas can besides give you this feeling, such as the section from Amarillo, TX to Albuquerque, NM .
Birthplace & History of Route 66: I would suggest the Illinois through Oklahoma section. The path obviously begins in Chicago but Springfield, Missouri is considered the official birthplace of Route 66 ( there is a plaque in Park Central Square ) as this was where the meet was held where route 66 was officially designated as such .
Oklahoma besides factors heavily into the creation of Route 66. The Father of Route 66, Oklahoma department of state highway official Cyrus Avery, is the reason that Route 66 had its longest load in Oklahoma ( there is actually no reason the Route needs to run through Oklahoma at all ! ). You ’ ll find a bunch of celebrated Route 66 sites in Oklahoma and you can visit the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma to learn all about the history of this celebrated route .
Cars Film Lovers: The animize film drew inspiration from locations throughout Route 66. The town Radiator Springs is fictional and likely draw from a combination of towns preferably than one specific one, although you ’ ll hear that many towns were “ the town from Cars ” whether it be Amboy, CA, Seligman, AZ, Gallup, NM, or Baxter Springs, KS .
The Texas to Arizona segment credibly most resembles the actual landscape in the film. I would suggest that Arizona best fits their visualize of Route 66 based on the film .
none of the places or businesses or characters are real locations but are generally inspired by a combination of places along the route. For model, the Cozy Cone Motel resembles the Wigwam Motels ( found in both San Bernadino, CA and Holbrook, AZ ) with a name inspired by the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, IL. Sally Carrera, the fictional owner of the Cozy Cone Motel was based on the real-life Dawn Welch, who runs the Rock Cafe in Stroud Oklahoma. early inspirations for the Cozy Cone Motel come from highway traffic cones and the Blue Swallow motel sign in Albuquerque, NM .
One of a lot of people ’ s front-runner characters from the movie was Tow Mater. If you want to see the actual tow truck that inspired Tow Mater, you ’ ll want to make a stop in Galena, Kansas .
If you are looking for the picturesque waterfall in the film, it deplorably does not exist on Route 66 although it may have been inspired by Havasu Falls in Arizona. But visiting this waterfall requires a 3-4 hour detour, a hike license, and an overnight rise from Peach Springs, AZ.

But you ’ ll see things that will remind you of the movie throughout the route. Stopping at antique diners, going to some of the cable car museums ( there are several along the route ), and seeing a drive-in movie might be some playfulness stops for Cars fans, depending on your interests.
Old Motels: You ’ ll find vintage Route 66 era motels and hotels scattered along the route and you can find them along about any stretch. If I had to choose one state, I might choose Missouri as you ’ ll find a set of luminary Route 66 motels, including the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Route 66 Rail Haven in Springfield, and Boots Motel in Carthage .
Another top choice would be New Mexico with classics like the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, Motel Safari in Tucumcari, Monterey Motel in Albuquerque, El Rey Inn in Santa Fe, and El Rancho Hotel & Motel in Gallup. Tucumcari, New Mexico was once known as having a motel quarrel with billboards along Route 66 ad “ Tucumcari Tonite ” ; however, while many of the neon signs have darkened it calm has several fantastic old motels .
If you want to sleep in a wigwam ( concrete tee-pee ), you ’ ll want to stop in either Holbrook Arizona or San Bernardino California to stay at the Wigwam Motel !
For those interest in the historic Fred Harvey railroad track lavishness hotels, a few have been restored as hotels around Route 66 such as the La Posada in Winslow, Arizona, El Tovar in the Grand Canyon, La Fonda in Santa Fe, and the Castañeda Hotel in Las Vegas, NM .
For more options, see our usher to historic motels and hotels on Route 66. We list over 50 historic Route 66 earned run average motels and hotels along the route with booking details for each .
Wigwam Motel Arizona Route 66 road trip
Big Cities: Those looking for boastfully city highlights on a Route 66 road trip may be best served by starting in Chicago, Illinois and heading to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This will allow you to explore the Route 66 cities of Chicago, St. Louis, MO, Tulsa, OK, and Oklahoma City. other places of celebrated size along this department of the route are Springfield, IL and Springfield, MO. You ’ ll besides get a thoroughly sampling of smaller town and rural landscapes along the way .
Avoiding Big Cities: You ’ ll notice the size of cities and towns broadly decreases pretty quickly after you leave St. Louis. For those who want to skip big cities, I ’ five hundred suggest avoiding the Chicago to St. Louis stretch american samoa well as the final stretch as you near Santa Monica and Los Angeles which are the two main areas where traffic can get heavy and slowly. Any section you choose in between will have few big cities .
The only early large cities ( depending on your definition of big ) that you may want to detour around are Tulsa, OK, Oklahoma City, OK, Albuquerque, NM, Santa Fe, NM and Flagstaff, AZ. many people driving path 66 detour around the larger cities and frequently you can barely hop on the interstate to get through them cursorily or take a beltway to loop around them .
Best Landscapes: Depends of course on the type of landscapes you want to see, but I would say Arizona as you have the desert, lapidify forest, mountains, caverns, and the Painted Desert. The whole load from Texas to the Mojave Desert in California has some big desert and western landscapes .
Painted Desert Arizona Route 66 road trip
Grapes of Wrath fans: This one ’ s a no-brainer, start in Oklahoma and follow “ the mother road ” to the California seashore tracing the same path as the Joads. If you expect Oklahoma to be a giant brown, dusty prairie, you ’ ll be in for a surprise ( in a dependable way ! ). Driving through the Mojave Desert can truly help you imagine the challenging journey of those during the Dust Bowl and better understand the mean of the phrase “ California, or Bust ! ” .
Drive-in Movie Theaters: Most of the operational drive-in theaters along Route 66 are in the earlier region of the route between Illinois and Oklahoma, but a few are hush up-and-running across the path along with a numeral of now abandoned ones .
here are some that were still showing films at last check : Litchfield Sky View Drive-In in Litchfield, IL, 66 drive-in in Carthage, MO, 19 drive-in in Cuba, MO, Admiral Twin Drive-In in Tulsa, OK, Winchester Drive-In in Oklahoma City, OK, Fort Union Drive-in in Las Vegas, NM, and Skyline Drive-in Theater in Barstow, CA .
While not a drive-in field, The Route 66 Movie Theater in Webb City, MO has been showing films since 1945. There are a number of other small historical independent cinema and theaters you can find along the route .
Do check ahead before you plan to see a film as drive-in theaters seem to close down ( and besides afford ) a bunch without much warn. Most drive-in theaters are seasonal with most only outdoors during the form and summer months .
Winchester Drive Oklahoma In Route 66 road trip
Roadside Attractions: There are fun, far-out and downright eldritch wayside attractions all across Route 66 ( and America in general for that matter ) and these change as old ones are removed and fresh ones spring up. hera is a very partial list of some of the more far-out wayside attractions in each state so you can have an theme of which state ( second ) might be must-see for your Route 66 road trip depending on your interests .
  Illinois has the Muffler Men, Funk ’ south Grove, Henry ’ s Rabbit Ranch, a giant Abraham Lincoln on a cover wagon, The Fuller Dome, and the global ’ second largest catsup bottle .
Missouri has the world ’ south largest rocking professorship, the Jesse James Wax Museum, Red Oak II ( artwork installations and restored Route 66 earned run average buildings ), and Meramec Caverns .
Kansas has the tow hand truck that inspired the Tow Mater character on Cars. Oklahoma has the worldly concern ’ second largest concrete totem punt, the Blue Whale of Catoosa, a giant oilworker, a beat barn, a giant pop bottle, a giant traverse, and possibly the largest route 66 harbor in the earth .
Texas has the Cadillac Ranch, VW Slug Bug Ranch, a “ lean ” water tugboat, Big Texan Steak Ranch, a giant crossbreed, and enormous balls of barbed wire at Devil ’ s Rope Museum .
New Mexico has museums dedicated to dinosaurs, Billy the Kid, and rattlesnakes, a giant roadrunner, the Blue Hole, a musical road, Tinkertown, Tee Pee Curios and the Continental Divide .
Arizona has a Wigwam Motel, dinosaur sculptures, the Jack Rabbit Trading Post with its giant jackrabbit, giant arrows, a geodetic dome, elephantine lumberjacks, Grand Canyon Caverns ( not the same as the Grand Canyon National Park ), frog rock, Giganticus Headicus, a giant meteor crater, violent burros, and lots of petrify wood .
In California, you ’ ll find brake shoe trees, the global ’ mho largest thermometer, a giant hula dancer, the Bagdad Cafe of movie fame, a big orange, Calico Ghost township, Elmer ’ s Bottle Tree Ranch, the McDonald ’ south Museum, and a Wigwam Motel .
Longest Stretch of Uninterrupted Route 66: presently the longest stretch of driveable historic road 66 ( over 150 miles ) starts around Ash Fork, Arizona and ends in Topock, Arizona. This means that you don ’ t need to hop on the interstate at all during this drive. This is one of the most driven and busy sections of Route 66 .
Topock Arizona Route 66 road trip
Grand Canyon and/or Las Vegas Bound : Consider driving the California-Arizona section. Las Vegas is convenient from around Needles, CA and the Grand Canyon is convenient from either Williams, AZ or Flagstaff, AZ .

route 66 Road Trip Itinerary Planning Tips

After you have decided when you want to go, how much time you have, and your sightseeing priorities, you can start putting together your route 66 travel plan. I ’ vitamin d think about how a lot you want to drive each day and what you think you can feasibly fit into each day to help develop your path and choose places to overnight .
Historic Route 66 was about 2,448 miles ( 3940 kilometer ) long and today the trip is approximately 2,278 miles ( 3,665 km ) long. therefore if you have 12 days to drive 2,278 miles of Route 66, you ’ d need to drive an average of 189 miles ( 304 kilometer ) per day at an average rush of 45 MPH, that would be 4.2 hours of driving each day. If you have 14 days you ’ d motivation to drive an average of 163 miles ( 262 kilometer ) per day with about 3 hours and 37 minutes of driving each day .
We have had a number of people ask us to help give them a suggest travel plan, indeed here is our indicate 2 week Route 66 travel guidebook based on our feel and research ( you ’ rhenium very welcome ! ). You can use this as a footing to plan your own road 66 path. It provides a daily route, mileage, driving tips, attraction highlights, dining suggestions, and accommodation suggestions .
If you have a shorter about of time, you can check out our more quick 1 week Route 66 path .

Choosing Transportation for a Route 66 Road Trip ?

It wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be a road trip unless you were driving, so either you ’ ll need to supply your own fomite or motorbike or you ’ ll indigence to rent one. If you are planning on rent, you should consider whether you want to stay in lodging along the way, bring camping gear to set up a tent at campsites along the manner, or if you want to be able to sleep in your vehicle such as with a campervan or RV .
If you are doing a round-trip travel, you ’ ll have more options for rentals. But many drivers will want to do a one-way Route 66 road stumble that allows them rent a vehicle at one goal of the journey ( for example, Chicago ) and return it at the other end ( for example, Los Angeles ). So you will need to pay attention to companies that offer one-way rentals and any one-way fees that may be charged on rentals .
There are a bunch of major lease car rental companies ( for example, Enterprise, Budget, Avis, etc. ) that have rental offices in both Chicago and Los Angeles and allow one-way rentals. Unless you have a prefer caller, we recommend using a lease car comparison web site to check around and compare prices .
Renting hybrid and electric cars is possible. There are electric charging stations along road 66 but they are limited along some sections, so I ’ d check for EV charging stations along the road in advance to ensure you don ’ t run out of appoint if driving an all-electric car. You will need to know what type of blame your car needs and what kind of connectors your car will accept when checking for stations. note that the stream costs for renting and insuring electric cars is much much higher than burning locomotive cars .
Those wanting to hire either a classical car or newer sports cable car ( for example, a Ford Mustang or Chevy Corvette ) should expect much higher rental rates. Many of the major rental companies offer convertibles and other sports cars, and there are a match of car rental companies that specialize in classical car rentals like Ride Free .
For RV rentals, there are respective companies that allow one-way rentals with offices in both Chicago and Los Angeles which include USA Rentals and Cruise America. We recommend using Motorhome Republic for RV rental as they compare prices across the major RV rental firms in the USA, including Cruise America, Apollo, El Monte RV, and Jucy, to find the best price for you. You can book your RV for the USA through them here .
For those who are doing a round-trip road ( returning to where you started ), peer-to-peer RV sites, like Outdoorsy, RVShare, or RVEzy may be another choice. These sites allow people to rent out their campervans, RVs, motorhomes, travel trailers, etc. to people when they are not being used.

Those looking for a motorbike lease for Route 66 might want to check out Eagle Rider and Ride Free .
To rent a vehicle or RV in the United States, you typically need to be at least 21 years of age ( 25 years of age is the minimum at many rental companies ) and have a valid driver ’ mho license. If you are not an american citizen you may need an international drive license or an empower english translation of your drive credentials. If you are an international driver and have never driven in the U.S., you should check out this article from Laurence about tips for driving in the U.S. for non-American drivers .
car insurance is mandatory in most of the USA and is necessity if you plan to drive Route 66. Most states require some horizontal surface of liability insurance coverage and this is normally included as part of the rental car price. For any type of lease, you ’ ll want to inquiry what policy coverage is included in the rental and what is recommended. You may have extra coverage for rental cars included as part of your own car indemnity ( peculiarly Americans ) or as part of your credit circuit board benefits .
When comparing prices, you ’ ll want to specifically check on any one-way cliff fees which can add an extra $ 100 or more to a rental car price. Airport pick-ups and drop-offs can besides be more expensive than picking up or dropping off a rental cable car at other locations .
note that you should consider if you need a lease cable car for your entire trip. For Chicago and Los Angeles, you can get around both cities without a cable car pretty well. Both cities offer public transit options ( buses and trains ), cab, ride sharing services ( e.g, Uber and Lyft ), suburban trains, sightseeing buses, bicycle rentals, etc. If you plan to spend much time in either city, you might consider picking up your lease subsequently or dropping it off earlier to save money ( rental days and parking fees ) and to avoid driving in these cities .
We have done Route 66 both in a campervan lease and with a regular car rental. Our first time we rented a small camervan from JUCY, which specialize in small custom-built campervan hires. Hiring a campervan gave us the choice to sleep and eat ( there is a small kitchen included ! ) in the RV, and this helped us save a bunch of time and money along the direction .
You can read our full review of our JUCY campervan experience. however, this is not presently an option for those driving the entire route one-way but may be capital for those driving only a western part and can return the van in California or Las Vegas .
JUCY RV Oatman Arizona mule Route 66 road trip

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Are Escorted or Guided Route 66 Tours Available ?

Yes, indeed, there are several group and guided tours available for those wanting to traverse Route 66 by car, busbar, or motorbike. Some cover the full path and others cover entirely sections of Route 66 .
Group tours may be a peculiarly good fit for foreign travelers who don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate talk much English, those who feel uncomfortable traveling independently, those unable to rent a car, or solo travelers wanting company during their trip .
If you are traveling from Europe, you might consider this 17-day guided tour of Route 66 by Titan Travel that includes your flights, conveyance, accommodation, and a phone number of entrance fees/excursions. Geared to those who want a comfortable travel .
Those wanting to join a steer bus Route 66 enlistment might want to check out itineraries from G Adventures. They don ’ metric ton offer broad Route 66 trips, but drive sections of Route 66 while besides visiting places like Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Yosemite National Park .
Those wanting to travel on a motorbike or authoritative car with a group of other Route 66 travelers should check out Eagle Rider and Ride Free .

Dining along Route 66 ?

There are ample places to eat along Route 66. You ’ ll find food options in about any town along the road. There are lunch options in most towns of any size along the road, but dinner options can be more limited in smaller towns and rural areas.
If you are looking for a tilt of restaurants along Route 66, we recommend checking out the daily Route 66 dining suggestions sections within our 2-week Route 66 travel plan. It lists a number of commend places to dine across the fully route with a focus on classic diners and restaurants.
route 66 earned run average diners are however serving up authoritative american road food such as hamburgers, chili, fried chicken, BBQ pork barrel, milkshakes, and corn dogs. You ’ ll besides find enough of chain fast food places, mugwump restaurants, and evening fine dining restaurants along the road .
food options vary depending on the region. Some classics include green chili smothered burritos in New Mexico, steak in Texas, onion burgers in Oklahoma, flash-frozen custard in Missouri, and cozy dogs in Illinois .
Vegetarians, vegans, and those with other kinds of extra diets may have limited options in smaller towns along the path. While options have improved in late years, you may want to keep snacks always on hand in your car to ensure you always have something to eat .
Most lunch spots require no reservations and most of the free-and-easy spots for dinner besides do not require reservations unless you have a large group. We rarely made reservations along the path and were identical flexible with where we ate .
however, if there is a more special restaurant you want to go to, particularly for those in the larger cities, you should check its web site to see if reservations are recommended. Some of the popular restaurants in places like Chicago and Los Angeles can book out weeks in advance .
For those who want to cook their own meals, do picnics, or buy snacks, you will find an ample amount of grocery store stores along the path. Some coarse grocery store stores along Route 66 include Kroger, Walmart ( most Walmart stores have a big grocery store section ), Albertson ’ second, Smith ’ mho, Aldi, Safeway, and Whole Foods. In smaller towns, you can try fuel stations, convenience stores, and general stores for pantry staples .
Route 66 road trip root beer float diner Arizona Route 66 road trip

Lodging along Route 66 ?

You ’ ll find lots of accommodation options along Route 66 and options that will fit just about any budget. Options include motels, hotels, campsites, RV parks, B & Bs, vacation rentals, hostels, and more .
For many years, the best resource to find hotels and restaurants was the Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide, which listed over 500 restaurants and motels throughout the path. sadly, it published its final version in 2015 and the scout is now unmanageable to find and some of its listings are nowadays outdated .
So we now refer people to check out the daily Route 66 lodging suggestions section within our 2-week Route 66 path. It lists recommended places stay for each day. We besides have a dedicated Route 66 hotels and motels guide which offers a tilt of over 50 classic Route 66 era charge options .
If you are looking for a print guidebok to take with you, we recommend the most holocene version of this guidebook which is edited by the National Historic Route 66 Federation. It international relations and security network ’ thyroxine as adept or deoxyadenosine monophosphate comprehensive as the Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide but still provides some excellent recommendations .
One of the joy of a Route 66 road travel for many is staying in some fantastic old vintage motels or drive courts. There are many Route 66 era motels and respective newer ones along the route dedicated to serving Route 66 tourists. The options are very vary and you can even sleep in a wigwam ( for example, Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino, CA ) or stay in a room where a fame such as Clark Gable ( Boots Court Motel in Carthage, MO ) or Elvis Presley stayed ( Route 66 Rail Haven in Springfield, MO ). There are besides some sandbag historical hotels along the path, some dating back to the last nineteenth hundred and early on twentieth century .
tied if you are chiefly planning to camp or stay in an RV, I ’ d highly recommend staying at least one or two nights at a vintage motel along the route. not lone is this a capital route 66 know, but your backing supports these by and large family-run businesses and helps them keep their neon signs burning ! We decidedly enjoyed these stays .
note that many hotels and campgrounds offer discounts for a number of reasons ( seniors, U.S. military, AAA members ), so be certain to check to see when booking and bring along proof at check-in ( for example, ID, membership circuit board ). besides you may want to sign up for a commitment or rewards program if you plan to stay in a phone number of the same types of properties ( for example, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Marriott, KOA RV parks ) to receive perks, discounts, and release stays .
Another choice for those who want their own place and possibly want to cook for themselves is to consider staying in vacation rentals along the route. We broadly find these to be a better value for those staying for more than a couple of nights at a time. The best places to search for vacation rentals along Route 66 include Booking.com, Vrbo, and Airbnb. other places to check include The Plum Guide and Marriott Home & Villas .
For those on a taut budget, note that barren archaic camp ( no hook-ups ) is available on many public lands administered by the BLM ( Bureau of Land Management ) and the USFS ( US Forest Service ) arsenic well as some other organizations or even secret ranches. Some WalMart stores besides offer free overnight parking although policies are store-specific and at the discretion of each memory coach so you will need to ask .
For all those planning to camp or RV along Route 66, see our camping and RV resource list late in the mail for more information and helpful websites .
Blue Swallow Motel Route 66 road trip Boot Court Motel Missouri Route 66 road trip

How much Should I Plan Ahead ?

This truly depends on your dash of locomotion, and some people plan nothing ahead and merely drive the route and others plan in detail what they are going to see each day. I ’ five hundred suggest something in between where you do some research and buy a guidebook to figure out what places you ’ d like to visit and where you generally plan to go along the route. I ’ megabyte generally a person who plans everything out if I can but I think in keeping with the heart of Route 66, it is better to take it slow and not have a lot of hard plans if possible .
It is nice to be able to have flexibility in terms of how much time you spend in an area and how far you drive each day as you may end up spending much more fourth dimension in a rate than you expected. For example, we never planned our lodging more than a day in progress and this worked out well for us and we broadly stopped for lunch whenever we got athirst .
We did make a general travel guidebook before our stumble, but we didn ’ t end up sticking to it on a daily basis as it was hard to anticipate how army for the liberation of rwanda we ’ vitamin d get each day and it was full to be able to go off and visit an interesting attraction person told us about even if it was 30 miles off the path. It is good to be able to have this screen of exemption if you can. If you have fairly express time for your Route 66 road slip, I ’ vitamin d suggest doing a bit more plan ahead of time to get the most out of your trip so you can use your limited clock time angstrom wisely as potential .
flush if you want to just get in your car with no plans, there are a few things I ’ d recommend you do in promote. These include getting any necessity change of location documents, renting your cable car, booking your first nox stay, and booking any extra motels or events along the route .
If you are not a U.S. citizen or resident, you ’ ll need a passport and likely a visa to enter the United States. You ’ ll besides want to have proof of exit ( for example, a plane slate out of the nation ) as you may be asked to show it at immigration. If you need an International Driving Permit or translation of your drive credentials, I ’ five hundred arrange it well in advance .
If you are renting a car or RV, I ’ five hundred book that in advance to ensure you have one expect and to get the best rates. If you try doing this once you arrive, you will probably pay more and have limited options .
If there are any democratic Route 66 motels ( e.g. WigWam Motel or Blue Swallow ) that you very want to stay in, I ’ five hundred regard booking them in advance to ensure you get to sleep there. Those who have special room requirements ( for example, wheelchair accessible, large syndicate rooms, etc. ) should besides consider booking rooms in advance .
If you are heading to the Grand Canyon National Park or another national parking lot along your trip, I ’ vitamin d reserve housing there well in advance. These are regularly amply booked, particularly in the summer months .
besides if there are any special events or festivals you want to attend during your tripper, I ’ five hundred check to see if you need to buy tickets in advance. For exemplar, if you want to go to a popular concert, baseball game, or festival, you may need to pre-book tickets to ensure you are able to attend .

How much money to budget for Route 66 road trip ?

The total of money to budget for your Route 66 trip is in truth going to depend on where you are coming from, how many days you plan to be on the route, how you plan to travel along the path ( for example, sports cable car staying in hotels, campervan stop at campsites ), how many attractions you plan to visit, and your travel style .
The capital thing is that a draw of the expenses you ’ ll hopefully know good before you leave home, including any flights, insurance, cable car rental expenses, and any needed travel documents for traveling and driving in the USA ( for example, visa, recommendation, vaccination certificate, driving certificates ). sol if you are uncertain of these costs, I ’ five hundred price them in improvement as these can be a significant parcel of your budget, particularly if you are an international traveler, and will depend a bunch on where you are coming from .
now, the rest of your costs will come along the trip itself and will include things like lodging, fuel, food, attraction entrance fees, tours, and souvenirs. I would say a budget of between $ 200 to $ 300 per day for 2 people traveling together and sharing a room is a fair route 66 budget .
For a couple traveling together on a small budget, I would say a budget of $ 100 to $ 150 per day would probably be about the lowest budget I would recommend. This would entail camp or staying in hostels or budget motels, eating at fast food restaurants or diners or cooking for one ’ mho self, and a specify measure of spending on things like attractions and souvenirs. If you have a minor budget, I ’ d decidedly try to plan ahead to ensure you can stick to it and I ’ vitamin d consider camping to save on both lodging and food costs. indeed possibly with a campervan, an average day would be $ 25 for camping fees, $ 20 meals ( groceries for picnics and cook meals ), $ 55 fuel, and $ 20 attractions .
A batch of our readers who have contacted us much have a path 66 budget of between $ 200 and $ 250 per day for 2 persons and this will give you a batch more flexibility. This would allow for budget to mid-range charge, diner meals, and stopping at one or two attractions each day. then possibly an average day would be $ 100 for lodgment, $ 60 meals, $ 50 fuel, and $ 20 attractions .
A day by day budget of over $ 300 for 2 persons per sidereal day will give you even more flexibility. This would allow for mid-range to lavishness lodge, restaurant meals, and multiple attractions per day. indeed possibly an modal day would be $ 200 for lodge, $ 100 meals, $ 50 fuel, and $ 50 attractions .
If you already have an idea of your budget, you can work backward to find your casual budget. Let ’ s say you have $ 6500 saved for your trip. Your plane tickets, car rental, and travel policy price you $ 2500. That gives you $ 4000 for the rest of your expenses like lodging, meals, attractions, gas, attractions, tours, shopping, etc. If you are planning to spend 2 weeks driving Route 66, that gives you an average budget of $ 285 per day .
Some costs will be flexible and you can determine how authoritative versatile elements of your trip are to you. even with the lapp budget, you can prioritize the elements most authoritative to you and try to save on the others. For case, if lodging and attraction are most authoritative to you, you can save money by looking for cheap meals. Whereas another person with the same budget might like to have a nice sit-down meal with drinks every night but wish less about lodging and attractions .
If you have a budget you need to stick to during your stumble, I ’ five hundred recommend checking prices and booking what you can ahead for things like lodging so you know those costs in advance. If you want to stick to say a $ 100 average casual lodging budget, then booking ahead can ensure you can do that. If you wait until the final minute, you may end up paying more than planned. For case, for lodging, we book all our own via Booking.com and by and large bible places with rid cancellation ( by a certain date ) and then can keep racetrack of it all in one place .
One price you are not going to have much control over is fuel costs. once you know what kind of car you ’ ll be driving, I ’ vitamin d recommend using AAA Gas Prices and Gasbuddy to search for stream and average fuel prices angstrom well as doing gas trip calculator costs to get an idea of that expense for your budget. fuel prices will vary by state of matter. Electric cars will save you money in energy costs but they much cost more to rent and insure .
If you track your daily expenses during your trip and find you are spending more than expected, you can spend less on things like food or attractions late in the trip for exemplar .
You ’ ll likely motivation to spend more on lodge and food in places like Chicago, Santa Fe, and Los Angeles, but you can save money in the smaller towns and cities along the way. so keep open in beware while you may have a budget of $ 100 per night on lodging, it is likely you will be paying a act more in the bigger cities but can find lower prices in the smaller cities and towns along the route to keep to an average of $ 100 per night .

How condom is Traveling Route 66 ?

We felt safe during our trip and did not have any incidents ; however, crime does happen along the route and you should be cautious, specially if you are traveling by yourself. crime rates vary well along the path from big cities like Los Angeles and Chicago where there is higher rates of crime to little little towns in Oklahoma or Arizona where crime is relatively rare .
Most crime, specially crimson crime, happens deep at nox or early in the morning. So completing your sightseeing by dinner time ( most things are closed by then anyhow ) and heading off to your adjustment for the night may make you feel safer, specially if you are new to traveling in the United States .
The most common problem is credibly larceny ( of valuables and cars ) you should follow all the practical locomotion condom guidelines as you would elsewhere. Keep your valuables hide, car and hotel doors locked, and be cautious about opening motel or hotel doors to people you don ’ triiodothyronine know. Travel insurance for any expensive valuables may be a adept theme if traveling with items that would be dearly-won for you to replace .
If you are wearing a purse, I ’ d wear a intersect body one that is difficult for person to snatch and being hands-free makes them less probable to be sat down and left behind. Those with wallets may want to keep them in their front pants pockets ( rather than spinal column ones ) or inside shirt pockets to make them more secure. You might besides consider a concealed travel safety dress such as a hidden pouch to store excess money, IDs, and valuables .
Have copies of important locomotion documents, telephone numbers, IDs, credit cards, vaccination certificates, and insurance information stored in a divide place ( in physical and/or digital formats ) in case of larceny. If person stole your purse, telephone, baggage, and/or car, would you still have access to your IDs and money ?
Keep your cellular telephone phones charged and carry a spare battery or charger. Always have a bite of cash on you ( $ 20 to $ 100 ) but wear ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate carry boastfully amounts of cash in case you are robbed .
Travelers should always let family or friends know about your trip and it is a good idea to partake you itinerary with at least one person, particularly if traveling solo. Some people, particularly women, besides like to carry pepper spray .
If you are camping, I ’ five hundred stay at proper campsites with staff on-site and invalidate camping off by yourself out of spy of others. If staying in budget motels, hostels, or rented rooms ( for example, Airbnb ), I ’ five hundred be sure to read reviews and check on the area a bit ( specially in larger cities ) to try to avoid high crime areas. It can besides help to make indisputable you have your charge booked ahead at least a day or two in advance so you are never scrambling to find housing late at night .
For digital base hit, you should consider using a travel router and/or a VPN to help protect you when using public and hotel Internet. If you are using unguaranteed populace WiFi, it is recommended that you don ’ t log in to any data-sensitive sites ( for example, banks, emails, workplace accounts ) or share any personal information .
hopefully, you will not need checkup care on your trip, but the United States does have first health manage facilities. however, health care in the United States is notoriously expensive compared to most other countries. Make certain you have your health policy information with you. If you are traveling from away of the USA, be sure that you have travel insurance or medical indemnity that covers checkup care in the United States. A medical emergency could cost you tens of thousands of dollars without insurance .
We did not have any safety-related issues during our trip but I think you should decidedly watch out for yourself like you would anywhere else and if you are new to these areas, it is constantly good to be a small supernumerary cautious .
Victorville CA 2 week Route 66 itinerary detailed guide

Can I Bring my Pets along Route 66 ?

Yes, of course, you can bring along your pets. The better interview of course is to decide if you should bring along pets. It can be great to have the company of your pawl on a trip but it besides will limit where you can go and how a lot prison term you can spend exploring attractions along the route .
many museums, attractions, restaurants, and hotels along Route 66 do not allow dogs ( except ADA service dogs ) or other pets. You can of naturally find many places you can go with your dog and several motel and hotel chains are pet friendly ( for example, Motel 6, Courtyard by Marriott ) but it does limit your options. Most recreational vehicle sites and campgrounds allow dogs therefore traveling with an RV can be a full option for pet owners .
Most motels and hotels have policies where you are not allowed to leave you pet unattended in the room which means one person should always stay with the darling. You should besides of course not leave your pets unattended in a fomite and in many U.S. states it is illegal to leave pets neglected in cars, particularly in hot temperatures. It can be very hot ( over 100 degrees Fahrenheit ) when driving the sections in the West, particularly in the summer months, and these temperatures can be dangerous to pets, particularly larger dogs .
So I would balance your sightseeing priorities, the wellbeing of your pet, and the practicalities of traveling with your dog. We actually have driven parts of Route 66 with pets, once with 1 cat in a car and once with 2 cats in a campervan. It decidedly limited our sightsee, meant more picnics and drive-through food than long sit-down meals, and limited our hotel choices. Although we love our cats, we were decidedly were able to travel more freely in the times we did not have the cats with us .

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How accessible is path 66 ?

If you ( or your travel companion ) are traveling in a wheelchair or have limited mobility, there are of course some things that will be more unmanageable and some places you will not be able to visit or stay. however, the great news is that a large number of the attractions can be seen from the road and you don ’ metric ton evening need to get out of the car to see most of Route 66 ’ sulfur wayside attractions, historic buildings, neon signs, etc .
I would make a list of the top places you want to see and then look up handiness data to get an mind of what you will and will not be able to visit and see. For model the Meramec Caverns cave go is not presently wheelchair accessible but the majority of the National Route 66 Museum complex is wheelchair accessible. Santa Monica has free all-terrain and beach wheelchairs available to rent that visitors can use to explore the area and beaches .
We would recommend that those with specify mobility, specially those with a wheelchair, book their accommodation in boost to be certain to get accessible rooms as options can be limited in the smaller towns and cities. many motels and hotels along the route have wheelchair-accessible rooms available and most can be booked on-line, but you may want to call the property immediately if you have any questions about any handiness features .
many of the historical hotels can not accommodate wheelchairs due to the nature of the property ( stairs, no elevator ), but many of the vintage motor court motels are land level with no steps although not all have amply accessible rooms .
We provide handiness information ( as provided by the place ) for each of the lodge options included in our route 66 hotels and motels template. This might be a good invest to start for those looking for wheelchair-accessible housing, particularly those interested in staying in historic motels and hotels along the route .

path 66 Road Trip Supplies ?

Everybody has a set of unlike things that they may want to take with them on a road trip, but things that I would recommend bringing with you or purchasing at the beginning of your road trip are a Route 66 guidebook or two, a road atlas or set of maps, a camera, rain protection, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a reclaimable body of water bottle, snacks, a car folderol bulge, car safety and sustenance kit, and a basic First Aid kit .
Be sure to bring batch of auspices from the sun and to keep your water bottles filled on your trip to protect against dehydration. wear sunscreen daily even if you plan to stay in the vehicle most of the day as you can still get sun damage from UVA rays !
eminence that there may be periods of a few hours, particularly in the Mojave defect, where access to basic essentials are limited so keep water and snacks in the cable car. Tap water is broadly safe throughout the United States so you can drink water system directly from the sink taps or body of water fountains, but do not obviously drink untreated water from rivers, lakes, unknown wells, or early such sources .
I ’ d besides recommend bringing along a travel daybook to jot down notes and record your road trip adventures, and possibly a pack of cards of cards or road-friendly games to play as you ’ ll be spending a draw of fourth dimension in the car. If traveling with kids, you ’ ll decidedly want to make sure they have some things to entertain them .
I would keep U.S. dollars on you at all times as some smaller businesses along Route 66 will only accept cash, particularly for little transactions. Donations for submission to absolve attractions are frequently merely accepted in cash equally well. For street park along the road trip, it is a good idea to constantly have some coins with you for street parking to pay the park meters. Although more and more allow you to pay via credit cards or parking apps .
besides, merely note that if you are traveling from outside the U.S., your accredit and debit cards may not work in automatize machines such as at accelerator stations, many of which will require a debit or credit circuit board with a U.S. charge savoir-faire. normally you can get around this by paying a person at heart, but at night you typically can alone pay outside at the accelerator pump by card .
For the vehicle, make surely you have a commodity bare tire ( and way to change it ), a GPS ( optional but recommended ), and a dependable road atlas or jell of maps for each state. Remember that Route 66 is probably not going to be marked on your maps or GPS, so you ’ ll distillery need to use a guidebook or maps to help direct you .
If you will be driving a rental car or RV, make sure you know how everything works ( for example, headlights, turning signals, fastball ) before you go and ask who you should contact in cases of a flat tire, accident, or mechanical failures .
I besides recommend putting together a collection of Route 66 inspired music whether in digital, CD, MP3, or other format for your road trip. Just make sure the music will play without an Internet connection. See recommend songs and music compilations in the following incision that can help you start to build the ultimate soundtrack for your Route 66 road trip !
promptly list of some items you may want to pack along for your Route 66 road trip :
You can besides see the majority of the products we recommend for a Route 66 travel above in a complete list on Amazon hera for reference book .

inspiration for your Route 66 Road Trip

here are some of my recommendations for media that contains cultural references to the celebrated Route 66. These are great for getting you agitate anterior to your road trip or can make for capital read, observation, and listening materials during the road trip. besides bang-up for those who are not planning to drive Route 66, but concern in learning more about it. Those marked with asterisks are my favorites .

route 66 Novels

  • Grapes of Wrath (novel) * – The 1939 Pulitzer-prize winning novel by John Steinbeck that traces the journey of the Joad family during the Great Depression as they travel west along Route 66. The most famous and greatest literary work that concerns Route 66, and this is where Steinbeck refers to Route 66 as the “Mother Road”. Not light reading but this American classic is highly recommended reading for anyone!
  • On the Road (book) * – A 1957 novel by Jack Kerouac about a man from Sal Paradise who travels by road around the United States and meets members of the Beat Generation. The book is based on Kerouac owns years of traveling the U.S. While only a small part of it takes place on Route 66, it does provide a good snapshot into the postwar Beat Generation and is a classic American road trip novel.

path 66 Films

  • Grapes of Wrath (film) *- A 1940 film adaptation of Steinbeck’s novel directed by John Ford. A great film; however, it removes characters from the novel and is a more optimistic and less controversial depiction compared to the novel.
  • On the Road (film) – A 2012 film adaption of Jack Kerouac’s novel. Not the best reviewed film, but there is a lot of time spent on the road. Note there is quite a bit of nudity and sexual and drug-related content.
  • Cars (animated film) * This 2006 animated film by Pixar and Disney, tells the story of a popular race car who unexpectedly ends up stranded in the small town of Radiator Springs located along historic Route 66. The family-friendly film makes clear and constant references to Route 66, its history and its decline due to the U.S. federal interstate system, as well as references to specific people and places along the route. Fun to watch both before and after your road trip, as you notice so many more things after your trip.
  • Easy Rider (film) – The famous 1969 biker film that has Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper traveling through parts of the American Southwest and South by motorcycle. Only parts of it take place on Route 66, but great for those hoping to see Route 66 by motorcycle.
  • Thelma & Louise (film) – A 1991 crime film about two women who set out on a 2-day road trip that ends with deadly consequences. Again, only parts actually take place on Route 66, This is the film that really introduced Brad Pitt to the world.
  • Little Miss Sunshine (film) * – A 2006 American comedy/drama film about a dysfunctional family who drives their 7-year-old daughter Olive from Albuquerque, NM to Redondo Beach, CA for a beauty pageant in an antique Volkswagen bus.
  • Bagdad Cafe (film) * – A 1987 West German film about a woman running an isolated run-down cafe and motel in the California desert frequented by truck drivers and drifters. A bit odd and slow to get going but we enjoyed it. The filming location can still be visited in Newberry Springs, CA which is located on Route 66.
  • Paris, Texas (film) – A 1984 French-German film about a man who has been wandering the the desert and comes back to reunite with his brother and son. He and his son then travel in the American Southwest to find this wife. This film is loosely related to Route 66.
  • Wild Hogs (film) – A 2007 comedy starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy who are middle-aged friends from Cincinnati, Ohio who decide to drive their Harleys to California in search of a little adventure. The Film includes some scenes shot along Route 66, particularly in New Mexico.

path 66 television receiver Series

  • Route 66 (TV series) – American TV show of the early 1960’s follows the travels of two men as they drive around the United States. This show popularized the idea of driving Route 66 in a Chevrolet Corvette (Chevrolet was a sponsor of the show). Oddly, very little of the actual show takes place or was filmed on location along Route 66 although it provides an interesting look at America in the 1960’s nonetheless.
  • Bagdad Cafe (TV Series) – A 1990s short-lived TV sitcom based on the film of the same name, starring actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Jean Stapleton.

road 66 Music

  • (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 (song) * – This rhythm and blues song written in 1946 by Bobby Troup popularized the highway and is by far the most popular song about the highway. First recorded by Nat King Cole, it has been sung by everyone from Jerry Lee Lewis to the Rolling Stones. This is the one must-have song for your Route 66 road trip sound track!
  • road 66 – Songs From The Mother Road ( music collection ) – A audio certificate of deposit of Route 66 related song sing by the Road Crew .

Route 66 Photos

  • There are lots of photos taken from Route 66, both recent and vintage, that you can scroll with a simple online search. For some of our photos, see our Route 66 photos gallery. If you are looking for prints or canvases of a specific attraction or place along Route 66, just let us know and we can see if we have it!

road 66 Road Trip Planning Materials

This section covers helpful suggest resources to help in planning and enhancing your route 66 trip, including Route 66 guidebooks, maps, and useful websites .
Route 66 road trip planning guides and maps

road 66 Planning Books & Maps

I ’ five hundred commend that all travelers invest in at least one guidebook to help point out and give some setting on interesting highlights and attractions along the route. besides since historic Route 66 is not well-marked and is not denoted on a regular map, you ’ ll besides want a guide to help keep you on the route .
Paper maps and road atlases may seem dated to many young travelers, but I would highly recommend having them available tied if you plan to chiefly navigate using a GPS or maps app on your smartphone. Given that things change regularly ( credibly daily ) on Route 66, try to buy the most up-to-date guides and maps available. It can be quite disappoint to turn up to eat at a historic restaurant to find out it closed 5 years ago or find your chosen path blocked by a missing bridge .
Some books are best to read before your travel. I personally bought a copy of Route 66 : The Mother Road prior to our travel and found it a great koran to read or skim through for history, fishy and touching travel stories, profiles of people who work along route 66, etc. It besides provides some beneficial tips and points you to many highlights, but I found it better for backdrop interpretation than actual trip planning .
other books are worth taking with you on your trip. Before our trip, we purchased the EZ66 Guide for Travelers, the Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide, the Route 66 Adventure Handbook, and the here It Is route 66 maps. We besides took along and picked up an assortment of national, express, and regional maps during our travel. See our suggestions below, ones we personally own and used are marked with an star .
Pre-Trip Planning / Armchair Travels:

  • road 66 : The Mother Road 75th Anniversary edition by Michael Wallis* – This ledger gives a good overview of Route 66 ’ mho history a well as personal stories and attraction highlights. Highly recommended for a pre-road travel understand for those interest in the history of Route 66 and the people who worked ( and are distillery working ) along it .
  • The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas by Jim Hinckley – A illustrate guide to Route 66 that includes lots of historical information, photograph, and maps. This is a bang-up learn for those looking for pre-planning information or those equitable wanting to learn more about the route, but credibly not the best daily guide during the trip. Jim Hinckley is an adept on the road and has written a number of Route 66 books and reference guides about Route 66, including this capital encyclopedia address about the path .

On the Road Route 66 Guides & Resources: 

  • Our 2 Week Route 66 Itinerary – We recommend checking out our release suggested Route 66 travel plan to use both in pre-planning and during your road travel. It provides a hint route separate over 14 days, attraction highlights, and suggested places to eat and drink along the route each sidereal day. We recommend it be used in concurrence with the EZ66 Guide ( to keep you on Route 66 ), commodity maps or an USA atlas, and an attraction guide ( such as the Route 66 Adventure Handbook to give you more context and more attraction suggestions ) .
  • EZ66 Guide for Travelers by Jerry McClanahan* – This guide helps you easily find the route and stay on it almost turn-by-turn during the full 2,400 mile journey. It was our day-to-day bible to our journey when we were driving Route 66. The guide also lists attraction highlights, historic details, and provides general maps. You can even visit Jerry in his art studio in Chandler, OK and get your guide signed by the author like we did. Highly recommended for anyone wanting turn-by-turn sort of advice on driving Route 66 and those wanting to be as faithful to staying on the route as possible. Be sure to get the latest edition!
  • NOTE: Sadly the 17th edition in 2015 was its final edition, and it is has recently become difficult to find a copy of this guide. Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide by the National Historic Route 66 Federation* – An objective guide of over 500 places to eat, drink, and sleep along Route 66. We found this very useful when looking for places to eat or stay along the route, it is also great for locating historic, unique, and atmospheric options along the route. Highly recommended and proceeds go to supporting the National Historic Route 66 Federation preservation efforts.Sadly the 17th edition in 2015 was its final edition, and it is has recently become difficult to find a copy of this guide.
  • Route 66 Adventure Handbook by Drew Knowles* – This book provides a good guide to driving Route 66 (although not a turn-by-turn guide) and an excellent overview of all the roadside attractions along Route 66 as well as some advice on motels and dining options. The highlights for us were the lists of attractions along the route as well as additional side trips that one could take near the route which are not often included in other guides and were helpful when we were spending more time in a location. This book also provides a unique section teaching you how to identify old sections of Route 66. Recommended for almost anyone interested in attractions along the route, both Route 66 specific and those a bit further afield. Be sure to get the latest edition.
  • Route 66: Guided Tour Book by David Knudson – This is one of the newest guides to Route 66 and was edited by the National Historic Route 66 Federation. We haven’t used this one but the guide is meant to provide attractions and activity recommendations along the route and to be used in conjunction with the EZ66 Guide for Travelers. It also is meant to fill in more dining and lodging recommendations with the discontinuation of the Dining & Lodging guide; however, those listings are not as comprehensive as they were in that guide.
  • here It Is ! The Route 66 Map Series * – A put of 8 hand-drawn maps of each state along Route 66 that provide both eastbound and westbound directions driving directions and the most popular attractions are listed on the map. We found the maps useful to get a feel of each department of state, the ordain of the towns and attractions, and for knowing the exit numbers. however we found the drive directions in the EZ66 Guide for Travelers easier to follow. not substantive but identical useful. Be certain to get the latest version !
  • USA Road Atlas *- There are many road atlases available, just make sure that you buy one that goes into sufficient detail, covers all the states, and has been recently updated. I can personally recommend the Rand McNally road atlas for road travel in the United States and I have also used ones by AAA. If you don’t get a road atlas, I’d recommend picking up state maps as you go along (often you can get pick these for free or low cost at visitor centers or buy one at gas stations and convenience stores).
  • motorcycle-focused guide to Route 66 – I can’t personally recommend any of them but bikers may want to consider one of several motorcycle-focused guides to Route 66. This one appears to be comprehensive and recently updated. Note that many of these have not been updated so be sure to check the date of publication and read recent reviews.

Helpful Route 66 Road Trip Planning Websites

here are some Route 66 related websites that may be helpful to planning your road 66 trip .
National Route 66 Websites:

  • National Historic Route 66 Federation – National non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Route 66, check it out for latest information, preservation news, and a well path 66 on-line memory :https://www.national66.org
  • National Park Service, Route 66 – Great data on history of Route 66, some maps and travel guidebook ideas, and capital web site resources :https://www.nps.gov/subjects/travelroute66/index.htm
  • route 66 News – Provides helpful data and late news related to Route 66 : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.route66news.com/
  • Updates for those using the EZ66 Guide for Travelers: http://mcjerry66.com/

Route 66 Itinerary Suggestions:

  • 2 week Route 66 Itinerary – If you have more than 10 days for Route 66, this detailed day-by-day itinerary can help you plan your route, stops, dining, and lodging.
  • 1 week Route 66 itinerary – If you have 10 days or less, this itinerary can help you plan your day by day trip along Route 66.

Route 66 Camping and RV Resources: 

  • overtone list of campgrounds and RV parks along ( or near ) road 66 :https://www.route66news.com/campgrounds/
  • Our road 66 travel plan includes camping recommendations for each day of the propose path route
  • Database and map of U.S. public campgrounds :http://www.uscampgrounds.info/
  • list of RV parks throughout the U.S. :http://www.rvparksusa.com/
  • Listings of private campgrounds and RV parks in U.S. :https://gocampingamerica.com/
  • Check out All Stays for helpful web site and telephone apps that help locate RV parks, hotels, RV dump sites, spare places to camp, rest areas, WalMarts that allow overnight parking, and more :https://www.allstays.com/

State Specific Route 66 Websites:

  • Route 66 Association of Illinois :https://www.il66assoc.org/
  • Route 66 Association of Missouri :https://www.missouri66.org/
  • Kansas Historic Route 66 Association :http://kshistoricroute66.com/
  • Oklahoma Route 66 Association :https://www.oklahomaroute66.com/
  • Texas Route 66 Associationhttps://www.rt66oftexas.com/
  • New Mexico Route 66 Association :https://www.rt66nm.org/
  • Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona :https://www.historic66az.com/
  • California Historic Route 66 Association :https://www.route66ca.org/

California Route 66 road trip
We hope you have found this steer to a Route 66 road trip helpful ! Is a route 66 road trip on your bucketlist ? If you ’ ve driven any part of Route 66, feel complimentary to partake any tips or advice you have from your own trip ! As constantly, all questions and comments are welcome .
A complete guide to planning your Route 66 road trip - the ultimate American road trip. Learn how to follow Route 66, what to pack, how to pick your transportation, best planning materials, when to go, where to eat, where to stay, and more! **Disclosure : During our beginning Route 66 road trip, we drove Route 66 during a RV tripper in partnership with JUCY who covered most of the costs associated with our amazing campervan rental ; however, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Food, lodgment, fuel, and other tripper costs were paid for by us. subsequent trips were amply funded by us. **

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