Travel Route 66: The Iconic Main Street of America

Almost 100 years ago, Route 66 established itself as one of the most famous roads in America.

And then- let’s be honest- the Disney movie, Cars, completely re established the famous road for a whole new generation!

Back in its glory days, travelers enjoyed the sights and accommodations of the iconic road. Its 2,448 miles of open road stretched from Chicago, Illinois (through 8 different states) all the way to Los Angeles, California. Many touristy spots popped up along the route and the road itself became a destination.

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Sadly, over time larger interstates were built and the fast pace of America all but shut down the historic 2-lane highway. Thankfully, much of Route 66 is now being preserved as a ‘National Scenic Byway.’ And many of the unique sights along the road are now landmarks.

More than ever before, a road trip on Route 66 is considered to be the experience of a lifetime!

Last summer our family decided to spend a few days of our road trip exploring a stretch of the iconic route. Of all the things we did on the 24-day trip, Route 66 was easily one of the family-favorites. My kids were absolutely thrilled to see scenes from one of their favorite movies in real life.

Even I have to admit, it was pretty cool!

One of the things to keep in mind before driving Route 66 is that things change. Old businesses are abandoned. And parts of the road appear to be ghost towns. However, Route 66 is still alive and well!

It’s really difficult to use any GPS system to travel on Route 66 because it will always try to take you back to the interstate. Similarly, depending on where you are driving- you may not have the best cell service. Therefore, it’s important to map out your journey ahead of time!

Here are 10 of my favorite stops along the famous road:

  1. Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas
  2. Meramec Caverns in Missouri
  3. Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma
  4. Tinkertown Museum in New Mexico
  5. Chain of Rocks Bridge connecting Illinois to Missouri
  6. Cars on the Route in Kansas (kids will love seeing the tow truck that inspired Tow Mater in the Disney movie, Cars)
  7. London Bridge in Arizona
  8. Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande, California
  9. The Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma
  10. Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona

Additionally, there are 13 major cities that sit on or near Route 66. Those cities are:

  1. Santa Monica, California
  2. Los Angeles, Californina
  3. Sedona, Arizona
  4. Flagstaff, Arizona
  5. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  7. Amarillo, Texas
  8. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  9. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  10. Branson, Missouri
  11. St. Louis Missouri
  12. Springfield, Illinois
  13. Chicago, Illinois

Obviously there are lots of family-friendly activities in each of those cities, as well.

Renting an RV from RVshare can be an incredible way to experience this stretch of America this summer. Visit their website to see the many options available.

No matter what, I highly recommend that you add Route 66 to your travel bucket list!

You may also want to consider these Route 66 resources:

  • Disney Movie, Cars (Yes, I’m totally serious! My kids connected with so much along Route 66 after seeing this movie 700 times!)

You may also enjoy reading:

The One Place I’ve Been That I’d Never Go Again

Tips For Visiting The Grand Canyon With Kids

25 Great Questions To Ask Kids On Your Next Road Trip

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