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 reestablished 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.
*This post is sponsored by RVshare, the largest RV Rental marketplace. Rent an RV for your next big vacation. And keep reading to find out about their awesome sweepstakes to win a free trip on Route 66!*
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 Route 66:
- Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas
- Meramec Caverns in Missouri
- Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma
- Tinkertown Museum in New Mexico
- Chain of Rocks Bridge connecting Illinois to Missouri
- Cars on the Route in Kansas (kids will love seeing the tow truck that inspired Tow Mater in the Disney movie, Cars)
- London Bridge in Arizona
- Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande, California
- The Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma
- Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona
Additionally, there are 13 major cities that sit on or near Route 66. Those cities are:
- Santa Monica, California
- Los Angeles, Californina
- Sedona, Arizona
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Amarillo, Texas
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Branson, Missouri
- St. Louis Missouri
- Springfield, Illinois
- Chicago, Illinois
Obviously there are lots of family-friendly activities in each of those cities, as well.
One of the best ways to maximize your Route 66 experience is to travel in an RV. There is currently a sweepstakes sponsored by RVShare where you can enter to win a “Journey Across The Great Diagonal Way.” 4 very lucky winners will receive an RV rental and cash prizes to travel Route 66 between Illinois and Nevada.
Entering the sweepstakes is super easy! You will need to provide your name and email address. For more chances to win, you can follow several of RVShare’s prompts to share their sweepstakes on social media.
If you are interested in entering or learning more about the contest, click HERE. Hurry, the final date for entry is March 20th.
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!)
- Route 66: EZ66 Guide for Travelers
- Route 66 Adventure Handbook
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