Taking a Trip Down Route 66: What To Expect When Traveling America's First Highway

A famous road in the United States, Route 66 holds a special place in American history. This stretch of road connecting Chicago and Los Angeles was the first-ever, all-weather interstate highway in the nation with a length of 2448 miles. Since its creation, Route 66 has become a popular road for road trip lovers to travel down at least once. If you’re planning to embark on the journey, here are a few things you can look forward to on the thriving Route 66.

It takes about two weeks to drive the trip and see all of the sights there are to see, but you should expect to spend even longer on the road if you want to wander the historic downtown areas and really take in all of the stops. It is believed that the best time to make your way down Route 66 is from late April to early October; any other time of the year leaves the chance of you having to deal with inclement weather. 

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Places to See 

Along the famous Route 66 are some attractions that are worth seeing, with some just being quirky locations full of personality and others being famous monuments of the USA. Perhaps the most famous among the stops is the Gateway Arch located in St. Louis, Missouri. Nicknamed the Gateway to the West, this arch is a 190-meter stainless steel monument that holds the record of the world’s tallest arch. It has a museum for you to explore, as well as the chance to go up in the arch and see the views from the inside. 

Upon arriving in Amarillo, Texas, you can take in the Cadillac Ranch, a field that plays host to Cadillacs positioned in the ground at the same angle as the Pyramids of Giza. This quirky attraction encourages visitors to bring along spray paint and leave their marks on the vehicles as they pass through the area. 

The Santa Monica Pier is thought to be the last hoorah of a Route 66 trip and is a great place to get out, stretch your legs and see the Pacific Ocean after a trip well completed. You can catch a ride on the carousel built in 1922, and eat some local food before getting back on the road or completing your journey in the first place. 

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No matter what end of the route you start out on, there are historic accommodations for you to explore as well as more modern hotels if you’re looking for a lavish place to lay your head. 

Tips on Travel

Since the official Route 66 is effectively decommissioned, you’ll need to keep in mind that it doesn’t show up on GPS nowadays. Instead, you’ll need to mark out a route to follow on a map yourself. Another thing to consider is how to pack the car for the trip. It’s recommended that you don’t over-pack and instead bring a small overnight bag for what you’ll need while in the car. Pack items that you’ll need later down the road at the bottom of the bag, and put other items you need closer to the top. 

Route 66 is a historic road that came to be in 1925 but is still heavily traveled today as an unofficial route. With a little preparation and some planning, you can make the most out of this once or twice in a lifetime, unforgettable road trip you’ll always treasure.


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