What are the most populair stops on Route 66? Route 66, also known as the “Mother Road,” is one of the most famous highways in the United States, spanning 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Since its creation in 1926, Route 66 has been a symbol of the American spirit and an iconic road trip destination.
As you travel west along Route 66, you’ll come across St. Louis, Missouri. The Gateway Arch, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, stands at 630 feet tall and is the tallest arch in the world. Visitors can take a tram to the top for breathtaking views of the city and the Mississippi River.
Just a short drive from St. Louis, Meramec Caverns is a natural wonder that’s been attracting visitors for more than 150 years. Visitors can take a guided tour of the underground caves, which are filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique rock formations.
As you make your way through Texas, be sure to stop at Cadillac Ranch, an art installation that features ten Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own spray paint and leave their mark on the cars, making this a unique and interactive stop on the Route 66 journey.
One of the most breathtaking stops along Route 66 is Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. The park is home to a vast collection of petrified wood, as well as ancient fossils, rock formations, and stunning desert landscapes. Visitors can explore the park on foot or by car, and there are several hiking trails to choose from.
No Route 66 road trip is complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon. This natural wonder is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world, with its massive size and colorful rock formations. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore on their own, hiking along the rim or descending into the canyon on foot or by mule.
For those who want to learn more about the history of Route 66, the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma is a must-visit. The museum features exhibits on the highway’s history, including its role in shaping American culture and the impact it had on communities along the way.
Route 66 ends at the Santa Monica Pier, a historic landmark that’s been entertaining visitors since 1909. The pier features an amusement park, an aquarium, and several restaurants and souvenir shops. Visitors can also take a stroll along the beach or watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
For a truly unique Route 66 experience, spend the night at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. The motel features 15 tepee-shaped rooms that are a throwback to the heyday of Route 66. Each room is decorated with vintage furnishings and offers modern amenities for a comfortable stay.
One of the most quirky stops along Route 66 is the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma. This roadside attraction is a giant, concrete blue whale that was built in the 1970s as a swimming hole for the owner’s family. Today, visitors can climb inside the whale’s mouth and explore its interior.
Before Route 66 was established, the Ozark Trail was the primary route for travelers heading west. Today, parts of the old Ozark Trail are still visible along Route 66, including sections of the original pavement and bridges.
The Hackberry General Store is a must-stop for anyone traveling Route 66 through Arizona. The store has been in operation since the 1930s and is filled with Route 66 memorabilia, including vintage gas pumps, signs, and license plates. Visitors can also grab a snack or a souvenir to take home.
Roy’s Motel and Cafe in Amboy, California is a well-preserved example of the classic Route 66 roadside motel and diner. The motel and cafe have been closed for several years, but visitors can still stop to take photos and explore the abandoned buildings.
The Painted Desert is a stunning natural wonder that stretches for miles across northern Arizona. The desert is known for its colorful rock formations and stunning vistas, making it a popular stop for photographers and nature lovers. We have written an extensive article about this location. So, click HERE if you want to know more about the Painted Desert.
As you travel through New Mexico, be sure to stop in Santa Fe, the state’s capital city. Santa Fe is known for its rich history and vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and cultural attractions to explore.
Arizona is a charming Route 66 town that’s filled with historic buildings and quirky roadside attractions. Visitors can take a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway, explore the town’s numerous shops and restaurants, or just soak up the small-town atmosphere.
Cadillac Ranch is such an iconic stop along Route 66 that it’s worth mentioning twice. This art installation features ten Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground, and visitors are encouraged to leave their mark on the cars with spray paint.
Tucumcari, New Mexico is another classic Route 66 town that’s filled with vintage motels, neon signs, and other roadside attractions. Visitors can stop for a meal at the famous Pow Wow Restaurant, or explore the numerous antique shops and boutiques that line the town’s main street.
The Wigwam Village Motel in San Bernardino, California is another classic Route 66 motel that’s worth a visit. The motel features 20 concrete teepees that have been converted into guest rooms, each with its own unique decor and furnishings.
Texas The Big Texan Steak Ranch is a Route 66 legend that’s been serving up giant steaks and other hearty fare since 1960. The restaurant is famous for its 72-ounce steak challenge, which challenges diners to eat a massive steak, a baked potato, a salad, and a bread roll in under an hour.
This bustling metropolis is known for its architecture, food, and culture. Visitors can explore the city’s famous landmarks like the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park. The city is also home to some of the best deep-dish pizza in the world, and visitors can find plenty of options for a delicious slice.
These were the most populair stops on Route 66. This road is more than just a highway; it’s a journey through American history and culture. Along the way, visitors can explore historic landmarks, natural wonders, and quirky roadside attractions that make this road trip an unforgettable experience. Click HERE for our article about The Great American Road Trip.