Are you ready for a road adventure?
Not any road trip adventure.
The ultimate road trip across the United States of America is on Route 66. 2,451 miles of road across on the Mother Road of America, first established in November 1926 from Chicago Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Even though it’s been removed from the U.S. Highway System in 1985, large portions of the road are still open to drivers as a National Scenic Byway. You have probably figured out by now which iconic road trip this article is about. If you haven’t already, it’s high time that you plan to get your kicks on the infamous Route 66.
One iconic road trip
It’s no wonder that Route 66 remains one of the world’s most famous road trip. It’s been immortalized by numerous TV shows, documentaries, movies and songs since its first opening in 1926. The route will be 100 in 8 years, and despite having undergone several changes in routing – including closures of certain portions – more and more travelers planned this monumental trip on the road across the U.S. In fact, as various places along the old road have kept the 66 signs, it’s almost as if the decertification never happened.
A drive through history
Driving on the route 66 is not just about driving on one of the first cross-national roads in the country. It’s also a drive through the past of the states if you know where to look. Did you know, for instance, that it’s in the Grapes of Wrath that its most famous nicknames, The Mother Road, first appeared? Another interesting fact is that part of the route from Rolla to Springfield overlaps the Trails of Tears that had once been followed by the Cherokee Indians in 1838. In fact, you can stop at the Studio Z Extended Stay Hotel & Lounge in St Robert which is at the start of the area where both routes cross path. If you are worried about the long drive, remember that in 1928, runners traversed coast-to-coast from L.A. to N.Y. in 84 days.
How long should you plan?
What the ideal duration for this famous trip? Most people tend to plan the coast-to-coast drive over two weeks. Ideally, you should spend an entire month to explore all the sites and reconnect with its history. In 2 weeks you will only see the most popular and crowded sites and spend some time on the Interstate highway system too, which means that you’ll drive past interesting locations. Taking up to 4 weeks to cross leaves you the freedom to explore and to stick to the historical route, which means a longer but more relaxing drive.
Where stop for a visit?
You will have to organize your stops to fit the duration of your trip. Most drivers will stop at the Land of Lincoln, Will Rogers Memorial, Cadillac Ranch, Tinkertown, London Bridge, The Grand Canyon and the Hollywood grand finale. However, you might want to stick to around 150 – 180 miles a day to give yourself plenty of time to snap pictures and enjoy the diversity of sceneries.
So, if you ever plan to motor west, get your kicks on Route 66, from Chicago to L.A.!