Facts and Figures
Destination: From Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.
Distance: 3,945km, 2,278miles.
Midway Point: Adrian, Texas (1,139 miles between Chicago and Los Angeles).
Modernisation: Most of the road has been replaced by interstate highways I-55, I-40 and I-44.
Time Zones: 3 time zones.
Weather Conditions: Avoid summer and winter; I recommend spring (March-June). Less weather warnings to be concerned about and non-peak time of the year means less costs.
Road Conditions: (Roughly) only 85% of the Mother Road is still drive-able. Try to avoid sections of unsealed roads, unless you have a suitable car for these conditions.
What you need: Transport, money, camera, travel partner, snacks, brochures, and a sense of adventure!
When my sister and I decided to go travelling together in the USA, we said to each other we must travel the whole 3,945km journey of Route 66 and so we did. From downtown Chicago to Santa Monica pier, we travelled across Country from the snowy East coast of America to the sunny West coast and I would recommend this road trip to anyone! Here are a few tips for you to plan your route 66 adventure.
Begin and End Sign
Whether you decide to start your journey in Los Angeles or Chicago, you must find the Begin and End sign to start your Route 66 adventure. They will look perfect on the front of an album!
With any trip I decide to take, I always book my accommodation in advanced. My sister and I always made a set itinerary to follow: research the next location you are travelling to, work out how much time you need to spend there to explore and book the appropriate days required in that location. Accommodation for us was our budget item, particularly for Route 66 as we wanted to save on our rooms to cover the expense of fuel, activities and food. So booking ahead worked really well for us, to secure a room and save on expenses.
Tip: If you sign up to Hotels.com Rewards, when you stay for a total of ten nights in different hotels you can redeem a free night at an eligible hotel. Whether that’s two nights in one hotel, one night in a motel and seven in another, just add up ten nights and redeem a free night!
Adventure: Stay in a famous Wigwam motel! In Holbrook, Arizona you can stay in a retro wigwam motel, park up outside your wigwam and spend the night.
Route 66 offers some of the best roads you’ll ever see! Straight roads, sectioned in the middle of the desert which travel for miles and miles into the distance. I recommend you fill up on fuel before you leave a location, have bottles of water, and a mixture of snack foods to keep your stomach from growling. You might not see a restaurant, shop or gas station for miles! The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with no fuel, no water and no food. Plan ahead.
Attractions & Must do’s
There are so many quirky and retro features to see along Route 66; activities, sites, statues, museums, dine-in theatres, themed gas stations, themed motels, quirky restaurants. It was not easy narrowing down the top ten most attractions to see along this beautiful road. But here they are:
Route 66’s Top Ten Attractions You Must See:
- Cadillac Ranch- Amarillo, Texas.
- Midway Point- Exactly half way between Chicago and Los Angeles.
- The Big Texan Restaurant- Amarillo, Texas.
- Blue Whale- Catoosa, Oklahoma.
- Meramec Caverns- Stanton, Missouri.
- Cars on the Route 66 Gas Station- Galena, Kansas.
- Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe- Williams, Arizona.
- World’s Largest Catsup Bottle- Collinsville, Illinois.
- Gemini Giant- Part of the Muffler Men- Wilmington, Illnois.
- Angel & Vilma Delgadillo/Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In/ Delgadillo’s Route 66 Historic Gift Shop- Seligman, Arizona.
Extra: Take a picture with the famous Route 66 marking on the road. It has to be ticked off! And any Route 66 sign you find along the journey.
Extra: I love this one. For anyone called Sadie out there like myself, you will know our name is never printed on key rings, mugs, or magnets. It’s an unpopular name but very unique (if I say so myself). When you’re in New Mexico visit Sadie’s of New Mexico Restaurant, a whole restaurant brand named after Sadie!
That’s it for now. There is a lot more I could tell you about Route 66, I tried to keep this blog shorter than it could be. If you have any further questions then feel free to ask me, I will be happy to discuss any ideas you have about Route 66. Route 66 is one of the best trips I’ve experienced; I loved every second of it, the long drives, the quirky features, different time zones, the best company with my sister Faye. I would recommend this road trip to anyone!
Feel free to ask questions and I’ll write again soon. Thank you.
P.S- All pictures are my own, I hope you like them.