Route 66 is definitely one of the most famous roads that road-trippers, motorcyclists and tourists travel through in America. An inspiring icon for many, the road spans about 3,940 km (more than 2,440 miles), and has become one that many have injected to their bucket list of roads to attack. The road has been given many names from “Will Rogers Highway”, “Main Street of America”, “Historic Route 66” to “Mother Road”. The latter was coined by John Steinbeck as the road was featured in his acclaimed novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
For the best weather conditions, take on Route 66 in the spring or in the fall. The road is a driver’s dream, drawing the attention of travellers not only because of its historic appeal but also because of the many interesting things and places it has laid over the eight states that it encompasses. There have been a lot written about which ways to go or how to tackle this road trip so we figured we’ll give you the best places you can stop over in all the eight states of Route 66. From east to west, here are Route 66’s top attractions:
Illinois is where most road trips in Route 66 start. Here, in one of USA’s most populous cities, lies many activities for all seasons and of all kinds. One you shouldn’t miss is the Art Institute of Chicago. Even if you’re not art expert or have no particular inclination towards it, you’ll find it has a charm that would not disappoint. Some of the greatest art collections from well-known artists (including Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Picasso) could be found here. In Springfield, the place to go for a dose of American history is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. For food, meanwhile, one of the most top-rated international restaurants in the U.S. is Alinea for its molecular-gastronomy.
The next state is Missouri, where Route 66 runs from downtown St. Louis to the Kansas state line. The top attraction in Missouri, found in St. Louis is Gateway Arch, however, for a longer time in the area, don’t forget to stop at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The Gardens is home to fancy flora, lush and ethereal gardens and a butterfly enclosure. The perfect time to visit is, of course, during spring when the flowers bloom the most. In Kansas city, go to the National World War 1 Museum for a detailed and informative display and tour of the events that happened in the past. Looking for a culinary adventure? Try Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in Saint Louis.
While Dorothy might have fallen in love with the Emerald City in the Land of Oz, it’s all just fiction. Her home state, Kansas, however, is not. Kansas integrates small-town charm with great big-city attractions. One of the best is the Sedgwick County Zoo, found in Wichita. With a versatile mix of wildlife, you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how interesting the place is. Runner up for best attraction in the state of Kansas is the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. In Kansas. you’ll notice that the attractions make for most of the family-friendly trips you’ll have in your Route 66 road trip. The Red Rock Canyon Grill, meanwhile, the best food draw in Wichita.
Being centrally located in Route 66, Oklahoma is one place where you should make your stop count. Don’t skip the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, to which the road is also named after. Rogers lived an eclectic life as a writer, actor, trick roper and all-around entertainer. In the museum, see extensive collections of art, documents and mementos that have played part in his life. In the grounds, you’ll also find his tomb encrypted with his quote “I never met a man I didn’t like”. Another moving experience you can take is in its capital city, also named Oklahoma, is the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
Texas might just be one of the most famous states of America and for good reason. Of all 50, The Lone Star State ranks second among the most populous and the largest (second to Alaska). Anywhere you go in this state is sure to satisfy your senses. From Houston, its largest and most urban city to San Antonio, where old and new collide, there is surely a place you’ll love. Try the many attractions in Houston like the Houston Museum of Natural Science and a gastronomic wonder, Taste of Texas Restaurant.
6. New Mexico
Found in the southwestern and western regions of America, New Mexico hails many art museums particularly from its capital, Santa Fe. Here, you can go to the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, SITE Santa Fe and the Museum of Contemporary Arts, among others. In Albuquerque, meanwhile, the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival takes flight every fall. In New Mexico, get a chance to discover both America’s Indian and Spanish roots.
The Grand Canyon State is one of the four corners of the USA. Arizona is known for its desert climate but very much takes advantage of this. There are some mountain ranges, national forests, national parks and deep canyon. One of the most notable features of the state is the Grand Canyon managed by the Grand Canyon National Park. Other places to discover in Arizona are the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (the largest and the capital city) and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (found in Tucson) among others.
There is just too much to choose from in California that you can spend a year here and you still won’t have seen it all. With about 38 million people, it is the most populous state in the U.S. This might be the end to your Route 66 journey but it is only the beginning of another adventure. Cali is home to some of the largest and most famous capital cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco. In the former, explore Hollywood, Long Beach, Malibu and Pasadena. Be immersed in the artistic culture and fall in love with everything. In San Fran, don’t forget the Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Along the roads through Route 66, you won’t run out of things to do, sights to see and things to discover. Whether your starting point is in LA or your trip ends here, Apollo Motorhomes can help your make this dream drive come to reality with the best recreational vehicle fleet you can have. Check out our facebook page to explore opportunities for a great adventure in the US, AU and NZ! If you need a full list of campgrounds in every state, visit: http://www.route66news.com/campgrounds/