Route 66 stretches across 8 states meaning you’ll cross through desert, mountains, farmland, large cities and smaller towns. You’ll also pass a number of landmarks, landscapes, parks, waterways and cultural attractions along the way. The cities are important to stop along on the way, but when it comes to the smaller towns, these are often the places where you find the people and businesses that make the ‘small town America’ image. In towns there may be nothing to do except stroll the main streets, eat at local diners or even visit an old steam engine. Road tripping along Route 66 isn’t just about the sightseeing and must see points, it’s also about the experience itself.
When it comes to the iconic sights you’ll see, this includes building and signage amongst roadside cafes, motels, gas stations and tourist attractions along this route. A lot of the original businesses are no longer operational but it most places you can usually eat in the same diner and sleep in the same motel as well as the same guided tours from the 1950s. You’ll spend a lot of time in the car, eating burgers and ice-cream as well as visiting fun tourist areas and sleeping in simple motels. These are all hallmarks of Route 66. A lot of the business which were popular when Route 66 began are now long gone and are ruined buildings, dark neon signs, crumbling hotels and isolated ghost towns, but these have become part of the attraction themselves. The natural wonders you’ll come across include the Mojave Desert, Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Meramac Caverns and the mighty Mississippi River which are all along this route, as well as detours to the Grand Canyon.
Other popular attractions include classic cars, old bridges, quirky roadside statues and art installations, old restored gas stations, drive-in movie theatres, painted murals, Old West shows and attractions, old city theatres and historical railroad attractions. Giant statuses include giant blue whales, dinosaurs, soda bottles, giant cowboys, a large cross, the famous muffler men, the world’s largest totem pole and rocking chair. There is also a range of Route 66 museums which include the likes of barbed wire to Jesse James to cowboys and motorcycles.
Your Route 66 trip can depend on what you want to do though, routes and plans can be changed to suit what landmarks you’re interested in. Whether you’re interested in searching for aliens in Roswell, listening to country music in Branson, Missouri or the Grand Canyon in Arizona, to gambling in Las Vegas, you can plan your trip however you wish.