Who hasn’t dreamed of cruising down the open road on the iconic Route 66? Known as the “Mother Road”, this highway crosses the United States from Santa Monica to Chicago and has inspired countless books, films and songs.
In California, stop in at the Bagdad Cafe in Newberry Springs, where the film of the same name was shot, then visit the old railway town of Barstow and see its Route 66 Museum. The Arizona section passes through Petrified Forest National Park, known for its early dinosaur fossils and incredible rock formations.
Oklahoma has some of the best surviving parts of the old road and a little-known gem in the form of the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, housed in a restored 1920s filling station. The flat prairies of Illinois make for a delightful rural drive. Don’t miss Shea’s Gas Station in Springfield, supposedly the oldest gas station on Route 66.
Getting around Historic Route 66
The only way to do Route 66 is by car. Rental companies have stores along the route and will let you rent and return a car in different cities. Free maps are available in many of the rest stops along the way or look out for the signs labeled Historic Route 66 to guide you.