What to See Along Route 66: Complete Road Trip Guide
Nearly everyone has heard of the classic road trip adventure along Route 66, which stretches over 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica. Along the way, there’s a little bit of everything, from funky roadside attractions to beautiful natural wonders.
Planning what to see along Route 66 can be one of the most difficult parts, as stopping for every attraction along the way will turn a long journey into and forever journey. There’s just too much to do!
Many of those who do Route 66 also don’t like lugging big RVs or trailers through the route. It starts in downtown Chicago and ends near LA, after all! But it’s a perfect option for our truck camper family in Four Wheel Campers, as the size remains compact and easy to navigate, even in cities.
Here is our complete guide to Route 66, including all our top spots to see along the way!
What to See Along Route 66
- Painted Desert, Arizona
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
- Route 66 Museum, Oklahoma
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- Walt’s Ice Cream, Missouri
- Palo Duro Canyon, Texas
- Cozy Dog Drive-In, Illinois
- Pappy’s Smokehouse, Missouri
- Cadillac Ranch, Texas
- Joshua Tree National Park, California
- 66 Drive-In Theatre, Missouri
- Gateway Arch, Missouri
- Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, Illinois
Route 66 FAQs
When is The Best Time of Year to Drive Route 66?
Route 66 can be driven all year, but spring and early summer are considered the best times to make the trek! Especially if camping along the route in your truck camper, the colder seasons may not be the best time, especially in heavy snowfall states such as Illinois.
How Long Does it Take to Drive Route 66?
This depends! Driving straight through the entire route of Route 66 takes roughly 35 hours, and of course, nobody wants to do that! Most of those who have done it in their FWC recommend completing the route in 3-4 weeks, so there is plenty of time for adventures along the way.
Is all of Route 66 Paved?
Nope! There are sections of Route 66 where drivers can opt to take alternative historic dirt sections of Route 66, some of which are recommended only for 4×4 truck campers or vehicles, especially after heavy rains. So if you thought you wouldn’t get any off-roading fun in your truck camper on your Route 66 adventure, think again! If you want to find these sections, we recommend you purchase the EZ66 Guidebook.
What is the Best Way to Navigate Route 66?
Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985. This means modern-day maps, such as Google Maps, will not recognize the route. This can cause confusion for some drivers. We look at it as a modern-day adventure! Of course, there are plenty of online maps and resources to help you navigate the route, but it might also be fun to navigate the route via a standard map, as travelers did on the original Route 66!
What Cities Does Route 66 Go Through?
For much of the journey, Route 66 follows more remote routes through the states, but there are a few cities passed along the journey. These include Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles.
How Should One Prepare to Go Through Desolate Sections of Route 66?
Just like Route 66 passes through a handful of cities, there are also sections that are extremely desolate, especially in New Mexico, Arizona, and sections of California. When hitting these sections, it’s important some details ahead of time, like campsites, gas station stops, and grocery restocks.
What are the Weirdest Attractions Along Route 66?
Route 66 is quite famous for some of its funky stops along the route! If weird roadside attractions are your thing, we have some great recommendations. These include:
- World’s Largest Catsup Bottle (Collinsville, IL)
- Blue Whale (Catoosa, OK)
- Milk Bottle Grocery (Oklahoma City, OK)
- World’s Second Largest Rocking Chair (Fanning, MO)
- Roadkill Cafe (Seligman, AZ)
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