Route 66: The mythical stages of the famous crossing of the United States!

Everyone knows it if only by name: Route 66! This road allows you to cross the United States in one go. Although many see it as just a road and in the middle of a desert, that is not really the case. So, get into your van, your motorhome or your motorbike and come and discover the legendary stages of a fabulous journey!

The History of Route 66

Route 66 was the first paved transcontinental road. It is she who has made it possible to connect almost the entire continent by facilitating trade throughout the country. Little by little, this route has become mythical, almost cultural. Millions of Americans (and not only) have taken this route. Traveling through it has become a symbol of “coolness”.

It is also very important to remember that Americans are very mobile within the United States. They move from state to state and their preferred means of transport is the car! The importance of the road therefore continues to grow. Some lucky people manage to open businesses and motels on the road and get rich thanks to its reputation. They themselves become very well known and stopping there becomes an attraction for tourists and travellers.

Today, the road is relatively deserted although you will always come across a few people. It remains a road favoring the transport of goods and exchanges, but is also and above all becoming more and more touristic.

Route 66
Credits: marioschmidtphoto / Pixabay

The notorious stages of Route 66

Route 66 crosses 8 different states for 3 time zones. Each of these states conceals within it mythical places whose visit is essential! We will list them state by state.

1/ Illinois

Illinois is the starting point of Route 66. The ideal remains to spend one or two days in Chicago, the starting point of the route. If it’s better to stay there a bit, it’s to rest and get used to jet lag.

Sears Tower and restaurants

The first thing to see, and you normally can’t miss it, is the Sears Tower. This building remained for years the tallest building in the world! Then, if what you love more than anything is eating, know that he will have plenty to do. Many restaurants have become legendary over the years. We note in particular “La Pizzeria Uno” and the restaurant “Lou Mitchell’s”. The latter welcomes tourists by offering them copious breakfasts which will have on the menu some American specialties inspired by traditional Greek recipes.

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Sears tower route 66
Credits: 12019 / Pixabay

The Route 66 Museum in Joliet

This museum, located at the entrance to Route 66 is very interesting to visit. Indeed, you will be able to discover all the stages that you encounter during your stay.

The Muffler Man

One of the main emblems of the route is this astronaut dressed in green who holds a rocket in his hands. Everyone taking Route 66 is bound to meet him!

Muffler man route 66
Credits: Steppinstars / Pixabay

Lincoln’s Route 66 Chapel

This little chapel is very amazing. Indeed, one would think that it was deposited there at random. It is not at all connected with the rest of the places where the buildings are almost all abandoned. However, this chapel retains its charm and is well maintained. An unusual place to visit absolutely!

Abraham Lincoln’s House

On your way, you will be able to see the house of the former president of the United States. This house remains emblematic and is likely to remain so since Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency of the country there.

The segment of the red brick road

This segment of road is well known! Why ? Simply because it has kept its original cobblestones! It is necessary to drive with caution on this part of the road which remains very used by the natives.

Abraham Lincoln Maison
Credits: Goodfreephotos_com / Pixabay

2/ Missouri

Pulaski County

Pulaski County is a most authentic place. By keeping many of the buildings that line the Mother Road, the locals have created a very charming exceptional site. To go for a drink? Meet at the Elbow Inn & BBQ, at Devils Elbow. This bar is known to be the biker bar. However, don’t panic, you won’t only come across Hell’s Angels when you arrive. The clientele is very diverse and you will feel very good there!

To registerElbow Inn at dusk in glorious HDR, Devil’s Elbow, MOpar dv over dtThe Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ Pit is famous for their Hickory Smoked Ribs & BBQ! Located in the beautiful Devil’s Elbow, MO, they offer a full menu, beer garden, and karaoke!

Springfield

This charming little town with international attractions is very popular with Route 66 travelers. Indeed, it combines authenticity and leisure to perfection. If you spend the night there, you will have the choice between many hotels, including one that offers you to sleep in a “Cadillac bed” in homage to Elvis Presley.

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To registerFlickrFlickrRoute 66, Springfield, Illinois

3/ Kansas

Although Kansas is considered the geographic and cultural center of the United States, Route 66 only brushes it. You will only cross Kansas for 13 miles, no more. Difficult to see nice places without deviating a little from the road. However, we managed to find some for you.

Cars on the route

It is an old gas station located in front of a disused store. This store also served as a hideout for Bonnie and Clyde. No more no less ! Today you will find an old tow truck there that the owners have transformed into a “Cars” tow truck!

Cars on the route 66
Credits: marada / Flickr

Marsh Arch Bridge

This bridge with its atypical architecture is the last one still standing near Route 66. It is given the nickname “Rainbow Bridge” in connection with its shape. Today, this bridge is closed to car traffic, but it is still very pleasant to cross on foot.

Marsh arch bridge route 66
Credits : Michael Overton / Wikimedia Commons

4/ Oklahoma

The JM Davis Gun Museum

This museum represents the largest private collection of firearms in the world. From the first weapon in history, through the smallest and largest, but also and above all by weapons that belonged to famous bandits (the Daltons, Bonnie and Clyde…), you should be impressed.

Admiral Twin Drive-In Theater

This drive-in theater is now the largest in Oklahoma. It is also the only one still showing films on the edge of Route 66. A little gem of authenticity!

To registerDrive-In theaters along Historic Route 66route66guide.com

5/ Texas

Groom’s Giant Cross

This cross is visible for tens of kilometers around. How is it possible ? Quite simply thanks to these 58 meters in height! Its white color appears to us as a mirage. Other than this cross, many sculptures have been placed near the building. All portray the passion of Christ. This site is therefore very religious and imposing!

To registerRoute 66 in Texas – All the highlights!Finding the UniverseRoute 66 Texas Giant Cross Groom

Downtown Amarillo

Downtown Amarillo is also very interesting to visit. This is mainly due to the atmosphere found there. Between the cowboy atmosphere and the many antique shops, not to mention the illuminated signs, all the ingredients are there to disorient you and give you a glimpse of the American dream.

yellow route 66
Credits: skeeze / Pixabay

Le Big Texan Steak Ranch

You might as well take advantage of being in Amarillo to eat at the Big Texan Steak Ranch! This restaurant is famous for the challenge it throws at you: a 2.129 kg steak and its accompaniments. All for free if you manage to eat it all in less than an hour! So… do you accept the challenge?

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Big texan steak ranch route 66
Credits: Gorup de Besanez / Wikimedia Commons

6/ New Mexico

Santa Fe Square

This is the main square of the capital of New Mexico . Composed only of small buildings in the style of Spanish pueblos. The authenticity of these structures is the charm of the place. On the other hand, to get there, know that it represents a big detour in the mountains. The roads are not in very good condition, so you will need a strong enough car.

Plaza Santa Fe Route 66
Credits: NorthAmericanStories / Pixabay

La Fonda Hotel

Considered one of the oldest hotels in the United States, La fonda Hotel is said to have been built in the 17th century. Today, it has become a luxury hotel which welcomes its guests in a most authentic atmosphere. The ideal is also to eat in his restaurant: La Plazuela!

The founda hotel
Credits: Alberto Vaccaro / Flickr

El Rancho Hotel and Motel

This hotel was very popular with American actors who stayed there very regularly when New Mexico was considered the “mother house” of Hollywood. There are always many autographed portraits of certain actors.

What makes its charm? The decorations are magnificent. With its particular wooden structure, we are in a mix between luxury saloon and mountain chalet.

El Rancho Hotel and Motel
Credits: Larry Lamsa/Flickr

7/ Arizona

The Meteor Crater

This crater is simply the damage of the impact of a meteorite. Fortunately, the latter crashed in the middle of the desert 50,000 years ago. When you see the extent of the damage, it is better to hope not to relive it. The havoc would be disastrous. It is nonetheless admirable to observe.

Meteor Crater Route 66
Credits: mattcaz / Pixabay

Grand Canyon National Park

Although it is not really located near the wheel, it is by making a small detour of a few kilometers that you can admire this spectacle. And believe us, the detour is worth it. That’s wonderful ! The Grand Canyon, which you have certainly already seen in photos or in films, will not leave you indifferent. For sure !

Grand canyon
Credits: Pexels / Pixabay

8/ California

Needles

If beautiful views are what you love, then head to the Needles. This is the entrance to the Mojave Desert. You will see the “Needles”, small mountain needles that surround this same desert… Magnificent!

To registerRoute 66 Road Trip — National GeographicTravelNat Geo Route 66- Picture of the Colorado River at Needles, California

Hollywood Boulevard

Everyone knows Hollywood Boulevard. If only for the dozens of stars that adorn the cobblestones of the site. All the biggest names in artists, actors, singers, men and women of the theater meet there. Going there seems obligatory today!

Hollywood Boulevard
Credits: jodiandbrett / Pixabay

L’avenue Rodeo Drive

Avenue Rodeo Drive is none other than the Champs Élysées, but in America. Indeed, you will find the most prestigious brands there as well as dwellings and villas, each more imposing than the other. What to take full eyes!

Avenue rodeo drive
Credits: emsilvap / Pixabay

The Santa Monica Pier

That’s it, we’ve come to the end of the road. It ends with the Santa Monica Pier. There you will find a sign in the middle of the road. This sign will mark the end of your journey… And we hope you enjoyed it!

Santa Monica pier
Credits: Wallula / Pixabay

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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