Big City Avoider Tips
If you are wanting to avoid big cities on your trip, you might want to skip Chicago and some of its urban and suburban sprawl. If you are OK with missing the official starting point, you can avoid Chicago and begin the route in a town like Joliet, Illinois. You can use the Route 66 Welcome Center at the Joliet Museum as your route starting point! Then just continue onto Springfield.
Route 66 Road Trip Planner: The Best Stops Along The Way
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They call it the Mother Road, a term coined by author John Steinbeck because it carried Dust Bowl refugees west across America. And even though Route 66 no longer exists on Americas highway maps, a drive across the country on the stretches that remain is one of the great American road trips.
Passing through eight states between Chicago and Los Angeles, Route 66 covers nearly 2,500 miles across a broad swath of the Midwest, Plains states, Southwest and West. Over time, most of the route was replaced by interstates, particularly I-40, and finding the original road requires a series of zigzags and detours.
For that reason, most people choose just one section, leaving plenty of time for stops along the way, or base themselves out of one of the larger towns on the route and explore in either direction. Here, from east to west, are some of the best places to celebrate the nostalgia of the Mother Road.
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Hotel Recommendations For Carthage Mo
- Boots Court This 1939 motor court was saved from demolition by 2 sisters and it has been restored to what it would have looked like in the 1940s. This is a special Art Deco-Steamline Modern motel with a rich history, and even celebrities like Clark Gable once stayed here. The radios in the rooms are a nice touch to the 1940s/1950s theme. Good value. Book in advance.
- Shiloah Manor B& B If you looking for a nice romantic B& B in Carthage, this is our choice.
- Grand Avenue Bed & Breakfast Another great B& B option in Carthage in a historical home.
- Best Budget Inn If you are looking for a budget stay, this well-reviewed no-frills motel is our choice. It is a restored 1955-era motel.
- Quality Inn & Suites Another good budget option with an indoor pool, fitness center, and included breakfast.
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Starting The Road Trip In Chicago
Chicago is the starting point for most Route 66 tours. The city warrants a few nights stay to take in its live music venues and museums, the sculptures of Millennium Park and the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. In a city famous for pizza, I also rate Pizzeria Uno, Chicagos first deep-dish pizza restaurant.
The citys also known as the birthplace of skyscrapers. The worlds first was constructed here in 1885, just ten storeys high. Since then, the number has grown to 121, and their design and height have become increasingly impressive.
Us Road Trip: A Guide To Route 66
Driving Americas most iconic highway is the trip of a lifetime. Author and Route 66 expert Candacy Taylor shares her tips on the classic motels, old-school diners and gas stations to stop at en route for a true slice of Americana
Route 66 is the quintessential American road trip. No other road has captured the imagination and the essence of the American spirit. It has inspired musicians, filmmakers and writers, from classic literature to Pixar movie Cars and video game Grand Theft Auto. The highways soundtrack, Route 66, written in 1946 by Bobby Troup and first recorded by Nat King Cole, has been covered by more than 50 musicians, from Aerosmith to the UK Subs.
Route 66 was the first highway of its kind. In 1926, the 2,448-mile road was designed to be the first trans-continental, year-round highway. It connected urban and rural America from Chicago to Los Angeles, crossing eight states and three time zones. Like an artery, the mother road nurtured communities and serviced millions of truckers and road trippers for decades. Families who were forced to leave their homes during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, with few resources and a little hope, motored west on Route 66 in search of a better life. This road of dreams, symbolising a pathway to easier times, was one of the only US highways to be laid out diagonally. It cut across the country like a shortcut to freedom.
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Downtown Las Vegas Food Tour
Every visitor to Vegas flocks to the Strip, with its themed hotels and trademark casinos. But, in the Downtown district, you can experience a slightly more laid-back atmosphere thats shared between visitors and locals.
In recent years, investors have seen this areas potential and ploughed money into its regeneration. Independent shops and restaurants have opened up, and I felt an air of optimism and creativity as I strolled around.
You can join a small-group guided tour of Downtown, learning more about the areas history and its plans for the future. At the same time, youll sample some of the signature dishes served at four of the best up-and-coming Downtown restaurants.
Among them is Therapy, an industrial-style restaurant where you can try contemporary comfort food such as chicken and red velvet waffle sliders. Far simpler than the name suggests, theyre a satisfying combination of buttermilk chicken on red breakfast waffles, served with punchy chipotle mayo.
We also called at 7th & Carson, which serves tapas-style dishes that fuse American classics with European and Middle Eastern cuisines. I sampled thick flatbread fresh from a wood-fired oven, dipping it into lightly spiced hummus, baba ganoush and yoghurt.
The tour ends with a visit to Container Park. Here, repurposed shipping containers house pop-up shops and restaurants. Live music often accompanies food served by some of the citys newest chefs.
Guides To Each Section Of Route 66 In California
Over the last two years, I have been driving Route 66 through California in pieces, as time allowed. I finally finished the section in the middle of 2016 and created these four posts to showcase what you can see along the last portion of the Mother Road. Check them out below and let me know what I left off in the comments.
Part 1 Needles to Barstow
Part 2 Barstow to Victorville
Part 3 San Bernardino to Rancho Cucamonga
Part 4 Rancho Cucamonga to Santa Monica Pier
I drove all of Route 66 with my Dad in 2019. If you want to learn more about it, or watch the video below.
Thanks for exploring Route 66 with me, let me know if I left off your favorite spot in the comments.
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Pontiac: Route 66 Hall Of Fame
Some 100 mi southwest of Lake Michigan, the former coal-mining town of Pontiac surrounds the stately 1875 Livingston County Courthouse. The courthouses green lawns hold the usual battery of monuments, including one to the namesake Ottawa chief whose visage also graced the General Motors Pontiac models, which were discontinued and abandoned in 2010. According to the WPA Guide to Illinois, another of these monuments, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, received the shortest presidential dedication in history when, in 1902, it was dedicated with a few hasty words by President Theodore Roosevelt, before an audience of less than a dozen people, who congregated briefly under a terrific downpour. Though the old road ran around rather than right through Pontiac, the town has become one of the main stops on the Illinois Route 66 tour, thanks to the presence of the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum, in the old main fire station.
Where To Stay In Chicago/start Your Route 66 Journey
Here are a couple of my suggestions for how you could start your Route 66 journey or where to stay in Chicago:
- Option 1 Stay in a Chicago airport hotel
Ive since been back to Chicago several times, but when we drove Route 66, this is what we opted to do. There are several pros to staying near the airport. Depending on your budget, there are cheap airport hotels to the larger premium chains such as the Hilton and the Marriott , most having free airport shuttles. There are more options for hotels that also offer free parking. All the large car rental companies are located at the airport. The CTA train goes directly from the airport to Downtown Chicago and takes around 50 minutes.
We arrived fairly late day 1 and got the free airport shuttle to the hotel. Day 2, we got the free shuttle to the nearest CTA station and spent a day in Chicago, exploring on foot. After our day in Chicago we took the train back to the airport to then pick up our rental car and drove it straight to our airport hotel just down the road. Day 3 we started driving Route 66 but used the GPS to get us to Joilet, one of the first towns on the Route which was mainly Interstate driving.
As international visitors that hadnt driven in the USA before, this was more in our comfort zone while we got used to our car and American roads ! I now live in the USA and I still dont really like driving through Chicago.
- Option 2 Stay in Downtown Chicago WITHOUT a car
- Option 3 Stay in Downtown Chicago WITH a car
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Is Route 66 A Good Road Trip
A road trip along Route 66 is not necessarily jam-packed with must-see sights each day, but the drive itself is the experience. Some of the most iconic things to see along the route are the buildings and signage of the numerous roadside cafes, motels, gas stations, and tourist attractions along this route.
Route 66 Itinerary Day : Carthage Mo To Tulsa Ok
Today, youll drive through sections of 3 different states! Kansas has only 13 miles of Route 66 but it is worth taking the section at a leisurely pace to get the most out of your time in this friendly corner of this former mining region. Then you begin your exploration of Oklahoma, a state that straddles the Midwest and South.
This is the home state of Cyrus Avery, the Father of Route 66, and a place that is very aware of its Route 66 heritage with lots of helpful signs and informative museums. Will Rogers fans will really enjoy today as there are a number of Rogers related sites along the route. After passing through a number of small towns, youll end the day in the big city of Tulsa which has a number of interesting attractions.
Starting & Ending Point: Carthage, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma
General Route: Carthage> Joplin > Galena > Baxter Springs > Catoosa > Tulsa
Mileage: ~ 152 miles
Time Zone:Central Time Zone no changes today.
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How Long Does It Take To Drive Route 66
Typically, travelers will plan no less than two weeks for the entire Mother Road road trip. In that amount of time, youll be able to visit the major sites. But if you want to savor the entire experiencestrolling historic downtowns, sipping a root beer float at a soda fountain, and sleeping at a retro motel with a blinking neon signyou could spend up to a month or longer.
Little America Hotel Flagstaff
A perfect home base if you want to explore the Grand Canyon, Little America Hotel Flagstaff has a host of amenities and services for weary travellers. In addition to a Travel Center with a 24-hour convenience store, it highlights quintessential Arizona flavours in its highly-rated Silver Pine Restaurant & Bar. Its inviting outdoor pool is a welcome respite after a day of travelling in the car.
Sitting among some of Americas most beautiful natural scenery, stylish rooms feature sitting areas, flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffee makers and high-speed Wi-Fi. Families and groups can upgrade to a Two Queen with Sofa, while Apartment Suites boast a full kitchen and spacious living room. Upgraded suites add romantic marble fireplaces.
Star Rating: 3.5*Price: USD 129 USD 699Guest Rating: 9
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Motorhome & Rv Hire In Chicago United States
Chicago RV Motorhome is the base for starting Route 66 Chicago to Los Angeles California. Please note if you wish to do a one way RV trip Chicago RV Motorhome Route 66 you may need to book about 6 months or more in advance. All one way bookings are on request and they are only available if it suits the rental company.
Chicago, Illinois, know as the Birthplace of the Skyscraper, is a thriving metropolis on the shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago boasts all the metropolitan luxuries of New York and Los Angeles, with thriving theater districts, shopping options and dining experiences. Chicago also boasts world class museums, huge parks filled with works of art, miles of sandy beaches, and possibly the most architecturally significant collection of buildings in its downtown skyline.
Chicago RV Motorhome Route 66
Incorporated as a city in the year 1833, it was almost totally destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The city fathers took the opportunity to rebuild the city bigger than before, creating legends in the world of architecture. In the 1920s the city found notoriety around the world for the activities of gangsters such as Al Capone, who became immensely wealthy by taking advantage of the shortage of alcohol due to the Prohibition Laws.
Since those days, however, the city has become one of the most important cities in the world, with a vibrant cultural scene, and plenty to do for holiday makers.
Chicago RV Motorhome Route 66
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Galena And Riverton Kansas
The Kansas section of Route 66 is just 13.2 miles long, but it includes a couple of key stops, particularly the town of Galena, a must for the old Kan-O-Tex gas station that now houses Cars on the Route, a tribute to Pixars animated movie Cars. Kids will love seeing the 1950s International Harvester tow truck on which the Cars character Mater is based parked outside. Galena also boasts the Galena Mining and Historical Museum , where vintage furnishings, tools and historical records document life in a mining boomtown.
Just west in Riverton, stop for lunch or snacks at the Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store, a road trip staple since the 1920s, where the deli makes classic sandwiches and the owner, who happens to be president of the Kansas Route 66 Association, displays his memorabilia.
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