Road Trip Down Route 66 – Worth The Hype?

Route 66 is considered to be one of the most iconic road trips in the world – but is it worth it?

route 66 highway roadtrip

Often referred to as the Main Street of America, Route 66 has unfortunately been allowed to fall into disrepair for long stretches, with the road mostly replaced by America’s Interstate system.

A lot of people will still have a Route 66 experience included among the various items on their bucket list, however, as the trip remains well-hyped up by a lot of intrepid (and perhaps nostalgic) travelers.

Today, a Route 66 road trip enables tourists to get off the beaten track and experience the real America, so here are some of the highlights to consider for stops along the way.

Check out the World’s Largest Rocking Chair

Route 66 is full of weird and wonderful sights, with the World’s Largest Rocking Chair one of the most unmissable parts of any trip along this famous old road.

Found in Cuba, Missouri, outside the Fanning Outpost General Store, the chair is 42 feet tall and 20 feet wide. While there is not a lot to do here, it is a great chance to get out of the car, stretch your legs and get some fun photos to post on Instagram. A quick, free stop on Route 66.

Visit a forgotten ghost town

route 66 ghost town

Driving down the Mother Road, travelers will come across a number of abandoned old places that are now ghost towns.

It can be a surprisingly sad and emotional experience to spend time exploring these ghost towns, considering the lives that were lived here back in the day.

Times Beach, Missouri, is one of Route 66’s most notable ghost towns, having once been home to thousands of people before it was hastily abandoned in 1983.

Try your luck at the Route 66 Casino Hotel

All Route 66 road trips will have to require a few overnight stays due to the length, so why not have a night at the Route 66 Casino Hotel? The hotel is in Rio Puerco, Albuquerque?

Even if you do not like the odds of hitting a winning combination on one of the casino’s best games, it is still one of the best places to stay on Route 66, with more than 150 rooms.

Stadium66 Sports Bar is also a great spot to wind down and watch the big game during your trip, while you could also have the chance to catch a show at the 2,800-capacity Legends Theater.

Learn about forgotten American history

Travelling through Route 66 is a chance to learn all about forgotten parts of American history that are not normally taught in schools these days.

Route 66 was the road used by countless Americans to head to the more prosperous west as the Great Depression, coupled with the Dust Bowl drought, made farming all-but impossible.

Driving down Route 66 is also a great chance to find out much more about the Trail of Tears, which was used by Native Americans who had been forceably displaced from their homes by the US government.

Cherokee Indians Trail of Tears

Enjoy old-fashioned Americana

Small towns that can be found along Route 66 tend to have a unique look and feel, quite unlike the homogenous nature of cities in the 21st century where chains tend to dominate.

In a lot of ways, a road trip down Route 66 is a chance to enjoy some good old-fashioned Americana, with classic diners right by the side of the road ideal for grabbing a bite to eat.

Various Mom and Pop stores and motels that can be found all along the famous Route 66 will also be grateful for your custom – service with a smile is guaranteed.

Visit the Illinois Route 66 Museum & Hall of Fame

One of the must-visit locations on this once in a lifetime road trip is the Illinois Route 66 Museum & Hall of Fame.

Open again after initially closing down due to the coronavirus crisis, the museum is a great place to learn more about the history of Route 66.

Located in a historic firehouse, the museum hosts the Bob Waldmire Experience exhibit, as well as Bob’s famous road yacht and VW bus.

On the back of the building is an iconic Route 66 mural that makes an ideal photo opportunity by which to remember your road trip.

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