21 Essential Route 66 Attractions You Can't Miss
Established in 1926, Route 66 was one of the original highways of the U.S. Highway System. It ran from Chicago, Illinois through the Midwest, into the American west, and ended at Santa Monica, California. Those migrating west or simply catching the sights of the west drove along the route, also known as Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America, and Mother Road. As travelers flocked to communities along Route 66, iconic restaurants, lodging, attractions, and more were developed -- and many still remain today.
For decades, road trippers have delighted in all that Route 66 has to offer. Although the route was officially decommissioned in 1985 and largely replaced by the Interstate Highway System, Route 66 and its sights still have broad appeal.
Whether you find yourself driving the entire length of Route 66 westward or simply get to enjoy a portion of the Mother Road, there are many essential sights you just can't bypass. Plan your trip around enjoying these important Route 66 landmarks, historic restaurants and lodging, attractions, and even state and national parks along the way.
Route 66 Historic Lodging
If you're taking a long road trip, chances are you'll need a place to stay. Stop off at these historic Route 66 hotels and motels to enjoy the nostalgia and history while you rest. From iconic tipis to classic neon signs, these spots offer a good night's rest in true Route 66 style.
Things to See and Do on Route 66
Route 66's attractions are a major part of the road's undying appeal. There are eclectic sights on Route 66 that you just won't see anywhere else in America -- or even the world. Vintage Cadillacs half buried in the ground and covered in spray paint, ghost towns, unusual statues, and more are among the delights awaiting travelers on Route 66.
Famous Route 66 Restaurants
You'll have to stop and eat somewhere along the way on your road trip. These restaurants along Route 66 are famous for their food, sights, service, and even their nearly impossible food challenges. Enjoy your food with a side of Route 66 history at these iconic restaurants.
Route 66 Road Features
Sometimes, the appeal of the road is not what's at the end of the road or even along the way, but the road itself. These Route 66 road features offer a more interesting way to travel than your average interstate.
State and National Parks Along Route 66
America's park system is an incredible gem, and Route 66's stretch passed nearby many of the nation's best park lands. Travel Route 66, and you'll be within miles of these state and national parks with natural wonders, history, and recreation. Do yourself a favor and take the detour.