Mention the words “road trip” and the “USA” in the same sentence and for many, thoughts will immediately turn to the country’s most famous road: Route 66. Running between Chicago and Los Angeles, it’s a route that’s often described as the world’s greatest road trip, with many tourists spending their holiday time travelling across the 2,448-mile expanse.
Route 66 was first opened in 1926, with the aim of linking rural communities which previously had no access to major national routes. It was an alternative solution that shortened truckers’ journeys between Chicago and the US Pacific Coast – as well as giving them a more appealing climate to travel in compared with that of the northern highways.
Although officially decommissioned in 1984, the Historic Route 66 as it’s now known, is still there to be travelled and it takes in a whole host of different terrains. On travelling the route, you’ll pass through everything from the city streets of Chicago and St. Louis, to desert-based Native American communities and from the beaches of Los Angeles, to the Illinois cornfields. There’s no denying that it’s a route known for its diversity, which is why it holds such great appeal for so many.
Route 66 also takes in a huge number of well-known destinations and attractions. Fans of architecture will love attractions such as Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which used to be the tallest building in the world, and the stunning Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque in Springfield, Missouri. Those who want to get back to nature can do so at locations such as Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park or spectacular Petrified Forest National Park. There are museums galore, from the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville, to the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon, Missouri. Passing through California alone you’ll find numerous ghost towns and you’ll also come across plenty of traditional motels, service stations and places to eat that look like something out of a classic US film.
That’s not all – Route 66 is also lined with plenty of oddities that will intrigue, impress or simply confuse you. There’s the world’s second largest rocking chair in Fanning, Missouri; a giant whale model called the Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma; and a giant statue of a human body with a chicken’s head perched on a roof top in Los Angeles.
If you choose to travel The Route, one thing’s guaranteed: you’ll have a truly diverse experience, with something new to see or do at every turn.
Do we have anything similar in the UK? Well… there’s the A66, which stretches from east of Middlesbrough to Workington in Cumbria, which takes in the Pennines and some stunning Cumbrian lakes en route! OK, it’s not quite the same thing but if you’re looking for motorhome or van rental services to explore this or any other UK route, get in touch with us at Driveline. We’ll find you the perfect vehicle for your travels!