The Ultimate Route 66 Road Trip

The ultimate guide to seeing the best of Route 66 in one week.

  • 60
  • 93:00
  • 5,188 mi
  • $783
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Created by David James Heinrichs - October 12th 2019

Route 66, and its 2,500 miles, is known affectionately as "The Mother Road." It's the quintessential cross-country road trip experience. From Chicago through the beating heart of America and down to Los Angeles, the route officially ends at the Santa Monica Pier. The road reached peak popularity in the late 40's and early 50's before being officially removed from the US Highway System in 1985. After a few years, travelers from America and beyond started feeling tinges of nostalgia, and by the end of the 1980's it was fast becoming one of the most popular road trip routes once more.

Northridge, California, United States

1
30mi 00h 40m
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park
4.5

10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, CA, US

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park

1
2
176mi 02h 54m
Manzanar National Historic Site
3.3

PO Box 426 / 5001 Hwy. 395, Independence, CA, US

Manzanar National Historic Site

2
3
130mi 02h 44m
International Car Forest of The Last Church
4.1

Crystal Ave, Goldfield, NV, US

International Car Forest of The Last Church

3
4
136mi 03h 15m
Little A'Le'Inn
4.0

1 Old Mill Road, Rachel, NV, US

Little A'Le'Inn

4
5
415mi 07h 16m
Green River
3.8

-, Green River, UT, US

Green River

5
6
47mi 00h 43m
Cisco Ghosttown
3.5

Rt 128, Cisco, UT, US

Cisco Ghosttown

6
8
227mi 04h 24m
Chimney Rock National Historic Site
4.0

9822 County Rd 75, Bayard, NE, US

Chimney Rock National Historic Site

8
9
88mi 02h 10m
Oregon Trail Ruts
4.5

Guernsey, WY, US

Oregon Trail Ruts

9
10
66mi 01h 04m
Lost Springs - A City with a Population of One
3.0

US Hwy 18/20, Lost Springs, WY, US

Lost Springs - A City with a Population of One

10
11
117mi 01h 56m
The Mammoth Site
4.5

1800 Byp US-18, Hot Springs, SD, US

The Mammoth Site

11
12
45mi 01h 06m
Crazy Horse Mountain Memorial
4.0

12151 Avenue Of The Chiefs, Custer, SD, US

Crazy Horse Mountain Memorial

12
13
17mi 00h 35m
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
4.5

13000 SD Highway 244, Bldg 31, Ste 1, Keystone, SD, US

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

13
14
83mi 01h 28m
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
4.4

24545 Cottonwood Rd, Philip, SD, US

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

14
254mi 04h 01m

Monowi, Nebraska, United States

16
343mi 05h 23m
SPAMĀ® Museum
4.5

101 3rd Avenue NE., Austin, MN, US

SPAMĀ® Museum

16
235mi 04h 02m

Charlotte, Iowa, United States

19
22mi 00h 33m
Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket
4.1

645 Joliet Rd (Historic Rt 66), Willowbrook, IL, US

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket

19

The Illinois stretch of Route 66 is home to some pretty good eats, especially if you like classic American cuisine. Before you hit the road, visit Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket, just outside Chicago, for some of the best fried chicken you'll ever have. They've been serving the home-cooked goodness since 1946.

Best time of year to travel along Route 66: The best time to road trip down Route 66 is between late April and early July, as well as late August through late October. The worst times to visit would be July and August, this is when the temperature is sweltering and all the kids are out of school, which means you'll come across some crowds along the route. In addition, July and August is considered high season, so you're going to be paying higher rates for lodging.