When we think of the American road trip, what immediately comes to mind is the iconic Route 66. This 2,400-mile-long byway, referred to as the Mother Road by road buffs, is the path most often traveled by recreational travelers who want to experience America’s heartland in a unique, authentic way.
Every year, tens of thousands of people drive Route 66 to visit its famous sites, and many do it multiple times. They know that they’ll see their favorite attractions and stories either way, but they might ask the question: Is it worth the drive?
What is Route 66?
As Route 66 is known, the Mother Road has been the backdrop of movies and television shows for decades. It was a major route between Chicago and Los Angeles, and it was once home to thriving trucking industry. It is also the route many travelers have left their mark on the road with their graffiti and murals. Sadly, this iconic road is not as well-loved as it once was, though there are still many things to do and see along the way.
What Makes Route 66 Renowned?
U.S. Route 66, popularly known as “The Mother Road,” is a former National Highway System (NHS) that traverses six states, from Illinois to California. It’s known as the longest US route and the most famous road. Although the road served as a vital mode of transportation for the American public, it’s currently decommissioned and will be turned into a recreational trail. The road was established in 1926 and was initially paved for about two years before being decommissioned in 1985.
How far and how many hours does it take to travel Route 66?
Route 66 is a road that meanders from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, across the continental United States. Its path spans 2,448 miles (3,957 km) and includes approximately 15,000 miles (24,000 km) of roadways. Route 66 is a major east-west route of the United States Highway System and is one of the first U.S. Highway Routes designated as a National Historic Trail. Therefore, throughout the trip, you spend 52 hours on the road, and depending on how many stops you make along the way, that is the time you will have to dedicate to Route 66. It is only two days and 4 hours long, but it’s a route that’s worth experiencing.
What makes Route 66 special?
The Mother Road is the most famous globally, yet most people don’t even know where it starts or ends. It winds through 8 states, but the real fun begins in the middle of nowhere. And yes, it is possible to travel the entire length of it, but you might want to consider filling up once you get there.
So, Is Route 66 Worth Experiencing?
Route 66 has long been one of the most romantic and inspiring roads in our country. Many are attracted to the idea of traveling the famous highway, but not many travelers consider the personal value of the road. The road is known for its rough condition, and travelers often need to brush up on their history of the road to prepare them for their trip.
You see the familiar sights of Route 66 on television and the pages of travel magazines, and you want to experience it for yourself. If you’re a first-time tourist planning to travel across the country, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into when you take the trip of a lifetime.
Sometimes, the simple act of setting out on a journey can be enough to make an experience memorable. Still, the unassuming signs, monuments, and sites these days are remarkable and sometimes even dangerous. No matter how many times we’ve traveled Route 66, however, it’s always an adventure.
It’s no secret that Route 66 is one of the most-visited U.S. highway systems, but what you may not know is that this historic roadway is more than just a drive to boot. This road crosses two states and three national parks, giving travelers many different activities to choose from. Whether you’re a fan of staying in a hotel while traveling, want to camp by the side of the road, or want to be able to stop at any roadside eatery, there’s a variety of experiences to be had when venturing down the Mother Road.