There are several important considerations when planning a trip along Route 66. First, you must decide where to stay and when to go, and prioritize what sightseeing you want to see. Second, you must decide how many miles you want to drive each day, and whether you will need to stop for the night.
Route 66 in Illinois
The scenic Highway 66 passes through the heart of Illinois’s Midwest. In the late 1890s, the route was a hotbed of labor rights. During a mine strike, a fatal battle took place in the town of Virden. The site was later designated the Miner’s Riot Memorial. The city of Litchfield also boasts the last surviving drive-in movie theater on Route 66. The city also features the Carnegie Library Building, built in 1904, and the Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center. Litchfield also hosts Jubelt’s Bakery & Restaurant, which initially opened in Mt. Olive before moving to Litchfield in 1999.
Despite the fact that Route 66 in Illinois was decommissioned in 1977, its legacy lives on. All but 13 miles of its final alignment are still accessible, and six segments are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These segments offer an insight into the route’s evolution and engineering achievements. Further, they provide insights into the state’s transportation development during the 1920s.
Route 66 in Illinois was first named IL 53, which parallels IL 53 and passes Joliet. The roadbed was widened to four lanes by the early 1930s, and it also passed the notorious Stateville Penitentiary (now in Crest Hill). Later alignments of the highway, which was renamed Historic US 66, reconnected to the original path in Bolingbrook and Welco Corners.
Illinois is home to approximately 300 miles of Route 66, and there are many attractions lining the road. These attractions include iconic diners, informative museums, and wayside exhibits. Illinois is also the first state to have paved Route 66 from east to west. If you’re planning on taking the Route 66 tour, remember that it isn’t a trip without stopping in one of the state’s cities.
Illinois is home to the eastern terminus of Route 66, where it stretches across Lake Michigan and Grant Park. After this, it heads down the Mississippi River and through rural Midwestern towns. It also crosses historic bridges and passes through East St. Louis and Chicago, where it is known as the Mother Road. Along the way, you’ll encounter quirky attractions and aluminum-chrome diners.
Route 66 in California
Route 66 is a historic highway that used to travel from Santa Monica on the Pacific Ocean to San Bernardino, Needles, and Los Angeles. However, the former route was cut off during a 1964 renumbering and is no longer used in California. Here are some places you can visit along Route 66 in California.
First, the Mojave Desert. Many Dust Bowl refugees had to cross this desert to reach the Los Angeles basin. Route 66 crosses through the Mojave Desert between Needles and Barstow. This leg of the road is the hottest. Make sure you bring an overnight bag containing the necessities for a long drive.
In the San Bernardino Valley, you can find several towns along Route 66, including Chambless, Amboy, Newberry Springs, and Barstow. You can also find landmarks and historic sites in these areas. You can stay in a motel along Route 66 if you plan to spend the night in one of these small towns.
The California portion of Route 66 travels from west to east. The state’s famous Route 66 has many fascinating sites and attractions. From Las Vegas to San Bernardino, you can choose to stay in San Bernardino or travel to nearby San Gabriel Mountains and wine country. In either case, you’ll get an excellent chance to explore the Mother Road.
When you’re finished with Route 66, you can visit the famous Santa Monica Pier and enjoy a beachside amusement park. Santa Monica is also a great base from which to explore Los Angeles. You can visit the walk of fame and studio tours. Stay at the Palihouse Santa Monica, a beautifully decorated four-star hotel in an old building.
Barstow is another town with plenty to see and do. If you’re interested in the history of Route 66, you can visit the Route 66 Mother Road Museum. It showcases the path of the historic highway and its economic impact in the area. The museum staff is knowledgeable and friendly. The museum also features a small gift shop full of items at reasonable prices. Entry is free, so take advantage of the opportunity to visit.
Route 66 in California is filled with a wide variety of scenery, from desert ghost towns to the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. There are a number of classic roadside attractions on Route 66, including Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch, a restored neon sign, and the Santa Monica Pier, where the Pacific Ocean meets the West Coast.
Safety precautions on Route 66
Traveling on Route 66 can be a fun experience, but it can also be dangerous. There are several safety precautions to keep in mind to keep you and your belongings safe. First, it is important to avoid driving at night. You should also avoid driving through run-down neighborhoods. Another safety precaution is to book a hotel ahead of time.
In addition to being well-prepared, you should always carry enough supplies with you. It is also important to drive cautiously and watch for any signs of disappearing roads. While most Route 66 towns have low crime rates, there are opportunists who may prey on travelers.
Keeping your valuables in your car is also important. Leaving your car unlocked is not a good idea, so make sure that nothing is on display. Also, a good spare tire is a must. You should also carry a map of each state you visit. It is important to know the road, so you can make a quick decision if necessary.
Route 66 is not in great condition, and some sections are impassable or even private land. Moreover, bad weather could make the road impassable. Fortunately, some parts of the road have signs warning motorists of impassible sections. Guidebooks can be helpful in this regard, but they cannot guarantee that the signs are up-to-date.
Before you travel on Route 66, you should know what to expect. Make sure you read all relevant maps and follow directions carefully. You should also carry an emergency kit. If you are traveling alone, it is also advisable to have a designated driver. This will protect you and your vehicle.
There are numerous signs and landmarks along Route 66. Some of them are still in use today. Signs and buildings may have changed significantly. Some are even closed. There are also some abandoned motels and a few abandoned towns. However, 80% of Route 66 is still accessible and driveable. However, the highway is not entirely maintained and is largely parallel to interstates.
If you’re traveling by car, be sure to drive slowly and carefully. While you may want to speed up to see more sights, it’s advisable to consider your own pace and consider detours.
Famous roadside attractions along Route 66
Route 66 is a legendary route that once stretched across the United States. Many of these iconic roadside attractions still remain in their original locations today, making them popular tourist destinations. The iconic Vega Motel is one such example. Located in the quaint town of Vega, New Mexico, this motel is a perfect snapshot of the early days of motor travel. In its time, the motel served as a bustling motor court that welcomed travellers. Nowadays, the building has been converted into a gift shop and a cafe.
Route 66 was originally built in 1926, connecting the Midwest with the West Coast. It was decommissioned in 1985, but many of its landmark sites have been restored. Moreover, the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program was created to preserve the route’s cultural significance. Among the famous roadside attractions along Route 66 are the Blue Whale, which is considered an iconic landmark in the region. The 30-foot fiberglass statue was built as an anniversary present for a family in the 1970s. Besides, it is home to a sign shaped like a bottle.
Another famous roadside attraction is the 66 Diner, which is one of the few remaining drive-in theaters in the country. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, you can also visit the Leaning Tower of Texas and the El Rancho Hotel, which was once home to John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn.
The Blue Whale of Cartoosa is another iconic roadside attraction along the route. Hugh Davis built this whale as a surprise anniversary gift for his wife Zelta, who loved whales and collected figurines. The original Blue Whale is still visible, but it has been transformed into a burger restaurant after a fire in 2008. The Blue Whale of Catoosa is open every day from 6pm.
The California section of Route 66 offers spectacular scenery, ranging from a desert ghost town to the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. The road is dotted with famous roadside attractions such as Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch, a glass forest, Roy’s Motel and Cafe, and the Santa Monica pier, where the West Coast meets the Pacific Ocean.