16 Route 66 Road Trip
By Jody Vandergriff @ChiefSeeker
Ready to get your kicks on route 66? This route 66 road trip route and map covers all the best sights and attractions along America's Mother Road.
Route 66 Road Trip Map
Route 66 Road Trip Places
- Cadillac Ranch
- Santa Monica
- Blue Whale of Catoosa
Built in the 1970s, this is exactly what it sounds like - a giant whale photo opp.
- Cars on the Route
Pixar's Cars movie found inspiration for it's lovable character Mater at this stop on Route 66.
- Meramec Caverns
Part of the Ozarks, this cave system is a spectacular sight 400 million years in the making. As if that isn't enough, the caves have had their place in American history as well - they were once a stop on the Underground Railroad, housing thousands of runaway slaves and they were a hiding place for the infamous outlaw, Jesse James. The Meramec Caverns are one of the most famous stops on former Route 66 in Missouri.
- El Rancho Hotel
Built in 1936 by the brother of famous movie director D.W. Griffith, the El Rancho Hotel was a home base for filmmakers capturing scenes from the Wild West. Located along the famous Route 66, the building can't be missed with its curious inscription across the front: "Charm of yesterday...Convenience of tomorrow." Today, the hotel is still in operation and is a fun way to catch a comfortable night's sleep on your route 66 road trip. Book early and you can stay in rooms named after its former famous guests.
- Tower Station & motel U-Drop Inn Cafe
You can't miss this art deco building along Route 66. Established in 1936 as a cafe and filling station, it is now owned by the town of Shamrock. It has been fully restored and operates as a Visitors Center.
- Gateway Arch National Park
The iconic Gateway Arch in St Louis is a must-see attraction on your Route 66 road trip.
- Threatt Filling Station Route 66
Built in 1915, this early gas station catered to African American travelers.
- Rock Cafe
Rock Cafe on Route 66 first opened in 1939 and flourished in the post Depression era. Since, the cafe has had its ups and downs, surviving tornados and a devastating fire. However, after a major effort to restore the cafe to its original glory, it is once again open for dining.
- East Galena
Galena sprung up as a mining town in 1876 years before Route 66 would make its way right through the town center. It is considered the oldest mining town in Kansas. Today, its a well preserved example of a classic American town and the perfect pit stop for your route 66 road trip.
- Red Cedar Inn,
The Red Cedar Inn opened right after the end of the prohibition period and was well positioned to be a favorite stop with Route 66 literally at its front door. No suprise it was frequented by celebrities of the time. No longer in operation, it is now being converted into a visitors center.
- Wagon Wheel Motel
Established in 1936, you can't miss the landmark neon sign of the Wagon Wheel Motel - the oldest continually operated motel on Route 66.
- The Ariston Cafe
One of the oldest surviving restaurants along Route 66, the Ariston Cafe was built during the Great Depression. Still operating today, it’s a perfect pit stop along America’s Mother Road for classic cuisine with a side of American history.
- Ambler's Texaco Gas Station
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station, also known as Vernon’s Texaco Station and Becker’s Marathon Gas Station, can be found along the famous route 66. The gas station was built in 1933 and was designed to blend into the suburban neighborhoods. It is now the town of Dwight's Visitors Center.
- Historic Route 66 Begin Sign
As the name implies, this is where it all begins. Don't forget to stop at the historic Route 66 begin sign in Chicago, IL for the photo opp.