Our very own resident American - Theresa talks you through the main things to take into account when considering a Route 66 holiday.
Who can resist this iconic 2,448 mile journey through eight states and three time zones ? Long before the Interstates were conceived and built it was possible to journey from the Midwest to the California Coast by one road - Route 66 - right through small town America and the heart and soul of the USA. Much of the original road can be re-traced today on a USA roadtrip so you can follow in the tyre tracks of those who made the road famous.
For most people Route 66 holidays start in Chicago, Illinois . The road originally began at the corner of Jackson and Michigan Boulevards in 1926, although parts of the highway have been in existence since 1857. Here we encourage you to take the elevator up the Willis Tower to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor. Step out on the "The Ledge" , a glass box, and experience incredible views over the windy city before you start your Route 66 self drive holiday.
Travelling from Chicago, Illinois to St Louis, Missouri the icons of Route 66 you've seen on television and in books appear before your very eyes.
Cross from Illinois into Missouriby way of the historic Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge on your holiday on Route 66 . In St Louis we definitely recommend taking the elevator to the top of the Gateway Arch for spectacular views of the mighty Mississippi River. You might want to visit a couple of real cool diners whilst you are here, like Sweetie Pies owned by one of Tina Turner's "Ikettes" Ms Robbie Montgomery. Robbie still works there today. Or perhaps you'd prefer Blueberry Hill, filled with pop culture memorabilia and featuring live music by touring St Louis bands, including Rock & Roll legend, Chuck Berry.
Your Bon Voyage Route 66 holiday from St Louis to
takes you through the lush rolling hills of the Missouri Ozark Mountains, which appear much as they did when the first settlers arrived in the late 1800s. Whilst you're travelling along Route 66 in Missouri, you may want to consider a side-trip to Branson
"The Live Music Capital of the World"
Leaving Missouri for
(which boasts the longest stretch of original Route 66 miles)
the landscape begins to change from the rich croplands of the Midwest to the red, dry dusty Southwest.
Cross into the Lone Star state of
and arrive in the heart of Cowboy Country. On your Route 66 trip in Texas, you'll discover the quirky Cadillac Ranch. If you're seeking cracking scenery in Texas, be sure to take a short diversion to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, one of the most beautiful places in Texas. Here you'll learn about the Apache, Kiowa and Comanche tribes who took refuge here.
known fondly as The
Land of Enchantment
is next on your Route 66 tour, with the second longest stretch of original Route 66 highway and perhaps the most unique roadside landscape - you might swear you were back in 1950! Tucumcari, is a must-do stop en route, view the '66 neon signs and the historic Tee Pee Trading Post.
When you're on your Route 66 trip, approximately 30 miles from Holbrook,
, en route to the Grand Canyon, you'll stumble across the fascinating Meteor Crater. You must stop to see the 500 foot deep hole created by a meteorite 22,000 years ago. Okay, no match for a Wonder of the World, but we're building up to it! Don't forget to stop en route at Winslow and have your picture taken "
Standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see"
There's a statue of a guy with a guitar, and a mural of a girl (my lord!) driving by in a flatbed ford. We guarantee it will have you humming the Eagles hit as you drive off.
At 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep the
is a must-do side trip on any holiday along Route 66, and is the grandaddy of natural wonders encompassing over 1.2 million acres.
Whilst it's not technically en route as you drive Route 66, who could possibly miss out on Viva Las Vegas! Since its founding 100 years ago, Las Vegas has been the biggest boomtown in the history of the world. Love it or hate it, there's no denying that this place will blow your mind and be a true highlight of any Route 66 fly drive holiday. For something a bit different in Vegas, consider visiting The Neon Museum for a glimpse into Vegas' past or the fascinating Atomic Testing Museum . If you're a bit of an adrenaline junkie you'll love ziplining along Freemont Street or The SkyJump, a freefall experience from the 108th floor of the Stratosphere Hotel...not for the faint hearted!
Finally, after a journey through the Mojave desert, over mountains and through the lush inland valleys of California, you will reach the bright lights of Hollywood and the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica. It's here where Route 66 meets the Pacific Ocean and all epic Route 66 self drive holidays end.
Spice up your Route 66 adventure with a 4x4 and Convertible combo!
From the start of Route 66 in Chicago, enjoy the extra room and power of a mid-size 4x4 to begin your journey. In Vegas, swap it for a groovy convertible. Flip back the roof, throw on the Ray Bans and enjoy the desert sunshine as you cruise into California!
Order your Route 66 - The Mother Road leaflet from Bon Voyage to help plan your adventure along "Main Street, America".