Tips to Discover the Famous Route 66

Road Trips along Route 66 - Exploring Route 66

Discovering the US along its Most Famous Route

Who hasn't heard of Route 66 at least once in their lives? It could be from the countless movies, Tv-Series, songs and books that reference to this iconic Route that has long stopped being just a simple thoroughfare to become an icon, a cultural movement, and a symbol of an entire generation.

Funny because Route 66 is neither the longest nor the oldest highway in the United States and it was actually decommissioned in 1985 after the US Highway System underwent a major overhaul to adapt to more modern driving requirements. Still, Route 66 is today probably one of the last standing symbols of true "Americana", a representation of days long gone replaced by fast-pace travels, domestic flights and ...

Initially, Route 66 started in Chicago (IL) by the Millenium Park and arrived in Los Angeles by the modern Santa Monica Pier. It was thought to be roughly 2,400 miles long, approx. 3,860 km, although it's hard to say for sure since the highway underwent several changes throughout the years. Today, it's not really possible to follow the original Route 66 as it has since been decommissioned and it's not included in current maps. However, we can still follow some "Historic Route 66" signs that are now placed along what it would be the original Route 66.

If we plan our itinerary just right we can still drive along some of the original Route 66 especially crossing these 4 states -- Ilinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona with a cumulative 1,400 miles (2,250 kilometers). If you are planning to drive the entire length of Route 66 (or what's left of it) you will till need at least 6-8 days to complete the itinerary.

Route 66 does really represent a symbol of the ingenuity and wit that has characterized America for the better part of the 20th century. A nation that was able to rise from nothing more than mere rural colonies to a modern nation interconnected by highway and superhighway. Route 66 was the first real link between the Mid-West and the West helping what was once considered the wild wild west in becoming a real modern community, a beacon of hope for years to come, and a promise for a better more interconnected future.

Whether you want to drive back memory lane reliving some of that "Je ne sais quoi" of America in the first half of the 20th-century, or just love the idea to cross these diverse states and admire the different natural landscapes, a visit to the United States is not complete without some Route 66!