Route 66 is probably one of the most famous historic highway in US. It has inspired musicians, filmmakers and writers, from classic literature (John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath) to Pixar movie Cars and video game Grand Theft Auto. Although the route is mainly popular for Harley Davidson biker, it was still fun to cross the country from East to West. Below are some of the highlights of the 6 days journey.
Trading Post, General Store, Gas Station
There are lots of trading post and general store which is worth stopping. Even just to get some refreshment. The first one we went to was Hackberry General Store. It is a Route 66 speciality gift shop and museum.
Lots of Route 66 locations inspired Pixar’s “Cars” animation story. So we saw quite a few gas station with cars that looks like the characters in the animated movie, “Cars”.
For example, 4 Women on the Route, Galena has a mining boom truck that inspired the character “Tow Mater” in Radiator Springs from the movie “Cars”.
In the 60s, Route 66 became gradually lined by a multitude of gentle giants planted in front of shops, restaurants or garages to provide maximum visibility. So we couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out some of these structures.
- Jack Rabbit at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post
- National Route 66 Museum
- Giant dino and cow at the Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas
- The Arcadia Round Barn
- Blue Whale, Catoosa
- Pops, Arcadia
- The Golden Driller, Tulsa
- Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, Foyil
- Guinness World Record Largest Rocking Chair
- World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
- Young “Railsplitter” Abe Lincoln wields his axe on the State Fairgrounds
- Chicago’s Cloud Gate
One of the highlights of Route 66 has got to be the cool motels along the highway. We managed to book ourselfs into the famous Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. As we reach Blue Swallow it feels like stepping back in time. It’s been in business since 1939 and it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Our room has 1950s furniture, chenille bedspreads, art deco touches and old-fashioned telephones. A classic car is parked outside, by the vintage lawn furniture, and it has one of the best neon signs on Route 66!
The other place we stayed at is Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri. This place also has a HUGE neon sign at the reception. The cool thins about this motel is that it has a bowling alley just opposite it. So we spent the whole night playing bowling.
Breakfast at Midpoint Cafe
The outskirts of the small town of Adrian, marks the midway position on Route 66, sitting at 1,139 miles from Chicago and Los Angeles. We managed to wake up early and head to the mid point cafe to have our breakfast. We were so excited to have reach the mid point as we were getting tired of driving on the long straight road!
Cadillac Ranch, Texas
The “Cadillac Ranch”of Stanley Marsh 3, a must-see postcard, directly on Route 66, portrays the evolution of the automobile brand “Cadillac” over the decades. The sculpture consists of 10 models with their nose driven into the Texas desert. Repainted regularly, visitors are allowed to tag them in the spirit of “Public Art“, a participatory artistic movement with strong presence along Route 66.
Special bonus: Checking out Breaking Bad filming locations in Albuquerque
Dav is a HUGE fan of Breaking Bad. So when we found out that the Route will take us to Albuquerque we couldn’t resist checking out some of the filming locations. We were quite happy to be able to stop by Walter’s home and have lunch at Los Pollos Hermanos.
Last stop: New York!