Running from the Windy City of Chicago to sunny Santa-Monica, Route 66 was built to connect the Midwest and Pacific coast. Despite being an actual highway for not much more than 30 years (Interstate Highway act of 1956 responsible), Mother Road has become a historic symbol and a pop-culture phenomenon. Ghost towns and monuments, modern art and 50’s-style neon, – the Historic Route is full of pure road-trip material. Get your kicks and join us on our journey across America.
Blue Swallow motel, NM. Image credit: booking.com
Lake Shore drive
It all starts in Chicago. There's no doubt that the city is a tourist attraction on its own, with its festivals, museums, and the remarkably thick pizza. But we're here for the road, aren't we? So, you can go to LSD – the abbreviation became rather ambiguous after the 60’s, but we do mean Chicago’s main road. It’s the place to appreciate the greatness of Lake Michigan, remember the iconic skyline and head out West.
Lake Shore Drive. Image credit: Shutterstock
The monument is as tall as a 60-story building and made of stainless steel. It is dedicated to the pioneer spirit of the American people, hence it's common name "the Gateway to the West". There's a special tourist tram inside the ark that can take you to the observation area on top for a different view of Saint Louis.
Gateway arch. Image credit:
There's place for contemporary art on the historic road. Down in Texas, in the city of Amarillo, you can see ten brightly coloured Cadillacs with their trunks up and their noses in the ground. This surrealist installation created by the art group Ant Farm and sponsored by an eccentric millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 is somewhat of a car history exhibition -- each car is from a different generation of the Cadillac line.
Cadillac Ranch. Image credit: Kate Storm, lonestartavelguide.com
The history of this town in the Mojave county started with a $10 million gold find. Intrigued yet? The town is largely abandoned now, but it's worth a visit. There are dozens of wild but friendly burros walking around in the picturesque streets. Supposedly, their ancestors were the animals that worked in the gold mine. By the way, a small part of the mine is still open for tourists. After checking out this somewhat spooky attraction, you can relax and grab a beer in the Oatman Hotel. Rumor has it, it was the place where Hollywood legend Clark Gable spent his honeymoon with Carole Lombard.
Burros in Oatman. Image credit: route66podcast.com
Our journey ends in heavenly Santa Monica, with its palm trees and sandy beaches. Perhaps the most famous sight in the city is the Santa Monica pier. It has a small amusement park with a huge Instagram potential. Computer game fans will like the pier even more, since it has become the model for the Del Perro pier in GTA V.
Santa Monica Pier by Night. Image credit: Cameron Venti, Unsplash Photo Community
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