Have just started thinking about the possibilties of driving this route sometime next year. Have no further details than that and im hoping people may be able to give me an idea of best times to go, possible cost (will need to hire a car, 2 drivers aged 24) and any must dos on this route / anything to avoid. Its one of those things that ive wanted to do for a long time, and somethingi was to do whilst still fairly young!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Just google; 'route 66' and you will have all the info you need for a great trip. The best preserved sections of Route 66 are in Arizona. Look at an Arizona map, around Bullhead City. From there to Oatman, to Kingman, on to Peach Springs, to Seligman, this is the best part of the historic Route 66. This is what the route looked like in the 30s & 40s. Some of the motels and gas stations from this era are still in operation from Oatman to Seligman. This is the 'must see' part.
Most of the rest of 66 has disappeared, absorbed into larger roads and freeways. The new movie, 'Cars' uses this section of 66 for much of the movie.
I would make a real effort to try and drive the Arizona part before June. This is desert country and will be very hot from June to Sept. April would be best, but May is better than June. Or wait until late Sept. Good Luck.
AAA has a nice map/guide to Route 66. If you can't get it on the web send me a private email and I'll pick it up and mail it to you. It's in English.
Let me edit my post and echo what Vegasmike said. Best time to go is spring or after mid-September. I've driven that area several times and October is great. Not only is it cooler but there's less traffic as the kids are back in school, summer gas prices will have dropped and hotel rates are cheaper.
[ Edit: Edited at Nov 17, 2006 10:50 AM by MikeW ]
I've grown up on Route 66. The temperature is best in the spring and fall, yes, but the portions from Chicago through New Mexico can be dangerous during both of those seasons, moreso in the spring, because of intense storms. If you go then, keep an eye to the sky, and get off the highway if you find yourself in the middle of one of the storms.
In St. Louis, you have to stop at Ted Drewes. It is a famous frozen custard stand on part of Route 66. The line is always long, but it moves extremely fast. Usually, the crowd stretches all the way out to the street, but don't let that stop you. You'll be in and out in a matter of minutes.
Route 66 pretty much parallels and is I-44 through Missouri, although there are still some sections of the old highway just adjacent to it.
In Oklahoma, pull off for some real roadside kitch in Vinita, home of the world's largest McDonalds. Or at least it was at one point. It stretches over the highway in a bridge. I thought it was the coolest thing when I was a kid.
Meramec Caverns, about an hour and a half southwest of St. Louis, is definitely worth a stop.
Plenty to do in St. Louis as well. IM me for a list of things to do. Most of the stuff here is free--zoo, museums, etc.
Because there are plenty of state parks near the highways, bring along a small tent and spend some time outside camping. The fireflies don't usually start coming out until June, and they usually disappear the first couple of weeks of September.
As for what to see/what not to see? If it's kitchy, see it! It's Route 66. There is a Route 66 State Park outside of St. Louis off of I-44. A friend of mine really likes hiking out there.
ETA: ... and look me up when you come through! My husband and I love playing tour guide!
[ Edit: Edited at Nov 17, 2006 10:56 PM by rbyslipahs ]
The best book on the subject is
Route 66: The Mother Road
by Michael Wallis
Best of luck on your adventure.