ive been thinking about doing the old route 66 thing. no idea what sort of things i should see along the way or a good amount of time to do it in. is 2 weeks enough? or would it be a bit of a rush?
is it better to drive in a car? go by bus? or is there a cheap train that goes across?
also what is the best time of year to do it weather wise. im thinking april - june or maybe september time but isnt that hurricane season over there??
any ideas would be very much appreciated
Route 66 is one of the classic road trips of all time. Try Googling it....there is so much info available online, but there are some things you really have to be prepared for: You definitely need a map, you need to drive on the right side of the road in a left hand drive car, and you need a camera. I don't think there are any buses or trains that do the whole route....parts of it perhaps, but not the whole route. There may be tour companies that offer specials as well.
Best time to drive? Probably late Spring, early Summer. Early Spring can surprise you out of Chicago.....snowstorms, hail, etc. There won't be any hurricanes, but you might get caught by a severe thunderstorm that produces tornados....unlikely, but possible.
There are so many sights to see I couldn't begin to name them, but they will all be quite eclectic. You will see middle America at it's most unusual. And once you get into New Mexico and Arizona, prepare for some hot weather!!
No question, it will be an amazing experience. Do your research, and you will have a fantastic time.
I just saw a French documentary on Route 66, and a quick Google seach brought up a ton more. If you can get your hands on one of them, I'm sure that would give you a great idea of the highlights to see on your trip. There are some small towns that still run a diner or two that're unchaged from the 50s. Plus people all along the way seemed pretty hapy to share their stories. Sounds like a great trip!
Two weeks should be enough to drive the whole route. Much of 66 has simply been absorbed into other roads in the midwest section. Not much left to see.
A couple of Brit TP members came to Vegas in May and we went down to the Grand Canyon together. We spent one day on Route 66: Kingman to Williams AZ. This section is probably closest to what 66 looked liked in the 40s & 50s. I have posted some 66 photos in my gallery. PM if you have any questions.
Anthony - you may find some of these websites interesting and useful.
Historic Route 66
Historic Route 66 - Turn by Turn
This page of their site lets you click on indvidual states for descriptions of how to follow the original road as closely as possible.
Legends of America
This site gives you interesting facts, history, stories and a plethera of other stuff about Route 66, including a forum. They also have "mile by mile by state" links.
Roadtrip America - Links
Links to resource guides, sights and much more.
There are tons of sites about Route 66 as everyone has mentioned. These are just a few of my favorites. My husband's cousin and two of his relatives did the trip last summer - from Chicago to LA and back. They took 21 days to do the round trip, but I'm sure they were more interested in saying they had done it than seeing many sights along the way. Two weeks just in one direction will give you more time to see some of the fun stuff.
For the odd and unusual sights you may want to check out, see:
They have a drop-down menu listing all of the states. Just choose the states you will be going through and see what type of weird and wacky attractions you can visit along the way.
Oh, if you decide to drive, check out the Route 66 Truck Stop Diner and Casino just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We didn't visit the the casino as we were expected in Ramah at a certain time, and it was 8:00 in the morning. But, the diner is great - very 50s style - and the food was excellent. I can vouch for their biscuits and gravy with a couple of (over-easy) eggs on top. Yum!
First off...obtain a CD with the song Route 66 on it, (I recommend Natalie Cole's version). That way everyone has fun singing along whenever you hit places like; "Gallup, New Mexico...Flagstaff, Arizona...don't forget Winona...Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino..." (Otherwise you're likely to fly by Winona without even knowing it!)
Secondly, since Rte 40 replaced route 66, that means getting off the highway and going through the small towns the Rte originally went through. (You can also check out the "Corner in Winslow, Arizona" lyrics from another fine song.. and the old train station there.) Towns like Seligman, Ashfork, etc. practically became ghost towns after Rte. 40 bypassed them. Even in larger towns such as Flagstaff and Gallup you need to exit from I-40 to the main drag to find remnants of Old Rte 66.
I would suggest May or September for the drive as April you may still encounter snow yet the summer months of June, July and August may be very hot. Also, from Williams, take the hour drive, or the train, to the south rim of the Grand Canyon since you are so near anyway.
LadyMacWilly ^..^ ~
Barstow, California has a small Route 66 Museum located in the rear of the Amtrak train station (the former Harvey House Casa Del Desierto, a historic building). It is open on weekends, staffed by friendly volunteers and will give you an informal, nostalgic look to the past.
LadyMacwill's song about "Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona" is actually a line from The Eagles' song "Take it Easy".
It is true that if you want to see what Route 66 used to be like, you need to take Interstate 40 across Arizona and New Mexico, but get off on some of the small towns and check out the diners and other weird things. And don't forget to check out the Meteor Crater outside of Winslow.
Here's the definnitive site for Rte. 66 info: http://www.historic66.com/
I first travelled 66 from St. Louis to Los Angeles in the summer of 1950 as a 12-year-old...stopped at Meramac Caverns just a couple of hours south of St. Louis and shook hands with Jesse James (google "jesse james meramac caverns)...he died the following year...great memories from that trip...have fun!