If you're dreaming of embarking on the ultimate American road trip, Route 66 is undoubtedly on your bucket list. This iconic highway stretches across eight states, from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. But how long does it take to complete Route 66? Well, that depends on various factors such as your travel pace, the number of stops you plan to make, and the attractions you wish to explore along the way.
Planning Your Route 66 Adventure
Before hitting the open road, it's essential to plan your Route 66 adventure. The first step is to decide on your starting and ending points. Most travelers begin their journey in Chicago and end in Santa Monica, but you can customize your route based on your preferences and available time.
Next, consider the duration of your trip. While some hardcore road trippers aim to complete Route 66 in a week, it's recommended to allow at least two weeks to fully experience the route and its hidden gems. This timeframe allows for a more relaxed pace and ample time to explore the attractions and landmarks along the way.
Estimated Time to Travel Route 66
The estimated time to travel Route 66 can vary depending on your travel style and the number of stops you make. On average, if you're driving approximately 200-250 miles per day, it would take you about two weeks to complete the entire route. However, if you're looking to immerse yourself in the local culture and explore every nook and cranny, you might want to extend your journey to three weeks or even a month.
Remember, Route 66 is not just about the destination; it's about the journey itself. Take your time to soak in the breathtaking landscapes, visit quirky roadside attractions, and interact with the friendly locals. Allow for flexibility in your itinerary, as unexpected adventures and detours often make for the most memorable experiences.
Must-See Attractions Along Route 66
While the entire Route 66 is filled with fascinating sights, here are some must-see attractions to consider including in your itinerary:
1. The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri
Start your journey with a visit to the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Take a tram ride to the top for panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River.
2. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
Make a stop at the Cadillac Ranch, where ten classic Cadillacs are half-buried in the ground, showcasing an art installation that has become synonymous with Route 66.
3. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Explore the otherworldly landscapes of Petrified Forest National Park, where ancient trees turned to stone millions of years ago. Marvel at the vibrant colors and unique geological formations.
4. Santa Monica Pier, California
End your journey at the iconic Santa Monica Pier, where you can enjoy stunning ocean views, indulge in delicious seafood, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of this famous coastal city.
Conclusion: Fulfilling Your Route 66 Dream
Completing Route 66 is not about rushing from point A to point B; it's about embracing the spirit of adventure and immersing yourself in the rich history and cultural tapestry of the American heartland. Whether you have two weeks or a month, take the time to create lifelong memories, discover hidden gems, and forge connections with fellow road trippers along the way. So, pack your bags, fuel up your car, and get ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime on Route 66.