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The Driver's Guide to Historic Route 66 Attractions

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A memorable trip is about the journey as much as the destination. Nowhere is that more true than on Route 66, America's "mother road" stretching 2,448 miles between Chicago and Los Angeles. Thinking about making the drive? Here's a quick guide to some popular Route 66 roadside attractions.

Route 66 Illinois Attractions

Route 66's known for its charming roadside sights, and some of the best known are in southern Illinois. TheRailsplitter Covered Wagon, the world's largest covered wagon, is parked in Lincoln, IL. A 12-foot, 350-pound Abraham Lincoln sits in the driver's seat. A little further down the road, you'll see the world's largest catsup bottle in Collinsville.

Route 66 Oklahoma Attractions

Oklahoma has more miles of Route 66's original path remaining than any other state. The most famous roadside sight is the Blue Whale of Catoosa: an enormous, blue, steel and concrete whale built by Hugh Davis for his family in the early 1970s. Two other Route 66 Oklahoma attractions stand near each other in Oklahoma City - the Milk Bottle Grocery and the Gold Dome geodesic dome.

Route 66 Texas Attractions

Texas owns only a short stretch of the highway, but that includes one of the most popular Route 66 roadside attractions: the Cadillac Ranch. Ten classic Caddies are buried nose-down in a pasture outside Amarillo, each one covered in decades of graffiti. Bring your own spray paint if you want to add your tag to the mix.

Route 66 New Mexico Attractions

The tiny town of Tucumcari, New Mexico is a destination for kitschy Route 66 attractions, the best-known being the concrete wigwam of the Tee Pee Curio Shop. Also in Tucumcari, you'll see the La Cita sombrero sign and the lovingly restored Blue Swallow Motel, famous for its neon.

Route 66 Arizona Attractions

It's an iconic American landscape: a lonely stretch of Route 66 winding through the Mojave Desert. But the journey here is anything but dull. Must-see Route 66 Arizona attractions include Petrified Forest National Park (don't take any petrified wood, unless you want to invite bad luck) and the ancient cliff dwellings atWalnut Canyon National Monument. Further along, you'll see the Grand Canyon Caverns, where adventurous drivers can spend the night in an underground hotel room. Don't miss the Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, which is marked by - what else? - a giant jackrabbit.

Route 66 California Attractions

Tired of driving? You have just 320 miles to go. One very quiet stretch of the highway is home to some strange Route 66 roadside attractions: several picturesque ghost towns, including Goffs, Chambless and Amboy. North of San Bernadino, Route 66 travelers can stop to see the Mormon Rocks, a.k.a. Rock Candy Mountains, so named for their porous, holey appearance. Before you know it, you'll be in Los Angeles, where the historic highway ends at the Santa Monica pier.


Mar 04, 2013