USA January 16, 2020
6 Amazing Places To Stop Along The Iconic Route 66
Every American traveler should make the unforgettable journey along Route 66 at least once in their lifetime. After all, this fascinating path has delighted countless drivers since its establishment in 1926, and there’s something uniquely magical about following the route. From Illinois to California, there’s so much to see along the way – and we’ve compiled six of our favorite must-explore stops. Happy trails!
1. Petrified Forest National Park (off exit 311 near Holbrook, Arizona)
When you’re searching for a beautiful place to stretch your legs after a long day of driving, this national park certainly fits the bill. Whether you’re interested in the region’s history, ecology, or cultural development, you’ll find something to explore at this unique destination. As its name suggests, the park is home to fascinating petrified trees that date back upwards of 200 million years - and you’ll be absolutely enchanted by the area’s wondrous beauty as you embark on an unforgettable hike.
2. Woody Guthrie Center (102 E Mathew B. Brady St., Tulsa, Oklahoma)
You don’t have to be a diehard Woody Guthrie fan to appreciate this destination, but you’ll certainly count him among your favorite artists by the time you leave. Throughout the museum, you’ll find everything from Guthrie’s instruments to memorabilia detailing the history of American folk music. Enjoy learning about Guthrie’s upbringing, view a short historical film, and listen to music from other artists who counted Guthrie as an inspiration. There’s no better way to pay homage to an American legend.
3. Meramec Caverns (1135 Hwy. W, Sullivan, Missouri)
There’s something eerily fascinating about exploring this vast cavern system, which sits within the Ozarks and stretches for over four miles. The caverns themselves, which were formed over the course of millions of years by erosion of limestone deposits, can be seen via guided tours that promise to amaze visitors of all ages. You’ll make your way along illuminated pathways while admiring the natural splendor of this attraction and listening to stories of the region’s early days. What’s not to love?
4. Cella Winery (6927 E Brooks Blvd., Kingman, Arizona)
When you’ve been on the road all day, nothing feels better than kicking back and unwinding with a glass of wine and a bite to eat. Make your way to Cella Winery to do just that. This delightful spot combines desert beauty with the elegance of a modern winery, and you’ll feel right at home as soon as you arrive. Make an appointment to enjoy a private wine-tasting or drop by to grab a bottle of wine to be enjoyed at a later date. From cabernet sauvignon to moscato, each creation here is utterly delicious.
5. Palo Duro Canyon State Park (11450 State Hwy. Park Rd. 5, Canyon, Texas)
Bask in the sunshine (and be sure to load up on sunscreen) during your visit to this Texas gem, which sits in the state’s Panhandle region and holds the title of America’s second-largest canyon system. From towering rock formations to sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, there’s something here for everyone to appreciate. You’ll certainly want to snap a few pictures of the state park as you hike or drive your way through - after all, isn’t Route 66 all about collecting amazing memories?
6. Santa Monica Pier (200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California)
As the official ending point of Route 66, Santa Monica Pier offers magic all its own. From a charming Ferris wheel to countless food carts to marvelous views of the Pacific Ocean, this one-of-a-kind spot features delights and attractions for every member of the family. Listen to street performers as you stroll up and down the pier, which bustles with activity day in and day out. Whether you’re playing a few games in the arcade, enjoying dinner overlooking the water, or exploring the on-site aquarium, you’ll quickly fall in love with the many joys of Santa Monica Pier.
Our list only scratches the surface when it comes to amazing attractions along Route 66. Have you made the journey in years past? Be sure to share your favorite stops with us in the comment section below!