Route 66 stretches for 2,500 miles from the heart of Chicago to Santa Monica’s iconic pier. Known as the “Mother Road,” it is one of the most popular cross-country road trip routes. Here are just 30 of the countless things to see along the way.
1. Route 66 Arcade Museum (Illinois)
A video gamer’s delight, this museum showcases arcade and pinball games from 1935 to 1980.
2. Henry’s Rabbit Ranch (Illinois)
Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is full of Route 66 memorabilia. Set up like an old filling station, it celebrates the highway in its glory days. And for animal lovers, there is an adorable rabbit ranch.
3. Paul Bunyon Hotdog Statue (Illinois)
One of the most iconic displays on Route 66, Paul Bunyon, still stands tall today, in Atlanta, Illinois, holding the same giant hotdog he has been holding since 1966 when he first appeared as an advertisement for a hotdog stand.
4. Railsplitter Covered Wagon (Illinois)
Holding the honor of “World’s Largest Covered Wagon,” this impressive model stands 25 feet tall and 40 feet long, with a giant Abraham Lincoln at the helm.
5. Gemini Giant (Illinois)
The Launching Pad Restaurant is home to this bright-green astronaut, standing proudly at his post on Route 66. The restaurant also features a travel and gift shop and museum.
6. Meramec Caverns (Missouri)
Meramec Caverns in Franklin County is the largest human-made cave in Missouri, which coincidently, is known as the “Cave State.”
7. Gary’s Gay Parita (Missouri)
Proprietor Gary Turner shares his love of all things Route 66 at this recreated 1930’s gas
station. He’s full of stories, travel tips, and all that’s wholesome and fun about the “Mother Road.”
8. One of the World’s Largest Rocking Chairs (Missouri)
This massive chair sits at 34 feet tall and is made from over 27,000 pounds of solid steel pipe.
9. Jesse James Wax Museum (Missouri)
Explore the history and legend of a true American outlaw at this kitschy, quaint museum.
10. Old Riverton Store (Kansas)
This tin-ceiling store has operated as a functioning grocery and deli since 1925 and still serves up meat and cheese today.
11. Blue Whale of Catoosa (Oklahoma)
Hugh Davis built the whale as an anniversary gift for his wife in 1972. Today, it’s a popular picnicking spot for travelers along the “Mother Road.”
12. POPS Soda Ranch (Oklahoma)
POPS is a landmark diner and soda shop with hundreds of flavors of soda pop to choose from and a 66-foot tall soda bottle out front.
13. Lucille’s Famous Route 66 Gas Station (Oklahoma)
Lucille Hamons was known as the “Mother of the Mother Road,” offering help and hospitality to motorists at her gas station for decades.
14. The Big Texan Steak Ranch (Texas)
The Big Texan is known for its 72-ounce steak that is free if the diner who orders it can finish it within one hour.
15. Cadillac Ranch (Texas)
The Cadillac Ranch features a row of brightly-painted Cadillacs, buried nose-first in the ground.
16. Dot’s Mini-Museum (Texas)
This museum of Route 66 memorabilia pays homage to the hospitality and humility of the businesses and residents along the route.
17. Blue Swallow Motel (New Mexico)
The proprietors of this 40’s-era motel would accept belongings or food as a trade when visitors didn’t have enough money for a room.
18. Rainbow Rock Shop (Arizona)
The Rainbow Rock Shop is a geologic specialty store. It’s not easily missed from the road, thanks to the seven cement dinosaurs in the front yard.
19. The Museum Club (Arizona)
This classic honkytonk features live music, lively locals, and great happy hour specials.
20. Painted Desert Indian Center (Arizona)
This roadside store offers authentic Native American jewelry, rugs, pottery, and more.
21. Route 66 Wall Map (Arizona)
Stop by the “World’s Longest Map of Route 66” to see a wall-sized view of the entire route from start to finish.
22. Wigwam Village Motel No. 6 (Arizona)
Stay the night in a wigwam, or simply stop for a photo opportunity at one of the Mother Road’s most iconic stops.
23. World’s Largest Petrified Tree (Arizona)
This 80-ton beauty is the perfect place to stop for a quick stretch and a photo.
24. Standin’ on a Corner Park (Arizona)
This corner statue and sign pay homage to the lyrics of the famous Eagles song “Take it Easy.”
25. Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-in (Arizona)
This drive-in may not look like much from the outside, but it’s a favorite for Route 66 travelers for its good food and fun decor.
26. Roadkill Cafe (Arizona)
The cafe motto might be “you kill it, we grill it,” but the menu is full of delicious traditional American fare.
27. Angel’s Barbershop (Arizona)
Route 66 icon Angel Delgadillo has offered shaves, haircuts, and smiles for over 30 years at this classic barbershop.
28. Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner (Arizona)
Once a popular service station, today, Mr. D’z Route 66 is a bustling diner, famous for its root beer and pizza.
29. Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch (California)
The Bottle Tree Ranch is a literal forest of old bottles-turned-art.
30. Santa Monica Pier (California)
What better finale to an epic road trip than the sand, sun, and a spin on the famous Santa Monica Pier carousel?