The famous Route 66 is a historic highway that ran from Chicago, Illinois and ended at the coastal city of Los Angeles, California. Known as the Main Street of America, it was established in 1926 and became a major route for migrants during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The route has been idolised in many songs, TV shows and films throughout the year, but was officially removed from the highway system in 1985. However, each year travellers from across the world drive the Historic Route 66 (as it is now known) to experience a famous piece of American history.
You can just fly into Chicago, pick up a rental car and a map and make your way to the City of Angels, but the easiest way to do this journey is by booking a Route 66 fly drive tour. A tour operator will make many of the necessary arrangements for you before you even set foot on US soil. They will sort out your rental car, book any accommodation, supply you with maps, guides, sightseeing tips and all the relevant contact details for emergencies.
A typical itinerary for a Route 66 self-drive tour can last around two weeks. Day one and the morning of day two is usually spent in the Chicago The Windy City. Here you will pick up your rental car, stay the first night in a city centre hotel and the next morning exploring the city and picking up supplies for the trip. In the afternoon you will start your journey west and make you way to Springfield, famous for being the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln (and possibly Homer Simpson).
After spending a night in Springfield, day three takes you to the banks of the Mississippi and St Louis, Missouri. Take the opportunity while you are here to venture on a traditional paddlewheel riverboat ride along this famous river. Days four and five take you through Missouri and briefly into the farmlands and small towns of Kansas before entering Oklahoma and spending a night in Oklahoma City.
During your journey along Route 66 you will see a number of sights and attractions that pay celebrate this famous road. This includes the Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo, Texas on day seven. The ranch has 10 Cadillac cars buried nose down in the ground to pay homage to the route.
After passing the midway point you continue into New Mexico. Be sure to look out for the historic buildings of Santa Rosa and stop at the Route 66 Auto Museum and admire the classic cars and Route 66 memorabilia. This part of the journey also takes you through Las Vegas, New Mexico, which was the filming location for Easy Rider and No Country for Old Men.
Day nine sees you entering Arizona and passing through the Petrified Forest National Park and on to day ten where you can make a stop at the breathtaking Grand Canyon. This is a great time to stop and rest and admire the amazing views of this famous landmark.
Watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon before starting off on the final leg of your journey. Continue west and to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. Stay here for two nights to soak up the atmosphere and experience everything this unique city has to offer.
If you've still got some money left for petrol, your last day leads you through the Mojave Desert and to the home of palm trees and beautiful people – Los Angeles. LA is the final stop on many of these self-drive USA holidays, but you can extend your stay here and explore the city, or give your car back and make your way home.
Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.