When the Thirteen Colonies rebelled against British rule and proclaimed independence in 1776, very few would have imagined what the United States of America would look like in the year 2017.
Over the following 241 years, there have been countless events, moments and famous figures that have shaped modern America.
Along your Route 66 adventure, you'll no doubt see history in the making, but you can also visit some of these historic locations to discover more about this fascinating nation. Here are just seven to check out!
1) The Beverly Hills Hotel (California)
One of the most famous hotels in the US is The Beverly Hills Hotel. Set along the beautiful Sunset Boulevard in the heart of LA, the hotel is more than 100 years old – built in 1912.
Its connections to the Hollywood elite are renowned, dating back to the 1930s when legends Fred Astaire, Cesar Romero and Carole Lomard began to stay. This only continued in the years ahead with the Prince of Monaco and Grace Kelly, John Wayne and Henry Fonda all staying here.
The hotel's pink and green guest rooms and suites have seen their share of tragedy as well. The most recent was the death of Whitney Houston in 2012 who was found slumped in a bath.
2) Bucket of Blood Saloon (Arizona)
When you hear the word 'saloon', it's easy to think about the wild west – a time when cowboys ruled. In the heart of Holbrook, Arizona stands the Bucket of Blood Saloon, a location that certainly deserves its name.
Built in 1888, it was the site of a double murder in 1891 and was known as the Bucket of Blood Saloon ever since. Although it closed in the 1930s, the building still stands on the street that bears the same name!
3) San Miguel Mission (New Mexico)
The US is home to many different religious groups, with several dating back hundreds of years. One example is the San Miguel Mission in Sante Fe, New Mexico which was built between 1610 and 1626.
Regarded as the oldest church in the US, the San Miguel Mission served as a chapel for Spanish soldiers during the reconquest of the 17th century. You can still visit the stunning Romanesque fortress church on Sunday for Mass – joining in on history!
4) Cadillac Ranch (Texas)
Remember the 1980 Bruce Springsteen song 'Cadillac Ranch'? This song is named after the famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas where 10 old Cadillacs have been placed front first into the ground.
Cadillacs are famous in this part of the world and to pay tribute to them in 1974, architects Chip Lord and Hudson Marquez came up with this crazy idea. The Cadillacs date between 1949 and 1963 and are positioned from east to west – shining under the Texas sun with their bright colours.
5) Circle Theater (Oklahoma)
Built in 1928, the Circle Theater was one of the hot spots along Route 66 during the golden age of cinema. With its classic 1950s neon sign and brick architecture, it attracted people from around the country over many years.
The Circle Theater was saved from demolition by the Circle Cinema Foundation and now continues to screen movies as well as documentaries, film festivals and local films.
6) Eisler Brothers Riverton Store (Kansas)
How many people have been into the Eisler Brothers Riverton Store since it was opened in 1925? Probably too many to count!
Originally called the 'Williams Store', this small shop has the honour of being the oldest continuously operating store on Route 66. To this day, you can stop in and catch a glimpse of the past through the artwork on the wall and old knick-knacks around the store.
Be sure to pick up one of the popular deli sandwiches during your road trip!
7) Bonnie and Clyde Garage Apartment (Missouri)
The US has had its share of bandits and criminals and one of the most famous are 'Bonnie and Clyde' – a pair of violent bank robbers during the early 1930s.
The couple – Bonnie Parker and Clyde Champion Barrow – hid out in this garage apartment in Joplin after several robberies before being dobbed in by a suspicious neighbour. There is a sign with information at the property to explain more about this dangerous couple.
If you want to learn more about the various historic locations that you can see on Route 66, get in touch with our helpful team today to start planning your adventure!