On a road immortalised by film, music and legend, is it possible to find one ultimate Route 66 stopping point? We don't think so. With four days of solid travel between Chicago and LA there are far too many places stuffed into the journey.
However, for your ultimate American road trip we've tried to narrow it down to the top six for you. Here are our favourite pullovers for Route 66.
1. Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon isn't technically on Route 66. Given how popular a detour it is for those travelling the road, however, it's impossible to not note it. In fact, if we really had to narrow it down, this might just be the most popular stopping point for Route 66 tourists. Afterall, 6.38 million people visited the Grand Canyon in 2018, according to Statista!
Vast, incredible and mind-boggling are all words you can apply to this monument to nature. Don't plan for a short stop here – give yourself plenty of time to absorb the view spread out before you.
2. Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma
Sometimes the most popular sites are some of the most inexplicable. You might consider the Blue Whale of Catoosa one of these. Route 66 isn't a stranger to giant figures – from the muffler men to the Jack Rabbit, the road has its fair share of oddities. However, the walk-through whale might bring the most people to its open mouth for a picture.
3. Oatman, Arizona
It's highly possible this town made it to the list through its cute factor – wild burros (the spanish term for mules) wander freely through the town. Highly adorable and friendly, getting to pet them and take a photo is a great reason to stop!
Or maybe it's the Clint Eastwood feel to the place, mixing the mother road heritage with the wild west. Old saloons make a great backdrop for photos!
Whichever reason, there's not a doubt that this small town is a highly popular stopping point along Route 66.
4. Petrified Forest National Park
It's almost impossible to drive past a National Park without stopping to admire the natural wonders on offer. Not only will you see colour layered throughout the hills, but you'll come across petrified logs (hence the name). While these fossils might still look like wood, they're actually hard rock. The history, colours and scenery make this a necessary road break on your Route 66 trip.
5. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
It's not often you get to see 10 cadillacs planted nose-down in a paddock. It's an eccentric art installation that's ever-changing. Each car is covered in layers and layers of paint, and likely not all dry! Anyone can add to the vehicles, so feel free to take spray cans of any colour along with you when making a stop at this Route 66 icon.
6. Santa Monica Pier, Calif
Historically not a part of the Route 66 road, you'll now find a sign featured on the Santa Monica Pier that declares it the end of the trail. However, being the terminus of the mother road isn't the only reason this is such a popular stopping point. Just one glance at the pier stretching out into the water, the outline of the Ferris wheel against the sky and the golden sands that await will tell you that.
If you'd like to know more about planning the ultimate American road trip and finding your own favourite stopping point along it, reach out to the team at Route 66 Tours today. We'll help you make the most of your journey along the mother road.