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One Week Route 66 Road Trip Itinerary

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We have put together this "One Week Route 66 Road Trip Itinerary":

It describes a seven day trip from Chicago to Santa Monica along US 66. With all you need to know: daily departure time, arrival time at each attraction, where to stop for lunch, coffee and to spend the night. Mileage along the way, total and partial driving times, and of course, the main sights and stops along the way.

Plus Links to more information on each place of interest along your journey.

Can you do Route 66 in a week?

Many visitors wonder if they can drive the whole of Route 66 in one week and have asked us to put a "one week Route 66 road trip" together.

We studied the matter in depth and put together this itinerary. It will let you drive from Chicago to Santa Monica in one week and see many of Route 66's key attractions.

So here it is, with a daily itinerary, with mileage, approximate times of arrival at each stop and landmark, and links to more information on these attractions, plus maps with directions.

So to those asking "Can you do Route 66 in a week?, the answer is yes! you can and have a lot of fun doing it.

Having said this, you should consider at least extending the ride to two weeks. This will give you time to do some side trips (like the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas) and to pack in more sights in smaller towns along the way.

Our one week Road Trip itinerary skips long sections of the original Route 66 and has long segments driven along the Interstate. We did this to gain time and get you quicker to each landmark. With more time you could drive more of the old US 66 roadbed.

Our 1 Week Route 66 Road Trip itineraries

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In this Page

Seven Day Road Trip itinerary:

Start in Chicago (Route 66 was historically a east-to-west drive) and go from the midwest to golden California.

Day 1: Chicago to St. Louis

Morning drive: Chicago - Lincoln

We recommend that you take an extra day, the day that you arrive in Chicago to visit the downtown sights such as the End and Begin signs of Route 66.

The Neon Sign of Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook Route 66

The Neon Sign of the Historic Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, Willowbrook. Marcin Wichary

7:30 AM: Leave Downtown Chicago early. You can bypass the city's avenues and incoming rush hour traffic by taking I-55 westwards. Leave at Exit 274 to visit your first Route 66 landmark: Historic Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook (8 AM, 22.5 miles) take 5 min. for photos.

Return to the freeway, leaving it at Exit 268 onto IL-53 towards Joliet; this state highway is the original 1926 - 1939 alignment of Route 66, and from 1940 to 1977 it was ALT 66.

Stop at the 1920s The White Fence Farm restaurant in Romeoville, and then as you approach Joliet along N. Broadway there are some classics:

The Joliet Kicks on 66 Shield-sign and Dick’s Towing heading into Joliet is the Site of World's First Dairy Queen and Route 66 meets Lincoln Highway marker.

8:30 AM. You are in Downtown Joliet. Total driving time roughly 1 hour. Distance 42 miles from Chicago.

Head south along IL53 (Historic Route 66) past the Bluesmobile (photo stop). And continue all the way to Wilmington

The Bluesmobile, a replica in Joliet, Illinois

The Bluesmobile, a replica in Joliet Route 66
The Bluesmobile, a replica in Joliet, Illinois.

9:00 AM, must stop at the "muffler man": Gemini Giant (Distance driven 58.5 miles).

9:15 AM. Keep on and stop for some photos at Polk-A-Dot Drive-In with its life-sized figures. (63.5 miles)

9:45 AM. Next stop is in Dwight, to visit the Historic Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station. Photos and 10 min. coffee break. Total Distance: 81 miles. Driving time: 2 hours.

10:00 AM At Odell visit the Historic Standard Oil Gasoline Station (90 mi. - 2 h 10 min driving since leaving Chicago).

Gemini Giant close up in Wilmington Route 66

Gemini Giant, Wilmington

Historic Odell service station

Historic Service Station, Odell
Ivo Shandor

Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station in Dwight Route 66

Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station, Dwight.
Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Head south along Route 66 into Pontiac and see the murals and attractions at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Museum. 20 minute stop. (101 mi. driven).

Route 66 Shield Mural in Pontiac Route 66
Route 66 Shield Mural in Pontiac, Illinois. Ivo Shandor

10:35 AM. Leave Pontiac to visit the Route 66 Memory Lane in Lexington (120 miles.) Stop for 10 minutes. Depart: 11:05 AM. Here you leave old Route 66 at Exit 178 and take the freeway (I-55) all the way to Atlanta.

11:00 AM. Take Exit 140 into Atlanta to visit the Muffler Man Holding Hot Dog, a giant Paul Bunyan statue (159 miles, 3h 25min drive). Return to I-55 head west.

12:05 PM. You reach Lincoln. Take the old "beltway" around it to see two classic sights: Tropics Neon Sign and the World’s Largest Covered Wagon. Stop for one hour to fill your tank and have lunch (172 mi. - 3h 40 min. Drive from Chicago).

1950s Tropics neon sign
Tropics Restaurant neon sign in Lincoln Illinois. Martha Raaymakers

Day 1 Afternoon drive Lincoln to St. Louis

1:15 PM. Start your second leg of the day: In Lincoln visit the The Mill Museum on 66. Then get onto I-55 at Exit 123.

You will bypass Springfield and stay on the freeway all the way to Mt. Olive.

vintage Soulsby’s Service Station in Mt. Olive Route 66

Soulsby’s Service Station, Mt. Olive. Pechristener

2:20 PM. Take Exit 44 to visit the Historic Soulsby’s Shell Service Station. (Driving time from Chicago 5 hours - 256 mi.)

Stay on the old Route 66 into Staunton to visit Henry’s Rabbit Ranch (262 mi.)

Visit a Kitsch spot on US 66, the Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston (266 mi.). Leave at 2:45 PM and take I-55 at Exit 33 all the way to Exit 15A.

3:00 PM. Follow IL-259 into Collinsville to visit the Historic Largest Catsup Bottle in the World. (5h 40 min. drive from Chicago - 291 mi.).

Head towards the last stop for the day along I-255 and I-270. Then take Exit 3 onto Chain Of Rocks Rd. to visit the historic bridge:

3:45 PM It has been a long drive from Chicago (6h 05min behind the wheel and 309 miles) so enjoy the Historical Chain of Rocks Bridge (Madison). G It is a 20 minute stop.

Steel structure of the Chain of Rocks Bridge spanning the mighty Mississippi river
Chain of Rocks Bridge spanning the Mississippi River

Retrace your steps and cross the Mississippi into Missouri along the new Chain of Rocks Bridge on I-270. Chose a hotel or motel along the north side of St. Louis along I-270 to spend the night, close to St. Louis Airport (there are plenty of hotels there).

End of Day 1. 4:30 PM.

  • Total distance driven today: 328miles
  • Total Driving Time: 6h 30 minutes.

>> Book your Hotel near St. Louis Airport

Day 2: St. Louis to Joplin

key shaped neon sign from Key Cafe at Villa Ridge

Key Cafe originally at Villa Ridge neon sign; now at Route 66 State Park, Best Western Hotels

8 AM. Leave early and take the Interstate (I-270 south) then take I-44 west.

See the Map of this segment.

8:30 AM (28 mi. - 30 min. dirve) Your first stop (10 min.) is at the Meramec River to visit the site of town of Times Beach which until its evacuation in 1983 due to contamination with dioxin was a town on Route 66. It was quarantined and later disincorporated. The buildings were razed and the former townsite was decontaminated. Now it is the Route 66 State Park.

Visit the 1935 Steiny’s Inn or Bridghead Inn, a 1932 section of the Mother Road and the now closed Historical Meramec River US 66 Bridge.

Return to I44, take Route 66 leaving the freeway at Exit 261 drive into Pacific (8:50AM - 40 min drive time, 37.5 mi). Don't miss the historic Red Cedar or the Neon sign of Beacon Motel. Five minutes for photos.

Continue along Route 66 and stop at the Gardenway Motel in Gray Summit (9:05AM - 48 min, 43 mi.)

Stick to US 66 and see two more sights ahead in Villa Ridge: Tri County Truck Stop restaurant (9:14 AM - 52 min 44.9 mi) and the Sunset Motel (9:20 AM - 53 min driving time, 46 mi.). Stop at both for photos.

Keep on Rte. 66 and stop at the teepees of the Indian Harvest Trading Post (9:25 AM - 1h 4 min, 54 mi).

Return to I-44 and leave it at Exit 210 to visit Cuba. Consider a 20 min drive through town plus a 20 min. coffee stop. Arrive 10:15 AM (1h 37 min, 89 mi.)

See its Viva Cuba Murals, Route 66 sign on road Wagon Wheel Motel and 1932 Cottage style Phillips 66 gas station.

Shield on an intersection in downtown Cuba Missouri:

Street with shield painted, stores in the background
Route 66 shield on a street in Cuba MO
Gigantic Rocking Chair
The world’s second largest rocking chair, Route 66 in Fanning, Missouri. Abe Ezekowitz

Leave town at 10:55 AM and drive to Fanning to visit the World's Second largest Rocking Chair. 11:05 AM (1h 45 min, 93.4 mi). Five minute photo stop. Head west, get onto I-44 and after passing St. James and Rolla get off at Exit 176 to see the 1926-1977 Route 66 and since 2003, a bypassed section of I-44.

Visit John's Modern Cabins built in 1942, and Vernelle's Motel. 11:30 AM (2 h 12 min, 122 mi.) 5 min. photo stop. Retrace your steps back to I44's Exit 176; head west again to Exit 169 and drive Hooker Cut a segment of the four-lane Route 66 built during World War II. Ahead is the old narrow Route 66 into Devil's Elbow (bridge, café and restaurant). 11:50 AM (2 h 27 min, 134 mi). Stop for 10 minutes.

Munger Moss Motel's classic neon sign on Route 66 in Lebanon MO

Munger Moss Motel's neon sign, Lebanon
Marcin Wichary

Stay on Old Route 66. 12:10 PM drive past Uranus Fudge Factory (nice for a photo- 2 h 34 min 137 mi.) and head into St. Robert at I-44 Exit 161 for Lunch. 12:20 PM.

Total distance covered: 140 miles, driving time 2h 38 min. Lunch stop, fill up gas tank 1 hour relaxing time.

Afternoon Drive from St. Robert to Joplin

Leave at 01:20 PM and take I-44 all the way to Lebanon, take Exit 130 into town. Map of this segment (Lebanon to Joplin)

See the great neon sign, old motel and US66 shield stencilled on the pavement at the Munger Moss Motel (01:50 PM - 3h 10min, 172 mi).

Drive through Lebanon, don't miss the 1935 Phillips Gas Station, leave town and return to I-44 at Exit 127 and drive west all the way to Springfield.

Leave the freeway at Exit 82A and drive south along US65 and MO-744 to visit a classic motel, the Rest Haven Motel with a great Neon Sign, then turn left to visit the Rail Haven Motel (2:55 PM - 225 mi.)

lit up colorful neon sign of Rest Haven Court Motel
Lit up neon sign at the Rest Haven Court Motel in Springfield MO. Gorup de Besanez
classic 1930s gas station

Gary's Gay Parita Sinclair Gas Station
Paris Springs MO,

Now drive through Springfield along historic Route 66 to see Gillioz Theatre, the Rockwood court and the historic Rock Fountain Court as you drive westwards.

Continue along MO-266 (Historic Rte 66) and stop 5 min. for photos in Paris Springs (3:40 PM - 250 mi.) at Gay Parita Sinclair station.

Head west along route 66 all the way to Carthage (4:25 PM - 286 mi.), in the downtown section is a classic stop, the 1939 Boots Court Motel

Boots Court Motel box-shaped building
Boots Court Motel on Route 66 in Carthage, Missouri
Tony Hisgett

Drive through Carthage to the (149 mi) Drive In Theatre (4:35 PM).

Stick to Historic US 66 and drive through Carterville and Webb City (in the latter visit it's historic district and gas stations).

As you enter Joplin along the Mother Road see the former 1928 gas station and later barber shop: Dales Ole 66 Barber

Head straight into town, which is the end of today's itinerary.

End of Day 2. 5:15 PM.

  • Total distance driven today: 301 miles
  • Total Driving Time: 5h 45 minutes.
Screen of the Drive In Theatre in Carthage Missouri

66 Drive-In Theatre, Route 66, Carthage

Dales Ole 66 Barber shop on US 66 in Joplin

Dales Ole 66 Barber, Joplin

>> Book your Hotel in Joplin

Day 3: Joplin to Clinton

> This is the Map from Joplin to Tulsa

Leave early 7:45 AM today is a long drive across KS and most of OK. Head west along Rote 66, take the "right" branch, enter Kansas and head into Galena: check out its Main Street sights. like the Cars on the Route 66 gasoline station of "Cars" movie fame.

Vintage gas station and pumps
Cars on the Route 66 in Galena KS Russel Street
US66 shields painted on roadway arched bridges behind them

US 66 shields on the pavement at the Rainbow Arch bridge, Riverton

gabled roof, cottage style service station

Independent Oil & Gas Service Station, Kevin

8:05 AM (8 mi.) head west into Riverton and visit the The oldest continuously operating store on Route 66, open since 1925 (11.5 mi.)

tiny cottage style vintage Hole-in-the-Wall Conoco gas Station

Hole in the Wall Conoco Station, Commerce. The White Pelican

8:12 AM (14 mi.) Historic Rainbow Bridge across Bush Creek built in 1923. Don't miss the shields painted on the road next to it.

Drive through the town of Baxter Springs (18 mi.) and stop at a historic place, the Independent Oil and Gas Station with its cottage style building.

8:30 AM, cross the state line into Oklahoma. Head south along Historic Route 66.

8:45 AM, reach Commerce OK, (30 mi.) with its Dairy King and the classic Conoco Hole in the Wall gas station.

Drive through Miami (34 mi.) and don't miss the historic Marathon Oil Service Station. Head south leaving the main highway to drive the historic Nine foot wide Ribbon Road. You will reach the later alignment at 9:20 AM (41 mi.).

A 70 foot concrete blue whale in a pond

Blue Whale in Catoosa, Carol Highsmith

Head south and enter I44 (Tool booth) at Exit 302 head west. Get off the Interstate at Exit 248 to drive by Verdigris crossing the Historic Bridge to finally reach Catoosa at 10:22 AM (2h 11 min drive - 108 mi.) to visit the Blue Whale

sculpture with US 66 shield encircled by steel arches

Route 66 Rising. KTUL

Now head west towards Tulsa: get on I44 at Exit 241 and leave it at Exit 236 to visit the Route 66 "Tulsa Rising" sculpture (117 mi.) and drive west down 11th St. (10:45 AM)

11th Street was the original Route 66 through Tulsa and it has plenty of sights (muffler man, neon signs, classic motels and more).

Once you reach downtown Tulsa turn right along S. Elgin Ave. to visit to iconic gas stations: the Vickery Phillips 66 Station and the Blue Dome Service Station.

Vickery Phillips 66 Service Station, Tulsa, Oklahoma

cottage style Vickery Phillips 66 Service Station
Vickery Phillips 66 Service Station, Tulsa.

Then you will cross the Arkansas River and visit the Cities Service Station #8 Historic gas station

This marks the end of the Tulsa segment. You have driven for 2h 40 min. and 126 miles since you left Joplin this morning. Considering your stops in Tulsa to take photos, it is now around 11:20 AM.

West from Tulsa

Now continue west driving past Route 66 Historical Village, Red Fork and Oakhurst along old US66 and into the town of Sapulpa stop at the historic Waite Phillips Filling Station and head west to cross the historic Bridge #18 at Rock Creek with red-brick paving (140 mi. - 3h 10 min drive) 11:48 AM.

Head west and drive Route 66's Original 1926 roadbed.

steel bridge with brick paving
Rock Creek Bridge in Sapulpa (notice the brick decking or paving).
cottage style Phillips 66 gas station

Phillips 66 Station, Chandler

As this short stretch ends, turn right and take the Turnpike (I-44) westwards at Exit 211. Drive all the way to Chandler, Exit 166 to visit its classic Phillips 66 Station (Historic Site).

You have driven 190 miles - 4 hours driving time from Joplin. It is now 12:40. Stop 1 hour for lunch, fill up with gasoline.

Afternoon Drive: Chandler to Clinton

round cylindric wooden barn

Round Barn at Arcadia

01:40 PM. Head west along Route 66 our of Chandler and stop at Warwick's Historic Seaba's filling staton (201 mi). Continue west on OK-66 to Arcadia and visit Historic Round Barn. (220 mi.) 2:10 PM, ten minute stop.

Enormous Milk Bottle atop a Grocery

The Milk Bottle Grocery in Oklahoma City

Just ahead is the Futuristic Pops 66 Station. Go west and get on I-35 at Exit 141 head south. Leave the freeway at Exit 130 head westwards into Oklahoma City along NE 23rd City. Pass by the state Capitol and several Route 66 sights on NW 23rd. On N Classen turn right to visit the The Milk Bottle Grocery 2:50 PM (241 miles.)

Return to I-44 at Exit 125A and go west on OK-66 at Exit 124 drive by Bethany and Yukon tp El Reno with its downtown sights: the Avant and the Jackson Conoco Service Stations plus the Route 66 Marker 3:35 PM.

Get onto I-40 at Exit 119 and drive west to visit Provine Service Station - Lucille's Place in Hydro. (6 h. 10 min driving time - 304 miles). 4:15 PM.

Back on the freeway at Exit 84, head west all the way to Clinton, enter town at Exit 69.

Find your hotel, have supper and relax. Your drive for today is over.

The town's route 66 Museum opens at 9 and closes 5 PM so you will not have a chance to see it. But you can take photos of its facade.

End of Day 3. 4:50 PM.

  • Total distance driven today: 326 miles
  • Total Driving Time: 6h 40 minutes.

>> Book your Hotel in Clinton

Day 4. Clinton to Albuquerque

Rise early and leave at 8:00 AM. Get onto I-40 W at Exit 65 and leave it to enter Canute (Exit 47), head into town to visit the rusting neon signs of two old motels:

old motel neon sign

Cotton Ball Motel Neon sign

8:22 AM. (21 mi.) the Cotton Ball and the Washita motel.

Return to the freeway and drive into Sayre (Exit 25). Visit its Historic Downtown District. 8:55 AM (46 mi.)

Now drive to Texola along I-40. 9:25 AM, visit its tiny Jail, Magnolia gas station and old diner.

Go back to the freeway and cross tht Texas - Oklahoma state line 9:35 AM. Drive to Shamrock leaving the Freeway.

09:50 AM, visit its classic Art Deco styled Conoco Tower Station. (85 mi.) time for a 10 min. coffee break. Don't miss the Magnolia gas station.

full view of the magnificent Art Deco style gas station
Art-Deco Conoco service station and diner in Shamrock, TX. Clinton Steeds

Then return to the freeway to reach McLean.

See the Phillips 66 Cottage style Gas station 10:25 AM (105 miles), get onto the freeway, drive past Groom famous for its 198 foot tall Giant Cross, and its Leaning water tower (137 mi. - 2h 20 min drive).

cottage style Phillips gas station with gabled roof and chimney
Historic Phillips 66 service station in McLea. David Spigolon
VW beetles buriedn nose down in the ground

Bug Ranch, Conway. Chuck Coker

Stay on the freeway all the way to Conway to see the Buggy Farm (151 mi) 11:05 AM. From here you will drive the 7 mile-long historic segment of Route 66 in Conway and then along I-40 into Amarillo

In Amarillo we will bypass the historic Sixth Street district (keep it in mind as an optional side-tour).

We will pass by the Big Texan with its neon sign and oversized bull 11:45 AM, (3 hours - 174 miles driven).

Keep westwards and stop at the Cadillac Ranch at 12:05 PM, ten minute stop. (188 miles).

Front view of the Cadillacs

front view of grafitti covered and buried cadillacs
The half-buried grafitti smeared Cadillacs in Cadillac Ranch Texas

Return to the freeway and drive all the way to Adrian and the midpoint sign, cafe. Stop for lunch (1 hour), fill tank. 12:52 PM (227 mi - 3 h 52 min drive).

Midpoint Cafe Neon sign

Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas
Peer Lawther

Closed cafe Glenrio

Art Moderne Café Glenrio historic district

Afternoon Drive: Adrian to Albuquerque

Bonus hour, you will cross the Time Zone and gain an hour on the TX-NM state line

Leave Adrian at 01:55 PM for your long afternoon drive and head along the freeway to the ghost town of Glenrio (249 mi.) 02:20 PM stop for photos (5 min.) along old Route 66 and return to the freeway.

Cross the state line into New Mexico and turn your watch back one hour (You leave the Central Time Zone and enter Mountain Time Zone so you left Texas at 2:30 PM and enter New Mexico at 01:30 PM - one hour less).

Drive past San Jon and leave the freeway at Exit 335 to enter Tucumcari 2:05 PM. Here there are plenty of old motels, neon signs, vintage gas stations to see, so spend some time in town sightseeing.

classic motel neon sign with a palomino horse head above it
Palomino Motel, Tucumcari. Ross Grif
vintage neon sign of the Blue Swallow with a 1960s car parked next to office
Book your room in the classic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico

2:45 PM Leave Tucumcari and drive west to Santa Rosa go down its main street stopping for photos on the way at the Club Cafe site and Route 66 Auto Museum. Leave 03:40 PM.

Take I-40 and pass through Clines Corner, Moriarty, Tijeras and enter Albuquerque at Exit 167 05:10PM. Stop along the way at the motels and classic sites along Central Avenue in eastern Albuquerque, and Nob Hill District.

Find a hotel, have dinner and fill your tank for tomorrow.

End of Day 4. 5:45 PM.

  • Total distance driven today: 466 miles
  • Total Driving Time: 7h 50 minutes.
Desert Sands Motel neon sign

Neon Sign of the Desert Sands Motel in Albuquerque

Zia Motel neon sign

Neon Sign of the Zia Motel, Albuquerque

>> Book your Hotel in Albuquerque

Day 5: Albuquerque to Winslow

ancient adobe Spanish colonial mission church

Laguna Mission Church

Leave at 8:00 AM Albuquerque head west along Central Ave. Visit the "Old City" square, and the motels along the Avenue west of the Rio Grande.

Then take I-44 at Exit 149. Leave the freeway at Exit 126 to drive an "original" section of Route 66.

8:45 AM, (33 mi.) crossroads with old gas station in Suwanee, drive past Mesita and see the Owl Rock and drive the Dead Man's Curve, into Laguna.

classic 50s neon sign Sands Motel

Sands Motel Neon sign

9:15 AM. Stop to visit the old Mission church built in 1669, (48 mi.) and get on I-40 (Exit 114).

9:40 AM. At Exit 100 head into San Fidel Visit the Historic Acoma Curio Shop and the Ruins of the Whiting Bros. Gas Station (64 mi. 1h 10 min drive)

Get back on the freeway and head towards Grants (notice the lava flows on both sides of the freeway, only 3,000 years old).

9:55 AM drive into Grants (78 mi.), take a peek at the Sands Motel. Take a coffee break.

Drive to Gallup and enter the town along Route 66 from Exit 22 at 11:10 AM (140 mi.) take photos of some classics (El Rancho Hotel) and head west.

At Exit 8 head onto old US 66 now NM 118, cross the state line into Arizona and stop by the cliffs at Lupton, Arizona 12:15 PM (2h 56 drive - 163 mi.).

Fill tank and have a quick (30 min.) lunch. Depart from Lupton at 12:45 PM

dead end sign and Historic Route 66 sign surrounded by yellow flowers
Dead End Sign on Route 66, Continental Divide. A. Whittall

Head west on the freeway and at Exit 311 access the Petrified Forest National Park 1:25 PM (210 mi. - 3h 36 drive).

Dedicate 2 hours to visit the park, walk some trails, see the historic Painted Desert Inn, the rusty car marking the old Route 66 alignment and of course the magic scenery!.

petrified tree trunk lying on the desert sand
Petrified tree trunks, Petrified Forest Nat. Park, Arizona. A. Whittall
cone shaped hills with multicolor stripes of sediments in the desert
The Teepees formation in Petrified Forest National Park, Route 66 Holbrook AZ

Drive through the park (there is an entrance fee), stopping at the trails to see the petrified wood and turnks.

Leave it through its southern gate on US 180 and head west towards Holbrook, which is 20 minutes away.

Drive into Holbrook, 03:45 PM (257 miles - 4 h 45 min driving time). Visit the main sights in town along Route 66: Historic Wigwam Motel, Rainbow Rock Shop with its dinosaur statues and Joe & Aggie's Cafe.

Historic Wigwam Motel: you could sleep in a teepee (wigwam) shaped room!

wigwam shaped motel rooms
Historic Wigwam Motel with its teepee shaped rooms in Holbrook, AZ.

Leave town heading west to visit the Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City. (277 mi - 5h 14min drive) 4:10 PM 5 min stop.

Drive into Winslow and spend the night there.

Book your Route 66 hotel in Chicago now advert

End of Day 5. 4:55 PM.

  • Total distance driven today: 311 miles
  • Total Driving Time: 5h 55 minutes.

Don't forget to check out Winslow's classic attractions and of course its famous corner:

standing on a corner statue, sign and mural
The "Standing on a Corner" mural and statue, in Winslow, Ariazona. A. Whittall

Day 6 Winslow to Needles

gigantic meteor crater seen from the air

Barringer meteor impact crater, seen from the air

Leave Winslow at 7:45 AM and head west along I-40. After 15 min and 17 miles (8:00AM) at Exit 239 is what once was Meteor City, a trading post in ruins. Stop for photos. Head west again.

Side Trip

Just ahead at Exit 233 you can take a side trip to visit the meteor crater at Barringer, 6 miles south of the freeway. You have to pay an admission fee and the operators of this private natural landmark suggest that you take at least 2 hours to visit it.

Two giant arrows stuck in the ground side by side

Twin Arrows, Route 66, Arizona

It's diameter is 0.74 miles (1.186 m) and it is 560 feet (170 m) deep.

If choose to do this side trip, add 2 hours to the itinerary detailed below.

Head west again to visit Twin Arrows (at Exit 219, 39 min. 36 miles). Take some photos, leave 8:35 AM.

Drive to Flagstaff 9:05 AM (61 mi.) and see some classic motels along Route 66, stop at the Route 66 Visitor Center at the Railway Depot too. Notice the change in the scenery (pine trees and mountains have replaced the desert).

Grand Canyon

From Flagstaff you can visit the Grand Canyon. But bear in mind that it is a full day excursion. If you have the time, we highly recommend it. The Grand Canyon is unique in many ways. You can drive there from Flagstaff along US180 Spend the whole day there and drive back via US180 and AZ-64 to Williams, and spend the night there.

View of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, Arizona

juniper pines frame the view of the sheer red walls of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River deep below
Juniper pine trees, the Grand Canyon and deep below, the Colorado River, Arizona.

9:30 AM, leave Flagstaff and head west onto the freeway. At Exit 178 leave I-40 and head right, into Parks and visit the Parks General Store, over 100 years old (79 mi), 10 AM depart and drive down the old Route 66 into Williams but stop on the way at the two floor log cabin: Wagon Wheel Lodge (85 mi.) 10:10 AM.

The Arizona 9 Motel,Williams AZ

Neon Sign of the Arizona 9 Motel, Williams
A. Whittall

Route 66: Parks, Arizona Parks General Store

General Store, Deli Cafe - Parks in the Pines. Parks AZ
A. Whittall

10:30 AM. After 2h driving time - 94 miles, you will reach downtown Williams. Spend at least 45 minutes in town, drive along the two streets that mark Route 66's alignment through the town and have a cup of coffee to take in the scenery.

Leave at 11:15 AM.

Take the freeway westwards at Exit 161 and leave it at Exit 123 to begin driving the Historic Route 66 segment in Arizona.

Seligman is just ahead (2 h 42 min. 137 miles). Arrival at 12:15 PM. Stop for lunch, and stroll its Main Street. Leave at 01:15 PM.

1950s patrol car on US 66
1950s police patrol on Route 66 in Seligman
neon sign of El Trovatore motel

El Trovatore Motel, Kingman

Now you will drive a very long stretch of the original Route 66 all the way into Kingman.

Suggested stops along this part of the Mother Road:

3:15 PM enter Kingman (220 miles and 4 h driving time). Head into town along Andy Devine (Route 66) and stop for photos on the way. Dedicate 10 minutes to the Powerhouse Visitor Center (224 mi) on the south side of town.

classic sign of the Frontier Motel and Cafe in Truxton, Route 66, Arizona
Sign of the Frontier Motel and Café in, Truxton, Arizona
collection of antiques and route 66 stuff at the General Store
Route 66 memorabilia and stuff line the General Store in Hackberry, AZ.

Final Segment of the Day, across Sitgreaves Pass

Leave town along Route 66 westwards and follow AZ-10 towards Oatman. This is the Historic Route 66 National Back Country Byway. See the sign of the road as you turn left onto AZ-10.

3:50 PM. At Cool Springs a great vintage gas station (244 mi).

Drive up and across Sitgreaves pass (3,595 ft - 1.096 m) stop for some good photos (248 mi, 4 h 47 min. drive), 4:05 PM, and drive down into Oatman.

4:25 PM, you reach Oatman, a gold rush mining town on the Black Mountains. (252 mi.) Stop for 20 minutes to enjoy the sights.

wild female donkey and its foal walking free along main street in Oatman
Wild donkeys or "Burros" roaming free on Main St. in Oatman, Arizona.

Now head straight south along old US66 all the way to Topock there you get on the interstate (I-40), cross the Colorado River and enter California.

Classic Route 66 Motel sign in Needles, Route 66, California

Route 66 Motel sign in Needles, California,

To your left is the first bridge that carried Route 66 across the river, now it carries a natural gas pipeline.

Bonus Hour! Crossing Time Zone

As you cross the river you shave off one hour from your itinerary! (if it is 5:30 in Topock, it is 4:30 on the other side of the Colorado River)

Drive into Needles. Stopover for the night.

>> Book your Hotel in Needles

End of Day 6. 4:40 PM.

  • Total distance driven today: 291 miles
  • Total Driving Time: 5h 51 minutes.

Day 7: Needles to Santa Monica

Last day of your Road Trip!

Leave Needles at 8:00 AM and head west along the freeway (I-40) to exit 78 and head south to visit the Road Runner's Retreat at Chambless (1h 13 min - 79 miles) 9:15 AM.

rusting neon sign in the desert

Road Runner Restaurant, Chambless. Ben Churchill

Bagdad Cafe, Newberry Springs, California

Bagdad Cafe, Newberry Springs, California
Vicente Villamón

Turn around and drive along Route 66 into Amboy (89 mi.) 9:35 AM Stop for photos at the googie styled Café and motel.

Drive out of town and don't miss the Volcano to your left. Keep on Route 66 all the way to Ludlow and stop for coffee at Ludlow Cafe (117 mi. - 2 h drive time).

Leave at 10:20 AM return to I-40, but leave it at Exit 33 to stop at Bagdad Cafe near Newberry Springs (150 mi.) 10:50 AM.

neon sign of Roy’s Cafe Motel in Amboy
Roy's Cafe Motel, US 66, Amboy California,

Take I-40 into Barstow (178 mi.) 11:20 AM. Drive through town stopping for pics. at the motels along National Trails Hwy. (original Route 66) and head soth along it to visit Elmer's Bottle Ranch in Helenale (203 mi.) 12 PM midday.

Stop for 20 minutes and drive into Victorville for a one hour lunch stop.12:45 PM.

bottles arranged as trees on steel structures
Elmer's bottle ranch on US66, Helendale, California,

Afternoon Drive: to the Ocean

Leave Victroville at 1:45 PM (215 mi.) and hit the freeway all the way to San Bernardino, you will cross the San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass.

Stop at San Bernardino's First Ever McDonalds site, now a museum (215 mi.) 2:30 PM, ten min. stop for photos.

Drive in to Rialto (259 mi.) 2:50 PM to see the #7 Wigwam Motel.

Take the freeway (CA-210) to visit a classic gas station in Rancho Cucamonga (Exit 58) 3:15 PM, the Cucamonga Richfield station, built in 1915.

Return to CA-210 and drive all the way to Monrovia 3:55 PM (304 mi.) and visit the Aztec Hotel with its richly decorated facade.

1915 Cucamonga gas station

1915 Cucamonga Service Station
courtesy of TripAdvisor

the Aztec Motel with its native bas-relief carvings

Facade of the Aztec Hotel, Monrovia.

Drive into Los Angeles along the expressways and finally take I-10 westwards. Leave it at Exit 1B. Here next to Mel's Drive In (with a nice neon sign) is the real and official End of Route 66 see the Sign there (337mi. . 6h 24 min drive time) 4:44 PM.

Below is a photo of Mel's Drive In and the "official" End of the Road sign on Lincoln and Olympic Blvds.

neon sign at Mels Drive In and end of US66 sign in Sta Monica Ca
Mel's Drive In "penguin" neon sign and End of US 66 sign Santa Monica, CA

Continue the last mile of your journey to the "popular" End of the Trail Sign on Santa Monica Pier.

Your journey ends here.

End of Day 7. 5 PM.

  • Total distance driven today: 338 miles
  • Total Driving Time: 6h 35 minutes.

Enjoy the sunset on the Pacific Ocean. Stroll, relax, you've made it!! You have driven Route 66 all the way from Chicago!.

The "End of the Trail" sign on Santa Monica Pier

The end of the trail sign of Route 66 on the pier in Santa Monica
"End of the Trail" sign in Santa Monica, CA

Comments on our 1 week US66 itinerary

To do the whole of Route 66 in only one week you will have to drive long sections along the Interstate. So you won't actually drive along most of Route 66's original lanes.

You will be driving many segments of US 66, and a long one in Arizona (Seligman to Topock), and also in Texas, Oklahoma, California, Missouri and Illinois. Of course drive through many towns along their Main Streets, which were, in the past, part of Route 66's alignment.

It will be quite trying, because you will be driving long hours. Your days will start at 8 AM and end at 5 PM.

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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat

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