Ultimate Route 66 Road Trip - Chicago to LA | Avis Rent a Car

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Where does Route 66 start and end?

Route 66 begins in Chicago and ends in Santa Monica, California with historic signs marking the official start and end points. The journey between the two points covers 2,448 miles and passes through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

How long does it take to drive Route 66?

It takes about 2 to 4 weeks to drive Route 66 from start to finish. Travel time varies for several reasons:

  • The many roadside attractions along the route each take an hour or more to fully enjoy.

  • The route runs through both big cities (with lots of traffic) and rural areas (where speed limits are lower).

To complete the trip in two weeks, drive about 175 miles per day. For a more leisurely month-long trip, keep a pace of about 80 miles per day.

(5) MERAMEC CAVERNS

1135 Highway W, Sullivan, MO 63080

Take a guided tour through these spacious and spectacular caverns, carved into natural limestone deposits by erosion over millions of years. Legend says Jesse James once used them as a hideout.

(11) BLUE WHALE OF CATOOSA

2600 Route 66, Catoosa, OK 74015

Once a husband’s anniversary gift to his wife, Blue Whale of Route 66 is a quirky roadside attraction that is now one of the most iconic stops on Route 66.

(18) CADILLAC RANCH

13651 I-40 Frontage Road, Amarillo, TX 97124

You’ve never seen Cadillacs showcased quite like this! Check out the quirky public art display of graffiti-covered vintage Cadillacs coming out of the Texas desert.

(23) Painted Desert

1 Park Road, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 86028

Check out the other-worldly atmosphere of the Petrified Forest National Park, where you can hike through the backcountry, camp, ride horses, and do so much more. Dogs and other pets are welcome!

(24) WIGWAM MOTEL

811 W Hopi, Holbrook, AZ 86025

Spend the night in a motel room shaped like a Native American teepee. Though the amenities are sparse, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and enjoy a piece of history.

(25) STANDIN’ ON A CORNER PARK

Corner of Kinsley Avenue and E 2nd Street, Winslow, AZ 86047

Borrowing inspiration from the popular 1970s song “Take it Easy,” this roadside attraction and photo op is a great stop for any Eagles fans traveling Route 66.

(26) METEOR CRATER NATURAL LANDMARK

Interstate 40, Winslow, AZ 67047

You’ll be mesmerized by this rare, up-close-and-personal look at a meteorite impact crater that struck Earth about 50,000 years ago. Check out the visitor center to learn more!

(29) CALICO GHOST TOWN

36600 Ghost Town Road, Yermo, CA 92398

Established in 1881, this Route 66 ghost town was once an Old West mining town. At its peak, Calico produced more than $20 million in silver in just 12 years.

(31) ELMER’S BOTTLE TREE RANCH

24266 National Trails Highway, Oro Grande, CA 92368

Admire tree-shaped sculptures made from glass bottles and other vintage objects at this funky Route 66 pitstop. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

(34) SANTA MONICA PIER & END OF THE TRAIL

330 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

The end of Route 66 features glorious sand, surf, and sun! Go for a ride on the Ferris wheel, swim, and return your car rental in LA.