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10 Notable Stops on the Historic Route 66

by Nicosia
fact checked by dickensgirl

Route 66 was once the Main Street of America. It was officially decommissioned on June 27, 1985, but continues to draw a certain sort of traveler. If you like friendly people, small towns, and history, Route 66 has a lot to offer. Here are some of the more interesting places on the Mother Road. Be sure to tell us about your own experiences on Route 66 in the comments.


Gemini Giant
Wilmington, Illinios


Standing guard over the Launching Pad Drive-in is a 20-foot tall green space man holding a rocket!


Dixie Truckers Home
McClean, Illinios


The Dixie is the oldest recognized truck stop on Route 66. In nearly 70 years, it has only been closed one day (due to a fire) and continues to offer motorists food and fuel, as well as a small Route 66 museum.


Chain of Rocks Bridge
St. Louis, Missouri


The Chain of Rocks bridge once carried Route 66 over the mighty Mississippi. The bridge had a unique 24-degree bend in the middle, which was necessary for boats navigating the river. Eventually, I-270 bypassed the bridge and it sat in disrepair for years, until it was turned into a pedestrian and bike path. Just downstream are two beautiful water intake towers that look like tiny castles.


Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard
St. Louis, Missouri


If I could have only one dessert for the rest of my life, it would be Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard. It is AMAZING!


Meramec Caverns
Stanton, Missouri


Legendary outlaw Jesse James hid out from the sheriff in this cave system. Later, the cave was turned into a tourist attraction and the bumper sticker was invented here!


The Blue Whale
Catoosa, Oklahoma

66Ok-Catoosa-Blue Whale 6

The Blue Whale was built by Hugh Davis as an anniversary gift for his wife. It was intended just for family use, but quickly became a popular swimming pond for tourists and locals.


Cadillac Ranch
Amarillo, Texas


Eccentric millionaire Stanley Marsh III commissioned this huge art piece. Ten Cadillacs are buried at an angle in the sand. The cars have been decorated by visitors with many layers of spray paint graffiti.


Blue Swallow Motel
Tucumcari, New Mexico


Believed to be the oldest continually operating motel on the Route, it is easily recognizable by it’s distinctive and beautiful neon sign.


Sitgreaves Pass
(between Kingman and Oatman) Arizona

03B Sitgreaves

Route 66 winds precariously through the Black Mountains on the way to Oatman. In nine miles, the road climbs 1400 feet and although it is dangerous with it’s many hairpin turns, the views are spectacular.


Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, California


The famous Santa Monica Pier is just beyond the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, the official end of Route 66. As of this writing, the Ferris wheel had been sold on Ebay and is being packed up and sent to Oklahoma City!

fact checked by dickensgirl