Looking to get your kicks on Route 66? Why not hop on your bike and go? Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than this. You do have to plan ahead, as this is a long journey that requires a lot of research before setting out. There are lots of itineraries you can choose from, but we’ll go over one option with you here.
This trip is a bit on the long side, at 15 days, but if you can spare the time, it’s worth the trek on the nation’s iconic highway. Just for a little background, Route 66, AKA the Will Rogers Highway and Main Street of America, was one of the original highways in the U.S., established in 1926. It snaked from Chicago through several states such as Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, ending at Santa Monica California. Spanning nearly 2,500 miles, this historic byway was revered in TV shows and songs of its day. It represented forward progress through the West and was an important mainstay of America life, culture and business. It no longer exists in its original form, having been removed in 1985. However, portions can still be enjoyed and visited.
Through eight states and countless historic stops, you can enjoy the splendor that was once the iconic Route 66 as you travel into the Ozark Mountains, across the Great Plains and into the bustle of Los Angeles. For this itinerary, you start off in Chicago, IL. Enlist the help of a company you trust to for motorcycle shipments to get your bike here if need be. Set out through the old coal mining and truck stop towns of McLean and the Pontiac Trail through the Springfield, the capital of Illinois.
Keep going on your way to St. Louis, Missouri, checking out Our Lady of the Highway Statue, the Meramec Caverns and the panoramic views of the Mighty Mississippi River. Stop off at the Gateway to the West, being sure to stop off for some live music and barbecue. Riding through the Ozark Peaks will afford you exceptional views of steep tree-filled hillsides until you hit Tulsa, Oklahoma — home to countless miles of old highway you’ll enjoy traversing.
Continue up to Clinton and Amarillo, witnessing the spectacle that is the Panhandle of the United States. From sweeping plains to buffalo, this is the dubbed the “real Texas.” Get an authentic steak dinner here for a real taste of the region. Next up is Santa Fe, New Mexico. Be sure to stop off in Glen Rio, where you can pose with one foot each in New Mexico and Texas. Santa Fe, as one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the country, has a historic town square that will have you swearing you’re back in the old west.
Next up is a ride through the Petrified Forest in Arizona, then a stop at the Grand Canyon in Flagstaff for a glimpse of this Natural Wonder of the World. Ride through the San Gabriel Mountains in California, ending your trip at the scenic Santa Monica Pier. This itinerary makes for an unforgettable trip along the iconic Route 66!