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Driving Route 66 Today: Is It Worth It?

Driving Route 66 Today: Is It Worth It?

Discussion about road trips, and especially about the ultimate road trip, could go on for days on end with no resolution. Opinions are many and usually loudly expressed, to no avail. So once you drop your car off with Purple Parking and head to the US for that road trip experience, where should you be heading this year?

If you’re thinking about that ultimate US road trip, one suggestion that inevitably comes up is Route 66, the famed road of old that connects (as the song famously reminds us) Chicago to L.A.

People have very strong opinions on both sides of this issue, so let’s try to take a balanced and objective look at it and weigh the pros and cons:

Pros:

-It is in fact still a big nostalgia trip, and you will see lots of bits and pieces of Americana and historical sites on the route.

-There are some unique and interesting restaurants on the way.

-Some of the scenery to be seen on Route 66 is truly amazing and you will never see it anywhere else.

-You will have bragging rights all over the world. It’s like a badge.

Cons:

-You will see lots of ruin and neglect. When the US abandons something they abandon it with reckless abandon.

-Corollary to this, parts of the road are in a pretty miserable state. Depending on your character, this may or may not be considered part of the adventure.

-There are large parts of this route where there is not a single service station open. Try to keep your fuel topped up. The good thing is that American gas is dirt cheap.

-Many parts of the road don’t even exist anymore, and other parts are blocked off due to the road being too damaged, so there are constant detours.

Conclusion:

If you examine all the evidence above, like we have, you will almost certainly come to the same obvious conclusion.

Route 66 is a good plan, but only for people who can understand and get it in their minds beforehand that this is not the year 1945 anymore, and things have changed. Ironically, people looking to live a Kerouac novel are probably going to have to go somewhere else than the USA for their fix.

But if you can get past the fact that it’s not like the way they describe it in songs and books anymore, and has transformed into something else perhaps equally worthy of the road trip enthusiast’s interest, this may just be the trip for you!

2 Comments on this Post

  1. Actually, 85% of Route 66 is still driveable. There are MANY websites, FB pages, guide books, and even apps to help you get along down the road. There are still MANY places to eat, sleep, shop, see, visit and even relive some of the history the route has to offer. It should take you no less than 2 full weeks as there is that much to see and the more you stay on the highway system and off the route, the more you miss.
    There are tens of thousands of people who drive the route each and every year and we expect that number to increase.
    It will be an Americana Trip of a Lifetime you will never forget.

  2. Rasheed Hooda

    Nice article. When was the last time, if ever, fid YOU travel the Route 66?

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