There are few things more iconic than Route 66 when it comes to automobile lovers. When you think of classic cars, the mind usually wanders over to the US and the route made famous in song, film and TV.
There is a mystic quality to it that harkens back to the glory days of big cars, cheap petrol and the freedom to travel great distances. Though you’re more likely to be driving an electric car and using a Tesla road trip planner.
It has become a major tourist attraction for tourists from all over the world. But, is it actually worth it to plan a roadtrip to the US?
In this article, we will go over the reality of cruising Route 66 for a unique vacation. Both the good and bad of it.
Pro: It is like traveling back in time
Depending on where you find yourself on the road, it can seem like time has stood still. From the small roadside diners to the tacky motel with flashing neon lights, it evokes the spirit of the post WW2 era in America.
There are places that seem rooted even further in the past, as well. For instance, Seligman Arizona is straight out of a Western movie complete with saloon and itching posts.
Con: It can look fairly run down
There’s retro where you feel like you stepped back in time and then there is dilapidated where things have seen better days. One is remarkable and the other can be downright depressing.
You will drive past many petrol stations that have been closed for decades and are overgrown with weeds and rust. There will be trailer parks with mobile homes that are very poor and not at all charming or quaint. After all, the road is not a Disney set. It is real and the effects of this road being bypassed by the high speed interstate are on full display.
Pro: The natural beauty is breathtaking
There are many national parks and points of natural beauty that are one of a kind and not something you see everyday. The Grand Canyon is something that should be visited at least once in your lifetime. It is surreal to the point that it doesn’t even look real.
Along the way you will also pass by the petrified forest that is worth stopping for a walkabout for a while to appreciate the landscape. And then there are the Meramec caverns in Missouri that are awe inspiring with the formations underground.
Con: The sites are spread out
You have to remember that the route is very long. Almost 2,500 miles. Those Meramec caverns are a couple of days’ drive away from the Grand Canyon. For long stretches, there is simply nothing of interest to see. You may get lucky and stumble into a roadside diner that offers some interesting people-watching, but you are just as likely to drive for hours and settle for a premade sandwich from a convenience store.
See Also — What to Take on a Cross-Country Road Trip