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Route 66 itinerary for 19 days (15 DAYS ON motorcycle)

Recommended itinerary for Route 66 roadtrip by Route 66 Navigation for 19 days.


Recommendations by JIM HINCKLEY

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DAY 1arrival by plane

DAY 2visit Chicago, pick up of motorcycles
Discover the wonders of Route 66 with the Dave Clark, the Windy City Warrior

DAY 3Chicago – Springfield (326 km)
And what trip could be considered complete without a stop at the historic White Fence Farms in Romeoville, Illinois, a living time capsule from the glory days of Route 66?  Recommended lunch stop, Wild Hare Cafe in Elkhart, Illinois, don’t forget to try the pie with ginger snap rabbit. And for unique lodging, may I suggest the Lincoln Lofts in Lincoln rather than an evening in Springfield

DAY 4Springfield – St. Loius (164 km)
The Ariston Cafe in Litchfield is a must stop. I can highly recommend the shepherd’s pie. Looking for something truly different? Try the Moonrise Hotel in the Delmar Loop district of St. Louis and then follow an early alignment of Route 66 through Forest Park. I also recommend the Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis on Route 66

DAY 5St. Loius – Joplin (457 km)
End your day with a bit of time travel at the Boots Court in Carthage near Joplin. Lunch stops are plentiful on this days run; the FourWay in Cuba, highly recommended, the historic Lewis Cafe in St. Clair that dates to 1938, and Elm Street Eatery in Lebanon

DAY 6Joplin – Oklahoma City (367 km)
My lodging recommendation in Oklahoma City is the historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel. As far as dining and lunch stops may I recommend; Clanton’s Cafe in Vinita, one family owned since 1927 or the Boomerang Diner in Chandler?

DAY 7Oklahoma City – Amarillo (418 km)
Looking for historic lodging with all of the modern amenities in Amarillo? Try Courtyard by Marriott on Polk Street. Lunch options are plentiful. My recommendations include Lucille’s Roadhouse in Weatherford, Oklahoma, Big Earl’s Steakhouse in Shamrock, Texas, Red River Steakhouse in McLean, Texas and the Golden Light Cafe & Cantina, an Amarillo favorite since 1946

DAY 8Amarillo – Santa Fe (460 km)
For lodging in Santa Fe my money is on the El Rey, an urban oasis that dates to the 1930s. There are so many things to do and see, and so many great places to eat. The Midpoint Cafe in Adrian is a must stop. There are two options to get to Santa Fe but my recommendation is scenic highway 104 from Tucumcari, with a lunch at the 1882 Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico

DAY 9Santa Fe – Gallup (321 km)
A stop in historic Old Town Albuquerque is highly recommended. Nearby on Rio Grande Boulevard is Monica’s El Portal, an excellent place to sample authentic New Mexico cuisine. The mining museum in Grants is well worth a stop as is Earl’s Restaurant in Gallup, a Route 66 tradition since 1948. My lodging choice is the El Rancho, once a resort for the movie stars as well as the rich and famous. They also have a great restaurant with many regional specialties including atole for breakfast, a Native American dish

DAY 10 Gallup – Grand Canyon (451 km)
Make the loop through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, and enjoy a great lunch at Romo’s or Joe & Aggie’s in Holbrook. If the schedule allows check out the museum and jail in the Navajo County Courthouse. Make a pit stop at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post near Joseph City, Arizona, and stand on the corner in Winslow. For an overnight stay I prefer Williams as there are an array of lodging options and some great restaurants such as Pine Country, my favorite. As a bonus, most everything is within easy walking distance

DAY 11Grand Canyon – Williams (95 km)
Try the Pine Country restaurant for breakfast in Williams, cruise the empty streets of Ash Fork, and be sure that you stop in Seligman. Check out Grand Canyon Caverns, a Route 66 tradition since 1927. They offer a great lunch option served above or below ground, and excellent pie. Antares Point, home of Giganticus Headicus is another recommended stop

DAY 12Williams – Las Vegas via Kingman (380 km)
Check out Hoover Dam, make the short detour to the old mining town of Chloride, and in Kingman, stop by Dunton Motors Dream Machines next to Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner. Other attraction of note include the Powerhouse Visitor Center with the worlds only electric vehicle museum. For lodging I suggest the Quality Inn that opened in 1964 as the Ramada Inn. And for dining, a hidden gem is Oysters that offers surprisingly good seafood and authentic Mexican dishes

DAY 13Las Vegas – Kingman (166 km)

DAY 14Kingman – Victorville (420 km)
Lots of photo opportunities between Kingman and Needles; Cool Springs, Sitgreaves Pass and Oatman. In Needles I can suggest Valenzuela’s Cafe, one family owned since 1952. Make a stop in Goffs at the schoolhouse museum and in Amboy. Recommended stops include the Mother Road Route 66 Museum in Barstow and the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville. I have two dining choices in Barstow to recommend; Black Bear Diner or Jenny’s Mexican Grill

DAY 15Victorville – Los Angeles (195 km)
My lodging choice is the 1956 Saga Motor Hotel on Colorado Boulevard (Route 66) in Pasadena. There are some great restaurants within blocks of the hotel. Cameron’s dates to the 1940’s. There is an authentic Persian cafe two blocks west and Lucky Baldwin’s offers an array of beers and authentic Irish pub foods

DAY 16 trip to Santa Barbara, returning of motorcycles

DAY 17trip to Los Angeles

DAY 18swimming the ocean in Santa Monica

DAY 19 flying home

Thanks for descriptions to JIM HINCKLEY. Hinckley is the author of numerous books including The Route 66 Encyclopedia, and is the creator of Jim Hinckley’s America as well as a tourism development consultant

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