Route 66 16 Day Road Trip Itinerary

Ever dreamed of hitting the open road and doing an all American road trip?  How about a trip down historic Route 66?!  Stretching 2448 miles across America, starting in Chicago, Illinois and finishing up in LA, California, taking in a total of 8 States.  This is my tried and tested 16 day Route 66 Road Trip Itinerary with side trips to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas (so essentially stepping foot in 9 States!).  I include: the daily miles covered, travel time (with stops), must see roadside attractions, where to stay and where to eat!

Day 1

Arrive in Chicago

Where to stay: Comfort Suites O’Hare Airport

Day 2


Spend a day exploring the city where the route begins!

Highlights include:

  • seeing the Route 66 BEGIN sign
  • SkyDeck @ Willis Tower
  • Millennium Park
  • Navy Pier!


Day 3

Chicago, IL – St Louis, MO

328 miles (12 hours)

In all honestly, this day was tough going, for the first day on the road, it was definitely a long one!

Highlights include:

  • Gemini Giant – Wilmington IL
  • 1932 Standard Station – Odell IL
  • Chain of Rocks Bridge – IL
  • Gateway Arch – St Louis, MO

Where to eat: Cozy Dog Drive In, Springfield IL (Lunch – The home of the Corn Dog!)

Where to stay: Hampton Inn St Louis – At The Arch

Chain of Rocks Bridge Route 66

Day 4

St Louis, MO – Carthage, MO

291 miles (8hrs 30)

Highlights include:

  • World’s Largest Rocking Chair – Fanning Outpost MO
  • Route 66 Drive In – Carthage, MO

Where to eat: Country Cafe, St Robert MO (Lunch)

Where to stay: Econo Lodge Carthage

Day 5

Carthage, MO – Clinton, OK

349 miles (11 hours)

Highlights include:

  • Cars on the Route (formerly ‘4 Women on the Route) – Galena KS
  • Blue Whale – Catoosa, OK

Where to eat: Pops, Arcadia OK (Lunch – there are 400 different kinds of soda on offer and a giant 66ft tall soda bottle stands in the car park!)

Where to stay: Super 8 Clinton

Day 6

Clinton, OK – Amarillo, TX

187 miles (7 hours)

Highlights include:

  • Route 66 Museum – Clinton OK
  • Tower Conoco – Shamrock TX
  • 8 mile dirt option – McLean TX
  • Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo TX

Where to eat: Big Texan Steak House, Amarillo TX (Dinner – home of the 72oz steak challenge!)

Where to stay: The Big Texan Motel

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo Texas Route 66

Day 7

Amarillo, TX – Albuquerque, NM

297 miles (6hrs 30)

Highlights include:

  • Route 66 Auto Museum – Santa Rosa NM
  • Sandia Peak Tramway – Albuquerque, NM

Where to eat: The Midpoint Cafe, Adrian TX (Breakfast – half way between Chicago and LA!)

Where to stay: Sandia Peak Inn

Day 8

Albuquerque, NM – Holbrook, AZ

306 miles (10 hours)

Highlights include:

  • Sky City – Acoma NM
  • Painted Desert & Petrified Forest National Park –  near Holbrook AZ

Where to eat: Joe and Aggies Cafe, Holbrook AZ (Dinner)

Where to stay: Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel Holbrook AZ Route 66

Day 9

Holbrook, AZ – Grand Canyon, AZ

199 miles (7hrs 15)

Highlights include:

  • Jack Rabbit Trading Post – Joseph City AZ
  • Meteor Crater – Meteor City AZ

Where to eat: Joe and Aggies Cafe, Holbrook AZ (Breakfast)

Where to stay: Yavapai Lodge

Day 10

Grand Canyon

Highlights include:

  • Bright Angel Trail Head
  • Yavapai Point

Day 11

Grand Canyon, AZ – Las Vegas, NV

292 miles (7hrs 50)

Highlights include:

  • Seligan AZ
  • Hackberry General Stores – Hackberry AZ (featured image)
  • Stratosphere Tower – Las Vegas NV
  • Fremont Street Experience – Las Vegas NV

Where to eat: Harley Davidson Cafe, Las Vegas NV (Dinner – they have the largest USA flag made out of chainlink!)

Where to stay: Stratosphere Hotel & Casino

Fremont Street Las Vegas


Day 12

Las Vegas

Highlights include: Hotel hopping!

  • Gondola Ride at the Venetian
  • Rollercoaster at New York New York
  • The Fountains of Bellagio.

If you don’t like gambling, here are some ideas for you! 5 Alternative Things to do in Las Vegas

Things to do in Las Vegas
The Fountains of Bellagio, Insanity at the Stratosphere Tower, The Canal in The Venetian

Day 13

Las Vegas, NV – Barstow, CA

338 miles (9hrs 15)

Highlights include:

  • ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign – Las Vegas NV
  • Oatman Highway AZ
  • Burros (Donkeys) in Oatman AZ

Where to eat: Bun Boy, Barstow CA (Dinner)

Where to stay: Route 66 Motel

Wild Burros in Oatman Arizona Route 66

Day 14

Barstow, CA – Los Angeles, CA

166 miles (6 hours)

Highlights include:

  • Bottle Tree Ranch – Helendale CA
  • Route 66 End sign – Los Angeles CA

Where to eat: Bubba Gumps Shrimp Restaurant, Los Angeles CA

Where to stay: Best Western Plus Gateway Hotel

Bottle Tree Ranch Helendale California Route 66

Day 15

Los Angeles

Highlights include:

  • Hiking to the Hollywood Sign
  • Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
  • Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier

Behind the Hollywood Sign

Day 16


Because of the side trips to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, the entire road trip was a total of 2864 miles!  If these 2 stops were cut out, the route could easily be driven in 2 weeks if you’re willing to compromise on certain attractions!  Some people say that you shouldn’t rush the route and if you don’t have the time to do the whole route at a leisurely pace, then you should cut it up into chunks.  Part of the fun though is completing the WHOLE route in one go!  It’d be like running a marathon and giving up half way and doing the 2nd half at another time!  I wouldn’t change our trip for anything.  If you have any questions or want to share your favourite parts of the route, feel free to leave a message in the comments!

Extra Resources

Looking at booking your accommodation in advance? covers the whole route!

Route 66: EZ66 GUIDE For Travelers is a ridiculously helpful guide book that gives turn by turn directions, must see attractions and information about the history of the route.  You can read my full review of the guide book HERE

Need a soundtrack to your road trip? I recommend the American Anthems 3 Disc compilation album!  There’s enough songs to last for several hours without hearing the same ones on repeat!

Kylie Signature

Route 66 Road Trip Itinerary


Disclosure: Please note some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking.  It comes at no extra cost to you but it helps me with the running of this site!  As always, opinions are my own.


5 thoughts on “Route 66 16 Day Road Trip Itinerary

  1. OK, I live in Chicago and haven’t been to the Route 66 sign…will have to find that before I move this summer!


    1. It’s literally just up the street that’s opposite the art museum in Millennium park…not even a block up! I’ve been back since and it’s now covered in stickers, looks kinda cool!


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