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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Huff

The Romanticism of Route 66: America's Historic Highway



For many Americans, the idea of a road trip evokes a sense of adventure, freedom, and nostalgia. And perhaps no road in the United States is as iconic as Route 66. Also known as the "Main Street of America" or the "Mother Road," Route 66 is a historic highway that stretches over 2,400 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. This road has captured the imaginations of many and has become a symbol of the American dream.

Route 66 was established in 1926 as one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. It played a vital role in connecting rural and urban communities, effectively linking the Midwest to the West Coast. It became a haven for travelers, providing them with an opportunity to explore the vast landscapes of America.


The Rise and Fall of Route 66

In its heyday, Route 66 was bustling with activity. It was the main route for migrants heading west during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The highway was lined with motels, diners, and gas stations, offering travelers a place to rest, eat, and refuel. Route 66 became a symbol of hope and opportunity, with countless stories of people chasing their dreams and forging new beginnings.

However, with the construction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s and 1960s, which bypassed many small towns along Route 66, the highway fell into decline. Many businesses along the route closed their doors, and the road itself started to deteriorate. In 1985, Route 66 was officially decommissioned.

Despite its decommissioning, Route 66 continues to capture the hearts of Americans and travelers from around the world. Today, it is a nostalgic symbol of a bygone era and a reminder of America's rich history and unique cultural heritage.


The Romanticism of the Road

What is it about Route 66 that is so romantic? Is it the sense of adventure that comes with hitting the open road, not knowing what lies ahead? Is it the nostalgia for a simpler time, when road trips were the ultimate form of escape? Or is it the allure of exploring the diverse landscapes, small towns, and big cities that make up America?

Perhaps it's all of these things. Route 66 offers a journey through time, with its historic landmarks, quirky roadside attractions, and scenic beauty. Driving along the Mother Road allows you to step back in time and experience a slice of Americana.


Iconic Landmarks and Attractions

One of the highlights of traveling on Route 66 is the opportunity to visit iconic landmarks and attractions along the way. From the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri to the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, there is no shortage of interesting and unique sights to see.

The Grand Canyon is another must-see attraction along Route 66. Located in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of the world. Its awe-inspiring beauty and breathtaking views attract millions of visitors each year. Standing on the edge of the canyon and gazing into its vastness is an unforgettable experience.

Another iconic landmark is the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. Built in the 1950s, the Wigwam Motel is made up of 15 concrete teepees that serve as individual motel rooms. Staying at this quirky and nostalgic motel is like stepping back in time to the heyday of Route 66.


Small Town Charm and Hospitality

One of the charms of traveling on Route 66 is the opportunity to explore small towns and experience their unique hospitality. Many of these towns have preserved their historic downtown areas, giving visitors a glimpse into the past.

Take for example, the town of Pontiac, Illinois. This small town is home to the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, where you can learn about the history of the highway and its impact on American culture. Pontiac also has a collection of colorful and vibrant murals that depict scenes from Route 66, adding to the town's charm.

In Tucumcari, New Mexico, you'll find a town that has embraced its Route 66 heritage. The town is known for its neon signs, quaint motels, and classic diners. One of the most famous landmarks in Tucumcari is the Blue Swallow Motel, a restored 1940s motel that offers visitors a chance to step back into the heyday of Route 66.


The Road Trip Experience

Route 66 is more than just a road, it's an experience. It's about the people you meet along the way, the stories you hear, and the memories you make. It's about the freedom of the open road and the thrill of exploration.

For many, a road trip on Route 66 is like taking a step back in time. It's a chance to escape the modern world and immerse yourself in the nostalgia of a bygone era. Whether it's cruising down the road in a classic car, stopping at a roadside diner for a milkshake, or staying in a vintage motel, every mile on Route 66 is filled with romance and adventure.

So, if you're looking for an unforgettable road trip experience that combines history, nostalgia, and the beauty of America, look no further than Route 66. Pack your bags, hit the road, and let the romanticism of the Mother Road sweep you away on a journey you'll never forget.


When embarking on a road trip, especially on a historic highway like Route 66, it's important to have the right car coverage to protect yourself and your vehicle. Unforeseen events can happen on the road, and having car coverage can help provide peace of mind. At US Automotive Protection Services, we offer comprehensive car coverage plans that are tailored to your needs. With our coverage, you can drive with confidence knowing that you're protected every step of the way.



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