Get Your Kicks on Route 66
From Illinois to California, Route 66 is a traditional travel route of the past in which you can still enjoy travel from Chicago to Los Angeles. Miami RV Rentals has highlighted a few areas which we found enjoyable.
(Historic Route 66, photo courtesy of route66usa.com)
Chicago, Illinois Route 66 starts (or ends) at Chicago on the intersection of Jefferson and Jackson Boulevard. Grant Park is the official eastern terminus of Route 66. At the intersection of Jackson and Michigan you will find the End Historic Route 66 sign. Chicago’s North Shore area is known for shopping and dining. Hit the road and make sure you stop in DuPage county. One of the first places to visit along your drive on Historic Route 66 in DuPage County is Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket. A destination in itself located in the charming community of Willowbrook, this original 1940s roadhouse has been featured in countless documentaries and travel books. It is a favorite with both locals and international visitors, and a wonderful spot to sample American favorites like fried chicken and baked macaroni. For the health conscious among us it also features a salad bar.
(Beginning of Route 66, photo courtesy of bestroadtripever.com)
St. Louis, Missouri Travelers looking for cosmopolitan fun, excitement and adventure will discover a great fit in St. Louis. Located in the Midwestern U.S., St. Louis is sophisticated yet affordable with a variety of attractions, exhibits and cuisine, all wrapped in a friendly, diverse atmosphere. The National Blues Museum is the only attraction of its kind dedicated to preserving and honoring the history and legacy of Blues music and its global impact. A must-see attraction, the museum features artifact-driven exhibits, live performances and interactive galleries to perpetuate blues culture for future artists, fans and historians. The nation’s tallest man-made monument and world’s tallest arch, the Gateway Arch celebrated its 50th birthday in 2015. Iconic and awe-inspiring, the Arch was created by renowned architect Eero Saarinen and commemorates Thomas Jefferson’s vision and St. Louis’ role in the western expansion of the U.S. Take the enclosed tram to the observation deck for breathtaking views of the city and Mississippi River.
(Gateway Arch, photo courtesy of theamericanroadtripcompany.co.uk)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma When cattlemen and cowboys come to Oklahoma City, they head straight for Stockyards City Main Street, a retail district right in the middle of town and chock-full of saddleries and Western-wear clothing stores. It’s right next to the Oklahoma National Stockyards, the world’s largest stocker/feeder market, where every Monday and Tuesday you can watch live cattle being auctioned. With their business dealings done, everyone heads for Cattlemen’s Restaurant, the consummate Western steak house and the state’s busiest restaurant. The most popular cut is rib eye, quickly broiled (read grilled) over hot charcoal and served in a salty jus (sauce) with home-made Parker House rolls. The original 1910 café is popular for breakfast, but the dinner crowd likes the 1960s-era South Dining Room. Oklahoma is home to 39 Native American tribes. Visit in June for any of the powwows that take place here or for the annual three-day Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival. More than 1,200 Native American artists and dancers from more than 100 tribes come from across the nation (and Canada) to participate in ceremonial dance competitions, parades in full traditional dress and a marketplace where it is as much fun to browse as it is to buy.
(Lucille’s gas station, photo courtesy of mapio.net)
Albuquerque, New Mexico At roughly the size of a house, the average hot-air balloon is mighty impressive. Now imagine more than 700 of them all around you, slowly inflating and lifting off into the sky like the preamble to the world’s biggest birthday party. This is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest hot-air balloon rally. It’s impossible not to get swept away by the color and excitement, even if it is near dawn and freezing cold. Held every year since 1972, the Balloon Fiesta draws more than 80,000 people, who wander among the balloons on the 80-acre launch field and chat with the pilots as they prepare for lift-off. Nearly every morning of the 10-day event there’s a dawn patrol—selected balloons launch before sunrise, glowing like giant light bulbs—a little later comes a mass ascension of all the balloons, a wondrous two-hour polychromatic spectacle. Another option for gaining altitude is the Sandia Peak Tram, which at 2.7 miles long is billed as the world’s longest tramway. It runs from the northeast corner of the city to 10,378 feet at the top of the Sandia Mountains, with a panorama overlooking northern New Mexico. At the top of the tram you can hike on trails above the precipitous west face of the granite-topped range. Grab a bite at the High Finance Restaurant and Tavern, where you can enjoy a prime rib and local microbrew with your view.
(Albuquerque balloon fiesta, photo courtesy of lifewithtravel.com)
Los Angeles, California After showbiz pioneers Cecil B. DeMille and Jesse Lasky were drawn to the climate-blessed West Coast in 1911, Hollywood ceased being a real place and became a concept, a glittering Tinseltown synonymous with glamour and ambition. However, it has long been true that the only stars you are now likely to see on Hollywood Boulevard (premieres aside) are those embedded in the pavement. Known as the Walk of Fame, the pathway honors 2,200 or so legends of film, television, radio, theatre and recording art, and runs along Hollywood Boulevard from La Brea Avenue to Vine Street, where it turns left and heads down to Sunset Boulevard. Whether you’ll actually have a star-sighting during your tour is questionable. But some spots around town have relatively decent odds. One such place is the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. A celebrity hangout for 75 years, and host to the first Academy Awards in 1929, the hotel just had a full-blown facelift, and its high-beamed art deco lobby, decorated swimming pool by David Hockney, smartly redone bars and well-regarded jazz club, Cinegrill, are all star attractions. And don’t forget to look for that famous ‘Hollywood’ sign. The 50-foot-high sign was placed on top of Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills in 1923 as part of a promotion for a real estate development called Hollywoodland. The last syllable detached and crashed during a landslide, but the 450-foot-long part that remains has been restored and elevated to landmark status. The best view is from Sunset Boulevard and Bronson Avenue: so get your cameras out!
(Photo courtesy of e-spaces.eu)
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