Route 66 is a historical part of the original North American highway system. The route began as a national thoroughfare on November 11, 1926. The city of Chicago, Illinois is the beginning point of Route 66, with it continuing through the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before coming to an end in California at the junction of the Pacific Coast Highway.
An exodus of farmers and their families from Oklahoma followed Route 66 to California during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930's, during which time droughts made farming nearly impossible in the state of Oklahoma. The highway was also quite a popular path for anyone traveling westward during the height of its usage, all the way through the mid 1980's when it was removed from the U.S. highway system.
Beginning in 1926 and continuing through the 1960's, Route 66 was at the height of its heyday. At this time, shop owners, craftspeople, and other business owners met with a lot of business due to the amount of travelers on the highway. Although the popularity of Route 66 has decreased over time as more national roads and highways have been created, some attractions still remain today as do enthusiasts of this once nearly forgotten path.
Some of these attractions have remained over the years untouched from their original facades, while others fell into disrepair and have since been brought back to their original splendor. The latter is oftentimes thanks to the efforts and financial support of local townspeople to return some of the luster to the roadside attractions that once stopped many travelers on this historic route. What was once a major thoroughfare has now become a relaxing stretch of road, with many attractions still in existence to welcome the travelers of the historic Route 66.
10 Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop and Ariston Cafe, Illinois
9 Route 66 State Park, Missouri
8 Pops Restaurant, Oklahoma
7 Arcadia Round Barn, Oklahoma
6 Blue Whale, Oklahoma
5 Lion's Antique Museum, Texas
4 KiMo Theater, New Mexico
3 Maisel's Indian Trading Post, New Mexico
2 Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Arizona
1 Pacific Coast Highway, California
The Pacific Coast Highway marks the end of Route 66. This coastal highway features some of the most beautiful coastlines in the United States. This scenic route provides a path from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Monterey Bay is a popular tourist spot along the highway. Rocky shorelines, sandy beaches, and California wildlife such as orcas, sea lions, and cougars can be viewed in Monterey. Bicycling is also a possible way to travel this scenic coastline to enjoy the views and stay in shape.
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