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«June 2022»
El Monte RV

A Seven-Day Trip from Indiana to Los Angeles, CA

How about a Trip on Route 66?

Are you ready for a road trip? Are you ready to take to the open road in an El Monte Rental RV? We have plenty of new units ready to take you from the Midwest to Los Angeles, and the best part is they are discounted significantly. We think this would be a great time to try out an RV at a radically reduced price, and explore the country at the same time.


Here are some suggested stops along the way, although feel free to adjust your itinerary as you see fit. There are plenty of great places to visit if you are up for adventure! Try this for a day-by-day itinerary, and add stops as you wish. 


Established in 1926, Route 66 is one of the original highways in the United States, built before the Interstates. This route winds through eight states, covering 2,451 miles. Along the way there are plenty of farms and farmland, urban areas, mountains, desert and every kind of landscape in between. In theory, you could drive it in one week, but in practice it makes sense to take more time for other way stops to take in the scenery and attractions. If you allow for 2 weeks, you should have plenty of time to enjoy the sights. Our suggestions of where to stop by state is by no means exhaustive, as there are literally thousands of things to see and do along the way. But if you have the time, allow for some unscheduled stops if something interesting catches your eye on this once-in-a-lifetime road trip.



And, if you are not nostalgic for the good old days, you can always drive across the country on Interstate 80 and maybe shave a few hours off your drive time. But what fun is just driving across the Interstate?


1. From Elkhart, IN to St. Louis, MO


We start out by going to Chicago and picking up the northern point of Route 66, which will take you to St. Louis, MO. This is for a classic road trip, and although the famous route doesn’t go all the way across the country, you can begin your adventure here. The route starts here as Interstate 55 (most of the original Route 66 now is on interstate roads) and follows a southwestern route through Illinois, passing by Bloomington and the state capitol, Springfield, before crossing into Missouri. In the summer months, you’ll see lush farmland, but in winter be prepared for plenty of snow.


2. From St. Louis, MO to Tulsa, OK


This is the second leg of the Route 66 adventure and here you will drive through the state of Missouri from east to west on Interstate 44/Route 66 to keep following the route from Illinois. You will immediately drive through St. Louis after crossing the border between the states, and then continue traveling southwest through Springfield and Joplin. There are also some towns along the way with delightful names like Bourbon, Cuba, and Doolittle. 


Next, you’ll follow the route as it crosses into Missouri on Highway 66 Kansas from Joplin, Mo., and travels through the state for only 13 miles. You will pass through only three towns, but can see a couple of noteworthy things. First, there is the Kan-O-Tex Service Station, Galena: This vintage station has been there from 1934, and now includes a café and souvenir shop. Directions to Kan-O-Tex Service Station.


Second, you may want to visit Rainbow Bridge, Baxter Springs: This is the only Marsh arch bridge (named after engineer and bridge designer James Barney Marsh) left along Route 66. As it was on an old stretch of the highway, you will have to drive a little bit off the route to see it. Directions to Rainbow Bridge.


And, third, you can stop and get some groceries and souvenirs at The Williams Store, Riverton: This is the oldest continuously operating store on Route 66. The store opened in 1925 after a previous store on the site was destroyed by a tornado. Here are Directions to The Williams Store.


Your fourth state on this journey is Oklahoma. You will spend a fair amount of time in Oklahoma after passing into the state from Kansas on Alternate Highway 69 and will pass through the state’s two largest cities: Oklahoma City and Tulsa. There is no shortage of historic and kitschy things to see along your way. Just a few would include: 


Totem Pole Park, Chelsea: You probably won’t miss the world’s largest concrete totem pole, 90-feet tall, that was built in 1937 as the centerpiece of the park. Smaller totem poles are sprinkled around the grounds, as well as a Fiddle House that contains hand-carved fiddles. Directions to Totem Pole Park


Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger, Miami: You can drive through or sit down at this eye-catching eatery that looks like a cuckoo clock on the outside. The menu of what at one time was a national chain includes the usual burgers and fries and other American fare. Directions to Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger


Will Rogers Memorial Museum, Claremore: The museum covers the life of the most famous performer and cowboy from Oklahoma. Directions to Will Rogers Memorial Museum


Water Hole #2, Texola: As the name of the town suggests, this abandoned bar sits just before the border between Oklahoma and Texas. Directions to Water Hole #2


3. From Tulsa, OK to Albuquerque, NM


This third leg of the Route 66 trip will take you through Texas, (your fifth state, if you are counting) and this stretch of Route 66 as it goes through the Texas panhandle (on Interstate 40) has plenty to offer. You will find an iconic piece of artwork made from cars and, of course, some classic service stations. 


Here are some of our suggestions for interesting places to stop.


Texas Conoco Tower Station, Shamrock: This art-deco service station is much fancier than most roadside places. It was built in 1936 and now operates as a museum after being donated to the town in 1999. The station is even featured in the Disney-Pixar movie “Cars”! Directions to Conoco Tower Station.


Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo: If you drive this stretch of the route, this is a must-see attraction. Made up of 10 classic Cadillacs half-buried with the hood in the ground, the cars were actually moved to their current location in 1997 from a previous site 2 miles away. Directions to Cadillac Ranch.


Café at the Midpoint of Route 66, Adrian: If you made it this far in the drive – 1,139 miles between both Los Angeles and Chicago – you deserve a break for some food at the Midpoint Café. Directions to Café at the Midpoint of Route 66.


4. From Albuquerque, NM to Kingman, AZ


If you started the drive in Chicago, once you enter New Mexico on I-40 you are more than halfway to the end of the route. The landscape has changed, but the slices of Americana you see along the route stay largely the same. After you pass into this state, the towns are few and far between until you get to Albuquerque and pass through some welcome greenery in the Cibola National Forest. Here are some interesting places to visit: 


San Jose Mission Church, Laguna: This traditional pueblo building made of adobe sits on the tribal land of the Laguna people. It was built in 1701 and still serves as the center of religious activities for the community. Because it is on tribal land, be sure to observe any posted rules and regulations regarding photography and other behavior. Directions to San Jose Mission Church.


San Miguel Mission/De Vargas Street House, Santa Fe: Just a bit north of Route 66 is the city of Santa Fe. It’s well worth a side trip to see this Catholic church that was built in 1625, making it the oldest in the U.S. Also in Santa Fe is the oldest house in the country, the De Vargas Street House. Both of the adobe structures are a step back in time. Directions to the Oldest House Museum.


5. From Kingman, AZ to Grand Canyon National Park, AZ


As you travel the width of this desert state, you’ll see that it contains one of the most-beloved natural treasures of the U.S. Soon after crossing into Arizona on I-40 from New Mexico, you will see a unique park, while further up the road are some rugged, mountainous areas.


Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook: Yes, there are petrified trees here, but also some gorgeous stone formations. If you have half a day to spend here you can drive through the park and go for a hike along the Painted Desert Rim trail to see the totally natural multi-colored badlands. Check out the Painted Desert Visitor Center to see some of the petrified wood the park is named after. Directions to Petrified Forest National Park.


Grand Canyon National Park, north of Flagstaff: Only 80 miles, or about 1.5 hours, from Flagstaff is the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at the south entrance to the park. If you have come this far, definitely spend the time to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Directions to Grand Canyon National Park.

Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, south of Winslow: This is the site of where a meteor crashed into the ground 50,000 years ago. It’s only about 6 miles off the interstate. Directions to Meteor Crater Natural Landmark.


6.  From Arizona to Los Angeles, CA 


On this last stretch of Route 66, the desert will give way to the urban sprawl of Los Angeles and its suburbs, and then the Pacific Ocean. The first part of the drive across California, mostly on I-40, is desolate. Then you eventually hook up with Interstate 15 and will ultimately be rewarded for making it to the end with a view over the water on an iconic pier. 

Mojave National Reserve, Kelso: This 1.6-million-acre desert park is a destination for camping and hiking. Take a short walk on one of the trails and look out for some desert wildlife and flora and fauna. Directions to Mojave National Reserve


Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica: You can enjoy the views and people-watching at the western terminus of Route 66. There is an amusement park here, several entertainment options and, of course, a beach. The pier is more than 100 years old and became the new western end of Route 66 when it was extended from Los Angeles in 1936. Directions to Santa Monica Pier


Whatever route you choose for your cross-country RV adventure, be sure to check with your nearest El Monte RV Rental location and see how you can rent an RV to take you anywhere you wish to go in style! And, please visit our El Monte RV Rental One-Way Factory Specials page to see about taking advantage of the new RV’s just being offered at a discount from our Elkhart, Indiana factory. 


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