Where Does Route 66 Start?
The answer to this question requires you to ask a different question, “Where would you like to start”? Let’s get into some Unknown Facts About Rt 66
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Route 66 goes from Chicago to California, so if you wish to start in Chicago and travel west, your starting point would be at the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Drive in Chicago IL.
If you wish to start in California and travel northeast, your starting point would be at the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica California. Be sure to visit the Santa Monica Pier while you’re in the area! You won’t regret it!
History of Rt 66
Historic Rt 66, which is also referred to as The Mother Road, Main Street of America and The Will Rogers Highway was founded on November 11th, 1926. Road signs for the new roadway were not erected until the following year.
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost” – Erol Ozan
Route 66 was built primarily as a way for settlers in the 1930s to migrate west. This construction took place during the Dust Bowl, which was a series of devastating dust storms that negatively effected local businesses. It was thought that Rt 66 would bring wayward travelers through their small towns and help revitalize these decimated businesses. It worked!
A Realignment of Route 66
In 1985, Rt 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System. It was replaced by larger parts of the Interstate Highway System, which technically downgraded it to “Historic Rt 66“. There are millions of people who feel this downgrade was a good thing. It created a more nostalgic roadway with hundreds of local businesses benefiting from curious travelers passing through. To this day, the legend of Rt 66 has only grown in popularity.
Unknown Facts About Rt 66
- US 66 was initially signed into law in 1927 but it was not completely paved until late 1938
- During the 1930s, many farmers migrated west in search of agricultural jobs in California. Local residents along Rt 66 called these farmers derogatory names such as “Arkies” or “Okies”. Ironically, it was these migrating farmers who helped build Ma & Pa business along the route
- Route 66 crosses through 8 states
- Rt 66 was the first highway to be fully paved. Before it’s inception, all roads were made of either dirt or gravel
- Bobby Troup was so inspired by the highway that he wrote the famous song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66”
- Several sections of Route 66 had dangerous hairpin turns. Because of these dangers, the term “Bloody 66” was born. Eventually, these precarious sections of road were smoothed out by using more direct roads
More Unknown Facts About Rt 66
- During the 1950s, Rt 66 became a popular highway used by travelers heading to California on vacation. It was during that period that a wide variety of roadside attractions appeared. Some of these include reptile farms, bizarre antique dealers, teepee shaped motels, amusement rides and frozen custard stands
- US Route 66 was eventually placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is a government organization that preserves historic structures and roads. This prevents profit-driven companies from disturbing the historic integrity of the highway
- A bicycle path is currently being finished for those who wish to tackle this highway safely without having to mingle with automobile and truck traffic
- Cyrus Avery (1871-1963), a Tulsa businessman, is credited with being the “Father” of Rt 66. It was his tireless efforts pushing forward with the expansion and paving of the highway that were instrumental in it’s ultimate success
“Then they pull onto Rt 66, heading to a site that’s worth saving” – Neil Shusterman
Route 66 is an iconic American highway that has been immortalized in popular culture. It is known for its stunning scenery and unique roadside attractions. The highway has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and songs, and it has become a symbol of the American spirit.
Route 66 is a great way to explore the United States and experience the country’s diverse culture and history. It is a journey that will take you through small towns, big cities, and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or just a chance to get away from it all, Route 66 is the perfect road trip. So, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, take a drive down Route 66 and explore the beauty of America.