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O/T USA road trip - Route 66.



ees complicated no?

New member
Apr 3, 2011
4,075
Hove, United Kingdom
Hello the good people on NSC, I'm planning on going on a road trip next summer with some mates & we want to do route 66, so yh we're just in need of some more things we can do / places to go whilst out there, but isn't going to take us off route to much.

Basically we've got this a rough outline so far.

Start from Chicago and spend the next 15 / 16 days getting to LA allowing us to take our time in different places if we want to spend more time in areas - once we done that drive to Las Vegas and spend a couple of nights up there we've not made our mind up if this is to gamble or just to see the sights as of yet - take a small trip and get as close to area 51 (legally ofcourse) - so really we have 19 days worth but we are planning to stay for 3 weeks, but want to make it a month if we get enough things to do.....

So if you know of things to do or places to go that are a must please share!
 






Icy Gull

Back on the rollercoaster
Jul 5, 2003
72,015
I made a detour onto Route 66 for the obligatory photo under the road sign. It was somewhere around Amarillo. Not meaning to piss on your parade but I found it a massive disappointment having always sworn that one day I'd drive it from end to end. Maybe it's different elsewhere but where I drove it it was in a state of quite bad disrepair and the towns were one horse run down shambles. Maybe it's because there is a newer route running close to it in that area?
 


byf1

Active member
Mar 22, 2012
271
Hello the good people on NSC, I'm planning on going on a road trip next summer with some mates & we want to do route 66, so yh we're just in need of some more things we can do / places to go whilst out there, but isn't going to take us off route to much.

Basically we've got this a rough outline so far.

Start from Chicago and spend the next 15 / 16 days getting to LA allowing us to take our time in different places if we want to spend more time in areas - once we done that drive to Las Vegas and spend a couple of nights up there we've not made our mind up if this is to gamble or just to see the sights as of yet - take a small trip and get as close to area 51 (legally ofcourse) - so really we have 19 days worth but we are planning to stay for 3 weeks, but want to make it a month if we get enough things to do.....

So if you know of things to do or places to go that are a must please share!


Hi mate, I've just planned a similar trip myself with 5 mates and we were going to do Route 66 but we've changed the plans so much after checking on websites and talking to people etc but now I have what I think is the perfect trip.....but it's so much more strict than I thought it would be date wise as you need to book up RV parks but if you travel by car and stay in motels which is what I did around California in 2011 then you don't need to be as strict of course.

Its in June and July by the way

23rd - Fly to New York and stay for 3 days (BA) - Baseball and usual stuff is booked
26th - Internal flight to Chicago and spend 2 days there
28th - We've hired out a 30 ft RV Camper and are driving across the states towards LA....drive to Kansas (8 hours+) full day drive
29th - Drive Kansas to the rocky mountains (stay Estes Park) (solid day of driving) 8 hours+
30th - Drive trial ridge road and head towards Moab (Utah)
1 & 2nd - Stay in Arches National park - White water rafting booked and mountain biking and hot air balloon.
3rd - Depart for Grand Canyon from Moab (Full day drive)
4th July - See Grand canyon at sunrise and drive 5 hours or so to Vegas
4th & 5th July - Staying at the Palms Vegas (2 days of pool parties)
6th - Leave for LA - Me and 1x mate hired out a soft top Mustang for very cheap to drive to LA and cruise about it when we get there....rest of the lads drive RV
7th, 8th, 9th - LA chilling on the beach - got an rv park on the beach directly at Dockweiler beach, amazing location.
10th - depart for San Francisco
11th - drop off RV and do Alcatraz night tour
12th - Internal flight back to New York and then connect to fly home!

Anything extra you want to know just ask mate!

By the way.....managed to do everything shown above for around £1600 each TOTAL!!
 
Last edited:


ees complicated no?

New member
Apr 3, 2011
4,075
Hove, United Kingdom
I made a detour onto Route 66 for the obligatory photo under the road sign. It was somewhere around Amarillo. Not meaning to piss on your parade but I found it a massive disappointment having always sworn that one day I'd drive it from end to end. Maybe it's different elsewhere but where I drove it it was in a state of quite bad disrepair and the towns were one horse run down shambles. Maybe it's because there is a newer route running close to it in that area?

TBH I understand what your saying & I know it's probs not the most exciting of things to do in America, but I just love driving and bored of doing the same old things when I've been there in the past with family so I'm just interested in just seeing key sights, areas, ghost towns and well just one minute being in a big city the next in the middle of no where basically, alot of it is dead on the route because of all the new roads and inter states that got built, but hopefully it will still be alright if we make it.

Hi mate, I've just planned a similar trip myself with 5 mates and we were going to do Route 66 but we've changed the plans so much after checking on websites and talking to people etc but now I have what I think is the perfect trip.....but it's so much more strict than I thought it would be date wise as you need to book up RV parks but if you travel by car and stay in motels which is what I did around California in 2011 then you don't need to be as strict of course.

Its in June and July by the way

23rd - Fly to New York and stay for 3 days (BA) - Baseball and usual stuff is booked
26th - Internal flight to Chicago and spend 2 days there
28th - We've hired out a 30 ft RV Camper and are driving across the states towards LA....drive to Kansas (8 hours+) full day drive
29th - Drive Kansas to the rocky mountains (stay Estes Park) (solid day of driving) 8 hours+
30th - Drive trial ridge road and head towards Moab (Utah)
1 & 2nd - Stay in Arches National park - White water rafting booked and mountain biking and hot air balloon.
3rd - Depart for Grand Canyon from Moab (Full day drive)
4th July - See Grand canyon at sunrise and drive 5 hours or so to Vegas
4th & 5th July - Staying at the Palms Vegas (2 days of pool parties)
6th - Leave for LA - Me and 1x mate hired out a soft top Mustang for very cheap to drive to LA and cruise about it when we get there....rest of the lads drive RV
7th, 8th, 9th - LA chilling on the beach - got an rv park on the beach directly at Dockweiler beach, amazing location.
10th - depart for San Francisco
11th - drop off RV and do Alcatraz night tour
12th - Internal flight back to New York and then connect to fly home!

Anything extra you want to know just ask mate!

By the way.....managed to do everything shown above for around £1600 each TOTAL!!

Thanks for that looks good! Yh we will be going in 2 cars and planning to stay in a mixture of hotels (cheap and expensive ones maybe), motels (I really want to stay in a dodgy looking one, like it could be in a horror movie) and maybe camping (by the Gran canyon if pos) just to get a different mixture and range of experiences, one of my mates did bring up the idea of a RV but tbh wasn'e to sure on the idea due to all the parking and you have less freedom as you do need to be on time at places so car seems more ideal for the freedom, I'm guessing the £1600 did't include flights??? as we're thinking of the 3k mark each atm!!!! Do all the activities you're doing cost much? and are they booked on set dates or are they like a time period pass thing you can use them in??

Thanks
 




BensGrandad

New member
Jul 13, 2003
72,015
Haywards Heath
We drove from Vegas to Chicago which covered most of the Route 66 and it was great, lthough we left 66 quite a few times and went on the interstate route, similar to a motorway . We stopped en route at Amarillo, Memphis to see Gracelands, Nashville for the music and then detoured via Louisville to see the Ali museum and centre. It was a great holiday
 


byf1

Active member
Mar 22, 2012
271
TBH I understand what your saying & I know it's probs not the most exciting of things to do in America, but I just love driving and bored of doing the same old things when I've been there in the past with family so I'm just interested in just seeing key sights, areas, ghost towns and well just one minute being in a big city the next in the middle of no where basically, alot of it is dead on the route because of all the new roads and inter states that got built, but hopefully it will still be alright if we make it.



Thanks for that looks good! Yh we will be going in 2 cars and planning to stay in a mixture of hotels (cheap and expensive ones maybe), motels (I really want to stay in a dodgy looking one, like it could be in a horror movie) and maybe camping (by the Gran canyon if pos) just to get a different mixture and range of experiences, one of my mates did bring up the idea of a RV but tbh wasn'e to sure on the idea due to all the parking and you have less freedom as you do need to be on time at places so car seems more ideal for the freedom, I'm guessing the £1600 did't include flights??? as we're thinking of the 3k mark each atm!!!! Do all the activities you're doing cost much? and are they booked on set dates or are they like a time period pass thing you can use them in??

Thanks


Ok 2 cars, yeah motels are cool and you can haggle for a good price aswell in some places....we wouldn't go over $100 a night for all 4 previously but depends where you stay etc.

Yep the £1600 includes flights and fuel for RV, you name it its included!

To give you an idea of the price of stuff...

Baseball £50 (decent seats though...you could go cheaper)
White water rafting (full day) £60
2x nights in Palms (£70 each) cheap I know!!!
Alcatraz tour (£25 each)

Yeah most of it is set dates but they seem quite flexible in the states so if you read the small print...a lot of what weve booked can be canx free of charge.

Stuff is quite cheap to do...

In regards to your budget, i'm not sure where you'd spend 3k each.....you would get get return flights to Chicago for £500 or so and maybe an internal back from LA to Chicago for £100 tops....motels will be approx. £15-20 on average each per night
 
Last edited:


ees complicated no?

New member
Apr 3, 2011
4,075
Hove, United Kingdom
Ok 2 cars, yeah motels are cool and you can haggle for a good price aswell in some places....we wouldn't go over $100 a night for all 4 previously but depends where you stay etc.

Yep the £1600 includes flights and fuel for RV, you name it its included!

To give you an idea of the price of stuff...

Baseball £50 (decent seats though...you could go cheaper)
White water rafting (full day) £60
2x nights in Palms (£70 each) cheap I know!!!
Alcatraz tour (£25 each)

Yeah most of it is set dates but they seem quite flexible in the states so if you read the small print...a lot of what weve booked can be canx free of charge.

Stuff is quite cheap to do...

In regards to your budget, i'm not sure where you'd spend 3k each.....you would get get return flights to Chicago for £500 or so and maybe an internal back from LA to Chicago for £100 tops....motels will be approx. £25 each per night

Ahh thanks for that, it's cheaper than I thought it was going to be, I'll still do some research into it as I honestly thought it was going to be near the 3k mark, got to think about food money and all the added extras like tips and things you're going to buy, on the other hand Looks like we will be hitting vegas hard after all ;)


The Ali museum is not a bad shout either, I'll be adding that to my list to if pos.
 




Arun1664

Member
Nov 2, 2009
56
I've been to a couple of spots on the route, Oklahoma City (not much worthy of note) & Flagstaff (much better). You might want to think about a helo flight over the Canyon, if you do avoid the temptation to visit the rim first, seeing from the air is stunning. If you are going for sunrise there is a hotel right on the rim (El Torva i think) where you can have your Huevos Ranchos and watch the sun come up, it was a while ago but we didn't have a problem getting a table. Hotels are booked well in advance but you never know you might get a cancellation for a room, (El Torva is an old timber built hotel, there is other accommodation in the park but they all looked pretty rough when I was there). Enough about rimming ....

Also just south of Flagstaff is Oak Creek Canyon which takes you down to Sedona, sort of an artists town but its famous for the red rocks where they used to film some old Westerns (i think they do jeep tours of in the boon-docks) nice drive down the canyon if you have the time and a nice place for a mootch, looking at the cacti and lunch.

If you plan on going via Phoenix, let me know, I spent a while there off and on.
 


BensGrandad

New member
Jul 13, 2003
72,015
Haywards Heath
I think that £1600 will be pushing it. Most flights LA to Chicago are around the $170 at the moment. We used a car which is more economical than an RV but did use hotels/motels which my brother booked with his BA discounts and it cost us in the region of £5000 for food, drink, accommodation, travel and entrance fees for 4 of us plus additional individual spending money. But didnt include flights to and from UK which again we got free with BA concessions.
 
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KJP

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2011
2,407
Goring-by-Sea
I did a lot of Route 66 last year, it was brilliant, we did the Santa Monica to flagstaff part, try and stuck to as much of it as possible, there's an old western town called Oatman between Kingman and Needles which was pretty cool. Grand Canyon is only an hour or so north of Williams, AZ and the Hoover dam is on the way to Vegas from kingman
 




Mellor 3 Ward 4

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2004
9,806
saaf of the water
I will post more details when I have more time, but as others have said, not much of the 'Mother Road' actually exists any more.

Loads of good websites to surf

byf1 has a good route mapped out. Personally I would go via St. Louis. Moab is worth a couple of days at least , as are all the National Parks around there (Bryce and Zion are my favourites)

Oh, and personally I would do the Alcatraz tour first thing in the morning when it's empty.

I would go for Motels over RVs - not much difference in cost - RVs are VERY expensive to hire, especially if you drop off at a different place to where you pick up. at least with a Motel/Hotel you normally get breakfast, and often a pool or hot tub to relax in.

Go on to Trip Advisor - there is a Road Trip Section where you will get loads of ideas.

A trip like that takes good planning - which actually can be part of the fun.
 


KJP

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2011
2,407
Goring-by-Sea
Make sure you book Alcatraz a week in advance as it sells out easily. Also bike the Golden Gate Bridge and get the ferry back from Sausalito, it's great fun
 


Lyndhurst 14

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2008
5,129
You definitely cannot beat the American Road Trip. Unfortunately Route 66 is definitely not what it used to be – but you’ll still have a great time. I remember doing it when gas was 99c a gallon, about a quarter of what they were charging in the UK.

Some of the towns are a bit sanitised and touristy but there’s still plenty of the real America out there with its characters and weirdos.

There have been quite a few films on road trips – I think one of the best was “Paul” with Simon Pegg and the area 51 stuff and the Ale-Inn. I’d agree with the comments about Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon – they are unbelievable.
 






Golden Oldie

New member
Feb 10, 2004
94
I've done a bit over half of R66 in a couple of stages. Bear in mind:

Scenically the west half is better than the east, especially from New Mexico to California.
Don't attempt to drive long distances every day. You'll find you are sticking to Interstates which can be totally boring and have just spent 8/10 hours without seeing anything of interest.
Just because somewhere is named in the R66 song doesn't make it a "must see". Joplin and Gallup have very little going for them for a start!

I'm no doubt older than you so tastes will differ, but from experience would recommend:

Allow a couple of days in Chicago, it's a great place, and gives you a chance to find your feet in the US.
There are few major sights between Chicago and St Louis. Can be driven in a long day, then spend a day in St Louis. The Arch is worth going up, and the Chain of Rocks Bridge slightly to the north is the original crossing of the Mississippi.
West of St. Louis take your pick of what you fancy, but divert through Joplin (don't bother stopping) and you can follow the original R66 across the corner of Kansas. This is genuine old road, but will only take about an hour before you get back to the Interstate.
Oklahoma has the Bombing Memorial and the national Cowboy museum - worth seeing if you are stopping there anyway.
A diversion up to Sante Fe is worth it.
Flagstaff worth a stop, either as a base for Grand Canyon or in its own right, and on the way there stop at Meteor Crater to the east.
Further west, Williams worth stopping for a break - has the feel of a genuine old R66 town.

Can't speak for the rest of the road to LA!
 


BensGrandad

New member
Jul 13, 2003
72,015
Haywards Heath
If you are into trains then Flagstaff is the place for you as we stopped there and one evening at dinner a train went by with over 100 carriages I dont know if it is a railway junction or anything but most of the trains are very long and take ages to clear the crossings..
 


KJP

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2011
2,407
Goring-by-Sea
I saw a few of those trains, they went on for miles, you could drive for 20 minutes without seeing the end of it
 




Brightonfan1983

Tiny member
Jul 5, 2003
4,807
UK
Huge diversions would be Monument Valley and Death Valley (though you'd do that en route to Las Vegas) with its ridiculous scenery and old cowboy ghost towns. 2 weeks is more than enough to drive the whole route - as far as I'm concerned, a city is a city is a city - so do think about making time for motels in backwoods towns in the middle of nowhere, sunsets and sunrises over horizons that go on forever, and leaving behind a trail of broken-hearted waffle waitresses...
 


Seagull on the wing

New member
Sep 22, 2010
7,458
Hailsham
Drove from Las Vegas...over the Hoover dam,although since I did that they have built a new roadway over the river,drove to Grand Canyon and a few towns around there...returned via Death Valley from salt flats and amazingly a beautiful golf course....the lowest course in the world 198 ft below sea level...the grass was like a snooker table...outside Vegas there is a casino which houses the car that Bonnie and Clyde got shot up in. Most of the route 66 has been broken up now...really enjoyed the trip and would go back again anytime.
 


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