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  1. Default Route 66, Las Vegas and Highway 101 Whew!

    I have been on many road trips but the majority has been on the East coast. I have recently moved to the West Coast and I am planning a West coast tour. The current beginning plan is to drive from Seattle, Washington to Amarillo, Texas taking the basic Route 66 path (I know it will be a little difficult to find in certain areas I have 2 books and a new map set) for 7-10 days, then spending 4 days in Las Vegas (for a convention which is the whole reason for the trip) and then taking a week to come back up via Highway 101 in California.

    I would love any suggestions or feedback on these areas as I have no clue where to begin with much of what to see. The majority of the sites I have listed to see are Natural Wonders (Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, CA beaches and possibly Channel Islands) would anyone have suggestions for sites (even kitschy or obscure I personally love South of the Boarder in South Carolina for a few hours)? Any tips or ideas would be welcome. I have a basic layout mapped but am flexible with much of the trip at this point. Being an East coaster I am not used to the “Wide Open Spaces”. :)

    Thank you all for your feedback!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Not how I would do it

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your plan strikes me as a little odd. If I'm understanding you correctly, you are bascially planning on doing a big "L" going down the coast, then out to Amarillo, and then backtracking to Vegas and retracing your footsteps back up the coast?

    There's nothing wrong with this per se, however, there are so many great things to see in the west, I would want to try and cover as much different ground as I can.

    If you are also going to go all the way down the coast using US-101 and CA-1 all the way from Seattle to Santa Monica, I don't think you'll have time to make it all the way out to Amarillo and then back to Vegas in 10 days. The Coast road is pretty slow going. However, if you are just planning on Using US-101 - which is not the coast road in most of California - the whole way, it won't take quite as long. Amarillo still might be a bit too far East to still make it back to Vegas in 10 days though.

    Personally, I'd take a week working down the coast, and then over to Las Vegas. After the conference, I'd continuing working out to the Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona, eventually turning north through some of the Parks of Utah, and then onto I-15 and I-84 towards home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I agree with Michael

    I think he gives you some good things to consider that would give you a very enjoyable trip. However, if you're determined to do Route 66, your plan is very do-able.

    If I read your plans right, you're planning on driving cross-country to Amarillo and then coming back via I-40 (Route 66) to Vegas and then going to the coast, right? It's very do-able in the timeframe you have laid out. What route are you planning on taking to get to Amarillo? The quickest route is I-90 to Ellensburg, then I-82/I-84 through Boise, then picking up I-80 by Salt Lake City to Cheyenne, WY, then south on I-25 through Denver to the New Mexico border, then east on 64/87 to Amarillo. That is almost 1800 miles. If you took 4 days to do this, that would leave you 6 days to explore the Route 66 areas from Amarillo to Las Vegas.

    The only problem I see with this is you are by-passing so many wonderful things to see through this beautiful part of the country in order to get as far east as Amarillo. 6 days from Amarillo to Vegas is do-able but you won't be able to stay in any one place very long. I sure hope you will plan on going back through some of the areas you will be zipping through on this trip at another time. If so, then this plan makes sense to me. If not, I think you'd be better to spend more time in Utah/New Mexico/Arizona. Heck, you could spend that entire 7-10 days just in Utah! There are so many wonderful things in that state (Arches, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands) and then circling over to the Grand Canyon for a few days before going to Vegas.

    But your plans not a bad plan. I hope I'm making sense.

    Anyway, from Amarillo to Vegas, I would:
    * Check out that restaurant in Amarillo, the name escapes me, where they serve the Big Texas Steak meal in which you have an hour to eat it and, if you do, you get it free. I'm not saying that you should try to eat it. A 72 oz. steak, baked potato, etc. is way too much for any normal human to even consider. But it would be fun to be there if someone else is giving it a try. Also, check out the stockard yards.
    * Tucamcari, NM: lots of great Route 66 kitsch. Try to spend the night at the Blue Swallow Inn.
    * Cline's Corner, NM: Just a real kitschy Route 66 trading post. You will see tons of signs along the highway through New Mexico and Arizona directing you to various other trading posts. You don't need to stop at all of 'em...they start looking the same after awhile, imho...but definitely check out a few.
    * Albuquerque, NM: take time to explore the Old Town area.
    * Gallup, NM: lots of kitschy Route 66 stuff here.
    * Petrified Forest, AZ
    * Holbrook, AZ: dinosaurs and other kitsch. You can stay in teepees here but you might want a reservation.
    * Winslow, AZ: for the infamous corner
    * Meteor Crater, AZ: This is actually pretty amazing. Too bad it's not a national park so you can use a pass to get in. IIRC, it's $10 per person. But I think it's worth it.
    * Grand Canyon, AZ: I would suggest going to the Grand Canyon via to Cameraon, then going west on 180. This way you can stop at the many viewpoints within the park. Make sure you stop at Watchtower and Tusayen Ruins. This will get you into the visitor center later in the day. Make sure you enjoy a walk along the rim and check out the architecture of the various hotels and gift shops. Very cool. Of course, if you can spend the night here, it would be worth it to see sunset and then get up for sunrise. On the way south back to I-40, you will probably really enjoy the kitschy Flinstone's Bedrock City. I loved this place. It's around Valle.
    * Seligman & Kingman, AZ: Both have some Route 66 kitsch. If you go up 93, you can see Hoover Dam.
    * Oatman, AZ: If you go to Vegas via 95, swing into Oatman, AZ. I've not been here but it's supposed to be quite a cool place. Watch out for the burros!

    This should give you a good start!
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 12-13-2006 at 09:14 AM. Reason: added info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Adding to Judy's List

    Off I-40 not too far past Albuquerque is the Bandera Ice Caves From there you can make a big U (the name of the road escapes me - but the guy that lives at the Ice Caves is the one who gave me directions). The U takes you past El Morro National Monument and up in to Arizona and dumps you just a little East of the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-16-2006 at 12:38 PM. Reason: URL Format

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Good Old Route 66

    Judy gave you a great account of what to see.

    I'd like to add a few things, though.

    The name of the place in Amarillo is The Big Texan. Also, don't forget to stop at Cadillac Ranch west of town.

    Gallup, NM, try to stay at the El Rancho for a unique experience. You might even get to meed Armond Ortez, the owner, and the man who owns most of the Indian trading posts you'll be passing.

    In Flagstaff, the Museum Club is a definite must stop. It dates to 1918 and is often called "The Zoo." You'll understand when you go in.

    I also recommend a night's stay in downtown Williams after you visit the Grand Canyon. There are a lot of old 66 motels right by the downtown and it's an easy walk.

    The drive between Kingman and Oatman is like none other you've ever taken. It's just one jaw-dropping view after another. And then there's Oatman.

    Go to the Field Reports to check out more information.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Northern Nevada/California and Las Vegas

    Default Vegas time

    I also agree with Michael. Don't try too much. Getting to Vegas you could make a swing through Death Valley, then on to Las Vegas. In and around Las Vegas are some interesting nature loving sites. Red Rock a few minutes to the west. Valley of Fire is less than an hour northeast. Hoover Dam. Zion and the Cedars are a half-day trip away. And of course, the Grand Canyon, north rim, or the more crowded southrim are within reasonable reach. And no, I can't resist this, along the strip you can visit, New York, Paris, Venice, and glittzy Rome. HA!

  7. Default

    Thank you all for your feedback. It has helped us plan a bit further. Our current plan is 3 weeks. Beginning in Seattle heading down through Boise, Salt Lake, stopping for Arches National Park, Garden of the Gods (CO) then down to Amarillo and across Route 66 to Vegas. We have 10 days for the trip there then 4 days in Vegas for our convention. So we are planning to hit all of the National Parks along the way including Meteor Crater.

    Post Vegas we are planning to continue along Route 66 to Santa Monica then have 7 full days to travel Highway 101 and 1 through CA back home.

    I would love suggestions on any odd sites (Largest ball of twine type stuff). We have a great set of books that have helped us with the National Monuments and museum lists but they tend to pass on the intriguing kitschy stuff. :-)

    Thank you all again for your help! It has been very useful! I do plan on going back through many of these areas in the future and taking more time. We just want to see what we can see this trip.

    Last edited by haiku; 01-16-2007 at 10:38 PM.

  8. #8

    Default A few kitschy places in AZ

    We took a trip to Arizona a couple of years ago and travelled mostly along
    I-40. We stopped at a few kitschy places. I especially enjoyed taking
    photos at these stops. There's always something interesting to

    Cool Springs, AZ.

    Grand Canyon Caverns

    I wanted to stop at Grand Canyon Caverns to take pictures of
    the dinosaurs.

    Delgadillo's Snow Cap in Seligman. The Snow Cap is pretty kitschy.

    We enjoyed staying at the La Posada in Winslow, AZ. It's a former Harvey House and harkens back to the days
    when rail travel was king.

    Unique art pieces decorate the interior of the hotel.

    Jack Rabbit Trading Post is famous for their slogan "Here it is".
    They have a large plastic jack rabbit that you can sit on and have your
    picture taken.

    Online galleries from that road trip here and here.

    Have a great trip.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-17-2007 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Preferred URL format

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Excellent photos!

    Quote Originally Posted by roadie View Post
    I especially enjoyed taking photos at these stops.
    Thanks for the great roadside photos!


  10. Default

    Oh Wow! Thanks so much for the pictures. I will definitly add these to my stop!


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