While Route 66 has been decommissioned as a highway, it lives on as one of America's most storied roads.
For RVers, there are plenty of attractions to enjoy along the route. From the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis to the quirky Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, this path passes through some of the most beautiful and historic areas in America. Here are 16 stops you don't want to miss.
1. CADILLAC RANCH
Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation in Amarillo, Texas. It's best known for its colorful array of spray-painted cars. Sponsored by billionaire philanthropist-artist-prankster Stanley Marsh 3 and created by San Francisco artist collective The Ant Farm in 1974, Cadillac Ranch's row of 10 cars was meant to confound locals. The installation still attracts visitors eager to pull a piece off of a vehicle or contribute a message to the graffitied exteriors.
2. THE PAINTED DESERT
The Painted Desert is a beautiful area of badlands in Arizona. It's characterized by its colorful rock formations and petrified wood. The Painted Desert is part of the Petrified Forest National Park, which also includes the nearby Rainbow Forest. Visitors can take hikes through the area or drive the 28-mile scenic loop.
3. METEOR CRATER
Meteor Crater is a giant crater caused by a meteor impact. It's one of the best-preserved craters on Earth. The crater is about a mile wide and 550 feet deep. It's located in Arizona near the town of Winslow. Visitors can take tours of the crater, hike around the rim, or even camp overnight.
4. GATEWAY ARCH
The Gateway Arch is an iconic, 630-foot-tall monument in St. Louis, Missouri. It's the tallest man-made structure in the Western Hemisphere. The arch was built in the 1960s as part of an urban renewal project. Today, it's a popular tourist destination, with visitors able to take tram rides to the top of the arch for views of the city.
5. ED GALLOWAY'S TOTEM POLE PARK
Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park is a collection of over 70 totem poles in Foyil, Oklahoma. The poles were created by self-taught artist Ed Galloway. The park also includes a thatched-roof lodge, a kachina doll collection and a garden.
6. CALICO GHOST TOWN
Founded in 1881, Calico Ghost Town is a former mining town in California. These days, it's a popular tourist destination. The town has been restored to its 1880s appearance, with many of the original buildings still standing. Visitors can explore the town, go on mine tours or take a ride on the Calico Railroad.
7. THE BLUE WHALE
The Blue Whale is a giant blue whale sculpture in Catoosa, Oklahoma. It was built in 1972 by artist Hugh Gundy. The whale is 80 feet long and has a waterfall that visitors can play in.
8. SANTA MONICA PIER
The Santa Monica Pier is a popular tourist destination in Santa Monica, California. It's known for its Ferris wheel, roller coaster and arcade games. The pier also has a number of restaurants and shops.
9. OKLAHOMA ROUTE 66 MUSEUM
Located in Clinton, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum is a space dedicated to preserving the history of Route 66. The museum houses several exhibits on the highway, as well as a gift shop.
10. ORIGINAL MCDONALD’S MUSEUM
The Original McDonald's Museum is located in San Bernardino, California. It's housed in the original McDonald's restaurant, which opened in 1940. The museum includes artifacts from the restaurant's early days, as well as a replica of the original McDonald's menu.
11. Tee Pees Curios Shop
Tee Pee Curios Shop is a quirky roadside shop in Tucumcari, New Mexico. It's known for its giant tepee sculpture and Route 66-themed souvenirs.
12. BLUE HOLE
Surrounded by beautiful rocks, Blue Hole is a steady 62-degree swimming hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. It's a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. With water circulating constantly, the supply is renewed every six hours. The hole is about 80 feet deep and has a diving platform.
13. ELMER'S BOTTLE TREE RANCH
Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch is a ranch featuring more than 200 bottle trees comprised of mostly bottles and metal rods, among other found objectss. It is located in Oro Grande, California.
14. GEMINI GIANT
The Gemini Giant is a 30-foot-tall statue of a space-suited man in Wilmington, Illinois. It was built in 1965 and is one of the Route 66 landmarks.
15. RIALTO SQUARE THEATRE
The Rialto Square Theatre is a historic theatre in Joliet, Illinois. The venue was opened in 1926 and is known for its Art Deco architecture. The theatre hosts a variety of events, including concerts, shows and movies.
16. MERAMAC CAVERNS
Meramac Caverns is a cave located in Sullivan, Missouri. It's known for its stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can take tours of the cave and explore a variety of rock formations.
Route 66 is a road trip every RV lover should consider. There's so much to see and do along the way. These 16 stops are just a taste of what you'll find. So gas up your RV and hit the open road.