Whether you’re piled in a stuffed minivan with your whole family, or sitting shotgun in your best friend’s jalopy, road trips are a true North American experience.
As summer winds down, there’s never been a better time to freewheel it down one of America’s all-time classic routes across the country for a spur-of-the-moment adventure. With more than one million properties across 30 different accommodation types to choose from, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the most incredible places to stay, has put together the ultimate Route 66 road trip and playlist.
So hit the highway for a spontaneous trek down the American highway, rock out to some awesome tunes, and see where your journey takes you.
As the birthplace of the deep-dish pizza, it would be rude not to treat yourself to a slice… or ten. The pizzas over at Giordano’s tend to be a favourite, but you would be hard-pressed to find a bad slice in the city. Feeling a bit stuffed after a stuffed crust? Check into a comfy room at Hotel Lincoln and rest up before hitting the road.
Song #1: Start as you mean to go on, with “Route 66” by Chuck Berry.
Home to America’s most beloved family, the Simpsons, Springfield also houses the world’s largest fork, clocking in at 35 feet high and 11 tons of gleaming aluminium. Surprisingly, it is also a music lover’s paradise with plenty of concert venues worth checking out. Places like the Outland Ballroom is must visit for reggae, while the Gilloz Theatre is singled out for its dedication to all things rock. Stay at the quaint Springfield Arts Bed and Breakfast on the historical Walnut Street and enjoy a three course breakfast that will keep you going until your next stop.
Song #2: It’s power-balled time – “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Time to don your Stetson and hit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Need to get outfitted with some cowboy gear? Oklahoma City is a great place to shop thanks to the numerous independent stores and shopping malls. To keep your engine running, visit Nic’s Grill for a satisfying meal of American classics like chicken-fried steak or burgers with curly fries. Finally head to Film Row and check yourself in to the 135-room boutique 21c Museum Hotel occupying the historic Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant.
Song #3: Get into the travelling spirit with “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake.
Time to think big, because Amarillo is home to the big Texan steak challenge. Competitors from far and wide head to the Big Texan Steak Ranch to try and eat the legendary 72oz. steak in record time. Aside from the mammoth portions, visitors love the friendly feel of the city, giving you even more of a reason to stay the night. Get the best bang for your buck and call My Place Amarillo your home for the night.
Song #4: There’s only one answer… “Is This The Way To Amarillo?” by Tony Christie
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The fictional setting of the hit show Breaking Bad, in reality Albuquerque is a great place to get back to nature. With plenty of hiking trails, like favourites Sandia Peak and the Tram, you’ll get a true feel for the outdoors. There are also plenty of horse riding stables in the city, so you can saddle up and ride on out, then hit the hay of Albuquerque’s Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn.
Song #5: Head over to Arizona to the tune of “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash.
Williams is only 60 miles from the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, but definitely worth the drive. In fact, driving towards the Canyon at sunset to enjoy a spot of stargazing is a must. You can also hop aboard the Grand Canyon railway and set off into the dessert. After a day trip to the Grand Canyon, get some shut eye at The Lodge on Route 66 – its namesake says it all.
Song #6: By now you’re really into the swing of impulsiveness, so rock along to “No Particular Place To Go” by Chuck Berry.
Having spent so much time on Route 66, it would be a shame not to drop by the Route 66 Museum. Here you can learn about the history of the highway and see some of the classic vehicles that have made the journey over the years. Cap the adventure off at the nearby Ayres Hotel Barstow, a boutique property, where you can reflect on your epic road trip.
Song #7: You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to California songs, but “California Dreamin’” is definitely a front runner.