Route 66 Major Cities (List)

Embark on an epic road trip along Route 66, the iconic American highway that stretches from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.

This historic route takes you through a tapestry of diverse landscapes and charming towns, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of America.

Along the way, you’ll encounter a myriad of must-visit cities that are brimming with attractions, landmarks, and points of interest.

Route 66 Major Cities

From the bustling metropolis of Chicago, where Route 66 begins, to the sun-kissed beaches of Santa Monica, where it culminates, each city along this route has its own unique allure.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone on this unforgettable journey.

Key Takeaways:

  • Route 66 is an iconic American highway stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.
  • Along the route, you’ll encounter a diverse range of major cities and towns.
  • Each city offers its own set of attractions, landmarks, and cultural experiences.
  • Explore the best cities on Route 66 to make the most of your road trip.
  • Plan your Route 66 itinerary and discover the must-visit cities along the way.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois is the starting point of the iconic Route 66, a road trip route that stretches all the way to Santa Monica, California. This vibrant city is a must-visit destination with its stunning skyline, rich culture, and diverse attractions.

One of the Chicago’s most famous landmarks is the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. Standing tall at 1,450 feet, it offers breathtaking views of the city and beyond from its Skydeck observation deck.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply want to marvel at the cityscape, a visit to the Willis Tower is a must.

The Art Institute of Chicago is another highlight for art enthusiasts. With its extensive collection spanning thousands of years, including masterpieces by renowned artists like Vincent van Gogh and Grant Wood, this museum is a treasure trove of artistic wonders.

For a fun-filled day by the waterfront, head to Navy Pier. This popular entertainment complex offers a variety of attractions, including amusement rides, boat tours, restaurants, and live performances.

Take a leisurely stroll along the pier, enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan, and indulge in the vibrant atmosphere.

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri is a major city along Route 66, known for its iconic Gateway Arch. Visitors can ride to the top of the arch for panoramic views of the city.

Other attractions include the Missouri Botanical Garden, which is home to beautiful plant collections, and the Saint Louis Art Museum, displaying art from around the world. The St. Louis Zoo, one of the top zoos in the country, is also worth a visit.

Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch, sometimes referred to as the “Gateway to the West,” is a symbol of St. Louis and a must-visit attraction. Standing at 630 feet, it is the tallest arch in the world and offers breathtaking views of the city and the Mississippi River.

Visitors can take a tram ride to the top and capture stunning photos of the St. Louis skyline.

Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as Shaw’s Garden, is a botanical oasis in the heart of St. Louis. Spanning over 79 acres, it features beautiful gardens, lush landscapes, and a variety of plant collections from around the world.

Visitors can explore the Japanese Garden, Chinese Garden, and Climatron, a geodesic dome housing tropical plants.

Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum is a world-class museum that showcases a diverse collection of art spanning centuries and continents.

From ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern masterpieces, the museum offers a fascinating journey through history and culture. With free admission, it is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo is a top-rated zoo known for its dedication to animal conservation and education.

Home to over 17,000 animals from around the world, visitors can observe and learn about various species in naturalistic habitats. From lions and tigers to penguins and elephants, the zoo offers an unforgettable experience for all ages.

Attraction Description
Gateway Arch An iconic monument that offers panoramic views of St. Louis
Missouri Botanical Garden A botanical oasis featuring beautiful gardens and plant collections
Saint Louis Art Museum A world-class museum displaying art from various cultures and eras
St. Louis Zoo A top-rated zoo with diverse animal species and educational programs

Springfield, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri is a city with a rich history and many Route 66 landmarks. Visitors can explore the Route 66 Car Museum, which showcases classic cars and motorcycles.

The museum’s collection boasts a wide variety of vehicles, from vintage Ford Mustangs to iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It’s a must-visit for car enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history of transportation in America.

If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. This historic site commemorates the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, which took place during the Civil War.

Walk along the trails, visit the museum, and gain a deeper understanding of this pivotal moment in American history.

As you explore Springfield, keep an eye out for other Route 66 landmarks. The city is dotted with nostalgic signs, neon lights, and vintage architecture that harken back to the heyday of the Mother Road.

Take a stroll down Route 66 and immerse yourself in the vibrant history and culture of this iconic highway.

Attraction Description
Route 66 Car Museum Experience a collection of classic cars and motorcycles that pays homage to the heyday of Route 66.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Step back in time and learn about the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, a significant event in the Civil War.
Route 66 Landmarks Discover the charming nostalgia of Springfield’s Route 66 landmarks, including signs, neon lights, and vintage architecture.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma is a vibrant city with a thriving arts scene. Located in the heart of the state, Tulsa offers a diverse range of cultural attractions and architectural wonders.

From art museums to performing arts centers, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this bustling city.

Philbrook Museum of Art

One of the highlights of Tulsa is the Philbrook Museum of Art. This renowned institution is housed in a stunning Italian Renaissance villa and showcases an impressive collection of artworks from around the world.

Visitors can explore exquisite paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts as they immerse themselves in the beauty of the museum.

Woody Guthrie Center

For music enthusiasts, the Woody Guthrie Center is a must-visit attraction. This museum celebrates the life and legacy of the legendary folk singer, Woody Guthrie.

Through exhibits, interactive displays, and archives, visitors can learn about Guthrie’s contributions to American music and social activism.

Tulsa Performing Arts Center

No visit to Tulsa would be complete without experiencing the vibrant performing arts scene. The Tulsa Performing Arts Center is a hub for theater, dance, and music performances.

From Broadway shows to symphony concerts, there is always something happening at this world-class venue.

Tulsa is also known for its unique art deco architecture, with many buildings showcasing this distinctive style.

Whether you’re strolling through the downtown area or exploring the historic neighborhoods, you’ll be captivated by the city’s architectural charm.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma offers a mix of urban attractions and historic landmarks. Visitors can explore the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which celebrates the history and culture of the American West.

The museum showcases a vast collection of Western art, artifacts, and exhibits that provide insight into the cowboy way of life.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is another significant landmark in the city.

It is dedicated to honoring the victims and the resilience of the community in the wake of the devastating Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The memorial grounds and museum offer a somber and reflective space for remembrance and education.

Oklahoma City also boasts a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries and theaters to explore. From contemporary art exhibitions to live performances, there is something to suit every artistic taste. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture and unique creative expressions.

With its fascinating blend of history, art, and cultural experiences, Oklahoma City is a must-visit destination along the legendary Route 66.

Whether you’re captivated by the allure of the Wild West or seeking a deeper understanding of the city’s resilience, Oklahoma City offers a rich and diverse range of attractions to explore.

Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo, Texas is a quirky city located in the heart of the Lone Star State. Known for its unique attractions and Western charm, Amarillo offers a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

From iconic art installations to breathtaking natural beauty, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Cadillac Ranch

One of the most famous landmarks in Amarillo is the legendary Cadillac Ranch. This public art installation features ten half-buried Cadillac cars, covered in graffiti and constantly evolving. It’s a must-see for art enthusiasts and provides the perfect opportunity for unique photos and creative expression.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted by the stunning beauty of Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” this park offers hiking, biking, and camping opportunities amidst breathtaking geological formations.

Explore the trails, marvel at the vibrant colors of the canyon walls, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders this park has to offer.

Tri-State Fair and Rodeo

Every September, Amarillo comes alive with the excitement of the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo.

This annual event showcases the spirit of the Wild West with thrilling rodeo competitions, live music, delicious food, and exhilarating carnival rides. It’s a family-friendly event that provides entertainment and fun for everyone.

Discover the unique charm of Amarillo, Texas, and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, captivating art, and breathtaking scenery.

Whether you’re exploring the Cadillac Ranch, hiking through Palo Duro Canyon, or experiencing the excitement of the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo, Amarillo offers an unforgettable adventure that will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Amarillo Attractions

Attraction Description
Cadillac Ranch An iconic public art installation featuring ten half-buried Cadillacs covered in graffiti.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park A picturesque state park known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” offering hiking, biking, and camping opportunities.
Tri-State Fair and Rodeo An annual event showcasing rodeo competitions, live music, food, and carnival rides.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a city rich in culture and history. Located in the heart of the Southwest, it offers a vibrant blend of Native American traditions, Spanish colonial influences, and modern attractions.

Visitors to Albuquerque can immerse themselves in the region’s rich heritage and explore its unique landmarks.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the Native American heritage of the region. This cultural center showcases the art, history, and traditions of the 19 Pueblo Indian tribes of New Mexico.

Visitors can explore the museum exhibits, watch traditional dances and performances, and even purchase authentic Native American artwork and crafts.

Sandia Peak Tramway

The Sandia Peak Tramway is a breathtaking attraction that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and desert landscape.

This aerial tramway takes visitors on a scenic ride to the top of Sandia Peak, where they can enjoy hiking trails, breathtaking vistas, and even a restaurant with stunning views. It’s a perfect way to experience the natural beauty of the Albuquerque area.

Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque is a charming historic district that showcases the city’s Spanish colonial roots. With its adobe buildings, narrow streets, and traditional architecture, this area is a delight to explore.

Visitors can wander through the shops, galleries, and restaurants housed in historic buildings, and even catch live music or street performances.

It’s a must-visit for history buffs and those looking to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Albuquerque, New Mexico offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring Native American traditions at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to enjoying breathtaking views from the Sandia Peak Tramway and immersing oneself in the charm of Old Town Albuquerque, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona is a city surrounded by natural beauty. Located in the Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff offers outdoor enthusiasts a paradise of lush landscapes and scenic vistas.

The city is known for its proximity to the iconic San Francisco Peaks, a volcanic mountain range that provides stunning hiking trails and breathtaking views.

The Lowell Observatory, a renowned research facility, is a must-visit for astronomy enthusiasts.

Visitors can explore the wonders of space and learn about our universe through engaging exhibits and interactive programs. The observatory’s state-of-the-art telescopes offer unparalleled opportunities for stargazing.

“Flagstaff, Arizona is truly a gem for nature lovers and astronomy enthusiasts. From the majesty of the San Francisco Peaks to the captivating discoveries at the Lowell Observatory, this city offers an unforgettable experience.”

– Traveler’s Review

Flagstaff’s historic downtown area is another highlight, with its charming streets lined with unique shops, art galleries, and locally-owned restaurants.

Visitors can immerse themselves in Flagstaff’s rich history and vibrant culture while enjoying a leisurely stroll through the city’s lively streets.

Flagstaff, Arizona is a destination that seamlessly blends natural beauty, scientific exploration, and vibrant city life.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures in Coconino National Forest, gazing at the stars at Lowell Observatory, or exploring the historic downtown, Flagstaff promises an extraordinary experience for all.

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica, California serves as the picturesque endpoint of the legendary Route 66. Nestled along the stunning California coastline, this vibrant beachfront destination offers a wealth of attractions and a lively atmosphere that captivates visitors from all over the world.

Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park

A visit to Santa Monica wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the iconic Santa Monica Pier. This beloved attraction features a delightful blend of nostalgia and excitement, enticing both locals and tourists alike.

The star of the pier is the majestic Ferris wheel, which grants breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the city skyline.

Adjacent to the Ferris wheel is Pacific Park, an enchanting amusement park that offers thrilling rides, games, and live entertainment. From exhilarating roller coasters to classic carnival games, Pacific Park guarantees endless fun for visitors of all ages.

Beautiful Beaches and Coastal Delights

Santa Monica prides itself on its stunning beaches, attracting sunseekers and surf enthusiasts year-round.

The expansive sandy shorelines provide the perfect setting for relaxation, leisurely walks, and beach sports.

Whether you’re basking in the warm California sunshine or taking a dip in the refreshing waves, the beaches of Santa Monica offer an idyllic coastal escape.

Lively Third Street Promenade

A short stroll from the Santa Monica Pier, the vibrant Third Street Promenade beckons with its bustling atmosphere and diverse array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

This pedestrian-only street is brimming with energy, making it a popular hub for shopping, dining, people-watching, and enjoying live street performances.

Attractions Description
Santa Monica Pier An iconic landmark with a Ferris wheel and Pacific Park amusement park.
Pacific Park An enchanting amusement park with thrilling rides and entertainment.
Beautiful Beaches Expansive sandy shores ideal for relaxation and beach activities.
Third Street Promenade A lively pedestrian street with shops, restaurants, and street performances.


What are the major cities on Route 66?

The major cities on Route 66 include Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Springfield, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Santa Monica, California.

What are the must-visit cities on Route 66?

Some of the must-visit cities on Route 66 include Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Santa Monica, California.

Which cities have iconic landmarks along Route 66?

Cities such as Chicago, Illinois (Willis Tower, Navy Pier), St. Louis, Missouri (Gateway Arch), and Santa Monica, California (Santa Monica Pier) have iconic landmarks along Route 66.

What attractions can I experience in Tulsa, Oklahoma?

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, you can visit attractions such as the Philbrook Museum of Art, Woody Guthrie Center, and Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Are there any historic landmarks on Route 66?

Yes, there are several historic landmarks on Route 66, including Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Springfield, Missouri and Old Town Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What natural attractions can I find on Route 66?

Along Route 66, you can explore natural attractions such as Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Amarillo, Texas and the Coconino National Forest in Flagstaff, Arizona.


A road trip along Route 66 is the ultimate adventure for travelers seeking to explore America’s major cities.

From the iconic skyline of Chicago to the sun-kissed beaches of Santa Monica, each city along the route offers a unique blend of attractions and experiences that will leave you spellbound.

Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, nature lover, or simply an avid explorer, Route 66 has something for everyone.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Chicago, where towering skyscrapers and world-class museums await. Journey through St. Louis and marvel at the iconic Gateway Arch before exploring its captivating botanical gardens and art museums.

Discover the rich history of Springfield and its wealth of Route 66 landmarks. Indulge in the vibrant arts scene of Tulsa and experience the Wild West spirit in Amarillo. Explore the Native American heritage of Albuquerque and witness the wonders of astronomy in Flagstaff.

Finally, bask in the coastal beauty of Santa Monica, where the journey along Route 66 concludes. The Route 66 Major Cities offer an unforgettable tapestry of diverse landscapes, captivating history, and vibrant cultures.

With this Route 66 Travel Guide, you have a roadmap to plan your itinerary and make the most of your road trip adventure.

So grab your bags, set your sights on Route 66, and get ready for an extraordinary journey filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Related Posts