Walter Nichols is an experienced auctioneer who has spent decades in the world of antiques. His writings offer a unique perspective on the value and rarity of different antique pieces.
As an expert in the history and culture of Route 66, I am often asked: where does the current Route 66 begin and end? Today, I am here to provide you with an in-depth answer to this frequently asked question.
Route 66, often referred to as the Mother Road or the Main Street of America, officially begins in Chicago, Illinois and ends in Santa Monica, California. This iconic highway, stretching a total of 2,448 miles, was established in 1926 and served as a major path for those who migrated west during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
To illustrate this more clearly, let's take a look at the map below.
As you can see, Route 66 stretches across several states, starting in Chicago and ending in Santa Monica. However, it's important to note that...
However, the exact start and end points of Route 66 have shifted over the years due to changes in the highway system and the establishment of Interstates. The original eastern terminus was at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue in Chicago. But in 1937, it was moved a few blocks east to the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Boulevard.
In Santa Monica, the western terminus was originally located at the intersection of Lincoln and Olympic Boulevards. However, many travelers and enthusiasts consider the Santa Monica Pier to be the symbolic end of the historic route, even though Route 66 never officially extended to the pier.
Today, while much of the original Route 66 has been decommissioned and replaced by the Interstate Highway System, significant portions remain accessible and are designated as a National Scenic Byway named "Historic Route 66".
To truly appreciate the journey along Route 66, it's best to experience it visually. Here's a comprehensive video that takes you on a 14-day road trip along the 'Main Street of America'.
As you can see from the video, the journey along Route 66 is filled with a rich tapestry of history and culture. From iconic roadside attractions to breathtaking landscapes, every mile tells a story.
As you travel along the remnants of Route 66, you'll find a rich tapestry of history and culture. From iconic roadside attractions to vintage motels, diners, and yes, antique shops, the Mother Road offers a unique journey through the heart of America.
One of the great joys of traveling Route 66 is the chance to discover unique finds and collect Route 66 memorabilia. From vintage postcards and license plates to antique furniture and Americana, the antique shops along Route 66 are treasure troves for collectors and history buffs.
Treasures of the Mother Road: Route 66 Memorabilia
So, whether you're planning a cross-country road trip, or simply curious about this piece of American history, I hope this guide helps you understand where Route 66 starts and ends. And remember, it's not just about the destination, but the journey and the unique finds you'll discover along the way.
Route 66: Journey Through History
Test your knowledge about the iconic Route 66!