The road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles will be ideal for you if an adventure through cactus-filled desserts, beautiful canyon scenery, and many national parks sounds appealing. The drive takes you through the stunning Southwest, which has a lot to see. It takes 29 hours to drive the 2,000 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Southern Route goes through Albuquerque and Oklahoma City, along portions of the legendary Route 66, for some very different but equally spectacular sights. Driving this route adds about 150 miles and takes two hours longer. One of the first American roadways, Route 66, was constructed in 1926, long before the interstate highway system existed. You will pass through agriculture, cities, deserts, mountains, and every other type of environment in between. The Most scenic route from Chicago to Los Angeles starts here!
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Chicago is renowned for its skyscrapers, extensive past, and jazz and blues music. It will be best to visit some downtown bars while visiting this wonderful city to experience the vibe fully. Enjoy some deep-dish pizza and the renowned Chicago hot dogs while watching the Chicago Bulls basketball team make some baskets. Enjoy this wonderful city before beginning your journey on Route 66 in Chicago.
You may visit the Cozy Dog Drive-In by traveling through Springfield, Illinois, on your way west from Chicago. And this is supposedly where the first corn dog originated. Illinois, often known as the Prairie State or the Land of Lincoln, is well-known for various things. The state provides a lot to individuals who enjoy city vacations or roaming around and some fantastic natural treasures that will astound you. Burden Falls is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Burden Falls, which is in Pope County, is one of the tallest waterfalls in Illinois while being somewhat diminutive compared to some of the country’s most incredible waterfalls. At the Burden Falls Wilderness, photography and bird watching are both very popular pastimes, and the area is also open to hunting and fishing. The significant 3.5-mile hiking track winds through the woodland.
You can then take a drive to St. Louis, Missouri. In pubs along the Mississippi River’s banks, pause to listen to authentic blues music. While traveling along historic Route 66 through St. Louis can be frustrating, it is well worth the trouble for its many fantastic locations, including the Ted Drewes Frozen Custard stands. One route from Collinsville, Illinois, spanned the Mississippi River directly into the city. In contrast, a different “City 66” route traversed the Chain of Rocks Bridge before passing through downtown St. Louis along Florissant Avenue and Riverview Drive.
Meramec Caverns in Missouri are a must-see. These are a group of 4.6 miles of naturally occurring limestone caves. In addition to ancient antiquities, this location is where outlaw Jesse James evaded capture. The original road left the city center going Southwest, passing close to the concurrent I-44 freeway on Gravois Avenue, Chippewa Street, and Watson Road.
Oklahoma City, which has long been a significant stop along the Mother Road, is the only location on the route singled out for praise in the Bobby Troup song (“Oklahoma City is gorgeous”), probably due to the rhyme’s simplicity. It is beautiful and enjoyable due to the abundance of avenues and neighborhoods from the “City Beautiful” era. The city was the largest boomtown during the 1889 Land Rush when European settlement was allowed in Oklahoma after being designated as Indian Territory “for eternity.”
Offer respects to the 168 people who died in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, as a sad counterpoint to a classic Route 66 trip. The bombing site between the capital and Bricktown has been preserved as the Oklahoma City National Memorial, which features a tiny pool and 168 sculptured chairs arranged around it. The chairs range from small to full-size, denoting the different ages of the explosion victims.
There are several attractions along the section of Route 66 that follows Interstate 40 across the Texas Panhandle. A famous work of art is built out of automobiles and various vintage gas stations. Shamrock’s Conoco Tower Station: This art-deco gas station is substantially more refined than other roadside establishments. It was constructed in 1936 and is now helpful as a museum after being presented to the municipality in 1999. Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo is another sight to visit. And this is a must-see attraction if you travel this section of the road by car. The ten vintage Cadillacs that make up the installation, which is half-buried with the hood in the ground, were transferred to their current location in 1997 from a prior one two miles away.
New Mexico, Albuquerque
I-40 takes you into New Mexico, halfway to the route’s conclusion. The Americana you see along the trip is mostly the same, despite the changes to the surrounding nature. Towns are few and few between once you enter the state until you reach Albuquerque and pass through some lovely vegetation in the Cibola National Forest. Visit the Laguna San Jose Mission Church. This classic adobe pueblo structure is on Laguna tribal property. It was constructed in 1701 and continues to function as the community’s primary place of worship. Remember to follow any guidelines for photography and other conduct on tribal land.
Arizona comes next. You will traverse the entire length of this arid state, which is home to one of America’s most treasured natural wonders. You may find a distinctive park not far from where I-40 enters Arizona from New Mexico, and further up the road are some rough, hilly regions. The Grand Canyon is the destination for most tourists visiting Arizona. Still, Oak Creek Canyon, a smaller but no less beautiful canyon just south of Flagstaff, has one significant advantage over its famous neighbor: you can drive through it on gorgeous Highway 89A.
This red sandstone gorge began immediately outside Flagstaff and was carved out of the surrounding juniper and pine trees over centuries of erosion. Slide Rock State Park, located 23 miles (37 kilometers) south of Flagstaff and 7 miles (11.3 kilometers) north of Sedona, is the most prominent location to experience Oak Creek Canyon. It is a day-use-only facility with a 43-acre (17-hectare) main feature, a long, naturally occurring rock chute.
Los Angeles, California
The desert will give way to the sprawl of Los Angeles and its suburbs on this final section of Route 66, followed by the Pacific Ocean. Most of the first leg of the travel across California on I-40 is in a desolate area. When you reach the end, you will eventually connect with Interstate 15 and get rewarded with a glimpse of the water from a famous pier. Visit Kelso’s Mojave National Reserve. Camping and hiking are popular activities in this 1.6 million-acre park in the desert.
Take a quick saunter down one of the trails and watch some desert flora and fauna. View the Santa Monica Pier. At Route 66’s western end, you may take in the scenery and people-watch. There is a beach, various entertainment alternatives, and an amusement park nearby. When Route 6 was extended from Los Angeles in 1936, the pier, which is more than 100 years old, was designated as the new western terminus. You can see a lot in California that you’ll never forget. Enjoy your time in Los Angeles and the most admirable sights.