USA holidays: How to drive Route 66 from Chicago in one weekend

Laura Millar gets her motor running on a quirky, nostalgic journey from Route 66’s origin in Chicago, across the state of Illinois – all over a long weekend.

For a sign with so much significance, it’s not very impressive; small, brown and white, it’s stuck way up on a pole on the corner of a busy Chicago intersection, between Adams St and Michigan Ave. But this sign commemorates the starting-point of one of the world’s best-known roads: Route 66.

This 3900km route, which connected America’s gritty east coast to its sunny west, officially came into being in April, 1926. And, practically since its inception, it’s inspired – or been featured in – movies, songs, TV shows, and become the shorthand for a certain type of nostalgic, kitsch Americana, instantly recognised all over the world.

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