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Help please!
June 7, 2012
11:49 am
Danielle
London, UK
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Hi All,

 

I’m looking at my partner and me driving Route 66 in 2013, I have found a few route planners online and am going to purchase the EZ66 Guide as I have read that this is the most helpful guide to driving the route, however I have a few questions…

 

I am from the UK (not an experienced traveller and never been outside of Europe, so please forgive my ignorance if I ask silly questions!) – is the whole route Chicago to LA? And I presume it doesn’t make any difference which starting point I choose, (either Chicago to LA, or LA to Chicago)?

 

Also, if it is not too much hassle I would like to see Alcatraz, so I presume if I was to start in Chicago I should fly to San Francisco first to do this – then would it be easy to drive to Chicago from San Francisco, and how long would that take?

 

We will be hiring a car, I have a found a lot of recommended sites on here for hire companies, which are the best cars to drive in? Due to the time of year that we are looking to go (May/June) I was thinking a convertible would be best due to the heat…

 

Does anyone know if the EZ66 Guide gives details of all excursions and tourist attractions, if not can anyone recommend a website that shows them all?

 

I would like to incorporate driving the Grand Canyon and visiting Vegas – are these “on route”, if not how far out of the way are they?

 

I have read that it is worth pre-booking if we want to stay in certain sought-after hotels/motels on the route, but the chain hotels can be booked as you arrive, I am slightly worried that if we pre book and get lost or delayed somehow that we might no arrive when planned and have to stay somewhere else and waste money… Is there anywhere where I can find a list of the iconic motels and hotels incase we did want to stay in them?

 

Thanks in advance!

Danielle

June 7, 2012
2:06 pm
frank
usa
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Danielle--

Route 66 is Chicago to Santa Monica CA on the Pacific Ocean just past Los Angeles (it never went across the country).  It's about 2450 miles (3950 km).  You can do it in either direction obviously...BUT the traditional American experience is East to West.  This is pretty much how the country was settled, AND how Rt 66 gained its importance.  It was the way to go from the Midwest (Chicago, St. Louis etc.) to California.  You will get a much better "feel" for the road starting in Chicago.

On Alcatraz: Assuming you start in Chicago and end up in Santa Monica...you can easily drive from there up to San Francisco...it's about 380 miles (600 km) and VERY scenic using California Hwy 1 on the coast.  (Essentially, you will get to travel two great American roads on one trip!) There is also a high-speed option inland--US 101.  You should be able to fly back home from San Francisco--or get a connecting flight to Chicago.

Some of your other basic questions are answered in the travel section of my website: https://www.rt66pix.com. This includes suggested nightly stops for a two-week trip, main attractions in order with websites, the classic motels, car rental companies, and weather information. 

Even in May-June this is likely to be the hottest weather you have ever experienced.  If you still want a convertible, a Mustang is the only widely-available current model. 

Many people incorporate Vegas (@ 2-hours away) and the Grand Canyon (@ 1-hour away).

Pre-booking is strongly recommended for the classic motels en route especially during the summer.  Some are very small (a dozen rooms).  The chain motels won't be a problem.

June 13, 2012
9:57 am
Danielle
London, UK
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Thanks Frank, your website is really helpful! I don't think we will incorporate Alcatraz now, we will probably base our itinerary on the one on your site with the addition of the Grand Canyon and Vegas.

 

I’ve researched quite a few of the car rental websites but for some reason the search results can not find any convertibles, quite surprised at this as I would have thought they would be the most popular choice, do you have any idea why or if there’s a reason for this? I’ve tried putting in different dates etc but still no luck!

 

Thank you,

 

Danielle

June 13, 2012
7:06 pm
frank
usa
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Danielle-- Thanks.  The Travel section of the website has benefitted greatly from questions posed here on Driving Route 66.

On Convertibles: They're a specialty item with high seasonal demand (and zero demand October-March in Chicago).  Limited availability perhaps helps to create an artificial shortage.  But the Mustang convertible is rented.  In 2013 the Chevy Camaro (a similar-type car) is supposed to offer a convertible as well. 

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