After breakfast at 66 Diner (www.66diner.com) in Albuquerque, take the I-40, which runs parallel to the original Route 66. Drive 65 miles (105 km) southwest to Acoma Pueblo. Take a tour of one of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in the USA on the mesa top; the views are amazing. Continue west on I-40 and stop at Grants (30 miles/48 km) for lunch. El Cafecito (820 E Santa Fe Ave, Grants) on Historic Route 66 is a good spot for genuine Mexican food.
After lunch, stretch your legs with a hike in the volcanic landscape of El Malpais National Monument, just 4 miles (6 km) away. Back on I-40, drive to Gallup (65 miles/105 km), where there is a choice of overnight accommodations.
From Gallup, the I-40 crosses the border into Arizona. Stop to explore the Petrified Forest National Park, 70 miles (113 km) away. Holbrook, 18 miles (29 km) farther on, is a Route 66 landmark with its Wigwam Village motel (www.galerie-kokopelli.com/wigwam). Grab a bite to eat at Tom and Suzie’s Diner (2001 Navajo Boulevard).
Head to Winslow, 33 miles (53 km) west, where music fans may want to stop for a photo by the mural at Standin’ on the Corner Park, a reference to the Eagles’ song “Take It Easy”, which mentions the town. Drive to Flagstaff, 58 miles (93km) farther on. Explore its historic downtown and dine at foodie favorite Tinderbox Kitchen (www.tinderboxkitchen.com). Stay overnight at the historic Hotel Monte Vista (www.hotelmontevista.com), dating to 1926, whose antiques-furnished rooms are named for Hollywood stars who were previous guests.
Get an early start and drive 40 minutes (33 miles/53 km) to Williams for breakfast at Goldie’s Route 66 Diner. Walk off your breakfast at Seligman, a 43-mile (69-km) drive, set among Arizona’s mountains, with scenery that evokes the days of the westward pioneers. You’ll find several Route 66-themed shops and diners here, where you can have lunch.
Drive to the Grand Canyon Caverns, 25 miles (40 km) northwest on Historic Route 66, and explore stalagmites and seams of sparkling crystals on a 45-minute underground tour. Kingman (62 miles/100 km) is about an hour’s drive farther along old Route 66. Here you can visit the Arizona Route 66 Museum (route66museum.net), which also has a historic electric vehicle museum attached. From Kingman, follow Highway 93 for 76 miles (122 km) to Hoover Dam and enjoy a stroll around the marinas of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Then head on to Las Vegas, 37 miles (60 km) from here, for an evening of entertainment at Bellagio or Caesars Palace.
Discover Southwest USA Itineraries
t The historic Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff.