The Great American Road Trip. For some it’s a family tradition. For others it’s a bucket list vacation. For everyone, a road trip along America’s famous Route 66 is a great way to see the country and enjoy some time with the family.
Traveling along the historic Route 66 is a throwback to the days when a vacation meant the whole family would pack up the car and hit the road. Roadside cafés, motels and kitschy tourist traps made for many a fun vacation photo and memories galore. While high-octane destinations like Disneyworld, Las Vegas and SeaWorld clamor for top billing, many families opt for quality bonding time and nostalgia with the old-fashioned road trip.
From the Windy City to the California Coast, this classic trip covers eight different states and some of the most historic roads in the country. Winding through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, there is no shortage of adventures to be had along the way. Dating back to 1926, it was once the main route between the Midwest and the Pacific. While nowadays road-trippers can save tons of time taking modern highways across the country, this old-fashioned road trip has some pretty cool sights to see along the way.
Start off in Chicago with a hearty meal at Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant, welcoming guests with complimentary donut holes and Milk Duds before sending them on their way since 1946. On your way through Missouri, stop and catch a movie at the 66 Drive-In in Carthage (open April through October).
Although the route no longer exists in its complete original form, many sections remain intact with some interstate detours mixed in (the road follows along what is currently Interstate 40 in several states). There are numerous historic markers to be seen along the way and plenty of Americana like Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park in Foyil, Okla. Just three miles off the main road, this 14-acre park has a number of unique totem poles including its main claim to fame, the “World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole.”
In Texas, the route takes travelers through the U.S. Route 66-Sixth Street Historic District, a 13-block historic district in downtown Amarillo. In the little town of Adrian, just west of Amarillo, stop in for lunch at the famous Midpoint Cafe and Gift Shop that marks the halfway point along the trip. While driving through Arizona make sure to plan a night in Holbrook at the Wigwam Village Motel #6, a museum and motel that lets guests spend the night in their own teepee! Once you reach California, the road takes you right by the historic “Madonna of the Trail” statue in Upland (a memorial to America’s pioneer women) and along the beautiful Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena before arriving at the Pacific Ocean.
Since maps don’t show the route by its historic name anymore, check out a website like HistoricRoute66.com to help you map out your road trip or the National Park Service website for a comprehensive listing of historical landmarks to visit along the way. Get the family in on the fun by grabbing a map to plan your next road trip together.
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Overshadowed by nearby Portland and overlooked by tourists bound for the popular coastal towns of Camden and Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick is not on the radar of most family travelers in Maine. But couples looking for a cozy getaway will find fine dining, antiques, art and quiet streets for strolling, many lined by distinguished homes and well-kept gardens.