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Parsa's Recommended Route 66 Resources
Resources for planning and guides for the whole route
Great deals! You can get a lot of the items below, including the EZ 66 Guide, the Dining and Lodging Guide, the Route 66 Adventure Handbook, the Here It Is! map series, and other great items by becoming a member of the National Route 66 Federation. You also get the excellent Federation news magazine with a membership package. Check out the Route 66 Superstore for all the great deals! I personally like the Route 66 Silver Explorer's Kit.
EZ66 Guide for Travellers by Jerry McClanahan
This is by far the best all-around guide book for finding and cruising the Mother Road. Mr. McClanahan (or Jerry McEZ after this book came out) definitely qualifies as an expert on Route 66, and it shows in this book. This book has both west and east directions, overview maps, and detailed maps for areas where folks might get off track. If you have this book and find errors or new discoveries, you can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This book is also available from Amazon.
The Complete Guidebook to Route 66 and The Complete Atlas of Route 66
by Bob Moore and Rich Cunningham.
Have a GPS receiver? You'll wish you did when you see these books, though you don't need one to use them. This is a complete detailed atlas and directional guidebook to the whole road, complete with geographical coordinates at the link above. The maps are kind of small, but of course were talking over 2000 miles all the way... Note that not every alignment of Route 66 is featured. For that you'll need the state guides below.
Quick Access Route 66 by Global Graphics
This isn't too helpful for detailed driving directions,
but it makes a great planning map. It's handy to open and use
quickly in order to see which towns are along the way.
It's laminated, so it will look as good after
the trip as when you started. Also available at the Route 66 Superstore.
Here it Is! The Route 66 Map Series
Eight maps, one for each state, researched and illustrated by Route 66 experts Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan. These are fairly detailed, and you could use them to drive the whole route. There are also driving direction on the side, but you'd need a good co-pilot/navigator to use them in actual driving. The maps, though well drawn, are not to scale. I found these very useful. These are also available at Amazon.
Route 66 Adventure Handbook by Drew Knowles
If you need a book to tell you all the sites to see (and who doesn't), then this is the book you need. It gives brief lists and descriptions of attractions for each town and village along Route 66. Personally, I don't find Rialto quite so scary as the author did, but then I live in southern California.
Route 66 guidebooks and maps for each state
Travelling the New, Historic Route 66 of Illinois
by John Weiss
A book that is very easy to follow and well designed for a driver. The book is set up as a spiral bound, tabbed, flip book. It includes driving directions, but is light on maps.
Missouri US 66 Tour Book
by C.H. (Skip) Curtis
This is a great book with wonderful vintage photos. It tends to be almost too detailed (if such a thing is possible). There's a lot of information on sites that are long gone, but it's hard to fault a book for being complete and thorough. The maps are excellent, however, and are easily worth the price of the book. Driving directions are given both for eastbound and westbound!
Missouri and Kansas:
Official Map of Missouri US 66 / Kansas US 66
(75th Anniversary Map)
by the Route 66 Association of Missouri
A very good map with fairly good
road detail. I got it for 99 cents somewhere on the road. There are lots of ads
from sponsors, but they are useful and don't get in the way of the utility
of the map.
Oklahoma Route 66 by Jim Ross
An excellent road guide--perhaps the best. The maps are clear and show every known alignment discovered to date. You could read this for pleasure alone, since the history of the road is so fascinating. Note though that there is little about dining, lodging, etc. That's not the purpose of this book. Reverse directions are given in the back. The used prices for this book on Amazon make me want to sell mine!
Route 66 Across New Mexico: A Wanderer's Guide by Jill Schneider
Out of print, but available used for a reasonable price. This isn't your ordinary guidebook with directions and maps, although those do exist here. It's more like a series of travel essays. However, they're great ones, and I recommend reading this before and during your trip to New Mexico. The link I've given is for Amazon, but you'll have to buy it from their used book partners. I did, and was very glad I got the book. You might also try
Biblio, or Ebay.
Route 66 Across Arizona : A Comprehensive Two-Way Guide for Touring Route 66
by Richard and Sherry Mangum
A great book, sadly out of print. Look for it used. Colorful, large, and with
some of the best and clearest guide maps of any book. Directions are
given for both east and west, but make sure to look in both sections for
each area or you will miss some important items of information. I bought
this in Oatman, and was very glad I did. It really made my first trip
great, and my subsequent drive down the whole route much more interesting.
It has lots of info on obscure, but very fun, old alignments. It's very
Guide To Historic Route
66 in California
by the California Historic Route 66 Association
This seems a little old now, but it works well enough for Route 66 in
San Bernardino County. It helped me find those elusive Route 66 rest
stops on the side of the road. Once you're in Los Angeles County though,
I'd use the following book.
Finding the End of the Mother Road by Scott Piotrowski
The best guidebook to the often confusing, but always interesting
alignments of Route 66 in Los Angeles County. People often skip
this section, which is very sad, as there are some great places to visit.
I've traveled this section many times, and Scott's book
illuminated an entirely new layer of discovery for me. Evidently some people are selling this online... Google it. You may
have to pick this up on the way to L.A. at the Route 66 museum in either
Barstow or Victorville. Get it, it's great!
If you have the desire to do as much of Route 66 as possible, you'll need a high clearance, four wheel drive vehicle. I drove the whole Route in my Nissan Xterra, and I mean nearly everything that was legal and didn't require wings (and the legal part was at times somewhat tenuous). You may get through the Jericho Gap in a car, but the Cuervo Cutoff, La Bajada Hill, and the trip through the wash from Park Moabi to Needles require 4WD. For the Arizona sections of 66, Route 66 Across Arizona (mentioned above) is great for showing the cool,
bumpy alignments. However, I also recommend getting the following video, and
taking along the great map that comes with it.
Bones of the Old Road (DVD)
with Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan
At an hour and twenty minutes, this is long by documentary standards.
The drives featured are great, and it was fun doing them all myself
after watching this video. I took the enclosed map with me, and it
really added to the fun of my trip. The bloopers at the end are classic.
Also available on VHS on
Lodging and dining guides
Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide, Fourteenth Edition
by the National Historic Route 66 Federation
I took an edition of this book with me on my Route 66 trip, and although
it was occasionally out of date, it helped a great deal. This is a newer
edition, so things will hopefully be even better. One word of caution:
travelling 66 is an adventure, and finding obscure mom and pop hotels
and greasy spoons is half the fun of the trip. I stayed and dined in a
lot of great places that were not in the guide. However, it does help you
find those must-visit eateries and motels. Also available at Amazon.
Ask the experts
Route 66 Yahoo eGroup
This is the main Route 66 discussion group on the internet. You can view it as a web page or get posts via email. This is where all the hardcore Route 66 "road warriors" hang out.
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Parsa's Recommended Route 66 Resources