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Route 66 Adventures: Which Airport Is the Best to Fly Into?

Route 66 Adventures: Which Airport Is the Best to Fly Into?

An adventure along Route 66 is the quintessential American road trip experience. This legendary highway has appeared in too many TV shows and movies to count, and its long history is an important part of American culture. Given that Route 66 is almost 2,500 miles long, there are plenty of different places where you can start your journey, all offering something a bit different.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Chicago is where Route 66 begins, and O’Hare International Airport is just miles away from the eastern terminus. O’Hare is also one of the busiest airports in the world, so you can be sure that it’s easy to get to and navigate.

If you do select Chicago as your starting point, there’s a lot to see and do before you hit the road. Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park and The Art Institute of Chicago are both popular stops for visitors, while The Chicago History Museum often has exhibits that can provide context to the early days of Route 66 itself.

Starting your trip from Chicago means that you have a lot of flexibility. You could plan out a short road trip or even follow Route 66 all the way to Santa Monica, stopping off at one of an endless list of destinations along the way. Alternatively, you could simply choose O’Hare because it gives you the chance to enjoy driving through the city’s big urban environment before transitioning to the more rural and scenic parts of the route.

Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)

Another choice for a Route 66 adventure is to fly to Albuquerque via any of the major airlines that service the Sunport, including American Airlines and Delta. Albuquerque International is just a short trip away from the city center, too, making travel nice and easy. Another benefit of this location is it gives travelers a chance to experience the popular Santa Rosa and its strong Route 66 heritage.

As soon as you touch down in Albuquerque, you’ll quickly notice that the city is peppered with eye-catching neon signs that light up Central Avenue, the very road that traces old Route 66 through town. Historical motels serve as time capsules from the golden age of American road trips, while local diners are a great place to stop and soak it all in.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

While O’Hare International is right at the beginning of Route 66, LAX is right near the end, not far from the western terminus. Starting your Route 66 trip in Los Angeles offers a similar type of flexibility that you get from starting in Chicago, just with different nearby destinations to stop at.

As well as that, LAX is one of the busiest and most well-known airports in the world, so you’ll have no problem finding flights here that work with your schedule. In addition, being one of the most famous cities on earth, a few days in Los Angeles could be the perfect way to unwind and prepare for your road trip. You could visit Hollywood, take in a Lakers game, or even visit Santa Monica to see exactly where Route 66 ends.

Whether it’s one of these three or airports in other cities like Tulsa, Amarillo, or Flagstaff, a Route 66 road trip can be done in many different ways. Start by mapping out exactly what you want to get out of the trip and decide which locations along the way are most important for you to visit. From there, pick the airport that makes the most sense and start looking at flights for your adventure.

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