How long does it take to drive Route 66?

Diamonds restaurant and Gardenway motel, Villa Ridge MO
Above: Villa Ridge, Missouri. Diamonds restaurant and Gardenway motel sign.

It is generally accepted that Route 66 can be completed in two weeks. Ideally, however, you should spend a whole month on the road. In two weeks, you will only visit the most popular sites and major cities, necessarily connecting over Interstate highways to avoid busy downtowns and keep up your travelling speed.

In one month, however, you will take our time to follow the historical route, avoiding Interstate highways as much as possible. In doing so, you could indulge in relaxed walks through historic, western-style downtowns, get lost between dusty antique items, sip a root beer in an authentic soda fountain, and enjoy an open-air movie before spending the night in an authentic pop-and-mom motel of the 50s.

Route 66 in California
Above: Historic Route 66 in California.

At a steady pace, it is possible to travel between 200 and 300 miles a day on seven hours stints (pauses and driver changes - ideally every two hours- excluded), considering that the U.S. road network is particularly comfortable (especially on Interstate highways). Even on secondary roads, you rarely come across a succession of hairpin bends and the route is generally wide. Moreover, you can safely overtake at regular intervals. The cruise-control feature, found on almost all rentals in the U.S., makes driving even easier... be careful though not to doze at the wheel!

Cadillac Ranch in Texas
Above: Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.

Finally, do not forget that Route 66 crosses three time zones:

Central Time Zone in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Mountain Time Zone in New Mexico and Arizona
Pacific Time Zone in California.