The familiar but nostalgic US Highways shields turn 70 next year and the Automobile Club of Southern California is celebrating with a fun map of US 66, the “Mother Road” that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles.
The colorful and highly informational map, free to AAA members, traces the route’s history from being part of the “National Old Trails Road” a century ago, to the Chicago-Los Angeles segment being designated US 66, to its iconic role in the settlement of the west.
Photos and maps highlight scenic wonders, vintage shops, motels and signs, and oddball attractions along the 2,448-mile route.
“The map celebrates the colorful Route 66 history that’s endured over the decades,” said Carolyn Graham, features editor of Westways Magazine, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s member publications. “Map users will enjoy reading about state-by-state recommended landmarks to visit, in addition to using the Auto Club cartography team’s helpful maps to drive to the locations.”
The map’s California highlights include the Santa Monica Pier, the Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain in Pasadena, the Wigwam Village Motel in San Bernardino, the Route 66 Mother Road Museum in Barstow and Bagdad Café in Newberry Springs. Underneath the California highlights are smaller highly detailed Los Angeles, Pasadena and Santa Monica thumbnail maps where Route 66 winds to its end, according to Graham.
For a just-out-of-San-Diego day trip, many of the sites in the Los Angeles area are just a short drive from home. There’s more on the map in the Auto Club’s newsroom»
At the same time that Route 66 was created in 1926, the now-decommissioned US highways in San Diego were also born: US 80, which ran all the way to the eastern seaboard; US 101, the route from Mexico to Canada; and US 395, an inland (almost) border-to-border route. Read more about these routes in my Kindle book series: Towering Old Highway, on old Highway 80; and Quintessential California, a trip down old US 101 in northern San Diego County.