Get your road trip kicks on Route 66

Iconic Route 66.

Iconic Route 66. Photo: Supplied

Road trips are a time-honoured way of taking an authentic holiday that takes in more than just the tourist traps.

Jumping in a car and going wherever, and whenever, you like is for many the ultimate way to experience a new destination.

Unlike a scheduled tour, a road trip lets you follow your nose – stopping at that colourful cafe just off the highway, swinging by that park you heard about on the grapevine.

According to Finder, 55 per cent of Australians are planning a holiday in 2023. Many are still making up for lost time and more still believe they simply deserve a great trip.

The US is inviting road trippers to take their next international trip on the iconic Route 66 through the state of Oklahoma.

The longest driveable stretch of Route 66 – 400 miles or 643 kilometres – runs through Oklahoma, which is in the southern central region of the US.

Route 66

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in Stockyards City, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Photo: Supplied

With its charming roadside towns and diners, it’s easy to get your kicks on this famous road.

Along the way you’ll find plenty of opportunities to soak up the culture and history surrounding Route 66, which has played a prominent role in American culture.

During the 1930s it was a popular route for people who migrated west during the Dust Bowl, which set the scene for John Steinbeck’s seminal novel The Grapes of Wrath in which Steinbeck dubbed Route 66 the Mother Road.

Find out more at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, the National Route 66 & Transportation Museum in Elk City and the Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler.

You’re sure to stop along the way to take snaps of the neon signs and nostalgic sites you’ve seen in movies and TV shows over the decades.

These include the Coleman Theatre in Miami, Pop’s giant soda bottle, the Arcadia Round Barn and the Blue Whale in Catoosa.

Route 66

Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma. Photo: Supplied

Oklahoma’s residents are notoriously friendly and will welcome you at every stop.

There’s barbecue joints and craft breweries to enjoy, and cultural centres where visitors can learn about the lives and history of Native Americans and how cowboy culture has evolved.

When it comes time to stretch your legs you’ll find plenty of places to lose yourself in nature.

Oklahoma has a diverse range of landscapes, from rugged mountain foothills to cypress swamps and tallgrass prairies to pine-covered mountains.

Because each of these areas has idyllic water bodies such as lakes, rivers and streams, the number of activities you can indulge in is endless. Think hiking, rafting, horse riding, biking, mountain climbing, scuba diving, hang gliding, boating, camping, canoeing and fishing.

So when you think of taking your next international holiday and want to see more than the headline attractions, consider a road trip.

Being in the driver’s seat lets you truly explore the scenic route.

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