Getaway Fact sheets
You are here: ninemsn > Travel > Getaway > Fact sheets

Route 66 drive — part II

Thursday, August 31, 2006

This is the second part of Getaway's journey along the 4000 kilometre Route 66, stretching from Chicago through eight states to Los Angeles on the west coast.

In the 1930s, more than 300,000 men, women and children took to the road west, leaving the wasteland of Oklahoma and economic depression, hoping for a better life in the west.

Still in the state of Oklahoma, the Getaway crew reached the town of Yukon, home of country music superstar Garth Brooks. It also has a high Czech population and their customs, heritage and culture are rigidly preserved.

Not far away in Clinton, Oklahoma, is the Trade Winds Motel. This was a place Elvis Presley secretly stayed, but once his cover was blown he left, never to return. It has become Elvis' heartbreak hotel.

Erick, Oklahoma, is known as the "redneck capital of the world". If you choose to stop, a visit to the Sandhills Curiosity Shop will probably explain why. Harley and Annabelle Russell, Mediocre Music Makers, live in a building crammed with thousands of items of memorabilia, none of which are for sale. They might don their redneck tuxedos and give an impromptu performance of Route 66.

When you reach Amarillo, Texas, you should see the Cadillac Ranch. It was conceived by eccentric Texan millionaire Stanley Marsh III. Ten classic Cadillac rear-ends have been thrust into the ground as Marsh tired of the vehicle or it wore out. Bruce Springsteen wrote and released 'Cadillac Ranch' after visiting in 1980.

Of course, in Texas everything is reputedly bigger and the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Café gives credence to that. It seats 450 hungry diners and one of its attractions is the 72-ounce (2040 grams) steak club. People come to see if they can eat it within the allocated hour! The US$50 dinner includes a baked potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, bread roll and the giant-sized piece of sirloin.

As you cross into New Mexico, you reach Tucumcari — motel city. Blue Swallow Motel, amongst similar establishments offering thousands of rooms, is an icon along Route 66. It was built in 1939 and has a shell design on its stucco exterior. Garages are also a characteristic of Blue Swallow. It has had few owners over its long life and the current owners are putting in a lot of hard work to bring the motel back to its original glory.

The 3940-kilometre journey ends in California where Santa Monica Boulevard hits the Pacific Ocean. It runs through the communities of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City and West Los Angeles, which have some of the world's most luxurious and expensive real estate. A long way from some of the towns Route 66 passes through — but that's what America is all about: extremes.


Across the centre of the US.


Air New Zealand has return flights to Los Angeles. Valid for travel between August 17-December 9, 2006.

Fares from;
  • Sydney, $1713
  • Melbourne, $1793
  • Brisbane, $1795
  • Adelaide, $2012
  • Perth, $2263

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

For further information

Best Western Tradewinds Clinton
2128 Gary Boulevard
Clinton, OK 73601
Ph: 1 580 323 2610

Sandhills Curiosity Shop
201 S Sheb Wooley Avenue
Erick, OK
Ph: 1 580.526.3738

Big Texan Steak Ranch
7701 I-40 East
Amarillo, TX
Ph: 1 806.372.6000

Blue Swallow Motel
815 East Route 66 Blvd.
Tucumcari, NM 88401
Ph: 1 505-461-9849
Fax: 1 505-461-9905

Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476

Related links


Brochure Search

Free electronic brochures with information, resources and holiday ideas for unique getaways.

Select a destination:
Sign up nowTo Receive the free Getaway newsletter