The West's best road trips

Satisfy your wanderlust with a Western classic--a great road trip. Get ideas for the best routes and where to eat along the way

Ultimate Western road trip: Route 66

From the desert to the surf, these three stretches of the old Mother Road have outdoor adventure, high culture, and some of the West’s best road food 


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End: Santa Monica, CA
Photo by John Hicks / Corbis

End: Santa Monica, CA

To drive the final stretch of the Mother Road, start in Los Angeles at Sunset Junction (W. Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds.). Go west on Santa Monica Blvd. through Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Turn left on Ocean Ave., then right to reach the Santa Monica Pier.


Santa Monica Pier (pictured). The L.A. icon stretches 1,650 feet over sand and into the Pacific, and was designated the symbolic end of Route 66 in 2009 (check out the End of the Trail sign halfway down the pier). Explore the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, trapeze lessons, bumper cars, and funnel cakes.

Annenberg Community Beach House. This isn’t your typical town pool. It’s more chic beach club, but without the steep fee or attitude. Go early (day passes go on sale at 9:30; pool opens at 10) to nab a chair under one of the orange umbrellas. Opens May 26; $10; passes also available at

South Bay Bicycle Trail. Rent a cruiser and pedal along the South Bay Bicycle Trail, 22 sunny miles of palm trees, golden sand beaches, and super-fun stops like the Venice Beach BoardWalk.


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