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
Route 66 Mother Road Museum (pictured). Make a pit stop at this shrine to all things Route 66. Housed in a former railroad depot, the small museum shows off old road signs, a retired gas pump, vintage photos, and a ’60s-era, cherry red Mustang. Open Fri–Sun and by appointment; free; 681 N. First Ave.; route66museum.org
McDonald’s Famous Bar-B-Que (juanpollo.com/route-66-attractions/mcdonalds-museum). This is where that king of road food got its start in 1940 (the founders narrowed their focus to burgers eight years later). The former restaurant site now houses a museum packed with Ronald McDonald sculptures and tchotchkes covered in the iconic golden arches. Free; 1398 N. E St.