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
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. santamonicapier.org
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 annenbergbeachhouse.com
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.