Route 66 – The 7 BEST Travel Guides – TOP 7 Guidebooks – Which one is best?

The best Route 66 travel guide - guidebooks

I’ve been fascinated by the iconic American road – Route 66 since I was a child and have had the opportunity to travel it several times. 

Now, there are many different ways to experience Route 66. You can drive it, of course, but you can also take a bus, a train, or even a bike. And there are many different types of travel guides to help you plan your trip. 

I will share my experience with some of the best Route 66 travel guides and how they can help you plan your perfect trip.

1. Route 66 Travel Guide: 202 Amazing Places: Chicago to Santa Monica – by Mark Watson

Route 66 the best travel guides - 202 amazing places by Mark Watson

To help you plan your trip, I’ve put together this Route 66 travel guide. This is an Amazon bestseller! It includes over 200 best places to see along the route, from big cities like Chicago and Los Angeles to small towns like Seligman and Oatman. 

I previously wanted a good guide to the old Route 66, but many of the books I read tried to take me to places that were never, ever part of Route 66. That’s why I made this book for you. Here are some perks you will love from this book:

  • Easily find your way around: QR codes are provided for each place. Your smartphone may act as a scanner, and you’ll get instant directions.
  • Full of highlights, not ordinary info: Each state’s detailed route maps have highlighted destinations. You may also use the supplied GPS coordinates and addresses to go from one place to another on this amazing trip. Any route you choose will bring you there.
  • Explore more: I include 202 fantastic spots to explore, listed in the order along Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. The name, distance, a detailed description, tidbits, and directions to the destination are all included in each entry.
  • Don’t miss the highlights: 66 premiere iconic places were selected by our editors to help time-crunched tourists see the most important attractions. There are old movie sets, classic eateries, historic sites, scenic overlooks, and offbeat landmarks waiting to be discovered. 
  • Cruise the Back Roads: The Grand Canyon, Forrest Gump Point, Monument Valley, Roswell, and more are just a few of the “off-route” sites you will find here that may not exist in other books.
  • Wanna stay? I list all the best places to stay, including hotels and RV parks, along the legendary Mother Road
  • Road Trip Soundtrack: a curated selection of tunes meant to evoke the spirit of the classic American road trip.
  • Catch the memory: Leave a lasting record of your amazing voyage by filling up the logbook pages with memorable moments and reflections.
  • Travel back in time on this historic voyage into the American West, home to outlaws, movie stars, and larger-than-life characters like Elvis, Jesse James, and Billy the Kid.
  • Detailed information on speed limits: Save money on tickets!
  • Local tales and unique habit that made up Route 66’s legendary history, from its birth to its recent renaissance. 
  • Go Beyond Route 66: Yep, I also show places that are not a part of the old Route 66
  • The compact size: Its 5.25 x 8-inch dimension is convenient for transport through any mode.
Route 66 - books - travel guide by Mark Watson

All locations and information are updated (post-Covid) and deliberated upon this year. Here’s the version that covers the distance from Chicago to Santa Monica. There is also a guidebook with the journey backwards written out for purchase.

I am a veteran traveler and know the ins and outs of Route 66 like the back of my hand. I share not only places and maps but all of my experience and knowledge so that you can have a memorable trip of a lifetime. I include some detailed information on where to stop, what to see, and how to make the most of your time on America’s Mother Road.

This is one of the best travel guides on the market! MUST-HAVE!

Check my other travel guides: Travel guides

2. Route 66: EZ66 GUIDE For Travellers – by Jerry McClanahan

Very popular guidebook - EZ66 Route 66 travel guide

Jerry McClanahan’s Route 66: EZ66 GUIDE For Travelers has all the information you need to have a safe and enjoyable road journey, from the greatest places to stop along the Mother Road to solutions to the most frequent roadside emergencies. To further assist you with your travel preparations, he also provides several photographs and maps.

You can read the book in either direction, from east to west or west to east, and it features a selection of the route’s absolute must-see sites. 

It’s not a traditional travel book in the sense that it includes recommendations for places to stay and sights to see; rather, it’s a collection of maps supplemented with brief narratives that explain how to go from one point to the next. The EZ66 Guide is an indispensable companion on any Route 66 journey, packed with helpful tips and detailed instructions.

On the flip side, the book’s format is a bit strange at first, particularly if you’re reading it at home rather than on the go. I was irritated that I couldn’t peek inside this one before buying it on Amazon, so you might need some further research if you want to buy this book. This is another great book on my list “Route 66 the best travel guides”

3. Route 66 Dining and Lodging Guide – by National Historic Route 66 Federation

Old but still good route 66 guide book

While I prefer doing research online of the places to eat, there are times when it isn’t possible, thus having this book on hand would be quite helpful.

The book includes more than five hundred restaurants and hotels, with an emphasis on the historic institutions that first made the Route famous.

There are other editions of this book available; however, the most recent edition (now the 17th) is the best choice if you can afford it due to the inclusion of more recent listings and updated data. The book’s layout is fantastic. It divides the route into segments and provides accommodation and food suggestions for each segment.

4. Route 66 Traveler’s Guide and Roadside Companion – by Tom Snyder

Old but great travel guide - list of the best travel guides for Route 66 journey

Tom Snyder’s Route 66 Traveler’s Guide and Roadside Companion is a good resource for planning a trip along Mother Road. Everything from the highway’s history and sights to recommendations for where to dine and stay, this guidebook has it all for America’s most famous thoroughfare.

Whether you’re planning a journey along Route 66 or you simply want to learn more about its colorful history, Snyder’s book is sure to come in handy. He provides not just instructions but also suggestions for where to eat, stay, and sightsee along the road.

Snyder’s Route 66 Traveler’s Guide and Roadside Companion is a must-read for anybody traveling the open road, whether it’s their first trip or they’ve been there a hundred times.

5. Route 66 Adventure Handbook – by Drew Knowles

Adventure handbook Route 66 guide - which one is best?

This book contains a comprehensive database of all communities along Route 66, as well as stories, trivia, attractions, recommended side excursions, as well as instructions on how to find unmarked sections of the mother road.

The author’s voice is compelling, and this makes it enjoyable reads. This book is all about exposing readers’ experiences, both new and old, to little-known jewels and forgotten diversions. There are several maps included as well.

However, since there is a lot to read in on each page, it’s not ideal for use when traveling alone. It’s a good idea to take this book with you if you have passengers so they can read as you drive.

It is a comprehensive reference that includes maps, hotel, and attraction information. As always, be cautious of changes and always choose the most recent edition.

Another great guidebook on my list of the best Route 66 travel guides.

6. Route 66 Road Trips (Travel Guide) – by Lonely Planet

Lonely planet travel guide - The best route 66 guides

Even though it’s the shortest Route 66 guidebook on our list, it’s worth highlighting since it has some interesting, original stuff.

The guidebook provides several route options, each with a full map and suggested itinerary that may be modified to fit the traveler’s needs and time constraints. Route 66 is a fantastic road trip destination since it offers a diverse range of landscapes, from quaint tiny towns to vibrant metropolitan cities.

7. Moon Route 66 Road Trip Guide – by Jessica Dunham

Last one is Route 66 - road trip travel guide - list of the best travel guides

I went into this one with some doubts, but I really enjoyed it. It includes some advice on locating the historic Route 66 alignments and some ideas for passing the time in roadside villages. When compared to other tutorials, it lacks the volume of material found in some others, but this actually makes it easier to digest and follow.

For those who don’t want to stick strictly to Route 66, they’ve highlighted a few alternative routes that can be interesting and worthwhile.

It is different from other guidebooks in its genre because it is in full color. This makes it perfect for people with kids who want a high-level overview of the route and a little travel inspiration, as well as enough detail to start planning. 

👍 Find out more:

Route 66 travel guide 202 - amiazng places

Discover the best stops along the Mother Road in my travel guide, “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places”, which is available on Amazon. This is the ultimate travel guide and pocket reference for anyone wishing to experience the nostalgia and wonder of America’s Route 66! MUST-HAVE for all Route 66 travelers. Visit 202 places on Route 66 with “Scan QR and go” for easy navigation.


Traveling on Route 66

Mark Watson is a California-based member of a Los Angeles Motorcycle Club and a keen traveler. He’s traveled the entirety of U. S. Route 66 seven times on his Harley-Davidson. He strives to interest others in the historic drive to keep the legendary Route 66 alive. He also traveled through the Alaska Highway. He is an author of bestseller books on Amazon: “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places” and “Alaska Highway – 202 Best Stops”.

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