This week, on the 11th November, America celebrates the birthday of one of the world's greatest roads. It's been 90 years since Route 66 opened, connecting Chicago and Los Angeles with 2448 miles of tarmac.

The "Mother Road", as it became known, crossed eight states and three time zones, forming a key part of the migration route used by those heading to start new lives in the west. Few other drives have made such an impact on the national psyche, providing a muse for writers and artists alike.

Even today, more than 30 years after Route 66's function as a cross-country highway was usurped by modern freeways, the remaining sections of scenic byway draw road trippers from around the world. Only some stretches of the original route may survive, but it's certainly not too late to get your kicks on Route 66.

Route 66

Image via Pixabay/CC0

You can find more than 400 miles of drivable Route 66 in Oklahoma, where you can stop off at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, celebrating the impact of the highway on American culture and the hearts of people all over the world. Missouri’s 300 miles are also packed with history, including kitsch Americana such as the original 1960s neon sign at Springfield's Steak ’n Shake, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

If you're craving isolation, the stretch between Seligman and Kingman in the Arizona desert is one of the best. Pause to take in the endless vistas, and to refuel on buffalo burgers and deep-fried ice-cream at the legendary Roadkill Cafe.

This year also sees the International Route 66 Festival take place in Los Angeles from the 10th–13th November, and numerous other events across the country. From the 15th annual International Mother Road Festival in Illinois to a Route 66 Anniversary Party in Flagstaff, there's no shortage of ways to celebrate the romance of the open road.

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