15 Route 66 Books To Help Have The Best Trip On The Mother Road (And To Relive The Memories After)

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One thing I’ve been wanting to more and more recently is drive Route 66. My parents and I were thinking of doing it in the spring but decided to push it back at least to 2022 for now. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t started planning!

I got a few books this summer to help and have been looking at tons of other ones and I though why not make a whole post for this? A lot of these are to help plan a Route 66 trip, but there are some fun ones in here, too, like cookbooks and even a coloring book!

If you’ve been wanting do drive all of Route 66 or just love dreaming, pick up some of these great Route 66 books to get those wheels spinning!

Ghost Towns of Route 66

I found an older version of this at a used bookstore this summer to help with planning but also just to browse.

This takes you through tons of ghost towns along Route 66 and this edition includes directions and travel tips along with a fold-out map!

The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas

Route 66 changed immensely between it’s opening in 1926 and it’s removal from the highway system in 1985. Now it’s enjoying a renaissance as interest in the Mother Road as a destination and historical byway have increased.

This (from the same author as above) is an illustrated atlas exploring the route from it’s birth until now, divided into six categories for easy browsing. While this may not specifically be for planning, it’s a great planning companion.

The Best Hits on Route 66: 100 Essential Stops on the Mother Road

This is a fun Route 66 book to help plan some of the best stops along the 2,500 mile drive. You’ll find some of the most unique and iconic Route 66 stops in here.

There are even specialized itineraries with themes to make planning even easier.

Moon Route 66 Road Trip

I managed to snag this as a Kindle deal this summer, but it looks like it’s still 2.99 (as of 12/22/2020)!

This is a classic Moon travel guide with maps, stops for eating, sleeping, and activities, itinerary ideas, and expert advice for planning your trip.

Route 66: EZ66 Guide for Travelers

I’ve heard this is one of the best Route 66 guides and one I will definitely be getting. Whether you’re driving west to east or east to west, this covers both.

While 80% of the Mother Road is still easily drivable, it can be poorly marked. You can’t just put Route 66 into Google Maps, after all. This will get you from end to end with easy to follow directions and maps with tips, activities, and games for along the way.

Route 66 Then and Now

This is more of a fun Route 66 book, but could also be used to plan some quirky stops.

They heyday of Route 66 was the WWII and post-war era and lots of tourist attractions sprung up along the way. Gas stations, motels, and diners all had to compete for business so to attract visitors they made them a little quirky, like a wigwam motel or a whale-themed diner. This books takes us to those fun and strange stops to see what’s left before time takes it’s toll.

Route 66 Splendor: An Adult Coloring Book

This is a great way to either get excited about your future trip or to keep the memories alive when you get home from it. This Route 66 coloring book is unique and full of pages to make your own.

Secret Route 66: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

This is a fun guide to the weird and obscure stops along route 66 with a breakdown of each place like cost, where it is, what it is, and any tips for those stops.

The Route 66 Encyclopedia

This is a color illustrated list of everything you could possibly want to see along Route 66 in alphabetical order.

You’ll find history, landmarks, personalities, culture, and more that are related to the Mother Road.

You’ll also learn about it’s historic role and how that’s changed over the years. It’s a time capsule, a history book, a memorial, and more.

The Route 66 Cookbook

This is a great way to bring a little taste of Route 66 home! With stories and recipes, this will have you feeling like you’re back on the road.

The Ultimate Route 66 Cookbook

Here is another Route 66 cookbook to bring the road home. You’ve got delicious American classics with a side of humor and memorabilia contributed by roadside restaurants and well-traveled chefs.

Travel Route 66: A Guide to the History, Sights, and Destinations Along the Main Street of America

We’ve got Jim Hinckley back (the first two books on the list) with good old Route 66 guide perfect for planning the details of your trip. You’ll find stops that are still around today (versus the encyclopedia type books which may not all be around anymore) and detailed itineraries and descriptions to make the trip perfect for you.

It also includes day trip and detours from the main path that will make your trip even more memorable.

Route 66: Traveler’s Guide and Roadside Companion

While it’s been abandoned for more than 25 years, Route 66 still lives up to it’s promise of finding new friends and even yourself.

This roadside companion will make driving Route 66 easier than ever and more exciting. You’ll find up-to-date routings, easy to follow maps, and updated information on attractions along the way.

Greetings from Route 66: The Ultimate Road Trip Back Through Time Along America’s Main Street

This is a great illustrated guide for Route 66. I almost got this one recently but had to wait a bit before I did.

This is more of a fun at-home reference book than something to take with on the road but it’s great for the planning stages and reliving your trip once you’re home. It would make a great coffee table book.

The American Dream?: A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito

Finally we have a Route 66 memoir so you can read all about someone else’s trip to get you even more excited for your own!

What started as a road trip turned into more of a pilgrimage in search of the ever-changing American landscape. It’s Shing’s journey with her small adventure dog from Santa Monica all the way to Chicago.

Do you have any of these Route 66 books? Which ones? Have you used any of these books to help plan a Route 66 trip?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US. You can probably find me reading on the beach, wandering through the desert, or hanging out in a cute little coffee shop.

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