This was probably the most spontaneous thing I've ever done. Usually, people spent weeks planning a cross America road-trip, but we did it 48 hours beforehand. For most accomodation and stopovers, we booked and planned on the DAY OF. It was crazy, but it was so fun, and now this website serves as a memory.

Why did we do this road-trip? My friend had an internship at Stanford Labs, and needed a way to get a car over. For me, despite being an international student here, I have barely scratched the surface of travelling the US. It was a perfect plan, I got to travel, and my friend got to transport the car where needed.

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day 1

illinois - missouri

After a hectic 6am scheduled departure turned to 10am, we finally headed towards St Louis for some lunch and sightseeing. I was so excited to hear the GPS greet us “Welcome to Missouri”, my first proper road trip in the US had begun! Some highlights of the day included seeing the Gateway Arch, spotting our first Route 66 sign, and passing the historic 66 Drive In Theatre. After grabbing Subway in Carthage, we ended the night exhausted at Joplin.

day 2

missouri - kansas - oklahoma - texas

We started the day bright and early, leaving Missouri and driving briefly into Kansas, where we had the best Route 66 encounter - Galena. It's really a special part of Route 66 as it is historic and influenced the Cars movie. We then passed by Oklahoma for lunch and coffee rejuvenation. Sadly, we didn't make it to the Route 66 museum on time, but we took pictures before heading to New Mexico. We ended the night with Italian and a night in Amarillo.

day 3

texas - new mexico

The day began with some Acai bowls for breakfast, and another specialty coffee store - so delicious. I captured my first Route 66 “Muffler Man” picture, and we stopped at the ICONIC Cadillac ranch, did a little graffiti on the ground, before heading for a long drive to New Mexico. It was one of our longest drives of the trip, and we decided to end the night with Mexican food and stayed in the capital, Alburquerue.

day 4

new mexico - arizona

Started the day with some speciality coffee, before going on a drive straight away. We originally wanted to see the Painted Forest and Meteor Crater, but *cough* someone drove off track and then we had no time. Instead, we stopped in Winslow, Arizona for very late lunch and spontaneously decided to visit Sedona. We did most BEAUTIFUL hike there around sunset, before driving to the Grand Canyon village and ending the night with pasta.


day 1: may 14, 2023

illinois (UIUC) - missouri (joplin)
  • Drive Time: 6 hr 56 min
  • Breakfast: None, we had a late start
  • Lunch: Treehouse Cafe at St Louis
  • Boba: Cube Tea Studio at St Louis
  • Dinner: Subway at Cartharge
  • Stops: St Louis (Gateway Arch), Cartharge (66 Drive In)
  • Accomodation: La Quinta by Wyndham Joplin
  • Issues: I may or may not have woken up too late, and I may or may not have had incomplete work so we couldn't see a movie at the drive in ....

Notes: I loved St Louis! The city was very vibey and I wish we had more time to explore it. I realised today that our trip would be very hectic and involved more driving, less sightseeing, than I originally expected.


day 2: may 15, 2023

missouri (joplin) - texas (amarillo)
  • Drive Time: 7 hr 9 min
  • Breakfast: Hotel breakfast, thanks Wyndham!
  • Lunch: OKiePokie at Oklahoma City
  • Coffee: Clarirty Speciality Roasters at Oklahoma City
  • Dinner: Napoli's at Amarillo
  • Stops: Kansas (Galena), Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Route 66 Museum)
  • Accomodation: Hyatt Place Amarillo
  • Issues: We missed seeing the Route 66 Museum sadly

Notes: A great travel day. I loved seeing Galena, and Cars on the Route, which inspired the movie Cars! Kansas was our shortest section of Route 66, yet we saw so many memorobilia and cool things. Today also sparked our interest in speciality coffee, and Clarity was really good. Amarillo is a very small place and there wasn't much to see. Hyatt Amarillo was really isolated, and only near other hotels for road-trippers, it gave me a sense of nostalgia and made me feel like I was trukly in the middle of nowhere.


day 3: may 16, 2023

texas (amarillo) - new mexico (alburquerque)
  • Drive Time: 4 hr 15 min
  • Breakfast: Hotel breakfast, thanks Hyatt!
  • Lunch: The Acai Bar at Amarillo
  • Coffee: Palace Speciality Roasters at Amarillo
  • Dinner: Cocina Azul Mountain at Alburquerque
  • Stops: Cadillac Ranch at Amarillo
  • Accomodation: Sonesta Suites Alburquerque

Notes: One of our shortest travels day, which was lucky because both my friend and I had interviews to attend in the morning. Acai bowl was such a good refresher and the Palace coffee was to die for. I captured my first Route 66 Muffler Man and we spent some time at the ICONIC Amarill Cadillac Ranch. We didn't buy any paint cans, but there were so many left there that we took one and graffities on the ground. Sadly not on the Cadillacs because the ground surrounding was so muddy. After an uneventful drive, we decided to have Mexican food in New Mexcio just for the funs of it.


day 4: may 17, 2023

new mexico (alburquerque) - arizona (grand canyon village)
  • Drive Time: 7 hr 24 min
  • Breakfast: Nothing? Or I forgot oops
  • Lunch: Relic Road Brewing Co at Winslow
  • Coffee: Castle Coffee at Alburquerque
  • Dinner: Supermarket food!
  • Stops: Arizona (Winslow, Sedona, Cathedral Rock hike)
  • Accomodation: Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel/li>
  • Issues: Late departure, missed a lot of our initial stopovers

Notes: Very chaotic day, we didn't get to see much which is quite sad since this journey of the route had so many beautiful places. Definetley need to go see the Painted Forest and Meteor Crater if I ever do this trip again. Winslow in Arizona is a must-go Route 66 place, a huge sign on the ground (which is the banner of this website!), and cool things to see. We spontaneously decided to drive into Sedona to do the Cathedral Cove walk, which is stunning at sunset. It was definetely a workout and prepartion for the Grand Canyon.