Route 66 Outdoor Activities

Being cooped up in a car on a road trip can make even the best travelers a little antsy. So it’s always a good idea to plan some time out of the car and in the great outdoors. Luckily there are plenty of Route 66 outdoor activities to add to your road trip itinerary.

Route 66 is filled with beautiful natural wonders: there are National Parks, National monuments, state parks, roadside parks, animal farms, and more. Whether you want to stretch your legs at a scenic outlook, feed an alpaca, ride a zip line, or take a multi-day hike, there are plenty of options to fit your wants and needs. You can even take a short detour to The Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Looking for the best Route 66 outdoor activities to add to your road trip itinerary? Use the filters below to search our outdoor directory by location, type, or keyword to fill your travel plan. Whether you’re visiting just one of the eight states on The Mother Road (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or California) or driving the entire journey from Chicago to Los Angeles (or vice versa), there are plenty of opportunities to park your car and explore the brilliant nature of Route 66.

Find something you like? Tap “Save to My Trip” to create your own customized Route 66 itinerary!

Search Route 66 Outdoor Activities

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Painted Desert Overlooks at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66

Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona

Petrified Forest National Park, located in northeastern Arizona, is a wonderland of petrified wood, vibrant badlands, and ancient history. The park's namesake, petrified wood, is the result of millions of years of fossilization, transforming once-majestic trees into stunning mineral landscapes. But beyond the petrified wood, the park boasts a rich tapestry of history, dating back…


Route 66 Brick Paved Broadway Street in Davenport, Oklahoma

Route 66 Brick Paved Broadway Street in Davenport, Oklahoma

Davenport, Oklahoma is located on the old Ozark Trail as well as the 1926-85 alignment of Route 66. Several blocks of Broadway Street in the downtown area are still paved with original 1925/1926 bricks from Davenport Brick & Tile Company. This historic red Brick Paved Broadway Street was listed in the National Register of Historic…


Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano in Grants, New Mexico Route 66 Attraction

Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano in Grants, New Mexico

The Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano in Grants, New Mexico is dubbed “The Land of Fire and Ice” for a reason. The attraction features two geographic phenomena that are stark opposites: a hot-lava spewing volcano and a bitter cold ice cave. (But since the volcano is dormant, you won’t run into any actual fire.) Start…


Henry’s Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois

Hare it is! Henry’s Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois is a Route 66 visitor center and souvenir shop with a particular pedigree. The theme at this Route 66 roadside attraction is rabbits. There are often dozens of real rabbits hopping around, a line up of VW Rabbits buried nose first in the ground a la…


Meteor Crater in Winslow, Arizona Route 66 Attraction

Meteor Crater in Winslow, Arizona

Meteor Crater in Winslow, Arizona, also known as Barringer Crater, is the world’s best-preserved meteorite impact site. Around 50,000 years ago an asteroid traveling 26,000 miles per hour jolted into the planet Earth with the energy of more than 20 million tons of TNT. This impact left behind a crater that today is nearly one…


Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park in Springfield, Missouri Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park in Springfield, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri is officially recognized as the birthplace of Route 66. It was via telegram at a 1926 meeting of highway officials at the Colonial Hotel that Springfield businessman John T. Woodruff and Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery first proposed U.S. 66 as the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway. The Birthplace of Route 66…


Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Gathering Place opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma on September 8, 2018, as a place for as a “vibrant and inclusive space, where diverse communities could come together to explore, learn and play.” The award-winning 66.5-acre park is located along the Arkansas River. It was created by the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) and designed by…


Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center Rest Area in Conway, Missouri

Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center Rest Area in Conway, Missouri

Travel old Route 66 without leaving Missouri…and get some snacks and a bathroom break while you’re there. The Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center Rest Area in Conway has a definitive theme alongside its amenities. When you exit your car at this Route 66-themed rest stop in Missouri you’ll first be greeted with a light-up sign…


Meramec Caverns in Sullivan, Missouri

Meramec Caverns in Sullivan, Missouri

Meramec Caverns in Sullivan, Missouri is the collective name for the 4.6 mile cavern system that runs through the Ozarks near Stanton. At 400 million years old, it's probably the oldest attraction in Missouri, though it has only been open as a tourist attraction since 1933. With around 150,000 annual visitors, Meramec Caverns is the…


Gold Mining Ghost Town in Oatman, Arizona

Gold Mining Ghost Town in Oatman, Arizona

Nestled within the rugged terrains of the Black Mountains in Arizona, the Gold Mining Ghost Town of Oatman boasts a rich history steeped in the allure of the Wild West. Oatman flourished in the early 1900s, fueled by the discovery of gold in the surrounding mines. Prospectors and miners descended on the town, seeking their…


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