Pet-Friendly Adventures on Route 66: A Guide for Travelers with Pets

Pet-Friendly Adventures on Route 66

Route 66, also known as the "Mother Road," is an iconic journey spanning nearly 2,500 miles from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. This legendary road is a favorite among travelers and road-trippers, offering a nostalgic trip through charming towns, quirky roadside attractions, and stunning landscapes. For pet owners, Route 66 provides the perfect opportunity to embark on a memorable journey with furry friends. Here's why Route 66 is ideal for pet-friendly travel and how you can make the most of your adventure. 

Pet-Friendly Attractions Along Route 66

Route 66 is filled with pet-friendly stops that will make your journey enjoyable and memorable:

  • Gateway Arch National Park (St. Louis, Missouri): Begin your journey with a visit to the iconic Gateway Arch. While pets can't go to the top, they can join you in the park grounds and along the riverfront, where you can enjoy the views.

  • Blue Whale of Catoosa (Catoosa, Oklahoma): A whimsical roadside attraction, the Blue Whale is perfect for a photo op. Your pet will enjoy walking around this quirky landmark, exploring the surrounding park, and meeting other travelers.

  • Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo, Texas): This iconic art installation features graffiti-covered Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground. Your pet will enjoy walking around the site, and you can capture some fun photos with your furry friend.

  • Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona): While pets aren't allowed on trails in the park, they can explore the overlooks and picnic areas with you. The scenic drives offer stunning views of the petrified wood and colorful badlands.

  • Wigwam Motel (Holbrook, Arizona): Step back in time and stay in one of the unique teepee-shaped motel rooms. Pets are welcome, and the motel offers a charming and historic experience.

  • Santa Monica Pier (California): Finish your journey on the sunny beaches of Santa Monica. The pier is pet-friendly, and your pet can even dip their paws in the Pacific Ocean.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations Along Route 66

Finding pet-friendly lodging is essential for a comfortable road trip. Luckily, Route 66 has numerous pet-friendly accommodations:

  • Drury Inn & Suites (Various Locations): With several properties along the route, Drury Inn offers pet-friendly rooms, free breakfast, and evening snacks.

  • Motel 6 (Various Locations): Famous for its "Pets Stay Free" policy, Motel 6 offers budget-friendly accommodations where pets are welcome.

  • La Quinta Inn (Various Locations): A popular choice for travelers with pets, La Quinta offers spacious rooms and no additional pet fees.

Tips for Pet-Friendly Travel on Route 66

Traveling on Route 66 with your pet can be a breeze with a little planning. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth journey:

  1. Pack Essentials: Make sure to bring enough food, water, and medications for the trip. Carry your pet's favorite toys, bedding, and a leash for walks.

  2. Plan Pet-Friendly Stops: Research pet-friendly restaurants, motels, and attractions along the route to ensure a seamless travel experience. Check out dog parks and walking trails where your pet can stretch their legs.

  3. Secure Travel Arrangements: Use a pet seatbelt or travel crate to keep your pet safe during the drive. Ensure your pet's collar has updated ID tags, and consider a GPS tracker for extra security.

  4. Stay Hydrated and Avoid Heat Stroke in Dogs: The desert areas along Route 66 can get extremely hot, which can lead to heat stroke in dogs. Keep plenty of water on hand for your pet and bring a pet temperature monitor to ensure they're staying cool and comfortable. Make frequent stops to allow them to hydrate and cool down.

  5. Veterinary Preparedness: Carry a copy of your pet's health records and the contact information for veterinarians along the way in case of emergencies.

Common Mistakes People Make When Traveling with Pets on Route 66

Traveling with pets can be challenging, and it's essential to avoid common pitfalls:

  1. Underestimating the Heat: The temperatures along Route 66 can be extreme, especially in the summer. Failing to keep your pet cool and hydrated can lead to heat stroke. Always monitor your pet's temperature and provide shade.

  2. Lack of Proper Restraint: Allowing your pet to roam freely in the car can be dangerous. Use a pet seatbelt or travel crate to keep them safe during the journey.

  3. Skipping Regular Breaks: Pets need frequent breaks to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and hydrate. Plan stops every couple of hours to give your pet a chance to move around.

  4. Not Researching Pet-Friendly Stops: Not all restaurants, hotels, and attractions along Route 66 are pet-friendly. Do your research beforehand to avoid any surprises.

  5. Ignoring Local Regulations: Different areas along Route 66 have varying rules for pets. Be mindful of leash laws, and ensure your pet is vaccinated and registered according to local regulations.

Creating Memories on Route 66

Traveling Route 66 with your pet is a rewarding experience filled with adventure and discovery. From the quirky roadside attractions to the beautiful landscapes, your pet will enjoy the journey just as much as you do. By planning ahead and choosing pet-friendly stops, you can create a memorable road trip that you'll cherish for years to come.

Whether you're exploring the nostalgic towns of the Midwest or basking in the California sun, Route 66 provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable pet-friendly adventure.