Whilst recently filming in California, I was given the option of flying or driving from L.A to our next filming location, Las Vegas. Laden down with cameras, tripods and bags of kit, we thought driving might be less hassle – albeit a bit longer. I watched Thelma and Louise as a teenager and doing an American-style road trip in an open-top car has always been on my bucket list. We settled for a rented SUV for cost / practicalities and armed with a map, a few downloaded blog posts and a sense of adventure, we set off for Vegas, baby! The drive from L.A to Vegas takes approximately 4/5 hours but we wanted to do the old Route 66 so ours took a bit longer. It’s not easy to find Route 66 and we got a bit lost – if you stop for directions you’ll be told the most direct (and boring) route but I highly recommend the scenic route.
Here are the top things to see on route:
- Mormon Rocks
- Obligatory photo next to the Route 66 road sign.
- Window shopping at the antiques shop.
- The Bottletree Ranch. My favourite spot on route… this art installation is eerily quiet, nobody seemed to be manning it and there’s no explanation for its presence but it’s an enchanting little place to wander around and take photographs. Rusty route 66 paraphenalia sits beside ‘trees’ constructed of reclaimed glass bottles which glimmer in the sun. It’s quite a haunting place, with bottles and bells chiming in the wind.
- Train Car MacDonalds. Located at 1611 E Main St Barstow, CA 92311. Weird little place but worth stopping to gaup at this unusual Maccy D’s site. It’s housed in an old train carriage and you can sit in the original seats. A souvenir shop is on site but apart from that, and perhaps a Mcflurry for the road, it’s just a good place to take a break.
- Peggy Sue’s Diner. Pretty hideous American food but worth a stop for a coke float or shake and to instagram the heck out of the Grease-style bar and hilariously naff souvenir shop adjacent.
- The town of Baker is worth a quick stop at. If only to get a picture at the worlds largest thermometer. We arrived at Baker in the dark and mistakenly thought the glimmering neon lights on the horizon meant we’d arrived in Vegas… not quite, but it means you’re getting closer!