Route 66 in Santa Monica California

Historic U.S. Route 66 in California

Route 66, the Mother Road, ran southwest in Arizona from Kingman through Cool Springs to Oatman, and onward to Golden Shores and Topock where it turned west to Needles, California.

From the Arizona state line to San Bernardino U.S. Highway 66 followed the old National Old Trails Highway.

Leaving Needles, the road ventured a bit north, through Goffs. This railroad town remained a stop on Route 66 until 1931, when a more direct alignment between Needles and Essex was opened.

The road then headed south, through Chambless and Amboy, and then west to Ludlow, Newberry Springs and on to Barstow. There it turned south and traveled through Helendale, Victorville, through the Cajon Pass, and on to San Bernardino.

A final westward track through Pasadena took the Mother Road to its final end, near Santa Monica.

In 1936 U.S. 66 was extended from downtown Los Angeles to U.S. 101, at Santa Monica.

Map showing the location of Santa Monica on Historic Route 66
Map showing the location of Santa Monica on Historic Route 66

 

About Santa Monica

The City of Santa Monica is bordered on five sides by different neighborhoods of the city of Los Angeles: Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south.

With nearly four miles of beaches and a vibrant urban scene, Santa Monica blends the sophistication of an international coastal city with the laid-back vibe of a California beach town. Even though it’s only 15 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, it feels like a weekend getaway spot.

Fabled Route 66 once traveled along a stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard and reached the terminus of its 2,448-mile run from Chicago near the beach in Santa Monica. A sign commemorates the “end of the trail” on Santa Monica Pier, where travelers can marvel at amazing coastal views from atop the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel at Pacific Park amusement park.

The beach at Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica: End-Point of Route 66

The original terminus of U.S. Route 66 was at 7th and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. However, over the years, and decades, Route 66 has had several “official” and “unofficial" ending points.

The route was later extended to the intersection of Lincoln and Olympic boulevards in Santa Monica, about one mile from the Pacific Ocean. This is often referred to as the official ending point of Route 66.

Mels Drive-In

Several Mels restaurants are located in the Los Angeles area. This mural is located at Mels on 1670 Lincoln Boulevard, near the official ending point of Route 66. Mels Drive-In website

Historic Route 66 mural at Mels Drive-in, Santa Monica, California

 

 

Map showing the "official" and "unofficial" ending points of Route 66 in Santa Monica, California
(click image to open in Google Maps)
Map showing the "official" and "unofficial" ending points of Route 66 in Santa Monica, California


Since the official ending point locale can be disappointing to some after the long journey from Chicago, the Route 66 Alliance partnered with the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation in 2009 to mount an unofficial “End of the Trail” sign on the pier, seen below in 2020.

The End of the Trail ... Santa Monica, California (Staff Photo)
The End of the Trail ... Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica Pier in California Santa Monica Pier in California
Santa Monica Pier in California

Tribute to Robert Waldmire at the Last Stop Shop ... in Santa Monica, the end ... 2,448 Miles

Tribute to Robert Waldmire at the Last Stop Shop ... in Santa Monica, the end ... 2,448 Miles

Route 66 at Santa Monica, California ... the end of 2,448 miles

 

Interactive Map of Santa Monica, California

Lodging, Dining and Attractions in Santa Monica ... from TripAdvisor

Santa Monica California Travel Guide at TripAdvisor

Santa Monica Travel Guide

Santa Monica Hotel Directory, Traveler Reviews and Reservations

Santa Monica Restaurant Listings and Reviews

Santa Monica Attractions and Things to Do


More Information About Santa Monica

City of Santa Monica

 

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism

 

Santa Monica Pier

 

Downtown Santa Monica

 

Santa Monica at VisitCalifornia.com

 

Weather Conditions at Santa Monica: Weather Underground

 

California Route 66 Association

 

Earlier Days in Santa Monica

Earlier view of Santa Monica, California, the ending point of Historic Route 66 Santa Monica Auto Camp: Cabins and Trailers

 

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