Get Your Kicks
Historic Route 66 angles right through Ontario, and the famous highway is a bucket list item for many. Close to Ontario Convention Center hotels, it’s easy to glide onto this beloved highway, also known as Main Street of America, the Mother Road and Will Rogers Highway. It opened in 1926, but road signs weren’t erected until one year later. Now one of the most well-known roads in the country, it originally stretched from Chicago all the way to Santa Monica, California to encompass 2,448 miles.
Pop culture embraced the highway quickly, with songs like “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” and even the Route 66 television show during the 1960s. It was a major avenue for anyone migrating west, particularly during the Dust Bowl days of the 30s. During the migration, a number of communities popped up along the highway that otherwise likely wouldn’t have flourished.
For Love of the Highway
Those who opened businesses along the highway enjoyed great prosperity, and those are the same entrepreneurs who rallied to keep the highway open even when the Interstate Highway System appeared. Over the years, Route 66 has undergone a variety of upgrades, but was officially removed from the US Highway System in 1985.
Nevertheless, parts of the original highway remain and have been re-named National Scenic Byways. Still, “Historic Route 66” keeps appearing on many maps, and a number of states—including California—have embraced large sections of the highway and kept its original name.