It's America's Main Street, and most travelers experience the retro motels, but there's another side to this iconic route. Camping along Route 66 offers another perspective to the Mother Road. Plus, these campgrounds are pet-friendly, so you can appreciate this retro road trip with your four-legged friend too.
Only 30 minutes from the iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis West/Historic Route 66 KOA is the best first stop on your Route 66 road trip. The campground is only half an hour from all of the attractions that Saint Louis has to offer, including the Mississippi River riverboat rides, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The campground is extremely well-maintained, with options for RV hookups, tent sites, cabin rentals, or even a night in the Classic Caboose.
Right in the heart of the Ozarks is the Springfield / Route 66 KOA. The campground is a short drive from iconic Route 66 attractions like Fantastic Caverns (where you can ride a tram through a cave) and other fun stops like the epic Bass Pro Shop world headquarters and the historic Wilson's Creek Battlefield. The campground offers pizza delivery straight to your campsite, as well as a variety of cabins and cottages for you to choose from. There is even an off-leash park for Fido to enjoy, called Kamp K-9, and a pool that the kids will love, so everyone is bound to enjoy a stay here!
Santa Rosa, New Mexico is probably best known for being home to the Blue Hole of Santa Rosa, a lush swimming hole oasis in the middle of the desert. It's 80 feet deep, with crystal clear water that remains at a perfect 68 degrees all year-round, making it a popular place for divers to explore and for those traveling on Route 66 to cool off with a dip.
Santa Rosa Campground is a great place to spend the night after your swim. The campground has ample sites for both RV's and tents and offers free wifi and a heated pool (if you didn't get enough swimming in at the Blue Hole.) The campground is home to the Southwest Gift Shop, which hosts a variety of authentic Native American goods as well as Route 66 souvenirs. The best part of the campground is the Western Bar-B-Q restaurant, which offers traditional home cooked meals and delivery straight to your cabin or RV site!
A quaint and quiet campground tucked away in a beautiful, serene pine forest, Woody Mountain Campground is the place to relax and rejuvenate after a long drive. The campground feels like you have gone back in time, with an old-fashioned general store and an unobscured view of the beautiful woods. The campground is family owned and operated, and is within a close drive of Meteor Crater, where you can see the massive, mile-wide hole left by a meteor that smashed into the Arizona desert, Lowell Observatory, which is a great place to peer deep into the cosmos, and, of course, the Grand Canyon, one of the most classic road trip stops!
Home to 13th-century Native American ruins, Homolovi Ruins State Park is a wonderful place to explore and learn about our nation's past. The park offers free Petroglyph Tours year-round, which include 3 hours of hiking and the ability to view some of the park's most beautiful ruins and get you tons of information on the tribes who lived here. The park also allows for overnight camping, with electric, water, and clean showering facilities. The best part is that camping is free (as long as you pay the $7 park entrance fee)!
Homolovi Ruins is the closest campground to Petrified Forest National Park, which doesn't offer campsites. Petrified Forest offers trails that wind through the Painted Desert and past sparkly gemstone logs of petrified wood, a unique phenomenon that is absolutely stunning to see. Homolovi Ruins and Petrified Forest are both incredibly pet-friendly as well!
Camping on Route 66 is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of the changing landscape as you cruise across the country. It's also a lot cheaper than a hotel, and if you're traveling in your dream RV, it can be a lot more comfortable, too. Thor Industries makes a wide variety of vehicles, from cozy pop-ups to luxurious modern RVs that can accommodate the whole family. So get your family together, grab your four-legged friend and head out on the Route for your next adventure!