Discovering Route 66

4 people, 796 miles, 3 days

by Peter M.

Over Fourth of July weekend, my family and I headed to the Southwest to explore the region and its heritage, and for all of us to witness the Grand Canyon for the first time.

We flew straight into Las Vegas early on Friday morning. Mohammad, the owner of a brand spankin’ new Audi Q5, met us just outside of baggage claim. Five minutes later, we were driving on the Strip.

We got out of Vegas pretty quickly, and were suddenly in the great southwest-style desert landscape we came to see. It was a great drive, weaving around rock formations, bouncing back and forth along the Utah and Arizona border, and blaring a classic American road trip playlist.

We stopped off in Page, a cool little Arizona town just south of Lake Powell and the Utah border. It was a nice spot to explore and to plan our route for the following day.

We grabbed some dinner at El Tapatio, a great little Mexican restaurant in the center of Page, AZ.

Just a few miles south of Page is Horseshoe Bend, an incredible scene, and a must stop. It’s a nice little hike off the main road.

I was definitely expecting the Grand Canyon to be amazing and inspiring, as everyone tells you it will be. But I enjoyed the build-up and transition into the Grand Canyon just as much. The little pit stops, side roads, and small villages along the way felt as unique and special as the famous ancient landscapes.

And of course, Route 66. Although it’s not as active as it once was, there’s still plenty to see. Even as you drive along Route 66, you think about driving a little differently, and you acknowledge and appreciate all the other cars on the road. Because you know they’re here for the same reason — for the love of driving.

On the way back to Vegas, we cruised down Historic Route 66, with stops in Seligman, Peach Springs, and Hackberry.

The car was absolutely perfect — great size for my family, the gorgeous panoramic roof helped take in the scenes, and of course, the AC was helpful in 114° heat!

Heading back to Vegas, we returned the Audi to Mohammad, right at the airport terminal! That was incredible, especially after three solid days of traveling… we simply shook hands and passed off the keys.

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