Ride the Kansas Route 66 Historic Byway

Kansas Route 66 Historic Byway, Rainbow Bridge

America’s iconic Route 66 traverses most of the country from Chicago to Santa Monica. Luckily, you don’t need to commit to the entire 2,500-mile interstate highway to get a taste of the classic Route 66 experience — a Kansas Route 66 Historic Byway motorcycle ride gives you a hit of nostalgia while you take in the many sights and experiences that this relatively short ride offers.

What Is the Route 66 Historic Byway?

The Kansas Route 66 Historic Byway motorcycle ride packs interesting stops and unique locations along its 13 miles between Galena and Baxter Springs. 

The Galena to Baxter Springs route starts at the Kansas/Missouri border, just west of Joplin, MO. Once you get on Route 66, follow it west into Kansas towards Galena. You’ll hit the Rainbow Bridge around the 7-mile mark, and by staying on Route 66, you’ll eventually turn south and reach Baxter Springs, KS. The south end of this route will take you to the Oklahoma state line, where you can turn back and enjoy all the attractions you missed on the first run.

Most portions of Route 66 are recently repaved, and the road varies from an older two-lane road with a stretch of four-lane highways for some added excitement. The gently rolling hills include curves perfect for bikers of all experience levels. 

Places to Visit

Most bikers find riding Route 66 a great way to spend the day. As you blaze a trail along this stretch of Route 66, check out these must-see points of interest.

Rainbow Bridge

Marsh Arch bridges used to be a common sight across the U.S, thanks to a patented bridge design that was one of the first to use reinforced concrete as a construction material. Most Marsh Arch bridges have fallen into disrepair, but the Kansas Rainbow Bridge is still driveable on Route 66. 

Nelson’s Old Riverton Store

Operating for more than 75 years, Nelson’s Old Riverton Store is older than the official opening of Route 66. While you can get some groceries, the main appeal of the store is its memorabilia and local handicrafts. It’s a perfect place to stop off, relax and pick up some souvenirs before getting back on the road.

Cars on the Route

You’ll see many old-style gas stations along Route 66, and Cars on the Route is an ideal place to stop for gas, chat with the locals, and stretch your legs.

The station is also home to the tow truck that became the inspiration for “Mater” from the “Cars” movie franchise, and its unique character makes it a memorable stop on your Kansas Route 66 Historic Byway motorcycle ride.

Galena Mining and Historical Museum

If you’re looking for an added dose of history, be sure to visit the Galena Museum. The museum has plenty of mining and railroad memorabilia, and it’s also home to several classic cars, including the 1919 Model T Touring Car, the 1924 Model T Roadster, and a 1931 Model A two-and-a-half-ton truck. 

Streetcar Station Coffee Shop

Soaking up some small-town vibes is one of the best experiences on Route 66, and you won’t get a more small-town feel than at the Streetcar Station Coffee Shop. With great coffee and a delicious lunch, it’s the perfect pit stop on your historic byway ride. 

Stay Safe While You Get Your Kicks on Route 66

As you tear up the open road along the Kansas Route 66 Historic Byway motorcycle ride, keep safety in mind. Motorcycle accidents can happen anytime. Our network of motorcycle attorneys is here to provide assistance after a motorcycle accident, so don’t hesitate to call us at 1-888-863-7216 to find a motorcycle lawyer near you.