Route 66 Motels and Hotels in California

The final state along an epic road trip for some and the start of a trip for others. California has a lot to offer people who might just be getting a taste of the road while in LA or those who are road weary and still need a good Route 66 motel for the night!

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Notable Places to Stay on Route 66 in California

Sunset view from Route 66 motel in California
A sunset view at a Needles motel on Route 66 (Rio Del Sol)

A note from the writer: Hey! I’m Kirsty and I’m a Route 66 enthusiast – I first became obsessed almost 20 years ago and then first visited in 2014. I’ve recently just come back from my last trip too! Comment below if you have any questions about your road trip and I’ll get back to you ASAP – or join me in my free FB group here.

What kind of Route 66 motels in California can you expect?

California on Route 66 is divided into the desert areas with not much to offer and the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles with a glut!

The motels along Route 66 in California are a mix of old relics of the past, some quirky options and plenty of charm!

Santa Monica, the end of the road, is one of the most expensive places you’ll find when driving Route 66 so either go with it and splash out or stick with a motel if you’re doing the trip on a budget.

Should you book your Route 66 accommodation in California in advance?

The answer to this depends on your personality and whether you want guarantees along your road trip. I like to book my accommodation in advance and tend to do this all the time. I don’t always book weeks or months out, sometimes I leave it late and book on the day of arriving or a few days before

If this isn’t for you and you want to do it the old fashioned way then that can work too. Perhaps you might like to see how the day unfolds and choose your stop each day? Since there’s almost always a lot of chain hotels around too you’ll likely be ok.

If you have specific places you want to spend time in or motels, like the wigwam motels, that are a must see then it makes sense to book ahead. Los Angeles or Santa Monica should be booked in advance I think.

If you’re traveling in high season or over public holidays or perhaps even weekends it might be good to book in advance.

Image credit – Mike Dawson (many thanks!)

With all of this in mind, please note that this is just a list of motels and hotels in California along Route 66.

I have not inspected every property on this list and inclusion here is not a recommendation. Even though we have first hand experience of some on the list, things can change quickly.

Reading reviews is best practice before booking or if you’re just turning up, ask to check a room before paying.

Roy’s Motel isn’t currently open for travelers but might be soon as they are restoring it.

Where to stay in California on Route 66

These lists try to be just independent options whether historic motels or not. You’ll always find a tonne of chain hotels along the route too.

I’ll likely have missed a lot in the Greater LA area – it’s a busy area! If any favorites are absent do leave me a comment and I’ll add them in!


The first town of note in California, and a good jumping off point to see Hoover Dam or Las Vegas.


It’s a long drive between Needles and Barstow – almost 150 miles with no other accommodation options (yet – Amboy might reopen Roy’s Motel one day!). Barstow is a railroad town with lots to see including museums about the history of the trains that ran through here.

Cajon Junction

San Bernardino/Rialto

Rancho Cucamonga

Los Angeles

Once you get into the city of Los Angeles it’s tricky to stay directly on Route 66 anyway. If you’re planning to stay in the city check out the map below to find the right area for you.

Santa Monica

The final stop! There are some wonderful, and top end, hotels in Santa Monica which can be a welcome relief from the budget stops on the road. If budget is important to you then I advise to book in advance! Check the above map too for lots of options.

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Links For Your Route 66 trip

Get your Route 66 guidebook on Amazon

Get your car rental quote at Discover Cars

Book Motels at or

Check Flights at Skyscanner

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Kirsty Bartholomew

Kirsty Bartholomew became obsessed with Route 66 after taking her kids to see Cars at the cinema way back in 2006. She first visited in 2014 and it didn't help the obsession at all. She now writes about the road, the history and hopes to encourage others to visit and keep it alive.

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