For a brief time in American tourism, travel was about the journey. Here’s how it came to be about the destination.
Route 66 holds a special place in the America’s collective soul and taps into a feelings of nostaglia for a bygone era…but we don’t really want to go back to that time (hence the economic decline of these withering small towns). “In 1956, Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System effectively bypassed Route 66. The straight-lined, speedy interstates often bifurcated cities. They also cut paths far from Route 66’s small, idiosyncratic towns. The rise of modern air travel also diminished the appeal of the winding, open road. Yet it was not only new modes of transportation that faded Route 66; it was also a changing definition of ‘vacation.’ Disneyland and Las Vegas staked their claims to the American travel budget in the mid ’50s. Suddenly, the ‘there’ took precedence over the ‘getting there.'”