America is filled with hidden gems, but there may be no other strip of land across the country that offers more than Route 66.

Stretching nearly 2,500 miles from California to Illinois, Route 66 is home to an eclectic mix of attractions that make for the perfect pit stop on your cross-country journey.

In addition to major sites like the Grand Canyon and the original McDonald's that sit along the "Mother Road," other gems you'll find include larger-than-life roadside attractions like the World's Largest Rocking Chair in Missiouri and a 170-foot-tall water tower in the shape of a ketchup bottle in the map dot town of Collinsville, Ill.

You can also catch a flick at one of the country's last remaining drive-in venues, 66 Drive-In Theatre, and stop for a bite at the tourist-friendly 66 Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  You don't even need to go to Italy to see the Leaning Tower of Texas, and you have the chance to sleep with the stars at the El Rancho Hotel where the likes of Katherine Hepburn and John Wayne stayed in the 1930s and 40s.

Check out more of the quirky attractions you'll find along Route 66 in the gallery below.

LOOK: Route 66’s quirkiest and most wonderful attractions state by state

Stacker compiled a list of 50 attractions--state by state--to see along the drive, drawing on information from historic sites, news stories, Roadside America, and the National Park Service. Keep reading to discover where travelers can get their kicks on Route 66.

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