Roadside Attractions: Cool Cafes, Souvenir Stands, Route 66 Relics, and Other Road Trip Fun

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Contents

  1. Must See Roadside Attractions on Route 66
  2. Must See Roadside Attractions on Route 66
  3. Reader Interactions
  4. Stolen Child

For food, there are a number of good options.

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If you arrive late, the Black Cat Bar is likely your best option for late night snacks, as it is one of the few places open after 9pm. Seligman has some fantastic authentic Route 66 era motels to choose from. Here are our picks for your stay. Your last full day on Route 66 has you entering the final state of your road trip, and almost completing the route. From Seligman, we suggest continuing along on the longest stretch of Route 66, which you will follow all the way to Topock, near Needles.

Whilst this will be slower than the Interstate, this is by far one of the best preserved and most impressive stretches of old Route 66 you can drive today, and we think it is worth taking a bit of time to enjoy it. There are a number of highlights along the way which are worth a stop. First of these is the town of Truxton, where there are a number of Route 66 buildings, as well as what was once the Frontier Motel and restaurant. The next stop is the city of Kingman, home to the Arizona Route 66 Museum.

There are also other buildings and Route 66 signs. This dates from The next section of Route 66 is particularly scenic, with the road winding over the hills. Oatman is the next stop on your itinerary. From Oatman you will continue on to Topock, the last town in Arizona. This is famous as being one of the hottest places in the USA, and when we visited it was degrees F. Needles has some nice murals as well as a number of vintage motels and signs. Travelling today in our vehicles with air conditioning and comfortable suspension, it is hard to imagine how difficult this part of the Route must have been in cars that were often well past their prime, and which had already made a valiant effort to get this far.

If you have the time, you will definitely want to detour off the I at Exit to follow the original Route 66 through some of the old towns that have long been forgotten by the majority of passing motorists. These include Chambles, Amboy, and Bagdad.

The location dates from , and today there is a gas station, a gift shop and some cold snacks and coffee. The motel is no longer operational. The next town along, Ludlow, has a cafe, gas station and motel. The next major stopping point is the city of Barstow. There are also a number of vintage motels, Route 66 era signs and businesses. From San Bernadino you will pass through a number of towns that have surviving Route 66 businesses, although you will likely be running out of time by this point. Finally, your seventh day of Route 66 adventure will bring you to San Bernardino, where you will spend the final night of your grand USA road trip.

This is a city in its own right which marks the beginning of the Greater LA region. To be honest, this will be quite a short day, as the idea is that you will be able to return your vehicle if you have hired one, and catch a flight home. Or take time to explore Los Angeles or continue your road trip adventure — maybe along the Pacific Coast Highway? The main highlight of today is reaching the end of the road.


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Much like the beginning of Route 66, we have to admit that this is somewhat underwhelming. The original end of Route 66 was at 7th and Broadway in downtown LA.

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Must See Roadside Attractions on Route 66

This was then moved to the intersection of Lincoln and Olympic boulevards in Santa Monica. The sign also has a gift shop, and you can stop off here for a photo and to buy souvenirs. You made it! We have a complete planning guide for Route 66 , which we suggest you read through before tackling the Route, as it is very comprehensive. However, we also wanted to share some quick tips for your trip as part of this itinerary. Some of the sections below include tips for useful products you might need for driving the route, including guidebooks and maps. You can see that by clicking here. For each day of this Route 66 itinerary we have suggested accommodation options.

We definitely recommend booking in advance if you can for your trip, especially if there are specific properties you want to stay at. Whilst there are generally plenty of options, the more iconic motels can book out far in advance, especially in the busier summer months. While many of this properties are on booking sites like Booking. Route 66 is a road trip, so naturally you are going to need a car if you plan to drive! If you are from the USA, you might already have your own car of course.

Just bear in mind that this is a one way road trip, and so you will have to drive back to wherever you have originally started from. First of all, you can rent a normal car in a size to suit. Just be aware that if you plan on doing a one way rental picking the car up in one place and dropping it off somewhere else , car rental companies will charge an additional fee. For one way rentals in the USA, we often find Enterprise to be the best value. You can check prices with them here.

Of course, there are lots of other options.

13 Unusual Roadside Attractions Across America

If you want to compare prices on car rentals across a range of providers, then we use and recommend Priceline. Just be aware that when comparing prices using a comparison service, they sometimes forget to add the one-way fee. Naturally, we appreciate that as Route 66 is an iconic USA road trip, you may want to drive it in an iconic vehicle such as a Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang. These will usually carry a price premium.

Whilst some of the major car rental firms will have these vehicles as an option, you may also want to look at car rental companies that specialize in classic car rentals such as Ride Free. If you want to ride a motorbike, this is also an option for Route 66 of course! Finally, Route 66 can also be done in an RV, also known as a campervan.

Must See Roadside Attractions on Route 66

Again, you will want to hire from a firm that allows for one way rentals, and which has offices in both Chicago and LA. Car rental in the USA is similar to rental in other countries. Most rental firms will require you to be at least 21 years of age, and there is often an additional fee if the driver is under You will likely need a driving license printed in Latin characters, ideally English, however different rental companies will have different conditions. If this is your first time driving in the USA, we highly recommend taking some time to read our guide to driving in the USA , which has lots of tips to help you plan.

For example, this 13 day tour includes a local guide for the duration of the trip and you travel with a group of other drivers driving along Route 66 — although you do have to bring a vehicle along and drive it. There are other tours which are guided, although these usually only follow a part of the Route, or include a part of Route 66 in a much larger tour. For example, Intrepid Travel offer this tour ,. The most accurate guided tour we have found to date is this Route 66 tour , although it does take 2 weeks to complete the route. Finally, those of you coming from the UK and Europe will appreciate this 17 day Route 66 tour.

The larger cities in the USA certainly have their crime problems, as with anywhere in the world, whilst you will find that smaller towns tend to have low crime rates. Our suggestion for our itinerary is to take each day as it comes, to pick the attractions each day that you want to see, and to navigate between them using good navigation software like Google Maps, or a dedicated GPS unit. Also recommend having a good USA Atlas like this in the car.

If you want to really follow the Route faithfully, at least in part, then we highly recommend picking up a copy of the EZ66 Guide for Travelers. This is the best Route 66 book available as a navigation aid, and is one we strongly recommend for all Route 66 adventurers! The majority of shops and businesses along the route accepted credit cards in our experience, however there is a small minority where cash is preferred or are cash only, so we recommend travelling with some USD cash as well. The USA uses a Volt electrical system.

In our experience, most laptops and phone chargers will work the adapter will have — V marked on it , however high powered items like hair dryers, hair straighteners, and travel kettles will not. Whilst voltage convertors are available, these tend to be heavy. So our advice would be just to get a dual voltage travel version of any item you particularly need, such as this hair dryer or these hair straighteners.

Alternatively, you can pick up a cheap version of whatever it is you need in the country from somewhere like Walmart. Plugs in the USA are for the most part a narrow two pin plug. See more on travel adapters and how to choose one for your trip in our guide to the best travel adapters.

We also advise travelling with a power strip. Putting together a classic Route 66 soundtrack before you go is a fun way to prepare for your trip. There are a number of books and maps which have been published to help you plan your Route 66 trip, many of which we bought prior to our adventure. From these, we recommend the following as the most useful for your trip. This historic and impressive totem pole is just over 27 meters tall and nearly three meters wide.

Built in , this attraction has become popular amongst Route 66 travellers and is open during daylight hours. Most barns are constructed with four walls — but this barn, built in , has no corners at all. Open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm, this odd landmark is a must see. Plus, admission is free! After two years of construction, the massive 25 metre long and six metre tall whale was completed by Hugh D. Davis in and quickly became one of the most popular sites along Route This landmark has been transformed a few times. Opened as a cafe in , it was turned into a Greyhound bus stop after World war Two, and into a burger restaurant after a fire in Built by a local millionaire in , this theatre is one of the most historic and beautiful stops along Route Completely refurbished and renovated, this Spanish Revival-style theatre is open to the public and even offers free tours.

While it used to be fully functional, it was saved from demolition and repurposed as a sign to advertise a truck stop and tourist centre. The perfect place to snap a photo, the Route 66 midpoint sign lets travellers known how far is left driving in either direction. Featured in numerous music videos, movies, and TV shows, these ten up-ended Cadillacs have become a famous landmark that should be on every Route 66 itinerary. Totally delicious and totally Texan, this steakhouse is an endless afternoon of fun. A little bit off of Route 66, this state park is the perfect place to stretch your legs and pitch a tent for the night.

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Before air travel was an option, this motel was bustling with travellers. This landmark is exactly as it sounds — a giant cross. Less than 50 tribal members currently live there, but the culture is still shiningly evident. If dinosaurs are your thing, this 10, square foot exhibit hall will give you a thrill. Filled with skeletons, fossils, and replicas of prehistoric creatures. This retro museum has over 30 classic cars on display, all of which are in pristine condition.

These colourful, well-maintained and glistening cars will really throw you back to the retro days of Route This natural wonder along Route 66 is definitely worth seeing. As one of the most popular dive destinations in the US, the Blue Hole is filled with crystal clear, pure water that completely renews itself every six hours. The San Miguel Chapel is the oldest known church in the United States, built somewhere between and Open to the public, it still hosts regular services and even lets visitors ring its bell.

Built as a monument to the glory days of Route 66, this landmark is located right outside the Tucumcari Convention Centre. So if you need to stretch your legs and want a cool photo, this is a pretty good excuse to stop. Michael Guerriero. Curtis Casewit. Nanci Tangeman. Yosemite Memoirs. Philip Russell. Mindy Sink. Moon Wisconsin. Thomas Huhti. The Soul of Memphis, Tennessee. Oregon Curiosities, 2nd. Harriet Baskas. Moon Nevada. Scott Smith. Oddball Minnesota. Jerome Pohlen.

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