Constructed in the 1920s as a way to travel across the American West, Route 66 attractions have made America's mother road a symbol for all those who want to experience travel the way it was meant to be.
Big City Detours
The iconic Route 66 makes its way through many large cities, which can be a bit frustrating if you want to get out of town and explore some of our nation's more relaxing sights. However, there are still plenty of Route 66 attractions to be found in these bustling metropolises.
For example, many large cities offer a variety of unique museums, and not just the typical art and history exposures. Check out the gas station museums in Arizona or Illinois, or visit the Ed Galloway Totem Pole Park in Oklahoma for some one-of-a-kind museum experiences.
Many cities across the United States are also home to iconic eateries. One such restaurant hands out candy and donut holes to customers waiting to order. Another sells Vietnamese sandwiches out of the landmark Milk Bottle Grocery. A classic Arizona eatery sarcastically includes “cheeseburgers with cheese” and “dead chicken” on its menu. These three are just a few highlights; there are hundreds more restaurants to discover along America's most classic highway.
The Open Road
If you think Route 66 attractions only take place in big cities, you are sadly mistaken. The open road is home to several locations that you may want to stop and check out. The state of Arizona holds some of the most breathtaking landscapes that are easy to enjoy as you drive by. The road runs close to the Painted Desert and Grand Canyon, as well as the Petrified Forest, a national park known for its fossils of fallen trees that originally lived during the Triassic Period.
Many tourists also enjoy stopping at the accused ranch dedicated to old Cadillacs. These junk cars are planted in the ground and have been used as an artistic canvas for countless visitors. The owners of the ranch encourage those who stop by to paint a little something on the vehicles to leave their mark behind.
Small towns along the Mother Road took the worst hit when the interstate project began. While many of them discharged up from the lack of traffic, some still thrive thanks to interest in the original winding road. These little places have some of the most iconic Route 66 attractions.
Those looking for unique accommodations can try a motel where the rooms are shaped like tipis. These were popular attractions in the 1930s, when a chain was set up across the country. Today, only two remain along the iconic road: one in Arizona and the other in California.
Families with children who love the movie Cars should take a trip on Route 66 to a small town in Kansas where they can see a life-sized model of Tow Mater. The Mother Road and its small towns were the inspiration for the children's movie, and Tow Mater, a 1950s Boom tow truck, was one of the series' most popular characters.