195 West Main St. Barstow, CA 92311
Happy Holidays from the Route 66 Motel Crew and our Beautiful Route 66 Property. @route66motel #route66motel
195 West Main St. Barstow, CA 92311
The original and legendary blue and red U.S. Route 66 signs have now faded to pink and dust, but let's not be blue about it, for the lavender Laundromats and rusting green tractors can still be spotted along the way. Running from Chicago to Santa Monica (Los Angeles), the mother-of-all roads cut through half of the country when nothing else did. The nostalgia here is intense.
Flocking from far-away lands, curious visitors have come to drive the famous road and experience some of the Americana so tousled in music, style and moods of the American pioneers. Poets, lyrics, stylist, designers have celebrated the memories and experience of driving the route. A favorite among bikers. Let's see what is left of it today. Brace yourselves to be amazed, and dazed, by giant hot dogs, dinosaurs, birds, and other wacky specimen along the way, for this is not the land of tiny.
Officially started in Springfield, Missouri, in 1926, the 2,400-mile long artery was the main access to the Gold Rush locations in California in the 1930s. Also known as the Will Rogers Highway, named after the famous actor of the Roaring Twenties. America likes to recognizes its stars by giving their names to streets, sidewalks, and other asphalt venues.
The longest bit is in New Mexico, with a 487-mile stretch, and the shortest is in Kansas, with just about 15 measly miles. Not much in Kansas, Dorothy. The number 66 was chosen simply because it was not taken. Officials believed it would be an easy number to remember. I don't think the "666" apocalyptic stigmas had set in yet at that time.
In 1985 most of the Route was replaced by Interstates running faster though the country, by-passing old fashion landmarks and getting you there in a jiffy. Some quaint bits have been classified as Historic Route 66, so that those signs can be easily stolen by history aficionados. Here is what to see of the original fairway:
-Illinois: Outside of Chicago, Henry's Drive-In and the Castle Carwash. In Joliet, the Rialto Theater and the Rich and Creamy ice-cream stand. In the middle of nowhere (yes, it is a real place), the Gemini Giant hot-dog statue. Roadhouses and motels frequented by Al Capone have been restored in several small towns. In Springfield, Abe Lincoln House, and tomb. Each year 12 towns in Illinois celebrate with a Route 66 festival.
-Missouri: In St Louis, Ted Drews Frozen Custard is unchanged. Throughout the state, roads are still lined with the original trees from the 30s. Several service stations are worth a look, and motels such as the Munger Moss in Lebanon, the Rail Heaven in Springfield, and the Boot Motel in Carthage have been preserved in their finest glamour. Don't miss the Wild Bill Hickok Shootout, where the nation's first known duel took place in 1865. In Albatross, the favorite bar of bikers all over the world (yes, the World.)
-Kansas: Don't blink or you'll miss it. In Galena, the 4 Women on the Route service station sells all kind of stuff in a former gas station, in the spirit of a general store where you may find just about anything you need, and need not. In Riverton, the Eisler Brothers Store, open since 1925. Drive across Baxter Springs, where the Crowell Bank robbed by Jesse James still stands.
-Oklahoma: Several hundred miles of the original Route with tons of small towns carrying the tradition of preserved memorabilia. Impossible to mention all of them, but note the 1939 Rock Café in Stroud, as well as the Skyliner Motel. In Elk and in Clinton, two museums entirely devoted to Route 66 are worth a visit. In Clinton, the Trade Winds Motel where Elvis stayed (this guy stayed everywhere, really.)
-Texas: McLean has the oldest Philips 66 gas station on the entire way. Shamrock has the 1936 U Drop inn, now the Chamber of Commerce. Conway has the Britten leaning water tower, a pink/orange structure dating back to the original road, built askew on purpose, to attract tourists to the restaurant nearby.
-New Mexico: Tucumcari kept the most kitsch neon signs, try to visit at night. Santa Fé boasts the most vintage motels of the era of Route 66. In Albuquerque, the present day Main Street is the old Route 66. In Gallup, several motels, including the famed El Rancho, where celebrities were lodged during filming of Hollywood movies in the surroundings desert backdrops.
-Arizona: In and around Holbrook, the Wigman Motel, shaped as a cement Indian Teepee (can't make that up); the meteor Crater, the one place on Earth where I though I was on another planet, predating Route 66 by 50,000 years, give or take, still a major attraction after all these years; the Twin Arrows, a 1950 rest-stop now a Navajo casino; and Two Guns, the site of a heated battle between the Navajos and the Apaches, which during the heydays of 66 had a gas station, a motel, a food emporium and even a zoo. Some ruins, a few signs and a bridge remain.
-California: Needles, a railroad town with motels and other relics still standing. In Amboy see the Bagdad Café. Then you are off to the Mojave Desert, with absolutely nothing for miles and miles. Don't try this in the summer. In Rialot, see the Wigman Motel; in Fontana, the Bono's Deli, in operation since the 1930s. Then you jump to Pasadena, home of the Rose Bowl, built in 1902, to find several vintage motels and bars.
The final segment of Route 66 ends in Santa Monica, coming through Los Angeles. The Hollywood vintage sign and many motels are still left standing all over a city so large, it would be difficult to navigate it here and now. The pier at the beach is the official terminal of our voyage. I hope you had a nice trip.
The things you won't be able to see on Route 66 are the CARS from the Pixar movie of the same name, the tale of Radiator Springs, once a booming locale.
I love Route 66 and Drive it all the time! There are sooo many great places to stay see. I don’t even know where to start.
Okay well first lets start with IL. There is a ton of good places to eat. There is Lou Mitchell’s in Chicago, Dell Ray’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook. There is also the Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield IL. The Polk A Dot drive in which is in Atlanta, Scoty’s in Hamel best Horseshoe on the Route! There is also DeKamp Junction which is cool Al Capone and his guys robbed the place. Be sure to check out the Rivera Restaurant, again Al Capone came here in fact his “throne” is here. Located in a basement that is decorated like a cave this place is cool. I would not eat here, but get a drink and check it out! Behind the Rivera is an old diner cart. The National Route 66 Org. has done a wonderful job restoring it! Best part FREE! As for places to see in IL the Atlanta has a great Route 66 Park, there is also the Hall of Fame in Pontiac which is really nice. Henry’s Rabbit ranch is a visitors center and museum and yep they have rabbits and lots of them. Very cool place! There was the Pig Hip Museum but on 5/11/07 it burned down. They are rebuilding it and it will be pen soon! Very sad had been on the Route since the start. Oh yeah and don’t forget about Funk’s Grove been here before 66 they make real maple Surip and yes that is spelled right. Still family owned today!
Okay MO. My favorite place to stay is the Munger Moss Motel. Very fun! Ted Drews of course has the best custard on the Route located in STL. There is also Route 66 state park which is new pretty nice. Who can forget about Merimac Caverns? You see sings painted on barns for this all over the Route. Very cool place. Also you get to drive through a town called HOOKER, very funny to take pictures of and who could forget a place called that. It is really funny to see the sing for Hooker Cemetery, we had a few questions when we saw this. Right by Hooker is Devils Elbow a very nice drive on the route. There is the Skyline Motel in Springfield MO still looks like it did back in the day. The people who work there are really nice. Oh Yeah and Fantastic Caverns is there, a drive through cave how cool is that. The drive through Animal Park used to be there. That was always fun you got to fee all kinds of things from your car. They sold it last Oct, now it is being turned into condos I think. Springfield MO is Route 66 crazy and there is a ton of stuff to do here. Check out their website. In Carthage there is a very cool drive in theater that is still working. Very fun to go to. The Castle Court in Joplin is also a nice place to stay at.
Moving on to OK. OK has some of the best parts of Route 66 all over you will find one lane roads, parts of the old brick road and more. I love going to the Blue Whale and the World’s Largest Totem Pole. Don’t get more touristy than that! There is also Yukon which has a Route 66 Museum, also home to Garth Brooks as the let you know when you pull into town. The Metro Diner in Tulsa is great and Elvis ate there! They have some of the best food around! The Rock Café is also a great place to eat at, I believe the girl that owns it was used as a character in the movie “Cars”. In Clinton there is a really nice Route 66 Museum try to go to it each time I drive the Route. The Lincoln motel in Chandler has been there forever and it is a great place to stay. The round bar is crazy it is located in Arcadia, across from it is some restaurant and motel called Hillbilly something. They were closed when we went so we just visited the Barn. There is also the new POPS which just opened. I have not had the chance to go, but it has the world’s largest soda bottle, windows made out of soda bottles, a diner, gift shop and more. They have a website, check them out! El Reno has a Route 66 Museum that is connected to the town museum and it is just cool! Huge fun and we spent hours there! Elk City is home the National Route 66 Museum a must stop for all Route 66 Travelers! Love the place! There is also the new Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler OK that just opened up. I have not been to it but they have a lot of stuff. They also have a very nice Route 66 Museum.
Texas has the smallest part of Route 66 so I have never stayed there but, the Shamrock Restaurant in Shamrock has a killer chicken fried steak! You also must go to Amarillo, not only is the Big Texan Steak House home of the 72 oz steak there but also Cadillac Ranch. Wow you get to spray paint on these cars, 10 caddy’s nose in the dirt sticking straight up! I have never seen anything like this, we had a great time here! One on my favorite places to eat is the Adrian Café in Adrian this is the Midpoint of the route. They have the best everything here, get some pie! They also are very nice and answered all of my questions, and told us their stories of the route. Wonderful place!!!! Glenrio was this wonderful little ghost town on the border, we got some really cool pictures here. The old buildings are very neat to see.
NM is cool because if you do your research you can drive parts of Route 66 that are still unpaved. It did not start out being a paved highway that was added latter and here you can find old pieces of the road. The other cool thing that I remember as we were driving these parts in some places you could still see marks from the wagon trains and big ruts on the side of the road that were made by them. You will find yourself alone for hours just like it used to be. Okay there are a couple cool places to stay in NM. My favorite has to be the Blue Swallow. This place is still awesome! The blue neon will knock your socks off. It has been restored and you still even have your own little garage now that is cool! I will never forget this place. There is also the El Rancho Hotel very famous the old movie stars used to stay here and all the rooms are now named after a star. Located in the heart of downtown they also have a really good restaurant in the place. Tee Pee Curios is also in NM an old store still fun to go into! Gallup has the best shopping around and is home to the Native American Nations. They are always having a Pow Wow or something here. They also have the best shopping for Native American jewelry around! I also like Gallup because the El Rancho Kitchen wonderful eats! You also get to see the Continental Divide which runs on the boarder of NM and AR, something you will never forget.
AZ is also a great state for 66 they really have done their best to preserve it and the coolest part of driving Route 66 can be found here. I love the drive to Oatman which was a ghost town but they are bringing it back to life. The drive is very twisty and turny and there is nothing to keep you from falling off the side of the mountain this part of the road is one of the most photographed on Route 66 and is not for the faint of heart. With that said I just love to drive this part! My favorite place to Stay in AZ has got to be at the Wigwams, now how cool is that to sleep in a Tee Pee okay so they are not really but, you do get your own little wigwam made of concrete. Been here forever and still family owned, old and young love to stay here. I make it a must each trip! There is also the Museum club in Flagstaff been on the route forever, nice bar good music. The Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and The Meteor Crater are all breath taking. Well worth the time to see them. Glad I did. Seligman this whole small town is Route 66 Crazy! I love going to the Snow Cap, great food and a ton of stuff showing the pride of Route 66. This place is just hard to describe, they have old cars, signs and all kinds of things! The Route 66 motel is also a very nice place to stay here. Now the funniest part of Seligman has got to be the Roadkill Café, um yep that is what it is called and that is why I remember it! Oh yeah I almost forgot that I stood on the Corner of Winslow AR just like the song! Um it is a nice site to see, don’t know if I would call it lovely.
CA you get to drive through the Joshua Trees and that is really cool. You don’t even have to go to the park they are right outside of your window. Barstow is one of my favorite stops, sorry not because Route 66 runs through it but, this is the first In-N-Out Burger on the Route. If you have never had it I cannot even tell you how wonderful In-N-Out is! A California must the best fast food around, fresh really no freezers or microwaves, made to order simple yummy goodness! Victorville also has another good Route 66 Museum. I really liked it. The Santa Monica Pier is where Route 66 ends, although this was not true back in the day. Still the pier is fun and there is some great food, games and fun. Love ending the trip there. There really is just a ton of cool things to see on the CA drive, you go through LA, and Hollywood. There are a ton of old builds and wonderful restaurants.
Every time I drive Route 66 I see something new, and every time I make a new memory. There is just too much that I could list here! I have already gone on enough. In fact I will be driving parts of it this weekend. Route 66 is always fun and is a huge part of my favorite travel memories. Take time, do your research, contact the chamber of commerce for the towns along the way tell them you are driving 66 they will give you suggestions on places to see. I spent a while researching it, some things you just stumble upon. There are a ton of roadside attractions along the way; they will just jump out at you! Be sure to get off of highway 40, that is not the real Route 66, get directions from the site below and do the turn by turn directions. They really are great and you get to go through the small towns, the interstate goes around them and some are not even labeled on the exit signs.
Here are some of the websites that I use for my searches:
Best directions, very good, lets you choose what alignment you want to drive! I use them every time they even have the modern day street names!!!!!
I hope this helps you, there really are some wonderful things to see and the people of 66 are just the best! I always meet friendly, wonderful people when I drive 66. Doesn't matter what age you are, if you tell them you are traveling 66, they will help you on your trip. I also recommend contact the chamber of commerce/visitors center for each town/city along the way. It takes time but, they send you the best stuff and really help you find unique things on 66. I made a huge Route 66 book to help us on our travels. You might also want to check out the Route 66 Pulse. You can find it online, it is a newspaper all about Route 66. Wonderful they are always listing new things!
Almost forgot you will see brown Route 66 signs along they way, these will help mark your path!
Hope this helps! Happy travels!
Source:Live on it, Love it, Drive It, Keep 66 Alive!!!!
World-Famous Route 66 Classic Motel in the heart of Barstow, California.