Route 66 is an iconic road that spans2,400 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. Though the official road was decommissioned in 1985, road trip loves from around the world still flock to the Mother Road for a sense of nostalgia and the thrill of the open road. At every turn of the journey that takes you through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California you’ll find plenty of Route 66 must see stops to add to your travel itinerary. There are weird roadside attractions, muffler men, national parks and monuments, classic diners, historic motels, museums, souvenir shops, and more.
Ready to get your kicks on Route 66? Check out these must-see stops on Route 66 in every state on the Mother Road and get ready to add them all to your travel itinerary or road trip bucket list.
- Illinois Route 66 Must See Stops
- Route 66 Begins Sign
- Lou Mitchell’s
- Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket
- The Gemini Giant Muffler Man
- Polk-a-Dot Drive In
- Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station
- Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum
- Route 66 Memory Lane
- Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
- Paul Bunyon Muffler Man with a Hot Dog
- Giant Abraham Lincoln Statue on the World’s Largest Covered Wagon
- Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb
- Lauterbach Giant
- Cozy Dog Drive In
- Soulsby Service Station
- Henry’s Rabbit Ranch
- Pink Elephant Antique Mall
- World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
- Missouri Route 66 Must See Stops
- Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
- The Gateway Arch
- Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
- Meramec Caverns
- Route 66 Rocker
- Larry Baggett’s Trail of Tears Memorial
- Uranus Fudge Factory
- Munger Moss Motel
- Route 66 Food Truck Park Muffler Man
- Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven
- Red’s Giant Hamburg
- Gary’s Gay Parita
- SuperTAM on 66
- Route 66 Mural Park
- Kansas Route 66 Must See Stops
- Oklahoma Route 66 Must See Stops
- Gateway to Route 66 Arch
- Coleman Theater
- Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger
- Allen’s Conoco Fillin’ Station
- Dairy King
- Ribbon Road
- Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
- Blue Whale of Catoosa
- Golden Driller Statue
- Meadow Gold Sign
- Buck Atom Space Cowboy Muffler Man
- World’s Tallest Gas Pump
- Rock Cafe
- OK County 66 – John’s Place
- Arcadia Round Barn
- Pops 66 Soda Ranch: World’s Largest Soda Bottle
- Milk Bottle Grocery
- El Reno Mother Road Monument
- Muffler Men Mural
- Lucille’s Historic Highway Gas Station
- Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
- National Route 66 Museum
- One Room Jail
- Texas Route 66 Must See Stops
- New Mexico Route 66 Must See Stops
- Arizona Route 66 Must See Stops
- California Route 66 Must See Stops
Illinois Route 66 Must See Stops
Route 66 Begins Sign
78-98 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603
Ready to get your kicks on Route 66? Every great road trip along the Mother Road starts here: the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois.
565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661
Lou Mitchell’s opened in 1923 and its location at the start of Route 66 made it a quintessential stop before traveling the Mother Road. Pancakes, waffles, and skillets are offered alongside the “world’s best” coffee, homemade bread, pastries, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket
645 Joliet Rd, Willowbrook, IL 60527
Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket is an iconic Route 66 restaurant in Illinois. In Willowbrook, just off the famous route, and present day Interstate 55 (I-55) , this chicken joint has been serving up chicken since the 1930s.
The Gemini Giant Muffler Man
810 E Baltimore St, Wilmington, IL
The Gemini Giant is a 28-foot tall muffler man who stands outside the Launching Pad restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois. He weighs in at a whopping 438 pounds: not counting his base of the giant 8-foot rocket he holds in his hands!
Polk-a-Dot Drive In
222 N Front St, Braidwood, IL 60408
The Polk-a-Dot Drive In has been feeding hungry travelers since 1956. With a full menu of hamburgers, chicken, hot dogs, ice cream, milkshakes, and their famous chili cheese fries, there is something to order for everyone. Outside you can take your photo with a slew of your favorite celebrities. Life-sized statues of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, James Dean, the Blues Brothers and Betty Boop line up for selfies.
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station
W Waupansie St, Dwight, IL 60420
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station (AKA the Ambler-Becker Station, Vernon’s Texaco Station, and Becker’s Marathon Gas Station) was built by Jack Shore in 1933 along historic Route 66 in the Village of Dwight. For, appropriately, 66 years it lived on and eventually became the longest operating service station on The Mother Road.
Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum
110 W Howard St, Pontiac, IL 61764
The Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, Illinois tells the story of the Mother Road from inception to present day with thousands of artifacts, memorabilia, articles, and more. Stop in to learn about all of the famed stops, places, and people who have been inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame. Be sure to look for the giant Route 66 shield mural outside!
Route 66 Memory Lane
Parade Rd, Lexington, IL 61753
Take a trip down memory lane in Lexington, Illinois. Route 66 Memory Lane, that is. An original 1-mile stretch of Route 66 has been restored and turned into an interpretive trail complete with original pavement and vintage billboards and signs for Burma Shave, Nehi, and more.
Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
Funks Grove Township, IL 61754
The Funk family has been producing Maple sirup in Illinois since 1824. In season, guided tours of the sirup-making process are offered and maple sirup, maple cream, cookbooks, and Route 66 memorabilia are offered for sale
Paul Bunyon Muffler Man with a Hot Dog
103 SW Arch St, Atlanta, IL 61723
In 1966 a muffler man was erected in Cicero, Illinois at a hot dog and burger restaurant named Bunyon’s hot dog stand. Due to that this giant hot dog muffler man is known locally as “The Bunyon Giant.” In 2002 the Cicero restaurant closed but the legacy of the hot-dog wielding giant muffler man lives on when he was relocated to Route 66 park in Atlanta.
Giant Abraham Lincoln Statue on the World’s Largest Covered Wagon
1750 5th St, Lincoln, IL 62656
The Railsplitter Covered Wagon and giant Lincoln statue is 40-feet long, 12-feet wide and 25-feet tall. The big wagon is made of oak and steel and weighs five tons. It is officially recognized as being the world’s largest by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb
1500 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL 62702
In Springfield, Illinois you can visit the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site which serves as the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their four sons (Edward, William, and Thomas). Outside there is a big bust of Lincoln – be sure to rub his nose for good luck!
1569 Wabash Ave, Springfield, IL 62704
This fiberglass giant has stood in the parking lot outside Lauterbach Tire & Auto Service in Springfield, Illinois since 1978. While the Lauterbach Giant now looks perfectly fine, he had earlier undergone some tragedy: he lost his head when a tornado flew through town in 2006.
Cozy Dog Drive In
2935 S 6th St, Springfield, IL 62703
Get a taste of history at this Route 66 institution: Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois. Cozy Dog doesn’t sell corn dogs, they sell Cozy Dogs. Yes, their signature item is a battered and fried hot dog on a stick, but they make it clear that Cozy Dogs preceded the modern corn dog and are superior in quality and taste to your normal cornmeal dipped fair dog.
Soulsby Service Station
710 W 1st S St, Mt Olive, IL 62069
Soulsby Service Station in Mount Olive, Illinois is a historic gas station that served Route 66 travelers for decades. In fact this site is one of the oldest and longest running service stations on all of Route 66 and the oldest usable service station on the highway in Illinois.
Henry’s Rabbit Ranch
1107 Historic Old Rte 66, Staunton, IL 62088
Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is a Route 66 visitor center and souvenir shop with a particular pedigree. The theme here, if you couldn’t guess, is rabbits. There are often dozens of real rabbits hopping around, a line up of VW Rabbits, and there’s even a big fiberglass jackrabbit beckoning visitors to hop on for that perfect Route 66 Instagram moment.
Pink Elephant Antique Mall
908 Veterans Memorial Dr, Livingston, IL 62058
We’ve all heard of pink elephants on parade. But this location not only features a giant pink elephant but also a parade of one more giant thing after the next. At the Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston, Illinois you can find their famous big pink elephant and also so many more Illinois Route 66 attractions.
World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
800 S Morrison Ave, Collinsville, IL 62234
Unfortunately there is no ketchup in this 170-foot tall catsup bottle, instead the structure serves as a water tower for Collinsville, Illinois — original home of the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S. Suppiger who bottled Brooks catsup. The Collinsville catsup bottle water tower was completed in 1949.
Missouri Route 66 Must See Stops
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
10820 Riverview Dr, St. Louis, MO 63137
This Missouri Route 66 attraction was once an essential part of the cross-country journey, taking travelers from Illinois, across the Mississippi river, and into Missouri (or vice versa). While you can no longer drive the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, it’s still worth a trip to walk (or bike) across and admire.
The Gateway Arch
St. Louis, MO 63102
At 630 feet tall, the Gateway Arch is the nation’s tallest monument. It was built to reflect St. Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
6726 Chippewa St, St. Louis, MO 63109
Ted Drewes is a family-owned frozen custard company that has been serving sweet treats since 1929. Stop for a frozen concrete!
1135 Hwy W, Sullivan, MO 63080
Meramec Caverns in Sullivan, Missouri is a staple site on Route 66. You will see billboards for miles and miles beckoning you to explore these sandstone caves. Follow the signs and take a tour, you won’t regret visiting this Route 66 must see road trip stop.
Route 66 Rocker
5957 State Hwy ZZ, Cuba, MO 65453
In 2008, the “World’s Largest Rocking Chair” was erected on historic Route 66 outside the Fanning Outpost General Store in Cuba, Missouri. Though the official title has since been relinquished, and it is now known as the Route 66 Rocker — this big chair still rocks!
Larry Baggett’s Trail of Tears Memorial
State Hwy D, Jerome, MO 65529
Larry Baggett’s folk-art rock creations were set up as a monument to the Cherokee Trail of Tears, which crossed his land. After he died in 2003 the property closed but is now open with limited hours. You can still pull over to see his self-portrait rock sculpture in front of the gate.
Uranus Fudge Factory
14400 State Hwy Z, St Robert, MO 65584
If you’re looking for a unique Route 66 attraction, you’ve got to pick Uranus. Uranus, Missouri that is. Visit the town, stop for fudge at Uranus Fudge Factory and General Store, and check out all of the weird roadside attractions while you’re there!
Munger Moss Motel
1336 U.S. Rte 66, Lebanon, MO 65536
The Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri was built in 1946 and you can still stay at this classic Route 66 motel on your Route 66 road trip. The site originally operated as a filling station and restaurant (Munger-Moss Sandwich Shop) and the motel was added on after the business relocated, though it is the only part of the business that has survived today.
Route 66 Food Truck Park Muffler Man
1530 E St Louis St, Springfield, MO 65802
The Route 66 Food Truck Park opened in February, 2020 and features food trucks with a variety of different cuisines, a full-service bar, and a giant muffler man out front.
Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven
203 S Glenstone Ave, Springfield, MO 65802
After a day behind the wheel, stopping at all of the Mother Road’s iconic roadside attractions, museums, restaurants, and more, a good shower and a comfy bed is always a welcome sight. Take that and add modern amenities, vintage charm, and a touch of Elvis, and you have the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven motel in Springfield, Missouri. Try to stay in the Elvis Suite!
Red’s Giant Hamburg
2301 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65807
Red’s Giant Hamburg first opened its doors on Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri in 1947. The tiny restaurant was allegedly the world’s first drive-through restaurant, While the original closed in 1984 and was demolished in 1997, a brand new Red’s opened in 2019.
Gary’s Gay Parita
21118 Old Route 66, Ash Grove, MO 65604
Bonjour and welcome to Gary’s Gay Parita. This Missouri tourist attraction is a replica of a 1930s Sinclair service station complete with original pumps and Route 66 memorabilia.
SuperTAM on 66
221 W Main St, Carterville, MO 64835
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…SuperTam? It’s you’re taking a Route 66 road trip and looking for a sweet treat with a heavy dose of Superman nostalgia, SuperTam on 66 in Carterville, Missouri (an ice cream parlor and Superman Museum) is the place for you.
Route 66 Mural Park
629-621 S Main St, Joplin, MO 64801
You won’t find any swings, slides, or greenery in this roadside park. But you will find an artful tribute to the past. Route 66 Mural Park in Joplin, Missouri celebrates the town’s history with the Mother Road with two murals and the perfect selfie photo op.
Kansas Route 66 Must See Stops
Frecs the Miner
205 Front St, Galena, Kansas, 66739
Located just over the border on the original alignment of Kansas Route 66 you’ll find this modern version of a classic muffler man: Frecs the Miner in Galena, Kansas.
Cars on the Route
119 N Main St, Galena, KS 66739
Welcome to Radiator Springs. I mean, Kansas. Galena, Kansas. A town on Route 66 that partially inspired the Pixar movie Cars and where you can meet the inspiration behind the character of Tow Mater himself at Cars on the Route (the former Kan-O-Tex Service Station).
Galena Mining and Historical Museum
319 W 7th St, Galena, KS 66739
The Galena Mining and Historical Museum is housed in the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas train depot and showcases tools, equipment, specimens, photographs, and other artifacts and items from the town’s history in lead and zinc mining.
Greetings from Galena Mural
Route 66, Galena, KS 66739
The Greetings from Galena mural depicts some of the most popular Kansas Route 66 Attractions in the area. is made from over 400 15-inch ceramic tiles depicts a powder blue 1957 Chevrolet pulling onto Main Street alongside some of the famous stops in town.
Nelson’s Old Riverton Store
7109 KS-66, Riverton, KS 66770
Nelson’s Old Riverton Store in Riverton, Kansas (AKA The Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store) is a Route 66 institution that predates the Mother Road itself. The property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1925. You can find the red-brick facade and a pressed-tin ceiling billed tightly with wares.
SE Beasley Rd, Baxter Springs, KS 66713
The Rainbow Bridge is an old bridge that spans over Brush Creek just outside of Baxter Springs, Kansas on Route 66. Technically called a “single-span concrete Marsh arch bridge” it is more commonly referred to as the “rainbow bridge.”. The bridge is the only one of its style left on Route 66. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 1983.
Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum
740 East Ave, Baxter Springs, KS 66713
The Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum is “dedicated to preserving and interpreting the rich regional history of Baxter Springs, Kansas.” Explore exhibits dedicated to various stages in the town’s history, including the days of the Osage Indians, the Civil War, and the zinc mining era.
Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station
940 Military Ave, Baxter Springs, KS 66713
The Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station in Baxter Springs, Kansas has been a Route 66 attraction since 1930. It not serves as a Kansas Route 66 visitor Center where you can learn about the past, plan your future travels, and maybe even meet a local celebrity.
Oklahoma Route 66 Must See Stops
Gateway to Route 66 Arch
218 S Main St, Miami, OK 74354
Miami is known as the Gateway to Route 66 across Oklahoma, being the first major stop after crossing the border from the short Kansas stretch. The town welcomes travelers with the the longest Main Street on all of Route 66 and a large arch stretching over it.
103 N Main St, Miami, OK 74354
The Coleman Theatre has been entertaining audiences since it opened in 1929. The beautiful landmark was constructed in Spanish Mission Revival style with a lavish Louis XV interior, complete with gold leaf trim, silk damask panels, stained glass panels, and a 2,000-pound chandelier. The theater presents performances and events and is available for tours.
Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger
915 N Main St, Miami, OK 74354
This restaurant was once part of a chain of Ku-Ku Burgers that opened in 1965 and spanned across the country. Today, the Miami location is the only one left. Stop in for a burger and journey back in time.
Allen’s Conoco Fillin’ Station
101 S Main St, Commerce, OK 74339
Appropriately known as the “Hole in the Wall Conoco Station,” Allen’s Conoco Fillin’ Station is an old cottage-style service station that was built into a brick wall of an existing building in 1929 or 1930. F.D. Mitchell created the structure as a Conoco fuel gas station for Route 66 travelers to stop at. Though, was converted to a Phillips 66 Gas Station in 1938. It is even rumored that Bonnie and Clyde once stopped here for gas.
100 N Main St, Commerce, OK 74339
Built into an old cottage style gas station, the Dairy King location started its life as a Marathon station in 1927. While they will no longer fill up your tank at the Dairy King, they will fill up your belly. Stop in for a burger, a milkshake, a banana split, and a famous Route 66 cookie shaped like the highway marker shield and are printed with US 66.
E 140 Rd, Miami, OK 74354
Ribbon Road is the only remaining 9-foot wide segment of the Mother Road. Take a narrow drive on the original piece of road.
Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
21300 OK-28 A, Chelsea, OK 74016
Ed Galloway (1880-1962) began work on his totem pole in 1937 and completed it in 1948. Now dubbed the “World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole” the colorful sculpture stands at 60-feet tall with a circumference of 30 feet and a variety of vibrant images carved into it. It’s a popular Oklahoma tourist attraction and the centerpiece of Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park where it is surrounded by 11 other objects and buildings to explore.
Blue Whale of Catoosa
2600 U.S. Rte 66, Catoosa, OK 74015
The Blue Whale of Catoosa has been a Route 66 must see icon since 1972. Hugh Davis originally built the giant 80-foot-long blue sperm whale adjacent to their alligator farm as an anniversary present for his wife Zelta and their kids. It soon became the centerpiece of their Route 66 attraction, Nature’s Acres, and a much beloved roadside attractions for travelers on the Mother Road and beyond. After the park closed in 1988, the giant whale fell into disrepair, but today it is maintained by a local group, preserving this piece of nostalgia for modern road trippers.
Golden Driller Statue
Tulsa Expo Center, 4145 E 21st St, Tulsa, OK 74114
The Golden Driller was first brought to Tulsa (then known as the “oil capital of the world”) from a Texas oilfield supplier for a trade show at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. The Golden Driller stands at 75-feet tall, weighs 43,500 pounds, and is made from a steel frame covered in concrete and plaster.
Meadow Gold Sign
1324 E 11th St, Tulsa, OK 74120
This giant Meadow Gold sign was erected in 1934 when Meadow Gold Dairy installed it at 11th & Lewis. For decades this sign served as a landmark in Tulsa, even though the business was long gone. In 2009 the sign was restored and moved to a dedicated pavilion.
Buck Atom Space Cowboy Muffler Man
Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66, 1347 E 11th St, Tulsa, OK 74120
Past meets present at Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66. In 2019 they unveiled their very own larger-than-life fiberglass mascot: Buck Atom. This Space Cowboy Muffler Man was a brand-new muffler man crafted from a mold and modeled after the retro roadside attractions. Wearing a space suit, kerchief, a cowboy hat with a space visor, and carrying a bright silver rocket ship, Buck is part muffler man, part cowboy, part spaceman, and all fun.
World’s Tallest Gas Pump
13 Sahoma Lake Rd, Sapulpa, OK 74066
Outside of the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum in Sapulpa is the World’s Tallest Gas Pump. Completed in 2018, this Oklahoma roadside attraction was modeled after vintage pumps common on the route when it opened in 1926. The non-functioning pump was meant to stand at 66 feet tall, but ended up being even taller.
114 W Main St, Stroud, OK 74079
Rock Cafe was built in 1936 and opened on Route 66 in 1939. Roy Rives built the restaurant using local materials, such as a distinct sandstone, in its construction. It is after that material that the business was named. Stop in for lunch or dinner on your Route 66 road trip and choose from a menu featuring spätzle, Jägerschnitzel, buffalo burgers, sandwiches, salads, and chicken fried steak.
OK County 66 – John’s Place
13441 E Old Hwy 66, Arcadia, OK 73007
Want to see the best of Route 66 in one place? At OK County 66 you can visit small-scale recreations of all the major iconic Route 66 roadside attractions. John Hargrove built this museum and all the replicas within it. You can see the giant Twin Arrows, the Gemini Giant, Wigwam Motel, the Blue Whale, and a buried Volkswagen Beetle that represents Cadillac Ranch.
Arcadia Round Barn
107 OK-66, Arcadia, OK 73007
Arcadia Round Barn is the only wooden round barn in Oklahoma. Farmer William Harrison Odor built the oddly shaped barn in 1898. At 43 feet high and 60 feet in diameter, the building’s unique construction was maintained by soaking native bur oak boards and then curving them using a special form. The round barn’s ground floor once housed livestock, hay, and grain but you can find informational displays about the barn’s history and gift shop. The second floor was used for community dances and is still available for private events.
Pops 66 Soda Ranch: World’s Largest Soda Bottle
660 U.S. Rte 66, Arcadia, OK 73007
A relatively new Route 66 must see roadside attraction, the giant pop bottle in Arcadia quickly became a must-see when it was installed in 2007. The 66-foot-tall soda bottle, appropriately called “Bubbles,” is made of stacked steel hoops and thousands LED lights that can be illuminated with different colors. Next door you can stop into Pops 66 for a hamburger steak or peruse the 700 plus sodas on display for purchase.
Milk Bottle Grocery
2426 N Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73106
The 350-square foot red brick building, located on historic Route 66, was constructed in 1930. The building was originally referred to as Triangle Grocery due to its wedge shape made to fit a corner lot. When the now iconic giant milk bottle was added to the roof in 1948, it became known as Milk Bottle Grocery, a moniker that stays today.
El Reno Mother Road Monument
300 S Choctaw Ave, El Reno, OK 73036
The El Reno Mother Road Monument was erected in 2018. Designed by Oklahoma City business PremierCraft, it was created to provide a fun photo opportunity for Route 66 travelers. The idea for the giant Route 66 shield came from Mayor Matt White, who was inspired by other popular photo spots he saw on the Arizona stretch of the road. The monument features a 10-foot tall black and white Route 66 shield with hollowed out double sixes. Visitors are encouraged to climb inside the 6 and the 6.
Muffler Men Mural
10000 E1020 Rd Calumet, OK 73014
California-based artist John Cerney is well known for his over the top cutout murals and giant highway art. For the Route 66 muffler man mural he create dthese three 18-foot tall giant cutouts that line the side of the road. One, a traditional Bunyan muffler man holding an ax, modeled after one found in Flagstaff, Arizona. One a Uniroyal Gal, the muffler man’s female equivalent, modeled after Nitro Girl in New Jersey. And one a green-wearing gas station attendant who breaks out of the traditional static pose to dance the twist.
Lucille’s Historic Highway Gas Station
U.S. Rte 66, Hydro, OK 73048
Officially known as the Provine Service Station, this vintage service station in Hydro, Oklahoma on Route 66 is more commonly known as Lucille’s Historic Highway Gas Station or, simply, Lucille’s Place. The gas station was owned by Lucille Hamons, known as the “Mother of the Mother Road,” who owned and operated this gas station with her husband from 1941 until her death in 2000.
Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
2229 W Gary Blvd, Clinton, OK 73601
The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum takes travelers for a journey across the Mother Road and through history. Each room of the museum is built on a different theme and has accompanying music that immerses you in the experience. Informative displays teach visitors about the different eras of road travel; themes like diners and drive-ins, roadside motels, and roadside attractions; and important historical events that shaped Route 66’s impact on the country.
National Route 66 Museum
2717 W 3rd St, Elk City, OK 73644
The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma celebrates the Mother Road in both Oklahoma and beyond. Focused on the people who lived and work on the Mother Road along with the automobiles and places that defined it, the museum campus offers an interactive tour through history. Reserve a couple of hours of your road trip time to explore all of the buildings and exhibits.
One Room Jail
Main Ave., Texola, OK 73668
Texola is a small, near-deserted ghost town on the border of Oklahaoma and Texas. It’s the last stop in the state when driving west on Historic Route 66. The One Room Jail in Texola is tiny cinderblock jail that was built a the end of the 1800s. As its name states, this Route 66 roadside attraction is pretty small, with just one room accessible by an iron-barred door. Marked out front is a slab dedicated to the Texola High School Class of 1938.
Texas Route 66 Must See Stops
Conoco Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Café
1242 N Main St, Shamrock, TX 79079
The Cocono Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Café was built in 1936. Located along historic Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas, the art deco gas station and restaurant is sometimes referred to as “the Taj Mahal of Texas.” And it is easy to see why. It was even memorialized as “Ramone’s Body Shop” in the 2006 Pixar movie, Cars.
Phillips 66 Gas Station
212 First St, McLean, TX 79057
The vintage 1929 Phillips 66 Gas Station in McLean was one of the first of its kind in Texas. It’s built in a Tudor-Revival style and resembles a cottage in its design. While the business closed in 1977 it was remodeled in 1991, complete with vintage gas pumps, an oil pump, and an historic Phillips 66 sign.
Devil’s Rope Museum
100 Kingsley St, McLean, TX 79057
The Devil’s Rope Museum celebrates all things barbed wire. Check out the giant balls of barbed wire that flank the name plaques outside, then come inside to explore a huge expanse dedicated to the fencing. Learn about the history of barbed wire and its impact on the development of the Old West while browsing displays of different types of the fence wire, artifacts and examples, salesman samples, fencing tools used to make and maintain fences, branding irons, historical documents, photographs, and wire art.
VW Slug Bug Ranch
I-40 Frontage Rd, Panhandle, TX 79068
VW Slug Bug Ranch might not be as famous as its Cadillac counterpart over at Cadillac Ranch down the road, but it is just as fun to visit. The Texas roadside attraction consists of five Volkswagen Beetles buried front first into the ground.
Leaning Tower of Texas
Groom, TX 79039
The Leaning Tower of Texas, also known as the Leaning Tower of Britten, is a leaning water tower located in Groom, Texas. This Texas Route 66 attraction was once a normal, functioning water tower. It was slated for demolition and Ralph Britten bought it at an auction and moved it 34 miles away to its current location to serve as an oversized sign for his truck stop and information center.
I-40, Exit 112, Groom, TX 79039
The Groom Cross (officially The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ) is a giant cross off of Interstate 40 and Route 66. You can’t miss this 190-foot-tall, 1,250-ton icon: it can be seen from 20 miles away!
Big Texan Steak Ranch
7701 I-40 East, Amarillo, TX 79118
Looking for a roadside attraction, Route 66 icon, motel, and restaurant all rolled into one? Look no further than Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo. Outside you’ll find a bright yellow building anchored by “Big Moo” (a giant steer), “Big Tex Rex” (a dinosaur in a cowboy hat), and a 15-foot-tall cowboy boot. Inside, you can grab a typical 16-ounce Texas steak dinner, but the big draw here is the Steak Challenge that’s been offered since the 1960s: eat a 72-ounce steak along with a shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, and buttered roll in one hour and the $72 meal is free.
13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124
Cadillac Ranch might just be the most recognizable pit stop on Route 66. Installed by a group of San Francisco hippies dubbed “The Ant Farm” in 1974, this Texas roadside attraction has been attracting crowds ever since. In a field you’ll find ten Cadillac cars (1949-1963 models) buried nose-first in the ground and covered in colorful graffiti. Visitors are encouraged to leave their mark with a can of spray paint so no two views will ever be the same.
Magnolia Gas Station
105 S Main St, Vega, TX 79092
The Magnolia Gas Station in Vega, Texas was built in 1924 by Col J. T. Owen. For decades the stop fueled travelers on Route 66 and the Ozark Trail alongside locals. The two-story building allowed for the business to operate downstairs while the operator could live in an apartment upstairs.
Route 66 Midpoint
305 W Historic Rte 66, Adrian, TX 79001
It’s “more than two thousand miles all the way” to travel Route 66 from Chicago to California. 2,278 miles to be exact. So, it’s only fitting that at mile 1,139, there would be a place to celebrate. Visit Adrian, Texas, a town 1,139 from the starting point in Chicago and 1,139 miles from the end point in California. Be sure to check out the Route 66 Midpoint Sign and stop at the Midpoint Cafe for some ugly crust pie.
New Mexico Route 66 Must See Stops
Blue Swallow Motel
815 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401
With one of the most recognizable neon signs on Route 66, the Blue Swallow Motel has been operating since 1939.
Tee Pee Curios
924 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401
A concrete building with a teepee fused into the front serves as a Route 66 souvenir shop .
Route 66 Auto Museum
2436 U.S. Rte 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435
This fun museum features over 30 classic cars and Route 66 memorabilia. It is the privately owned collection of Bozo Cordova, who owns the garage next door and does restorations.
Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM 88435
The Blue Hole of Santa Rosa is a small lake/natural pool located in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The attraction is open for swimming and is one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the country.
1405 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
This retro-themed diner serves comfort food and diner fare (including hamburgers, New Mexican favorites, and milkshakes) with a 1950s slant. The decor features a vintage jukebox, soda fountain, and even a Pez collection.
Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign
600 W Santa Fe Ave, Grants, NM 87020
Lit up at night you can drive through this giant neon Route 66 shield sign, making for a unique road trip photo op experience.
Historic El Rancho Hotel
1000 E Hwy 66, Gallup, NM 87301
TheEl Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico was once known as the “Home of the Movie Stars.” Many Hollywood celebrities, such as John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Lucille Ball once stayed here while filming Westerns. Sleep in the same rooms they did and check out the restaurant where you can sample a Ronald Reagan Burger with a side of Jelly Beans.
Arizona Route 66 Must See Stops
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ 86028
The Petrified Forest National Park features a colorful assembly of the petrified wood, archeological sites, and historic structures. It’s the perfect stop on a long road trip to stretch your legs and experience the natural beauty of Arizona.
811 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ 86025
Seven Wigwam Motels were built in the 1930s and 1940s. Today, only three remain, including two Wigwam Motels on Route 66. Each motel room is in an individual building shaped like a teepee. Spend the night in this motel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was the inspiration for Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in the Pixar movie Cars.
Rainbow Rock Shop
101 Navajo Blvd, Holbrook, AZ 86025
Rainbow Rock Shop is the place to go on Route 66 to buy and see petrified wood, rocks, fossils, geodes, and souvenirs. But the real draw here is the giant dinosaurs out front, that owner Charles Stewart built out of chicken wire and concrete.
Jack Rabbit Trading Post
3386 U.S. Rte 66, Joseph City, AZ 86032
Jack Rabbit Trading Post is convenience store and souvenir shop located off of Route 66/Interstate 40. Opened in the 1940s, this location is still open to visitors today, thanks, in part to the HERE IT IS billboard that drives visitors off the road and the giant rabbit photo op.
Standin’ on the Corner
108 Old Hwy 66, Winslow, AZ 86047
“Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.” This line from the Eagles’ song “Take It Easy” is commemorated in a small public park in Winslow, Arizona. Look for a statue of a man with a guitar, standing on the corner, in front of a two-story Trompe L’oeil mural that depicts the scene.
Twin Arrows Trading Post
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
A pair of giant arrows in all that remains at this abandoned trading post. Opened as Canyon Padre Trading Post in the 1940s, the property, which had had a gas station, gift shop, and diner, closed for good in 1995.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86052
Though not technically located on Route 66, Grand Canyon National Park is worth the short detour. The immense formation features a geological wonder complete with hiking opportunities, observation stations, and breathtaking viewpoints.
301 AZ-66, Seligman, AZ 86337
Delgadillo’s Snow Cap
Delgadillo’s Snow Cap has been serving passersby for decades. The kitschy drive-in features a menu of burgers, hot dogs, malts, and milkshakes amid an eclectic decor or memorabilia and left behind treasures. Don’t forget to order your cheeseburger with cheese.
Grand Canyon Caverns
AZ-66, Peach Springs, AZ 86434
The Grand Canyon Caverns are the largest dry caverns in the United States. They are located 200-300 feet below the surface and accessible via an elevator. Both paved accessible tours and adventurous Explorers tours are available. Stay for lunch at the underground Grill or Grotto and you can even spend the night in their hotel.
Hackberry General Store
11255 AZ-66, Hackberry, AZ 86411
Hackberry General Store is located in the former mining town of Hackberry, Arizona. The store is nicknamed the “Mother Lode of Mother Road Memorabilia,” because it is packed with historic signs, artifacts, vintage gas pumps, and even a red ‘57 Corvette.
9855 AZ-66, Kingman, AZ 86401
Giganticus Headicus is the name of this giant green head who stands outside a Route 66 gift shop. The 14-foot-tall tiki was created by Gregg Arnold in 2004 and is one of many pieces of art around the property that was once known as the Kozy Corner Trailer Court.
Mr D’z Route 66 Diner
105 E Andy Devine Ave, Kingman, AZ 86401
Mr D’z Route 66 Diner has a classic menu of burgers, pizza, and root beer floats with a vintage vibe. Loaded with Route 66 memorabilia, it’s a must see stop for lunch or dinner on the road.
Oatman, AZ 86433
Visit Oatman to learn about the town’s gold mining history, watch a shootout show, and see all the free-roaming wild burros, who outnumber people in town
California Route 66 Must See Stops
Route 66 Mother Road Museum
681 N 1st Ave, Barstow, CA 92311
This California Route 66 museum displays artifacts, memorabilia, and historic photographs related to the Mother Road and the Mojave Desert Communities.
Amboy Crater is an approximately 6,000 year old, 250-foot high volcanic cinder cone. Take a 2-3 hour hike on the footpath to the top of the cone for impressive views.
Roy’s Motel & Cafe
87520 National Trails Hwy, Amboy, CA 92304
Roy’s Motel and Café is a motel, café, gas station and auto repair shop on Route 66. The property laid in disrepair for many years but is now being restored back to its former glory. The iconic neon sign out front and large Route 66 shield on the road make this a popular photo spot and Route 66 must see attraction.
Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch
24266 National Trails Hwy, Oro Grande, CA 92368
Visit a garden filled with tree-shaped sculptures made from glass bottles, pipe, and other vintage items.Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is the work of the late Elmer Long, who opened this Route 66 must see attraction is 2000.
First Original McDonald’s Museum
1398 N E St, San Bernardino, CA 92405
Before it was an international franchise, the very first McDonald’s opened here in 1948 by brothers Richard (Dick) and Maurice (Mac) McDonald. Today the site serves as a McDonald’s museum full of history and memorabilia.
2728 Foothill Blvd, San Bernardino, CA 92410
The Wigwam Motel franchises were constructed in the 1930s and 40s. Wigwam Village Motel No. 7, the last one ever built, started as a Route 66 destination and still beckons Mother Road travelers today. While the tee-pee-shaped motel went through a transitional period where it was outfitted with waterbeds, rented by the hour, and advertised “Do it in a Wigwam,” these days, it’s been restored to its former glory and is a family friendly Route 66 attraction.
Cucamonga Service Station
9670 Foothill Blvd, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
The Cucamonga Service Station is a historic gas and automobile service station located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The station was built in 1915, later abandoned, and then restored and reopened as a Route 66 museum in 2015.
5558 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Chicken Boy was originally installed on the roof of L.A.’s Chicken Boy restaurant in 1969. The customized International Fiberglass muffler man was all man below the neck and all chicken from the neck up. When the restaurant closed in the 1980s and the building was set for demolition, artist Amy Inouye, a great admirer of the fiberglass bird boy, rescued it from demise. She kept this iconic California roadside attraction safe in storage until 2007 when she found “The Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles” a new home, on top of a building she owns right on Route 66.
Route 66 End of the Trail Sign at Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
After driving 2,400 miles across Route 66, celebrate with a photo at this iconic attraction: theEnd of the Trail Sign at Santa Monica Pier.