Missouri - "The Show Me State" - has plenty to offer! This article brings you a selection of the vast range of sights and attractions to be experienced whilst driving Route 66 in Missouri including beautiful parks, monuments, museums, drive-ins and even the hide-out of Jesse James himself!

As with my earlier post regarding Illinois, this is not intended to be viewed as a definitive list, merely bringing you a flavor of what Missouri can offer. You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here.

Listed in order from east to west, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in Missouri...

1. Chain of Rocks Bridge, St Louis

Chain of Rocks Bridge, St Louis

The Chain of Rocks bridge was, for some time, the path used by Route 66 travelers to cross the Mississippi river. These days the bridge only carries walking and biking trails over the river, although parking is available at the start of the now pedestrian route for roadies wishing to stretch their legs and enjoy the view. The most notable feature of the bridge is the 22-degree bend occurring at the middle.

Read more about Chain of Rocks Bridge.

2. Gary’s Gay Parita, Ash Grove

Gary’s Gay Parita, Ash Grove

Gary's Gay Parita is a recreation of a 1930 Sinclair gas station, lovingly constructed by the late Gary Turner but now cared for by his daughter Barbara and son-in-law George. The site includes a replica station, along with original pumps and other memorabilia from the heyday of Route 66. Barbara and George are wonderful hosts who will go out of their way to ensure that visitors are looked after.

Read more about Gary's Gay Parita.

3. Gateway Arch, St Louis

Gateway Arch, St Louis

An iconic image of St Louis, the Gateway Arch stands 192m tall and 192m wide at it’s base making it the US’s tallest monument. Visitors can reach the observation deck via an elevator system comprised of a series of small pod-like trams. On a clear day the view can stretch for 30 miles!

Read more about Gateway Arch.

4. Meramec Caverns, Stanton

Meramec Caverns, Stanton

The Meramec Caverns have been allowing road weary travellers to cool off in their 7.4km cavern system since 1935. Legend has it that Jesse James used these caverns as a hideout, using the underground river to make a hasty escape through the “back door”! Meramec Caverns is a popular vacation stop along Route 66 and well worth a look - guided tours are a fantastic experience all year round and an outdoor zip-line experience is available from March to October.

Read more about Meramec Caverns.

5. Route 66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage

Route 66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage

This great theatre is one of the last remaining drive-ins on Route 66. It usually opens the first weekend of April and runs through mid-September, depending on the attendance and availability of films. Each showing consists of 2 movies and a nostalgic intermission trailer. What better way to spend an evening on holiday than reclining a with a large popcorn…

Read more about Route 66 Drive-In.

6. Route 66 Mural City, Cuba

Route 66 Mural City, Cuba

In 2002, Cuba was designated the “Route 66 Mural City” by the Missouri legislature. The many murals – a result of the development of the Viva Cuba organisation – have created a lot of interest and beautified the Route 66 corridor through Cuba. The murals continue to attract many tourists, as well as local people. With the community embracing the idea of public art, Cuba has become an “art friendly” town.

Read more about Route 66 Mural City.

7. Route 66 Red Rocker, Fanning

Fanning 66 Outpost, Fanning

Built in 2008, and situated at the Fanning 66 Outpost, this enormous structure once held the Guinness World Record for being the world's largest rocking chair. That was until it was usurped by an even larger chair in Casey, Illinois. Even so, this 42 foot tall rocker is still able to declare itself to be the largest rocker on Route 66! It no longer rocks however as the fear that tourists might flip it over became too great and the rocker was ultimately welded to it's base. Nevertheless, this is a great photo op!

Read more about Fanning 66 Outpost.

8. Route 66 Museum, Lebanon

Route 66 Museum, Lebanon

This Route 66 Museum is located with the Laclede County library. The exhibits are fun to walk through including an old gas station, a shabby-looking motel room and a mock up of a diner. There is also a good collection of vintage maps and collectibles including a large collection of salt and pepper shakers from Route 66 restaurants! Admission is free but there is a donation box for you to express your gratitude.

Read more about Route 66 Museum.

9. Route 66 State Park, Eureka

Route 66 State Park, Eureka

Situated with easy access to the Meramec River, the Route 66 State Park is a welcome break for travellers who want to enjoy nature and see interesting historical displays showcasing Route 66. Bridgehead Inn, a 1935 roadhouse, serves as Route 66 State Park’s visitor center and houses Route 66 memorabilia. There are excellent opportunities to picnic, exercise, bird watch or study nature.

Read more about Route 66 State Park.

10. Uranus Missouri, St Robert

Uranus Missouri, St Robert

Uranus Missouri, often called simply “Uranus,” is a tourist attraction located in the rural area of Pulaski County, Missouri. It is a shopping mall featuring a sports bar, nightclub, tattoo shop, festival food truck lot, and an outdoor store with a gun range and pro-shop. It’s also home to a Fudge Factory and General Store. A welcome stop for sweet-toothed lovers of fudge and other candy – the Fudge Factory is a particularly popular destination.

Read more about Uranus Missouri.

If you're travelling Route 66 from east to west then Illinois will be the first state to offer up it's many delights. Illinois was the first state to boast having Route 66 paved from end to end, and boasts many wonderful museums, roadside attractions and historic gas stations.

This is just a small sample of some of the many things to see on Route 66 in Illinois, and is by no means a definitive list - think of it as a "flavor" of Illinois! You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here.

So, in no particular order, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in Illinois...

1. 360 Chicago, Chicago

360 Chicago, Chicago

360 Chicago (formerly The John Hancock Observatory) is a 100-floor skyscraper in the commercial district of Chicago. It's 94th floor observation deck displays exhibits about the city of Chicago while maps explain the view in each direction. A special meshed-in area allows visitors to feel the winds 1,030 feet above ground level. In addition to that you have TILT - an exhilarating downward view of Chicago - for those feeling brave!

Read more about 360 Chicago.

2. Lincoln's Home, Springfield

Abraham Lincoln’s Home, Springfield

The house, purchased by Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln in 1844, was the only home that Lincoln ever owned. During the time he lived here, Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846, and elected President in 1860. Lincoln’s home in downtown Springfield has been restored to it’s 1860 appearance and opened to the public. Access to the house is by ticket only – tickets are free but on a first-come first-served basis.

Read more about Lincoln's Home.

3. Country Classic Cars, Staunton

Country Classic Cars, Staunton

Country Classic Cars started as a weekend hobby for a Midwest farmer. When a piece of land along Interstate 55, just off the path of Historic Route 66, became available, Country Classic Cars acquired the land for not only a large display of classic cars and trucks, but also a garage/service area, inside showroom, and a historic gift shop.

Read more about Country Classic Cars.

4. Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac

Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum features thousands of artifacts and memorabilia related to Route 66, including Route 66 Artist and Icon, Bob Waldmire's bus and van! There's also a great photo op with the largest Route 66 shield mural, painted on the museum's back wall. Learn the history of Route 66 in Illinois when Route 66 was the most important highway in the nation.

Read more about the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum.

5. Odell Station, Odell

Odell Station, Odell

This Standard Oil gas station opened in 1932 and stopped serving gas in the mid 1960’s. Subsequently a body shop it finally closed it’s doors in 1975. It’s since been lovingly restored by the Illinois Route 66 Association and their Preservation Committee, and is now staffed by volunteers happy to welcome Route 66 travelers. It no longer serves gas but you can walk around this beautiful building and the friendly volunteers are happy to answer any questions.

Read more about Odell Station.

6. Henry's Rabbit Ranch, Staunton

Henry's Rabbit Ranch, Staunton

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is a Route 66 tourist center that is based in a replica old gas station with rusted pumps all around, surrounded by dozens of Volkswagen Rabbits in various states of dilapidation. When you enter the center you find about a dozen rabbits – of the live kind – living amid the Route 66 memorabilia!

Read more about Henry's Rabbit Ranch.

7. Ambler's Texaco Gas Station, Dwight

Ambler's Texaco Gas Station, Dwight

The Ambler's Texaco Gas Station has been identified as the longest operating gas station along Route 66, dispensing fuel for 66 continuous years until 1999! Ambler's was the subject of major restoration work from 2005–2007, and reopened as a Route 66 visitor's center in May 2007. The local community have really done a great job in restoring this to it's former glory and staffing the site with knowledgeable and welcoming volunteers.

Read more about Ambler's Texaco Gas Station.

8. Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier is a 1000m-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It’s attractions include sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, an IMAX theatre, restaurants, shops and fairground rides such as 150-foot-tall Ferris Wheel. The pier has fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday nights during the summer, and Friday and Saturday nights during the fall.

Read more about Navy Pier.

9. Illinois State Capitol building, Springfield

Illinois State Capitol building, Springfield

Springfield is a pilgrimage site for anyone wanting to celebrate the life of Abraham Lincoln. Aside from the location of his home and tomb Springfield is also the site of the State Capitol building with no small thanks to Abraham Lincoln. It’s a beautiful  building found in the heart of Springfield; entry to the state capitol building is free to the public.

Read more about the Illinois State Capitol.

10. The Muffler Men - Wilmington, Atlanta & Springfield

Illinois Muffler Men

These characters were 3 of many “giants” that were once used by businesses for promotional purposes. They are now icons of Route 66 in their own right and all 3 found in Illinois! Tall Paul is located alongside Route 66 in Atlanta and cannot be missed as you drive past. The Gemini Giant stands alongside the Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, while the Lauterbach Tire Man is found outside Lauterbach Tires on Wabash Avenue in Springfield.

Welcome to Part 2 of our highly recommended places to eat on Route 66. If you've already read Part 1 you'll already know the required criteria for a business to be featured - if not then you can check it out here.

What this list represents is a selection of the most commonly recommended diners and restaurants from the website and Facebook page, and is by no means a definitive list – think of it as a “flavor” of what's on offer!

1. The Joliet Route 66 Diner, Joliet, IL

The Joliet Route 66 Diner, Joliet

The Joliet Route 66 Diner is a great retro diner featuring wall signs from the 50’s and 60’s, offering a traditional diner breakfast and lunch menu. Located within walking distance of the Joliet Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, the diner boasts a wide range of dishes including Mexican, crab, Florentine or country Benedicts for breakfast, omelets with corned beef hash, chorizo, feta, spinach or more, burgers, sandwiches and salads galore and breaded pork tenderloin or veal cutlet.

2. Launching Pad Drive-In, Wilmington, IL

Launching Pad Drive-In & Gemini Giant, Wilmington

Situated in the small town of Wilmington, the launching Pad Drive-In has been feeding Route 66 travelers since it first opened it’s doors in 1960. The colourful interior has had a recent makeover courtesy of new owners Tully and Holly and makes the diner an inviting stop between Chicago and Springfield. Recent posts on social media indicate a huge renovation after being empty for quite some time. On the south side of the diner is the Gemini Giant – a huge fibreglass astronaut and one of the 3 “brothers” of Route 66 in Illinois. Supporting the Launching Pad, one of the most iconic stops in the first leg of your east to west journey, is essential. Stop by, grab a bit to eat, and soak up the atmosphere - it's out of this world!

3. The Ariston Café, Litchfield, IL

The Ariston Café, Litchfield

The Ariston Café was founded by Pete Adam, a Greek immigrant, in 1924 and has now been placed on the National Registry of Historic places. The Ariston Café is believed to be the oldest café on Route 66 and holds a spot in the Route 66 Hall of Fame. A family-run restaurant, the staff are friendly and genuinely interested in interacting with Route 66 travelers. The menu incorporates a world of influences, including Italian, Western Favorites, Southern Traditions, South of the Border, and Ocean Catches. In April 2015 the café was voted the No.1 Restaurant on Route 66 by users of Route66News.com.

4. Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ, Devils Elbow, MO

A popular biker bar with notably friendly clientele, the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ was built in 1929 and has been serving Route 66 travelers ever since. Visitors will often highly rate the brisket and ribs, and even more telling is that locals eat here regularly. Smoking their own meat and serving up very reasonably priced barbecue dishes, the Elbow Inn has something of an unusual reputation for it's ceiling decor! Big, small, lacy, plain or colorful, the ceiling is covered in bras signed by their former owners!

5. Mr D'z Route 66 Diner, Kingman, AZ

Mr D'z serves classic diner food in an attractive kitschy environment adorned with vintage Americana. Mr D'z is a great dining experience featuring beautiful plastic and chrome booths in electric pink and turquoise, images of 1950's stars and cars, and music in-keeping with the sounds of the heyday of route 66 travel. In 2006 Mr D'z received an unexpected guest in the form of Oprah Winfrey who gave her hamburger and root beer a big thumbs up while filming "Oprah and Gayle’s Big Adventure"!

6. Waylan’s KuKu Burger, Miami, OK

Waylan's KuKu Burger, Miami

Famous for its giant yellow fiberglass cuckoo bird emerging from the front wall, Waylan’s KuKu Burger is an authentic Route 66 hot spot. Located just off Route 66, this restaurant remains the only surviving location of an original fast food drive-in chain from the 1960s. Believe it or not, there used to be close to 200 KuKu’s in the US. It remains a highly praised restaurant for both the quality of food and the nostalgic decor inside, and you’ll meet plenty of other Route 66 roadtrippers here to swap stories. The KuKu is often cited as a top venue on Route 66 for burgers and other fast food.

7. Tally's Good Food Café, Tulsa, OK

Tally's Good Food Café, Tulsa

Open 7 days a week for breakfast (served all day), lunch, and dinner, Tally’s Good Food Café has become a fixture for locals and Route 66 travelers passing through Tulsa. Although not an original historic diner the interior of Tally’s embraces the classic fifties-era design and the exterior boasts some impressive neon. Famed for it’s expansive cinnamon rolls (the size of a dinner plate!) the diner has also been the recipient of a number of awards over the years including Tulsa’s Best Diner, Tulsa’s Best Breakfast and the admittedly niche Tulsa’s Best Cinnamon Rolls.

8. Rock Café, Stroud, OK

Opened in 1939 and named after the local sandstone used in it's construction, the Rock Café in Stroud is a true historic stop on Route 66. In 2001 John Lasseter and a Pixar research team visited the Rock Café and upon meeting owner, Dawn Welch began developing the character of Sally Carrera for the hit movie Cars. The food is highly rated and the cafe has excellent reviews on TripAdvisor due to it's great menu, service and decor. The interior was given a complete makeover following a devastating 2008 fire, and the cafe reopened in 2009 coinciding with the launch of the restaurants own cookbook.

9. Pops, Arcadia, OK

Pops, Arcadia

It may be more glossy than the usual Route 66 restaurant or soda bar but the 66-foot illuminated soda bottle out front (the worlds largest soda bottle) certainly gives the place that familiar touch of kitsch! The roadside soda bottle weighs 4 tons and although appears to be made from neon tubes, is actually lit by LEDs, providing a spectacular light show each night. Pops boasts a strong selection of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads and home-style dinners including a mouth watering chicken quesadilla and beautifully prepared chicken fried steak.

10. Cafe Daily Fare, Flagstaff, AZ

Cafe Daily Fare, Flagstaff

With exceptionally high ratings on TripAdvisor the restaurant currently (March 2018) holds the number 1 spot of 265 restaurants in Flagstaff! All food is made with fresh ingredients and the portion sizes certainly don't leave you wanting. The staff are very friendly and know their menu inside out. This is a must stop if you're passing through Flagstaff with an empty stomach - not just for the food but the welcoming atmosphere. It's a great place to chat with locals, meet fellow travelers and pick the brains of the friendly and welcoming staff.

The Route 66 experience is packed with many great diners and restaurants so when it comes to places to eat on route 66 you'll be spoilt for choice. Road trips can be pretty exhausting at times so rest assured that after a stop at any of the diners/restaurants in this list you'll be re-energised and ready to hit the road again!

What makes a diner/restaurant “highly recommended”?

What this list represents is a selection of the most commonly recommended diners and restaurants from the website and Facebook page, and is by no means a definitive list – think of it as a “flavor” of what's on offer! That's why this post is Part 1 in a series – so expect a second installment very soon!

1. Lou Mitchell's, Chicago, IL

Lou Mitchell's, Chicago, Illinois

Lou Mitchell’s restaurant has earned it’s nickname “the first stop on the Mother Road” due it’s huge popularity with Route 66 roadies. Many folks stop at Lou Mitchell’s for a good breakfast and a caffeine injection prior to heading off on their Route 66 adventure. The restaurant is known for it’s quality food and generous portions making it popular with locals and tourists alike. In 1958 the restaurant added a new service that embodied their sense of fun – free donut holes for all and boxes of milk duds for the ladies and children!

2. Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, Willowbrook, IL

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, Willowbrook

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, Illinois, started life as a simple sandwich counter in a gas station on Route 66. In 1946, following the purchase of the building next door, it was up-scaled to it’s current form and has been boasting excellent food and service to Route 66 travelers ever since. It’s world-famous slow-cooked chicken has earned the restaurant quite a following, and many would consider it a must-stop on Route 66. The bar area of the restaurant is known as The Blue Rooster Lounge and is open every day except Monday and features live music and events on weekends.

3. Cozy Dog Drive-In, Springfield, IL

Cozy Dog Drive-In, Springfield

The Cozy Dog Drive-In is the home of the one and only “Cozy Dog.” The Cozy Dog is a delicious hot dog on a stick that is found nation-wide at many county and state fairs and is a speciality of this Drive-In. The restaurant features Route 66 memorabilia and it also features a gift shop with Route 66 merchandise. Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire (1945 – 2009) was the son of Cozy Dog owners Ed and Virginia. He traveled along the route, getting ideas for designs for postcards and maps, and was a much loved and respected icon of Route 66 himself.

4. Pappy’s Smokehouse, St Louis, MO

Pappy's Smokehouse, St Louis

Pappy’s Smokehouse is a very well respected BBQ restaurant in St Louis and has been voted the number one restaurant in the city on Urbanspoon. Pappy’s pork ribs – cooked dry and slow over apple and cherry wood – have been making mouths water since 2008. It’s frequently voted the best barbecue restaurant in the state and boasts a delicious range of barbecue food including baby back ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burnt ends, turkey breast and sausage. It’s best to call ahead if you’re planning on going out late as Pappy’s closes when each day’s barbecue sells out.

5. Boomarang Diner, Chandler, OK

Boomarang Diner, Chandler

Well known for it’s great small-town atmosphere and friendly staff, the appeal of the Boomarang Diner covers all ages – great fast food will never go out of fashion. People not only talk about the best burger they have ever eaten but they speak of the genuine service and spotless restaurants. The decor is fun and charming and you are bound to notice something new every time you go. Wall displays feature images of Route 66, Marylin Monroe, The Beatles, Elvis Presley and many movie stars of the ’50s and ’60s.

6. Lucille’s Roadhouse, Weatherford, OK

Lucille's Roadhouse, Weatherford

Lucille’s Roadhouse is inspired by the original Lucille’s historic gas station not so far down the road near Hydro, Oklahoma, including the vintage gas pumps just outside the entrance. The Route 66 themed restaurant is designed in the style of a 1950’s diner complete with brightly colored motifs, colored lighting, glass bricks and polished chrome. Aside from the great food on offer it makes for a brilliantly colorful photo opportunity. The food itself is as authentically “diner” as it gets – hamburgers, mashed potatoes, french fries, pork chops and steak!

7. Tumbleweeds Grill, Texola, OK

Tumbleweeds Grill, Texola

The Tumbleweeds Grill is located in Texola, Oklahoma, in the world famous Water Hole #2 building. The owners have completely renovated the original structure into the oldest building on Route 66 operating as a restaurant. Tumbleweeds is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am to 7pm. The restaurant is very clean and serves excellent home-cooked food including all-day breakfasts. A real selling point for the Tumbleweeds Grill is Masel, the owner – a woman who is ever-welcoming and enjoys interacting with her customers with real enthusiasm.

8. The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, TX

The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo

Where else can you get a free 72oz steak? There is, of course, a catch: it’s only free if you can eat it within an hour! Don’t forget to finish the shrimp Cocktail, baked potato, salad, and bread roll too – that’s all part of the deal! This pretty much sums up the entire attitude of the Ranch – big, extravagant and over the top! There are games and exhibits while you wait for your table, live music while you eat, and of course the occasional announcement that someone with eyes bigger than their belly is going to attempt the 72oz challenge! It’s a great family-friendly venue, and a top night out for all.

9. The Windy Cow Cafe, Wildorado, TX

The menu includes a variety of creative salads served with your choice of homemade dressing, an assortment of sandwiches and burgers, and a range of dinner choices including gluten-free options. What really grabs your attention though are the delicious homemade desserts. The look and feel of the restaurant is that of a traditional old-time diner with vintage 1960’s furniture and booths – the wood on the walls is actually from the old railroad depot. The Windy Cow Cafe is active on Facebook and so it’s worth checking out for news on any upcoming events and images of their delicious food.

10. MidPoint Cafe, Adrian, TX

MidPoint Cafe, Adrian

If you have made it to the MidPoint Cafe in Adrian then congratulations – you have made it exactly half-way along Route 66! The MidPoint Cafe is located at the exact “geo-mathematical” centre of Route 66 – 1139 miles from both Chicago and Los Angeles. I found the cafe to be very welcoming and the food was great. They’ve made a name for themselves with their home-made pies and terrific gift shop. Every Route 66 traveller should stop here and celebrate their road trip progress.

If you're traveling westwards then you're coming to the final stages of your journey, but that doesn't mean that sites and attractions are low in number. Route 66 in California is home to many natural wonders, oddities and historical sites. And let's not forget the wealth of tourist attractions that await you in Los Angeles that aren't even listed here - there are enough for a whole list of their own!

You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here.

Listed in no particular order, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in California…

1. Amboy Crater, Amboy

Amboy Crater, Amboy

Amboy crater is an extinct volcano only 1.5 miles south of Route 66 near the town of Amboy. The crater is estimated to be 79,000 years old with it’s last eruption approximately 10,000 years ago. The drive to get to the crater is astonishing and takes in the most amazing scenery, even if it’s quite desolate at times. Plenty of great photo opportunities and the sunsets are spectacular.

2. Bottle Tree Ranch, Helendale

Bottle Tree Ranch, Helendale

Bottle Tree Ranch in Helendale, California, comprises of an eclectic mix of “bottle trees”, old road signs, retro toys, broken rifles and other assorted odds ’n’ ends all coming together to produce a very quirky experience. The site is open from dawn until dusk, and donations are welcomed but not essential for entry (although highly recommended). Feel free stretch your legs and take photos of the over 200 “trees” – t’s very hard to take a poor photograph in such an inspiring location!

3. Calico ghost town, Mojave Desert

Calico ghost town, Mojave Desert

With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span. When silver lost its value in the mid-1890’s, Calico lost its population. The miner’s packed up, loaded their mules and moved away abandoning the town that once gave them a good living. It became a “ghost town.” Today Calico is a county park operating mine tours, gunfight stunt shows, gold panning, a restaurant, the Calico & Odessa Railroad and a number of general merchandise stores.

4. Galco’s Old World Grocery, LA

Galco's Old World Grocery, Los Angeles

Devoted to the art of soda pop and supporting the small businesses behind each bubbly drink, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop features more than 700 flavors of soda at its Los Angeles storefront and nationwide through its online shop. As you wander through the store you pass through a rainbow of soda colors, most of which are in glass bottles.

5. Hollywood, Los Angeles

Hollywood, Los Angeles

There’s not a lot to say about Hollywood that hasn’t already been said many times before. While you’re here make sure to see the Kodak Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood sign and the stars on the walk of fame. It’s a very touristy area by day and there are plenty of things to see and do with many attractions nearby. Some of the most popular guided tours are the tours of movie star homes. You are also very close to the Universal Studios theme park and Warner Bros Studios Tour.

6. Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

In 2009 the Route 66 Alliance and the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp got together and declared the end of the Santa Monica Pier to be the western terminus of Route 66. It’s now marked by an upright sign stating “The End of the Trail” and is a popular photo opportunity for travelers at the end of their journey. This is actually a replica of a sign that once stood on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Ocean Ave before it’s mysterious disappearance 50 years ago.

7. Wigwam Motel, San Bernardino

Wigwam Motel, San Bernardino

This Route 66 Wigwam Motel is a fun stop and is the final of 7 Wigwam Motels originally constructed (only 3 of which still exist). The motel has been renovated extensively by the Patel Family who were awarded the National Historic Route 66 Federation's 2005 Cyrus Avery Award for their efforts in restoration. The Wigwam Motel is a perfect example of kitsch Americana, and the original "do it in a teepee" sign is still onsite, albeit tucked around the back!

8. Original McDonald's Museum, San Bernardino

Opened in 1940, this original McDonalds's restaurant changed the face of fast food forever. Packed with original pre-Ray Krok news articles, menus, and memorabilia, the museum does an excellent job of documenting the history of an iconic restaurant. Exhibits representing all corners of the world display thousands of items including Happy Meal toys and historical artifacts. Entry is free.

9. Route 66 "Mother Road" Museum, Barstow

Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Barstow (TripAdvisor), the Route 66 "Mother Road" Museum is home to a large collection of historical artifacts of Route 66 and the Mojave Desert communities. The volunteer staff are very welcoming and are eager to ensure everyone enjoys their visit. The retro jukebox is a real pleasure and the gift shop is packed with very reasonably priced books, DVD's and a huge selection of gifts. Entry is free.

10. Cucamonga Service Station, Rancho Cucamonga

The Cucamonga Service Station opened in 1915, closed during the 1970's but was renovated and reopened in 2015 as a museum. A great deal of work has gone into remodeling this historic building, making it well worth a visit if you want to get a sense of how times have changed in the last 100 years. Gas stations certainly aren't built like this anymore!

Route 66 in Arizona features some of the longest stretches of Mother Road still driveable. The "Grand Canyon State" offers plenty to see and do to Route 66 travelers, including many natural attractions such as the Painted Desert, Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest. One natural attraction that can't be left off the list is of course the Grand Canyon itself, something that purists will be quick to point out is not actually ON Route 66. This is true, of course, but we shouldn't ignore the fact that Route 66 passes close enough to the Grand Canyon to make it easily accessible, being just an hour from Williams and Kingman. For decades a trip to the Grand Canyon has been an integral part of the experience for many westbound travelers.

This list merely offers a flavor of what Arizona can offer. You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here.

Listed in no particular order, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in Arizona…

1. Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs

Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs

During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the US government stored enough food and water rations in these caverns to support 2,000 people for up to two weeks and these supplies are still there to this day! Tours of the Grand Canyon Caverns depart daily every half an hour and last approximately 25 minutes. If you're feeling brave you can even spend the night 22 stories down in a "room" over 65 million years old!

2. Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Joseph City

Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Joseph City

Jack Rabbit Trading Post is a familiar image to anyone acquainted with Route 66. The famous “Here It Is” sign let’s you know when you’ve arrived and the large model Jack Rabbit outside welcomes all travelers. This is an excellent gift shop and contains everything from the more obvious Route 66 memorabilia to old license plates found by the road side!

3. The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Although not actually an attraction on Route 66 a jaunt to the Grand Canyon has become such a common side trip that I felt it was worth inclusion. Since it’s birth Route 66 has guided many families on vacation towards the Grand Canyon. It’s situated just an hour from both Williams and Kingman making it easily accessible from Route 66. As a day trip you should allow an hour to reach the south entrance, otherwise there’s good lodging to be found within the National Park itself.

4. Meteor Crater, Meteor City

Meteor Crater, Meteor City

Located just minutes from Interstate 40 in Northern Arizona near Winslow, Meteor Crater is the breath-taking result of a collision between an asteroid traveling 26,000 miles per hour and planet Earth approximately 50,000 years ago. Nearly one mile across, this is the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth. The visitor center on the north rim houses several interactive exhibits and many artifacts.

5. Oatman

Oatman, Arizona

Oatman is a former mining town in the Black Mountains of Mohave County, Arizona where wild donkeys roam the streets having descended from the pack animals associated with the town’s early mining history. These days there are plenty of gift shops and “museums” to peruse, while the locals are incredibly inviting. To get to Oatman you must first navigate the Oatman Highway – an intimidating 20 miles of steep grades, narrow road, and sharp hairpin curves!

6. Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park

Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Formed over 200 million years ago,  the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park makes for a particularly interesting detour off Route 66. The views are spectacular and photographs can’t do justice to the beauty of the many colored layers – it really has to be seen to be appreciated. For the purposes of your roadtrip, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park can be treated as one destination – Mother Nature’s two-for one!

7. Standin' On The Corner Park, Winslow

Standin’ on the Corner Park opened in 1999 and commemorates the song “Take It Easy”, written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, and, most famously, recorded by the Eagles. The song includes the verse “Well, I’m standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see”. Now, you too can stand on the corner give your best rock and roll pose!

8. Arizona Route 66 Museum, Kingman

The Arizona Route 66 Museum is located in Kingman’s Historic Powerhouse and depicts the evolution of Route 66 through Arizona. Murals, photos and life-size dioramas depict each of the groups that have traveled the historic route over the years. Follow the paths of the Native American trade routes, the U. S. Army-led survey expeditions, the settlers on their migration west, and the fun and excitement of 1950's Route 66.

9. Wigwam Motel, Holbrook

Wigwam Motel, Holbrook

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook is one of only three surviving “Wigwam Villages” in the US and one of two situated on Route 66 (the other being in Rialto, CA). Each concrete tee-pee has a genuine vintage car parked outside - if you can't stay the night at least stretch your legs in Holbrook and check out this great icon of Route 66.

10. Angel & Vilma's Original Route 66 Gift Shop, Seligman

Angel Delgadillo has been dubbed the "guardian angel" of Route 66 and is the main founder of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. Angel has experienced the Dust Bowl of the '30s and the rise and decline of historic Route 66. Over the years, Angel himself has become an attraction along the road with people stopping to talk to him and coming from all over the world just to meet him! Angel's old barber shop and pool hall is now also home to a great visitor center and gift shop.

Route 66 in New Mexico now travels directly through the center of the state whereas between 1926 and 1937 the original alignment took in the beautiful city of Santa Fe.
There is much to be enjoyed as you drive through New Mexico and these ten attractions are just the tip of the iceberg. This isn't a concise list so please consider it a flavor of what Route 66 in New Mexico has to offer. You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here.

Listed in no particular order, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in New Mexico…

1. Acoma Pueblo, Cibola County

Acoma Pueblo, Cibola County

Also known as Sky City, this Native American pueblo sits atop a 367 foot sandstone mesa. There are some breathtaking views to be had from the top of the mesa and the pueblo itself is fascinating. There are less than 50 tribal members currently living at the pueblo but there are plenty of opportunities to observe traditional artwork and culture. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and will give you a thorough tour of this amazing site.

2. History & Ghost Tours of Old Town, Albuquerque

History & Ghost Tours of Old Town, Albuquerque

History & Ghost Tours of Old Town, Albuquerque, are an incredibly popular attraction for anyone spending the night in the area. This is a story-telling 90 minute walk around the main square of Old Town after dark. This is a story-telling 90 minute walk around the main square of Old Town after dark. Old Town is the birthplace of Albuquerque, founded in 1706, and for more than three centuries people have lived and died around the Old Town Plaza. The historic buildings and dark alleys conceal the long-forgotten secrets of battles, murders, hangings, and hidden cemeteries.

3. Mesalands Dinosaur Museum, Tucumcari

Mesalands Dinosaur Museum, Tucumcari

This 10,000 square foot exhibit hall displays dinosaur skeletons, bronze representations of dinosaurs and fossils, and replicas of prehistoric creatures. There is also plenty of original artwork on display throughout the exhibit hall. The great thing about the bronze exhibits is the fact that you can get right in there and touch the exhibits. Kids will also love the sandpit area which encourages you to “excavate” your own dino remains.

4. Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa

Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa

For some real retro-road-trip icons you have to stop here. There are over 30 classic/vintage cars on display, all of which are in pristine condition. The cars are incredibly well maintained with colourful bodywork and glistening chrome – they certainly put my hire car in it’s place! They also sell a small selection of their vehicles – imagine driving Route 66 in one of these... Motoring fans will be in their element here – you don’t see vehicles / works of art like this every day.

5. Teepee Curios, Tucumcari

Teepee Curios, Tucumcari

Built in the early 1940’s this old Gulf gas station eventually succumbed to the widening of Route 66, losing it’s pumps but gaining new business selling curios to Route 66 travelers. The large concrete teepee certainly makes it stand out as you cruise through Tucumcari.

6. Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari

Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari

Although a motel and not a tourist attraction, the Blue Swallow Motel is such an icon of Route 66 that it would be remiss to not include it. The neon sign itself is in excellent condition and really is beautiful and eye-catching at night – it must be one of the most photographed signs along the whole route. The motel is very photogenic – even if you’re not lucky enough to be able to get a room it’s certainly worth a stop in Tucumcari to stretch your legs and take a few pics.

7. New Mexico Route 66 Museum, Tucumcari

The New Mexico Route 66 Museum offers visitors a glimpse of New Mexico's Route 66 history and heritage, with a good collection of antique cars with many images of scenes along the old road. There is no admission fee but a donation is recommended. The museum is open between 9am and 1pm, every Monday to Saturday.

8. Santa Rosa Blue Hole, Santa Rosa

The Blue Hole of Santa Rosa is a circular, bell-shaped pool that is one of the most popular dive destinations in the US. The lake is unsurpassed for its clear, pure water and visibility is an astonishing 100’, due to the fact that the water completely renews itself every six hours. The temperature is a constant 62 degrees, and ideal for a hot summer’s day. A beautiful natural wonder that is worth seeing.

9. San Miguel Chapel, Santa Fe

San Miguel Chapel is a Spanish colonial mission church in Santa Fe, built between approximately 1610 and 1626. It is the oldest known church in the United States and remains a beautiful building both inside and out. It's home to the oldest sweet bell in the USA which can still be rung by visitors. The chapel still holds regular services and is a cool and calm destination on a hot summer's day.

10. Route 66 Monument, Tucumcari

The Route 66 monument is a tribute to the glory days of Route 66 located in front of the Tucumcari Convention Center. The chrome, Cadillac fin and tail lights sitting atop the monument point westwards - it's an ideal photo-op if nothing else while you stretch your legs in Tucumcari.

Cutting across the Texas Panhandle region, Route 66 in the Lone Star State is home to wide variety of sights, attractions and photo ops.

This isn't a concise list so please consider it a flavor of what Route 66 in Texas has to offer. You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here.

Listed in no particular order, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in Texas…

1. Leaning Water Tower, Groom

Leaning Water Tower, Groom

Originally a functioning water tower and slated for demolition, the leaning water tower was bought by Ralph Britten and moved to serve as a sign for his truck stop and tourist information center. The leaning water tower still remains a popular target for cameras, and the town of Groom turns on a large colored star mounted on the top around Christmas time.

2. VW Slug Bug Ranch, Conway

VW Slug Bug Ranch, Conway

Not too far from it’s more famous counterpart lies the VW Slug Bug Ranch. Five Volkswagen Beetles lay nose-down in the ground and, as with the Cadillac Ranch, visitors are encouraged to spray paint the cars in order to leave their mark. Whether it’s an homage or a riposte, this is another example of the many off-beat sights to be found along Route 66 and worthy of a stop to stretch your legs and take a few photos.

3. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas

A little way off Route 66 but a fantastic scenic attraction. Travel the same trails used by Native Americans, early Spanish explorers, buffalo hunters and pioneers. The park occupies over 25,000 acres and offers camping, cabins, riding stables, picnicking, and miles of hiking, mountain bike and horse trails. The outdoor epic TEXAS runs every summer in the park’s Pioneer Amphitheater.

4. The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo

The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo

The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, comprises of a Western-inspired motel and steakhouse restaurant, and is a must-stop along Route 66. The style is typically “Texan” with white stretch limos featuring huge longhorn hood ornaments parked outside, massive portions and even a shooting range! It’s a great family-friendly venue, and a top night out for all. If you're feeling brave you should try the famous 72oz challenge!

5. The Galleries At Sunset Center, Amarillo

The Galleries At Sunset Center, Amarillo

Describing themselves as “unlike anything your dreams can imagine, all under one roof, a visual and ecological paradise, plus outdoor sculpture gardens”, the art galleries located at the Sunset Centre are a collective of over a hundred artists. The Centre conducts First Friday Art Walks on the “First Friday” of each month between 5:00pm and 9:00pm.

6. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo

Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo

These ten up-ended Cadillacs have appeared in numerous music videos and TV shows including the video for “Living in America” by James Brown, and in the movie “Cars” under the guise of the “Cadillac Range”. It’s an interesting thought that these cars have now spent longer buried nose down in the dirt than they ever did cruising the roads of Route 66! Free of charge and open 24/7, this is such a Route 66 icon it would have to be in every drivers itinerary.

7. Route 66 Midpoint, Adrian

Route 66 Midpoint, Adrian

If you are traveling East to West the Midpoint sign will be on your right, directly opposite the Midpoint Cafe, one of the oldest continually-operating cafes on Route 66. Aside from being a fantastic photo-op, Adrian, Texas, is also a great place to leave your vehicle and stretch your legs. Once a bustling tourist stop on the mother road, it still boasts a sign stating the mileage to various points along Route 66.

8. The Conoco Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Café, Shamrock

The Conoco Tower Station was built in 1936 and is one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings along Route 66. This Art Deco landmark features a 100 foot tower that is lit by a series of colourful lights (the neon was damaged by a storm and replaced with LEDs). Today it is a museum of its own history, giving it the authentic appearance of a working 1940 gas station.

9. The Devil's Rope and Route 66 Museum, McLean

The Devil's Rope and Route 66 Museum, McLean

The Devil's Rope Museum and Route 66 Museum share the same building in McLean which is very convenient for travelers. "Devil's rope", or barbed wire as it's more commonly known, is a lot more interesting than you might imagine! Without it the expansion of cattle ranching in Texas would not have been possible. This museum explores it's history and use and features so many variations that you've likely never seen before. The adjoining Route 66 Museum features more than 700 artifacts from Route 66.

10. The Giant Cross, Groom

The Giant Cross, Groom

Standing at 190 feet tall the giant cross in Groom is visible up to twenty miles away! Surrounding the base of the cross are life-sized statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross. The site is usually very peaceful with non-Christian visitors showing respect to those of faith.

Oklahoma is home to the longest stretch of Route 66 - over 400 miles! So as you can imagine it was no easy task to whittle down the many historic, iconic and interesting sights and attractions to a simple list of ten.

As with the previous posts in this series consider this a flavor of what Route 66 in Oklahoma has to offer. You can find a more extensive list of things to see along the whole length of Route 66 by clicking here.

Listed in order from east to west, here are my 10 things to see on Route 66 in Oklahoma…

1. The Coleman Theatre, Miami

The Coleman Theatre, Miami

The Coleman Theatre is a beautifully restored theatre that was donated to the City of Miami by the Coleman family in 1989. Originally opened in 1929 as a vaudeville theatre and movie palace, the Coleman was designed to bring a touch of glamour to the city. The Coleman Theatre is open for tours that are packed with stories of it’s past glories and supernatural history - legend has it that three ghosts roam the Coleman Theatre!

Read more about The Coleman Theatre.

2. Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum, Miami

Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum, Miami

This museum is free to enter but it does gratefully receive donations. In lieu of that maybe you'll purchase a vintage motorcycle tee shirt or Route 66 memorabilia from the well-stocked gift store. It features plenty of old Harley’s, Ducati’s and Indians to satisfy most bike lovers, as well as an original 1917 Harley Davidson and even some of Evel Knievels x-rays!

3. Afton Station and Route 66 Packards, Afton

Afton Station and Route 66 Packards, Afton

Afton Station is a small private Route 66 memorabilia and antique car museum housed in a 30’s era restored filling station. The car museum can hold 14 vintage autos and a collection of Route 66 and Buffalo Ranch memorabilia along with other interesting items. Sadly, Laurel Kane the beloved operator passed away in January 2016 but you can still access her terrific blog at aftonstationblog-laurel.blogspot.com

4. Blue Whale, Catoosa

Blue Whale, Catoosa

Built in the early ‘70’s as an anniversary gift from Hugh Davis to his wife Zelta the Blue Whale of Catoosa served locals and Route 66 travelers in need of a swim. Although no longer in use as a swimming pool the Whale has been given a lick of paint to spruce him up and the picnic area has been restored. This smiling chap is ready to welcome visitors all year round - you can't drive Route 66 in Oklahoma without saying "hi"!

5. Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, Tulsa

The Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, aims to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Cyrus Avery - often credited as the “Father of Route 66”. The Plaza features the flags of the eight states of Route 66, the Route 66 Skywalk (with its zig-zag art-deco style and familiar logo), a park, a pedestrian walk way over route 66, and several bronze statues including a land-run horse and wagon, and an old automobile featuring Will Rogers.

Read more about the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza.

6. The Round Barn, Arcadia

The Round Barn, Arcadia

At 60’ in diameter and 45’ in height the Round Barn in Arcadia claims to be the only “true” round barn: “most are actually hexagonal or octagonal”. Built in 1898 the roof eventually collapsed in 1988 but has since been restored to it’s former glory. The loft space can now be hired for events and there’s a gift shop on the ground floor. The Round barn is a unique landmark of Route 66.

7. National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City

Boasting more than 28,000 exhibits celebrating Western and American Indian culture, the museum houses a huge collection of artworks and historical artefacts including the American Cowboy Gallery, the American Rodeo Gallery, the Native American Gallery and the Weitzenhoffer Gallery of Fine American Firearms. It also features Prosperity Junction, a 14,000-square-foot authentic turn-of-the-century Western prairie town!

8. Lucille’s Gas Station, Hydro

Lucille’s Gas Station, Hydro

Lucille Hamon operated this little gas station from 1941 to 2000 and was often referred to as the “Mother of the Mother Road” due to her hospitality to Route 66 travelers. It’s since been restored and a marker now tells the story of Lucille and her family. A great photo opportunity for all driving Route 66. Just down the road is a replica station, complete with a restaurant that is dedicated to Route 66.

9. Route 66 Museum, Clinton

Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, Clinton

This museum spans over 60 years of Route 66 history and showcases vehicles, artefacts, photographs, videos and an audio tour narrated by Michael Wallis (author of the Route 66 Travellers Guide). This is a fun stop and every effort has been made to make sure the exhibits are both eye-catching and informative. Each themed room comes to life with appropriate music of the time and the exhibits are colourful and often interactive.

10. Sandhills Curiosity Shop, Erick

Sandhills Curiosity Shop, Erick

Located in Erick’s oldest building, the City Meat Market, is the Sandhill Curiosity Shop. Containing a crazy jumble of Route 66 memorabilia this curiosity shop became very well known on the route due to it’s owners: Harley and Annabelle. They became well known on the route for bursting into song, and providing impromptu performances for visitors! Sadly Annabelle passed away in 2014 but Harley has continued to welcome guests to this unique Route 66 stop.

Being the shortest section doesn't mean that Route 66 in Kansas is short on sights or attractions. At only 13 miles and passing through three small towns - Galena, Riverton, and Baxter Springs - the Kansas portion embraces it's Route 66 heritage and features some great historical attractions as well as one buck-toothed tow truck!

Here are my 7 things to see on Route 66 in Kansas... Enjoy!

1. Cars on the Route, Galena

Cars on the Route, Galena

At the north end of Main Street in Galena, Kansas, stands the old Kan-O-Tex service station, now known as “Cars on the Route”. This restored Kan-O-Tex service station is home to “Tow Tater” – inspiration for the character Tow Mater from Pixar’s classic movie "Cars".

Cars on the Route openly celebrates the connection between Route 66 and the Pixar movie “Cars”. They sell sandwiches, snacks, antiques, Route 66 and “Cars” memorabilia, including several made by local craftspeople and artists. I definitely recommend this stop as you drive through the short stretch of Kansas 66.

2. Angels on the Route, Baxter Springs

Angels on the Route, Baxter Springs

The Angels on the Route building has been a part of history for quite some time. Originally opened in 1865 as Cooper's Dry Goods Store, the building has been a drug store, treasure shop and donut shop before it's new incarnation as a top rated restaurant in Baxter Springs. Visitors praise the staff, food and live entertainment (Angels offers live music on Friday and Saturday). Baxter Springs is a great place to stop in Kansas and Angels on the Route is highly recommended for a spot of lunch.

3. Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store, Riverton

Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store, Riverton

The Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store has been operating along Historic Route 66 since 1925, the year before Route 66 was designated. It's known around the world as one of the most authentic, still working 75-year-old stores of its kind on all of Route 66. Aside from typical groceries and produce it also has an old-time deli serving sandwiches and a selection of gifts including Route 66 memorabilia and local handicrafts.

The store was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and serves as the headquarters of the Route 66 Association of Kansas.

4. Brush Creek Bridge, Baxter Springs

Brush Creek Bridge, Baxter Springs

The Brush Creek Bridge in Baxter Springs is the sole surviving bridge of it's type on the entire length of Route 66. The bridge was built in 1923 and has been repainted in recent times in beautiful white. In 1983 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places ensuring it will be preserved and enjoyed by many future motorists and pedestrians. The bridge is quite narrow and therefore a replacement bridge has been built nearby. However a short, one-way road carries traffic to the old bridge which may still be crossed.

5. Galena Mining & Historical Museum, Galena

Galena Mining & Historical Museum, Galena

As you exit Galena heading westward keep your eyes to the right and you'll spot an old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad depot. Unassuming from the outside, this building is home to the Galena Mining & Historical Museum. Packed with mineral samples, mining equipment and a collection of oil paintings, the museum also has on display a great model of the Grand Central Mine. There is also a display of military vehicles behind the main building.

6. Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station, Baxter Springs

Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station, Baxter Springs

Following the Great Depression many of the surviving oil companies rebranded their properties to make them more identifiable to customers. One such strategy was to try and blend their properties in with the local community and give them a more homely look and feel. Baxter Springs is home to one such cottage-design gas station. The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and now serves as the Kansas Route 66 Visitors Center.

7. Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum, Baxter Springs

Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum, Baxter Springs

The Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum contains twenty thousand square feet of exhibits celebrating the history of the city. Exhibits include Native American, The Civil War, 1870’s Boardwalk, World War I, Boardwalk of the 1930’s, World War II, The Black Experience, Historic Route 66 and many more. A typical visit would last an hour but enthusiasts could easily spend longer exploring the many areas of the museum - and it's all free of charge!

This is Part 2 to the original post that tried to answer the frequently asked question, "can you recommend some great Route 66 motels?"

The motels are listed in the order they appear travelling east to west. If you've not read the first post and would like a reminder of the criteria for making this list then this is for you:

I hope you enjoy Part 2 in this series of posts recommending great Route 66 motels.

1. Inn at Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

Inn at Lincoln Park, Chicago

If you're looking for somewhere to rest your head before embarking on your road trip then you could do far worse than The Inn at Lincoln Park. It's a cosy hotel just a short bus/taxi ride from the center of Chicago and is a great location for a spot of sightseeing. Situated in a trendy neighborhood, it has the feel of a European hotel and not your usual cookie-cutter American chain.

For more info on the Inn at Lincoln Park, click here.

2. Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Springfield, MO

Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Springfield

This refurbished hotel has been providing rooms for Route 66 travelers on vacation for sixty years. As with the Munger Moss, the Route 66 Rail Haven also has themed rooms - the Elvis and Monroe suites both come fitted with a hot tub to unwind in and reflect on a good days travel! If the weather is on your side then there is also an outdoor pool and spa for guests to enjoy.

For more info on the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, click here.

3. Boots Court, Carthage, MO

Boots Court, Carthage

Located in Carthage, Missouri, the Boots Court was built in 1939 by Arthur Boots, and still carries his name today. In August 201 sisters Deborah Harvey and Priscilla Bledsaw began to restore the buildings to their 1940s' appearance. The newly restored rooms include 1940s' touches such as real keys, chrome light fixtures, chenille bedspreads, monogrammed towels, built-in dressers and a radio tuned to a station playing 1940s' hits.

For more info on the Boots Court, click here.

4. Baxter Inn 4 Less, Baxter Springs, KS

Baxter Inn 4 Less, Baxter Springs

Although this isn't a "classic" or historical motel, the Baxter Inn 4 Less has been offering budget accommodation to Route 66 travelers for many years. For a great price this is a comfortable two-storey modern-era motel. Offering free Wi-Fi and a TV with cable channels in every room, the motel is less than 5 miles from Bicentennial State Park.

For more info on the Baxter Inn 4 Less, click here.

5. Roadrunner Lodge, Tucumcari, NM

Roadrunner Lodge, Tucumcari

The owners of the Roadrunner Lodge have painstakingly worked to keep the 1960s vibe alive, even going so far as to broadcasting a short range radio station playing hits and commercials from that era. The 60's memorabilia and vintage design features really do a great job of transporting guests back to a time when motor hotels such as this were thriving along the route.

For more info on Roadrunner Lodge, click here.

6. Motel Safari, Tucumcari, NM

Motel Safari, Tucumcari

Established in 1959, the Motel Safari has been welcoming Route 66 travelers for nearly 60 years and has become one of the iconic motels along the route. Very highly rated on TripAdvisor, this motel features artwork of original photo archives from Tucumcari's Route 66 heyday in each of the guestrooms, as well as old linen postcard prints of motels that no longer exist.

For more info on the Motel Safari, click here.

7. Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff, AZ

Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff

In the 40's and 50's, as the popularity of western films was on the rise, the Hotel Monte Vista became the first choice for many Hollywood stars such as John Wayne, Jane Russell, Spencer Tracy and Bob Hope who shot at the nearby Sedona and Oak Creek Canyons. Located in the historic district of Flagstaff, the hotel is in a prime location with plenty of opportunities to explore the local area.

For more info on the Hotel Monte Vista, click here.

8. Highlander Motel, Williams, AZ

Highlander Motel, Williams

Founded in 1952, the Highlander Motel now offers travellers a refurbished, inexpensive and convenient lodging experience following it's 2005 renovation. The Highlander is only five minutes walk from the Small Town America Museum, Buckskinner Park and Pete's Rt 66 Gas Station Museum.

For more info on the Highlander Motel, click here.

9. Fender’s River Road Resort, Needles, CA

Fender's River Road Resort, Needles

Fender's River Road Resort is the only resort on Route 66 and the Colorado River in Needles, CA. You can enjoy the river with fishing, boating, wave running, swimming or just sitting out on one of our decks right over the river taking in the picturesque view of the famous Needles mountains and listening to the currents of the mighty Colorado River rush by.

For more info on Fender's River Road Resort, click here.

10. Wigwam Motel, San Bernardino, CA

Wigwam Motel, San Bernardino

The Wigwam Motel is a perfect example of kitsch Americana, and the original "do it in a teepee" sign is still onsite, albeit tucked around the back! The hospitality of the owners is regularly praised on social media.

For more info on the Wigwam Motel, click here.

One of the most frequently asked questions on this website and it's associated Facebook page is "can you recommend some great Route 66 motels?"

Hopefully this post will go some way towards answering that question. I use the phrase "some way" because there are far more fantastic Route 66 motels than the mere 10 listed in this post. That is why this post is Part 1 in a series - so expect a second installment very soon!

What makes a motel "highly recommended"? Well, the criteria for making this list was simple:

So here you go... Part 1 in a series of posts recommending great Route 66 motels - I hope you enjoy!

(The order of the 10 motels listed is based purely on the order in which they would appear if travelling east to west.)

1. CarlinVilla Motel, Carlinville, IL

CarlinVilla Motel, Carlinville

Spend a day cruising up one alignment of Route 66 and back down another to the CarlinVilla Motel.  Relax after your travels in their hot tub and pool, or just lounge in the comfortable lobby area. Located near the heart of historic Carlinville, the CarlinVilla makes for a good get away. Located in a quiet area it will give you a chance to relax and unwind.

For more info on the CarlinVilla Motel, click here.

2. Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba, MO

Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba

The Wagon Wheel Motel was originally built in 1934 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The motel has been restored in recent times and, as the oldest continuously operating motel on US 66, celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2016. Each of the individual rooms has been renovated with new plumbing, wiring, bedding and modern amenities, making for a clean, comfortable and attractive stop.

For more info on the Wagon Wheel Motel, click here.

3. Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon, MO

Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon

There are special themed rooms at the Munger Moss and if you're lucky there'll be one free on your visit. I've been fortunate enough to stay in the Route 66 Room which was adorned with images spanning the whole journey - fantastic! The Munger Moss’s iconic neon sign was restored in 2010 and is a shining example of the retro neon to be seen along Route 66.

For more info on the Munger Moss Motel, click here.

4. Flamingo Inn, Elk City, OK

Flamingo Inn, Elk City

The Flamingo Inn is a classic motel on Route 66 and has been nicely remodeled without ruining the all important "Route 66" feel. It is an inexpensive stay with plenty of charm and character. Each renovated room comes with a large flat-screen TV, good internet service, microwave, coffee machine and mini fridge. The owners are very welcoming and offer complimentary bottles of ice-cold water upon arrival.

For more info on the Flamingo Inn, click here.

5. The Big Texan Motel, Amarillo, TX

The Big Texan Motel, Amarillo

To discuss the Big Texan Motel without mentioning the adjoining restaurant would be to miss the big picture - the two go hand in hand as an all-round experience known as The Big Texan Steak Ranch. The motel itself is designed to look like a main street in a Wild West town, complete with shuttered windows and an actual area for the horses! The rooms are not huge but are clean and comfortable.

For more info on The Big Texan Motel, click here.

6. Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari, NM

Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari

The Blue Swallow is one of the most well-known and easily recognisable motels along Route 66, largely due to its wonderful neon sign. Built in 1939, the Blue Swallow perfectly encapsulates the classic route 66 feel. A particularly charming feature is that every room has its own adjoining garage.

The rooms themselves are retro but cosy, clean and well kept, and the showers are very powerful. The owners are clearly proud of their motel and, upon arrival, showed us to our room to check that everything was okay.

For more info on the Blue Swallow Motel, click here.

7. El Rancho Hotel and Motel, Gallup, NM

El Rancho Hotel and Motel, Gallup

The El Rancho Hotel and Motel was opened in 1937 as a base for movie productions by the brother of film director D.W. Griffith. It was the temporary home for many Hollywood movie stars including Ronald Reagan, Spencer Tracy, Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn and John Wayne! The Hollywood history plays a large part in the charm and attraction of this hotel. It's an historic venue and the decor may seem dated to some, so don't expect a shiny, contemporary experience. This is a hotel/motel that revels in it's vintage status and the glamour of classic Hollywood.

For more info on the El Rancho Hotel and Motel, click here.

8. Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, AZ

Wigwam Motel, Holbrook

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook is one of only three surviving "Wigwam Villages" in the US and one of two situated on Route 66 (the other being in Rialto, CA). The term "iconic" can be overly used when discussing Route 66 but in this instance is wholly deserved. Each "room" is a huge concrete tee-pee and has a genuine vintage car parked outside.

For more info on the Wigwam Motel, click here.

9. The Downtowner Motel, Williams, AZ

The Downtowner Motel, Williams

The Downtowner Motel offers newly remodeled rooms that range in size from, single kings, double queens, and double queen suites. Conveniently located just an hour from the Grand Canyon, with access to the Grand Canyon Express Train, the Downtowner Motel provides easy access to a range of shops, bars and restaurants.

For more info on The Downtowner Motel, click here.

10. Route 66 Motel, Barstow, CA

Route 66 Motel, Barstow

The owners have done a wonderful job restoring the property and are keen Route 66 enthusiasts, being very helpful and welcoming. The exterior decor is vibrant and inviting while the interior is every bit as comfortable as you'd like. What is ideal about this motel in terms of it's location is that it's only a 150 mile drive from Las Vegas should you decide to take a side-trip to the strip.

For more info on the Route 66 Motel, click here.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram