Route 66 – The 25 BEST TOP Stops to Visit – Must-see places! What to see?

What to see on Route 66? The best stops!

Many people ask me “What are the must-see attractions on Route 66?” or “What are the best stops on the Mother Road?” Today, I am excited to share my top 25 places along Route 66, listed in order from Chicago to Santa Monica. This includes the name, mileage, detailed description, helpful tips, address, and GPS coordinates of each location.

To get the most out of your Route 66 trip, be sure to check out my comprehensive travel guide “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places”, available on Amazon. Are you ready to discover my top ten selections? Here are the best sights to visit on Route 66:

1. Gemini Giant

ROUTE 66 : 60 MI / 97 KM Wilmington, ILLINOIS
GPS: 41.310388, -88.13874
ADDRESS: 810 E Baltimore St, Wilmington, IL 60481

Gemini Giant - one of the best stops on route 66!

The Gemini Giant is an iconic fiberglass statue situated on U.S. Route 66, serving as a prominent landmark for travelers passing through the city of Wellington. This colossal “muffler man” figure was designed in the 1960s, during a time when these statues could be seen all over the country, holding various tools and products promoting roadside businesses.

Initially, a Paul Bunyan character holding an axe was the first to be introduced, and this design was later modified into different versions, holding car mufflers, tires, and other items. The Gemini Giant, in particular, has a unique feature – he stands tall with a rocket ship, showcasing the enduring fascination with outer space and the Space Race era.

The Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant, opened in 1960, stands adjacent to the Gemini Giant, further adding to the retro charm of this iconic roadside attraction. For those embarking on a journey through Route 66, the Gemini Giant is a must-see stop that offers a glimpse into America’s rich cultural history and the ingenuity of its people.

2. Bob Waldmire Yacht

ROUTE 66 : 99 MI / 159 KM Pontiac, ILLINOIS
GPS: 40.880855, -88.628964
ADDRESS: 321 N Main St, Pontiac, IL 61764

Route 66 the best attractions for your travel

Bob Waldmire, a celebrated American artist and cartographer, was widely recognized for his unique artwork focused on U.S. Route 66. He was particularly renowned for his whimsical maps and his depictions of the human and natural ecology of the iconic highway.

Visitors to the museum’s first floor will undoubtedly encounter Bob’s iconic VW van, which has become a symbol of his legacy. The mural he painted over several years is also an impressive sight, displaying his creativity and skill as an artist.

For those interested in delving deeper into Bob’s world, be sure to venture out back to see his restored 1966 school bus, fondly referred to as his “Road Yacht.” This renovated vehicle is open for tours from May to October, subject to staff availability, providing a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into Bob’s life and the inspiration behind his artwork.

Bob’s contributions to American art and culture are significant, and his legacy lives on through his work and the many people he inspired over the years. A visit to the museum is a chance to pay tribute to this remarkable artist and to gain a deeper appreciation for his creative vision.

3. Soulsby Service Station

ROUTE 66 : 253 MI / 407 KM Mount Olive, ILLINOIS
GPS: 39.071119, -89.735412
ADDRESS: 710 West 1st South Street, Mt Olive, IL 62069

Soulsby Service Station - one of the best gas stations on Mother Road! Check my list of the best places on Route 66

The Soulsby Service Station in Mount Olive, Illinois is a true gem for anyone interested in Route 66 history. Established by Henry Soulsby in 1926, this service station is one of the oldest and most authentic ones you can find along the iconic route. After years of being closed and sold at auction, the station has been lovingly restored by a group of dedicated volunteers. The result is a stunning tribute to the golden age of motoring, complete with vintage pumps and a vibrant Shell Oil sign. If you’re a fan of nostalgia and classic Americana, you won’t want to miss this historic landmark!

4. The Gateway Arch

ROUTE 66 : 296 MI / 476 KM St. Louis, MISSOURI
GPS: 38.624766, -90.184832
ADDRESS: 100 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63102

The Gateway Rach - the best stops on route 66 - What to see?

Explore the history and beauty of St. Louis, Missouri! This city, named after King Louis IX, was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclede as a French fur-trading village. Today, one of its most famous attractions is the Gateway Arch – a towering, 630-foot (192 m) monument built in the 1960s to celebrate America’s westward expansion and the explorations of Lewis and Clark. From the top of the arch, visitors can enjoy stunning, panoramic views of the city and beyond. And don’t worry if you feel a bit of movement – the structure was designed to sway up to 18 inches to withstand natural phenomena like earthquakes. So, are you ready to take the ride to the top and see the world from a new perspective?

5. Motel Munger Moss

ROUTE 66 : 458 MI / 737 KM Lebanon, MISSOURI
GPS: 37.686334, -92.6398
ADDRESS: 1336 U.S. Rte 66, Lebanon, MO 65536

Munger Moss one of the best stops on Route 66 - the best motel

Looking for a motel with a touch of nostalgia? Look no further than the Munger Moss Motel! This iconic lodging spot first opened its doors in 1946 during the heyday of Route 66. Named after original owners Nelle Munger and Emmett Moss, the motel has been owned and operated by the same family since 1971. Today, the Munger Moss Motel boasts 44 rooms and 16 efficiencies, making it the perfect spot for a cozy and comfortable overnight stay. Be sure to stop by after dark to see the beautifully restored neon signage – it’s truly a sight to behold!

6. 66 Drive-In Theatre

ROUTE 66 : 570 MI / 917 KM Carthage, MISSOURI
GPS: 37.174373, -94.368899
ADDRESS: 17231 Old 66 Blvd, Carthage, MO 64836

The best places to see during your Road USA Mother road trip

et ready for a blast from the past! Did you know that the first drive-in movie theater was patented in New Jersey back in 1933 by Richard Hollingshead? Hollingshead came up with the idea as a solution for people who found traditional movie theater seats uncomfortable. The concept quickly spread throughout the country, including to the historic Route 66.

That brings us to the 66 Drive-In, a historic drive-in theater located in Carthage, Missouri! This theater first opened its doors on September 22, 1949, and today shows two movies every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from April to October. It’s the perfect spot to take a trip back in time and enjoy a double feature under the stars. Fun fact: the 66 Drive-In makes a cameo appearance in Pixar’s hit film “Cars” during the epilogue.

7. Cars On the Route

ROUTE 66 : 585 MI / 941 KM Galena, KANSAS
GPS: 37.080346, -94.638729
ADDRESS: 119 North Main Street, Galena, KS 66739

The best attractions on Route 66 travel

Are you a fan of the movie “Cars”? Then you won’t want to miss “Cars on the Route,” a restored Kan-O-Tex service station located at the north end of Main Street in Galena, Kansas. This historic service station was first opened in 1934, but it was restored and transformed into a charming homage to the Pixar movie by four local women in 2007.

Today, visitors can stop by and see the exact spot where director John Lasseter and Joe Ranft spotted the rusty old tow truck that inspired the character “Tow Mater.” With vintage gas pumps, delicious food, and a wide selection of Route 66 collectibles, “Cars on the Route” is the perfect place to relive the magic of the movie and soak up the unique charm of Route 66.

8. Dairy King

ROUTE 66 : 603 MI / 970 KM Commerce, OKLAHOMA
GPS: 36.93324, -94.877609
ADDRESS: 100 North Main Street, Commerce, OK 74339

Dairy King - Check my list of best stops on Mother Road.

Looking for a sweet and savory treat on your Route 66 adventure? Look no further than Dairy King, a former Marathon Gas station turned ice cream parlor and burger joint in Mountain View, Missouri. This historic spot was built in 1927 and functioned as a Tydol station before being purchased by Loren and Grace Broyles in the 1930s. They added soft serve ice cream to the menu in 1951, and the rest is history.

Today, Dairy King is run by Treva and Kenneth Duboise, who purchased the business in 1980. After the passing of his father, their son Charles joined forces with his mother to continue running this beloved spot. Don’t miss their signature Route 66-shaped vanilla cookies, which Charles hand-makes daily and has even trademarked!

9. Totem Pole Park

ROUTE 66 : 668 MI / 1075 KM Chelsea, OKLAHOMA
GPS: 36.437332, -95.44766
ADDRESS: 21300 OK-28 A, Chelsea, OK 74016

Amazing Totem Pole Park is another must-stop on your America journey.

Welcome to The Ed Galloway Totem Pole Park, a unique and fascinating attraction in Foyil, Oklahoma. This park is the legacy of Ed Galloway, a talented artist and US Army veteran who dedicated his retirement years to building a monument to the American Indian.

The park features a stunning collection of totem poles and other sculptures that are truly awe-inspiring. The most impressive of these is the largest totem pole, which stands at approximately 90 feet tall and is adorned with over 200 bas relief images. At its base, the totem pole rests on the back of a turtle, symbolizing a Native American creation story.

As you explore the park, you’ll be struck by the incredible attention to detail that went into each sculpture. From brightly colored portraits of Native Americans to intricate animal figures, each piece tells a unique story and showcases Galloway’s incredible talent.

In addition to the totem poles, the park also features a museum building that houses a collection of Galloway’s personal artifacts and tools. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the man behind the park and gain a deeper appreciation for his work.

If you’re traveling along Route 66, be sure to make a stop at The Ed Galloway Totem Pole Park. This historic landmark is a true gem of Oklahoma and a testament to the enduring beauty of Native American culture.

10. Blue Whale

ROUTE 66 : 686 MI / 1104 KM Catoosa, OKLAHOMA
GPS: 36.193846, -95.732933

Blue whale - list of best stops on Route 66 attractions.

Another iconic place on Route 66 – the Blue Whale.

Come visit the iconic Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma, a beloved roadside attraction that has been drawing visitors for nearly five decades. This whimsical creation was built in July 1972 by Hugh Davis as a surprise anniversary gift for his wife, Zelta, who was an avid collector of whale figurines.

The Blue Whale quickly became a local favorite and soon attracted travelers from all over the country. The accompanying pond served as a popular swimming hole for many years, until safety concerns prompted its closure.

Today, the Blue Whale and its surrounding park are still owned and operated by Davis’ daughter. While swimming is no longer allowed, visitors can still enjoy a picnic in the adjacent area, which has been beautifully restored over the years.

The Blue Whale itself has undergone several refurbishments, including fresh coats of paint and updated facilities, but it retains its original charm and whimsy. From its wide, open jaws to its bright blue exterior, this unique sculpture is a must-see for anyone traveling through Oklahoma.

So pack a picnic lunch and come spend an afternoon at the Blue Whale. This beloved landmark is a testament to the enduring creativity and imagination of its creator, and a reminder of the joy that can be found in the most unexpected places.

11. Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66

ROUTE 66 : 701 MI / 1128 KM Tulsa, OKLAHOMA
GPS: 36.148069, -95.97386
ADDRESS: 1347 East 11th Street, Tulsa, OK 74120

Best attractions on Route 66 - where to stop?

If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience on Route 66, make sure to visit Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This quirky store is located in a former 1950s PEMCO gas station and offers visitors a wide range of souvenirs, apparel, home accessories, art, jewelry, and more.

One of the most distinctive features of Buck Atom’s is the fact that all souvenirs are made in the USA, ensuring that you’re supporting local artisans and businesses. Make sure to check out their keychains and magnets, which make perfect mementos of your Route 66 journey.

As you approach the store, you’ll be greeted by a giant cowboy statue, created by renowned artist Mark Cline. And if you look closely, you’ll spot a rocket ship crafted by local artist Chris Wollard. In 2019, a muffler man was added to the mix, standing proudly outside the shop. And don’t forget to say hello to “Robot #1”, Buck Atom’s metallic friend who stands guard by the front door.

With its retro charm and eclectic selection of merchandise, Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios is a must-visit destination on Route 66. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just looking for a fun souvenir, you’re sure to find something special at this one-of-a-kind store.

12. Round Barn

ROUTE 66 : 788 MI / 1268 KM Arcadia, OKLAHOMA
GPS: 35.662346, -97.326021
ADDRESS: 107 OK-66, Arcadia, OK 73007

Round Barn - another example of Route 66 architecture. Great road attraction.

Welcome to Arcadia, a charming town established after the Land Rush of 1889. Once a hub for cotton farmers, the town was named after the ancient Greek city of the same name. But one of the biggest draws to Arcadia is the iconic Round Barn on Route 66.

Built by local farmer William Harrison Odor in 1898, the Round Barn is an architectural marvel. Odor used a unique method to construct the rounded walls and roof rafters, soaking green native bur oak boards and bending them into the necessary curves. But why did he build a round barn? It turns out that tornadoes were (and still are) a common occurrence in the area. Odor believed that a round structure would be better able to withstand the extreme winds, which would strike and flow around it instead of through it.

In the early 20th century, round barns were touted as being “cyclone-proof”. While there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim, there’s no denying the unique beauty and practicality of the Round Barn. Today, it’s a beloved landmark and popular tourist attraction along Route 66.

So, what’s your opinion on whether round barns are truly “cyclone-proof”? While we may never know for sure, we can still appreciate the ingenuity and craftsmanship that went into building this remarkable structure.

Find out more:

Route 66 - Best stops travel guide by Mark Watson.

More of best places to see during your trip on Mother Road you can find in my travel guide – “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places” that is available on Amazon. This is the ultimate travel guide and pocket reference for anyone wishing to experience the nostalgia and wonder of America’s Route 66! MUST-HAVE for all Route 66 travelers. Visit 202 places on Route 66 with “Scan QR and go” for easy navigation.

13. Oklahoma Route 66 Museum

ROUTE 66 : 886 MI / 1426 KM Clinton, OKLAHOMA
GPS: 35.506489, -98.98691
ADDRESS: 2229 West Gary Boulevard, Clinton, OK 73601

Route 66 Museum in Oklahoma. One of the best museum on Route 66.

Get ready for a fascinating journey through the history of America’s most beloved highway at this incredible museum on Route 66. The oldest and largest museum dedicated to the Mother Road, it’s a must-see attraction for any road trip enthusiast.

Explore the iconic ideas, images, and myths of Route 66 as you immerse yourself in the exhibits and displays. Discover the unique stories of the people, places, and events that shaped the history of this legendary highway. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about this iconic American landmark, there’s something for everyone at this top-notch museum.

From vintage cars and neon signs to classic diners and roadside attractions, the museum captures the essence of the Route 66 experience. Take a personal journey through the history of this legendary highway, and gain a deeper appreciation for the impact it had on American culture.

So, make sure to add this museum to your itinerary and get ready to be transported back in time to the golden age of the Mother Road. With its engaging exhibits and immersive displays, it’s an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss!

You can also check the article: Route 66 – TOP 8 BEST Must-Visit Museums Along Mother Road

14. Tower Station & U-Drop Inn Cafe

ROUTE 66 : 961 MI / 1547 KM Shamrock, TEXAS
GPS: 35.226681, -100.248871
ADDRESS: 111 U.S. Rte 66, Shamrock, TX 79079

This is Elvis place! Mother Road.

What to see on Route 66? If you’re planning a road trip on Route 66, make sure to stop by the Tower Station & U-Drop Inn Cafe in Shamrock. This iconic and unique gas station restaurant was built in 1936 by J.C. Berry and features stunning art deco architecture inspired by a nail stuck in the soil.

As you approach the station, you’ll be greeted by a towering spire with the letters C-O-N-O-C-O, which is a testament to the once-thriving business that the Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Café used to be. In fact, the distinctive architecture of the café even made an appearance in the 2006 animated film “Cars” as Ramone’s Automotive Body and Paint Shop.

One of the most exciting things about visiting this location is the chance to sit at the same table that the legendary Elvis Presley once dined at. Whether you’re a fan of the King or not, the Tower Station & U-Drop Inn Cafe is a must-see destination for anyone traveling on Route 66.

15. Cadillac Ranch

ROUTE 66 : 1063 MI / 1711 KM Amarillo, TEXAS
GPS: 35.187229, -101.98707
ADDRESS: 13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124

Cadillac Ranch - an attraction in Texas.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Cadillac Ranch on Route 66, located in Amarillo. This unique and quirky landmark was created by eccentric millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 (who found the Roman numeral III pretentious) in collaboration with The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective.

In 1974, Marsh funded the placement of ten graffiti-covered Cadillacs, half-buried nose-down in a dusty Texas field. The cars are positioned facing west “at the same angle as the Cheops’ pyramids” and have become a beloved symbol of the American West.

Despite being purchased from junkyards for an average price of $200, the cars’ original paint jobs of turquoise, banana yellow, gold, and sky blue were left intact. However, visitors have since taken to scratching or painting their names on the cars, which Marsh actually encourages. “We think it looks better every year,” he says.

To avoid the expanding city of Amarillo, the cars were moved two miles further out in 1997. Now is the perfect time to bring your own spray can and leave your mark on one of the Cadillacs. Whether you’re a lover of art or just looking for a unique photo opportunity, Cadillac Ranch is an unforgettable stop on your Route 66 journey.

16. Blue Swallow Motel

ROUTE 66 : 1167 MI / 1878 KM Tucumcari, NEW MEXICO
GPS: 35.172016, -103.716409
ADDRESS: 815 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401

Beautiful neons of Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari - Route 66 attraction.

As you make your way through Tucumcari, keep an eye out for a neon blue swallow glowing in the evening sky. This is your cue that you’ve arrived at the Blue Swallow Motel, yet another iconic location on the famous Route 66.

Originally built by carpenter W.A. Huggins in 1939, the motel was fully operational by July 1941 and even had its own on-site café. Today, it remains a popular stop for travelers and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, having received a Cost-Share Grant from the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program in 2007 for restoration of the neon sign, neon swallows, and office windows.

If you’re planning an overnight stay, the Blue Swallow Motel is an excellent choice. The motel’s charm and vintage aesthetic will transport you back in time, while still providing all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay. With its rich history and unique atmosphere, the Blue Swallow Motel is a must-see destination for anyone traveling on Route 66.

17. Wigwam Motel

GPS: 34.902577, -110.168858
ADDRESS: 811 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ 86025

What to see one Route 66? The best attracions!

When driving through Holbrook on Route 66, don’t blink or you might miss the historic Wigwam Motel! This unique and quirky establishment was built in 1950 by owner Chester E. Lewis and consists of 15 concrete and steel wigwams arranged in a square, with the main office flanked by two smaller wigwams.

Originally, the complex also included a gas station. Lewis operated the motel until 1974 when it closed due to the construction of Interstate 40, which bypassed downtown Holbrook. After Lewis passed away in 1986, his children Clifton, Paul, and Elinor renovated the motel and reopened it in 1988.

The Wigwam Village is not only a one-of-a-kind place to stay, it’s also a piece of history. In fact, it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 2002. And if you love this unique style of accommodation, you’ll be pleased to know that there are six other Wigwam Motels located across the United States. So, don’t miss your chance to stay in a wigwam and experience a piece of Route 66 history at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook!

18. Standin’ On The Corner Park

GPS: 35.023625, -110.698254
ADDRESS: Corner of Kinsley & E 2nd St, Winslow, AZ 86047

Stop in Winslow! This is a must-stop for every Route 66 traveler.

If you’re traveling on Route 66 and passing through Winslow, Arizona, you absolutely have to make a stop at the Standin’ on the Corner Park. This amazing park opened in 1999 and was created to celebrate the famous lyrics from the hit song “Take It Easy” by the Eagles and Jackson Browne.

At the park, you’ll find a stunning two-story mural created by artist John Pugh, as well as a life-sized bronze statue of a man with a guitar by his side, just like in the song. The intersection in front of the park is also painted with a grand Route 66 mural on the roadway that’s perfect for snapping a photo or two.

19. Angel Delgadillo’s Barber

ROUTE 66 : 1737 MI / 2795 KM Seligman, ARIZONA
GPS: 35.326053, -112.873354
ADDRESS: 22265 W Historic Rte 66, Seligman, AZ 86337

Amazing gift shop in Seligman, Arizona. Find perfect Route 66 gifts for your family.

f you’re looking for a Route 66 town that has managed to preserve its charm and authenticity, Seligman is the place to be! This historic town is a testament to the enduring spirit of Route 66, and the efforts of its residents to keep the legacy of the Mother Road alive. Seligman boasts a variety of vintage signs, murals, and roadside attractions that evoke the nostalgia and simplicity of a bygone era.

One of the most popular attractions in Seligman is the Snow Cap Drive-In, a classic roadside diner that has been serving up burgers and shakes since 1953. The restaurant is known for its quirky decor and playful sense of humor, which is reflected in its menu items and signage. Stop by for a bite to eat and a taste of old-fashioned Americana.

Another must-see spot in Seligman is the Historic Route 66 Museum, which chronicles the history of the Mother Road and its impact on American culture. The museum features exhibits and artifacts from the early days of Route 66, as well as a gift shop where you can pick up souvenirs and memorabilia.

Whether you’re a die-hard Route 66 enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and authentic travel experience, Seligman is a town that should not be missed

Interested in the best gift shops? Check my other post: Route 66 – The TOP 7 BEST Gift Shops along the Mother Road – Where to buy souvenirs?

20. Hackberry General Store

ROUTE 66 : 1787 MI / 2876 KM Hackberry, ARIZONA
GPS: 35.374878, -113.722698
ADDRESS: 11255 E Hwy 66, Hackberry, AZ 86411

Gift shops on route 66 - what to see during your Route 66 journey

As you drive through the Mojave Desert, keep an eye out for the unique and quirky Roy’s Motel and Cafe in Amboy. This iconic Route 66 landmark was built in 1938 and has been featured in several films and television shows. The neon sign out front is a must-see, and the retro cafe serves up classic American diner fare.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a detour off Route 66 to explore the nearby Amboy Crater. This extinct volcano offers a unique hiking experience with stunning views of the desert landscape. And don’t forget to snap a photo of the famous “Amboy” sign on your way out of town!

21. Mr D’z Route 66 Diner

ROUTE 66 : 1809 MI / 2911 KM Kingman, ARIZONA
GPS: 35.189262, -114.057233
ADDRESS: 105 E Andy Devine Ave, Kingman, AZ 86401

Great diner on Route 66 - Mr d'z

Step back in time to the 1950s with a visit to Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman. Located in a former gas station and cafe that dates back to 1939, this classic diner is a must-visit for any Route 66 road trip. The menu includes classic diner fare like burgers, fries, and milkshakes, as well as house specialties like Mr. D’z Root Beer, which has gained worldwide fame.

The diner is adorned with Route 66 memorabilia, including vintage signs and photographs, and the front dining room is even located where the old gas pumps used to be. The diner was owned and operated by the Dunton family for many years before being leased to new owners, Armando and Michelle Jimenez, in 2000.

Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King have stopped by for a bite to eat, and visitors can also check out a colorful Route 66 mural in the parking lot. Don’t miss the chance to step back in time and experience the classic American diner culture of the 1950s at Mr. D’z.

22. Oatman Hotel Restaurant & Saloon

ROUTE 66 : 1837 MI / 2956 KM Oatman, ARIZONA
GPS: 35.026394, -114.383217
ADDRESS: 181 Main St, Oatman, AZ 86433

Oatman Hotel - Mother Road best attraction and place to visit.

Oatman is a charming and unique destination on Route 66 that’s rich in history and character. With its vintage storefronts and wooden sidewalks, it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The town has a rich mining history and many of the original buildings have been preserved and repurposed as shops and restaurants.

One of the most popular attractions in Oatman is the daily gunfight reenactments that take place on the main street. Visitors can watch as cowboys and bandits face off in a thrilling shootout. For a more interactive experience, you can even participate in a mock gunfight yourself.

If you’re looking for a unique souvenir, head to one of the local shops to pick up a bag of Oatman’s famous “burro chow”. This special feed is made just for the wild burros that roam the streets, and it’s a fun way to interact with these friendly creatures.

23. Roy’s Motel & Cafe

ROUTE 66 : 1943 MI / 3127 KM Amboy, CALIFORNIA
GPS: 34.558812, -115.743576
ADDRESS: 87520 National Trails Hwy, Amboy, CA 92304

Roy's Motel & Cafe on Route 66.

Step into the past at Amboy, a town that was once a bustling stop on Route 66. Today, it is a nostalgic reminder of the historic highway’s heyday. The town was purchased by Albert Okura in 2005 and is now being restored for tourists traveling the iconic road. The most iconic landmark in Amboy is Roy’s Motel & Cafe, which was first established in 1938 as a gas and service station.

Now a classic motel and cafe, it has been featured in many movies, commercials, music videos, and photoshoots. With its giant vintage neon sign and desert surroundings, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular photo spot. Make sure to stop by for a meal or to snap some pictures. It’s a real slice of Americana!

24. Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch

ROUTE 66 : 2132 MI / 3431 KM Oro Grande, CALIFORNIA
GPS: 34.690342, -117.339629
ADDRESS: 24266 National Trails Hwy, Oro Grande, CA 92368

Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch - check this quirky roadside attraction on Route 66 in California.

Located in the Mojave Desert, the Bottle Tree Ranch is an impressive collection of metal pipes adorned with colorful glass bottles. This whimsical outdoor art installation was created by artist and collector, Eric Junker. In 2000, Junker began building his Bottle Tree Ranch as a way to cope with personal struggles. Over the years, he has collected and repurposed thousands of bottles, creating a unique and visually stunning exhibit.

Visitors can walk through the maze-like installation and admire the bottles of all shapes and sizes. Each tree is uniquely crafted with its own character, giving the exhibit a sense of personality and charm. The Bottle Tree Ranch has been featured in numerous publications and has become a popular roadside attraction for Route 66 travelers. If you’re passing through the Mojave Desert, be sure to stop by and experience the magic of this one-of-a-kind art installation.

25. Cucamonga Service Station

ROUTE 66 : 2214 MI / 3563 KM Rancho Cucamonga, CALIFORNIA
GPS: 34.106789, -117.594138
ADDRESS: 9670 Foothill Blvd, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

What to see on Route 66? Maybe Cucamonga Service Station? Great place for a quick stop!

Step back in time and take a glimpse into the past at the beautifully restored Aztec Motel! This iconic motel was built in 1932 and is one of the few remaining examples of Pueblo Deco architecture in Albuquerque. The Aztec Motel was a popular stop for Route 66 travelers in the 1950s and 60s, but in the 1980s it fell into disrepair and was abandoned. In 2004, new owners purchased the property and began an extensive renovation process.

The Aztec Motel now boasts 12 charming guest rooms, each decorated with vintage furnishings and decor. The courtyard features a brightly colored mural and a neon sign that has been restored to its former glory. This little gem is a must-see for anyone interested in Route 66 history and architecture

👍 Find out more:

Route 66 - travel guide - 202 amazing places by Mark Watson.

Discover the best stops along the Mother Road in my travel guide, “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places”, which is available on Amazon. This is the ultimate travel guide and pocket reference for anyone wishing to experience the nostalgia and wonder of America’s Route 66! MUST-HAVE for all Route 66 travelers. Visit 202 places on Route 66 with “Scan QR and go” for easy navigation.


Mark Watson - author

Mark Watson is a California-based member of a Los Angeles Motorcycle Club and a keen traveler. He’s traveled the entirety of U. S. Route 66 seven times on his Harley-Davidson. He strives to interest others in the historic drive to keep the legendary Route 66 alive. He also traveled through the Alaska Highway. He is an author of bestseller books on Amazon: “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places” and “Alaska Highway – 202 Best Stops”.

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