Return of Historic Sign Kicks Off Route 66 Festivities

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Return of Historic Sign Kicks Off Route 66 Festivities
Aug 092013
 




A piece of Route 66 history will be restored this afternoon in Springfield, kicking off a weekend of celebratory events.

A wayfinder sign (see above) that was damaged in a wreck in February 1952 will be reinstalled at the corner of Glenstone Ave. and St. Louis St. at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Gordon Elliott, who owns the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven at that location, says he wants to keep the Route 66 tradition alive for generations to come.

The resurrection kicks off the hotel’s 75th anniversary celebration festivities. The hotel will open a new pavillion at 4:30 p.m. with live entertainment by Mike Mac & The Rockabilly Cats.

A Classic Car Cruise down Route 66 will leave the hotel at 7:30 p.m. and travel west to Park Central Square, which will be the site of a Birthplace of Route 66 Festival Saturday, Aug. 10. That event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In the meantime, the city is using Springfield-based website “CrowdIt” to gather donations to help fund the Route 66 Roadside Park. City leaders plan to discuss that project during Saturday’s festival.

By – Ozark First News

 

Our View: Road warriors (from The Joplin Globe)

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Our View: Road warriors (from The Joplin Globe)
Aug 072013
 




As celebrations go, we think the Route 66 International Festival was top-notch. On behalf of our community and our readers, we want to thank the Route 66 Alliance for choosing Joplin as the site of the festival.

We also tip our hat to the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau and all the local volunteers who made it a great event.

Michael Wallis, one of the co-founders of the Route 66 Alliance and the man providing the voice of the sheriff in the Disney-Pixar movie “Cars,” signed about 2,200 autographs in Carthage. He called his fan base “future road warriors.”

We like the idea that there are those who are keeping the story of America’s Mother Road alive. As a result of the festival, it’s clear that our own appreciation has been rekindled. Events promoted the history of the route from Vinita, Okla., to Carthage, Mo., with stops in Kansas in between.

And it seems like every time there’s a discussion about Route 66, we learn something new or discover something new right here in our own backyard.

A lot of work and planning went into the event, from the car cruising, to the kids roadie parade.

With that said, it would be a shame to wait 20 years for Joplin to get another turn to be hosts for the festival.

Wallis described the success of the event this way:

Route 66 is a linear village that has no state lines, county boundaries or city limits. We have to work together, and we saw that beginning to happen for the first time in Joplin.”

It’s an experience we would love to repeat again somewhere down the road.

Kingman lands 2014 Route 66 Festival

 Daily  Comments Off on Kingman lands 2014 Route 66 Festival
Aug 052013
 




Kingman residents and businesses have a year to dust off their saddle shoes, glam up their retro rides and spruce up their storefronts before putting out the welcome mat for the Route 66 Alliance’s annual Route 66 International Festival.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase Kingman as more than just a stop on Route 66,” said Mother Road historian Jim Hinckley. “It is an opportunity to come together as a community and say with pride, ‘Welcome to our town.'”

The Alliance announced that Kingman was the winner of next year’s Route 66 festival as this year’s festival in Joplin, Mo. wound down Saturday evening. The annual event brings approximately 10,000 people to the event city.

Hinckley has been working with Josh Noble, the executive director of tourism for the Kingman Chamber of Commerce, and Steve Wagner from Re/Max on Hualapai Mountain Road for more than a year to bring the festival to Kingman.

“It started after I ran into Rick Freeland (one of the co-founders of the Route 66 Alliance) last year at the festival in Victorville, Calif.,” Hinckley said.

Freeland told him that the location of the 2013 festival was already set, but the Alliance would be more than happy to consider Kingman for the 2014 festival. When Hinckley returned to Kingman, he met with Wagner and Nobel about the idea.

“The trick was, we had to show that there was community support and involvement with the idea,” Hinckley said. “Wagner really picked up the ball and ran with that.”

While Hinckley and Nobel worked on ideas for events and contacted local artists, authors and car enthusiasts, Wagner collected more than 30 letters of support from area businesses.

And then they had to wait for word from the Alliance. The official approval came at this weekend’s festival in Joplin.

“We’ve already got a basic foundation for the festival. The theme is ‘Kingman – Crossroads of the Past & Future,” said Hinckley, who traveled Joplin this weekend.

The Kingman festival will run from Aug. 13-17 next year. It will include events at the Hualapai Mountain Resort; an exhibit of Route 66 authors, artists and collectors at the new events center in historic downtown Kingman; a film festival featuring movies that were filmed on Route 66, in Kingman or feature Andy Devine; a bowling tournament; a golf tournament; tours of Desert Diamond Distillery; activities in Hualapai Mountain Park; and car cruising at night.

Electric highway

It will also feature a special edition of Kingman’s Chillin’ on Beale car show with an exhibit of alternative energy vehicles. Hinckley and Wagner hope to get a very special guest for the display that night, a 1902 electric Studebaker owned by Don Robertson of Jerome, Ariz. The car still runs.

They also hope to install electric recharge stations along Route 66 for the festival and turn the historic highway into one of the first electric highways in the nation.

“We wanted to plan more things for people to do than they could do in one day,” Wagner said. “We wanted them to say, ‘There’s too much going on. I have to come back tomorrow.’ This is great exposure for Kingman.”

Hinckley echoed those words from Joplin.

“There are people here from as far away as Australia and Tasmania. They came here just for this festival,” he said. “The potential for Kingman is astounding.”

With all of that international and national attention focused on Kingman, it’s a great opportunity to sell Kingman as a great place to visit, and a wonderful place to start a business and raise a family, Wagner said.

“I see it as a catalyst for the transformation of Kingman,” Hinckley said. “If we can just ignite the passion for a sense of community.”

He pointed to Galena, Kan., which also sits on Route 66. The city’s economy picked up after it started marketing its connection to the historic highway, Hinckley said.

The city is home to the International Harvester truck that was the basis for the character Mater in the Disney movie “Cars.” People started moving to the area, sales tax revenues went up, new businesses started moving in, old businesses were revitalized and historic buildings were restored, he said. Kingman could do the same thing.

By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa – Daily Miner

Bono’s still accommodating Route 66 travelers

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Bono’s still accommodating Route 66 travelers
Jun 012013
 





I do hope they reopen the restaurant (and orange juice stand) one day in the near future as I know EVERYONE will want to stop and get a chance to experience this place….

On a day when Fontana was celebrating its 100th birthday, Joe Bono on Friday did just what his family has done for the last 77 years: He offered his hospitality to tourists traveling on Route 66.
Sitting along the parking lot of Bono’s Old Route 66 restaurant on Foothill Boulevard was something Glen Heitritter and Linda Swenson of Omaha, Neb., had not yet seen on their ride down the Mother Road.

They stopped to take a look at the Big Orange, a 7-foot-high stucco ball from which thirsty travelers could buy glasses of fresh orange juice before the age of the freeway.

After the couple posed for the requisite photo, Bono gave them a tour of his place.

An attorney and former deputy district attorney, Bono grew up at the rear of the property at the corner of Sultana Avenue. A neighbor suggested to his mother in 1936 that she ought to sell juice to travelers along Foothill, which at the time had plenty of vineyards but was short on any places to stop for refreshment.

“It was all you could drink for 10 cents,” he told me in an interview some time ago.

That evolved into an Italian market and ultimately a restaurant. Especially during the Great Depression, Mama Bono would hear lots of hard-luck stories from many weary, and penniless, travelers seeking a new life in California and often fed them for free.

For Heitritter and Swanson, the Big Orange proved the perfect Route 66 distraction.

In their striking red Pontiac GTO — naturally, a 1966 model — they have traveled what remains of Route 66 since picking it up first in Carthage, Mo.

Among the notable experiences they’ve had was spending a night in one of the storied Wigwam Motels — with rooms shaped like teepees — in Holbrook, Ariz. They had passed the Inland Empire’s Wigwam Motel on the western edge of San Bernardino a few moments before pulling into Bono’s parking lot.

Before leaving for the end of the road at Santa Monica Pier that afternoon, they viewed Bono’s restaurant and its array of photographs and mementoes.

On a wall is a picture of young Joe and his father working in the vineyards not far away.

“Everything you see out there was vineyards,” he told the visitors, pointing out the windows toward Foothill.

But now Bono has big plans for his landmark business.

Looking over architect’s drawings, Bono said the restaurant, whose front windows are just a few feet shy of the now-four-lane Foothill Boulevard, will be moved south back from the highway. This will accommodate widening of the street as well as the construction of a huge warehouse planned on the other side of Sultana.

He said he was confident that Bono’s restaurant would reopen in the near future, to accommodate Fontana’s next century and for future travelers seeking the romance and adventure of Route 66.

By Joe Blackstock – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Hotel room dedicated to Elvis’ guitarist Wilkinson

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Hotel room dedicated to Elvis’ guitarist Wilkinson
Apr 132013
 





Historic Route 66 hotel dedicated a themed room to late musician John Wilkinson, a former Springfield resident who played guitar for Elvis Presley.

The room, located in the Best Western Rail Haven motel next to the Elvis-themed room, honors the musician who played more than 1,200 shows with Presley from 1968 until Presley’s death in 1977.

Wilkinson, 67, died in January after a four-year battle with cancer and is survived by his wife, Terry, whom he married in 1983.

Tears were shed and memories were shared as Wilkinson’s friends and family gathered at the motel on Friday to view the room for the first time.

Tom Petit met Wilkinson in 1972 while working at a hotel in Aurora, Ill., and they became close friends.

Petit was unaware of who Wilkinson was when he checked in, Petit said. Later that evening, two women came to the hotel, asking for Wilkinson’s room number.

Petit refused to share the information and told the women, “Sorry, that’s not the way we operate.”

“The next morning, before I got off work, (Wilkinson) was down in the bar having breakfast, having it served to him in the lounge because he didn’t want to be around all the people,” Petit said. “Somebody came and told me there was a gentleman down in the lounge who wanted to have a word with me.”

Petit approached Wilkinson and asked, “So you wanted to see me?”

Wilkinson held up a finger to pause Petit and listened to a song that was playing on the jukebox.

A few moments after the song was over, Wilkinson told Petit, “Sorry, but that’s the only song we play that you can hear me play in.”

Petit said he thought, “Who is this guy? What are we talking about here?”

Wilkinson had two notes in the song “Burning Love” that could be heard. Petit said now he can’t listen to the song without hearing the guitar and those notes.

Wilkinson thanked Petit for taking care of things for him the night before.

“We sat down and we talked for a few minutes,” Petit said. “Next thing you know, we’re talking for half an hour.”

Gordon Elliott, owner of the Rail Haven motel, said the Elvis-themed room was updated for the motel’s 75th anniversary in August.

“We didn’t get the chance to do anything to tie (Wilkinson) into Elvis when he was alive,” Elliott said. “We ended up getting the room right next door to Elvis’.”

Elliott said creating the room for Wilkinson would be a great idea since he and Presley were close friends.

“And it ties into Springfield history,” Elliott said.

Presley appeared at the Shrine Mosque in 1956, and Wilkinson, then 10 years old, took the opportunity to tell the king of rock ‘n’ roll how he felt about his guitar playing.

Wilkinson sneaked into the mosque and approached Presley while he was in his dressing room. After some small talk, Wilkinson said, “Elvis, you can’t play guitar worth a damn.”

Presley, slightly insulted but amused, let Wilkinson play his guitar and said, “You’re pretty good.”

Wilkinson responded, “I know.”

Presley hired him 12 years later.

By Katie Lamb – News Leader

Help “Raze the Roof” at the Boots Court on Route 66!

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Help “Raze the Roof” at the Boots Court on Route 66!
Mar 052013
 










My note: I talked with them today and they are short funds to get the roofing contractor 100% paid. I told them I would help try to raise ANY amount of donations to get the contractor to stay on the property a little bit longer and get the roof and roof like BACK to the way it was when the Boots was first built. ANY dollar amount helps – but please send something to them, or if you are in the area on the scheduled work weekend, SHOW UP AND HELP!!!

Also, as a bonus, I was told the ORIGINAL sign company who created the BOOTS COURT sign will be there in the next weekend or two to repaint the sign to the correct original colors and lettering AND put all new neon, wiring and transformers in (ALL BEING DONATED by the sign company!!) to make the sign look like it did back in the 1940’s. This motel was saved and we have a chance to help it prosper and to be a viable part of Route 66 for generations to come – so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP!!


The National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Grant Program has awarded the Boots Motel owners a matching grant to remove the 1978 roof addition and restore the structure to it’s original appearance. The “Raze the Roof” fundraising effort is now underway and we are seeking contributions to help fund our half of the Grant. Please send your contribution to:

Boots Motel Roof Fund, c/o Southwest Missouri Bank,
P.O. Box 814
Carthage, MO. 64836-0814

Contributions may be through the PayPal system using the Route 66 Chamber’s account: visit66@yahoo.com as the Boots owners are not set-up for PayPal.

Please select “PERSONAL” and “OTHER” for your settings so we are not charged a transaction fee, and remark that this is for the “Boots Roof Fund”.

The owners can offer a free night at the Boots (depending on availability) for any donations of $250 to $500 and a free night plus your name on a plaque to be permanently installed in the front office for donations above $500.

Two sisters stepped-up about two years ago to save this venerable 1939 motel that was the first in Carthage, and was at great risk of demolition. Recently restored are five rooms in the 1946 addition and the motel re-opened to travelers last May and is already highly-rated by TripAdvisor.com.

The shingled pitch-roof was added in 1978 and needs to be removed to qualify the motel for placement on the National Register of Historic Places, and obtain additional preservation grants. Last year, the National Park Service / Route 66 Corridor Grant Program awarded the owners a matching grant of $12,000 to help remove the newer roof and restore the original flat roof. A local roofing company submitted a bid as required on the grant application, however the motel’s owners do not have the funds to have the pitch roof removed.

The volunteer event titled the “Raze the Roof” project is scheduled for March 23rd – 24th, with a rain date of March 30th – 31st. Volunteers will be removing the roof sheathing on the two motel buildings so the contractor can immediately repair the flat roofs. If this project is not completed soon thereafter, the grant may be rescinded, which is not a good thing.

The Route 66 Chamber recognizes the critical need to preserve this famous icon for all who travel the Mother Road and for the benefit to the economy of the City of Carthage, so they are seeking a total of eight experienced volunteer roofers to remove the shingles only, so they will need shingle-removal shovels. Other volunteers will do the clean-up and take the removed shingles to the dumpster. This will need to happen on Saturday so the other volunteers can remove the sheathing and trusses by Sunday afternoon.

In exchange for their contribution towards this restoration-preservation project, shingle-removal workers will receive a free two-night stay at a time of their choosing.

The Route 66 Chamber will also make the volunteers (and/or their employers) members of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce and they will receive a Chamber certificate and a Certificate of Appreciation from The Boots Motel (volunteers will be listed on the websites “Volunteer Page“) and on several Facebook pages. Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided at no charge.

This will be a well publicized event, and we expect news media coverage and publicity for the volunteers. Roof workers may wear their employer’s T-shirts, bring a sign or banner and a company truck if so desired.

If your can help with this event it would be greatly appreciated. Additional information about the Boots Motel is available at www.bootsmotel.com and on the “Save the Boots Motel” Facebook page. The Chamber’s website is www.visit66.com .

You can help us preserve an important part of Route 66 history. Anyone who wants to volunteer for this project should call the Boots at 417-310-2989 or email them at bootsmotel@hotmail.com

I am struggling to find a way to get out there to help – but timing is not on my side so I will (at the very least) send them a donation to help as I am thankful for what these folks have done to save this important, historic Route 66 landmark!!

Supporting Route 66…

 Daily, Help Route 66  Comments Off on Supporting Route 66…
Mar 042013
 





The very best thing one can do to support Route 66 is to travel it. Period.
A traveler can stop and visit restaurants, motels, gift shops and so on, and so on – and by purchasing items, meals, overnight rooms, this is the best way to make sure the route not only ‘stays open’ – but grows as well.

So, what if you can’t get out and travel the route (anytime soon at least)? Do what I do: Support the different Route 66 associations.

I have been (and still am for the most part) a ‘business member’ of most of the Route 66 State Associations. I believe in what they stand for on a smaller level as they concentrate only on their state, with once in a while crossing state lines to help a neighboring project on the route.

I am also a fan of any national Route 66 associations or alliances – but the state level is where I like to be. All in all: They all have their purpose.

I have created a link with all the different associations so you can check them out yourself. I enjoy getting all the news letters and info either mailed to me or even Emailed to me and I always try to help them any way I could.

The only ‘downer’ I have is I was surprised on how many folks who are sort of the ‘who’s who’ of the route do not support these associations – even if only in their own state the route runs through. There may be a slew of reasons and I do not want to name names, I just hope they will see the example so many other folks have become members to support the route in yet another way.
I believe those who are in the ‘know’ should always be a great example of how to do the right thing on the route by supporting it. Hopefully we can get a few more members on board!!

Route 66 Association of Illinois

Route 66 Association of Missouri

Kansas Historic Route 66 Association

Oklahoma Route 66 Association

Texas Route 66 Association(They do not have an active website)

New Mexico Route 66 Association

Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona

California Historic Route 66 Association

National Historic Route 66 Federation

Route 66 Meramec River Bridge Starts to be Taken Apart

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Route 66 Meramec River Bridge Starts to be Taken Apart
Nov 272012
 

 





The bridge that originally carried Route 66 over the Meramec River, near what was the city of Times Beach, is starting to be disassembled this week just outside of Eureka. A crew member from XL Contracting, the staff handling the deconstruction of the bridge, told Patch Monday the concrete on the bridge will be cut into slabs and taken off, along with the railing.

He said the bridge’s beams will be left, in hopes that some entity will want to rebuild the bridge in the next five years.

He also said the bridge work was slated to be done by Dec. 14.

The Meramec River Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 16, 2009, according to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) records. The Meramec River Route 66 Bridge is significant, both for its association with historic Route 66 and as one of only four remaining riveted Warren deck truss bridges in Missouri.

Construction of this bridge began in 1931 and was completed in 1932, according to MoDOT historian Jane Lee.

The Route 66 Meramec River Bridge is commonly referred to as the Times Beach Bridge because of its location at the entrance of the former Times Beach community. After U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives discovered dioxin at Times Beach, they relocated the residents and cleaned up the surrounding area. Once the remediation was complete, EPA officials turned the property over to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and it became the Route 66 State Park. Because the bridge no longer serves a town or city, MoDOT managers could not spend limited resources on it. MoDOT representatives attempted, however, to work with MDNR and East-West Gateway representatives to find another group or agency who was willing to accept liability and continue to maintain the bridge.

Since 2005, MoDOT managers restricted the weight limit on the bridge to prolong its life. In 2005, the weight restriction was set at 15 tons. In 2007, MoDOT had to restrict the bridge to vehicles of 10 tons or less, due to the bridge’s deteriorated condition. The bridge also was restricted to one lane at that time.

In early 2009, MoDOT further restricted the bridge to vehicles of 5 tons or less, after an annual bridge inspection. After further review, MoDOT managers determined that they had to close the bridge to all traffic, including pedestrian and bicycle traffic, due to safety concerns.

By Julie Brown Patton – Eureka-Wildwood Patch

Joplin City Hall windows again to reflect Christmases past

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Joplin City Hall windows again to reflect Christmases past
Nov 132012
 



r111212xmaswindows.jpg



— It starts with plain brown paper and cardboard. Then come the sketches and the brush strokes — thousands of them.

By the time they are finished, June Stokes and Dixie Boyd-Carter will have committed more than 100 hours each to a labor of love that they hope will recapture what it was like when storefront windows in downtown Joplin were decorated for the holidays.

As Boyd-Carter draws black outlines around the windows of a skyscraper, Stokes weighs in on her work.

“That’s looking pretty good, girl,’’ said Stokes to her friend of more than 20 years. “I draw them up, and she helps paint them.’’

This year, they are tackling an ambitious task — the recreating of Route 66 from Chicago, Ill., to Santa Monica, Calif. The artists have created 22 panels that depict images one might see along the Mother Road. Among them are many that local residents will recognize.

The Route 66 panels will be placed in the Main Street windows of City Hall, the historic Newman Building, at Sixth and Main streets. They will be unveiled at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.

“We used a Route 66 travel guide,” said Stokes, who is a gifted artist in that she can see an image and then recreate it by hand on paper. “I would see a little picture and think: That would be neat.’’

Boyd-Carter said, “This has been a lot of fun. It’s different than anything we have ever done. We like doing stuff like this together.’’

When the Newman Building was a department store, its window displays depicted the latest fashion trends with elaborate seasonal decorations, specialty items and a large assortment of toys.

To bring back the tradition, City Manager Mark Rohr and City Clerk Barbara Hogelin worked with the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2009 to implement the idea so the holiday magic of Joplin in the early 1900s could be relived.

Said Hogelin: “It creates a fun and festive atmosphere for the holidays. Many of our citizens may recall Newman’s windows being elaborately decorated for the holidays, but the younger generation may not have ever experienced anything like this. We are happy to share a little piece of history with them.’’

This year, as in past years, the Joplin Model Railroad Club will continue its tradition of providing a working model train for display. The 40-foot display will be presented in the windows facing Sixth Street.

Hogelin recruited Stokes and Boyd-Carter for the displays in 2009. The construction part of the project is being managed by Jeff Tennis and Rick Allen, maintenance mechanics for the city, who help assemble the various scenes for the display.

The Route 66 display will be used again this summer when Joplin plays host for the Route 66 Festival on Aug. 1-2.

After the unveiling of the Route 66 display, those attending can observe the Holiday Tree Lighting at 6:30 p.m. in Spiva Park at Fourth and Main streets. The event is put on by the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department staff.

By Wally Kennedy – The Joplin Globe

Get Your Holiday Kicks on Route 66

 Daily, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Get Your Holiday Kicks on Route 66
Nov 122012
 




This is our third guest article on Route 66. This one focuses on the ‘winter’ of, or ON, Route 66!

Traveling down the historic Route 66 is a unique way to get your family together during the Christmas holiday. Gather the troops from across the country and reconnect on the old historic “Mother Road” that, at one time, was best passageway from the Midwest to the West.


Drive through the streets of a fabulous world of kitschy Americana, follow each other in a caravan of cars or pile in an RV (try to avoid motorcycles during winter — it can get cold!). Each little town you pass has a legend attached to it. You may find yourself touring an old school house, visiting a nostalgic ice cream shop and looking over your shoulder in one of the many ghost towns along the tour. With the wind in your hair and not a worry in the world, this will be the best Christmas EVER!

Step into a history rich with roadside attractions, neon signs, rusty gas stations, 50s diners and vintage motels. It’s all part of the experience, part of the adventure. What do you need to know and where do you go?

Driving Tips

  • Be sure you have appropriate car insurance (with roadside assistance) so you are 100 percent protected and carefree on your journey.
  • Don’t advertise you are away from home. When in a city with inhabitants, keep your maps out of plain sight when stopped and use the truck stops if in need of rest — they are generally the safest place to rest your eyes.

Great Idea No. 1

Before you go on this fabulous family vacation, make a playlist of Christmas songs and old country driving tunes (Willy Nelson would be a great choice). Burn it to a few disks and bam! Christmas gifts, done! You’ll be singing all the way from Amarillo to Tucumcari. Pair that with the EZ66 Guide for sale at Route 66 World Bookstore and Roadfood and you’ll be on your way to worry free holidays.

Great Idea No. 2

Roadfood. It’s a must-get book. Ever wanted to eat at little off the beaten path at classic regional restaurants but don’t know how to find them? This book was written by a couple who went on a country-wide trip, finding and rating the best unknowns. While the directions are good, a navigational device is extremely helpful.

Fun Places to Stop

Christmastime along the Route 66 is vibrant with life and lights. It’s quirkiness illuminates with decorations aglow.

  • Chain of Rocks Bridge — Constructed in 1929, the bridge crosses the Mississippi from Alton, Ill. to St. Louis, Mo. and has a 30-degree turn midway across a mile-long bridge, according to nps.gov. Today, it has trails for walking and biking — fun for the whole family.
  • The Blue Whale — Sitting in Catoosa, Okla. is an 80-foot long smiling blue whale that Hugh Davis built for his whale-collecting wife, Zelta, as a gift. The attraction dates back to the 1970s.
  • Sandhills Curiosity Shop — Located in Erick, Okla., this wacky shop is full of music memorabilia. But it’s not just a shop, it’s an experience. Sit for awhile and have a chat with the owners, Harley and Annabelle Russell.
  • Restored Phillips 66 Gas Station – Between Clinton and Amarillo, Texas, this is where gas is 19 cents a gallon. That was all the way back in 1927, according to ridingroute66.us.
  • Cadillac Ranch — Amarillo, Texas has a mythical land covered with 10 historic Cadillacs, noses stuck in the earth as they erect from the land. You are free to graffiti your presence on the pieces of art, says legendsofamerica.com. They are open to the public to decorate.
  • Tucumcari, New Mexico – A pleasant reminder of the good old days. With historic motels like the Blue Swallow and Motel Safari, you can sleep under the pretty neon signs which light up the route through town.
  • Winslow, Ariz. — Simply, so you can stand on the corner in Winslow, Ariz. and live in the Eagles song, “Take it Easy.”
  • The Grand Canyon Railway’s Christmas Polar Express — In Williams, Ariz., a charming little town sits along the Route 66. During Christmas, the railway turns into a magical Christmas train to the North Pole.
  • Santa Monica Pier — Route 66 ends with an amusement park, an old carousel and the lovely California coast.

Lastly, be sure to take special care of our Route 66. Help preserve historic landmarks along the 2,400 -mile stretch. What can you do? Clean up after yourself and others, drive slow and enjoy the sites and get into the nostalgia by helping the local businesses survive.

Article by Olivia Lewin