Probably no other road in the world hosts as many interesting and strange sights as Route 66. People say it's part of the charm of the historic highway. If you're planning a road trip down Route 66, here are some one-of-a-kind attractions you shouldn't miss.
Hackberry General Store (Arizona) -- Located at mile marker 80 on Historic Route 66, this general store is jam-packed with any kind of Route 66 memorabilia you can imagine. There are vintage gas pumps and automobiles out front, although it's no longer a filling station. Inside you can shop for souvenirs or pick up some Route 66-branded root beer.
Twin Arrows (Arizona) -- An old trading post east of Flagstaff, Ariz., the Twin Arrows are just like they sound: Two giant yellow and red arrows -- actually old telephone poles -- stick out of the roadside asphalt.
Meteor Crater (Arizona) -- Between Winslow and Flagstaff, Ariz., lies a gigantic crater left by a meteor impact more than 50,000 years ago. Remarkably well preserved, the crater is 2.4 miles (3.8 kilometers) in circumference and 550 feet (167 meters) deep.
The Cozy Dog Drive-in (Illinois) -- This historic eatery in Springfield, Ill., is the home to the original hot dog on a stick. Established in 1949, the drive-in continues serving customers today.
Giganticus Headicus (Arizona) -- Right on Route 66 in Walapai, Ariz., for no discernable reason, stands a 14-foot (4.2-meter) tiki head.
Blue Swallow Motel (New Mexico) -- Known as "The Friendliest Hotel on Route 66," W.A. Huggins built this motel in Tucumcari, N.M., in 1939. Still featuring the stucco exterior and detached garages of the era, the Blue Swallow continues to operate today.
Cadillac Ranch (Texas) -- Driving down Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas, you'll see a strange sight -- 10 old Cadillacs, nose-down, sticking out of the ground. Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh commissioned the installation in 1974 to honor America's love for the open road. Today the cars are rusted and covered in graffiti, but still a popular attraction.
Wigwam Motel (California) -- Built in San Bernardino, Calif., in 1949, the Wigwam Motel's 30-foot (9.1-meter) teepees attract tourists from all over the world. Each teepee is about 25 feet (7.6 meters) in diameter with two windows. This motel is a great example of the fanciful tourist attractions once designed to host Route 66 travelers.
Winslow (Arizona) -- Immortalized in the Eagles song "Take It Easy," Winslow features a statue in honor of the famous ditty. The statue stands on the corner -- a man holding a guitar, bringing to life the line, "Well, I'm a standing on a corner / in Winslow, Arizona / and such a fine sight to see."
Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona) -- Designated as a National Landmark in 1906, the Petrified Forest is 52,000 acres (210 square kilometers) of desert. You can look for dinosaur fossils, visit archaeological sites and check out the remains of petrified trees. The Painted Desert surrounds the park with color.
Stewart's Petrified Wood (Arizona) - And speaking of petrified wood, this attraction in Holbrook, Ariz., is an odd little souvenir store. The outside area of the shop features several giant dinosaur statues with mannequins in their mouths.
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More Great Links
- "Adamana - Holbrook, Arizona - Stewart's Petrified Wood." RoadsideAmerica.com. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009)http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/81
- "The Blue Swallow Motel." Blue Swallow Motel. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009)http://www.blueswallowmotel.com/
- "Bobby Troup." Internet Movie Database. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0873757/bio
- Frantzen, Swa. "Historic Route 66 - Description." The Mother Road: Historic Route 66. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.historic66.com/description/
- "Frequently Asked Questions." National Historic Route 66 Federation. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.nationalroute66.org/faq.html
- "Giganticus Headicus." RoadsideAmerica.com. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/14194
- "Historic Route 66." National Scenic Byways Program. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://byways.org/explore/byways/2489/
- "Historic Route 66 Overview." National Scenic Byways Program. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2489/stories/63753
- "Historic Route 66 - Places to Visit." National Scenic Byways Program. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009)http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2489/places/
- "History." Cozy Dog Drive In. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.cozydogdrivein.com/history/
- "History of Route 66 - Why is this road so important to America?" National Historic Route 66 Federation. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.nationalroute66.org/66hstry.html
- "History/Significance." Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.nps.gov/history/rt66/HistSig/index.htm
- "Points of Interest." Oklahoma Byways: Route 66. 2008. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.okscenicbyways.org/explore/route66.html#pois
- "Route 66 Great Transcontinental Footrace Winner." RoadsideAmerica.com. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9055
- "Texas Legends - Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo." Legends of America. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.legendsofamerica.com/TX-CadillacRanch.html
- Weiser, Kathy. "Legendary Route 66 - The Mother Road." Legends of America. Oct. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.legendsofamerica.com/66-Info.html
- "Wigwam Motel." Wigwam Motel. 2009. (Nov. 5, 2009) http://www.wigwammotel.com/