Quaint motels, family eateries and car cinemas – in previous times many people considered the Route 66 the most exciting place to travel in the world. Although this places are abandoned now, they are still the Route 66 attractions.
Route 66 was opened in 1926, but only 12 years later it was completely paved. The most hard times were in the 1930s, when the Central States were exhausted by the great drought. It was an environmental disaster associated with severe soil erosion and wind blowing dry Sands.
Route 66 is The Main Street of America or it also called the Mother Road. And it is reasonable.The highway begins at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard in Chicago, Illinois. The 3440-kilometers-long asphalt strip extends further to the West, crossing three time zones and eight States: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and reaches Santa Monica on the Pacific coast. This location has become a factor that stimulates the economy of the cities along the road. Very fast there began to appear service points related to the needs of travelers – petrol stations, motels, shops, garages and canteens.
Route 66 was one of the first paved highway connecting the Eastern part of the United States with the West. But then in 1985, Highway 66 was replaced by new highways. This was the moment when Highway 66 was officially removed from the national highway list. The Route 66 attractions that mentioned above started to close. The track was gradually abandoned. People began to drive cars on more convenient routes.
Even a little pity, because there are some Route 66 attractions to see. Even considering that the route and stopping points have been abandoned long time ago, the route offers one of the best hikes in America.
Route 66 attractions
Below we describe the several cities and service points situated along the road, which are the Route 66 attractions. Many of them are forgotten and left for themselves. The Route 66 attractions are the places where wind, sun and wild planting reign in the buildings without windows and with holes in the floor.
The ruins left from the petrol station, cafe, supermarket, auto shop and gift shop are now painted with graffiti are other Route 66 attractions. Twin Arrows is located between Flagstaff and Winslow. The characteristic giant arrow sculptures are almost 8 m high, so you can’t miss this place when driving on the Route 66.
The Twin Arrows was abandoned in the 90s, and the last signs of life in this place appeared in the movie Forrest Gump.
At the same part of the Route 66, but on the opposite side, there is another Twin Arrows place, that is opened for public. This is a casino hotel with all modern conveniences and entertainments, where you can stay to relax or have a good time.
There were a lot of things. For many years there was working a gas station, zoo, camping. Near it there is the Apache Death Cave, which is also worth the tourists’ attention. In 1971, the gas station burned down and the buildings have been abandoned ever since.
In the Mojave Desert the city of Amboy is located. There are several Route 66 attractions like working cafes, a hotel and even a post office, as well as many abandoned buildings.
Today, the population of Amboy consists of four people living here permanently. At least that’s what Wikipedia says. However, recently the city of Amboy was bought by a mysterious millionaire who had decided to restore and rebuild this place. And there have been made a really good work in the village. There is a great atmosphere, although not too friendly. For example, the café staff, not very talkative.
It is worth noting that this is where the horror film “Hitchhiker” was filmed.
Near the city, in the middle of the desert, there are two mysterious stones of Chinese lions, which can also be considered as Route 66 attractions. No one knows who put them here. They just appeared one day. Moreover, some claim that the statues move from time to time. But most likely, it is a joke of the rich city owner.
Near Barstow, on the artificial lake Dolores, there was built a very innovative for its times waterpark. The place is one of the The Route 66 attractions and it was officially opened in 1962. It was full with futuristic buildings and amazing water constructions, it attracted people from all the United States. In the Park sounded the music of 1950-s years, which was also its unique featutre.
Once an employee of the Rock-A-Hoola waterpark was seriously injured when using one of the constructions. As a part of the compensation, he began to fight for exorbitant amounts of money. This was the moment when the live of the Park started to crumble. Financial problems led to its sale in 2001. The new owner wanted to restore the Park, but he failed. In 2004, the Park was officially closed.
A restaurant, cafe, souvenir shops and Antiques shops are located exactly in the middle of the Route 66. The center is between Chicago and Los Angeles, located in Hadrian, Texas.
It is a rather developed city. There is a school, churches, post office and administrative office. Here you can refuel your car or set up a tent in the camping.
Also there is a famous Café Midpoint. The motto of the cafe is “when you’re here, you’re halfway there”. Here they cookdelicious hamburgers. And there’s even gluten-free buns and vegan burgers. That very good for stop point situated on the abandoned highway. The cafe is also famous for the banana pie.
There is also The Bent Door Cafe, which is more historical Route 66 attractions, suitable to the general “mood” of the Route 66.
It is the largest city between Amarillo in Texas and Albuquerque in New Mexico. For years, it was the most popular area for people travelling on the Route 66. The city was known under the slogan ” TUCUMCARITONITE!” (Tucumcari tonight!). At that time, in Tucumcari there were about 2000 places to stay for visitors! In the 30s, 40s and 50s, the most atmospheric hotels and motels of all the cities located near the Route 66 were built here.
But later, many motels owners had to leave the business. The situation with the property became deteriorate.
Today Tucumcari has few motels. The rest of them have been “at the mercy of nature” for a long time. Here you will see with your own eyes the clash of life and death. The Tucumcari cemetery exaggeratethe atmosphere.
However, in the city there are many other Route 66 attractions of other kind, that create positive mood where you can go. They include numerous museums, parks, shops and of course restaurants with their own special cuisine.
There is no doubt that the Route 66 is the most frequently mentioned highway in the US. This road is the heroine of countless stories, books, songs, films and television programs, as well as in American literature. From the mid-1920s to the mid-1970s, there were more people driving on the Route 66 than even on scenic Highway 101 on the West coast.