Route 66 tips suggestions, tacky souvenirs, food establishments, silly/interesting places


Looking for suggestions for stops along Route 66. (Not doing the California leg) Anything and everything will be considered: from tackiest tourist trap to best hot dog stand.
What did you enjoy seeing ?

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St. Louis has a few good things to check out. There is the Chain of Rocks bridge (now a pedestrian bridge) Chain of Rocks Bridge--Route 66: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary, Ted Drewes frozen custard , Crown Candy Kitchen, and Doughnut drive in Donut Drive-In - St. Louis - Restaurant | Facebook
for a few.

Not to mention the Arch

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Someone already suggested the Ice cream and “concrete” place. Maybe after lunch. Arch was on my list.

Thanks again! If anything comes to mind, just add on.


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New Mexico
-Glen Rio Ghost Town right at the border of Texas panhandle

-Cadillac Ranch
-its lesser-known cousin, the VW Slug Bug Ranch

Route 66 museums — one in Elk City, the other in Clinton (these are easy to access off I40)
Gold Dome in OKC is off an old Route 66 alignment + there’s a lot of cool places to eat/drink off 23rd st (I’m particularly fond of The Pump, a gas station turned bar)
Arcadia (northeast of OKC) has a bunch of cool stuff close together: Pops Soda Ranch, Round Barn, ruins of an old gas station
In the Tulsa area, there’s the infamous Blue whale (Catoosa) and the totem pole park (Claremorr). The totem pole park I definitely would consider on the kitschier side.

And that’s just off top of my head for Oklahoma. TravelOK does a great job detailing Route 66 stuff, so if your trip takes you through Oklahoma, definitely take a peek.


Great suggestions! I love the Catoosa Whale.

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For Arizona, I really enjoy visiting Two Guns. Even the gas station is just ruins now, but the “indian” ruins are expansive and fun to poke around. The wooden path leading into the death cave was just replaced, too!


Don’t miss the Center of the Universe in Tulsa!

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Yeah, Two Guns is super cool! From the ruins of the ghost town to the geocache in the cave its a really fun visit! This is a bit out of the way, but there is a neat lava tube in the Coconino Forest.


Sounds interesting, but I’m driving a Vette so going into town is not looking too good. Unless you have a recent report I’ll just have to look at it from afar.
I will stop to look at it. I have to say the AO article was super interesting.

Thanks for the very interesting locations.


At some point within the next month or two I’m supposed to go to Sacramento, California and help my sister drive back to the Dallas Metroplex. She just retired from Civil Service and bought an RV to make the roundabout way home. I told her there were a few places in the West I’d managed to miss in my first 60 years rambling around out there from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. She has no great preferences and time isn’t a major factor. But we would like to hit as many as possible without spending the next 20 years crisscrossing the Mojave and Great Divide. The two that are top of the list are the Calico Early Man Site, California. I’ve been to Knott’s Berry farm and the Old West Ghost Town there, but I want to see the archaeological site and the dead lakes nearby, like Manix and Lahonton. The next is Hoover Dam, as many times as I’ve been through Nevada, I’ve somehow managed to miss the dam. While in Nevada I’d like to see as many of the ghost towns as possible plus any natural weirdness (and I know Nevada has more than you can shake a stick at) that might vaguely line up without zigzagging from one end of the state to the other. Arizona, pretty much the same but I would like to see as many of the Pueblo ruins as possible. Since Chaco Canyon is also high on the list, I suppose anything in the Four Corners would work. From New Mexico to the Dallas Metroplex doesn’t matter much as those are the two states I’m most familiar along with Oklahoma. Does anybody have any suggestions for unusual places like that I may have missed reading Atlas Obscura the last 2 or 3 years? I seem to recall Nevada has a brochure on the Ghost Town Trail. Anything like that for Arizona or New Mexico? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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Petrified Forest/Painted Desert – most def! The park also has several archeological sites (Ancient Puebloans, if I remember it right.)

Just off of 66 about 40 miles north of flagstaff is a truly remarkable Puebloan site called Wupatki. In its day, it was one of the most important crossroads towns in a VERY large area. (It has one of the biggest Aztec ball courts – a hint of how important the place was.) Oh, and a blow hole where you can literally feel and hear the earth breathe (no lie!)


I was there in January and you can access the campground and old gas station easy, though that’s not the fun part. Getting to the other ruins involves some slight rough roads that were fine in my mini van but my friend was a little skeptical about in her Chrysler 200 (admittedly, that morning she’d already backed over and gotten stuck on a large rock in the snow in my driveway so she was already on edge and it was the first day of our trip. lol).

Also, when we were leaving, we noticed that the old bridge we took across to the last batch of ruins was, uh, kinda crumbly. Yikes.

Not far from that is Meteor Crater though. Haven’t been myself because we try to avoid high cost tourist traps on our outings.

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Went to meteor crater many years ago. Good for an hour, but you can’t go to the bottom.

Still hesitant about the town, but we’ll see. The dead Indian cave sounds very interesting but not going “hiking”.



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Saw Petrified Forest and Painted Desert years ago on my first trip there. Painted Desert is beautiful.

Got Wupatki marked on the map. Thanks



Thanks for posting that one. It looks right up my (Damnation) alley. I’ll try to work it in on my next road trip out that way.


Well if you’re ever out around Odessa, Texas there a 62,000 year old meteorite crater you can walk around to your heart’s content for free with no crowds to harsh your buzz. It’s off I-20, exit 108 ,Moss Road from Odessa to El Paso and there’s a little museum there with some meteorites and info. But don’t make a special trip unless you’re headed somewhere more worthwhile. It’s just a big dent in the ground less than 600 feet in diameter. There are several other craters in the area but this is the largest, proving things aren’t necessarily bigger in Texas. You might luck out and find some little meteorites in the area if you know what to look for but don’t count on it. Still it’s obscure enough to rate mentioning in the Atlas.


Thanks for sharing!


Wupatki is totally worth it! It’s a bit off the beaten track but you can walk right into all the puebloan (?) ruins. The site is well marked and there’s good info on the sign boards.
There’s also a volcanic cone that’s part of the same park. Last eruption about 1100 AD – if I remember right. You can walk up that as well.


Sounds perfect, thanks! I’ve walked up Mount Capulin, in New Mexico, twice and all the way to the bottom where the vent is blocked with VW sized boulders. It’s the most recent one in the Raton-Clayton volcanic zone at 58-62,000 years but Wupatki is much younger well within human occupation. That would mean there’s probably a lot of traditions from the time people saw it erupt first hand. I’ll put a big star on my proposed itinerary for it. Thanks again!

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I just returned from a tour of the western states in which my visit to Wupatki and the associated Pueblo ruins was the crowning event. Wupatki provided one of the greatest academic breakthroughs I’ve made in decades. A project to document connections between three major cultures in Mexico, New Mexico and the Upper Trinity River in North Texas for the Rockwall County Historical Foundation succeeded far beyond any expectations I could imagine.

The ridge at the entrance to the main Wupatki ruin was as if a three dimensional primer in stone illustrating the progression of Kayenta Anasazi/Chacoan architecture from unaltered megalithic blocks to a seamless blend of natural stone and standardized dimensional stone had been specifically constructed to record the material development of this culture for future generations. The peak experience came at Lamaki where I observed two sections of fault exposed with massive clastic sand dikes on each side and that almost organic architecture blended into them. In turn these two sites were nearly identical to the one in Rockwall County Texas first exposed in 1999-2000 excavations. Corroborating Pueblo IV artifacts and turquoise found elsewhere in Rockwall County cinched the connections tight. Moreover a petroglyph of a coiled snake consuming an egg that my sister spotted at the Aztec New Mexico ruins (a continuation of the Wupatki sites) was unmistakably a variation on the Serpent Mound motif and solar animations found from Mexico to Skara Brae. The so called Serpent in the Sky, some sort of celestial phenomenon that was observed world wide and apparently a recurring event since there are precedents to the most recent one in the Middle Ages. Explanatory signs at Wupatki also drew attention to the fact that around 800 AD when populations began to coalesce at Wupatki, the area was a lush green savannah but a later catastrophic climate change rendered it the sun blasted desert it is today. This same situation created the impetus for Naquada I to coalesce in the Nile Valley to begin architectural development very similar to that seen at Wupatki, Casa Grandes, Paquime and Gran Chaco. There is also evident a strong influence of environmental stress upon the creation of social hierarchies. At this point I am in no way suggesting a direct connection with Old World cultures from vastly different time periods. What I am suggesting is that the underlying principles that create these similarities are virtually universal and dramatically illustrated at Wupatki.
I can never adequately thank you for your suggestion, spf50.