Not everyone has money to spend on international vacations and that’s ok because the US has some pretty great spots as well. If road-tripping US Route 66 is on your bucket list, or you happen to be traveling on any part of America’s ‘Main Street,’ you’ll certainly want to stop by these iconic and underrated landmarks alike. Whether you’re in search of a restaurant, hotel or some form of attraction, you’ll have plenty to choose from.
The Castle Car Wash was built in 1925, right during the automobile boom. One of the only remaining establishments of its kind in the area, you certainly won’t miss its unique architecture asyou pass through the area.
Ted Drewe’s is famous for two very different things; their custard, and their Christmas trees. They’re also known for their “concrete,” a blend of custard and ingredients so thick that you can tip the cup over without losing any of it.
Oklahoma and Kansas
*Kansas has the shortest mileage of any state on Route 66 with only 11 miles.
This is one of those weird attractions you just can’t miss. Literally a giant blue whale, the structure was originally built by Hugh Davis in the early 70s as an anniversary gift for his wife who collected whale figurines.
Also known as the Kan-O-Tex Service Station, this roadside diner and souvenir shop first opened in 1934. Fun fact: the 1951 International boom truck that sits outside the shop served as the inspiration for Pixar’s animated Cars character Mater.
One of the most iconic attractions on Route 66, the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo is recognized by ten Caddies buried nose-down in the dirt. Created in 1974 by a group of hippies known as the Ant Farm, their art piece was designed to baffle the public.
One of two existing Wigwam Motels (the other is in California), visitors to the motel sleep in their own teepee. Fifteen teepees, each 21-feet wide and 28-feet tall, and constructed with steel and concrete stand in a semi-circle on the grounds.
The Snow Cap Drive-In was built in 1953 by Juan Delgadillo. Delgadillo built the eatery almost entirely out of scrap metal from a nearby railroad yard and kitschy neon signs and automobile remnants. Bring your sense of humor as the menu has options like “dead chicken” and “cheeseburger with cheese” and the sign on the door reads “sorry we’re open.”
This national park covers 146 square miles of land and is named for the large deposits of petrified wood that are present in the area. About 600,000 people visit each year to go hiking, sightseeing and take photos.
The Wagon Wheel is a favorite among locals, visitors and truckers. With tried-and-true menu options like chicken fried steak, country mashed potatoes with gravy and pot roast, the family owned and operated restaurant will surely deliver that old school atmosphere you’re looking for.
The Pier which opened in 1909 marks the end of Route 66. The renovated turn of the century park features a historic carousel, aquarium and ballroom.
About the Writer
Chelsea Stuart is currently finishing up her degree in Writing, Literature & Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. After living on a ship for four months and visiting 15 countries with the study abroad program Semester at Sea, she’s presently dealing with some intense wanderlust. Aside from travel, she enjoys reading, writing, photography, thrifting, and drinking an absurd amount of coffee. She hopes to one day (soon) pursue a career in publishing and try her luck in The City that Never Sleeps.
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