27 Must-Stops Along Route 66

Check out the motels, restaurants and roadside attractions of Route 66.

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Bold twin arrows mark the exit for the Twin Arrows Trading Post gas station on Route 66. The 25-foot-tall arrows were restored in 2009 by a combined group of Hopi Indians and Route 66 enthusiasts.

Gemini Giant stands at the Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, Illinois. The Giant is one of the "Muffler Men" made by International Fiberglass.

Just down the road in Braidwood, Illinois, is the Polk-a-Dot Drive-In, where you'll find statues of famous figures such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Betty Boop.

Shea's Gas Station Museum in Springfield, Illinois was a museum of gas station and automobile memorabilia. The owner, Bill Shea, spent his career in the gasoline business and managed the museum until his death in 2013. The museum is currently closed, but there are plans to reopen it as a working auto-repair business.

The Wagon Wheel Motel, in Cuba, Missouri, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1935, the cafe and cabins have a long history. The motel was recently renovated being careful to preserve its unique features.

In Carthage, Missouri, you'll find the 66 Drive-In Theater. You get two movies for the price of one. There is a concession stand, and consumers are encouraged to sit outside their cars (not on top!) to enjoy the film.

The arched Rainbow Curve Bridge extends across Brush Creek on Route 66 outside Baxter Springs, Kansas.

The Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma, has an interesting history. Built by Hugh Davis as part of the waterpark on his property, he gave it to his wife Zelta on their anniversary. Their kids kept asking for something to jump off and this waterfront structure provided just the means. The whale and grounds were restored in 2002 and have become a major attraction on Route 66.

This large soda bottle stands 66 feet tall and weighs more than four tons. It towers over a futuristic building in Arcadia, Oklahoma, which is home to POPS restaurant, soda ranch and shake shop.

The Braum's Milk Bottle, in Oklahoma City, is taller than the building (a bakery) on which it stands. The bottle originally advertised for Townley Dairy. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Meet Myrtle, a Kachina doll that stands outside the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.

The recently restored Tower Station and U-Drop Inn were once a gas station and restaurant that served travelers in Shamrock, Texas, on Route 66. Today it acts as the Chamber of Commerce and tourism office. This Art Deco masterpiece was built in 1936.

When driving in Groom, Texas, you'll find the "Leaning Water Tower of Britten."

In 1974, Stanley Marsh 3 and San Francisco artists, who called themselves Ant Farm, created this Cadillac graveyard to baffle the locals in Amarillo, Texas. The 10 cars are supposedly buried at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza. Over the years visitors have added their special touch to the cars.

In Tucumcari, N.M., is the Tee Pee Curios store. The concrete wigwam is fused onto a building where they sell souvenirs along Route 66.

Across the street from Tee Pee Curios is the Blue Swallow Motel. It was bought by its current owners in early 2011 and is being renovated with the goal of keeping the historic aspects, such as the garages for cars.

Few scenes match the splendor of Utah's Monument Valley.

Near Sitgreaves Pass, Route 66 cuts a winding path through Arizona.

In the late 1930s, Chester E. Lewis had several motels on Route 66 and decided he wanted to add a wigwam village. An architect, Frank Redford, who patented the wigwam villages design, struck a deal that allowed Lewis to build one of his own in Holbrook, Arizona. Today the Wigwam Village Motel #6 is one of the few such motels left.

The Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, Arizona, cannot be missed with its famous "Here It Is" sign. The trading post sells Route 66 souvenirs along with Indian arts and crafts. There is also a wide selection of Jack Rabbit goodies.

The Museum Club in Flagstaff, Arizona is a bar with karaoke nights and live music. This large log cabin didn't start out as a bar. Built by taxidermist Dean Eldredge in 1931, "the Zoo" was a museum for him to show off his stuffed friends, Winchester rifles, Indian artifacts and more than 30,000 other items.

There are several large dinosaurs to greet you at the Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook, Arizona. The theme relates to the fact than many dinosaur bone finds have occurred in the area.

The historic El Rancho Motor Hotel in Barstow, California, is a major attraction for Route 66 tourists.

This flat, sweeping stretch of old Route 66 is near Amboy, CA.

An abandoned motel sign along Route 66 in California gives a haunted air to this stretch of Mojave Desert highway.

Near the western end of Route 66 is the neon sign marking the Santa Monica Pier in California.

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