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Diana Smith’s Route 66

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It's known as the Main Street of America, the Mother Road, and the Will Rogers Highway. Part of America's original highway system, Route 66 is a must for any road tripping enthusiast. Start in Chicago and cruise on down through the Southwest. Pass old diners, abandoned gas stations, motels, and wacky roadside attractions, and don't stop until you hit the Pacific in sunny Santa Monica.
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565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661, USA
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Lou Mitchell’s diner has been open in the same location since 1923; so long, in fact, that diner patrons witnessed the heyday of Route 66, which started right here next to Union Station. The Chicago city council renamed Jackson Street “Lou...
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2935 S 6th St, Springfield, IL 62703, USA
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When you find a place that you love, you tend to make an extra effort to return to that location every single time you're in town. Such is the case with Cozy Dog Drive In, in Springfield, Illinois. Every single time I am around, I cruise on up to...
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1107 Historic Old Rte 66, Staunton, IL 62088, USA
Two large tractor trailers with the words, "Humpin' to please," written on them mark the entrance to Henry's Rabbit Ranch. The classic Route 66 roadside attraction features both "the hopping kind and VW kind" of rabbits. A retro gas station,...
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11 N 4th St, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA
Beneath the St. Louis Arch is a wonderful underground museum, a key part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial run by the National Park Service. It is not well known even to people in St. Louis. Totally below ground beneath the Arch itself,...
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Lebanon, MO 65536, USA
Driving on Route 66 in Lebanon, Missouri is a blast from the past. There are many great Americana buildings to find and photograph. Most of them are no longer in use but some like the Munger Moss Motel are still operating. It's a great town to...
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17231 Old 66 Blvd, Carthage, MO 64836, USA
Park the car and take in a movie at the 66 Drive-In Theater. The theater has been in operation since 1949, running seasonally from April to mid-September. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs, get out of the car and watch the film under the...
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Catoosa, OK, USA
Beached on Route 66 As a kid I remember taking day trips with my parents to smaller towns outside of Tulsa. These trips were always fun and jovial times; going to see buffalo on a prairie, taking haunted hayrides, seeing classic western art in...
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2717 W 3rd St, Elk City, OK 73644, USA
Along Route 66 in Elk City OK you will find a museum complex with a Route 66 museum, an old town museum, a transportation museum and a farm and ranch museum. A massive collection of tractor seats and another of barbed wire are among the many...
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1242 N Main St, Shamrock, TX 79079, USA
You can't actually fuel up here - or at least you couldn't when we stopped in summer 2013. But the beautiful and unique U Drop Inn cafe and Conoco gas station has been lovingly restored by the City of Shamrock, and it's worth veering off the I-40...
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6103 S Coulter St suite 200, Amarillo, TX 79119, USA
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Excellent gelato tops off a feast of the best food on old Route 66. Both the decor and the menu take their inspiration from 1960s spaghetti westerns: Try the Morricone cheeseburger, the Van Cleef (pulled pork), or the Eastwood (bacon-wrapped pork...
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After hours of flat land driving, a colorful reward appears on the south side of I-40 just west of Amarillo Texas. It's Cadillac Ranch. The farmer/owner buried eight cadillacs nose down in the middle of his field and it has become a major tourist...
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815 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401, USA
The bright neon lights of the Blue Swallow Motel have been burning strong since 1939. The family-owned Route 66 motel advertises that guests will experience a nostalgia of what it was like to travel across the U.S. in the good old days. "Come take...
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Francisco - Armijo - Otero Addition, Albuquerque, NM 87102, USA
For the countless road-trippers who still follow the old 'Mother Road' through the western U.S., Albuquerque is one of the highlights. Much of the modern city might seem indistinguishable from suburban anywhere, but if you're on your way to the...
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Arizona, USA
The primordial past comes to life at Petrified Forest National Park, in remote northern Arizona. Created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, this park preserves the Chinle escarpment, a globally significant fossil repository stretching for 22...
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811 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ 86025, USA
Well I have! When I traveled Old Route 66 this fall I had to stop at the iconic Wigwam motel in Holbrook on Hopi Drive. The rooms are small and not the most luxurious but they are clean and cozy. A must experience for anyone travelling the...
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301 AZ-66, Seligman, AZ 86337, USA
In 1953, working with only scrap lumber, Juan Delgadillo built the Snow Cap Drive-In. Today, it's still one of the most well-known stops along Route 66. From the restaurant's "Sorry, We're Open" neon sign to the menu's "cheeseburger with cheese"...
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87520 National Trails Hwy, Amboy, CA 92304, USA
Founded in 1938, Roy's Motel and Cafe is an iconic Route 66 landmark. Located in Amboy, a Mojave desert ghost town, the motel is currently closed. But town owner Albert Okura has plans to revive the old motel and fully bring it back to its glory...
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304 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
Commissioned by gold-mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury and built in 1893, the Bradbury Building is an L.A. historic landmark. The building also happens to be a bit of a movie star too, appearing in several films, television shows, music videos...
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200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
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The Santa Monica Pier embodies what Southern California is all about: fun in the sun. Popular with tourists and locals alike, this iconic boardwalk adjacent to the Pacific Ocean—filled with all the amusement rides, midway games, fried food, ice...