Author Topic: Places of Interest along Route 66  (Read 74 times)

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Offline roadrunner

Places of Interest along Route 66
« on: April 08, 2015, 11:39:11 pm »
With Route 66 maps now available, people planning to ride the route may like to hear from previous riders what they feel are worthwhile places to see along the Mother Road.  I'll kick off what could be a continuing thread describing "gems" along the route.

ILLINOIS
Pontiac:
The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum (110 West Howard Street) is a good Mother Road museum, concentrating on the history of Route 66 in Illinois.   

The Livingston County War Museum (321 N. Main Street) contains artifacts, weapons, and uniforms worn by county residents from WWI to Afghanistan and Iraq.  The extensive collection and the stories of the veterans manning the museum vividly demonstrate the contribution of one small county to our nation.


OKLAHOMA
Afton:
 Afton Station, housed in an old 1930s D-X gas station downtown on Route 66, is a free, friendly, privately-owned Route 66 visitor's center with a wonderful collection of vintage Packards and Route 66 memorabilia.  Maps, guide books and a few trinkets with a Route 66 theme are available.


Stroud:
Stroud Safety Apparel, on Route 66 downtown, manufactures high-visibility shirts, vests, and other safety clothing.  If you can use some high-viz items, with or without reflective stripes, this place will meet your needs.  While its business is fabricating thousands of items for shipment, the friendly staff is happy to provide just what you need.

Built in 1936, the Rock Cafe has been a popular Route 66 attraction for over 70 years.  Destroyed to just walls by a 2008 fire, the cafe was rebuilt and re-opened in 2009.
Rock Café proprietor Dawn Welch is the basis for animated character Sally Carrera in the Pixar film Cars.


Clinton:
The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum http://www.route66.org/ in Clinton is my pick for the best of many Route 66 museums along the route.   The museum’s galleries provide an exciting, well-displayed journey through the history of the Mother Road.  The museum is about ½ mile north of I-40 Exit 65 on Business I-40 (Gary Blvd.).




NEW MEXICO
To relive early Route 66 travelers’ experience of crossing mile after mile of seemingly endless, empty high desert, divert from Adventure Cycling’s route and ride New Mexico Highway 6 between Los Lunas and I-40 Exit 126.  This 40-mile stretch of road was Route 66 from 1926-1937, when the route from the east doglegged north to Santa Fe, then south through Albuquerque to Los Lunas, where it turned northeast towards Grants.  There are no services and almost no signs of civilization on NM-6, other than the highway and a railroad track – just miles and miles of wide-open scenic New Mexico.  The easiest way to get to Los Lunas from Albuquerque is to ride the Paseo Del Bosque bike trail along the east side of the Rio Grande south to its end at Bridge Boulevard SW.  Ride Bridge Boulevard west across the river.  About 4 blocks past the river, turn south on Isleta Boulevard (NM-134) and ride that road Los Lunas.

“Sky City” of Acoma Pueblo is well worth the scenic 15-mile side trip south of Route 66.  The pueblo, the longest continuously-inhabited community in North America (since 1150) sits atop a 357-foot-high mesa, with spectacular views overlooking a green valley circled by cliffs and mesas.  A new museum and visitor center has an extensive collection of art and artifacts, as well as information about the pueblo.  Tours of the pueblo (the only way visitors are permitted) are very informative.  The visitors’ center has a good restaurant.  Roads from I-40 Exits 96 and 108 lead to the pueblo.

If one is looking for lodging in the Acoma Pueblo area, the Sky City Casino & Hotel, at I-40 Exit 102 is convenient.  It’s a modern facility, with at least a couple of dining areas.  Room prices for 2 start at about $80 Sunday through Thursday; Friday and Saturday rates are significantly higher; perhaps that’s when weekend gamblers arrive.