It may have a population of fewer than 30,000 and be relatively under the radar in terms of major American cities, but Kingman, Arizona plays a big role in the fabric of the nation. Not only is it historically significant, but is at the heartbeat of an infamous tourism hotspot and is a key destination for hundreds of thousands of RV travellers. Here are the top five reasons why Kingman rocks for those in a motorhome.
1 Route 66: It was Nat King Cole who helped engrain this famous highway into the world’s consciousness with the song (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66. Cover versions by Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones and even John Mayer have insured its place in musical folklore and pop culture. The Chicago to Los Angeles road across the Midwest and Great Plains was also prominent in the seminal John Steinbeck novel Grapes of Wrath and became way more than just a driving pathway – it represented freedom, ideology and opportunity. The brainchild of 1920s businessmen Cyrus Avery and John Woodruff, the East to West ‘super-highway’ helped invigorate industry and the towns it passed through. It’s undergone many transformations and is now called the Will Rogers Highway, Main Street of America or Mother Road, but you can still get your kicks with a bit of planning – and Kingman plays a central role in this iconic RV adventure. Located on Interstate 40, whether you’re going east or west, do your homework on Kingman and spend some time here – don’t worry, they’ll be expecting you.
2 Kingman attractions: While renting a campervan in the USA is all about the open road and travelling with your own accommodation on wheels, it’s always good to cherry-pick interesting towns and cities – and that’s why Kingman hits the spot. A huge selection of activities will appeal to young and old RV-ers, starting with the Arizona (Powerhouse) Route 66 Museum and historic site Bonelli House, which is a unique representation of America’s history. For those of a more active disposition, the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area offers hiking and cycling trails and stunning Arizona vistas. And providing you have a sober driver, Desert Diamond Distillery delivers tasty, hand-crafted alcoholic beverages. This award-winning micro-distillery put a zing into their spirits so you’re sure to leave with a smile on your face.
3 A key American gateway: Its importance to Route 66 is well-documented, but you don’t just head east or west from Kingman - there are plenty of other road trips you can enjoy in your US motorhome rental. Kingman to Las Vegas, Nevada is just over 100 miles – that’s less than two hours north. But while the attractions of Sin City are numerous and incredibly tempting, if the bright lights aren’t your scene, then the most iconic attraction of them all is only 170 miles north-east: Grand Canyon National Park. Millions of motorhome travellers from around the globe make the trip annually, with its sacred Native American history, phenomenal mountain formations and breathtaking views.
Even closer are the Grand Canyon Caverns, just one hour from Kingman along Route 66. The largest dry caverns in the country, you can journey 300 feet below the surface for a truly jaw-dropping experience. The ‘Ghost Walk’ is sure to keep you on your toes, while a classic 1960s filling station, rafting adventures, restaurant and even RV campgrounds make this so much more than a day trip. Another camping option is Hualapai Mountain Park – stunning the whole year round. You have a choice of 14 hiking trails, a variety of wildlife to photograph, a mountain lodge and so much more. While Hualapai isn’t so well known, Hoover Dam certain is. And it’s just 76 miles north on the Colorado River, which leads in to Lake Mead. Finally, If you’re heading south from Kingman, drive 200 miles south-east to Phoenix, Arizona. Basketball is massively popular, thanks to the Phoenix Suns.
4 RV camping and accommodation: American highways can present an arid, barren landscape with no-one and nothing nearby – which is one of the main reasons why so many people love it. However, Kingman is built for RV travellers with numerous options to park your motorhome, regroup, rest and enjoy some fantastic facilities. Here’s just a few of the main RV campgrounds in Kingman:
5 A welcome like nowhere else on earth: There’s no hospitality like Southwest hospitality. As the backbone of the USA, the people are worth the journey in itself. Kingman is specifically built for the international RV traveller. You never go hungry, you certainly won’t be bored and you will also be telling your friends to Get Their Kicks on Route 66… with Kingman No 1 on their itinerary.