Taking Route 66 out of Kingman can feel like going down memory lane in 1950-something. Picturesque gas stations, curio shops, attractions, twisty mountain passes, and even a couple vineyards dot the landscape.
You’ll find so many things to see and do on Route 66, that we’ve have compiled a quick list of 66 things to see and do on the Mother Road in the great State of Arizona (from West to East).
1. Your first order of business will be to get your hands on the Arizona 66 Passport. Originally launched in 2010, this handy little travel guide is fun for Route 66 Road Trippers, both young and young at heart. Don’t set out for a drive on Route 66 without it!
2. Take a Selfie with a shield in the asphalt. Yeah, that probably sounds strange, but it's a thing!
Here's a Google Map of the safest spots along the road (please don't take one in the middle of Route 66 in Kingman, they are every 1/4 mile or so, but it's a very busy road!).
3. Geocaching on Route 66 adds a bit of adventure to the drive. Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunt where players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone app or a GPS-enabled device and then share the experience online.
4. Spend a Mother Road Buck! To celebrate these 90 years (1926-2016), the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona released the Mother Road Buck Gift Certificate, valued at $1 U.S. Dollar. Bucks are accepted at Route 66 attractions and gift shops across the state. People can also keep them as souvenirs, like a Disney Dollar, or give them to family and friends. Learn more!
5. Browse Route 66 Gift Shops. Some Arizona favorites include Angel and Velma’s Route 66 Gift Shop (Seligman), Grand Canyon Caverns Gift Shop, Diamond Creek Restaurant Gift Shop (Peach Springs), Hackberry General Store, Memory Lane Gift Shop (Kingman Powerhouse), Cool Springs and several shops in Oatman.
6. Eat in a Route 66 Diner: Mr D'z 66 Diner (Kingman, known for home-made root beer floats), Rutherford's 66 Family Restaurant (Kingman), Westside Lilo’s Cafe (Seligman, known for brats & carrot cake), Snow Cap (Seligman, known for a sense of humor and closed between the week of Thanksgiving and early Spring), Roadkill Cafe (Seligman), Goldies Route 66 Diner (Williams), Cruiser's Route 66 Cafe (Williams), Galaxy Diner (Flagstaff), and Dar's Route 66 Diner (Winslow).
7. Locating and photographing wildflowers along the road is a seasonal activity, but they provide beautiful scenes in the Arizona Desert. Oatman Highway (Route 66 west of Kingman) flowers up as early as February and can remain dotted with color through early May. You might find California poppies, desert prim-rose, globe mallow, daisies and verbena in bloom. Elevations are higher between Peach Springs and Ashfork, and cooler temperatures translate to later flowering cycles. Monsoons often bear brilliant shows of sunflowers in August, September and October.
8. Go RVing (yours or rent one) and travel the Mother Road. Route 66 between Kingman and Ashfork is an RV friendly Highway. Note: the orginal stretch between Kingman and Oatman is not RV friendly. To go west, use Interstrate 40, which follows the Route 66 alginment from 1952 to 1985. As a side note, www.stjo66.de is a fantastic resource website showing Route 66 alignments over the life of the Highway. There are RV Parks in towns along Route 66, such as Kingman. But a few nature sites are also near Route 66, including Hualapai Mountain Park, Grand Canyon Caverns RV Park and the many camp grounds of the Kaibab National Forest.
9. Wild Life viewing, such as the 318 species of birds in Topock Marsh, wild burros along Oatman Highway (Route 66 west of Kingman), or pronghorn, prairie dogs and antelope between Kingman and Seligman.
10. Train watching! Route 66 follows the railroad tracks laid out in the 1880’s, so it’s no wonder there are so many places to pull off and watch today’s steel horses. Some great locations include Topock bridge (the original Old Trails Bridge can be seen here), Old Trails Road (Route 66 pre-1940) where you can position yourself between both sets of tracks, the Kingman Railroad Depot and Powerhouse Visitor Center in Downtown Kingman. Other locations include several pull offs between Hackberry Road and Crozier Canyon, a section of Route 66 just west of Seligman along Aubrey Cliffs, and Old Crookton Road about 4 miles east of Seligman (map links are approximate and may not reflect exactly where a car pull off is accessible).