A reader over the weekend asked me what are some of the “new” businesses or attractions on Route 66 in the past 10 years or so.
Naturally, this sort of question sent me down a rabbit hole of research for hours. I set the “new” criteria as the post-“Cars” era — since the 2006 release of the Disney-Pixar animated film about Route 66 that caused a new surge of tourists on the Mother Road. It seemed like a good starting point.
These “new” places could be built from scratch — Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma, a good example — or revived places that once were closed or very moribund.
I left off many restaurants, simply because restaurants come and go. But I added a few that were historically significant (Palms Grill Cafe) or repurposed (Standard Diner). Ditto for the hotels and motels I’ve listed.
I didn’t even delve into the microbreweries that have opened across America in the past decade, which could be a whole new listing.
I anticipated going into this project there would be two dozen “new” attractions on Route 66. I ended up with over 50, and I’m confident I missed a few. This shows you Route 66’s continuing ability to reinvent and revitalize itself.
Here’s the list. Feel free to add any in the comments section that may have been overlooked:
- Pontiac-Oakland Museum, Pontiac, Illinois.
- McLean Depot Train Shop, McLean, Illinois.
- Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta, Illinois.
- Colaw Rooming House, Atlanta, Illinois.
- Sprague’s Super Service Station, Normal, Illinois.
- Cruisin’ With Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center, Bloomington, Illinois.
- The Mill museum, Lincoln, Illinois.
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois.
- Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, Litchfield, Illinois.
- Jensen’s Point, Pacific, Missouri.
- Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba, Missouri.
- The FourWay, Cuba, Missouri.
- Route 66 Red Rocker, Fanning, Missouri.
- Vacuum Cleaner Museum, St. James, Missouri.
- Gillioz Theatre, Springfield, Missouri.
- Route 66 Roadside Park, Springfield, Missouri.
- History Museum on the Square, Springfield, Missouri.
- Guy Mace’s Route 66 Car Museum, Springfield, Missouri.
- Boots Motel, Carthage, Missouri.
- Joplin 66 Hostel, Joplin, Missouri.
- Enlight Inn, Joplin, Missouri.
- Route 66 Mural Park, Joplin, Missouri.
- Cars on the Route, Galena, Kansas.
- Galena’s Haunted Bordello, Galena, Kansas.
- Kansas Route 66 Visitors Center, Baxter Springs, Kansas.
- Mickey Mantle statue, Commerce, Oklahoma.
- Allen’s Fillin’ Station, Commerce, Oklahoma.
- Route 66 Vintage Iron, Miami, Oklahoma.
- Campbell Hotel, Tulsa.
- Meadow Gold neon sign, Tulsa.
- Woody Guthrie Center, Tulsa.
- Cyrus Avery Memorial Plaza, Tulsa.
- Route 66 Village, Tulsa.
- Route 66 Interpretive Center, Chandler, Oklahoma.
- Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, Warwick, Oklahoma.
- POPS, Arcadia, Oklahoma.
- Tower Theatre, Oklahoma City.
- Heartland of American Heritage Museum, Weatherford, Oklahoma.
- Russell’s Travel Center, Endee, New Mexico.
- New Mexico Route 66 Museum, Tucumcari, New Mexico.
- Motel Safari, Tucumcari, New Mexico.
- Roadrunner Lodge, Tucumcari, New Mexico.
- Hotel Parq Central, Albuquerque.
- Standard Diner, Albuquerque.
- Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque.
- The L Motel, Flagstaff, Arizona.
- Motel DuBeau, Flagstaff, Arizona.
- Zettler’s Route 66, Ash Fork, Arizona.
- Bearizona, Williams, Arizona.
- El Travatore Motel, Kingman, Arizona.
- Powerhouse Visitors Center, Kingman, Arizona.
- Cindy’s Restaurant, Los Angeles.
- Clifton’s Cafeteria, Los Angeles.
(Hat tip to Brennan Matthews; image of the 66-foot-tall LED soda bottle Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma, by natalie419 via Flickr)