Guide to Exploring Iconic Route 66 Attractions and Landmarks
What is Route 66?
Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, Main Street of America is a historic highway in the US that runs from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. It spans approximately 2,449 miles and is one of the original highways within the US Highway system and is known as the Mother Road.
It was the first road that helped connect people and goods from the Midwest all the way to the West Coast and was popular in the 30s and 40s. People were able to experience the diverse landscapes and cultures of America. Along the Route, you would find many attractions and landmarks that included diners, motels, gas stations, and roadside attractions.
Route 66 is famous for its role in American culture and history, as it is the subject of countless songs, books, movies, and TV shows. Many portions of the Route still exist and have become beloved symbols of American nostalgia.
Route 66 Texas Attractions
Amarillo is the largest city on the 178-mile portion of Route 66 that goes from Oklahoma to Texas and into New Mexico. Even though Amarillo takes the cake for being the largest city, there are things to see and do in both directions on the Mother Road. Now located along I-40 in Amarillo, Cadillac Ranch and the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Microbrewery are two famous Route 66 attractions that were uprooted from their original Route 66 locations in order to attract more visitors. Another notable Route 66 - related attraction that is in Amarillo but not on Route 66 is Bill's Backyard Classics. There you will find Bill Pratt's classic car collection of more than 100 cars and trucks of all of makes and models from 1920 to 2012. West of Amarillo, you will find the famous Midpoint Cafe - located at the midpoint of Route 66. East of Amarillo, you will find the iconic Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe in Shamrock, TX. Built in 1936, the Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe are now one of Route 66's most recognizable historic buildings.
Things to See on Route 66 in Texas
To help you make the most of your journey, we've compiled a list of the top ten must-see spots along this legendary route. So buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable experience! And for those looking for a well-planned itinerary, be sure to check out our suggested Route 66 in Texas itinerary below to make the most of your trip. Without further ado, here’s a quick roundup of some of the top ten spots to visit on Route 66 in Texas:
- Cadillac Ranch
- Pioneer West Museum
- U-Drop Inn Cafe
- Leaning Tower of Texas
- Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ
- Slug Bug Ranch
- The Big Texan Steak Ranch
- Phillips 66 Gas Station
- Devil's Rope Museum
Be sure to check out our suggested itinerary below to make the most of your Texas road trip through Route 66. Hit the road, and let the adventure begin!
Texas Route 66 Festival | June 1-10, 2023
Route 66, the road that shaped America, is turning 100 years old in 2026! The annual Texas Route 66 Festival will kick off years of celebrations starting in 2023 leading up to the centennial of Historic Route 66. The next festival will be held June 6 - 15, 2024.
The ten days are packed with events along the Texas route including classic car shows, Texas Route 66 bus tours, cattle drives, parades, music festivals, and a grand finale festival on Amarillo’s Route 66 Historic District.
Collect the Texas Route 66 Coins: The Route 66 Passport
Embark on an extraordinary journey through legendary Route 66 with the Texas Route 66 Coin Passport. Unveil the magic of Texas as you traverse the iconic East and West stretches of the highway, collecting nine uniquely crafted coins along the way. Explore hidden gems, embrace the spirit of adventure, and unlock the stories of each coin, making this experience an unforgettable ode to the spirit of the open road.
Route 66 Itinerary
Texas Route 66 Itinerary by Amarillo CVB
Amarillo's Route 66 Historic District
The official Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo is located on 6th Ave. between Georgia & Western Streets. In the district, visitors will find over one mile of art galleries, antique shops, collectible stores, craft and specialty shops, restaurants and bars. Not only was Route 66 the Mother Road of America, but this district was one of the first residential and business districts in Amarillo.
Top Route 66 Attractions: Where to Get Your Kicks in Amarillo's Historic Route 66 District