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Route 66

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If you spend enough time driving Route 66 and learning about the highlights along the way, you’ll inevitably stumble upon the El Rancho Hotel and its movie star history. When we found ourselves driving through the American Southwest, we couldn’t resist staying a night. Located right on Route 66 in Gallup, New Mexico, this historic hotel is not only a fun place to sleep, it’s also a fun Route 66 attraction that will have you looking in every nook and cranny for its surprises. History of El Rancho Hotel In the 1930s, a man named R.E. Griffith, known as Griff, came to Gallup. He liked the area enough that he decided to build a hotel, so he hired Joe Massaglia to build the hotel on Route 66. In 1936, the hotel was completed. Griff’s brother, movie director D.W. Griffith, used the hotel to house movie stars and production crews that…

When traveling along Route 66, it’s fun to stop at the various roadside attractions you’ll encounter, both original to when Route 66 was in its prime and the newer stops that have resulted in renewed interest in Route 66. Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is one of those newer attractions. Located about 50 miles south of Springfield, Illinois, in Staunton, we found the ranch to be a well-timed stop when we made our trip home from Springfield to Joplin. And it’s a lot of fun! Henry’s Rabbit Ranch: A Little Background Rich Henry, the owner of Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, launched the attraction in 1999 after he came to the rescue of his daughter who needed help with her rabbits that had multiplied. Rich was glad to help, and eventually, the rabbits made their home at the ranch. Over the years, rabbits have come and gone. You can even pay your respects in…

Few places scream “summertime” like a drive-in movie, and luckily, 66 Drive-In is one of the few still in operation. Located outside of Carthage, Missouri, along historic Route 66, this drive-in promises family fun under the stars. 66 Drive-In 66 Drive-In: 17231 Old 66 Boulevard, Carthage, Missouri Since we live in nearby Joplin, we arrive from the west. It’s important to arrive early to be sure you can get in, especially when the movie offerings are popular. If you wait too long, you will find yourself in a line of traffic waiting your turn to pull into 66 Drive-In. The drive-in is only open three days–Friday, Saturday, and Sunday–during the summer. Currently, the prices are $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids. Compared to indoor movie prices, that’s a bargain! And you get to see two films if you wish. One thing to note–you must pay cash to get in,…

My family tends to look for the interesting and quirky when we travel. When we started planning a road trip that included the U. S. Southwest and some national parks, I knew we should try to snag a reservation at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. We were lucky to get one, and I do recommend a reservation. They don’t have a lot of rooms. So sit back and relax, and I’ll tell you the story of our night in Holbrook. The History of the Wigwam Motel I’d always wanted to stay in one of the Wigwam Motels. At one time, the United States was home to seven Wigwam Motels with the location in Holbrook known as Village 6. Besides the one in Holbrook, only two others remain in operation: Cave City, Kentucky, and San Bernadino, California. Frank Redford built the first one, located in Cave City, in 1933.  He…

If you’re taking a road trip in the Southwest, and you’re traveling along Route 66 or nearby, why not stay at a historic Route 66 roadside motel, like the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico? For this road trip, we opted for unique and nostalgic lodging, and we couldn’t have had more fun taking in the details and imagining what it used to be like to travel America’s iconic highway just a few decades ago. Blue Swallow Motel: The Property The lobby of the Blue Swallow is like a time capsule. You’ll see all kinds of details from yesteryear, and if you look closely, you’ll see items from other locations along Route 66. I was surprised to see a pop bottle from Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, Illinois. The fireplace is fun to check out, too. So cozy! The property is intimate and adorable. When the neon comes on in…

We’d like to thank Visit Springfield for hosting our visit to Cozy Dog Drive In.  As usual, all opinions are honest and our own. If you come to Springfield, Illinois, to check out the Abraham Lincoln attractions, don’t forget to put some old Route 66 highlights on your itinerary. One of the best Route 66 stops in Illinois is the Cozy Dog Drive In.  You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1950s as you enjoy the original fresh-dipped corn dog on a stick. Cozy Dog History According to the history page on the Cozy Dog website, Ed Waldmire, Jr. and his wife, began selling the corn dogs on a stick in Springfield in 1946.  These Cozy Dogs also made their first appearance at the Illinois State Fair later that year.  Before he began selling the version on a stick, Waldmire had tasted a dish in which hot…

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