Historic Route 66 runs more than 2,400 miles across the country. Just 178 miles of those are in the Texas Panhandle – but there’s still plenty to see.
Thousands of people are expected to do just that in mid-July for the annual Route 66 Festival. It’s been held in cities up and down the Mother Road and this year it’s hosted by Shamrock, Texas. Roadies will come from around the world to bask in the marvels of old Route 66. But even if you don’t make it to the festival, you can enjoy a trip on the Texas portion of this iconic road anytime. Here are some highlights;
Shamrock is home to the U-Drop Inn, a classic gas station that was an inspiration for the Disney movie, “Cars.” The U-Drop is also home to a historic Route 66 museum.
Down the road is McLean, Texas, and another Route 66 museum. Although this one also shares space with a “Devil’s Rope” museum – dedicated to all things barbed wire. McLean is also is home to the first Phillips 66 station in Texas.
There’s another Phillips 66 Super Station in Alanreed. It’s iconic, but unrestored.
In Groom, Texas, you’ll find a leaning water tower and the much newer Cross at Groom.
Amarillo is the largest Texas city on historic Route 66 and features a mile-long district on Sixth Street with lots of original architecture, new clubs and restaurants and great antique and gallery shopping. The Big Texan Steak Ranch is on the east side of town and the Cadillac Ranch is just west of town.
Further west, Vega, Texas is home to the Milburn-Price Culture Museum, while Adrian is the midpoint of Route 66. The Midpoint Café (open April-October) is a great stopping point for roadies.
And Glen Rio, Texas is a real ghost town on the Texas-New Mexico border. It is Exit 0 off Interstate 40 and features the remnant of a First Motel/Last Motel in Texas sign.
You can learn more about these and other Texas destinations in the travel issue of Texas Lifestyle magazine.