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11 Great Road Trip Stops on Route 66 in Arizona

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Route 66, also known as the "Mother Road," is a historic route that holds a special place in the hearts of road trippers, history enthusiasts, and those obsessed with the movie Cars, aka me. Stretching across the United States, this iconic road offers a glimpse into America's past, showcasing numerous attractions throughout the entire route. In Arizona, the journey along Route 66 is filled with adventure and captivating sights that will leave you with lasting memories. Let's embark on a road trip through Arizona, discovering the best attractions along this iconic route.

1. Wild Burros and Oatman Ghost Town


Oatman, Arizona

Starting westward, you will encounter your first stop in Oatman, a former gold mining town that now thrives as a ghost town with a unique twist. Here, you can encounter wild burros roaming freely on the streets, adding an extra layer of charm to this peculiar destination. It’s a great place to experience a piece of the Old West! On your visit, stop at a gift shop and pick up some cowboy boots and other Western goods before heading to the saloon for a drink and live music.

2. Historic Hackberry General Store


Highway on Route 66

Your next stop is at the Hackberry General Store - a former gas station turned souvenir shop. It's a popular roadside attraction rich in memorabilia from the heyday of Route 66, offering an opportunity to purchase unique souvenirs and gifts to cherish the memories of your trip. Be sure to get a picture of the iconic mural featuring a Route 66 roadrunner and a Cadillac convertible. You can also pick up a road trip snack here as they have a small convenience store section.

3. Peach Springs and the Grand Canyon Caverns


Skywalk at West Rim Grand Canyon National Park

Peach Springs is another hidden gem along the route, offering access to the Grand Canyon Caverns. These caverns are a series of limestone caves formed millions of years ago when water dissolved the limestone bedrock. If you visit the Grand Canyon Caverns, you will descend underground to explore this vast cave system, an experience that is sure to leave you mesmerized.

While in Peach Springs, visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk. It is a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends 70 feet over the edge of the Grand Canyon, providing an unparalleled view of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. The Skywalk is located about 45 miles from Grand Canyon Caverns. This area is known as the West Rim of the Grand Canyon.

4. Seligman, Arizona, a.k.a., "Little Route 66"



Seligman is a charming town that screams classic Route 66. It proudly embraces its historic roots and offers visitors a delightful journey back in time. Take a stroll along Seligman's historic downtown streets, adorned with vintage neon signs and quirky souvenir shops. This town is often referred to as the "Birthplace of Historic Route 66" due to its significant role in the preservation and promotion of the iconic road.


Personally, I like to call Seligman “Radiator Springs” as there are so many references to the Cars movie in this small town. Here you will find one of the largest Route 66 Murals on Route 66 with Lightning McQueen and Mater on each side. But a few buildings down there is this metal building with a gigantic mural of Lightning McQueen and Mater. It was beautiful - I screamed with excitement as soon as I saw it in the car!

5. Williams, Arizona, the gateway to the Grand Canyon National Park


Lizzie lookalike from the Cars movie in front of a gift shop in Williams, Arizona
Known as the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon," Williams is a charming town and popular stop near the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. Experience the nostalgia of old Route 66 as you explore Williams' historic buildings and roadside attractions. The town's lively Main Street offers numerous dining options, souvenir shops, and even a classic soda fountain. Williams also serves as the departure point for the Grand Canyon Railway, offering a unique train ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

This area is also filled with fun things to do like a short zipline, a mountain coaster, and Bearizona. Bearizona is a drive-thru wildlife park, but it also includes a walk-through wildlife viewing area, a petting zoo, a train ride, and educational programs. It is home to over 80 animals from the American Southwest, including bears, wolves, bison, and mountain lions. You can easily spend a full day exploring this area and grabbing a bite to eat!

6. Exploring the Grand Canyon National Park


Grand Canyon National Park with the Colorado River in the background

You will have to venture off Route 66 to visit the Grand Canyon National Park. However, no journey along Route 66 in Arizona is complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon, one of the natural wonders of the world. With various viewpoints and hiking trails, you will have plenty of opportunities to capture stunning photos and make lasting memories. For more details, check out our blog, Visiting the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

7. Discovering Historic Downtown Flagstaff



As you approach Flagstaff, take a side trip to Walnut Canyon National Monument. Explore the ancient cliff dwellings of the Sinagua people and appreciate the rich history of this region. Once in Flagstaff, enjoy the charm of its historic downtown area, filled with vibrant culture, dining options, and souvenir shops. The Lowell Observatory is also in Flagstaff - you can go stargazing in the evening once you are done exploring. It is one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the United States.

8. Meteor Crater: A Natural Wonder


Meteor Crater 37 mi east of Flagstaff and 18 mi west of Winslow in the desert of northern Arizona

A short detour from Route 66 will lead you to Meteor Crater, a breathtaking impact site created by a meteorite collision about 50,000 years ago. The impact of the meteorite created a crater that is 570 feet deep and nearly a mile wide! Witness the power of nature firsthand at this fascinating location and explore the visitor center to learn more about the history behind this site.

9. Jack Rabbit Trading Post: A Roadside Icon


Route 66 sign painted on the floor

As you continue your journey on Route 66, a must-stop attraction is the Jack Rabbit Trading Post. This iconic roadside stop is famous for its large fiberglass figures of a jackrabbit gesturing at travelers from afar. It's the perfect place to snap a photo op with this distinctive landmark and browse through the souvenir shop for unique gifts to commemorate your adventure along the historic road. The Jack Rabbit Trading Post is a classic example of the unusual and fun roadside attractions that make Route 66 a truly unforgettable road trip experience!

10. Holbrook: A Charming Ghost Town


Wigwam Motel - teepee-shaped cabins

Heading further along the route, you'll encounter the town of Holbrook, a true relic of the past. With its historic buildings and neon signs, this small town is a perfect place to experience the nostalgia of the old Route 66 era. Do not miss the chance to visit the famous Wigwam Motel, a series of teepee-shaped cabins that provide an authentic and memorable overnight stay. These teepee-shaped cabins inspired the creators of the movie Cars to create the Cozy Cone Motel! Holbrook is also home to the Route 66 Museum.

11. Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert Inn


Petrified Forest National Park

As you venture through Arizona on Route 66, one of the last must-visit attractions in the east is Petrified Forest National Park. The park is renowned for its petrified wood, the remains of trees fossilized over millions of years. Within the park, you'll discover the Painted Desert—a colorful landscape of badlands and mesas that resembles a stunning portrait.

Additionally, you'll find Painted Desert Inn, a historic hotel nestled within the national park. Be sure to take a stroll through this remarkable inn—it once operated as a fully functioning hotel but now serves as a museum, full of geological history.

Life is a Highway and we wanna ride it all night long!


Road sign that reads Arizona US 66

Arizona's Route 66 offers an unforgettable journey through time, with its historic landmarks, scenic vistas, charming towns, and nods to the Cars movie. So, gather your road-tripping gear and adventure along the Mother Road, where you will find the perfect blend of nostalgia, culture, and breathtaking sights! We hope you enjoy the scenic drive on one of the most famous routes in the country!

Have you been to any of these places on Route 66 in Arizona? If so, let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear about your trip! If you have not gone, is it on your bucket list of places to visit now? Let us know in the comments below and share this article with the person or people you want to go with! Either way, SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!


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