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Route 66

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

3104 E Camelback Rd PMB #2100, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Phoenix stretch of Route 66 during one of the cooler months; the desert heat can be intense in summer, but it's perfect for road trips in the spring and autumn. Also, there's a hidden gem just off the route - The Rusty Bolt, a quirky store with vintage memorabilia that's easily missed if you don't keep an eye out for the distinctive row of mannequins on its roof."

What is Route 66?

Route 66, affectionately known as the "Mother Road," is an emblem of American motoring heritage that has captured the imagination of travelers the world over. This storied highway once ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, covering a distance of approximately 2,448 miles. Although it was officially removed from the U.S. Highway System in 1985, the spirit of Route 66 remains alive, especially in cities like Phoenix, Arizona, where portions of the historic road invite you to indulge in a slice of classic Americana.

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History of Route 66

Established in 1926, Route 66 played a pivotal role in America's history during its heyday. It served as a major path for migrants fleeing the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, symbolizing hope and the promise of a better future out west. During World War II, Route 66 facilitated the movement of troops and equipment, and post-war, it witnessed the boom of the American road trip culture. Many businesses thrived along its length, from motels to diners, forever etching the route into the national psyche as a symbol of freedom and adventure.

In Phoenix, Route 66 stretched across what is today known as Grand Avenue, connecting the heart of Downtown Phoenix to the larger Route 66 network. Over time, with the advent of modern freeways, the prominence of the old road waned, but the lore of its significance did not. In the Grand Avenue area, one can still find whispers of the past where historic buildings and cultural touchpoints speak to Phoenix's place along the 'Main Street of America.'

Why is Route 66 Important?

Route 66 holds a significant place in American cultural and historical landscapes. It embodies the American spirit of exploration, depicting a period when the car became an icon of independence, and the open road a canvas for personal discovery. For communities along its path, including Phoenix, Route 66 brought commerce, exposure, and a connection to the broader nation. Even in its decommissioned state, it continues to drive nostalgic tourism, bringing life to historic districts and igniting a passion for preservation.

Today, the importance of Route 66 also lies in the collective efforts to preserve this heritage. It's not merely a road; it's a living museum of the 20th century American experience. Steeped in a sense of vintage charm, it's also a badge of honor for cities like Phoenix to count themselves among the custodians of history that Route 66 represents. For many, the Mother Road is a symbol of simpler times and the optimism of past generations that's still relevant in today's fast-paced world.

Things to Do & See at Route 66

In Phoenix, Route 66 nostalgia can be soaked up along Grand Avenue, which is the alignment the road took through the city. This corridor is rich with quirky art galleries, eclectic boutiques, and restaurants that serve up a hearty slice of the past. Visitors can start at the historic district and wander through unique establishments that celebrate the legacy of the Mother Road. In certain areas, you may find commemorative signage prompting recollections of the old road's glory days.

While Route 66 does not dominate the Phoenix landscape as it does in other historic towns, enthusiasts can venture out on day trips to nearby stretches of the road. Heading towards Northern Arizona, the iconic Route 66 towns of Flagstaff and Winslow offer a more complete and authentic Route 66 experience. In Phoenix itself, classic car shows and Route 66 themed events occasionally take place, often drawing crowds of aficionados and curious tourists alike.

For those interested in the cultural aspect, some hotels and buildings in Phoenix are reinventions or stand as tributes to the Route 66 era. Keep your eyes peeled for neon signs, vintage architecture, and murals that invoke the spirit of the road. For the intrepid traveler, diving into the local scene to uncover these hidden gems is part of the adventure. And if you're willing to go beyond the city limits, a stretch of the original Route 66 pavement can still be driven on, offering a tangible link to the past and a timeless route for road trip dreams.

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Frequently asked questions

What is Route 66 and how is it associated with Phoenix?

Route 66, also known as the Mother Road or Main Street of America, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. It passed through eight states, including Arizona, where it ran through the city of Phoenix. The historic route is famous for its role in American cultural history.

Where can I find historic Route 66 landmarks in Phoenix?

In Phoenix, you can find several historic landmarks that are remnants of the original Route 66. These include vintage motels, gas stations, and other establishments that date back to the route's heyday.

What are some Route 66-themed attractions to visit in Phoenix?

Phoenix offers a range of Route 66-themed attractions such as the Arizona Route 66 Museum, classic diners, and vintage shops where you can experience the nostalgia of the Route 66 era.

Are there guided tours available for Route 66 in Phoenix?

Yes, guided tours are available which can take you through the historic sections of Route 66 in Phoenix, providing insights into its history and significance.

What is the best time of year to visit Route 66 in Phoenix?

The best time to visit Route 66 in Phoenix is during the fall or spring when the weather is more temperate and comfortable for road trips and outdoor activities.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

3104 E Camelback Rd PMB #2100, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps