10 stops along Route 66 between Kingman and Los Angeles

If you're planning a road trip to the US west coast, you simply must drive the iconic Route 66, also known as the Mother Road and the Main Street of America because, back in the day, all secondary roads converged there. 

Route 66 stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles, and many travellers choose to spend a night in the town of Kingman, to get an early start the next day for the last leg of the drive.

Discover 10 must-see stops along the way!
 

Map of the 10 stops

10 stops between Kingman and Los Angeles Route 66
Map of the 10 stops along Route 66 between Kingman and Los Angeles

 

:pin: emoji Kingman
 

Although the stretch of Route 66 from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon may be more popular, this is where you will find the historical heart of Route 66.


#1. MR D’Z ROUTE 66 DINER 


Start your day on the right foot with breakfast at an old-fashioned American diner, where time seems to have stood still since the 1960s.

Mr. D'z American Diner
Quintessential American diner along Route 66 

It doesn't get more typical than this!


#2. POWERHOUSE ROUTE 66 MUSEUM 


After breakfast, pay a visit to the Route 66 Museum, which depicts the historical evolution of travel along the mythical road through paintings, life-size dioramas, photos, and other creations. 

The museum is located in a hundred-year-old building called the Powerhouse.

Back in the day, the building powered many mines in the region, and also supplied power for the construction of Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River. 

If you have any questions, this is your chance, as the building also houses an Arizona Visitor Information Centre


#3. COOL SPRINGS STATION 


Built in the mid-1920s, this service station was an important stop for motorists in the early days of Route 66.

It was completely destroyed by fire in the 1960s. 

For the next quarter of a century, it was just a crumbling stone relic.

Cool Springs Station
Cool Springs Station is a classic Route 66 destination

The building was completely rebuilt in 2001.

Today it houses a gift shop selling all kinds of Route 66 souvenirs and memorabilia


:pin: emoji Oatman
 

Next, set a course for the ghost town of Oatman!

Along the way, you'll drive through the most beautiful, but also the most hair-raising, stretch of the Mother Road

Old Route 66
Old Route 66 offers stunning desert scenery

The landscapes in this area are simply magnificent. 


#4. SITGREAVES PASS 


7 km before Oatman, you will cross the famous Sitgreaves Pass, which rises to an elevation of 1,080 m

Sitegreave Pass on Route 66
Sitegreaves Pass

The pass is peppered with many small crosses, similar to those found in a cemetery

They are memorials for the deceased (even pets!), whose ashes have been scattered here. 


#5. VILLAGE OF OATMAN 


Continue on to the tourist village, which was a bustling town and home to thousands of miners during the Gold Rush Era.

Oatman tourist village
Oatman tourist village

Today the town has less than 130 inhabitants, but it welcomes more than 500,000 tourists each year and boasts souvenir shops, a hotel, restaurants and more. 

During your visit, you're sure to see some of the famous wild burros, descendants of the beasts of burden brought to the area by prospectors in days gone by.

Wild burros of Oatman
The stars of the ghost town

 

:pin: emoji Newberry Springs
 

Now it's time to head for Newberry Springs. 

If the name of the town doesn't ring a bell, its main attraction, the Bagdad Cafe, probably does!


#6. ROY’S MOTEL & CAFÉ 


Along the way, make a stop at Roy’s Motel & Café, open since 1938

Roy's Motel & Café
Roy's Motel & Café 

While the place is an historical landmark in its own right, the real reason to stop at Roy’s is the Route 66 sign painted on the road.  

As there are only a few of them left, this is your chance to take one of the most iconic photos of your trip to the American West.

Park your car at the gas station, and watch out for passing vehicles during your photo session!

Route 66 sign in front of Roy's Motel & Café
Route 66 sign in front of Roy's Motel & Café


#7. BAGDAD CAFE


Once you've taken your photo, drive another 92 kilometres, during which you won't see much except for desert scenery

An hour later, you'll reach the Bagdad Cafe, the famous cafe from the Percy Adlon film of the same name

The cafe used to be called the Sidewinder Cafe and was renamed seven years after the film's release. The film was particularly popular in France, where it won a César Award for Best Foreign Film.

Bagdad Cafe
Bagdad Cafe

Today, French tourists make up 70% of the restaurant's business, and allow the establishment to survive.

In fact, the walls, ceiling and upright piano are covered with notes, photos, postcards, business cards and other mementos from passing travellers.

While you're there, why not have a coffee and a bite to eat.

 

:pin: emoji Calico
 

A few kilometres past the Bagdad Café, take a short detour off Route 66 to visit one of the most popular ghost towns on the American West Coast. 


#8. CALICO GHOST TOWN 


Founded in 1881, the former mining town of Calico had more 500 silver mines in its heyday.

A few years later, when the price of silver dropped, the population quickly declined

Aerial view of Calico ghost town
Aerial view of Calico ghost town

The town was completely abandoned by 1907, then purchased and restored in the 1950s to turn it into a Wild West themed tourist site.
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For an entrance fee, it is possible to visit a restoration worthy of the greatest American westerns, and several period buildings

It is definitely one of the top 5 ghost towns in the USA. 

Historic buildings in the tourist village
Historic buildings in the tourist village


:pin: emoji Santa Monica 
 

It's time for a final 3-hour drive to Santa Monica, a luxury seaside resort town just west of downtown Los Angeles.


#9. SANTA MONICA PIER 


The very lively Santa Monica Pier marks the official end point of the legendary Route 66

There you will find the iconic "66 - End of the Trail" sign

Last stop of Route 66, Santa Monica Pier
Last stop of Route 66, Santa Monica Pier

Afterwards, get comfy on the beach and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Monica Beach at sunset with a view of Pacific Park
Santa Monica Beach at sunset with a view of Pacific Park


#10. PACIFIC PARK 


In the evening, make your way to Pacific Park, Santa Monica's famous amusement park

It's a typically American way to end the day on a high note!

 

And there you go!

What other must-see stops would you add to this list? 

Don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Karolane Lessard

An enthusiast of both our vibrant cities & great oudoors, my life revolves around travel & adventure. It's a no brainer that I have to share the wonders & secrets of my neck of the woods with other travelling souls. Enjoy the journey!

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