Long before Route 66 was commissioned in the 1920s, settlers used the Beale Wagon Road to move west. Route 66 traced the same route used by the Beale Wagon Road through Arizona. The Arizona Route 66 Museum, located in a former Kingman power plant, recalls the history of the route from horse-and-buggy days to the Route 66 heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s. Read more
We expected to see the National Route 66 Museum. What we got were four museums in one:
- National Route 66 Museum
- National Transportation Museum
- Old Town Museum
- Farm & Ranch Museum
The National Transportation Museum keeps to the nostalgic Route 66 theme. Here you’ll find vintage cars cut in half. Slide behind the wheel or in the back seat and watch classic movie trailers at a Route 66 Drive-In theater.
A vintage trailer, motorcycles and an airplane are displayed, as is a 1917 fire engine complete next to a fireman’s pole. I was tempted to slide down the pole until Skip reminded me that I’m still getting over an ankle injury.
We spent over an hour in the complex but could have spent at least double that time to see everything. What a bargain at only $5 per person ($4 for seniors, AAA members and children 6-16; free for children 5 and under).
The National Route 66 Museum Complex is located at 2717 W Highway 66 in Elk City, Oklahoma. Check the web site for hours.
Photos by Skip Reed and Connie Reed
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People from all over the world come to the United States each year to drive Historic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. Although many sights once along the Mother Road no longer exist, including much of the pavement itself, several businesses are making a comeback, either in their original states or as museums. One such business is The Palms Grill Café in Atlanta, Illinois. The diner has been fully restored to look as it did when it opened in 1934. The diner, including home-style entrees and fresh-baked pies, creates an authentic Route 66 dining experience. Read more