This iconic little town can proudly say that it is the birthplace of America’s main street, Route 66. And, in 1987, old Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman was declared Historical Route 66. Full of retro shops, diners, and motels, it’s the perfect place to start a Route 66 road trip.
1. Tour the Return to the 50s Museum
On the inside and outside of this little gem you’ll find vintage cars and motorcycles, as well as other Route 66 and 1950s memorabilia. Step out of time and into this old converted gas station; here you’ll learn about the history of Seligman and Route 66, and you might even get to see Tow Mater, and other characters from the Disney-Pixar movie Cars.
Return to the 50s Museum
Address: 22325 West Historic Route 66, Seligman, AZ 86337
2. Browse the specialty shops
Seligman may be a small town, but there are plenty of special gift shops to visit. Angel and Vilma Delgadillo’s Route 66 Gift Shop has been around for a long time — in fact, this family owned and operated business was the first store to start carrying “Route 66 themed items.” Historic Seligman Sundries is on the Register of National Historic Places, and acts as a visitor’s center on top of being the town’s only coffee bar (plus, they have a vintage soda fountain). The mannequin-decorated Rusty Bolt is another unique gift shop — some may even say “quirky” — with lots of cool photo ops. And then there’s the Route 66 General Store; obviously, there’s some Route 66 memorabilia here, too, but it is really a general store — your “one-stop shopping with everything you need from snack items, hardware, propane, souvenirs to hunting and fishing supplies.”
Route 66 General Store
Address: 22940 W. Hwy. 66, Seligman, AZ 86337
Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm daily
Website: Route 66 General Store
3. Check out the Motoporium
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Another place with vintage cars and motorcycles — but hey, what would Historic Route 66 be without vintage cars and motorcycles? This Route 66 memorabilia and souvenir shop has custom-made T-shirts and artwork. For those who like antiques, it’s sure to be an interesting browse. If anything, you can stop in for a free cup of coffee (part of the Motoporium’s hospitality policy), or to see a life-size Elvis statue.
Route 66 Motoporium
Address: 22385 Old Highway 66, Seligman, AZ 86337
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
Website: Route 66 Motoporium
4. See the historical 1860 Arizona Territorial Jail
A sign outside the Arizona Territorial Jail reads that the jail once corralled “such notorious outlaws as Seligman Sam, Three-Finger Jack, James Younger, and many more.” In 1866, a few Navajo Native Americans once escaped it via tunneling to the O.K. Saloon, but they were later killed after a gun battle with the marshall Carl ‘Curley’ Bane. Accounts of the people of who were once held in the jail vary (what’s on the Seligman website doesn’t match what’s on the sign), but it certainly is interesting.
Arizona Territorial Jail
Address: 502 W Highway 66, Seligman, AZ
Opening Hours: 24/7
Nearby Food: Roadkill Café
5. Eat at the notorious Roadkill Café
Going along the with the roadkill theme of “You kill it, we grill it,” the Roadkill Café/O.K. Saloon serves specials such as “Deer Delectables, Bad-Brake Steak, Fender Tenders, Caddie Grilled Patty, Splatter Platter, Swirl of Squirrel, Big Bagged Stag, Highway Hash,” and their famous char-broiled burgers. They say it’s just as much fun to order your food as it is to eat it!
Address: 22830 W Route 66, Seligman, AZ
Price: from 11 to 30 USD
Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Closed on public holidays.
Website: Roadkill Café
6. Stay at the Historic Route 66 Motel
This newly renovated hotel right on Historic Route 66 boasts that it’s only a 2-hour drive from the Grand Canyon, and is also a convenient distance from other Arizona attractions. Rooms include free Wi-Fi, a phone, satellite TV, refrigerator, and coffee bar. It’s also right across the street from the Roadkill Café/O.K. Saloon.
Historic Route 66 Motel
Address: 22750 Route 66, Seligman, AZ
Price: from 65 USD
7. Or spend the night in the Grand Canyon Caverns
If you’re looking for an unusual place to sleep, this is definitely the place for you. Be on the lookout for a sign that says “Caverns Inn,” because that’s all you’ll see — the inn is actually 220 feet (67 m) underground! Accessible via elevator, the caverns are the “largest dry caverns in the country,” and are a popular spot with RV-ers. Above ground, there’s also “a classic vintage motel, a diner, a gift shop, lots of photo-ops, and even a rodeo ring that often hosts cowboy round-ups.” If you’re lucky enough to discover this little gem between the towns of Seligman and Kingman, I highly recommend checking it out — but if you want to stay here, you’ve got to move fast because reservations are limited! Fear not if you don’t want a room; you can also tour the caverns.
Grand Canyon Caverns
Address: 16500 E Highway 66, Peach Springs, Arizona 86434 USA
Price: from 100 USD
Contact: 928-422-3223; for a cavern tour call 855-498-6969
Hit the "Mother Road"
If you love road trips, historical sites, retro towns, or all of the above, Seligman is the perfect place for you. Whether you’re traveling the “Mother Road” or driving cross-country, there is no doubt that the place where Route 66 started should be on your list of stops. What are you waiting for? Get your kicks on Route 66.
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