The Sunflower State features several amazing Route 66 attractions to see with a unique story at each stop. Did you know that a service station in Kansas inspired a character in a famous Pixar movie? If you love all things history, be sure to check out these historic locations next time you drive U.S. Route 66 through Kansas!
Cars on the Route
At the end of Main Street in Galena, KS you will find the old Kan-O-Tex service station that is now known as, Cars on the Route. This service station is home to Tow Tater, who was the inspiration for the character Tow Mater in the movie Cars. This stop celebrates the connection between Route 66 and the movie Cars. They sell sandwiches, snacks, antiques, and memorabilia.
Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store
The Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store has been in operation since 1925. It is well-known around the world as one of the most authentic, working 75-year-old stores of its kind along U.S. Highway 66. Inside, the old-time deli that serves sandwiches is a must-stop for lunch! They also carry a selection of groceries, products, Route 66 memorabilia, and locally handmade items.
Sugar Creek Diner & Bakery
The owners of the Sugar Creek Diner & Bakery originally were the operators of the now-closed Angels on the Route restaurant in Baxter Springs, KS. This new restaurant is also on Route 66 in Galena, KS. Sugar Creek offers a full menu, catering, baked goods, and gourmet coffee. Make sure to stop by for lunch or to grab some delicious bakery items!
Brush Creek Bridge
The Brush Creek Bridge in Baxter Springs is the sole surviving bridge of its type on the entire length of Route 66. It was built in 1923 and has been repainted multiple times in a beautiful shade of white. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 which ensures that it will always be preserved and enjoyed by many motorists and pedestrians.
Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station
After the Great Depression, many surviving oil companies rebranded their properties to make them more identifiable to customers. One of the strategies was to make their properties blend in with the local community to give them a homey feel. The Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and is now used as the Kansas Route 66 Visitors Center.
Galena Mining & Historical Museum
As you leave Gelena heading west, keep your eyes peeled to the right and notice an old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad station. You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but this building is home to the Galena Mining & Historical Museum. It is full of mineral samples, mining equipment, and oil paintings.
Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum
The Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum is built up of 20,000 square feet of exhibits celebrating the history of the city. The exhibits include Native American, The Civil War, 1870s Boardwalk, World War I, World War II, Historic Route 66, and more.