The golden state of California may be best known for pretty beaches and movie stars, but did you know that along this state’s strip of Route 66 lies some of the oldest, most historic, and wondrous destinations? California is the last stop when traveling east to west along Route 66, so before you end your road trip be sure to check out one of these ten stops.
Bottle Tree Ranch
Located in Helendale, California, Bottle Tree Ranch combines a mixture of “bottle trees”, old road signs, broken rifles, retro toys and more. This attraction is sure to provide a quirky, yet memorable experience to kids and adults alike. This spot is open from dawn until dusk, and donations are welcomed at entry. Come stretch your legs and take a picture of one of the many tree-shaped sculptures made from glass bottles and vintage items.
Calico Ghost Town
Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore from their 500 mines in a 12 year time period. However, the town lost its population when silver’s value declined in the 1890s. When the miners left and abandoned this area, this town became a “ghost town.” Today Calico Ghost Town features mine tours, gunfight stunt shows, gold panning, the Calico & Odessa Railroad and various merchandise stores.
This Amboy Crater is an extinct volcano located 1.5 miles south of Route 66 near the town of Amboy. This volcano is roughly 79,000 years old and its last eruption was about 10,000 years ago. The drive to this spot is absolutely astonishing and offers some of the most amazing scenery. Make sure to bring a camera because the sunsets here are some of the best!
Hollywood has a lot to offer, but when visiting this famous city, be sure to check out Kodak Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the iconic Hollywood sign, and the many stars along the walk of fame. Although this area is known for being very touristy, it is easily made justifiable by the amount of things to do, places to see and attractions nearby. If spotting celebrities, joining a guided bus tour of movie stars’ homes or touring
Warner Bros Studios interests you, this stop is for you!
Galco’s Old World Grocery
This attraction is dedicated to the art of soda pop and supporting the various small businesses behind each bubbly bottle. Galco’s Soda Pop Stop features over 700 flavors of pop at its Los Angeles storefront and nationwide thanks to its online shop. There is a rainbow of soda colors, and most of them are in glass bottles.
Built in 1949, this motel is the final of seven Wigwam Motels originally constructed and one of the only three still in existence. This friendly motel features 19 refurbished wigwams, renovated by the Patel family, who were awarded the National Historic Route 66 Federation’s 2005 Cyrus Avery Award due to their efforts in the restoration of this landmark. It is a great example of Americana and makes for the perfect stay in San Bernardino, California.
Original McDonald’s Museum
This McDonald’s restaurant opened in 1940 and changed the face of fast food forever. The location is packed with original menus, news articles and memorabilia. The museum does a wonderful job at documenting the history of such an iconic and loved restaurant. There are also exhibits that represent all corners of the world, displaying thousands of items such as Happy Meal toys and historical artifacts.
Cucamonga Service Station
The Cucamonga Service Station is a historic gas and automobile service station built in 1915 located in Rancho Cucamonga. After closing in the 1970s, it was renovated and reopened as a museum in 2015, making it a worthwhile visit for those who want to get a sense of how much times have changed in the last 100 years. Gas stations definitely aren’t like this anymore!
Route 66 “Mother Road” Museum
This museum is ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Barstow, California. It is home to a large collection of historical artifacts of the “Mother Road” Route 66 and the Mojave Desert communities. Be sure to check out the retro jukebox and gift shop filled with books, DVDs and a wide selection of gifts.
Santa Monica Pier
Where is Route 66 in California? In 2009, the Route 66 Alliance and the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation came together and decided that the end of the iconic pier would be the western terminus of Route 66. It is now marked by a sign that says, “The End of the Trail”, and is a very popular photo location for travelers. This sign is actually a replica of the one that once stood on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Ocean Ave before its
mysterious disappearance 50 years ago.