A cross-country road trip wouldn’t be complete without going through the great state of Texas. There are several unique stops along the U.S. Hwy Route 66 tucked away from the major Texas cities that will take your breath away. Here is a list of sights to see in the Lone Star State, and don’t forget to stop in Amarillo for the 72oz steak challenge!
Route 66 Midpoint
If you are traveling Route 66 from east to west, the “geo-mathematical” Midpoint of Route 66 will be marked by a sign on your right, across from the Midpoint Cafe. This cafe is one of the oldest continually-operating cafes on Route 66. Besides being a great photo opportunity, travelers will find that Adrian, Texas is also a great place to stop and stretch their legs.
Leaning Water Tower
This landmark used to be a functioning water tower and was scheduled for demolition until a man by the name of Ralph Britten purchased and moved it to serve as a sign for his truck stop and tourist information center. This leaning water tower remains a popular photo attraction and doubles as a unique Christmas tree for the town of Groom topping the tower with a large, colored star each holiday season.
The Giant Cross
This 190-foot-tall cross in Groom, Texas is visible up to twenty miles away. The base is surrounded by life-size statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross. From the base to the top this massive structure is 19 stories high up from the Texas Panhandle and the landscape is kept flat and empty like unleavened bread and the tomb. Near the statues, you will also find the Empty Tomb and a full-size replica of the Shroud of Turin, which is only one of seven in the world. Make sure to stop when you see this giant cross down Route 66!
The Conoco Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe
Built in 1936, Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe is one of the most iconic and beautiful buildings along historic Route 66. This Art Deco landmark has a 100-foot tower that is lit by a series of colorful lights. The lights used to be neon but were damaged by a storm leading them to be replaced with LEDs. It is now a museum of its own history and still gives the authentic appearance of a working 1940 gas station.
These ten up-ended Cadillacs have popped up in several music videos and TV shows such as the video for “Living in America” by James Brown and in the movie Cars but disguised as “Cadillac Range”. These cars have spent longer being buried nose down into the dirt longer than they spent driving down the road!
VW Slug Bug Ranch
Here in Conway, Texas, you will find the VW Slug Bug Ranch. These five Volkswagen Beetles are placed nose down into the ground, just like at Cadillac Ranch. Visitors are encouraged to spray paint the vehicles to leave their mark.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Just a little bit further out of the way, is a must-visit scenic attraction: Palo Duro Canyon State Park. This park covers over 25,000 acres and offers cabins, camping, riding stables, picnic areas, and miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Visit to walk the same trails used by Native Americans, early Spanish explorers, buffalo hunters and pioneers.
The Devil’s Rope and Route 66 Museum
These two museums share the same building in McLean, Texas making it an extra convenient stop for visitors. Devil’s rope, more commonly known as barbed wire, holds a lot more importance in American history and development than one might think. Without it, the expansion of cattle ranching in Texas wouldn’t have been possible. Within the Route 66 Museum, visitors will explore more than 700 artifacts relating to U.S. Highway 66.
The Big Texan Steak Ranch
The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas is a western-inspired motel and restaurant. The Texan style shines through with white streak limos featuring huge longhorn hood ornaments parked right outside. They serve massive portions and even have their own shooting range! It is a great family-friendly place to visit and a fun night out for all. If you are feeling ambitious, take a shot at their famous 72oz steak challenge.
The Galleries at Sunset Center
The art galleries at the Sunset Center are like nothing you have ever seen before featuring a collection of art from over a hundred artists. This place is a visual and ecological paradise featuring outdoor sculpture gardens. The center conducts First Friday Art Walks on the first Friday of each month between 5 pm and 9 pm.