There are a lot of reasons why Route 66 is famous, not least for its history and character. Even so, all good things have their oddities, and Route 66 is no different. Be sure to keep an eye out for the following five quirky attractions while on your American road trip, and decide for yourself what you think of them!
Oatman, Arizona is a town filled with roaming burros – and old Spanish term for donkey. Sleeping in the hills overnight, by day they can be found keeping the townspeople company and regarding tourists as possible food sources. Burros were first introduced in Oatman in the late 1800s. They were used by gold prospectors to haul rock and ore within the mines, and transport water and supplies outside of them. When no longer needed, these animals were released into the wild which is how their descendants still wander the town today. Given how adorable they can be, it's no surprise that they've become a Route 66 attraction!
(Fun fact: baby burros can sometimes be seen with stickers on their foreheads saying 'Please don't feed me'. This is because they are still being nursed by their mothers.)
Jack Rabbit Trading Post
Over 70 years old, this souvenir shop has survived the interstate and made it into the movies. Or at least its famous sign has, albeit a little altered. Watch the animated film 'Cars' carefully, and you might just spot it. But the shop's billboards have been adding to its image since long before one made it to the big screen. Originally scattered all along the Mother Road from Arizona to Missouri, these signs bore the store's well-known hand-painted jackrabbit and led to the final, and still standing, HERE IT IS sign.
The oddest thing about this attraction? After all the build up, the store itself is relatively nondescript. But there is a giant jackrabbit statue outside that you can sit on, should you choose.
Probably one of the better known oddities along Route 66 is the Cadillac ranch. In a barren Texas field, you'll find 10 cars buried nose-first in the dirt. Thickly covered in paint (careful, some of it may be fresh!) these automobiles were originally planted back in 1974, and line up facing west. A bit off the beaten track, if you go out of your way to visit the ranch be sure to first pick up some spray paint! Being able to leave your mark is part of the fun of this attraction.
The original Route 66 gift shop
There may be many souvenir shops along the long road that is Route 66. However, none are quite so wonderful or historically important as Angel and Vilma's Gift Shop. Angel, part owner of the store, is possibly part of the reason why Route 66 is still so well known today, and gained its historic status. No trip is ever truly complete without visiting the roots, so while driving Route 66 make sure you stop in at this piece of history. Who knows, perhaps you'll find a bit of memorabilia to take away with you!
Devil's Rope Museum
It's not often that you'll find a museum dedicated to barbed wire, or that you'll discover that there are private collectors of it. But at the Devil's Rope Museum, which might just have the most complete history of barbed wire in the world, you'll learn a lot more about the fencing material than you ever thought possible. There are more than 2,000 samples of all the different varieties of devil's rope inside, as well as sculptures created with it. So keep an eye out for the massive balls of barbed wire that mark out the museum, and who knows? You might just find out that you want to become a collector yourself.
Whatever you are looking for, this historic road will provide it. Come explore with a Route 66 guided tour today.