Along the historic Route 66, the town of Seligman in Arizona remains a living testament to this legendary highway’s vibrant history and captivating charm. This quaint area quickly found a big place in the heart of Route 66 history.
We’re exploring everything you need to know about Seligman — from its unforgettable attractions and activities to the best ways to soak up the iconic Mother Road that runs through it — to uncover the magic of this exciting spot.
Discovering Seligman: A charming Route 66 town
Originally established on November 11, 1926, and stretching 2,448 miles, Route 66 was a critical pathway for those traveling west. And Seligman, Arizona quickly became a favorite destination along stretches of the historic Mother Road. Why? This significant stop was perfectly situated between major cities and attractions, allowing weary travelers to refuel, rest and replenish supplies. Not to mention its appealing atmosphere and genuine hospitality that the city has maintained to this day.
The history of Seligman and the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona
Once known as a railroad town, Seligman was initially referred to as “Prescott Junction,” because it was a stop on the Santa Fe Railroad mainline junction. By 1886, the area was renamed Seligman, after Jesse Seligman, a railroad financier and one of the founders of the J.W. Seligman Co. of New York.
In the 1970s, after I-40 was up and running and Route 66 began to see less foot traffic, the owner of a barber shop in the small town set out to stimulate tourism in the area. Angel Delgadillo subsequently established the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona with the help of his wife and the other local shop owners to keep this iconic slice of the legendary highway alive.
Seligman: A time capsule of American road trip culture
Today, this small town and historic district along a preserved section of old Route 66, often hailed as the “Main Street of America,” captures a lively piece of United States cultural heritage. Located in the breathtaking landscapes of Northern Arizona, the area’s appeal comes from more than physical aesthetics, but also the warm hospitality of its people. From quirky gift shop stores and colorful murals to classic cars, diners and roadside attractions, Seligman offers an escape into the history of the highway.
On the road to Seligman
If you’re ready to embark on a road trip to this quaint city between Flagstaff and Kingman in Northern Arizona, remember the journey is just as important as the destination. And, whether you’re starting your adventure from the vibrant streets of Los Angeles, the dazzling lights of Las Vegas or the breathtaking landscapes of New Mexico, the path to Seligman promises an unforgettable exploration.
From LA, consider tracing old Route 66, passing through spots like Santa Monica Pier and the artistic town of Oatman, Arizona. Or, drive through the Mojave Desert for an otherworldly view of Joshua Trees and expansive vistas on a trip setting out from Las Vegas. Those starting their road trip from New Mexico can venture through the desert’s colorful tapestry, perhaps stopping by the Painted Desert or Petrified Forest National Park.
Whichever route you choose, the roads leading to Seligman are full of potential for memorable detours that will shape your overall experience on the Mother Road. But, what can you do once you get there?
What is there to do in Seligman?
This gem nestled along the famous highway offers road trip travelers the ideal blend of nostalgia, adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Here are just some of the ways to spend your time in the city:
Start your adventure with a stroll down the town’s antique streets, taking in the authentic architecture and watching the past come to life through old-fashioned storefronts and buildings. You won’t want to miss some of Seligman’s signature attractions, like the Snow Cap Drive-In, Rusty Bolt Route 66 gift shop, or the Roadkill Cafe. The whimsical charm and quirky sense of humor present in both are a testament to Seligman’s distinct personality.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to make a pit stop at the Historic Seligman Sundries and Route 66 Motoporium in Arizona, offering a fascinating look into the highway’s history. Learn the stories of Route 66’s enduring legacy with incredible artifacts, photographs and stories that evoke the spirit of the open road.
When you’re in need of a break, it’s a great excuse to refuel at one of the many classic diners and gas stations that will take you back to the golden era of road trips in the United States. After you’re done indulging in hearty American fare, visit some of the town’s eclectic shops nearby and discover an assortment of souvenirs, antiques and one-of-a-kind keepsakes to take home with you.
Finally, no trip to Seligman is complete without an outdoor adventure in the surrounding landscapes or a visit to the Grand Canyon Caverns. The marvels of nature in northern Arizona, including breathtaking vistas and unique geological formations, define the region and are sure to add a touch of magic to your experience.
Make your way to Seligman with Route 66 Tours
At the end of the day, Seligman, Arizona, remains a captivating embodiment of Route 66’s timeless allure and promises road trip enthusiasts a remarkable journey. Vintage appeal and offbeat attractions full of rich history and local hospitality offer a unique window into the past while inspiring new adventures along the way.
For travelers looking to fully immerse themselves in the Main Street America experience, Route 66 Tours provides the opportunity to discover this historic highway like never before. With an expert Australian guide team, carefully designed itineraries and a commitment to delivering the best experience possible, Route 66 Tours ensures your journey is guided and enriched with the tales and treasures that define the Mother Road.
To book the journey of a lifetime and experience Seligman on the country’s most famous highway, contact us today!