Route 66 is a well-known stretch of highway that was actually one of the first official highways of the country. Covering over 2,400 miles and established in 1926, this route goes through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
The businesses that popped up along this trail saw great success back in the day, and even though this highway was removed from the nation’s official system in 1985, there are still many who seek it out and who stay in motels along the route.
Down below, 20 of these spots are being shown off, in all their glory. They each have a retro vibe to them, as a nod to what once was, and they all offer surprisingly comfy and cozy places for travelers, families and road trippers to sleep and stay.
20 Route 66 Motel In Barstow’s Bright Colors
The Route 66 Motel, which is located in Barstow, California, has round beds (yes, round… How fun!) and brightly colored rooms, making it a welcome sight for guests. Pieces of accent furniture, vases of flowers and art on the wall help in adding even more vibrancy.
19 Offers Mix Of Retro & Modern Features
Like many of the motels on this route, this motel offers up a mix of retro and modern features; there are vintage cars and other pieces of memorabilia to see, yet there is also free wi-fi, satellite TV and a microwave and mini-fridge in each and every room.
18 Wigwam Motel’s Teepees
The Wigwam Motels are known for their teepee-style rooms, which come with parking, wi-fi, cable, a mini-fridge, and an AC/heater.
These motels also feature swimming pools and classic vehicles for guests to enjoy… though the novelty of sleeping in a cone-shaped area is the main appeal.
17 Several Of These Cozy Locations
Built in the 1930s and ‘40s, there used to be seven locations, though only three exist today. Of the three survivors, two can be found on Route 66, with one location in Holbrook, Arizona, and the other in San Bernardino, California. And inside, they are much roomier and cozier than one would think!
16 El Rancho Hotel’s Inviting Aesthetic
Up next is the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico. Since this hotel is close to parks and mesas that show off that classic Southwestern landscape, many movie stars stayed here in the 1930s and ‘40s, while filming Western flicks. That fact plus an inviting aesthetic help make this another great option for travelers.
15 A Top Choice In Gallup, NM
Yes, the El Rancho Hotel is all about the charm of yesterday and the convenience of tomorrow. So while there are numerous accommodations that can be found in Gallup, across New Mexico and along Route 66, there is just something special about these iconic and historic hotels and motels.
14 Blue Swallow Motel’s Pops Of Color
The Blue Swallow Motel promises “a unique experience out of another time,” and part of that includes their rooms full of color. The printed curtains, the pink oven, the blue chair, the floral artwork, the green accent paint, and the eye-catching bedspread all help in making this room a place people really want to stay.
13 Feels Very Vintage
Furthermore, the Blue Swallow Motel, which can be found in Tucumcari, New Mexico, has been around since 1939. From the family that owns it to the iconic neon sign and courtyard, this is another popular spot for people to stay along this popular stretch of highway.
12 Big Texan Motel’s Western Vibe
In Amarillo, Texas, the wild West has been recreated at the Big Texan Motel. Don’t let the rustic touches fool anyone, though, as this place also has cable + HBO, jacuzzi tubs and a Texas-shaped swimming pool. Furthermore, it offers the Big Texan Steak Ranch, where adventurous eaters can enjoy and earn a 72-ounce steak (for free... if they eat the whole thing).
11 And Its Wild West-Inspired Buildings
As seen, the 50+ units at this motel boast a Western flair, and the facade of the buildings actually looks like it could have existed back in the 1800s. Considering its location in the Lone Star State and its historical significance on Route 66, this was a very neat design choice.
10 The Campbell Hotel’s Posh Rooms
The Campbell Hotel & Event Centers is one of the more upscale options on Route 66, and it has themed rooms. There are the Golden Hurricane and TU Alumni Rooms for University of Tulsa fans. There is the Lunar Eclipse Room, with its mid-century modern style. There is the Art Deco Room, which is self-explanatory. And there is the Route 66 Room, filled with memorabilia.
9 Know For Its Lavish Amenities
The Campbell Hotel, which can be found in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has many other lavish features that set it apart, too. There is a bar and lounge, there is a spa and salon, and there are services like dry cleaning and a shuttle to the airport available for guests.
8 Boots Court Motel’s Soft (& Star-Studded) Rooms
Next up on the list is Carthage, Missouri’s Boots Court Motel, which has been around since the year 1939. In its prime, big names such as Clark Gable, Gene Autry, and Mickey Mantle even stayed in this quaint, soft, historic and inviting spot on Route 66.
7 A Cute Place In Carthage, MO
While every motel (in the world and on this iconic route) has its own distinct look, the Boots Court Motel really stands out, since a filling station once operated at the front of this joint. However, this cute little building eventually became the front office of this business!
6 Munger Moss Motel’s Years Of History
Each place to stay on Route 66 also comes with its own unique history, including the Munger Moss Motel; it came about in Lebanon, Missouri/in 1946, along with a restaurant and filling station. Though those two places are gone, people can still stay at this history-filled motel!
5 And Its Iconic Neon Sign
With the help of The Neon Heritage Preservation Committee, The National Park Service, The Route 66 Association of Missouri and a grant, this motel was able to restore its neon sign in 2010.
This undid damage that had occurred over the years and helped prepare this place for many more years of business.
4 Wagon Wheel Motel’s Quaint Rooms
The Wagon Wheel Motel is the oldest Route 66 motel that has been continuously operating, making it another top choice for road trippers. Besides its nice rooms and their original wood doors, floors and windows, it also offers lots of relaxing outdoor seating, along with fire pits, decks, and a concrete patio.
3 A Fun Stop In Cuba, MO
And of course, the Wagon Wheel Motel, in Cuba, Missouri, has neon to lure guests in, too. There is one that has been around since the year 1947, and there is another one that was added in 2013, for even more of a vintage vibe.
2 Route 66 Hotel In Springfield’s Comfy Beds
The last suggestion on this list is the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center in Springfield, Illinois, and this actually started as the first Holiday Inn on this route! The comfy beds, the cable TVs, the microwaves/mini-fridges and the pool all help draw in crowds, even after all this time.
1 And Gas Station Look
This is another motel with a fun outside look, as well, and like many of the other spots that have been listed out here today, the Route 66 Hotel has vintage vehicles, signs and other pieces of memorabilia on display. It also boasts a conference center and wedding venue, as well.