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Route 66 in Texas: Top Attractions, Towns, Map, and Hotels along the Route

Route 66 in Texas: Top Attractions, Towns, Map, and Hotels along the Route

A trip along Route 66 in Texas isn’t going to take you close to major cities like Dallas and Houston; it doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty to see along the 150-mile route. In fact, there are quite a few Texas Route 66 towns that boast some awesome (and incredibly unique) sights.

On this page, we want to take you on a journey through Route 66 in Texas. We want to introduce you to what we believe are the best Route 66 attractions in Texas. We’ll also share some of the top places to stay, just in case you need a break when heading through the Lone Star State.

Route 66 Texas Attractions 

Let’s start with the top Texas Route 66 attractions. We’ve got a good mix of them for you here. From the downright weird to good nature, great education, and just plain fun!

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1. Leaning Water Tower of Texas, Groom

Leaning Water Tower of Texas
Leaning Water Tower of Texas, a famous Route 66 attraction in Texas | Dreamstime/Mkopka

If you’ve seen advertising for Route 66 in Texas, we are almost certain you would have seen a picture of the Leaning Water Tower in Groom. It is a highly symbolic attraction and attracts scores of eyes heading along Route 66.

The Leaning Water Tower leans at 10 degrees. It isn’t a ‘natural’ fall. It was designed to look like that. We suppose it was to look more eye-catching or something. 

The tower is now connected to a truck repair location, so if you don’t have a truck needing repair, you may as well just drive by. Well, you can stop and take a couple of snaps. You need to make your Instagram look pretty, right?

Address: I-40, Route 66, Groom, Texas, 79039

2. The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo

Big Texan Steak Ranch
The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Texas | Dreamstime/Bdingman

Honestly, we don’t think you can go on a Route 66 road trip through Texas without tasting some BBQ. We haven’t read the law (nor are we qualified as lawyers), but we are 99% sure that’s illegal!

Luckily, you have plenty of fantastic BBQ locations along the way, and The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo is one of our favorites.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch is famed for its steaks (who could have possibly guessed from the name?), but the real highlight is the 72oz steak challenge.

If you are willing to take the challenge, you must devour a 72oz steak, potatoes, shrimp, and a bit more in under an hour. Your reward if you do? Well, the steak is free. We are sure people will clap too!

Since this place is right on Route 66, it is a great place to stop off to eat. Although, we wouldn’t really recommend taking that 72oz steak challenge if you need to head back out on the road. You may end up feeling a little queasy.

Address: 7701 I-40, Amarillo, TX 79118

3. The Galleries At Sunset Center, Amarillo

Arts in the Sunset

From 72oz steak challenges to art centers. You can’t argue that Texas doesn’t have culture! This art gallery is a revolving center for art; you never quite know what to expect. The Galleries at Sunset Center advertise them as having ‘everything under the sun’. This is undoubtedly a place to be if you are into more modern art. It isn’t just paintings either. Oh no. There are ecological exhibits and, if you step outside, a sculpture garden!

Address: 3701 Plains Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79102

4. Combine City, Amarillo

Combine City
Combine City

A few decades ago, a Texan farmer had the somewhat crazy (but we feel downright hilarious) idea of burying his old combine harvester. Now? Well, there are 14 combine harvesters buried in Combine City.

What started as a joke is now a well-visited tourist attraction. The combine harvesters are buried in such a way that they almost look like plants growing up from the ground.

It’s free to look at, but the area is barbed wired off, so you’ll have to keep a bit of distance. Still, there is enough to let you grab some photos of one of the oddest attractions on Route 66 in Texas.

Website: Amarillo, TX 79118

5. Sixth Street Historic District, Amarillo

Sixth Street Historic District in Amarillo
Sixth Street Historic District in Amarillo – One of the famous Route 66 Stops in Texas

While the Sixth Street Historic District in Amarillo doesn’t quite have the grandeur that it did back in the Route 66 heyday, this one-mile strip of road still manages to attract a good number of tourists (and some of the locals too!)

A trip to the Sixth Street Historic District will introduce you to countless art galleries, antique shops, and an old ballroom (which has now been converted into a sort of indoor market). 

Since you’re heading through this part of Texas anyway, why not learn a bit more about the history of the region? When you travel through, you can’t help but think about how this used to be a bustling place. The talk of the town, especially the ballroom.

Address: 3511 6th Ave, Amarillo, TX 79106

6. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo

Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch, along Historic Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas | Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

You thought the Combine Harvester garden was the only planted garden for vehicles in Texas? Well, think again! The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo has planted Cadillacs. We guess the people of Texas just can’t get enough of their planted vehicles!

This one launched in 1975 and has had songs written about it (Bruce Springsteen – Cadillac Ranch), and even has a dedication at Disneyland in California. Granted, it is not the most amazing sight in the world, but you can at least say that you’ve ‘been there’.

Address: 13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124

Read Next: Route 66 Attractions in New Mexico

7. Ozymandias On the Plains, Amarillo

Ozymandias On the Plains
Ozymandias On the Plains

As you head out of Amarillo, you may spot a rather odd sight – a random statue of two legs. It appears to be broken, but it is meant to be a tribute to a poem of the same name (which, in turn, was based on a Greek name for an Egyptian Pharoh). 

Oddly, the legs are wearing socks. Sports socks, in fact. Unless we were poorly misinformed at school, Egyptian Kings were not running around in a good pair of Nikes a few thousand years ago, so it is more of a modern retelling of the poem. Again, it is a sight that may not be for everybody, but still worth a picture.

Address: Sundown Lane and I-27, Amarillo, Texas, 79119

8. 2nd Amendment Cowboy, Amarillo

2nd Amendment Cowboy
2nd Amendment Cowboy Statue on Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas | Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

When Texas Route 66 was in its heyday, you would have spotted glistening lights and huge statutes along the route. Only a few of them remain. The 2nd Amendment Cowboy is one of them. The 2nd Amendment Cowboy serves two purposes (other than looking incredibly dapper).

It is meant to advertise a gift shop close by (the original purpose for the cowboy) but also acts as an advertisement for the nearby Cadillac Ranch. Look at his feet; you’ll see three Cadillacs, each with a famous musician sitting behind the wheel.

Address: 2601 Hope Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124

9. VW Slug Bug Ranch, Conway

VW Slug Bug Ranch
VW Slug Bug Ranch | Dreamstime/Miroslav Liska

Well, what do you know? It’s another car ranch, although this one is slightly more unique. Not because it has VW Bugs rather than Cadillacs, but because nobody knows who actually owns it. A long time ago, a shop used to sit on this site, which is now completely abandoned. Now, you just have planted VW Bugs that have been left to rot in the ground.

Every so often, tourists come and spray paint them, giving the place a unique look (although it is not very well visited). The area doesn’t seem to have any owner or maintenance. It is just a little bit of history that you can interact with. Feel free to leave your mark on the VWs.

Address: I-40 Frontage Rd, Conway, TX

10. Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Lighthouse Rock at Palo Duro Canyon | Dreamstime/Martina Birnbaum

Do you like your nature? Yeah, of course you do. So, let’s take a trip into nature for this one! The Palo Duro Canyon State Park boasts a beautiful canyon. Alongside the canyon, you have over 30 miles of trails, camping opportunities, and so many picturesque spots that you might need to pick up a new SD card for your camera.

If you want the actual experience of the canyon, then camp around here (it is fine to take a day or two off of the road) and enjoy the horse riding through 150 acres of dedicated horse riding trails. It is something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life!

Address: Canyon, TX 79015

Read Next: Route 66 Attractions in Oklahoma

11. The Conoco Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Café, Shamrock

Conoco Tower Station and U-Drop Inn
Conoco Tower Station and U-Drop Inn at Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas | Dreamstime/Glenn Nagel

You can’t really travel across Route 66 without stopping at least one diner (or several) along the way. If it is a diner that you’re after, then one of the must-see stops on Texas Route 66 is at the Conoco Tower Station. Part of this station serves as a community center for Shamrock (Chamber of Commerce is here, for instance).

That part will probably be a bit bland if you have absolutely no connection to Shamrock, although you should check out the visitor center. Instead, tourists will be drawn in by the cafe, which sells good roadside eats.

Address: 111 U.S. Rt. 66, Shamrock, TX 79079

12. Pioneer West Museum, Shamrock

Pioneer West Museum
Pioneer West Museum – famous Route 66 Texas stop

Texas is part of the Old West, and a good amount of culture started to develop around that idea. The Pioneer West Museum shows the history of the Western culture of Texas. There are around 25 rooms to explore, and the exhibits you find here are absolutely fantastic.

In the museum, you’ll find examples of old Cowboy artifacts, Native American artifacts, a section dedicated to space travel, and examples of old-style businesses (centuries old), e.g., a restored dentist.

Address:  204 N Madden St, Shamrock, TX 79079

Read Next: Route 66 Attractions in Missouri

13. The Giant Cross, Groom

The Giant Cross, Groom
The Giant Cross, Groom

The Giant Cross is another huge statute along Texas Route 66, although this one has a bit more meaning behind it. The Giant Cross was erected by an incredibly religious person who saw this almost 200-foot-high statue as a way of preaching right in the heart of Texas.

He felt there was no better way to get people to see his message than alongside Route 66. The Giant Cross is basically a huge religious monument, but it is much more than a cross. It gets around 1 million visitors per year, and there are statutes, recreations of religious artifacts, and more.

Address: I-40, Groom, TX

14. Texas Route 66 Museum, McLean

There are actually two parts to this museum. We’ll discuss the second part soon. The Texas Route 66 Museum is a tribute to the history of Texas Route 66. You’ll see examples of souvenirs that used to be sold along the route, old advertising signs, photos, and much more.

Every state along Route 66 has a museum dedicated to the history of the route, and we like to visit them. You can see how each state had its own impact on its part of the route. Texas Route 66 Museum is a tremendous place and well worth the few hours it takes to explore.

Address: 100 Kingsley St, McLean, TX 79057

Also Read: Famous Museums on Route 66

15. Devil’s Rope Museum, McLean

Devil's Rope and Route 66 Museum
Exterior of the Devil’s Rope and Route 66 Museum | Dreamstime/Ehrlif

The Devil’s Rope Museum is in the same building as the Texas Route 66 Museum. It is certainly one of the more unique Texas Route 66 attractions, though.

You see, this is a museum dedicated to barbed wire and fencing. Yes. We know this may not sound like the most appealing thing in the world if you are not into fencing (which we assume is most people), but it is a surprisingly fun experience. Plus, you’re here for the Route 66 Museum anyway, so why not just check this out too?

Address: 100 Kingsley St, McLean, TX 79057

16. Route 66 Midpoint & MidPoint Café, Adrian

Route 66 Midpoint & MidPoint Café
Route 66 Midpoint Cafe | Dreamstime/Wisconsinart

The Route 66 Midpoint & Midpoint Cafe is said to be the longest-running Route 66 cafe on this part of the route. That’s not why you are here, though.

While we don’t think anybody has ever measured it properly (since it would be tough as Route 66 has changed a bit over the years), it is said that this cafe sits exactly halfway along Route 66.

So, if you are making your way along the entirety of the route, by the time you get to this cafe, you know your journey is halfway over. Pick up a burger to celebrate!

Address: 305 Historic Rte 66, Adrian, TX 79001

17. Dot’s Mini Museum, Vega

Dot's Mini Museum on Route 66
Dot’s Mini Museum on Route 66 in the town of Vega, Texas | Dreamstime/Wisconsinart

Back in the day, a lady called Dot ran a freezer storage for travelers along the route. It was a success, and over the years, she started to collect all sorts of memorabilia from Route 66 (not just in Texas). It was held privately for a while, and now, much of it is on display in this mini museum. Think along the lines of cowboy boots, old bottles of shampoo, and more.

Address: 105 N 12th St, Vega, TX 79092

Also Read: Top Route 66 Attractions Worth a Stop

18. Magnolia Gas Station, Vega

Magnolia Gas Station in Vegas on Route 66
Magnolia Gas Station in Vegas on Route 66

This old gas station in Vega stood long before Route 66 properly existed. In fact, the owners of the Magnolia gas station were heavy pushers of a properly developed route because before Route 66 existed, they didn’t get much in the way of business.

Over the years, the gas station fell into disuse. Nowadays, it is a visitor center with a small museum dedicated to the history of this part of Route 66, with a huge focus on the impact that it has had on the development of Vega.

Address: 105 S Main St, Vega, TX 79092

19. Glenrio Ghost Town, Texas, and New Mexico Border

Glenrio Ghost Town near the TX/NM border
Glenrio Ghost Town near the TX/NM border on Route 66. Closed cafe and gas station in Glenrio | Dreamstime/Svetlana Foote

In 1901, Glenrio started development. By 1955, the town was completely dead. Nowadays, there is nothing but a few old buildings here. A testament to the hustle and bustle that used to grace these roads. The real highlight is probably the diner. It sits right on the cusp of New Mexico. Depending on which way you travel to the diner, it is either the last diner in Texas or the first one.

Where to Stay Along Route 66 in Texas

Now that we’ve shown you some of the best attractions on Route 66 in Texas, it is time to help you find somewhere to stay. We have somewhere to fit all budgets here, and most of these hotels & motels are close to top Route 66 attractions. 

1. Big Texan Motel, Amarillo

Big Texan Motel
Big Texan Motel

Amarillo is one of the main Route 66 towns in Texas, and you’ll probably want to spend a lot of time here. And the Big Texan Motel is one of our favorite places to do that.

This motel is just a little bit down the road from the place that sells the 72oz steaks, so if you do attempt the challenge, at least you won’t have too far to crawl back to get into your room!

We love the beautiful Old West theming of the exterior of the building, and the actual rooms are much more comfortable than your average motel.

On top of this, you have an internet connection, and the motel provides access to countless events in the area (e.g., they sometimes offer beer tasting).

Address: 7701 Interstate 40 Access Rd, Amarillo, TX 79118

Book this Hotel

2. Route 66 Inn, Amarillo

Route 66 Inn Amarillo | Booking.com

The Route 66 Inn is just 2 miles from the Route 66 Historic District, and by now, you already know that the Historic District offers a sizeable number of things to do. You can even use this as a base of operations if you want to visit the Cadillac Ranch or the nearby Wonderland Park (a theme park we didn’t mention here). The Inn itself is rather basic, but if you just want a simple place to lay your head, we don’t think you’ll find much better here. It has been voted as one of the best values for money in Amarillo.

Address: 2806 E Amarillo Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79107

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3. Shamrock Country Inn, Shamrock

Shamrock Country Inn | Booking.com

As we continue our journey through the Texas Route 66 motels, we come to the Shamrock Country Inn, famed for having a bit more nostalgic vibe. Don’t get us wrong, it is as comfortable as a modern building, but the interior has vibes reminiscent of the old Route 66 days. Each room comes equipped with a 40” TV, and you’ll find numerous places to eat in the nearby area.

Address: 711 E 12th St, Shamrock, TX 79079

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4. Western Motel, Shamrock

Western Motel sign on Route 66
Western Motel sign on Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas | Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Another simple and affordable motel, but one that manages to get a few good ratings. This one is right across the road from the U-Drop diner if you’re looking for some basic food. All rooms have free internet, a coffee machine, and daily room cleanings. It is also known for being one of the only Texas Route 66 hotels that is pet-friendly.

Address: 104 E 12th Street, Shamrock, TX 79079

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5. Blarney Inn, Shamrock

Blarney Inn, Shamrock
Blarney Inn, Shamrock | Booking.com

The Blarney Inn is a place to rest your head in Shamrock, nothing more. However, the rooms do have free Wi-Fi, which is a plus. The beds are comfortable, and the rooms have a TV.

Our favorite part about this hotel is the fact that many of the rooms have views over Shamrock, and the place looks stunning at night. However, when you are booking, you must request a city-view room, or you may end up with a not-so-brilliant view.

Address: 402 E 12th St, Shamrock, TX 79079

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6. Route 66 Inn, Shamrock

Route 66 Inn Shamrock | Booking.com

We love this motel! Sure, it is basic, but we love the retro vibe. Plus, it is a proper motel, so you can park right outside your door. Our highlight, however, is a central gazebo. This gazebo boasts BBQ facilities, so if you’re traveling through Texas and feel like you’re in the mood for some good BBQ, you can cook it up yourself. You may even end up having a good chat with some of the other travelers along Route 66.

Address: 800 E 12th St, Shamrock, TX 79079

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7. Station 66 Vega, Vega

Station 66 Vega
Station 66 Vega

This is a small motel built into an old gas station. It is meant to be a simple overnight motel, but it has a very comfortable vibe to it. You can tell that a lot of care and attention has gone into designing Station 66 in Vega. Of course, when you’re here, you’ll be in easy reach of Vega itself, as well as the attractions that surround it. This includes a few museums.

Note: Station 66 Vega Motel has been closed in November 2022 and is no longer accepting any bookings.

Address: 719 Vega Blvd, Vega, TX 79092

8. Bonanza Motel, Vega

Bonanza Motel in Vega
Bonanza Motel in Vega

The Bonanza Motel is an incredibly budget-friendly motel. It has a bit of nostalgia to it. We’re talking old radios, old carpets (that are cleaned, don’t worry) and more. If you’re traveling through Vega and just need somewhere to sleep for not a whole lot of cash, this should be a good option.

Address: 607 Vega Blvd, Vega, TX 79092

9. Cactus Inn, McLean

Cactus Inn Motel
Cactus Inn Motel | Dreamstime/Wisconsinart

The Cactus Inn in McClean is another simple motel, which makes it perfect for weary travelers. The highlight, however, is that you can park an RV here (and even sleep in the RV). So it is perfect for those doing epic road trips along Route 66 and needing somewhere to park their RV (which can be very tough in Texas).

Address: 101 Pine St, McLean, TX 79057

Book this Hotel

Interactive Map of Route 66 Texas Attractions

Frequently Asked Questions

What towns in Texas does Route 66 go through?

You’ll travel through a sizeable number of towns. This includes Amarillo, Glenrio, Adrian, Vega, Shamrock, McClean, Groom, Alanreed, and Conway.

How long is Route 66 in Texas?

The route is approximately 150 miles in length. It used to be around 10 miles longer, but the route was shortened when Route 66 started to die off.

What are the most famous Texas Route 66 stops?

The Cadillac Ranch may be one of the most famous Texas Route 66 stops. In fact, it is so famous that many other people have tried to copy the same context in the state. The Leaning Water Tower may be a very close second.

What is the most unusual Route 66 attraction in Texas?

Probably the Cadillac Ranch. We don’t think there is anywhere else that you can see buried, rusty Cadillacs and feel like you’ve had a fulfilling experience.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. When it comes to Texas Route 66 attractions, you’ll have no shortage of places to head! The roads are packed with them, and you don’t really have to venture too far off the beaten track to find them. There is a little something for everybody, from nature to vehicle burials, museums, and diners. We’ve barely even scratched the surface of what you’ll find on Route 66 across Texas. Go out and explore!

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