26 Apr Route 66 Texas: the route, the stops, the attractions
Route 66 Texas: from Shamrock to Adrian
Travel time: roughly 3 hours, easily doable in one day
THE ROUTE, THE STOPS, THE ATTRACTIONS
Shamrock (roughly 20 minutes): welcome officially to Texas! As a first stop, visit the U-Drop Inn (1242 N Main St, Shamrock), an art-deco-style building where you can have a coffee. Built in 1936 by the architect J.C. Berry, it now houses a tourist center, a museum, a souvenir shop and a vintage petrol pump still in use where you can fill up.
McLean (roughly 20 minutes): are you a barbed wire enthusiast? Well then the Devil’s Rope Museum (100 Kingsley St, McLean), the barbed wire museum, is a must-see stop. Not too far away, you’ll come across the first Phillips 66 Station (219 Gray St, McLean) in Texas, built in 1927.
Groom (roughly 30 minutes): continue your trip to the Britten Leaning Water Tower (I-40 Frontage Rd, Groom), the famous water tower purchased by Ralph Britten in 1980 and then used as a business card to attract travelers. This tower, with its almost 10 degrees slope, remains one of the oddities on Route 66 in Texas. Further on you’ll find the Cross of Our Lord (2880 County Road 2, Groom). This bronze cross, 58 meters (190 feet) high, certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.
Panhandle (roughly 30 minutes): and here you are at the VW Slug Bug Ranch (I-40 Frontage Rd, Panhandle). This site is a small tribute, or perhaps a mockery, to the famous Cadillac Ranch just up ahead. Here too, the cars are partially buried at roughly a 45° angle, full of visitors’ graffiti and left to deteriorate as time goes by.
Amarillo (roughly 25 minutes):
- Are you ready to eat the most famous steak in the world, 72-ounce (just over 2 kilos), for FREE? Well then it’s time to stop over at the Big Texan Steak Ranch (7701 E I-40 Access Rd, Amarillo). Opened in 1960 by Bob-Lee-Painting R. J., this restaurant is today one of the best 10 steak houses in America. Take on the challenge, finish your dinner in 1 hour and become part of their “Hall of fame”!
- Before visiting the Cadillac Ranch, stop by to greet the Second Amendment Cowboy (2600 Hope Rd, Amarillo), another cowboy-style muffler man on the Mother Road.
- And finally you’ve arrived at the Cadillac Ranch (13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo), one of the most iconic attractions on Route 66 created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, three artists who were part of an art group called the “Ant Farm”. The Cadillac Ranch is a public form of art, which anyone can contribute to. Originally located in a cornfield, this work of art was moved two miles west in 1997 to its current location. You are allowed to enter, even though it’s private property. The Cadillacs are located 213 meters from the road.
Adrian (roughly 50 minutes): you’re at the halfway mark on Route 66, the famous Midpoint (305 W Historic Route 66, Adrian). Located 1,139 miles (roughly 1,833 km) from Chicago and 1,139 miles from Los Angeles, it’s a mandatory stop for Mother Road travelers. Stop by for a coffee and some photos before you get back on the road.