Due to COVID-19, many families are now choosing to travel on wheels. One of our favorite routes through the USA is Route 66. Once a hustling, bustling stretch from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 is a bit quieter now but still full of hidden gems and safe stops for your entire family!
We found ourselves traveling Route 66 unintentionally, not realizing all of the attractions along the way. We would drive until we wanted to stop and then Google search the name of the area and “Route 66.” As a result, some of our pit stops are official and some are a bit unofficial. However, all of them are spectacular memories for our family!
We are not sure how each of these locations are handling COVID-19. We recommend that you call ahead and use your best judgment for the health and safety for your family.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
Google search: “Route 66 Texas.” “HOLD ON A SECOND… We can spray paint CARS?!” Yup! Cadillac Ranch is a series of Cadillacs buried in the ground. There are spray paint cans left on the ground, but we opted to stop and buy our own from Home Depot and leave them behind for future artists. Tip: you will not leave without someone getting spray paint on their clothes, especially with kids. Plan accordingly or be prepared to have your clothes become a free souvenir.
Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Old Town Plaza was the perfect spot to experience interesting New Mexico culture. The center made for a great walk to stretch our legs. There was an abundance of local restaurants and shops for souvenirs. Give your taste buds a real treat with a Chamoy
Tajin apple (or any other treat) from La Choco Salty and Sweet. The kids will love a walk through the Rattlesnake Museum and gift shop!
Cosmic Campground, Gila National Forest, New Mexico
If you are making the trip by RV or camper, this detour is out of this world! Cosmic Campground is a small first-come, first-served campground. It is also a certified dark sky sanctuary, which means that when it gets dark you can see almost every star in the sky. There are few experiences like it and no greater reason to ruin bedtime. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gila/recarea/?recid=82479
Cabazon Dinosaurs, Cabazon, California
Cabazon Dinosaurs is technically not on Route 66, but still a slam dunk for kids! You can enjoy a quick leg stretch and photo opportunity at the dinos. You can also walk into the large structures. Extend your stay by going into the dino gift shop (inside one of the dinosaurs) and purchasing a pass to the museum and outdoor dinosaur trail. https://www.cabazondinosaurs.com/
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