Arizona Route 66: 1-Day Road Trip Itinerary

Last updated on April 21st, 2024 at 01:02 pm

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links from which we make a commission from your purchases. Please review our full Terms and Conditions for more information.

Note that any pricing, operating hours, or other such information provided may have changed since initial publication.

Feel the wind in your hair and the nostalgia in your heart as you cruise down a legendary stretch of American asphalt – Arizona’s Route 66! In just one day, you can trade the ordinary for the extraordinary, immersing yourself in quirky roadside attractions, timeless small towns, and breathtaking desert landscapes. This isn’t just a road trip, it’s a time machine, transporting you back to the heyday of neon signs and classic cars. There’s so much to explore here that it would be easy to get lost among the attractions and fill a two-, three-, or even seven-day agenda with the plethora of things to see. But, if you have limited time, this Arizona Route 66 1-Day road trip itinerary is for you.

If you only have 24-hours in your travel itinerary to drive through Arizona, from Holbrook to Kingman, you might have to spend more time on the highway than the byway. So plan to leave early, arrive late, and prioritize the stops and experiences that are most meaningful to you. Keep in mind that when you are traveling in the bigger cities on the route, like Flagstaff, that rush hour traffic can add to your time on the road!

This jam-packed itinerary promises a whirlwind of iconic stops, from snapping selfies with the Wigwam Motel to soaking up the vibrant spirit of Seligman. We’ll guide you through must-see landmarks, hidden gems, and delicious pit stops, ensuring your Arizona Route 66 adventure is equal parts history, kitsch, and pure fun.

Ready to step into the past and create memories that will last a lifetime? Buckle up and explore our Arizona Route 66 1-Day road trip itinerary to make the most of your exploration along this historic highway.

Arizona Route 66: 1-Day Road Trip Itinerary

There are plenty of Arizona Route 66 attractions to see as you traverse the state from Holbrook to Kingman (and beyond). So much so that you’ll wish you had more than 24 hours to make the journey. But if you only do have one day in Arizona, you’ll want to make the most of it!

Below is an Arizona Route 66 1-Day road trip itinerary that calls out some of the highlights worth pulling over for. Depending on when you leave in the morning, how bad the traffic is, and how long you spend at each location, you might not have time to explore them all. But whether you love roadside attractions, history, nature, museums, or food, there’s something here for everyone to love.

For this one-day Arizona Route 66 itinerary, we’re not quite traveling the entire length of the state. There’s just way too much ground to cover to be able to see it all! Instead, we’ll start with a quick drive through the Petrified Foret National Park and end under the iconic bright neon lights of Kingman. But we won’t make it to Oatman or to Topock.

If you’re dead set on exploring Oatman on your one-day itinerary, you’ll probably have to skip the park in the morning, and many of the fun sites along the way, to make sure you have time to get to Oatman (the winding “Arizona Sidewinder” road there adds a little extra driving time) and out (with time to explore) before sunset.

Alternatively, plan to drive from West to East to explore Oatman in the morning and get to Holbrook at night or think about extending your road trip for 2 days, 3 days, or more!

Jasper Forest at Petrified Forest National Park on Arizona Route 66

Petrified Forest National Park

If you’re traveling westward, the first stop on an Arizona Route 66 road trip is the Petrified Forest National Park.

The National Park takes around an hour to drive the 28-mile length from end to end, but could take a full day or more to see and experience everything. Since we only have one day to make it across the entire state, you probably won’t have time to do much here besides admiring the view from your windshield. But, do plan to pull over a few times to take in the views from the overlooks.

For a better idea of all the see, check out our guide of Things to See in Petrified Forest National Park.

Holbrook Rock Shops

Taking samples of petrified wood out of the Petrified Forest National Park is a strict no-no, so, as soon as you leave, you’ll find no shortage of fun rock shops with equally fun roadside attractions out front, made to beckon travelers off the road.

Some of the most famous Holbrook rock shops, and dinosaur roadside attractions, can be found at at Painted Desert Indian Center, Stewart’s Petrified Wood, and Rainbow Rock Shop.

Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction

Wigwam Motel

“Have you slept in a Wigwam lately?” This iconic Route 66 motel has been attracting travelers from the road with its unusual architecture since 1950. Spend the night at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. Also known as Wigwam Village No. 6.

If you want to skip the Petrified Forst, backtrack a little in the morning, or do it the day before, Wigwam Motel makes a bucket-list-worthy place to spend the night. But if you’re just passing through, stop by anyways to see this fun tee-pee-shaped motel.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post

Jack Rabbit Trading Post opened in 1949 and quickly became a must-stop attraction for Route 66 travelers. Its popularity was made possible partially by the series of roadside billboards marking the distance through Missouri and Arizona. The final double-sided sign read “HERE IT IS” and still stands outside the location today.

The Route 66 souvenir shop is still open today and is a popular stop for road trippers looking to buy some mementos and take Instagram photos with the famous “HERE IS IS” sign or the mountable fiberglass jackrabbit.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, Arizona Route 66 Souvenir Shop and Roadside Attraction
Standin’ on The Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Standin’ on The Corner Park

Standin’ on the Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona opened in 1999. The park commemorates the song “Take it Easy,” a hit song written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey that was made popular by the Eagles in 1972. The song peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on July 22, 1972 and it has been a popular tune for rock music lovers, road trippers, and karaoke stars ever since.

Twin Arrows Trading Post Ruins

A pair of giant arrows (or, at least one of the pair) in all that remains at the abandoned Twin Arrows Trading Post. Opened as Canyon Padre Trading Post in the 1940s, the property, which had had a gas station, gift shop, and diner, closed for good in 1995.

Twin Arrows Trading Post Ruins in Flagstaff, Arizona Route 66 Roadside Attraction
NAU Skydome Lumberjack Muffler Man in Flagstaff, Arizona Route 66 Roadside Attraction

NAU Skydome Lumberjack Muffler Man

This 20-foot tall lumberjack muffler man in Flagstaff, Arizona serves as one form of Louie the Lumberjack, the beloved mascot of Northern Arizona University (NAU) who got his name in 1988 from the The Kingmen song “Louie Louie.” Built in 1962, it is thought to be the very first of the many muffler men that once graced the roadside of America and Route 66.

Once you’ve driven through the Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Winslow, Flagstaff, and Williams, you’ll come to one of the most famous places on Route 66: Seligman, Arizona. Once a bustling pit stop along the historic Route 66, Seligman, Arizona retains its nostalgic charm with pride. Known as the “Birthplace of Historic Route 66,” this town holds a special place in the heart of Route 66 enthusiasts and history buffs alike. There are many things to do in Seligman, Arizona so park your car and wander through the town’s shops and businesses. Here are some highlights:

Seligman Route 66

Things to Do in Seligman, Arizona - Seligman Grocery Mural in Seligman, Arizona Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Cheeseburger with cheese and fries at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap in Seligman, Arizona Route 66 Restaurant

Delgadillo’s Snow Cap

By the time you get to Seligman, you’ll have worked up a big appetite. And there’s no better place to stop for lunch on Arizona Route 66 than Delgadillo’s Snow Cap, a Route 66 institution that has been slinging burgers, milkshakes, and a unique sense of humor since 1953. Be sure to order a cheeseburger with cheese!

Hackberry General Store

After Seligman, keep driving Route 66 towards Kingman, passing even more fun roadside attractions, like Hackberry General Store, along the way! Located in the former mining town of Hackberry, Arizona. The store is nicknamed the “Mother Lode of Mother Road Memorabilia,” because it is packed with historic signs, artifacts, vintage gas pumps, and even a red ‘57 Corvette.

Hackberry General Store in Kingman, Arizona Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Antares Point Visitor Center and Gift Shop in Kingman, Arizona Route 66 Attraction

Giganticus Headicus

Giganticus Headicus is the name of this giant green head who stands outside a Route 66 gift shop (Antares Point Visitor Center). The 14-foot-tall tiki was created by Gregg Arnold in 2004 and is one of many pieces of art around the property that was once known as the Kozy Corner Trailer Court.

Once in Kingman, check into your hotel, and keep exploring! Depending on when you arrive it might be a little too late for museums, but there’s still plenty of other attractions to see! Get dinner at Mr D’z Route 66 Diner, a classic Route 66 diner with a menu to match! Here are some other fun attractions in Kingman:

Kingman Route 66

Drive-Thru Route 66 Sign in Kingman, Arizona Route 66 Roadside Attraction

There is still more to explore past Kingman, with Oatman and Topock still on the horizon. But, with so many iconic things to see and do in the state, Kingman is a good stopping point on this Arizona Route 66 1-day road trip itinerary.

Where to Stay in Kingman, Arizona

This Arizona Route 66 1-day road trip itinerary ends in Kingman, Arizona. Kingman’s role as a vibrant stop along the Mother Road earned it the nickname “Heart of Route 66.” The town’s history is interwoven with the highway’s golden era, and its preserved historic district is a testament to the cultural significance of Route 66. While in town, marvel at the vintage (and the new) neon signs, classic diners, and charming storefronts.

Kingman offers an array of hotels that not only promise a comfortable stay but also transport you back in time to the heyday of Route 66. Whether you prefer a cozy motel with a touch of nostalgia or a modern hotel with a retro twist, Kingman’s hotels are an integral part of your journey through this historic highway.

El Trovatore Motel in Kingman, Arizona Route 66 Motel with Theme Rooms

El Trovatore Motel

El Trovatore Motel is located in downtown Kingman and offers themed rooms dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, and more. Outside the property boasts many fun murals, including the world’s longest map of Route 66. Look for the famous neon sign!

Ramada by Wyndham Kingman

Ramada by Wyndham Kingman might be a chain hotel, but it embraces the Route 66 spirit with decor and themed murals. The pet-friendly hotel has free WiFi, a gym, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and free parking.

Arizona Inn

Arizona Inn is located close to the best attractions and museums in Kingman. The air-conditioned rooms have satellite TVs and WiFi. A 24-hour front desk is open for your convenience.

Hotel Brunswick Suites

Stay in a charming retro studio apartment at the Hotel Brunswick Suites in Kingman. Housed in a fully restored 1911 garage, the apartments are decorated to reflect a 1950s look. The suites feature diner-style tables, queen beds, fold-out couches, TVs, and Keurig machines.

Ramblin Rose Mote

Located right off Route 66, the Ramblin Rose Motel is conveniently located to all the best attractions in Kingman. The motel offers free parking and clean tooms with microwaves, refrigerators, and cable TV.

Want more Kingman Route 66 hotels? Explore more here and peruse reviews.

Where to Stay in Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook, Arizona, is a small town with a rich history deeply intertwined with the iconic Route 66. Founded in 1881 as a railway town, Holbrook played a pivotal role in the expansion of the Santa Fe Railroad. However, it gained national recognition as a stop along the historic Route 66, established in 1926.

Located in Arizona’s Painted Desert, it is a popular place to spend the night for Route 66 roadtrippers visiting the Petrified Forest National Park and all of the kitschy rock shops surrounding it. Consider starting your one-day Arizona road trip in Holbrook to explore the National Park before moving on.

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona Route 66 Motel and Roadside Attraction

Wigwam Motel

Have you slept in a Wigwam lately? Seven Wigwam Motels were built in the 1930s and 1940s. Today, only three remain, including two Wigwam Motels on Route 66. Each motel room in this Holbrook motel is in an individual building shaped like a teepee. Spend the night at Wigwam Motel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was the inspiration for Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in the Pixar movie Cars.

Brad’s Desert Inn

Brad’s Desert Inn was originally built in 1967 and was recently renovated to appease the modern road tripper. The hotel boasts a rustic Southwestern charm that makes in a desert oasis for the weary traveler. Located close the the Petrified National Forest you’re sure to have a memorable stay.

66 Motel

66 Motel in Holbrook promises to be a “home away from home.” This motel offers free wifi and parking and rooms with a refrigerator and air conditioning.

Want more Holbrook Route 66 hotels? Explore more here and peruse reviews.

Route 66 Arizona Map

Explore our full map of Route 66 in Arizona below. For easy browsing it is categorized and color-coded by category: roadside attraction, dining, landmark, museum, outdoors, mural/sign, accommodation, shopping, and tour/excursion.

Plan Your Route 66 Road Trip

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Last modified: April 21, 2024
Category: ,

Share this Post ⤵

Save to My Trip