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Flagstaff, Arizona - Route 66 Landmarks and Spirit Endure

Updated on November 13, 2012
In Flagstaff, Arizona Route 66 landmarks live on.
In Flagstaff, Arizona Route 66 landmarks live on. | Source

Not only do the Flagstaff Arizona Route 66 landmarks and spirit endure, but the portion of the city bordering “The Mother Road” has captured the imaginations of people the world over, and an economic resurgence has begun there.

The road through Flagstaff Arizona that would become Route 66 started as an initiative by a group of bicyclists in the 1800’s. Wanting better roads to ride on, their efforts begat The National Old Trails Highway. The Good Roads Movement followed in the late 1800’s, which soon prompted a Federal Act that became the start of today’s U.S. highways.

In its heyday, Route 66 ran from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. But the same U.S. Highways system that helped create it would eventually render it obsolete on September 22, 1978. According to Angel Delgadillo, whose family has had a business along Route 66 for 90 years, at about 2:30 p.m. on that day the town died, suddenly deprived of the Route 66 traffic flow.

Bordering Northern Arizona University, the highway served as the main route for students and faculty going to and from the campus. In recent years, the Department of Transportation, spurred on by local organizations like the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, have initiated or completed projects to rebuild or maintain parts of The Old Road going through Flagstaff.

The famous highway is now a nostalgic reminder of a simpler time, but one that people from all over come to experience. The stretch of Route 66 left behind by the busy pace of modern life is getting new life from people wanting to get away from the homogenization of modern society and drink in the character of the town here.

If you want to experience Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona, be sure to stop at the Flagstaff Visitor’s Center (1 East Route 66, at the beginning of the old road) first and pick up a walking map of the most popular Route 66 landmarks in Flagstaff. Here are the sites you don’t want to miss.

The DeBeau Motel, once for upper class motorists along Route 66, now in service as a popular international youth hostel.
The DeBeau Motel, once for upper class motorists along Route 66, now in service as a popular international youth hostel. | Source

DeBeau Motel

Built by A.E. DuBeau in 1929, the DeBeau Motel was the first of its kind on Route 66. Originally it was intended to be a classy motel inn, having uncommon luxuries such as bathrooms ensuite, double beds, carpeted floors and heated garages. Today the motel lives on as a well-reviewed international youth hostel.

DeBeau International Youth Hostel

19 West Phoenix Street, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001

(928) 774-6731

A
19 West Phoenix Street, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001:
19 W Phoenix Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

get directions

The Downtowner in Flagstaff on Route 66.
The Downtowner in Flagstaff on Route 66. | Source

Downtowner Motel

An iconic landmark just off of Route 66 proper, the Downtowner Motel has sat in its location at the corner of Phoenix Ave. and San Francisco St. since 1919. This motel was built by K.J. Nackard, who was responsible for several other improvements to the area.

His Route 66 buildings, the Ramey (once the Nackard Hotel,) and the Dutch Annie, started off as a brothel and the property of a murdered woman named Annie Marie Sutter, respectively. After improvements, they catered to the once flourishing Route 66 traffic. As with the DeBeau Motel, the Downtowner continues to provide lodging as the Grand Canyon International Youth Hostel.

Downtowner/Grand Canyon International Youth Hostel

19 S San Francisco St

Flagstaff, AZ United States

86001

(928) 779-9421

A
19 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001:
19 S San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

get directions

Santa Fe Plaza

Also known as the 1897 Depot, Santa Fe Plaza is marked by a steam engine representing its origins as a stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railway. Although never a bustling center of profit, the arrival of the railway here was significant to the growth of the Flagstaff economy at that time.

To get to the Santa Fe Plaza, walk 1 block to the East from the Flagstaff Visitor's Center on Route 66 until you reach the steam engine parked there.

The original Santa Fe train depot.
The original Santa Fe train depot. | Source
A
1 East Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ:
1 E Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

get directions

Mike's Pike

Route 66 is full of history and Americana, but new businesses embodying this same spirit have become top attractions in Flagstaff as well. The Mother Road brewery, located in the Southside neighborhood on Mike's Pike St. where Route 66 originally aligned and ran into Flagstaff, is just such a place.

The brewery sits in the Millum Building along with two other new businesses, Pizzicletta and The Flagstaff Bicycle Revolution. Until the 1990's, the building served as a commercial laundry operation. The tap room features indoor and outdoor seating, and well-behaved dogs are invited to join their owners. Although pretzels and munchies are available, there is no restaurant, so bring your own food if you need a full meal.


7 Mikes Pike

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

(928) 774-9139

Open Daily

3-8pm Sunday-Thursday

3-9pm Friday

11am-9pm Saturday (1/2 Price Growlers from 11-3!)

A
7 Mike's Pike, Flagstaff AZ 86001:
7 Mikes Pike, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

get directions

Screenshot of image of Granny's Closet Restaurant, Flagstaff, AZ.
Screenshot of image of Granny's Closet Restaurant, Flagstaff, AZ. | Source

Granny's Closet

Once known as the Paul Bunyan Cafe, then the Lumberjack Cafe, Granny's Closet is a Route 66 restaurant favorite serving fresh American dishes. Situated in a building built in the 1960's, Granny's Closet is easily found by the giant Lumberjack in front. Come for the nostalgic interior and the photo opps' outside.

Granny's Closet

218 South Milton Road Flagstaff, AZ 86001

(928) 774-8331

A
218 South Milton, Flagstaff, AZ 86001:
218 S Milton Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

get directions

The Furniture Barn

Now painted with a giant cow on the building's face, The Furniture Barn was once the National Guard Armory, and has been in existence since the 1950's. Along with the Highland Country Inn and the L Motel, the building housing discount designer furnishings still stands as a testament to the history and enduring love people have for Route 66.

The Furniture Barn

2550 E. 7th Avenue

Flagstaff, Arizona 86004

(928) 774-2752

Now housing furniture, it once served as the National Guard Armory.
Now housing furniture, it once served as the National Guard Armory. | Source
A
2550 E. 7th Avenue Flagstaff, Arizona 86004:
2550 E 7th Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, USA

get directions

Snow Cap Drive-in, Route 66 in Seligman, AZ
Snow Cap Drive-in, Route 66 in Seligman, AZ | Source

Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In

Just outside of Flagstaff in Seligman, Arizona are some sites worthy of Route 66 fame. Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-in is one of them. Ask anyone who has been there and they will tell you that between the décor and the staff, the Snow Cap has quirky atmosphere to spare. If you go, have your camera ready and expect to wait if there are tour buses parked nearby.

Built in 1953, the place is covered in nostalgia, including vintage cars, oddball signs and more. All reviews point to the must have soft serve ice cream.

Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-in

301 W Chino Ave

Seligman, AZ 86337

(928) 422-3291

A
301 W Chino Ave Seligman, AZ 86337:
301 Chino St, Seligman, AZ 86337, USA

get directions

Route 66, Seligman, Flagstaff
Route 66, Seligman, Flagstaff | Source
Supposedly equal to 1.28 million shots, this Seligman attraction can be found just past Flagstaff along Route 66
Supposedly equal to 1.28 million shots, this Seligman attraction can be found just past Flagstaff along Route 66 | Source

Route 66 Days-Celebrating Across America

Nowhere does the Route 66 spirit give life to enduring Flagstaff landmarks like it does during Route 66 Days in Flagstaff. Held by the Route 66 Car Club of Flagstaff every September, this charity event features classic cars in abundance. The festival is filled with food vendors, live entertainment and special events.

Members meet every Friday night at the neon lit Galaxy diner, so if you are in the area and have missed the festivities, stop by and check out some of the show's car highlights.

Route 66 Days



Historic Downtown Flagstaff

A
19 West Phoenix Street, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001:
19 W Phoenix Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

get directions

A map overview of Flagstaff's Route 66 historic landmarks.

Comments

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    • MosLadder profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Montgomery 

      5 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Thanks KawikaChann, those little bits of history are pretty cool. I guess we can at least hope for a modern version of the nostalgic stuff as the originals fade away.

    • MosLadder profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Montgomery 

      5 years ago from Irvine, CA

      My pleasure. Flagstaff is such an interesting place, I wish I had spent more time hunting down Route 66 landmarks when I lived close by. Thanks for commenting.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      Kawika Chann 

      5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nice job MosLadder, I came upon route 66 a few years ago on a drive from the east coast to the west coast and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of americana info... most of the spots had been weathered and had seen better days, but you could feel the struggle of the little towns trying to hang onto the significance of the route 66 and it's history. Aahh change. Great info. Peace. Kawi.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Route 66 seems to have its fair share of unique landmarks. A portion of the famous route also goes through Arcadia, Oklahoma -- but don't blink as you may miss it.

      Flagstaff's portion of the highway has quite a few interesting places to its credit. Thanks for sharing this information.

      Voted up and Shared.

    • MosLadder profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Montgomery 

      5 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Thanks Dreamhowl!

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 

      5 years ago from United States

      Your hub is full of a lot of useful information. I especially liked the pictures you chose to go along with it - they are very stunning. Voted up. :)

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