Kid-Friendly Road Trip Stops on Route 66

by Tonya Staab

Take a road trip along Route 66 with kids and you’ll see some fun, quirky, educational, and off-the-beaten-path tourist attractions.

Mike and I decided to do an epic road trip this summer. He flew to California, and then we drove with the two little ones back to Kentucky over 3 days, spent time in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and then drove back to California again.

I have been addicted to Roadtrip America for years. I’ve planned out day trips based on it to see quirky places, historical sites, and off-the-beaten-path places we normally wouldn’t even notice if we were on the road. So, I downloaded the app as soon as we left the driveway on the first day and didn’t close it again until we got back to California.

Slug Bug Ranch in Texas

This is kind of like Cadillac Ranch, but who doesn’t love a good game of slug bug (or punch buggy as I call it) on a road trip. The kids jumped out of the car here, it was a little drizzly, but they ran through the cars playing punch buggy.

Stewart’s Petrified Wood

This is a fun and quirky place. Mike and I want to explore here and talk to Charles (the owner), and maybe pick up a few fun things to take home with us.

Blue Whale of Catoosa

What a great little spot! The blue whale is on a pond filled with turtles and fish. Kids can take fishing rods for catch and release fishing, and there are a couple of little slides coming out of the whale into the water. There are fairy garden style picnic benches and a little fairy garden inside the gate. It’s the perfect spot to take a picnic lunch.

London Bridge

… is falling down, falling down …

Yes, this is the real London Bridge, and it now calls Lake Havasu in Arizona home. It was restored and placed here in 1971. We stopped here for a late lunch one day. There are a lot of water activities on the lake, and a few restaurants with beautiful views cross to the bridge. I wish I could remember which one we stopped at but we crossed the bridge and it was on the right-hand side with beautiful big windows overlooking gardens, the water, and the bridge. There were some really fun stores in the area too.

The Continental Divide

I know, I know, we don’t want to learn and do educational things (or so my kids said), but this was a pretty cool place to stop, and there is a gift shop where you can pick up a few fun things too.

You might not want to stop at everything along the way, but there are certainly some fun sites you can see right from the main highway (like the Golf Ball House) without having to jump onto Route 66. That’s right, it’s a house, and it’s occupied, so you cannot go inside, but you can see it from the highway.

And you’ll see plenty of other things such as teepee’s, large sculptures, dinosaurs, things on poles, run-down abandoned buildings that now have graffiti on them, and so much more. I highly recommend downloading the app and seeing what’s close by as you are driving. There are also plenty of places to stretch legs, shop, dine, and use restrooms.

AND, if you are driving early in the morning and an hour or two before sunset keep your eyes open for deer, elk, and long-horned sheep. We saw a lot on our travels.

We were on a bit of a time crunch or we would have spent more time on the road, but we had a fishing day booked (which I’ll be sharing about soon), and were helping one of the kids move house, so we could only fit in so many stops on this trip, but most of them we tried to make as kid-friendly as possible. Mike and I are planning our own two week trip so we can photograph our way along Route 66 and check out all of the off-the-beaten-path spots that we thought the kids wouldn’t enjoy as much as we would.

The Roadtrip America app has ratings and photos from users. Use it! We took a couple of quick detours on 2-star spots and they really were 2-star visits. But others were fantastic …

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1 comment

Brandy August 14, 2017 - 5:54 pm

I love that you guys did this. The photos are awesome. I have never been to California or even the west coast in my life but hopefully we can make that one of our many road trip adventures some day in the future. Looks like a fun time!


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