Sooner or later the Route 66 bug will bite and there will be an urge to experience this hip nostalgic scene! When the urge strikes, the trip can start and end any place that one chooses along this 2,400 mile long highway. Driving the entire length of the Mother Road is a lifelong ambition of many a tourist and doing this lengthy trip is a big commitment to make. Just opting to cruise sections of historic Route 66 that spark interest is okay too and this is what most folks do.
As soon as the tires hit the pavement on this old road, it is like something magical takes place. The mood and feelings of everyone onboard drifts right back to the golden age of automobile travel when fun and adventure could be found around every bend. There is no reason to hurry and there are no worries when cruising down the Route 66 strip in a small town that the rest of the world has forgotten about. Just like being in a time warp, the nostalgic past is still alive on Route 66 and this cool scene still captivates travelers in this modern age.
Photographing points of interest along sections of the Mother Road from St Louis to Tucumcari is what I did during a recent trip. In order to shorten the travel time, tours of Route 66 attractions in most of the big cities were skipped along the way. This article features interesting historic sites and attractions along Route 66 in Missouri from Bourbon to Cuba and onward to Fanning. This is an important section of Route 66 for fans of the Mother Road to experience, because some of the very first businesses that were designed solely for the purpose of catering to the needs of passenger car tourism are located in this region.
Entrepreneurs back in the 1920s and 1930s knew that the potential risk of starting a business along the Mother Road was low, because the popularity of traveling on a novel new highway to the American Southwest would be high. Along this stretch of Route 66 from Bourbon to Fanning, visitors can see the local community businesses that have catered to fans of the Mother Road for more than nine decades. This means that it is possible that more than three generations of a family could have done this same trip in the past and the best part is that the old original landmark businesses that the grandparents remember are still there.
The stretch of Route 66 from Bourbon to Fanning, Missouri offers some of the best nostalgic restaurants, motor inns and antique memorabilia collections that can be found on the entire Mother Road. The Bourbon Water Tower is a funny sight to see and it is enough to make travelers think that this old town never runs dry! The Circle N Malt Shop is still open, just like it always has been and stopping to chill out with a shake while watching the cars go by on Route 66 is still a cool thing to do. Skippy’s Route 66, Shelly’s Route 66, the Missouri Hick BBQ and Friscos still serve up the kind of hearty food that keeps travelers coming back for more.
The old 1920s through 1940s style gas stations and garages have been restored as memorabilia attractions along this stretch of road and the old original Wagon Wheel Motel still offers the classic cottage guest rooms just like back in the old days. There are many fine examples of the first motels, boarding houses and vacation rentals that were designed solely to cater to the automobile travel crowd in this region long ago. Most of these old buildings have been preserved as historic sites and they still create great photo opportunities. Even one of the first religious organizations to safely guide tourists on the Mother Road can be found on this stretch of Route 66. The “Jesus Is King Of The Road” highway sign still comforts travelers after all these years.
There are plenty of antique shops and elaborate antique display attractions between Bourbon and Fanning that are well worth checking out. Bob’s Gasoline Alley is one of the Route 66 displays that you really do not want to miss while in Cuba, Missouri. Basically, Bob turned a small farm into a gigantic Route 66 diorama full of old cars, antique gas pumps and old Mother Road signs. The best views of Bob’s Gasoline Alley can be seen from I-44, but those who have more time can take the tour by foot from a local access road.
It simply would not be a great Route 66 trip if there were no roadside oddities involved. Weird tourist attractions abound on the Mother Road and one of the best is located in Fanning, Missouri. The World’s Largest Route 66 Rocking Chair awaits those people who are just plain old attracted to weird things while on vacation! The gigantic rocking chair is located at the Fanning 66 Outpost, which is a snazzy little antique and memorabilia shop in its own right.
As can be imagined, the World’s Largest Route 66 Rocking Chair does create some unique selfie photo opportunities. In one of the photos, my old R/T Challenger Scat Pack can be seen parked in front of the gigantic rocking chair, which shows the true scale of things. It does not take much imagination to see that my old Dodge Challenger actually looks like a miniature Hot Wheels Toy Car sitting on the floor next to a rocking chair in the living room when looking at the picture. The distortion in size does create a unique perspective that will result in a few laughs and that is what makes the World’s Largest Route 66 Rocking Chair such a fun attraction to visit. This attraction has only been there since 2008, so it goes to show that entrepreneurs are still bringing new life to the old Mother Road.
It does not matter where you begin or end a Route 66 journey. All that matters is that you experience the Mother Road at least once in a lifetime! Some folks cannot get enough of the nostalgic Route 66 scene and they keep on coming back for more. For true Mother Road fans, the Bourbon to Fanning section is one of the most memorable stretches of Route 66 in Missouri, so it should be placed high on the lifetime travel destination list. Where else can you see a Bourbon Water Tower, hang out at a ’50s malt shop, spend the night in a historic motor inn cottage and take selfies next to a gigantic rocking chair? ... Only on good old Route 66!
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