Route 66 certainly used to be the number one summertime vacation travel corridor in America and the long stretch through Arizona was most famous for the Grand Canyon destination, which was something exotic and new way back in the 1920s when automobile tourism was just beginning to take shape. By the late 1940s, the Arizona Route 66 tourism scene was gaining world class notoriety and cutting edge businesses boasting all sorts of modern conveniences sprouted up from one end of the state to the other. The old west towns located near popular attractions, like the National Parks, soon evolved into major tourism hubs. The future looked bright and shiny, till the modern Interstate Highway 40 completely bypassed Route 66 through this entire state in the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, the local Route 66 economics plummeted and most of the Mother Road attractions soon. became rusty memories of a golden age gone by.
The Petrified Forest National Park certainly was one of the most popular exotic Route 66 attractions back in the golden years and the town of Holbrook once was the thriving gateway to this destination. Holbrook was also the gateway to Indian Country Route 66 and the opportunity to learn from cultural exchange attracted many a visitor to this desolate region. A few of the old famous landmark Route 66 culture businesses still exist in Holbrook, while the old historic Petrified Forest welcome center buildings still see thousands of visitors each day. Closing the eyes and imagining hundreds of antique station wagons with tons of luggage strapped on the roof is easy to do, especially at the Route 66 Memorial in this park. Rusty remnants of the past and a few placards mark the spot, so be sure to check it out, because the Petrified Forest Route 66 Memorial definitely is worthy of a prime time selfie photo!
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