Planning a scenic day trip to a few Route 66 destinations in Arizona is easy to do when touring the Grand Canyon region. The Grand Canyon is the number one tourist attraction in this state and Flagstaff is the local Route 66 hub. Doing the Flagstaff Route 66 scene is an all day venture of its own and there are a few more historic Route 66 towns nearby within easy reach. Interstate Highway 40 is Route 66 just about anywhere east of Flagstaff all the way to the New Mexico border. This high speed freeway greatly reduces the travel time to the old Route 66 points of interest along the way, so a lot of nostalgic fun can be packed into a day trip venture.
The historic Route 66 town of Winona is located just east of Flagstaff on the other side of the mountains. Winona is also located next to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Walnut Canyon National Monument, so a full day of adventure awaits in this area. The nearby attractions are a good thing, because there really is not much left of the original Route 66 scene that remains in Winona, which was small to begin with.
From the highway exit ramp, the little unincorporated town of Winona appears in the distance. There is not much to see other than a great view of the snow capped Humphrey’s Peak and the old steel bridge that has been shut down because it is no longer safe to cross. There is not much to do in Winona either, other than hanging out at the gas station, so the uninitiated may wonder why this is an important Route 66 destination. The reason amounts to this little town being mentioned in an old song. “Don’t forget Winona …” is one of the easiest lyrics to remember in the classic “Route 66” song that was composed by Bobby Troup way back in 1946. This haunting tune will definitely ring in the ears while doing a quick tour of Winona!
The old Route 66 town of Winona may not be much to look at and the few local businesses that are open do not cater to tourism, but this is no reason to call the visit off. Being able to later say that you do honestly remember Winona when the classic song is played is reason enough to do the five minute tour of this old Route 66 town!
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