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Kingman Arizona is a Mother Road town

Kingman is known as the Heart of Historic Route 66, which makes perfect sense when visiting this small Arizona town. The downtown is sprinkled with neon and vintage charm, it has little shops, breweries and restaurants to order up a brew or bite with a local flavor.

The historic downtown has four museums and over 40 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors enjoy strolling downtown and taking in the sites, from art deco buildings and colorful murals to Steam Locomotive #3759 permanently parked downtown. Photography enthusiasts will find no shortage of opportunities to capture the vintage Americana and Route 66 experience. Iconic Route 66 emblems can be found all over the downtown on street signs, murals, in the parks, and on the historic water tanks.

A stop at the Visitor Center is a must; it rises like a fortress along the Mother Road. Originally built as a powerplant over a century ago, the historic building is home to gift shops and two museums – so much more than maps and visitor information. The museums include an eclectic array of vintage electric vehicles and a dynamic display of the chronological evolution of Route 66 from a migration and trading route to its heyday as memorialized by Nat King Cole’s 1946 hit “Get Your Kicks on Route 66”.

Just outside of the Visitor Center is a mid-century modern neon sign, standing like a pin in the ground letting visitors know they’ve arrived in Kingman. In the summer of 2021, the Route 66 Drive Thru Shield experience was opened to the delight of gearheads and roadies. It has become an ever-present opportunity for travelers and road trippers to stop in Kingman and commemorate their time on the Mother Road.

The food scene is a well-mixed bowl of tasty delight. A hungry sojourner can find wood-fired pizza, a mafia-style Italian steakhouse, dozens of hand-crafted brews, Mexican dishes, a coffee shop bistro and a wine bar with hundreds of pours and parings to choose from, old fashion diner-style burgers and shakes, and gourmet hamburgers too. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All authentic local mom & pop eats.

For a self-guided experience, take the Kingman Tours, A Walkabout Kingman with Jim Hinckley audio narrated tour. There are currently 28 tour points of significant sites along Route 66 and in historic downtown Kingman.  Sculptor J. Anne Butler created a bronze sculpture which was placed at the start of the tour, the historic Kingman Train Depot at 4th Street and Andy Devine. The tour is a Kingman Main Street project, for more information, visit https://kingman.tours/.

For modern day travelers arriving by electric car, Downtown Kingman has two Tesla Supercharger sites and the Visitor Center offers a Level 2 J1772 charger for any EV, courtesy to guests during business hours. The Electric Vehicle Museum is a must see for any EV enthusiast. The growing collection covers a century of electric vehicle history with EVs from 1910’s to the 2000’s.

Whether on a Grand Canyon road trip or your Arizona get away, you can get your Route 66 kicks in Kingman!

Originally posted January 06, 2022. Revised July 7, 2023.

Posted:
07/14/2023
Written by:
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