Any time we’re road tripping and the drive from one place to another is more than four hours, I always look for something to do along the way. A pit stop, especially when you get to go hiking, exploring, or learn something new, is a fun way to break up the drive and usually where we break for lunch too.
For our spring break road trip to Grand Canyon National Park and Petrified Forest National Park, we left Friday right after the kids got out of school to get the first four-ish hours knocked out. Then on Saturday, we drove from Bakersfield to the Grand Canyon with a pit stop in Kingman, Arizona — the Heart of Historic Route 66 — for some historic exploring and lunch.
Our first stop in Kingman was the historic Powerhouse, which has been converted into a Visitor Information Center. The Powerhouse Visitor Center houses the Arizona Route 66 Museum, the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Canyon Skywalk Information Center, an Arizona Visitor Center, the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, the 66 Kid Gallery, and the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum.
While at the Powerhouse, we toured the Route 66 Museum and the Electric Vehicle Museum. Next, we headed across the street to check out the Route 66 Locomotive Park and Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner. And before hopping back on the highway, we walked through the Mohave Museum Of History And Arts.
Arizona Route 66 Museum
The Arizona Route 66 Museum is located upstairs in Kingman’s Historic Powerhouse, the very building that supplied power to the surrounding Arizona towns and mines and lit the way for the earliest Route 66 travelers.
The Route 66 Museum opened in May 2001 to depict the historical evolution of travel along Route 66. Operated by the Mohave Pioneers Historical Society, the museum features murals, photos, and dioramas that capture those who have traveled what came to be known as the Mother Road. As you walk through the museum, you can:
- Follow the paths of the Native American trade routes and the U.S. Army led survey expeditions.
- Travel along with the settlers on their migration west over the nation’s first federally funded wagon roads.
- Feel the hardship and despair of the dust bowl refugees as they journeyed along the Mother Road to a better life.
- Visit Main Street America as the 50’s usher in fun and excitement for Route 66 travelers.
Know Before You Go
- The Arizona Route 66 Museum is located inside the Powerhouse Visitor Center at 120 W Andy Devine Avenue #2, Kingman, Arizona 86401 across the street from the Locomotive Park and Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner and one block from the Mohave Museum of History and Arts.
- It is open seven days a week. Closed on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Easter Day, Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
- Hours for the Kingman Visitor Center, Historic Route 66 Association, and Arizona Route 66 Museum are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the last museum tour admitted at 4:00 pm.
- Admission to the Powerhouse is free.
- Admission to the Arizona Route 66 Museum is $4.00 for adults/teens, $3.00 for seniors, and free for children 12 and under with a paying adult.