1. Glenrio, Texas.
The Wild, Wild West may be a thing of the past, but the town of Glenrio, Texas, serves as a frozen snapshot of the good old days, according to RVshare. Tourists can enjoy hidden gems such as old bars, gas stations, western-themed motels, and plenty of other treasures. One can even find the ruins of an Endee Motor Court, which has thousands of secrets in itself.
How much I want to visit: 7.8/10.
I love stories of the wild west, and visiting this town would give me the chance to live out the plot of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Time to dust off my cowboy hat!
2. Hackberry, Arizona
Founded in 1874, the Touristear Travel Blog explains how Hackberry was originally a mining town with a nasty reputation of gambling issues and constant shootings. Over time, the town slowly began to turn into an area for cattle, until the construction of I-40 wiped the town from the public eye.
The town’s saving grace came in the form of Bob Waldmire, who bought the town’s general store in 1992. Today, travelers can stop at “The General Store” for a quick snack, break, or to use the restroom before continuing on their journey.
How much I want to visit: 8/10.
I love how part of the town’s history is still available today! It’s the perfect stop to get a feel of what it was like to travel on Route 66 in its glory days. Plus, it’ll be a great place to stop and grab some snacks for the road!
3 Amboy, California
Located in the Mojave Desert, Amboy, California, is easily identifiable by the giant Roy’s Motel & Café sign, as stated in the Touristear Travel Blog. What was once a bustling tourist area complete with a church, car workshop, and airport now stands vacant, a shell of its former glory days. After having a whooping total population of seven people in 2003, the town of Amboy was put on Ebay with the asking price of $1.9 million. These efforts proved fruitless, as no buyers stepped forward.
How much I want to visit: 8.8/10
The fact some original buildings are still standing is incredible to me. Being able to see establishments that once flourished with people now empty sounds so eerie, and visiting Amboy would be like I’m taking a step into the past.
4. Warwick, Oklahoma
Legends of America tells the story of Warwick, Oklahoma, a town once alive with activity. Featuring several grocery stores, hotels, a bank, a newspaper, schools, a saloon, and much more, it looked as though Warwick was on the cusp of becoming a classic American town. All of that came to a screeching halt when the railroads running through the town, Fort Smith & Western Railway, were abandoned due to financial problems, the annexation from the nearby town of Warwick, and the construction of highway 1-44.
While it’s a ghost of what it once was, Warwick does have a pretty cool feature – the gas station, Seaba Station, is two years older than Route 66! Built in 1924, John and Alice Seaba operated the service station and expanded into a manufacturing company. They sold their empire in the 50s, but the original station was bought in 1995 and reopened as Seaba Station Antiques, Gifts and Collectibles. As the years went by, the building was bought and sold by multiple people. Today, it stands as the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum.
How much I want to visit: 9.5/10
I can’t believe this town has something older than Route 66 itself! I also really like how the gas station went through several ownership changes, but still paid tribute to Route 66. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to see those iconic gas pumps some day!
6. Calico, California
The San Bernardino County website explains how Calico was an old mining town in 1881 but was soon abandoned in the mid-1890s after the silver lost its value. In the blink of an eye, the town went from a hustling and bustling lively mining town to empty streets, probably with tumbling weeds blowing around.
Not to worry, though! Walter Knot purchased the town in the 1950s and restored the original buildings to look just as they did back in the 1880s. Now, tourists can enjoy shops, restaurants, hiking, and much more!
How much I want to visit: 1,000/10.
YES. YES. JUST, YES. It’s absolutely amazing someone decided to step up and save this town. They even went so far as to preserve the original structures, and even mixed in a few modern attractions. This town is the perfect combination of past meets present, and it does a great job of saving the town’s history.
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