A quirky small town along a preserved section of Route 66 captures a vibrant slice of Americana.

Between Flagstaff and Kingman in Northern Arizona, Seligman preserves the Americana of yesteryear at the beginning of the scenic drive that is the longest remaining stretch of Route 66 in the United States.

A bit of history

The Seligman of today owes a lot to Angel Delgadillo, a soft-spoken Seligman barber who led efforts to preserve Route 66. When the town was bypassed by Interstate 40 in 1978, he formed the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. In 1987, Seligman became the Birthplace of Historic Route 66 when the State of Arizona acknowledged the stretch of road from Seligman to Kingman as Historic Route 66. The designation regenerated interest in Route 66's old-fashioned Americana, and Seligman remains as the starting point of the longest surviving section of America's iconic road, which runs 160 miles to Topock, Arizona.

Get your kitsch on Route 66

Seligman embraces yesteryear. Several colorful and quirky gift shops—including Angel & Vilma Delgadillo's Original Route 66 Gift Shop, The Historic Seligman Sundries, Return to the 50s, Rt. 66 Hippie Cricket and The Rusty Bolt—sell soda shop classic Coca-Cola memorabilia, license plates and road signs, records best listened to while wearing a poodle skirt, James Dean iconography, and Elvis everything. Get your kicks and also, your knickknacks.

Seligman on Route 66 (Credit: An Pham)

Dining, drinking & dozing

To experience the best Seligman restaurants, hit up Westside Lilo's for American fare including burgers and sandwiches, and the Roadkill Café for animals—both served on the menu and displayed on the walls. Wait, what? Taxidermied animals decorate The Roadkill Café, whose slogan is "you kill it, we grill it." Interesting options include bison and elk. Hit up the Black Cat Bar for domestic and regional draft beer and cocktails. For overnight, check out the Route 66 Canyon Lodge Motel, a historic Route 66 motel where themed rooms pay tribute to Elvis, Harley Davison, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe.

Become a Pixar character

Radiator Springs, the fictional town from Pixar's Cars, had to fight for its survival after being bypassed by the interstate. Sound familiar? (Radiator Springs gets its name from the nearby town of Peach Springs.) Seligman's iconic desert topography looks very similar to the backdrop of the little Route 66 town in the beloved animated film, and the film's story was inspired by tales from Angel Delgadillo's own memories of the town. Look for nods to the film around town, including a Mater-like toothy truck in front of The Historic Seligman Sundries, and a pastel-colored Volkswagen bug (just like Fillmore) in front of The Motoporium.

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