Route 66 in the News

Holbrook Has It

2009-04-13 20:56:24

Holbrook, Arizona is the gateway city to the Petrified Forest National Park. Located 25 miles west of the park, Holbrook offers a variety of services that visitors will want to take advantage of.

Inside the Historic Navajo County Courthouse, visitors will discover a museum with exhibits on the county's history, its Route 66 connection, and life in an old-west town. One can even step into a cell that served as the county's jail for many years. Run by the Chamber of Commerce and the Petrified Forest Museum Association, the Courthouse has a bookstore and plenty of area information.

While people had been crossing the Little Colorado River and settling in the area for years, the name 'Holbrook' was given to the town in 1881 when the railroad station was established. The following year the station -- and the name -- moved two miles west to its present location.

That location, now greatly expanded, is situated along Interstate 40, and is bisected by State Routes 180 and 77. Holbrook is truly a crossroads, centrally located for exploring northeastern Arizona.

Travelers who want to experience the history of Route 66 have a choice of many motels that have stood the test of time. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Wigwam Motel, located on West Hopi Drive. One of only two teepee-style Route 66 motels still around, this motel might have been the inspiration for the 'Cozy Cone' motel in the popular Pixar animated Cars movie.

The Wigwam isn't the only choice for travelers; there are approximately 25 motels in town. Almost all the major motel chains are represented, along with some that are locally owned. There's even a bed and breakfast.

There are plenty of restaurants, too, offering fare that ranges from fast-food to full menu sit-down service. McDonald's, KFC, Burger King and Taco Bell are in town, as are Denny's, Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen. Local southwestern/Mexican flavor can be had at Jalapeno Peppers, Romo's Cafe, Joe and Aggies Cafe, and at the Wayside Cafe. Asian tastes can be satisfied at the Mandarin Beauty Chinese Restaurant, while Italian is served at the Mesa Italiana Restaurant.

The Roxy Theater offers first-run films, while the Holbrook Public Library offers readers a place to sit down and catch up on the news. The library also offers free wireless internet; hours vary, but it is open until 7:00pm MST on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

~Karen Sweeny-Justice, Petrified Forest National Park Examiner


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