Kingman, Arizona is one of those places in the American West that stands out. We’re here to suggest that the next time your travels take you along our nation’s most historic route, you ought to pull over and spend a night or two. We think after browsing the itinerary below you’ll find good reason to!
This story was created in partnership with Go Kingman.
Day One: Get to Know Kingman, the Heart of Historic Route 66
Roll into town around midday and fuel up at one of the many local restaurants. Try the orange chicken at Thai 66, or opt for a Panama burger at Rutherford’s 66 Diner. Those road trip hunger pains will be a thing of the past in no time.
Once you’ve finished the last french fries, take to the trails. The Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area is crawling with 37-miles of intermediate-rated mountain bike trails that are perfect for getting a taste of the area and the adventure to come. Didn’t bring your bike? Pick one up at Bicycle Outfitters or simply enjoy the trails on foot. (Remember: mountain bikers yield to hikers.) Enjoy getting a closer look at the local flora like agave and yucca, and keep an eye out for wildlife. Just don’t look too close––many of Kingman’s native plants are of the prickly variety!
Of course, no one is immune to the charm of Route 66 history in Kingman. Before dinner, stroll through town and take in all of the extensive Mother Road artifacts and art. Those who are especially interested can fill out a Route 66 Passport, available at the Kingman Visitor Center. Then, enjoy award-winning beer and pizza at Rickety Cricket Brewing. Another nearby option is Floyd and Company. Their BBQ wings are a Kingman classic!
Kingman offers a number of comfortable lodging options, as well as old-timey motels with extra character. No matter your travel preferences, you’re sure to find a great place to catch some shuteye for another full day of adventure.
Day Two: More Mountain Biking and a Scenic Drive to a Ghost Town
On day two, enjoy breakfast at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store or opt for a breakfast sandwich and steaming cup of joe at Beale Street Brews. Depending on your goal for the weekend, spend the day mountain biking the 22-mile Beale Banger Trail just to the north of town. Otherwise, take a scenic drive to Oatman.
On this drive, you have the chance to encounter a classic desert superbloom, depending on the timing of your visit. (Please keep Leave No Trace principles in mind.) This section of road also features some of the best scenery found anywhere on Route 66! Oatman is a destination in and of itself and is considered a living ghost town. It hasn’t changed much since it was founded in 1902, and burros still roam the streets where shootout reenactments take place.
That afternoon (if you aren’t still riding the Beale Banger Trail), explore Hualapai Mountain Park. Another behemoth of a mountain bike trail awaits, or you can simply take a leisurely out-and-back hike to explore and enjoy the area.
That evening, double the Godfather Burrito at El Palacio or try a Mustang Philly at Ma & Pa’s Hot Rod Cafe. You’ve earned it!
Day Three: Take the Spirit of Kingman On the Road
Pick up a coffee and Deluxe Breakfast Sandwich to go at Rutherford’s 66 Family Diner (or return to Beale Street Brews) before heading to your next destination. London Bridge at Lake Havasu is only 60 miles away, and of course Kingman is the closest community to Skywalk in the Grand Canyon, a mere 75 miles to the north. You’re sure to carry the spirit of the Mother Road with you whichever direction you travel next!