Route 66 Attractions from Barstow to Victorville

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California is home to so many beautiful modern attractions that one of the things that often gets lost in the shuffle is the history of this fantastic state. One of the most interesting parts of that history to me is that it was the end point for Route 66, the mother road. I have set out to drive this road in separate part, all through California and in doing so I have already found wonderful places like the Original McDonalds Museum and Elmers Bottle Ranch. This post spotlights the attractions I found when driving from Barstow down to the top of the Cajon Pass. They are in order of the things you would see heading from Barstow down to Victorville. You can read about Route 66 attractions from San Bernardino to Rancho Cuchamonga here.

Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch

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As a fan of strange attractions I loved the stop at Elmer’s. Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is a labor of love by one man to create a unique piece of art for others to enjoy. This collection of steel poles with bottles stuck on them is super fun to walk through and even better to photograph. This place is open most days from dawn to dusk as Elmer said he loved people being able to stop by and he even keeps it open when he is not there. Make it a for sure stop on your drive, or even an adventure in and of itself.

Ostrich Farm

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Only about two miles down the road is a sign that says Ostrich Farm on the right hand side. If you blink you will miss it so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. When we were there the farm was closed but you could still park and walk up to the coral that all the ostrich were in. Even though I have visited other ostrich farms, the sheer amount of ostriches on this one was pretty staggering. I would love to stop by when it is open.

Mohawk Gas Station

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I don’t have a ton of info on this spot other then that I was told to stop by from multiple people. It is an old vintage gas station that goes by the name of Mohawk. This is the type of place that you expect to see more of on Route 66 so I was glad to stop for a couple photos.

Antique Station

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Two minutes down the road from Mohawk Gas is a turn of the century building that is lovingly called Antique Station. Even though the outside of the building itself is in differing states of decay, the interior houses an amazing collection of antiques for sale at decent prices. I enjoyed browsing the store and you will need some time to take it all in as it is huge. The people behind the counter were very nice and they even showed me the old mail sorting area they had from the post office that was located on this area of Route 66 back in the day. A great stop that I will go back to for antique shopping.

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Steel Truss Bridge

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After about 5-10 minutes of driving you will reach this old steel bridge from the 1930’s. This bridge is a beautiful feet of engineering, back from when they used rivets to hold everything together. The bridge spans the Mojave River and if you are interested in taking pictures there are pull outs on the South side.

Emma Jean Hollands Burgers

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This historic restaurant has all of the charm you would expect on Route 66 with the history and food to make it an easy recommendation. I recommend the Truckers Special which is what was featured on the show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and is a really good sandwich with meat, Ortega chili, bacon and cheese. Mental note, this place is cash only.

Route 66 Museum

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After going under Highway 15 you will find yourself in Victorville and driving down one of the main drags. This is also the home to one of many Route 66 museums. There are a lot of them all along the road but this is one of the only ones that is actually on Route 66. It is free to visit and has a ton of signs and history from different periods on the road. It also has a picture of all of the historic attractions along the Southern California stretch which I hope to complete one of these days. Definitely worth a stop.

Old Town Route 66 Sign

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Right around the corner from the Route 66 museum is the Old Town Route 66 Sign. There is not much else to see here but it is a fun sign for everyone driving the road.

Summit Inn (This was destroyed in the 2016 fire and is no longer there)

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Lastly, on this stretch of the route, right before you head down Cajon Pass, there is a diner called Summit Inn. This place prides itself on its Ostrich burgers that it sells and it houses the same old town vibe that Emma Jean’s does. While I didn’t try the food as I was still full from lunch, it was a fun places for photos and a fun last stop on this part of Route 66.

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All in all this was a great drive on Route 66. Every time I am on this road I realize how much I would love to just spend more time hearing from the people and places that have seen the history first hand. I can’t help but think in our generation a lot of the great Route 66 stories will be lost to time and I love being able to at least document them as they are today. Be sure to continue on the drive with me on this Route 66 from San Bernardino to Rancho post as well.

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About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.

  • thanks for sharing all your adventures! I’m slowly putting them into my queue of places to visit. I used to only love international travel and have done a handful of mission trips abroad as well. This year, I’ve realized there’s actually so much right where I am. I love these two quotes that have been inspiring me to just open my eyes to what’s around me.
    “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – D. Runes
    “Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

    • Thanks for sharing those quotes I love both of them and I agree there is so much to see where home is that people often just skip over!

  • also, if you don’t mind me asking.. what city in cali are you based out of?

    • I am in the Inland Empire.

  • Angela Wendel

    Hi Josh, I just wanted to thank you for this fantastic summary of the Route 66 from Victorville to Barstow. I took a group of photographers along with route on Saturday and your write up was very helpful. FYI – The folks out at the Ostrich Ranch are having some difficulties and specifically asked us to NOT stop by, which was a shame.
    I did want to let you know about a place not far from Barstow that you might be interested in exploring: The Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark. Great photo opportunities and as you walk along this ruin, you certainly get a sense of how much fun the kids must have had when this was a functioning park. It’s off Yermo Road, past the city of Yermo. Go around the backside of the park for easy access.
    All the best and thanks again for sharing!
    Angela

    • No problem, glad you guys had fun! Thank you for the recommendation as well it really sounds awesome and I will check out next time I am out that way!

    • walter

      I believe that in the 70’s Rock-A=Hula waterpark was named lake Doloris

  • Josh – Thank you for your great post. We are going to share it with our Route 66 Followers and Guests. Don’t forget another stop along Route 66 – the Route 66 Motel, Since 1922. We have been keeping her alive so that others can enjoy Route 66. Just a slice of the famous Mother Road, but we love her! http://www.route66motelbarstow.com or @route66motel

    • Thanks for the comment! I will be sure to check out the motel next time I am up that way!

      • Thank you. We enjoy reading your blog and recommend. 🙂

  • Great post! And I definitely agree with you that a stop at Emma Jean’s Holland Burger is worth it. Be sure to check days & hours before you go (they are closed Sundays and after 3PM). And cash only like you said.

    Steve

    • Thanks for the comment and additional information about Emma Jean’s!

  • Bret Mahoney

    Just a heads up for you to update the post, unfortunately The Summit Inn was destroyed in a fire during the summer of 2016. Love the blog though, thanks for sharing so many cool places!

    • Thanks for the comment, that is unfortunate to have lost it and I will update the post.

  • Wanda Navarro

    Wow, thanks for this great blog, Josh! I’m happy I came upon it as we will be visiting my
    brother in Las Vegas for the first week of April. I’m trying to finalize our itinerary. We’re going through Death Valley (did this 5 yrs ago and heard it calling our names again!) Spending a night at the Firnace Creek Inn, then on to Palm Springs for 2 nights (never been), then Joshua Tree NP for a day, spending the night nearby in Yucca Valley. We want to see a stretch of Rt 66 on that last day after we check out of our hotel (which is a Friday) before we arrive back in Vegas that evening, and fly back home the next afternoon. Thinking of leaving Yucca Valley for Victorville, then on to Barstow, Baker (want to see the thermometer) before arriving in Vegas. Was originally planning on heading to Barstow first, but sounds like it may be worth going a bit in the other direction and going to Victorville. Do you agree?

    • I think either way is good, I would just try to make it to Elmer’s Bottletree Ranch as that is probably my favorite spot along the drive. http://californiathroughmylens.com/elmers-bottletree-ranch

      • Wanda Navarro

        Thanks for your reply, Josh. We will definitely make it to Elmer’s Bottletree Ranch! I’m ordering 2 books on Rt 66 from Amazon as well. I’m realizing that we’re only going to be able to touch on a small area of Rt 66 because we only have that one day on our way back to Vegas. Since my message to you yesterday, I’ve decided we should backtrack a bit more to San Bernardino. We’ll spend the night in San Bernardino after leaving Joshua Tree NP as we’d like to see the sight/small museum of the original McDonald’s. It will give us extra time to already be there in the morning. We will only be able to go to Barstow and that will be our short viewing of Rt 66, but better than nothing. I’m rearing and ready to do a much longer stretch on a future trip after reading your blog and the experiences of other travelers! I’ll check in after we return from our trip. Thanks again for your help and advice:)