This is the perfect spot for you if you're looking for an offbeat tourist destination, with a hilariously spiteful origin story while driving through West Texas: Slug Bug Ranch. 

Discover the Quirky Charm of Slug Bug Ranch

Michael J. Rivera/TSM
Michael J. Rivera/TSM

Also known as Bug Ranch, Buggy Farm, or Bug Farm, this fascinating 'diamond in the rough' is nestled about 30 minutes east of Amarillo, Texas, where I-40 and TX-207 meet.

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Exploring the Offbeat Destination Near Amarillo, Texas

Cadillac Memorial
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Created in 2002 as a tongue-in-cheek twist on the iconic Cadillac Ranch, which I also wrote about here, Slug Bug Ranch sports five wrecked Volkswagen Beetles with their hoods buried in the ground.

The "creative" and completely "original" minds behind this unusual attraction were the Crutchfield family, who owned the neighboring Longhorn Trading Post and Rattlesnake Ranch.

Unravel the History of the Crutchfield

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Their goal? 

To lure traffic away from a competing (Love's) Travel Plaza!

If that isn't just one of the best origin stories involving spite and revenge I don't know what could be.

These Beetles, once donning a vibrant yellow hue and accompanied by a "Sign a Bug" sign, really did pull in tourists.

Sadly, the venture didn't pan out as a sustainable business, forcing the Trading Post to shut down within a year.

But Slug Bug Ranch has soldiered on and, as of 2023, is maintained by Steve Clegg.

Slug Bug Ranch Spray Paint Art

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Canva Image

The Beetles have become a canvas for spray-painted art by Route 66 travelers.

Visitors can paint the cars (not the buildings) and grab spray paint, t-shirts, stickers, and magnets while they're there.

Finding Slug Bug Ranch can be tricky, as there's no specific sign or address. Just head south of a bend in the frontage road on I-40's eastbound side at Exit 96, near an old motel sign.

The site is split into two areas worth exploring: the Beetles and three eerie abandoned buildings.

Just a word of caution, though – when getting up close and personal with the cars, be mindful of rattlesnakes, as they love nesting there. 

So for anyone with wanderlust, add Slug Bug Ranch to your bucket list and discover its charm for yourself.

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