We all love Route 66. It's a big part of our identity. Still, most of us are unsure of just what route Route 66 took on its way through Amarillo.
That's why I decided to check a map.
Yes, Amarillo Blvd was once part of Route 66. The old Mother Road would travel the same route as Amarillo Blvd. Another name for it would be NE 8th. You had a couple of options at one time. You could take the bypass, or take the "business route" At Fillmore there was a turn that took Route 66 south until it came to 6th.
6th and Route 66
Heading west from the intersection of Fillmore and 6th, you'd be traveling on Route 66. Arguably, one of the parts of town most proud of it's Route 66 heritage is 6th. You can't ignore the references to Route 66 when you're out looking for antiques and coffee on a Saturday afternoon.
Westward from 6th
From 6th, Route 66 would follow Bushland Blvd to SW 9th, and then out from Amarillo Blvd West. From there it was on to California, with more than a few stops along the way.
At least, that's what I can make out from the map.
Ghosts of Route 66
There are many remnants left over from the bygone era of traveling the Mother Road. Ranchotel immediately comes to mind. The now mostly abandoned motor court was once a hub for travelers making their way west.
You can still see traces of it on the Boulevard. Several buildings have "the look" of a place that went up during the heyday of old Route 66.
Ranchotel: The Forgotten Landmark of Old Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas
The Ranchotel, located at 2501 W. 6th St., is a product of Route 66's heyday.
When Americans first began long-distance automotive travel, they typically stayed in hotels or camped beside the road. In response, clever entrepreneurs began to build what were called tourist courts
. The Ranchotel is one of these.
It was built in 1940 and until recently, it was considered one of the best preserved examples of Route 66's tourist facilities. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and was well maintained until 2020.
Even now, in spite of the building's fading beauty, there is still the nostalgic air held by many a historic landmark.
Downtown Amarillo Over The Years
Downtown Amarillo has seen an incredible metamorphosis. Take a look at the photos below to see just how much it's changed--you won't believe the difference.
Teeny Tiny Towns of the Texas Panhandle
Don't blink! You just might miss these TINY towns that are dotted around the Texas Panhandle.
Some of these are unincorporated communities and some of these are just plain ol' small!
Either way, these teensy weensy tiny towns and their populations will make you say "wow" (and maybe even squint and say "that's all!?"). Check them out:
Sixth Street Over The Years - WOW! What A Change!
Sixth Street in Amarillo looked incredibly different not too long ago. Have you forgotten what it looked like in 2007? Buckle up, the ride is incredible.