Route 66

If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, mom-and-pop motels in the middle of nowhere, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”

Winslow

Winslow, Arizona, didn’t make it into Bobby Troup’s original Route 66 hit list, but the town more than made it a generation later when Glenn Frey and the Eagles recorded the Jackson Browne tune “Take It Easy,” whose second verse starts with “Standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,” a line that has caused more people to turn off in search of the place than anything else. Right downtown in between the two strips of Route 66, which runs one-way in each direction down 2nd and 3rd Streets, the funky Old Trails Museum (212 Kinsley Ave., 928/289-5861, Tues.-Sat., free) sells a range of “Standin’ on the Corner” T-shirts, and displays a few reminders of Winslow in its heyday. Standing on the corner of 2nd and Kinsley, where a little sign stakes a claim to being the corner the Eagles sang about, there’s a statue of a guy with a guitar and a mural of a girl (my lord!) in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look.

The usual chain motels and fast-food franchises stand at either end of town around Winslow’s I-40 exits, but in between is a great landmark of Southwest style: the elegant La Posada Hotel (303 E. 2nd St., 928/289-4366, $120 and up). Designed in the late 1920s for Fred Harvey by architect Mary Colter, who considered it her masterpiece, the hotel was closed for 40 years before being fully and lovingly restored and reopened in 1998. Near a busy rail line but surrounded by very pleasant gardens, the luxurious hotel is also home to a stylish cocktail bar and one of the finest restaurants for miles, the Turquoise Room. If you have the time and inclination to appreciate its old-fashioned, handcrafted charms, La Posada is an unforgettable stop.

Old Trails Museum (212 N. Kinsey Ave.)
La Posada Hotel (303 E. 2nd St.)