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.”

Vega and Adrian: Midpoint Cafe

Between Amarillo and the New Mexico border, the landscape is made up of endless flat plains dotted with occasional oil derricks and Aermotor windmills. The one biggish town, Vega (pop. 884), has a very photogenic collection of former and still-functioning businesses, including the Boot Hill Saloon and Grill (806/267-2904), right on Route 66 (Vega Boulevard) at the center of town, and a nicely preserved 1920s Magnolia service station.

West of Vega, the main event hereabouts is both a geographical and culinary magnet: the hamlet of Adrian (pop. 166) and the unmissable Midpoint Cafe (806/538-6379, daily Apr.-Nov.). One of the route’s most enjoyable places to eat, located more or less at the halfway point in Route 66’s long ride between Chicago and Los Angeles—both of which are 1,139 miles away—the Midpoint is friendly, has great food, and basically epitomizes all that old-fashioned hospitality that makes Route 66 such a special experience. Be sure to check out the fine selection of Route 66 books and “midpoint” souvenirs, or just stop by for a piece of baked-from-scratch Ugly Crust pie. As more than one satisfied customer has said, you can taste the happiness.

Boot Hill Saloon and Grill (Vega Ave.)
Midpoint Cafe (305 West Historic Route 66)