Arizona Stops on the Way

Petrified Park Stop in Holbrook, Ariz.

Stop in Holbrook, Ariz., the gateway town to Petrified Forest National Park.

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona
Wigwam MotelDeposit Photos

Have you slept in a wigwam lately? If not, pull over in Holbrook and stay at iconic Route 66 mainstay, Wigwam Motel. In your teepee, you’ll find cable TV and air-conditioning, surprising modern upgrades in a motel village built in 1950 and still managed by the Lewis family.

When Route 66 was the hot destination for the nation, there was a gas station on nearly every corner in Holbrook. Today, you’ll find a new twist on some of the old buildings. Mr. Maesta’s serves Southwestern food in a converted gas station that is filled with antiques. Romo’s Restaurant is housed in a pink stucco building that offers friendly service and great Southwestern food. For dessert, drop by TrinaBop Cakery & Coffee, which opened in 2018 in a former drive-in restaurant where carhops delivered meals to customers’ cars. And Roxy Theater may be one of the last Route 66 movie theaters still open.

What hasn’t changed is Holbrook’s central location to a number of national park sites, including the nearby Petrified Forest National Park.

“We are really centrally located,” says Cindy Tafoya, director of the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce. “And our hotels are more affordable than other communities.”

Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park
Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National ParkDollar Photo

At Petrified Forest National Park,┬áthere’s the Painted Desert where you can hear the sound of silence as you gaze at a pink-hued landscape that changes colors with the sunset.

“It’s a beautiful spot,” says longtime local Francie Payne who serves as a city council woman. “I just love the Painted Desert. It used to be more about petrified wood. Now it’s about dinosaurs and so much more.”

A little more than an hour away is the Hubble Trading Post National Historic Site, the oldest operating trading post on the Navajo Nation in Ganado, Ariz. Just under two hours away is Canyon De Chelly National Monument in Chinle, Ariz.

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