As Route 66 left Joplin, Missouri, it was only a short distance westbound to the Kansas border. The route through Kansas was the shortest of all the states, only about 13 miles.
Although the Route through Kansas is short, there are a number of attractions for Mother Road travelers, such as the following:
|Map of Historic Route 66 through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs in Kansas
Click the map for an interactive routing map
|Entering Kansas, on Historic Route 66
Galena, Kansas was settled in 1877 and is the oldest mining town in Southeast Kansas. It was the first major city on Route 66 that travelers passed through westbound from Joplin to Tulsa.
The “Mother Road” continues to bring visitors to the community today. Travelers have a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from and a number of attractions to enjoy from the International Harvester boom truck that was the inspiration for the character “Mater” in Disney’s Cars to Schermerhorn Park and the Southeast Kansas Nature Center.
Today, it is a popular destination for Route 66 road trippers!
|The well known mural ... Greetings from Galena, Kansas, on Historic Route 66
"Route 66. Just the name is magic. Route 66. It will always mean going somewhere"
Cars on the Route
Cars on the Route is located in a restored circa 1934 Kan-O-Tex service station at 119 North Main Street in Galena.
It features the rusted tow truck "Tow Tater" and other restored vehicles on display. The tow truck was the inspiration for the character "Tow Mater" in the Pixar classic movie "Cars".
The Sheriff in Galena!
Buick of the Radiator Springs Sheriff
Galena Mining & Historical Museum
Located at 319 W 7th in Galena is the old Katy Railroad Depot. Housing the Galena Mining & Historical Museum, it offers Route 66 curios, artwork for the Gearhead and a place to gather to share stories.
At first glance, the Museum is small, occupying the railroad depot that was moved from another location on Route 66 in Galena.
But there is a much larger museum building behind the depot. Features unique to the Galena Museum are a large display of mineral specimens, mining equipment and a model of the Grand Central Mine which was located just east of Galena in Central City, Missouri.
Also featured is a collection of oil paintings titled "Abandoned Mine Scenes" by local artist Carol Bliss-Riley.
Located at 520 South Main Street in Galena, Kansas in a circa-1939 Texaco service station. It offers Route 66 curios, artwork for the Gearhead and a place to gather to share stories.
Eisler Brothers Store
A popular stop on Route 66 is the Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store, built in 1925. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, today it offers deli sandwiches, plants, flowers and a gift shop.
It also serves as headquarters of the Kansas Historic Route 66 Association. Located at 7109 SE Highway 66.
Baxter Springs Visitors Center
The Baxter Springs, Kansas, Visitors Center is located at 740 East Avenue in a restored circa 1930 Phillips 66 Service Station ... added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
Baxter Springs Visitors Center seen in this photo.
Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum
The Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum, functioning under the Baxter Springs Historical Society, is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the rich regional history of Baxter Springs, Kansas.
The 20,000 sqft facility is filled with exhibits depicting the various stages of the city's history from the days of the Osage Indians through the Civil War and the lead and zinc mining era. It is located at 740 East Avenue in Baxter Springs.
For more information, visit the Heritage Center & Museum Website or phone 620.856.2385
Rainbow Curve Bridge
|It has been repainted white, and earned a place in 1983 on the National Register of Historic Places.
|Baxter Springs, KS, site of the Rainbow Bridge on Old Route 66
Planning a Road Trip on Route 66? Here are trip planners for all eight states on The Mother Road ...