Road Trip on Route 66 from Shamrock, Texas to Amarillo

The Mother Road crossed the Texas state line at Texola, OK, near Shamrock, and traveled through McLean and Groom on its way to Amarillo. From there it continued west to Glenrio. The Route through Texas totaled 186 miles, and closely followed today's Interstate I-40.

Map of approximate Route 66 from Shamrock to Amarillo, Texas
Map of approximate Route 66 from Shamrock to Amarillo, Texas

 

Cruising Route 66 in the Texas Panhandle ... First Stop: Shamrock

Shamrock, Texas

"Entrance City to Texas" on U.S. 66, seen in this vintage postcard

Shamrock, Texas, "Entrance City to Texas" on U.S. 66


The Pioneer West Museum in Shamrock, Texas
The Pioneer West Museum in Shamrock, Texas

Pioneer West Museum
Shamrock, Texas

The Pioneer West Museum is housed in the Reynolds Hotel, opened in 1928. Adjacent to the museum is the restored Magnolia gas station, also part of the museum, which also includes the Zeigler House and the "Old Barn".

The Pioneer West Museum in Shamrock, Texas

Visitors to McLean also enjoy their visits to the nearby Water Tower Plaza showcasing the tallest historic water tower in Texas. Located at 204 N. Madden Street. Free admission.

The restored Magnolia service station in Shamrock, Texas
Magnolia gas station in Shamrock, Texas

Tower Plaza & U-Drop Inn
Shamrock, Texas

The U-Drop Inn opened in 1936 to provide lodging for travelers heading west on the Mother Road. Restored in 2004, today the iconic art deco building of green glazed tile and brick serves as a Visitor Information Center and also houses the Chamber of Commerce.

The adjoining Tower Station provided fuel for those early travelers. The restored Inn and Station hosts over 25,000 visitors a year from around the world ... a "must see" when traveling this part of Route 66!

 

Texas Route 66 bench at the U Drop Inn, Shamrock, Texas


The Tower Plaza and U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas
Ramone's House of Body Art in the movie "Cars" has a strong similarity to the U-Drop Inn.

The Tower Plaza and U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas


The Conoco tower against a brilliant blue Texas sky in Shamrock

The Conoco tower against a brilliant blue Texas sky in Shamrock

Sign at the U-Drop Inn
Sign at the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas
Conoco gas pumps at Tower Plaza
Conoco gas pumps at Tower Plaza in Shamrock, Texas

The Next Stop: McLean

McLean, Texas

McLean, Texas ... the Heart of Old Route 66

McLean, Texas ... the Heart of Old Route 66

 

Phillips 66 Gas Station
McLean, Texas

Vintage Phillips 66 Service Station in McLean, Texas, the location of one of the first gasoline stations in Texas.

The early Philliips stations, like the one in McLean, were designed in the "Cottage Look" to blend with local residential neighborhoods. Located at 218 West First Street.

Phillips 66 service station in McLean Texas

 

 

Texas Route 66 Museum and Devil's Rope Museum

The Texas Route 66 Museum is located in McLean, Texas, in the same building that houses the Devil's Rope Museum. The museum includes hundreds of original Mother Road memorabilia, road signs, a recreated Route 66 cafe, and the original large steer from Amarillo's Big Texan Steak Ranch. 

Texas Route 66 Museum in McLean, Texas

 

And be sure to explore the history of barbed wire, i.e. "Devil's Rope"! Located at 100 Kingsley Street in McLean.

The Next Stop on Route 66: Groom, Texas

The leaning Britten USA water tower near Groom, Texas
The leaning tower was originally a functioning water tower which was slated for demolition until Ralph Britten bought it and moved it to serve as a sign for his truck stop and tourist information center.The leaning Britten USA water tower near Groom, Texas

Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Groom, Texas
The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Groom, Texas

This 190-foot tall, 1,250-ton free-standing cross monument is locatred just south of Interstate 40 near Groom, and can be seen from 20 miles away.

Access is via I-40 Exit 112, and the grounds are open 24/7.

Since 1995, the 19-story cross has been a familiar landmark along Interstate 40 and historic Route 66 in Carson County, Texas.

Construction of the cross frame was done in two shops in Pampa, Texas, by more than 100 welders.

Construction took eight months to complete. Every piece had to fit together when the frame was transported and assembled at the construction site 40 miles away.

Surrounding the base of the cross are life-sized statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Also on the grounds are a replica of the Shroud of Turin, a life-size Last Supper display, and a 10 Commandments monument.

Today several facilites round out the site, including a visitor center and gift shop, an outdoor path along the stations of the cross, and an outdoor amphitheatre.

Lodging Options Along Route 66 in Texas

Hotels in Shamrock, Texas

Hotels in Groom, Texas

Click to review hotels and restaurants, read reviews and make reservations at TripAdvisor

Arriving in Amarillo

Historic 6th Street on Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas
Historic 6th Street on Route 66 in Amarillo, Texa


In 1960 Bob Lee opened the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch on Route 66 in Amarillo. The Big Texan moved to the east side of Amarillo on I-40 in the 1970s. Shown below is The "Big Texan" as it appears today ... home of the free 72 oz steak!

The famous Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas, home of the 72 oz steak!


Lodging Options in Amarillo

We travel through, and to, Amarillo on a frequent basis. We have stayed there dozens of times over the decades. Today, the city offers more than 100 hotels and places to stay. It is a great stopping point for those traveling Historic Route 66, with not only many lodging options, but dining possibilities as well.

There are three primary clusters of lodging in Amarillo - downtown, on the east side of the city along I-40, and on the west side near Soncy Road (exit 64 from I-40). We prefer the Soncy Road area, near I-40 and the medical district, but that is just a personal preference.

Listed below are some popular lodging options, with reviews from TripAdvisor. NOTE: We have no affiliation with any of these properties, but only list these as a starting point in your lodging selection.

All Hotels in Amarillo, Texas

Click to review hotels and restaurants, read reviews and make reservations at TripAdvisor

Amarillo West
Soncy Road Area

Holiday Inn Express Inn & Suites Amarillo West

Home2Suites by Hilton

Drury Inn & Suites

Homewood Suites Amarillo

Downtown & Central
Amarillo

Embassy Suites Downtown

Courtyard by MarriottDowntown

Staybridge Suites Amarillo-Western Crossing

Courtyard Amarillo West/Medical District

Amarillo
I-40 East/Airport

Hampton Inn & Suites Amarillo East

LaQuinta Inn & Suites Amarillo Airport

Fairfield Inn & Suites Amarillo Airport

 

More Things to See and Do in Amarillo

You are probably going to visit the Cadillac Ranch, and tour the Historic 6th Street District. And maybe eat at The Big Texan. But then what? Here are more things to do in Amarillo ...

  • American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Musuem
  • Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum
  • Amarillo Botanical Gardens
  • Amarillo Zoo
  • Cowgirls and Cowboys of the West
  • The Helium Monument

Vintage Views of Route 66 Across the Texas Panhandle

What was Route 66 like in its prime, driving fromTexola on the Oklahoma-Texas stateline westbound thru Shamrock, McLean, Groom and into Amarillo? What did all the service stations, motels and diners look like when they were new? What did the traveling public experience on the Mother Road? We wonder such things when we travel Route 66 today.

Those earlier times in the 1930s, 40s and 50s were not always captured on film. But the use of colorful postcards was common in those decades.

We have included below a sampling of our collection of vintage travel postcards showing scenes on Route 66 from across the Texas Panhandle to Amarillo. These portray the historic road in its prime and help us to visualize "yesterday" as we drive Route 66 today.

The Sun-n-Sand Motel

The Sun-n-Sand Motel, East Highway 66, Shamrock, Texas ... "A Motel of Distinction" ... Phone 321

The Sun-n-Sand Motel, East Highway 66, Shamrock, Texas ... "A Motel of Distinction"

Shamrock Court

The Shamrock Court, Shamrock, Texas

The Trail Inn Motel

The Trail Inn Motel, McLean, Texas

The Trail Inn Motel, McLean, Texas

Spanish Courts

Spanish Courts, 742 N. Fillmore, on U.S. Highway 66 in Amarillo, Texas

Spanish Courts, 742 N. Fillmore, on U.S. Highway 66 in Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo, Texas

Polk Street, Amarillo, Texas, Looking North from Ninth ... "The Best Lighted Main Street in America"

Polk Street, Amarillo, Texas, Looking North from Ninth ... "The Best Lighted Main Street in America"

 

Driving West
on the Next Route 66 Segment?

Amarillo to Glenrio

Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Amarillo to Glenrio Texas

 

More Route 66 and Travel-Related Resources


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