I'm not sure how you could have missed the news. Route 66 celebrating its 100th birthday in 2026 is something that towns along the Mother Road have been talking about for quite some time now. In the Texas panhandle, we're starting the party now.

One of the events is the Route 66 Tour you can take. Here are the top things to keep an eye out for if you take the tour eastward.

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What Is East Of Amarillo, Texas on Route 66?

Thanks to I-40, you may not even be aware of all that sits along the iconic Route 66. It's something you can be forgiven of, seeing as how the Texas panhandle just looks like a stretch of empty fields on I-40.

However, there's plenty to see as you make your way toward the border of Texas and Oklahoma.

Slug Bug Ranch

Cadillac Ranch has inspired several other "art installations" featuring half-buried machines in the Texas panhandle. One of those is Slug Bug Ranch.

Slug Bug Ranch is in Conway, Texas and is exactly what it sounds like. There's a group of old "Slug Bugs" buried just like the Cadillacs of Cadillac Ranch.

Michael J. Rivera, Townsquare Media
Michael J. Rivera, Townsquare Media
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The Bugs of Slug Bug Ranch boast some pretty far-out paint jobs, and are honestly worth taking a gawk at, at least once in your life.

Groom, Texas And Its Monstrous Cross

One of the most iconic sights along I-40, and Route 66, is the giant cross that dominates the horizon as you head east from Amarillo. Its ridiculously huge.

I've stopped at the cross once in my life, and I have recommended people stop at it ever since. Believer or not, the whole experience is one for the books.

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Not only do you have this behemoth of a cross, but there are the sculptures for the station of the cross that are worth taking a look at. I believe there's even a little "museum" or information center. It's been almost twenty years since I've been, so I'm sure a little has changed.

Definitely worth stopping for a look.

Jericho

Jericho is fascinating. This ghost town along Route 66 is being revitalized into a destination for travelers along the Mother Road.

The couple that have taken on the task of breathing life back into Jericho have done some amazing work. Check out their Facebook page for updates and photos. It's incredible.

There's a lot to see while you're in Jericho that make it a very special stop.

Phillips 66 And McLean, Texas

The tiny town of McLean, Texas has the iconic Phillips 66 Station. The little cottage is the first Phillips 66 Station built in the Texas panhandle, situated right on Route 66.

It went up in 1928.

If you're someone who is prone to take a lot of photos, this is a great spot to get in all the selfies you can.

Shamrock, Texas And The U-Drop Inn

You'll actually get to have lunch at the iconic Conoco Station and U-Drop Inn if you take the tour. It's one of the most easily recognized buildings on Route 66. That's thanks, in part, to that movie about those talking cars.

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My kids and I really enjoyed our time at U-Drop Inn when we visited Shamrock on St. Patrick's Day. One of the things I've always loved the most about Shamrock is how friendly everyone is, and that goes double for the folks at the U-Drop.

The Tour Includes Several Museums As Well

The itinerary for the tour of of Route 66 east of Amarillo includes several stops at various museums. The Devil's Rope Museum is on the list, as well as the Pioneer West Museum and others.

All in all, the tour lasts from about 8:30 AM and goes until around 5 PM. There's a stop for happy hour, lunch, and plenty of opportunities to learn some of the interesting stories that make up panhandle history.

You can get all the details by following this link.

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