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Our love for Route 66 can’t be precisely traced, but it started sometime while we were in college, as we frequently drove the stretch of Route 66 that ran through Illinois to visit my parents. We fell in love with the road side attractions, the truck stops, the diners. All of these spots on one small section of the Mother Road stole our hearts.
In 2014, we moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, two major cities along Route 66. When leaving St. Louis, we had the choice between the “north route” or the “southern route” to get out to Los Angeles. At the time, Jason drove a 2000 Caviler, and I was concerned about it’s ability to make it up the winding mountain roads that we might run into on the northern route, so we opted for the southern route, giving little thought to the idea of traveling Route 66. One day into our 5-day trek, we had already grown sick of the monotonous journey. In search of something to liven up our travels, we began searching for landmarks along the way.
While we started by looking for goofy places that would make for funny photos, what we found was a culture and an obsession that we never could have imagined. More on this love of all things Route 66 later. But today, I’m focusing on the one destination that became a travel obsession for us for a couple of years: the Wigwam Village Motels.
The Wigwam Villages were an icon along Route 66. At one point, there were seven of these Wigwam Villages, two of them still call Route 66 home. The years have not been kind to them, however, and now there are only three remaining Wigwam Villages. All of them are listed as National Historic Places.
Here’s what you need to know about Visiting: Of the seven Wigwam Villages, only three remain. These three are in Kentucky, Arizona, and California. You might still see these Wigwam Villages referred to by their number, as I did below. Keep in mind, this number is out of the original 7. Wigwam Villages numbers 1, 3, 4, & 5 have all closed. Click a link below to learn more about the three remaining Wigwam Villages!