Two and a half hours from Los Angeles, in the Mojave desert, made famous by the critically-acclaimed movie by the same name, Bagdad Café in Newberry Springs, is just a dusty ghost town version of a 1950’s café, until tour buses loaded with tourists from Japan, France and Great Britain pull up in search of the characters that they’ve heard of from tales of Route 66. And they find it here in loads, and our family does too, even when we’re the only customers in the joint, talking to the enthusiastic owner. While we don’t always take the drive to our next stop, Oatman, Arizona on every family road trip on 66, we ALWAYS stop at Bagdad, either coming or going.
The trip to Oatman is not only a journey into the past, but it’s a winding drive up the mountain to a rustically-charming Frontier town with wild donkeys roaming Main Street. Carrots are for sale from the general store and souvenir shops so your kids can feed the four-legged traffic. The whole family can visit one of the town’s main attractions, the hotel where Clark Gable and Carol Lombard honeymooned in 1939, even tour their honeymoon suite.
So, in less than 300 miles, you’ve immersed your family in an adventurous Road Trip and set the tone for a Route 66 vacation with a day combining some great Mother Road diner food and roadside family entertainment.
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