"Getting our kicks ..." Top 5 Page for this destination Santa Rosa by toonsarah

Santa Rosa Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 46 photos

In the Route 66 Auto Museum

As we approached Santa Rosa on Interstate 40 the heavens opened and for about ten minutes we drove through a downpour so heavy that it was almost impossible to see the road or any other vehicle on it ? scary stuff.

Maybe the elements were finding a way to punish the road that almost destroyed one of the most iconic of all American cultural icons, Route 66. And we were here to visit the Route 66 museum, dedicated to capturing and preserving all that is most symbolic of America?s Mother Road.

The museum is one of these ?labour of love? places ? one man?s passion for the golden age of American motoring developed into a collection which developed into a museum. And it is in the ideal location. The Santa Rosa section of Route 66 opened in 1930 and the town flourished with the business it brought. Motels, diners, gas stations lined the highway here, and you can still see some reminders of that era lining the historic route that runs parallel to the Interstate. Even if you?re just passing through it would be worth a detour off that road to drive a little bit of its famous antecedent.

I was also interested to read that Santa Rosa's stretch of Route 66 is part of film history. The film of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath was partly shot here, and the director John Ford used Santa Rosa for the memorable train scene in which Tom Joad (played by Henry Fonda) watches a freight train steam over the Pecos River railroad bridge into the sunset. The Grapes of Wrath is one of my favourite books, and I loved the film, so our visit here sent me back to watch and enjoy it again.

And to continue with us on our road trip through New Mexico please visit Fort Sumner with me.

  • Last visit to Santa Rosa: Oct 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (2)

Comments (4)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Sounds like an excellent Museum! Love the road-runner on the car.
    Somebody around us has a lot of those big American classics, still LH drive, I guess they must be a collector.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    Nice snapshot of the museum and all the vintage cars and memorabilia. For many of us of a certain age, it signified a time when life in the US was more worry free and full of hope for the future -- unlike now!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Oh wow, I would love to have this "sofa" thingy made from the turquoise coloured .. Cadillac? Fantastic museum.... and so reasonable the entrance fee! Off now for a brief search for the Route 66-kick song :-)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I so enjoy Route 66! I travels for many years with my family. We traveled it back and forth when we live in Colorado to California. Those were some good memories! Nice page!


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