Our family recently finished up a month long Route 66 road trip and had the time of our lives. One town that we really enjoyed seeing was the small town of Shamrock, located a few miles west of the Oklahoma-Texas border. In it’s heyday, Shamrock had been a busy little town on Route 66 and everywhere you look, you can find remnants of motels, gas stations, and diners that once provided services to cross country travelers.
For Route 66 travelers, the little town of Shamrock, Texas has several great things to see starting with sections of 1930s concrete pavement east of town. Here are a few more things that we enjoyed.
At the intersections of Route 66 and 83 is the U Drop Inn which your children will quickly recognize as the inspiration for Ramone’s paint shop in the Pixar movie “Cars.” This stunning art deco building was built in 1936 and served as a combination gas station, cafe, and motel. The U drop Inn was recently restored, right down to the neon tubing that lights up the entire building at night. It is now home to a Visitor’s Center in the gas station part of the building, and the Chamber of Commerce in the rear. The diner is still intact and visitors who take the time to push through the double doors will discover that they have stepped back into the 1940s.
The volunteer in the Visitor’s Center steered us to a few more Route 66 attractions. One was a tall water tower which can be seen from the U Drop Inn. The water tower is the tallest of its type in Texas and was recently designated a Texas Historic Monument. She also had us drive by the Pioneer West Museum at 204 N. Madden Street. This building once housed the “Reynolds Hotel” which provided lodging to travelers. (The museum has limited hours so plan accordingly). Around the corner, we could see the Magnolia Gas Station, a beautiful little Mobil gas station that dates to the 1930s and has also been restored.
Wrapping up things to see in Shamrock is a fragment of the Blarney Stone which was brought over from Ireland in 1959. The fragment is in encased in a cylindrical green concrete monument and can be found in Elmore Park at 400 E. Second Street.
We were fortunate in that we ran across a helpful volunteer in the Visitor’s Center to steer us towards Shamrock’s more popular attractions. Another resource that can also help is the city’s website at Shamrock Texas.net where visitors can download a Visitors Guide and city map. While the town of Shamrock is too small to get lost, a map will help you find these iconic Route 66 landmarks that you won’t want to miss.
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