When our family took off on our Route 66 road trip earlier this year, we thought it would be fun to stop at every tourist trap and roadside attraction we found along the way. The “World’s Largest Gift Store” in Phillipburg, Missouri was one of the crazy stops we made. And who could blame us? The store is huge – so big in fact that I couldn’t even get the whole store in the viewfinder of my camera from 100 yards away.
For people who love shopping for kitsch and offbeat souvenirs, this store’s definitely worth a stop.
A gift mall layout
The store is set up like an antique mall with gifts organized by themes into 10 x 10 cubicles. There was one cubicle, for example, that was chocked full of just Route 66 souvenirs. Another just had Pop culture cookie jars. Still another had Coca Cola stuff, and so on. For people who are into speed shopping, the layout makes it very easy to walk up and down the aisles and stopping only at booths that have something of interest.
How do the prices compare? Based on other gift stores we saw further on down the road, the World’s Largest Gift Store is comparable. Some of the things we purchased here were slightly more expensive than the same item found in New Mexico or Arizona. Others were cheaper – so it all balanced out. (Be mindful though that this store does seem to have a problem with customers switching prices on the merchandise. We found a bunch of tags had been switched in the purse section.)
Visitors who make their way to the back of the store will be rewarded with a nice exhibit that makes the stop worthwhile. Back there you’ll find a gorgeous deep blue 1940 Cadillac touring car on display that once belonged to Lucille Ball. What a treat!
Miscellaneous things to know
We came across the World’s Largest Gift Store on a Route 66 alignment as we approached the town of Phillipburg, though the actual address is 330 W. Pine St. The store is open from 10am-5pm daily and has clean restrooms. To the left of the store is the Redmon’s Candy Factory which we also recommend.
For people who are passing through on Route 66 or just taking a Sunday drive, the World’s Largest Gift Store is definitely worth a stop, even if it’s just to view which surely is the largest collection of kitsch ever assembled in one location. And about that asterisk in the sign of the World’s Largest Gift Store? If you pick up a business card at the front desk, you’ll discover that the asterisk means “In a town of this size”.
More by this contributor:
What should I budget for Route 66 souvenirs?
9 fun gift shops to visit on Route 66
How much will a Route 66 vacation cost?