Telling people where to go and sharing America's story since 1990 – Jim Hinckley’s America/Route 66 Chronicles ®
Road trip Inspiration With Shared Adventures
I love living in Jim Hinckley's America! It's beautiful here! Come on in!
Jim Hinckley's America Theme
Coffee With Jim is an interactive, fun filled, informative road trip inspiring audio podcast on the Podbean platform. Join America's storyteller author Jim Hinckley, fascinating guests such as author and artist Bob Boze Bell, the owner of the Hi Way Cafe, Stephanie Stuckey, and come along for the ride!
April 2 - Today's program is a story that starts on March 7, 1884. It is a truly American story. And it is a microcosm that illustrates the vibrancy, the infectious enthusiasmof business owners, and the blurring of the line between past and present that is the very essence of a Route 66 adventure.On this episode of Coffee With Jim we visit with Casey Claypool, proprietor of Docs Just Off 66 in charming Girard, Illinois. This is an inspirational program for dreamers everywhere.Today's program is sponsored in part by delightful, magical, wonderful Tucumcari, New Mexico. Discover what makes this charming high desert crossroads a destination, not just a stop at - www.visittucumcarinm.com
March 26 - What happens when two renowned storytellers get together for a morning visit?Bob Boze Bell, is a prolific artist, author, and the owner of True West Magazine. And he is a colorful storyteller that brings the western frontier to life. Since 1990 author, historian, and humorist Jim Hinckley has been sharing America's story, and telling people where to go with Jim Hinckley's America. On today's episode of Coffee With Jim, it's a free ranging conversation about the romanticism of the southwest, formative years spent on Route 66 in the era of I Like Ike Buttons and tailfins, childhood in Kingman, Arizona, and the adventure of life.Today's program is sponsored in part by Visit Tutcumcari - visittucumcarinm.com. Old billboards along Route 66 read - Tucumcari Tonight. With gems such as the Roadrunner Lodge Motel, this dusty old desert crossroads is an oasis for the weary traveler. And with gems such as the Odeon Theater and Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum, it is also a destination.
March 19 - On today's program an illustrated lesson about learning to roll with the punches and making lemonade when all you have is lemons. Stephanie Stuckey was NOT our guest this morning. So, we made the best of a bad situation, and with help from our guests, had a wonderful Sunday morning program.Maggie May from East Lansing Michigan joined in and talked about the R.E. Olds Museum. Beth Hilburn of the Hi Way Cafe chimed in an we talked classic roadside diners and cafes. And, of course, once we got past the first few rocky moments, we talked road trips.Coffee With Jim is live. It is is interactive. It is full of surprises. And it is always fun, thanks to our audience that helps me tell people where to go.Today's program is sponsored in part by Visit Tucumcari, Wagon Wheel Motel, RouteTrip USA, Roadrunner Lodge Motel, Cactus Inn Motel, and Uranus Fudge Company & General Store.
Grab a cup of coffee and invite your friends.
Coffee With Jim
Thought of The Day -
"Never forget the past. But don't let fond memories keep you from being excited about tomorrow."
Jim Hinckley has earned the moniker of America's storyteller with presentations made in the United States and Europe, the publication of hundreds of feature articles and twenty books, and with tours.
Jim Hinckley's schedule -
ROUTE 66 MILES OF POSSIBILITY ANNOUNCES 2023 CONFERENCE DATES, VENUES, and THEME!
The Eighth Annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference will be held Thursday – Sunday, October 19 – 22 in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, presented by the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The 2023 conference theme is “The Great American Road Trip,” focusing on America's and international visitors' long love affair with Route 66. To that end, this year's slate of speakers (TBA) will feature an exciting lineup of authors, historians, and experts to take attendees from the railroads of Illinois, to the heyday of the family station wagon road trip, to the 21st century and the cars of the future.
Three days of conference sessions begin on Thursday at the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, while Friday and Saturday are filled with presentations at Uptown Station in Normal. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings feature social activities and entertainment (TBA), with a special Sunday tour (TBA).
Miles of Possibility is issuing a call for speakers for the 2023 conference; please see details at https://route66milesofpossibility.com.
Come along for the ride! The Decade With Jim series on Instagram provides a look behind the scenes in Jim Hinckley's America. It's a shared adventure of epic proportions, road trip inspiration, and an often smile inducing start to the day.
National Day Calendar Presents Jim Hinckley for National Tell A Story Day
Books By Jim Hinckley
- Here We Are . . . on Route 66: A Journey Down America’s Main Street
- The Backroads of Route 66: Your Guide to Adventures and Scenic Detours
- Murder and Mayhem on the Main Street of America: Tales From Bloody 66
- Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements
- The Route 66 Encyclopedia
- The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana
- Ghost Towns of Route 66: The Forgotten Places Along America’s Famous Highway - Includes 24in x 36in Fold-out Map Hardcover
- The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas
- Ghost Towns of the West
- Travel Route 66: A Guide to the History, Sights, and Destinations Along the Main Street of America
- 100 Things to Do on Route 66 Before You Die (100 Things to Do Before You Die)
Here We Are . . . on Route 66 explores and celebrates iconic landmarks, cultural touchstones and the history of towns along America’s most famous highway.
Spanning nearly 2,500 miles and eight states—Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California—America’s Main Street has given rise to a colorful assortment of roadhouses, motels, greasy spoons, roadside amusements, and breathtaking natural scenery. Acclaimed Route 66 historian Jim Hinckley is your guide to a carefully curated selection of these sites, ranging from the iconic to the revelatory.
- Towns and Cities
- Natural Wonders
- Roadside Attractions
- Motels and Hotels
- Music, Film, and TV
This collection offers you the stories behind towns that led Route 66 to be named the Main Street of America. At nearly a century old, Route 66 remains the embodiment of the classic American highway.
Hinckley is perhaps the most internationally recognized authority on the subject of America’s Main Street. Wonderfully illustrated, and presented in a manner that allows you to dip in and out, Here We Are . . . on Route 66 is a must-have for your Route 66 bookshelf.
This wonderfully illustrated, up-to-date guide to the natural, cultural, and historical gems hidden just off the legendary Route 66 outlines 30 trips for curious travelers.
Route 66 is arguably the world’s most famous highway (more than 60% of Route 66 adventurers are from overseas!)—its motels, diners, and roadside attractions comprising a time capsule of America’s love affair with the automobile. While many of the road’s iconic attractions have disappeared with time (along with large stretches of the road itself), others are as enduring as ever.
In this completely revised and updated version of The Backroads of Route 66, author and Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley is your guide from the lowlands of the American Plains to the high plateaus of New Mexico and Arizona, from the Great Lakes to the mighty Pacific Ocean, and through major metropolises and remote country towns.
But rather than take the road oft traveled and the sites most photographed, Hinckley encourages you to branch off the Mother Road and discover the hidden gems beyond today’s familiar motels and tourist traps—quaint frontier communities that date to westward expansion; the legacy of native cultures; and the awe-inspiring natural wonders that have graced these lands since time immemorial. There to be explored within a few hours’ drive from the path of Route 66, discover:
- Outdoor attractions
- Historic sites
- And much more
It was billed as the Main Street of America and the Mother Road.
It was a highway of commerce, both legal and illicit.
It was traveled by vacationing families and serial killers, truck drivers and celebrities, vagabonds and gangsters, the weary and the wicked.
It was the hunting grounds of criminals and the battlegrounds of racial violence and gangland strife.
This was Bloody 66.
Seeing this panoply of signs splashed across the pages in Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements is almost as good as taking a road trip!
You can get your kicks--and pretty much anything else--on Route 66, provided you see the sign that s advertising it! Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements showcases the colorful history of commercial signage along the Mother Road. From kitschy to classy, this book includes photos of early vintage signs as well as modern signs.
The vivid photos are organized according to type of establishment the signs are for, such as roadside attractions, motels, restaurants, businesses of ill repute (bars, strip clubs, etc.), and more. While Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements places emphasis on high-quality visuals, it also includes anecdotes and history about the signs that sprang up along the sides of Route 66.
The most famous Route 66 signs get center-stage treatment in the book, with two-page spreads accompanied by detailed text. Such signs include icons like the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, New Mexico, the Munger Moss in Lebanon, Missouri, the U-Drop Inn at Shamrock, Texas, and the El Vado in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Additional information is included, such as background about buzzing neon lights--how these signs are actually made and how they get restored. Each image from this famous American roadway could be a postcard, so allow yourself to be rubbernecked by Route 66 Signs and Advertisements.
These pages cover the history of Route 66 and the people who played a role in its transformation from highway to icon between 1926 and the present, but like the highway itself, this work does not fit within the traditional confines of generalities or terminology. Yes, this is an encyclopedia, a reference book for all things Route 66. However, it is also a time capsule, a travel guide, a history book, a memorial, a testimonial, and a chronicle of almost a century of societal evolution.
While countless books have been devoted to single roadside-culture and car-related subjects, none have addressed in one volume American pop culture's love affair with the automobile. But what is that love affair, if not an expanse of fond memories and compelling kitsch as vast as the nation itself? This smorgasbord offers discriminating readers a tasty A-Z assortment of entries and accompanying images touching upon all the old chestnuts (Route 66, drive-in restaurants, filling stations, et al) as well as some edgier topics to appeal to younger generations interested in the seedier and/or more whimsical sides of roadside America (i.e, Earl Scheib, the Chicago entrepreneur who promised to paint any car for $99, or 1950s juvenile-delinquent hot rod films
Join Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley as he tours more than 60 ghost towns along the Mother Road, rich in stories and history!
The quintessential boom-and-bust highway of the American West, Route 66 once hosted a thriving array of boomtowns built around oil mines, railroad stops, cattle ranches, resorts, stagecoach stops, and gold mines. Illustrated with gorgeous sepia-tone and color photography by Kerrick James, this book tours dozens of ghost towns in:
- Illinois (Braidwood, Braceville, Gardner, Dwight, Bloomington, Funks Grove, Springfield)
- Missouri (Rolla, Dootlittle, Springfield, Halltown, Paris Springs Junction, Avilla, Carthage, Joplin)
- Kansas (Galena, Riverton, Baxter Springs)
- Oklahoma (Narcissa, Afton, Tulsa, Warwick, Bridgeport, Foss, Elk City, Erick, Texola)
- Texas (Shamrock, McLean, Alanreed, Jericho, Amarillo, Glenrio)
- New Mexico (San Jon, Tucumari, Montoya, Newkirk, Cuervo, Dilia, Tecolote, Santa Fe, Thoreau, Gallup)
- Arizona (Lupton, Chambers, Two Guns, Flagstaff, Truxton, Hackberry, Kingman, Goldroad, Oatman)
- California (Needles, Goffs, Essex, Cadiz, Chambless, Amboy, Ludlow, Newberry Springs, Daggett, Barstow)
This edition also includes directions and travel tips for your ghost-town explorations along Route 66, as well as a fold-out map of the Mother Road.
Explore the beauty and nostalgia of these abandoned communities along America’s favorite highway!
Route 66 changed immensely in the six decades between its opening in 1926 and its removal from the U.S. highway system in 1985. Since that time, Route 66 has enjoyed a renaissance, and interest in America's Mother Road as both a historical byway and a travel destination continues to grow. In this unprecedented volume, prolific Route 66 author Jim Hinckley presents an illustrated Route 66 atlas that explores the road's history from its inception into the present day. The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas features sections on eight U.S. states that include points of interest along or near Route 66, divided into six categories: pre-1926 historic sites (such as Lincoln's home and presidential library); noteworthy landmarks; the locations of infamous crimes and disasters; parks of interest; key sites in Route 66's evolution (such as Hooker's Cut, Missouri, an engineering marvel when completed); military-specific sites (including Civil War battlefields and POW and internment camps); historic attractions from the road's midcentury heyday (such as Little Beaver Town and Geronimo's Trading Post); film-related sites; and locations important to Route 66's modern resurgence. Illustrated with photography and memorabilia, The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas is a unique, colorful, and visually dynamic look at 500 of the Mother Road's most significant sites from the past and today.
Ghosts Towns of the West is filled with photographs, maps, history, and detailed directions to find the best ghost towns to linger in the wake of the Old West.
Ghost Towns of the West blazes a trail through the dusty crossroads and mossy cemeteries of the American West, including one-time boomtowns in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The book reveals the little-known stories of long-dead soldiers, indigenous peoples, settlers, farmers, and miners.
Perfect for planning a road trip, each section covers a geographic area and town entries are arranged by location to make this the most user-friendly book on ghost towns west of the Mississippi. Most ghost towns are within a short drive of major cities out West, and they make excellent day trip excursions. If you happen to be in or near Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or El Paso, for example, you ought to veer towards the nearest ghost town. Western ghost towns can also easily be visited during jaunts to national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier, Glacier, Yellowstone, and many others throughout the West. Ghost Towns of the West is a comprehensive guide to former boomtowns of the American West, covering ghost towns in eleven states from Washington to New Mexico, and from California to Montana. This book has everything you need to learn about, visit, and explore a modern remnant of how life used to be on the western range.
“100 Things to Do on Route 66 Before You Die” probably will offer a few new excuses for even veteran travelers to take another Mother Road trip. That’s reason enough to get the book.” - Ron Warnick, Route 66 News
“If you’ve got a Summer road trip in mind, author and Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley sorts it out for you with his 100 favorite points to plot on your map. Now that’s a memorable road trip!” - Linda Allen, Ms. Career Girl
“Dedicated historian and author, Jim Hinckley has done the research to make the most of your odyssey along iconic Route 66.” - Gerry Furth-Sides, Local Food Eater
Awards, Clients, Interviews & Sponsors
- 2Lane Life - Route 66 History with Historian Jim Hinckley
- Czech Route 66 Association
- Mohave Community College
- Nissan Canada
- Round Trip With Colleen Kelly
- Route 66 Podcast
- Route 66 Travelers
We've got special guest Jim Hinckley in the house! He took us on a tour of historic Route 66 Kingman, Arizona on our recent trip documenting historic Route 66 towns, and now he's here to share some more great history! Tune in for a good time!
We're finally doing the full Route 66 — 28 days in the RV from Chicago to LA! So, of course, I had to get the full breakdown on the history of Route 66, the must-see attractions, and what essentials we need to make the trip. To get the complete lowdown, I'm joined by Route 66 Author, Tour Guide, and Advocate, Jim Hinkley!
Promotional assistance for second European Route 66 Festival in Zlin, Czechia, 2018. Assisted with development of a Route 66 information center at the event, and made a presentation on Route 66 as the ultimate Route 66 adventure
Community education programs, area and Route 66 tourism as a catalyst for historic district revitalization and economic development
2019, tour development consultant
Ultimate Road Trip Guides - Episode 41
For more than three decades Jim Hinckley has been telling people where to go and sharing the adventure. His passion for Route 66, the back roads of America and the automobiles he has shared through books, feature articles, blog posts, video, Facebook live programs, and presentations.
Published work includes nineteen books on topics as diverse as The Illustrated History of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, Ghost Towns of Route 66, Travel Route 66, The Big Book of Car Culture, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia, and most recently Murder and Mayhem on Route 66.
Join host Anthony Arno as he talks with Jim about his extensive book writing career featuring Route 66, and Jim gives personal feedback from some of his most favorite places along Route, his work in his home community of Kingman, AZ, and his early encounter with Jay Leno.
Earliest memory of Route 66
Throwing darts on a map to relocate the Hinckley family to Arizona
The very first book: An Illustrated History of the Checkered Cab Company (2002)
Most recent book: Murder & Mayhem on The Main Street of America: Tales from Bloody 66 (2019)
Jim’s favorite Route 66 picks from his book, 100 Things to do on Route 66 before you Die: Museums, Restaurants, Motels, Photo Stops , and Must See Stops
Route 66 Side Trips
Most popular Route 66 Topics that Jim often presents to audiences
Early Route 66 history and promotions
International Route 66 community
Visiting Jim’s hometown of Kingman, AZ
Route 66 Community Education Programs
Younger Generation of Route 66 Advocates
Interests outside Route 66: Automotive History
The curious picture of Henry Ford at the Jim’s boyhood home
Grandfather Hinckley patents major bicycle component (1898)
Connecting with Jay Leno and his Doble Steam Car
What does Route 66 mean to you?
Next on the bucket list
Other historical (and whacky) highways in the United States
Jim Hinckley – author and guide
Fascinating blogs written by author Jim Hinckley for clients of MyMarketing Designs
- Crazy Horse Campground & RV Park
- The Bee
- Rickety Cricket Restaurant
- Baron Services
- Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas
- Mudshark Brewery and Public House
- Avant Print and Frame
Blogs about Lake Havasu City, Arizona area attractions and history, RV life, and camping
Travel back in time to the dawn of the American auto industry with these fascinating tales from America's storyteller. Did you know that electric taxi cabs were on the streets of New York City BEFORE 1900? Did you know that Chevrolet was an import? Did you know that Henry Ford played a role in the founding of Cadillac?
Blogs about Kingman, Arizona, craft brewing, Kingman history, and Kingman events. Rickety Cricket is housed in the historic Kingman Club
Blogs about pest control, desert creatures, swimming pools and desert landscaping in Bullhead City, Arizona
Kite festivals, kite history, and a bit of road trip inspiration.
Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas in Bullhead City, Arizona
Blog about beer, craft brewing, beer festivals and Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Blog about art history, the Kingman, Arizona arts community, framing, and arts events.
- Jim Hinckley Statue Unveiled
- Jim Hinckley Miles of Possibility Conference 2022
- Jim Hinckley & Route 66 Navigation
- Jim Hinckley in the Czech Republic
- Author Jim Hinckley
- Jim Hinckley & Jay Leno
- Jim Hinckley & Nissan Canada
- Jim Hinckley & Needles Chamber of Commerce
- Jim Hinckley & Educational Programs
On May 27, 2022, at the National Road Trip Day proclamation festivities a statue of Jim Hinckley created by internationally acclaimed sculptress J. Anne Butler.
"A Walkabout Kingman with Jim Hinckley involves an interactive, self-guided tour of significant sites along Route 66 and in historic downtown Kingman – all beginning with a life-sized bronze sculpture of Mr. Hinckley himself. Jim Hinckley is an internationally acclaimed author, historian, and tour guide specializing in Route 66 based right here in Kingman. Through this project, Kingman Main Street wishes to recognize Hinckley’s contributions to our community."
"We were privileged to have you as a speaker at the 7thannual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference. Thank you so much for sharing ways that communities can be transformed by working cooperatively. Your remarks on the panel showed just how important Dave Clark was to the Route 66 community and his generosity in sharing his knowledge. You brought your great sense of humor to the presentation and we heard several people at the conference quoting some of your one-liners, including something about “selling everything on the hog but the squeal!"
You earned the highest evaluations (4/4) in every category and several people commented on your presentation: “Very good content" "Easy to understand" "Informative, interesting." Kudos for a job well done. "
Touch Media has announced collaboration with historian and author Jim Hinckley to enhance Route 66 Navigation, the ultimate offline turn by turn app that offers unique functionality and features. Hinckley, author of 19 books including 100 Things to Do on Route 66 Before You Die, Travel Route 66 and The Route 66 Encyclopedia has created descriptions of more than 1,000 points of interest on Route 66 for the app that will be made available over the course of the next two weeks.
A presentation before an interested crowd at the second European Route 66 Festival.
In 2018 author Jim Hinckley was a featured speaker at the European Route 66 Festival in Zlin, Czech Republic. He also managed an info booth to assist with Route 66 travel planning and to answer questions.
Jim Hinckley is the author of 19 books and several hundred feature articles for a variety of publications. In January 2021 he commenced work on his 20th book.
In 2013 author Jim Hinckley sat with Jay Leno in his famous garage for an interveiw about his books The Big Book of Car Culture and Checker Cab Manufacturing Company: An Illustrated History.
Nissan Canada has organized a journey along iconic Route 66 for a group of Canadian automotive journalists. This is the second time that the company has provided journalists with an opportunity for an extended test drive in three of the automaker’s newest models on the most famous highway in America. The tour will include stops at historic sites as well as provide an opportunity to meet with key people associated with the highway’s renaissance and interview Nissan technology specialists. To develop the tour author Jim Hinckley, creator of Jim Hinckley’s America travel network, was retained as a consultant.
Expanding on the theme of sharing Needles’ ample Route 66 legacy with the world, the Needles Chamber of Commerce’s June 23 general membership meeting features Jim Hinckley, an internationally noted writer, photographer, tour guide and speaker with hundreds of credits on the subject of the Mother Road.
With support of the Patreon based crowdfunding initiaitve it becomes economically feasible to bring educational and informative presentations to groups such as the Rotary Club in El Paso, Texas, to classrooms in Germany or Illinois, and to small museums in rural communities such as Needles, California. And with your support we can give artists and authors, small business owners and communities a promotional boost during hard times.
Great author about Route 66, blogger and historian, your tour guide for the roads less traveled and personally honored to count to his friends.
Jim Hinckley's America Recommended Blogs
Click on text or images to access recommended blogs.
Toshi Goto is a passionate Route 66 enthusiast and a founding member of the Japanese Route 66 Association.
My name is Laura Love. I grew up in Tucumcari, N.M. and spent a lot of weekends with my grandparents, Jake V. Gallegos and Mary Letcher Gallegos on their ranch. I remember hearing a few stories growing up, but now I wish I had paid closer attention. So many things I would ask now.
I am discovering more and more about them, their family history and most importantly, the stories. I am on a journey to find these lost stories.
There is always another road to travel, one where I will never quite know where I am but will always be never quite lost…
Rhys Martin is an author and photographer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. His love of travel was born in 2009 when he sold all of his possessions and left the country. For ten months, he lived out of a backpack for ten months and explored southeast Asia and Europe.
After returning home, Rhys looked at his home state with fresh eyes. He started visiting the back roads of Oklahoma and quickly understood the significance of historic Route 66 to the greater American story. He has traveled all 2,448 miles of the Mother Road and continues to explore the quiet Main Streets of the Midwest.
Rhys’s travel writing and photography has been featured in several publications including TulsaPeople Magazine, This Land Press, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. His most recent project is a book from Arcadia Publishing called Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. The book features the stories of nearly 50 iconic eating establishments in the city, starting in the 1930s and working up through the 1980s.
Rhys is the President of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, serves on the Tulsa Route 66 Commission, and is an adviser for the Route 66 Alliance. He loves to connect with people and share his experiences.
Entrancing photography and stories from passionate explorers Udo and Ellen Kinkel
Jim Hinckley's America YouTube Channel
AUTHOR - GUIDE - CONSULTANT -SPEAKER
Car Talk From The Main Street of America is an automotive adventure through time with Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley's America and Stan Hustad. It's stories of flying cars, electric cars, automotive pioneers, and a road trip with Edsel Ford. It is automotive trivia, technology, road trip inspiration, and an adventure through time. It is the past, present and the future of the auto industry.
We were privileged to have you as a speaker at the 7thannual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference. Thank you so much for sharing ways that communities can be transformed by working cooperatively. Your remarks on the panel showed just how important Dave Clark was to the Route 66 community and his generosity in sharing his knowledge. You brought your great sense of humor to the presentation. You earned the highest evaluations (4/4) in every category and several people commented on your presentation: “Very good content" "Easy to understand" "Informative, interesting." Kudos for a job well done.
Searching for Route 66 on an adventure from Chicago to Santa Monica can be a challenge. After all, officially, the most famous highway in America doesn't exist. It hasn't since 1985. A few states such as Illinois realize the economic benefits or...
Jim Hinckley's America Recommendations
We inspire road trips and make travel planning easy. Jim Hinckley's America recommended locations have our seal of approval. Click on text or image to access websites.
- Angela's Cafe, Gallup New Mexico
- Ariston Cafe, Litchfield, Illinois
- Atlanta, Illinois
- Baby Bull's Family Restaurant, Atlanta, Illinois
- Elm Street Eatery, Lebanon, Missouri
- Grand Junction Palomino Inn.
- Kingman, Arizona Attraction - Desert Diamond Distillery
- Kix on 66
- Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum
- Pontiac, Illinois
- Red River Steakhouse
- Roadrunner Lodge Motel, Tucumcari, New Mexico Recommended Lodging
- Self Guided, Narrated Historic District Walking Tour
- Southside Cafe, Rushville, Illinois
- St. Louis, Missouri Recommended Lodging Moonrise Hotel
- Tucumcari, New Mexico
- Uranus Fudge Factory & General Store
201 E Hwy 66, Gallup, New Mexico in the depot and Harvey House. This is our go to placec for lunch in Gallup. Dozens of stops and we have yet to have a bad meal! When you stop, tell Angela Chavez that Jim sent you!
"When you're cruisin' down Route 66 in Litchfield, Illinois, and hunger strikes, take the time to check out one of the oldest American restaurants on the legendary highway. The Ariston Cafe opened its doors in 1924 and is one of the oldest continually-operational Route 66 restaurants still going today. Here, we offer a range of food including American, Southern, Italian, and Greek fare along with a fully-stocked bar in a clean, comfortable environment you're sure to enjoy. Our goal is to always provide top notch food and service."
"Right in the middle of Illinois' Route 66 and a city where Abraham Lincoln not only walked but spent many nights. Walk around and explore all that Atlanta has to offer. Drive down a 1926 stretch of Route 66, wander around one of our several museums, shop locally, grab a bite to eat, enjoy a fresh-baked pastry and coffee, play 9 holes of golf, and relax in one of our beautiful parks."
An absolute delight! One of our favorite places on Route 66 to simply walk, discover, and savor. A free walking guide is available on their website.
For breakfast, dinner or supper, Baby Bull's gets the Jim Hinckley's America seal of approval! Every meal was excellent.
1025 W Reynolds St
This is hands down our favorite breakfast stop in Lebanon.
135 W Elm St
An absolute gem. A 1960s classic along U.S. 6 that is located within walking distance of shops and restaurants.
Clean, well maintained, and reasonably priced. Pride in ownership is evident in details and attention to customers.
2400 North Ave.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
One of the area’s top rated Attractions.
See how craft spirits are made by taking a tour in the Production and Barrel rooms. Taste award winning aged rums, aged whiskeys, and vodka, and enjoy cheese plates and capresi salad plates in a century old railroad car.
Enjoy hand crafted cocktails at our historic bar.
4875 Olympic Drive
Our favorite stop for a hearty and delicious breakfast in Tucumcari, New Mexico. 1102 E Rte 66 Blvd
The Exhibit Hall at the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum houses a host of replicated and original fossils from tiny footprint casts to the 40′ long skeleton Torvosaurus, a rare carnivore relative of Tyrannosaurus rex which hails from the Jurassic period.
The Museum’s focus is on the Mesozoic period, which is also known as ‘The Age of Dinosaurs.’ The Mesozoic is comprised of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The museum cultivates specimens from exclusive local dig sites. Guests are able to view Paleontology students and the curator preserve specimens through a viewing window located in the exhibit hall. Witness history as it’s uncovered and assembled in the laboratory.
The museum also boasts an impressive collection of minerals from all over the world. These are displayed in the exhibit hall and sold in the gift shop.
March 15 – Labor Day (Tuesday – Saturday)
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Closed Sunday and Monday)
Day After Labor Day – March 14th
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Closed Sunday and Monday)
Pontiac, Illinois is a living Norman Rockweell print. It is the infectious magic of Route 66 personified. It is vibrant, colorful, and fun. It is a destination for young and old. Discover Pontaic today!
Pontiac in Illinois is a town where the lick and promise approach isn't good enough, and it shows. Photo Jim Hinckley's America
What a gem! An authentic Texas steakhouse popular with locals, Route 66 travelers, and regional ranchers. 101 U.S. Rt. 66, McLean, TX
"This lovingly restored motel on Route 66 features mid-century style with modern comfort and conveniences. Stay with us for a blast from the past experience and create memories to last a lifetime. Roadrunner Lodge Motel welcomes your family with a warm smile and a friendly atmosphere one simply cannot find at the chains on the interstate."
Kingman, Arizona is a dusty desert crossroads immortalized in a song about getting your kicks on Route 66. It is also a railroad town with a rich and colorful connection to Hollywood, Arizona and aviation history, and it is a gateway to scenic wonders. With this innovative self guided walkinig tour narrated by internationally acclaimed author and historian Jim Hinckley, you can discover the best that Kingman has to offer, and learn about its amazing history.
The starting point for the narrrated self guided tour in Kingman is this plaque at Depot Plaza ©Jim Hinckley's America
Housed in an historic 19th century hardware store, this delightful restaurant on the square offers delicious meals at reasonable prices. 110 W Lafayette St, Rushville, IL
"The Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, blends cool modern design and quirky sophistication to create a truly unique boutique hotel experience. Located in The Loop – one of St. Louis’ most vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment districts – the hotel’s prime location offers guests a wide array of leisure activities.
The Moonrise Hotel is home to the award-winning Eclipse Restaurant, a St. Louis leader in modern American cuisine. Eclipse Restaurant’s talented chefs serve up a menu of fresh, contemporary American dishes made from locally-sourced, seasonal and organic ingredients, and skilled bartenders mix up classic cocktails with a modern twist.
The Moonrise Hotel boldly goes where no St. Louis hotel has gone before with its combination of contemporary design, luxury amenities, beautifully furnished rooms and suites, and ample meeting space. From the ever-changing colors of the iridescent lobby walls and lighted staircase to the evocative art, display cases of lunar toys, jewelry, figurines, rare space memorabilia and spaceships, there’s much to marvel at without ever leaving the hotel.
The result: an unforgettable experience that combines Midwestern hospitality with urban chic and comfy sleek boutique."
Known for its connection to Route 66, Tucumcari is more than time capsule motels, neon lit nights, and tail fins. It is Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum, the Route 66 museum, a railroad museum in a restored depot, wonderful restaurants, and friendly folk. It is at the heart of an adventurers paradise. It is a destination. Tucumcari tonight!
"Uranus Missouri on Historic Route 66 is a Family Fun Destination located in the Beautiful Ozarks in South Central Missouri between Saint Louis and Springfield, Mo on Interstate 44 and Route 66" The website description can't begin to describe this amazine roadside stop. It is quirky family fun with miniature golf, circus side show museum, and escape rooms. It is a general store of epic proportions. It is the capital of juvenile humor. As a bonus they have delicious fudge!
Jim has the perspective of a man who loves the Mother Road and enjoys sharing his experiences with everyone. He truly believes in sharing the love
One of my favorite storytellers, whether talking about Route 66, or sharing a story about what he had for breakfast. Always a pleasure!
Top notch!!! Great journalism. Love Jim’s work!
At Jim Hinckley’s America we test the pillows, taste the enchiladas, try the shower, walk the neighborhood, sample the beer and make the detour so you can enjoy worry free travel. We discover the places known only to the locals, the special places most travelers miss, the hidden gems that ensure a memorable adventure. And we introduce you to the characters, the colorful and fascinating people that add seasoning to the adventure.
Since 1990 America's storyteller author Jim Hinckley has been sharing his passion for Route 66, its history and unique culture. In presentations, books, feature articles and live stream programs he weaves a rich tapestry of stories about this iconic old highway, backroad adventures and the great American southwest.
Number of Countries Where Jim Has Told People Where to Go
Feature Articles Published
Jim Hinckley's America Recommended Podcasts
Vanishing Postcards is a podcast that invites listeners to ride shotgun on a road trip exploring the traditions, hidden dives, and offbeat attractions that can be found by exiting the interstate. Few of these places and activities are listed in guidebooks, glossy magazines or travel brochures. Some are on city corners, others are tucked away off hard to find backroads, and many are threatened with disappearing. However, all are unique, have weathered change, and are representative of broader histories with memories etched in their grime. Guided by Texas native Evan Stern, audiences will hear stories, recorded in the field, from the owners, workers, and regulars who give these spaces heart and soul. The result is a touching, humorous, and enriching experience that is part travelogue, oral history, and valentine to American culture.
Anthony Arno captures the essence and magic of Route 66 with critically acclaimed podcasts and interviews with the people who infuse Route 66 with vitality.