If you’re making a road trip through America’s west, you hands down gotta stop off at Seligman. Aka, the birthplace of Historic Route 66. It’s probably one of my favourite places to spend a couple of hours while you’re driving through the States.
The first time I visited in 2016 I fell in love with Seligman’s retro Americana vibe. And luckily for me, I got to head back at the end of last year on my two-week TrekAmerica Westerner tour. I think I liked it even better the second time round.
Alright, so. For the love of all things burger-y, if you only do one thing in Seligman, go to Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Diner.
For a start, it’s EXACTLY what you’d imagine a properly American roadside diner to be like. Bright, retro and super fun, plus the staff have a few tricks up their sleeve that’ll definitely raise a smile.
The milkshakes are an absolute dream – thick, creamy, and packed with enough sugar to keep you partying in Vegas til 3am that night (true story…although the vodka MAY have also had something to do with that). The Oreo’s my fave – it comes with actual Oreo pieces on top.
I’d actually already eaten lunch so didn’t eat there this time around – but the fries are served with POTATO SMILES that’ll hit you right in the childhood.
Next up…shopping. Because if you didn’t bring home a tacky souvenir, did you even GO to Seligman? Nah.
You’ve got Angel and Vilma Delgadillo’s Route 66 Gift Shop, which is the one I go to first, but there’s also Historic Seligman Sundries, which is on the Register of National Historic Places and is also acts as the visitor centre and coffee shop. Oh, and it looks super cool from the outside.
Automobiles are kinda a big deal here – so much so, Seligman served as an inspiration for the Pixar movie Cars. I haven’t seen it, but I sure as hell enjoyed nosing around the vehicles of Seligman.
Around the back of Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Diner, you’ll find a heap of oddities, including a head in a toilet (yeah, you gotta see it), but also plenty of retro cars. The kind you imagine riding along dusty, never-ending roads in with the top down, tunes up and waving your hands in the air like you’re in a coming-of-age road trip movie.
Also on a bit of a car-theme, the Return to the 50s Museum is home to some vintage cars, as well as some pretty cool old-school memorabilia from…yeah, you guessed it. The 1950s.
If you’ve stuck around long enough to be hungry again the Roadkill Café is something of a Seligman institution. I’ve never been myself, but don’t let the dish names put you off – you won’t ACTUALLY be chowing down on the remains of anything found beside the road. The menu offers up buffalo (The Tread Buff), elk (Toad Off The Road), and pastrami (Beep Beep Your #@%*).
Just outside, you’ll find some old school Wild West building fronts, including the old Arizona Territorial Jail, which hosted the lawbreaking likes of Seligman Slim and Four Fingered Frank.
And finally, on your way out – don’t forget to get a snap with an iconic Route 66 road marker – just watch out for passing traffic!
Seligman isn’t necessarily the kind of place you’d spend more than an afternoon in, although it’s conveniently located for nearby activities. But even for just a couple of hours, you’ll be transported back to the bygone era of Route 66’s heyday, and experience a slice of quirky, kitschy Americana.