The Bare Traveller

All you need to know about Seligman Arizona

Seligman, an Arizonan city renowned as the origin of Route 66, is a location that embodies the spirit of the 1950s. In this town, you may find vehicles, diners, and tourist traps.

Due to its location at the intersection of the Santa Fe Railroad’s main line, Seligman was formerly known as Prescott Junction. After Jesse Seligman, one of the founders of JW Seligman Co., who funded railroad lines in the region, the town was renamed Seligman in 1886.

Seligman Arizona Pixar Cars

Seligman was designated as the Historic Route 66 Birthplace in 1987. Seligman now has a large number of gift stores, eateries, and modest hotels. An actual trip back in time. Seligman had 450 residents in 2020.

Angel Delgadillo, the Pioneer

The Pixar-Disney animated movie “Cars” creators got their inspiration from the town of Radiator Springs (but it’s more accurately linked to Peach Springs).

The entire film is based on Angel Delgadillo’s memories as the “Father” or “Angel” of the route 66. There is a high concentration of antique automobiles with eyes, as seen in the film, at Delgadillo’s house, and everywhere in Seligman.

How to get to Seligman AZ?

Seligman is situated along Route 66 in northern Arizona, 40 minutes west of Williams, 1:45 hours from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, 2:30 hours from the Grand Canyon Skywalk, 1 hour from Hackberry General Store, 30 minutes from Grand Canyon Caverns, and 40 minutes from the beginning of the Havasu Falls hike.

  • Take I-40 West away from Williams. After leaving I-40 at exit 123, turn right onto I-40BL. For 43 miles, allow 45 minutes (69 kilometers).
  • Take the I-40 eastward from Kingman. Exit I-40 via exit 121. Turn left onto the I-40BL. Count 72 miles in 1h15 (117 kilometers).

Seligman Arizona Weather

Seligman experiences a desert environment with frequent dry, sunny, and warm weather. 

Despite being in the Mojave Desert, it is located at a higher elevation, thus it is not particularly hot there. In the winter, it can get chilly at night, and very seldom snow is a possibility.

How long should your visit last in Seligman?

My recommendation is to spend half a day in Seligman. This will give you plenty of time to explore the main road, the shops and the restaurants.

14 unmissable Things to do in Seligman AZ

The Seligman Historic District is defined by First and Lamport Streets, Picacho and Railroad Avenues. Chino Street, recently called Historic Route 66, is the neighborhood’s primary east-west artery, while Important Street is its main north-south thoroughfare.

Route 66’s 1926 alignment begins at the intersection of Lamport Street and East Railroad Avenue and proceeds north on E. Railroad Avenue to Main Street, then north on Main Street to the intersection of Main and Chino Street.

Westside Lilo’s Cafe Seligman Arizona

The colourful and eccentric early 20th century souvenir stores that line the streets of the area are reminiscent of those seen in small town America at the same time. Seligman is a flashback to the 50s.

In 2005, the Seligman Historic District was added on the National Register of Historic Places.

1) Route 66 Logo

One of the many Route 66 patches painted on the asphalt may be found just before entering Seligman, at this exact location (see the picture).

Route 66 California Arizona

 The emblem is positioned on Route 66 parallel to I-40, only a few feet before the two lanes intersect and reach Seligman.

2) Vilma and Angel gift store

Angelo Delgadillo relocated his barbershop in 1972 so he could benefit from the traffic on the newly opened section of Route 66 through Seligman. Up until September 1978, when I-40 omitted Seligman, business was brisk. 

Souvenirs Shop in Seligman Arizona

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona was established by Angel, his wife Vilma, and other northern Arizona business owners to promote tourism. Angel’s Barber Shop & Pool Hall was where the Association called home. Through his efforts, Seligman became known as “the birthplace of historic Route 66.”

3) Delgadillo Snow Cap

 When you see the big ice cream sign at the Delgadillo Snow Cap, I urge you to stop. There, the “Sorry we are open” sign illustrates the peculiar irony of the location.

The Delgadillo Snow Cap proudly depicts a 1936 Chevrolet with eyes. Juan Delgadillo, Angel’s brother, built it in 1953 out of station scraps. Back in the square, there’s a yard full of old automobiles with eyes and loads of other interesting historical objects, including a phone booth with a bathroom inside.

The Snow Cap Drive-In of Seligman was added to the Guinness Book of World Records on September 10, 2022 for having “the majority of milkshake flavours exposed.” Le Snow Cap has more than 270 flavours.

On June 2, 2004, Juan Delgadillo passed away. All those who knew him will miss him dearly. Les travellers on Route 66 from all over the world have been entertained by his loufoque singing at Snow Cap.

His legacy is carried on at Snow Cap by Juan’s sons John and Robert, who continue the culture of fun that has made Snow Cap and Juan legends of Route 66.

4) Aztec Hotel

The Aztec Motel is across the street. While this in and of itself is uninteresting, the ancient structure’s exterior contains the phrase “Mother Road 66” and is embellished with garden ornaments that are not precisely characteristic of the desert.

5) Barbershop by Angel Delgadillo

The 94-year-old Latin American barber, known as the “Guardian Angel of Route 66” and the “Mayor of Mother Road,” oversaw his retirement after 75 years in business.

Every day, he welcomes visitors to the original gift shop of Angel & Vilma Delgadillo’s Route 66 and tells them how he saved the historic highway from the sands of time.

There are still fond recollections of the store’s past as a hair salon inside. Numerous ancient pictures and artefacts from the past may be found all around Angel’s old barber chair.

In his 90s, Angel is a treasury of tales, recollections, and odd facts about the heyday and decadence of Route 66 in Arizona.

6) The Rusty Bolt

Another gift shop is The Rusty Bolt, which has a bright pink Cadillac parked in front of it. While there is the customary array of Route 66 artefacts inside, displayed on shelves, there is a replica saloon, a nightclub, and hippie commune outdoors, complete with male and female models in the audience.

7) Historic Seligman Sundries

This location is unquestionably a Seligman landmark and the most popular for photos. Take a moment to examine the Historic Seligman Sundries’ rainbow exterior, which features an aeroplane tail.

Route 66 sign - Historic Seligman Sundries Arizona

You may also have a look inside this vibrant, retro-style museum-warehouse-gourmet café, which is one of the oldest establishments in the area.

8) Depot Seligman

Seligman Arizona USA

Featuring a prison, a stable, a hotel, a bank, a and dentist, The Seligman Depot is a recreation of a western town. The nearby Roadkill 66 Café, which doubles as a bar, is owned by this fictitious ghost town.

9) The Copper Cart

Copper Cart Seligman Arizona

The Copper Cart restaurant first opened its doors in 1952, however it was shuttered more than 60 years later. The Route 66 Motoporium gift shop was utilising the building and its famous sign at the intersection of Route 66 and Main Street as of 2015.

10) Return to the 50's

Since 2007, the Return to the 50’s Gift Shop has been housed at the old Olson’s Shell station. It sells memorabilia, souvenirs, and other items, as do other gift stores in Seligman.

11) Stagecoach Hotel

This hotel, located on the historic Route 66 to the east of Seligman, has themed rooms, a bar and a restaurant on-site, and serves coffee, tea, and pastries every day.

12) The Supai Motel

The Supai Motel is just a few hundred metres from the Stagecoach Motel. With its striking neon sign, this is a famous Route 66 hotel. It first opened in 1952.

13) Route 66 Roadrunner

The latest establishment to open on the legendary Route 66 is the Route 66 RoadRunner. Constructed on top of the 1936-built Olsen Chevrolet Garage structure. The original redwood beams from the ceiling may be seen. It has a café and a gift shop.

14) General Store

Historic General Store Seligman Arizona

This store, which doubles as an RV park, offers everything tired visitors require to fill up for the next leg of their journey, including a tonne of items relating to Route 66. There are just approximately 15 spots in the little RV park.

Final Thoughts

Seligman, which is extremely representative of Route 66, is unavoidably touristic, wonderfully preserved, and authentic. It can be a stopover town (there are a dozen hotels), but a short visit of a couple or 3 hours of hours will suffice. It is one of my favourite Route 66 spots.

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