15 Must-Make Stops Along Historic Route 66

YELLOWSTONE, WY - AUGUST 22: Visitors come and go at the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming on August 22, 2018. Yellowstone is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
 Whether you think they're unsettling or fascinating, photos of  abandoned places have a unique appeal. From creepy mental institutions that were closed for malpractice to eerie  abandoned theme parks, INSIDER has rounded up 35 of the coolest abandoned places around America and found the fascinating stories behind them.
Slide 1 of 15: Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket Willowbrook, Illinois This long-time stop on the Mother Road has been in business for more than 70 years. It's no wonder since this old-fashioned diner serves up classics like fried chicken (their own signature recipe), biscuits and mashed potatoes that have generation after generation raving. Learn how to make your own fried chicken at home.
Slide 2 of 15: Springfield, Illinois The Cozy Dog in question is actually a delicious corn dog (originally named the "crusty cur"—good thing they switched!). This classic drive-in also serves up hand-cut fries all under a Route 66-bedecked storefront. Try these new spins on classic drive-in treats.
Slide 3 of 15: Staunton, Illinois Hare, er, here you'll find rabbits of two kinds! There are plenty of animals to behold (and cuddle, if you want), and there is also no shortage of Volkswagen cars. Henry himself will show you around and tell you the story of each rabbit he's rescued!
Slide 4 of 15: St. Louis, Missouri Stop here for a concrete, which is very frozen custard that can be blended with things like marshmallows, pralines and brownie chunks, and is so named because you can flip it upside-down with no worries! Think of it as the original Blizzard (only richer and creamier!). Taking your trip along Route 66 at Christmas? They also sell Christmas trees! Check out some of our many uses for custard!
Slide 5 of 15: Stanton, Missouri Previously a saltpeter mine, these caverns now extend over seven levels! They have several interesting attractions, including the Ballroom, where annual concerts are held, and the Stage Curtain, where you can see an amazing light and sound show aptly named the "Greatest Show Under the Earth." Did you know you can eat dinner in a cave restaurant? Yup.
Slide 6 of 15: Vinita, Oklahoma Clanton's Cafe is a true slice of Americana, and they serve a mean chicken fried steak! They also serve calf fries, which, it's important to know, are more commonly called Rocky Mountain Oysters. Want to learn to deep fry with confidence so you can make your own calf fries at home? Read our tutorial!
Slide 7 of 15: Amarillo, Texas The best reason to stop at this landmark restaurant is to take the 72-Ounce Steak Challenge! Big eaters are dared to eat a 72-ounce steak in addition to several sides in one hour. The prize? The meal is free and the sense of accomplishment never wanes.
Slide 8 of 15: Amarillo, Texas As the story goes, a wealthy man decided he wanted a piece of public art that would confuse the locals, and the result was a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin: Ten Caddies were half-buried tail-up in the dirt of one of his fields. Today, visitors can spray paint the cars to their hearts' content! Find out more of America's quirkiest roadside attractions.
Slide 9 of 15: Adrian, Texas This joint is geographically the midway point between Chicago and Santa Monica on historic Route 66, hence its name. It's also the "home of the ugly crust pie" as acknowledged in the credits for the Pixar film Cars, though patrons agree that their pies are truly delicious! Never make an ugly pie crust again with our help!
Slide 10 of 15: Santa Fe, New Mexico Formerly known as Bobcat Bite, this restaurant is famous for its green chile cheeseburgers, one of the best in America. The burgers are made with a few high-quality ingredients and cooked on a cast-iron flat grill. Little details make a big difference! Take good care of your cast-iron cookware!
Slide 11 of 15: Holbrook, Arizona What a unique stopover! The set-up consists of individual sleeping units shaped like the tepees of the Plains Indians; however, it's important to note that air conditioners and cable TV are present in each wigwam so you don't need to rough it.
Slide 12 of 15: Flagstaff, Arizona This brewery, which also serves food like poutine and bagna calda (whole garlic cloves roasted with butter and olive oil and served with bread), handcrafts their beers in small batches and also has one of the largest collections of single malts found anywhere in the country! Love craft beer? Check out the best from every state.
Slide 13 of 15: Seligman, Arizona This place was made for people with a sense of humor! The menu lists things like "cheeseburger with cheese" and "dead chicken," and the property is adorned with signs stating "Enter at your own risk!" and "Sorry, we're open!"
Slide 14 of 15: Bagdad, California This small cafe was the setting for a 1987 German film starring Jack Palance. It's very popular with Europeans who have seen the movie and are drawn to the dusty California town. The facade doesn't look like much, but the interior is literally covered with things like flags, hats, and postcards! If German food entices you, we have you covered!
Slide 15 of 15: Oro Grande, California Ever made or even seen a bottle tree? This forest of handmade, unique metal pipes with bottles hanging from them is a must-see, and you can pretty much count on seeing Elmer himself milling about his creations!

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket

The Cozy Dog Drive-In

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Meramec Caverns

Clanton’s Cafe

The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery

Cadillac Ranch

Midpoint Cafe

Santa Fe Bite

Wigwam Motel

Flagstaff Brewing Company

Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In

Bagdad Cafe

Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch

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