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California Route 66

The Cities of
Foothill Blvd.

California Route 66


San Bernardino and the Inland Empire

Route 66 starts out as Cajon Blvd. then becomes Mt Vernon Ave. then turns into 5th Ave. before turning into Foothill Blvd. It can be a little confusing the first time through, and yes I did get lost when I drove this stretch of the old highway. There is much to see of old Route 66 along Foothill Blvd. Go slow and be on the lookout for the relics of the road tucked here and there between newer buildings. There are quite a few old motels and cafes along this stretch of Route 66 in San Bernardino, Rialto and Fontana. The Mitla Cafe and the Wigwam Motel are some of the most interesting (or tastiest) ones.

Route 66 at Foothills Blvd Map

Points of interest covered by my web pages.

 

Mitla Cafe in San Bernardino Mitla Cafe was established in 1937 and has been a family owned Route 66 business ever since. It is these mom and pop businesses that made Route 66 the fabled road it became. Route 66 exemplifies the rugged entrepreneurial spirit of the American Dream. After eating lunch there I can understand why it is so popular. It was great. If ever you are in the area on Route 66 and are hungry this is the place to go if you like Mexican cuisine. The Chili Rellanos are delicious.

 

San Bernardino was founded in 1851 by Mormon pioneers. Later this area became an important junction point for railroads and transportation to and from Los Angeles. The area also proved to be ideal for citrus growers. By the early 1900's orange groves spread across the landscape from the mountains to the coastal plains making up what became know as the Inland Empire. These orange groves became a welcome sight for the traveler on Route 66.
   

Do It In A Tee PeeWigwam Motel

Do it in a TeePee is the motto now. I'm sure it was quite different back in the 1950's. Compare this Wigwam Village with the one in Holbrook, Ariz. that opened in the same year.

Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino

The Wigwam Motel opened in 1950 for the traveler on Route 66. I was glad to see it was still in operation when I drove through.

 

As I drove down Foothill Blvd. I saw some classic 1940's and 1950's motels. Some were closed and some still seemed to be open. The neighborhood is not as family oriented now as it was in the Route 66 days as evidenced by some of the types of businesses. Still, there was enough of the old highway left to make this a worthwhile excursion.
   
Route 66 Survivor

The El Rey Motel is still going strong after all these years. Its vintage neon still lights up on Foothill Blvd.

El Rey Neon Courtesy Jeff Jenson

All That's Left is the SignThere are traces of old Route 66 along Foothill Blvd. Keep your eyes open and reflect upon what it once was like for the traveler.El Rey Neon

     
The famous Bono's Restaurant and the last remaining Orange Juice Stand in Fontana. These orange juice stands were once a common site along this stretch of Route 66, I would imagine that they were a very refreshing stop for the traveler on the old highway. Bono's Restaurant is now closed, hopefully someone will take over the responsibility of running it and reopen this landmark on the Mother Road soon.
    
Landmark Route 66 Business Last of its Kind on Foothills Blvd.

 

Rancho Cucamonga on Foothill Blvd.

Foothill Blvd. passes under I-15 going west through Rancho Cucamonga towards Los Angeles. I didn't see as much of old Route 66 as I hoped. This once was wine country back in the Route 66 days. There still were a few scraggly vineyards tucked between the strip malls and new housing developments, but it looks like they are on the way out. The area has become a suburb of Los Angeles and traffic was pretty heavy for this country boy. The trip was worth it though because in the midst of all the new development was a great leftover of the days when Rancho Cucamonga was really in the country. It was a 1920's era gas station and garage that looked strangely out of place. I could just imagine the Model T's pulling in for a fill up.
    

1920's Gas Station in Rancho Cucamonga

Gas Station From Out of Another Time

 

Cruzin' Cucamonga 66 Businesses

Route 66 Memories Just two blocks down from the old gas station is another great Route 66 attraction, Route 66 Memories. This wonderful Antique - Curio - Furniture store is a restored 100 year old house along historic Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga. Imagine the tales this old house could tell of the early years of a nation on the move. Route 66 passes within a few feet from the front door of this colorful old farmhouse. It is filled with treasures galore everything from metal sculpture dinosaurs, handmade rustic mission style furniture, antiques, garden sculpture and of course Route 66 memorabilia.  Inside its walls and throughout the yard you will find thousands of rare and hard to find items sure to please the most discriminating collector.
        
The Magic Lamp Inn on Foothill Blvd. This restaurant has an eye-catching architecture, and a fantastic neon sign that epitomizes the businesses on Route 66 and the other two-lane highways of yesteryear. It is just a fun place, and I understand has good food too. The Magic Lamp Inn was built in 1957 and has been a landmark in Rancho Cucamonga ever since.

Magic Lamp Inn Neon Sign

The Magic Lamp Inn Rancho Cucamonga recognizes its special Route 66 heritage and supports the preservation of its remaining vintage road structures. That is not always the case with many cities and towns across America.

 

Photographs taken Janauary, March 2001, June 2002 & April 2003


Click on an area or city of Route 66 on the map below to take a cyber tour of that section of the  Mother Road

Travel Route 66 in California

Go West on Route 66

NAVIGATION NOTE: Buckle up and hold on to your mouse! These pages are arranged like the map above, Pacific Ocean being West Route 66 and the Colorado River East Route 66. I have set up this site as if you were traveling from EAST to WEST, much like the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. You can click on the Route 66 shields to "travel" the Mother Road in either direction though. Clicking West Route 66 or East Route 66 will take you to the next town or area on the map in that direction. Or you can select any shield below to take you to that specific state.

Go East on Route 66

To Santa Monica and the Pacific

To Cajon Pass

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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