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Route 66 Road Trip Day 16: Rialto to Pasadena

Our Route 66 Road Trip Day 16 from Rialto, California to Pasadena, California was a bit of a short day because we live in Pasadena and basically just drove home, but there is plenty to do and see in Pasadena and Los Angeles! The day included a tour around the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, a stop at the Unofficial McDonald’s Museum, a strawberry donut from The Donut Man, and, as usual, amazing vintage signs for motels, restaurants, and shops!

Route 66 Road Trip Day 16: Rialto to Pasadena

We started our morning in a teepee. Since we arrived too late in the evening at the Wigwam Motel to take photos, I spent some time the next morning wandering around taking photos. I seriously love these Wigman Motels, this one was Wigwam Motel #7, and I am so glad they are on the National Register of Historic Places. Also, it is really difficult to see as it is extremely faded, but they have a sign that asks “Have you done it in a teepee?”

2020 Update: From looking at their website, it looks like they have painted the red lines onto the wigwams! Yay! 

Here’s the sign that says, “Do it in a teepee.”

We then stopped by the Unofficial McDonald’s Museum. It is owned by the man who owns the Juan Pollo chicken restaurant chain and is located inside the company headquarters offices which is the site of the first original McDonald’s.

They have a history section of McDonald’s and I learned that basically McDonald’s is as big as it is because Ray Kroc was selling milkshake mixers and the McDonald brothers’ restaurant was using eight mixers, so Kroc thought that if they expanded into more restaurants and each restaurant needed eight mixers that he would sell a lot of mixers!

The “museum” has a few of the old tiles and the french fry fryers of the original McDonald’s that Ray Kroc built, so that’s pretty cool. It’s all very bizarre, but it’s free and McDonald’s is very much part of California car culture and Route 66, so I definitely recommend it.

And the outside is an assortment of different cars that are Juan Pollo themed. Like I said, very bizarre.

And then of course we hit the road and started stopping at all of the excellent signage, orange stands, and restaurants along Route 66.

Our last stop was a very important stop! The Donut Man! Known for his amazing strawberry and peach donuts, there is always a line at The Donut Man. It’s open 24 hours a day, so even if you’re in town late at night, go for a late night snack!

Planning a Route 66 trip of your own? Be sure to check out the rest of our trip here:

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Kim E.

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

Awwww I know you've been home for awhile but I'm bummed to see the Route 66 series come to an end. I'm so glad to have followed your journey, the photos and stories were all amazing! :)