Your Guide to Holbrook, Arizona
Janessa Hilliard Holbrook, Arizona: one of the few places where you can stay in a wigwam.
Jackalope Ranch is hitting the road this summer -- and you're coming, too. Well, sort of. With Going Places, our writers recommend the best things to do and see during your travels.
Whoever said "it's not the destination, it's the journey" may have been talking about the drive to Holbrook. One of the noted pit stops along the famous U.S. Route 66 highway, Holbrook is a town whose hey-day is behind it, boasting ruined relics that time forgot.
Blink and you'll miss it. The tiny town -- whose population and elevation are roughly the same at 5,082 feet -- is tucked off Interstate 40, between signs for pawn shops and $7 moccasins and woven blankets. Declared "too tough for women and children," Holbrook has a sordid history still visible today. With roadsigns like "Bucket of Blood Street," named after nearby saloon owners literally filled a bucket with blood, cleaning up after a shoot-out, it made southern Arizona's Tombstone look like a cakewalk, according to locals.
Founded in 1881 or 1882 (no one can agree on that one), Holbrook was a by-product of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. When trains gave way to automobiles, the then-thriving community found itself sitting right in the middle of a new roadway: U.S. Route 66.
The Disney-Pixar collaboration Cars (2006) was partly inspired by the northeastern Arizona town. Director John Lasseter spent hours at popular cafe Joe and Aggie's, learning the history of the town and drawing, literally, visual inspiration. Many of the movie's recognizable features are plays on hotels and murals seen today.