Meet Jim Hinckley: He’s a writer, photographer and tour guide with a passion for sharing the history of the American Southwest. Jim has been involved in Route 66 tourism since the mid-1990s, but his fondness for the region began long before that.
After retiring from the Coast Guard in 1966, Jim’s father threw a dart at the map, and the whole family headed west from Michigan. They jumped on Route 66 near Chicago and eventually found their new home in Kingman, Arizona.
A little known fact is that Kingman is located along the longest remaining intact section of Route 66 in the United States. “Kingman is probably one of the most overlooked tourist destinations anywhere on Route 66,” Jim says. “I always tailor my tours to peoples’ specific interests, and Kingman has just about anything you can imagine.” Northwest Arizona is full of natural beauty, rich history and, of course, lots of fun things to see and do.
To get to Kingman, you can book a flight to McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, rent a car, and drive an hour and a half southeast to Kingman. For families traveling to the area, Jim suggests these five unforgettable experiences:
Grab a Cold One at Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner
Root beer, that is. Mr. D’z makes its own root beer. It’s famously delicious, whether it’s in a frosty mug or over ice cream. This 1950s-style diner is also a great stop for families because it’s located next door to Locomotive Park. “The last of the 1920s Baldwin Mountain locomotives is set up in the park, so kids can climb right up into the cabin,” says Jim. The locomotive is AT&SF steam engine #3759, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.