One of the most visited tourist destinations in the USA in Las Vegas. Only an hour and forty minute drive from that town, will bring visitors to a gold mine of things to do in historical Kingman Arizona. It is definitely worth spending a few days discovering this town, on both the I40 and Route 66.
Here a list of my top ten things to do in and around town.
1. Visit the Kingman Visitor Center and Route 66 Museum
Located at the heart of the longest continuous stretch of Route 66 is Kingman Arizona USA. The Kingman Visitor Center and Route 66 museum is definitely worth visiting. It is located downtown in the old Powerhouse, which operated from 1909 until 1938. Not only did the building supply power to Kingman and surrounds it supplied power for the construction of the nearby Hoover Dam until the late 1930s. It has been a museum and visitor centre since 1997.
2. Visit the pioneer past at the Mohave history museum
The history of northwest Arizona has been collated and exhibited in this diverse Kingman museum. Dioramas and artifacts from prehistoric times until present day are both interesting and educational. All items on display have been donated.
3. Take a tour of the Bonelli house
In Kingman, visitors can step inside the Bonelli house, originally home to George and Effie (nee Tarr) Bonelli, who married in January 1895. The original home was built in 1894 and they paid $50 for a whole city block of land.
4. Mr. D'z American Diner and the Dream Machine Museum
This 50s style diner was once popular all along Route 66, and stepping inside this Kingman diner feels like stepping back in time. Next door at the Dream Machine Museum there are some classic vehicles to drool over.
5. Visit the award winning Desert Diamond Distillery
Opening in 2009 the Desert Diamond Distillery located in Kingman, Arizona, USA is a top tier nano distillery, making award winning spirits including rum, whiskey and vodka. This is Arizona’s oldest craft distillery.
6. Visit Little Old Wine Drinkers vineyard and cellar door
Little Old Wine Drinkers (LOWD) is a vineyard and cellar door venue located just outside of Kingman Arizona USA. The owner Steve was all set to retire but found himself bored. So, he decided to break the soil on his property, plant grapevines, harvest the grapes and make delicious wine. Planting over 4000 vines, he harvested 7 tonne of grapes in 2022.
7. Take a walk, drink, eat and shop in historical downtown Kingman Arizona
Historic Downtown Kingman has a lot to offer, including museums, restaurants, shops and breweries. The town comes alive at night with music at various venues. There was even a packed-out crowd of hipsters playing bingo one night at a local bar. Another venue was hosting a trivia night. In the warmer weather, most eateries offer outdoor dining as well, and the streets come to life with activities and music.
8. Take the sidewinder road from Kingman to Oatman
The Oatman Highway is a two-lane road that was one of the earliest alignments of Route 66. This eight-mile stretch through the Black Mountains is known as The Sidewinder. It has 191 curves, turns and switchbacks. The switchbacks through the mountains are awe inspiring. It is advised not to drive anything over 12 metres (40 feet) long on this road as the hairpin turns are just too narrow.
9. Visit the ghost town of Oatman
This is a town where you tread the same old wild west streets and wooden boardwalks that they did back in the day. In 1906 Oatman was formed, with more than 10,000 residents. The population in 2023 is just over 100. It was the ideal place to pick up mining supplies, come into town for a feed, drink and hospitality. Check out the cheeky burros that roam free in and around town.
10. Visit Lake Mead lookout and the Hoover Dam
Lake Mead has been formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. Located in both the states of Nevada and Arizona it is a popular recreation area. A lookout situated on the main road between Kingman and Las Vegas allows travelers just a glimpse of this mighty man-made lake and the desert hills behind it. Hoover Dam, a concrete arch-gravity wall, was built between 1831 and 1836, a true modern marvel.