With my cooking job, I seldom get a 4-day weekend off. This past Easter holiday I was lucky! So my partner and I decided to go on a long road trip out-of-state just to get away from the cold wintry Wisconsin Spring for few days. We drove off heading to Kingman, AZ. We packed a few light clothing anticipating the temperature to be around upper 80s or lower 70s.
The eating journey…
There were a lot of things to write about this trip! So let me begin with our food journey to Arizona excluding the many shortstops in between. Since we already booked our hotel online, when we arrived in Kingman, I immediately searched or googled for popular local restaurants in town. TripAdvisor.com recommended 10 best places based on customer reviews. Of these ten, we went to four of these places in the course of our three-day staycation in Kingman. And here are my thoughts about these restaurants:
An old-fashioned upscale family restaurant featuring the American classic for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Location: 418 W Beale St, Kingman, AZ 86401 Phone: (928) 753-5005
> Great breakfast menu. Order comes fast. Best place to start a day with a hearty breakfast meal. Servers are friendly. Food is delicious! Price is right for a quality meal. Highly recommended!
Mattina’s Ristorante Italiano –
Fine Italian cuisine in a laid-back refurbished 113-year old stucco house.
Location: 318 E Oak St, Kingman, AZ 86401 Phone: (928) 753-7504
> Over-priced for an average taste. Bolognese was a disappointment, I could hardly taste the meat sauce (ground steak as per the menu). It tasted more like marinara sauce. Menu offered a choice of pasta like Angel hair, fettuccine or penne; I was never asked though. They served the Bolognese over Angel hair; I don’t really like Angel hair. I would have asked for fettuccine if I was given the choice. The complementary French bread basket was a good hospitality gesture though. It was served hot off the oven but quite late. We were nearly done when the bread was served. I wouldn’t recommend this place if you’re looking for a genuine fine Italian dining.
Mr D’z Route 66 Diner –
Casual dining restaurant serving the American classic burgers and root beer floats in a 50s vintage inspired decor. Location: 105 E Andy Devine Ave, Kingman, AZ 86401 Phone: (928) 718-0066
> Food was awesomely delicious! They know how to make their burgers for sure. Its ambiance is 1950s classic. Cool décor, very busy place. I loved the sweet potato fries on the side with honey mustard dipping sauce, it was a kick. I ordered the AM Burger which was served with hash brown and fried egg. I loved the combination, though the fried egg was done hard. I would have preferred it over easy if given a choice. They also have a 4-pounder burger on the menu for the big appetite.
Everything with the meal was perfect! Though, we had a little mishap with the 4-pounder burger. We were told that this meal is on a burger challenge for a free t-shirt. So one of us ordered it and chowed down every bit of it only to find out they were out of t-shirt. They took our address and promised to send the t-shirt. It’s been two weeks now since we came back and still no t-shirt in the mail; bad PR and bad marketing promo.
Rickety Cricket Brewing –
“Handmade goodness.” Location: 312 E Beale St suite b, Kingman, AZ 86401 Phone: (928) 263-8444
> This place has the coolest vibes in this town in terms of its interior and exterior designs consisting of old barn scraps, weathered corrugated metal sheets and other rustic garage debris. Typical bar menu for pizza, burgers, chicken wings, limited salad and sandwiches as well as kid’s menu. Yet, it has an interesting brunch menu worthy of trying such as the Pesto Delight Pie which is a fresh- made New York style dough topped with pesto, mozzarella, green and red peppers, bacon, egg and chopped peppadew peppers.
Sweet Sally’s Ice Cream –
Location: Main Street, Oatman, Arizona
> This place is a must stop! Especially after strolling in the hot sun checking out the wild donkeys roaming free-style in this town and all other interesting artifacts, Sweet Sally’s is the place to stop and cool down. How about ordering chocolate-dipped frozen banana or chocolate-dipped Vanilla bars or the decadent chocolate-dipped frozen cheesecake on a stick, ooh la la!
Kingman, AZ in a nutshell…
Kingman was established as a railroad town instead of a mining town despite the many mining camps for gold and silver in the area. It is located on the railroad on US Route 66, which is one of the original highways in America. Route 66 starts in Chicago, IL in the northeast and ends in the suburb of Los Angeles, CA on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Checking the town museum for first time helped us traced back the history of this town as well the Arizona in general. Check this site for more of Kingman’s history.
Road tripping with the boys…
On this trip, we also took our three little boys – Puppy (a Dorkie or mixed Terrier Dachshund), Harley, and Fatboy both are black pugs. We love to travel with them so we don’t have to board or get a dog-sitter and worry about it. Besides we all could use snuggles and kisses during the long trip. I bought the biggest dog bed there is at Walmart wrapped it with soft fleece blanket and tucked it in the back passengers seat of my Ford Escape. We had a 27-hour drive to Kingman. We stopped every few hours to let the boys out and do their business as well as for all of us to stretch our limbs, eat and/or fill our gas tank.
This trip was planned to serve a couple of purpose, one to get-away from the Wisconsin cold this early Spring and spend Easter holiday in a warmer state; and second to deliver two kittens to my daughter who wanted to adopt them. My barn Calico cat had a litter this winter so we kept her and her four kittens in the garage until the weather warms up and they can go back to the barn.
We met my daughter and her boyfriend in Kingman, AZ. They drove 10-hours from San Francisco, CA to pick up the kittens and hang out with us at the same time for the Easter holiday.
We stayed at West Motel 6 in Kingman for unbelievably low room rate (despite the holiday) for 3-nights. I can say straight that I love this place! They allow pets with no extra charge with a 2-pet limit per room, which I believe is very generous. My three small dogs stayed with us in our room while my daughter and her boyfriend kept the kittens in their room.
We finally found a genuine pet-friendly motel. We met the general manager, Eric Barber, very friendly and accommodating. The rooms are clean and parking is spacious. There is space at the back of the property to walk and take your pets. Motel 6 West in Kingman, AZ is highly recommended for people who travel with their pets. The only complain I have about this place is that there is no fridge or microwave in the rooms. There are 2 vending machines and a microwave in the lobby for everyone to use. But those are a few personal amenities I can trade for my dogs’ comfort.
Other fun highlights…
Meade, KS – stopped at the original hideout of the Dalton (brothers) Gang, a group of outlaws in the American Old West during the 1800s. The gang specialized in bank and train robberies.
Liberal, OH – checked out the replica of Dorothy’s House in the Wizard of OZ movie.
Winslow, AZ – took a few selfies while standing on a corner of a post that inked part of song lyrics by the Eagles with title, “Take it Easy.”
Sacred burial site at Golden Valley, AZ we found black box with the name of US Army Vet David Harper, which I’m sure contained his ashes. Also found names of people inked on either rocks or wooden crosses.
Wild donkeys roaming the town of Oatman like they own it.
We stopped at Sweet Sally’s Ice Cream parlor for a cold treat which left us thirsty for more cold drinks. So we each had a cold beer at Judy’s Saloon and Pool Hall and Oatman Hotel Bar.
And we made sure not to…
Soaked our feet in the relaxing cold water of the Colorado River by Bullhead City.
Wine vending machine, anyone? This was at Harrah’s Laughlin Hotel in Nevada just across the bridge from Bullhead City, AZ.
In three of the museums that we visited in the town of Kingman, there was a huge collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the early inhabitants of Arizona – the Hopi, Pueblo, Zuni, Apache, Mohave, and Navajo peoples. One artifact that caught my attention was the grinding stone pestle used by the early Native Americans for grinding grains, seeds, and herbs. Imagine the amount of sweat it costs to grind a pound of wheat to produce flour during the earlier times.
Check this site for more places and sights to explore in Kingman, AZ.