1. 50s Diner Backseat Bar, Cordes Junction
Let's start off this list with a trip to a 50's style diner and bar. The checkerboard patterns, linoleum tables, and thick milkshakes will get you in the mood for some retro fun. The restaurant is located at 19780 East Hitching Post Way in Cordes Junction.
2. Castles n' Coasters, Phoenix
Skip the roller coaster and other wild attractions. Instead, head for the arcade where you'll find a large variety of retro arcade and pinball games. It's located at 9445 North Metro Parkway East in Phoenix.
3. Cool Springs Station, Kingman
Want to get a taste of the old Route 66? Check out this stop which was a former gas station along the route. Restored a decade ago, it houses a small museum and gift shop with Route 66 memorabilia. It's located along Route 66, approximately 20 miles west of Kingman before Sitgreaves Pass.
4. Glendale 9 Drive-In Movie Theatre, Glendale
The last remaining drive-in theatre in the state, this area has been showing movies in an outdoor environment for decades. Stop by the theatre at 5650 North 55th Avenue in Glendale.
5. Greg & Amy’s Twist and Shout 50’s Diner, Green Valley
Get a taste of 50’s style soda shops at this restaurant in Green Valley. The decor creates quite the ambience and even the servers dress up in poodle skirts. The restaurant is located at 720 West Calle Arroyo Sur, Suite 100 in Green Valley.
6. Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale
Since Mad Men is now over, you can get your fill of Mid-century modern beauty at the Hotel Valley Ho. Renovated to stylishly honor that architectural aesthetic, this is a great place for an overnight stay or dine in their on-location restaurant, Zuzu. The hotel is located at 6850 East Main Street in Scottsdale.
7. Kon Tiki Restaurant and Lounge, Tucson
The tiki bar—a romanticized, Americanized vision of Polynesian culture—took off post-World War II. Not too many exist today but one great example is Kon Tiki, located at 4625 East Broadway Boulevard in Tucson, that will give you an idea of the tiki bars of years past.
8. Mac Alpine’s Restaurant, Phoenix
When was the last time you visited a real soda shop? If your answer is years ago or never, you'll want to check out Mac Alpine’s, which is located at 2303 North 7th Street in Phoenix.
9. Pete’s Gas Station Museum, Williams
This interesting little place at 101 East Route 66 in Williams is great for spotting old Route 66 memorabilia and purchasing related gifts. Check it out the next time you're in the area!
10. Rollero Family Skating Center, Phoenix
I haven’t been to a roller rink in years but there are many surprising options in the Phoenix-metro area and more scattered across the state. One example is Rollero. They use wood floors for the rink (not something you'll find at many rinks these days) and regularly have skating specials throughout the week and on holidays. Rollero is located at 7318 West Indian School Road in Phoenix.
11. The Shady Dell, Bisbee
Looking for a unique place to spend the night? Head over to the Shady Dell in Bisbee, where you can stay in one of the unique Airstream-style trailers. Each one has a unique style and decor, so you can get a different experience during each stay. The Shady Dell is located at 1 Douglas Road in Bisbee.
12. Wigwam Motel, Holbrook
Finally, add a stay at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, a Route 66 staple. Although not representative of actual Indigenous tribes in Arizona nor of actual wigwams, it's a unique little place that certainly beckons curious minds. The motel is located at 811 West Hopi Drive in Holbrook.