If you find yourself in the middle of Missouri – you’re going to want to make sure that Cuba Missouri is a stop on your trip! With it’s retro murals and almost Disneylike feel, Cuba is Americana at it’s finest. And it’s here that you find one of the best kept motels along Route 66.
The Wagon Wheel Motel, Cafe and Station in Cuba with it’s iconic sign still offers travelers a comfortable and picturesque place to stay after nearly three quarters of a century.
The Wagon Wheel Motel started out along Route 66 in 1936 as a mom and pop food, fuel, and lodging establishment. The layout of the property was unusual with each building housing three cabins with garages. The Wagon Wheel Cabins were similar to the multiple unit motel layout that was more common in the 1940s and 50s instead of the traditional stand alone cabins of the period.
From a Wikipedia entry, “a 1939 AAA travel directory entry for the site illustrates the full service approach favored by many roadside businesses at the time:
Wagon Wheel Cabins on U.S. 66, the east side of town. 9 newly constructed stone cottages each with a private tub or shower bath. Very well furnished; gas heat; fans in summer; enclosed garages. Rates $2.50 to $3 per day for two persons. This is a home away from home. Splendid surroundings. Café; laundry services; rest rooms; super service station. One of the finest courts in the state. Very good.
The cottages with their Tudor style architecture have attracted thousands of travelers since the 1930s. Connie Echols purchased the old motel in 2009, and with hands-on work and a financial commitment, restored the motel as a premier Route 66 lodging.
Riva Echol, Connie’s sister has written a book about The Wagon Wheel Motel. Purchase The Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66 on Amazon.com
This fabulous historic motel which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 features 19-rooms and the old restaurant now houses “Connie’s Shoppe” which used to be down the street and owned and operated by Connie Echol.
According to Route 66 News the Wagon Wheel Motel also served as a likely partial inspiration for the defunct Wheel Well Motel shown in the mountains near the tiny Route 66 town of Radiator Springs in the 2006 hit animated film by Disney-Pixar, “Cars.”
Wagon Wheel Motel
901 E. Washington
Cuba, Missouri 65453