What Happened to Area 66?

If you’re looking for strange and odd tourist attractions, it doesn’t get much weirder than Area 66. However, based on recent reviews, many wonder what’s happening there.

What we’ve found doesn’t look good for those hoping to visit. So, what’s the deal with Area 66, and should you continue to visit it?

Today, we’re sharing what we uncovered about Area 66 and its current status. 

Let’s take a look!

About Area 66 

Area 66 is a tourist attraction 25 miles south of Kingman, Arizona, along Historic Route 66. You can identify the spot by the massive 40-foot diameter geodesic dome structure.

For lack of a better description, it looks like a giant golf ball sitting on a tee. If you’ve ever visited Disney’s EPCOT, it’s like a smaller version of the 165-diameter attraction, Spaceship Earth.

While no one knows the reason for its creation, reports indicate that this structure has served various purposes. At one point, it was used to sell real estate in a scheme that ended with multiple people serving time in prison.

Its most recent owner converted it into a UFO museum. According to its listing on Google, it opened in April 2019. However, ownership announced they were closing Area 66 two years after opening their doors. The purpose was to complete renovations and install new exhibits for visitors.

Their goal was to complete the renovations in a month, but they didn’t meet it. Instead, they opened the first and second floors on August 5 but kept the third floor closed.

It wasn’t until a year after the renovation started that they moved on to finish the third floor. Unfortunately, ever since, visitors have stated that it’s been hit or miss whether it is open or not.

The sign saying to exit now if you want to see Area 66.
Source: Google/Madeline Eckler

What You’ll Find at Area 66

From the highway, you can spot the massive, oddly shaped structure on the property, which houses the alien museum. However, you’ll also find a convenience store and photo ops around the property. If you’re a fan of extraterrestrial activities, this is one stop that needs to be on your list.

Inside the museum, you’ll find UFO and government-related displays documenting an alleged crash in the area. Some believe this crash occurred just outside Kingman, Arizona, in 1953.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the alleged accident and what happened to the supposedly recovered vehicles.

The sign at Area 66 that explains what happened with the UFO sighting in 1953.
Source: Google/Jeff S.

Is Area 66 Still Open?

Unfortunately, according to the Google listing, Area 66 is temporarily closed. The website doesn’t list anything about the museum or convenience store.

However, reviews left in August 2023 mention a new owner and that the convenience store had ice, cold beer, and basic groceries. So, it sounds like the convenience store is open, but the museum remains closed.

We contacted Area 66 to get some insights but have not received a reply. In addition, the phone number listed is no longer available, and their website lacks any new details.

So, if you’re heading this way, we wouldn’t plan on it being available. However, if it is, feel free to let us know!

The building at Area 66 where you could get snacks, ice, gifts, soda, and more.
Source: Google/James G.

Other Things to Do Near Area 66

So, if Area 66 isn’t open, what else can you do? Don’t worry; we’ve found several options. Let’s dive in!

Desert Diamond Distillery

Desert Diamond Distillery is another popular stop along Route 66. It is a family-owned distillery that has been operating since 2008. Stop in and take a tour, and try a sample or two of their rums, whiskies, and vodka.

These 20-minute to 30-minute tours allow you to see the production and barrel rooms. You’ll also learn about the process and everything that goes into creating their spirits.

However, for those under 21, there’s plenty of homemade chocolate, too.

A row of alcohol on a tasting board at a distillery.

Paddle in Castle Rock Bay

Castle Rock Bay is approximately 30 miles southwest of Area 66. It’s a secluded spot perfect for kayaking or SUP boarding.

It’s a remarkable opportunity to float on the water and enjoy the scenery without worrying about boat traffic. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to get out on the water, Castle Rock Bay is an incredible place to do just that.

Visit Lake Havasu State Park

Roughly 35 miles southwest of Area 66 is Lake Havasu State Park. There’s plenty to see and do if you choose to visit this incredible state park. It has three boat ramps, 54 campsites, and 13 beachside cabins.

Additionally, you can hike the 1.75-mile Mohave Sunset Trail and get some of the best views of Lake Havasu from the shoreline.

For those who appreciate diverse ecosystems, Lake Havasu State Park doesn’t disappoint. Check out the Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden to see some of the wildlife that make their home here. Visitors regularly see birds, lizards, and a desert cottontail or two.

Another popular attraction at Lake Havasu State Park is the famous London Bridge. As its name indicates, the bridge initially sat in London, England. It was used to allow people to cross the River Thames.

However, in 1968, Robert P. McCulloch purchased the exterior components of the bridge and had them transported to the United States. The bridge connects Lake Havasu City with Pittsburgh Point.

Lake Havasu and mountains in the distance with the boat dock and beach in the foreground.

Desert Wonder Tours

Is there a better way to experience the beauty of Northern Arizona than on a private tour? We don’t think so. Luckily, Desert Wonder Tours offers private tours throughout the Arizona desert. They’ve been operating since 2017 and have served clients from all over the world.

The owner, Robert Walton, uses his sense of humor and knowledge of the desert to provide a top-notch experience. Additionally, Robert is joined by Jim Hinckley, an author, lecturer, historian, and one of the best tour guides you’ll ever meet.

Desert Wonder Tours currently offers six different tours and experiences, including everything from wine tastings to horseback riding. These tours can easily take four to seven hours. In addition, they’ll work with you to create the perfect experience for you and your small group. 

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Keepers of the Wild Nature Park

Keepers of the Wild Nature Park is approximately an hour northeast of Area 66. If you’re traveling along I-40, it’s an easy pitstop that can be a memorable experience.

The park features 140 rescue animals. With 50 different species, you can see big cats, grizzly and black bears, wolves, birds, primates, and more.

Visitors can take self-guided walking tours or sign up for their guided safari and feeding tours. The tours are a chance to experience as much of the 175 acres of land owned by the park in the beautiful canyon.

Two tigers in captivity. One of them is yawning.

Is Area 66 Worth Visiting?

When Area 66 is open, it’s a fun and quirky place to visit. Whether you believe in aliens or not, this is a special place to stop along Route 66.

Unfortunately, with such an inconsistent schedule, it can be a gamble to put it on your itinerary. You may arrive and discover that the museum portion is closed and just a convenience store.

On the other hand, if it’s open, you can have an unforgettable time. Let us know if you make it!

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