A quaint and charming mystical town in the Texas panhandle. Shamrock is located on present day Interstate 40, but more importantly on historical Route 66.
Shamrock may only have 1,900 residents, but it has been an important little place for many years.
At one point in time, Shamrock featured the only place to eat for over 100 miles along Route 66. The U-Drop Inn Cafe was a very successful cafe and was known for its iconic architecture.
Of course, the days of Route 66 are long gone; however the town is still special despite being so small and being located in the desolate Texas panhandle.
For one, many people still long for the bygone days of Route 66, and the historical aspect draws people to historical towns along the old route.
In another instance, many storm chasers stop here for food and gas, if not lodging as well.
In 2016, we stayed in Shamrock for four nights during our month long journey. Despite the general lack of amenities and excitement in the area, I hope we can return and stay longer in future trips. Here’s why…
There are two motels located on the old Route 66, directly across the street from each other. One is the Route 66 Inn, the other is the Shamrock Country Inn.
Both of these Inns are older motels that have been remodeled and refurbished to near perfection, and have outstanding reviews by any online metric. Both have about 25 rooms.
Better yet, both of these facilities generally have rooms for $35 per night. Good luck finding that price anywhere else in the United States.
Don’t expect more than your most basic amenities in these rooms, but what the hell else do you need when you are staying in Shamrock Texas? The rooms are basic but clean, smell good, and have all of your bathroom essentials.
U-Drop Inn Cafe
The first night we arrived in Shamrock it was late and we were starving, which is every single night when you are driving around the Great Plains.
U-Drop Inn Cafe showed up on Google, but it was already closed. We found some other generic road junk and headed to the Shamrock Country Inn, but not before being sucked into the bright lights at what turned out was the U-Drop Inn.
The following morning, we headed to the U-Drop Inn Cafe for breakfast.
We did not realize that the U-Drop Inn Cafe had not been an actual restaurant for nearly 20 years.
In 1997, the U-Drop Inn Cafe was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It had fallen into a state of disrepair for about a decade before the city of Shamrock acquired it, and eventually restored the building into a charming museum and gift shop.
Back in Time
There were two retired ladies running the museum when we arrived. They were incredibly friendly and informative about the history of the building. I believe both of them had moved to Shamrock from large cities, Houston and New York if my mind is right, to retire.
Both of them discussed the small town charms of Shamrock. They personally knew their mailman, along with virtually every other person in the town. We conversed for nearly 20 minutes, but sadly after over 18 months of zig zagging around the USA, I hardly remembered what we talked about anymore.
The building itself was quite fascinating, featuring two separate towers with detailed geometric designs, neon lights, and ceramic tiled walls.
One side of the building was historically a gas station, while the rest consisted of the restaurant.
The inside of the cafe looked and felt like it was brand new and still awaiting grand opening. Tables were set and awaiting the first customers as if time was frozen in the summer of 1958.
This was another wonderful example of what happens when you seek out a new experience. Simply looking for a local place to eat led us into a previously unknown historical building that showcased an important part of American history.
We were able to take a very small piece of American history home with us. Now, maybe you too will make even a slight effort at finding something new the next time you leave home?