Needles Travel Guide

  • El Garces Hotel in Needles, CA
    El Garces Hotel in Needles, CA
    by atufft
  • El Garces Hotel in Needles, CA
    El Garces Hotel in Needles, CA
    by atufft
  • El Garces Hotel in Needles, CA
    El Garces Hotel in Needles, CA
    by atufft

Needles Things to Do

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The El Garces Hotel/Santa Fe Depot was once one of the crown jewels of the Harvey Houses with its lovely ornate structure that served as a train station, restaurant, and hotel. It was built in 1908 when the last station that was wooden burned down. Since many town started to restructure what materials they should use since fires were unfortunately prevalent, the new train station was going to be built out of concrete and built by the Mojave Indians. Named after Father Francisco Garces who visited in 1776, it was called El Garces Hotel. What is very unique and special about most of the Harvey Houses is they were built between the Santa Fe Railroad and Old Trails Highway (Route 66). What was so special is the quality of service they offered all travelers. The had the nicest dining facilities, friendly service provided by the famed Harvey Girls, and a hotel that provided some of the nicest amenities for its day. It stopped serving passengers around 1949, but was still being used by Santa Fe till 1988. She sat abandon and derelict until in 1993 when the Friends of El Garces and the City of Needles saved her. The city bought her from Santa Fe for $130,000 and now she is being completed restored. So much more to come in the future for her.

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 18, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is Santa Fe Park located next to the El Garces Hotel (Harvey House). It is a lovely park with a wonderful WWI Monument. It is nice and green and a great place to come and see and relax.

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Written Dec 18, 2008

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    This is a neat little museum located right across from the El Garces Hotel and on the same block as the Chamber of Commerce. Some really nice memorabilia throughout Needles’ wonderful history.

    Their winter hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.
    Summer hours are the same with a break in August for vacation.

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Needles Hotels

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Needles Restaurants

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Written Nov 23, 2013

    We like these paticular restaurants because of the quality and price of their meals. We tried giving this place a second chance, but once again this place let us down. It's still dirty and the service is so slow. Just wanted warn any travelers thru this area.

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Needles Warnings and Dangers

  • Murl's Profile Photo

    by Murl Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Although I 40 runs through Needles off road travel may require a 4X4. Gas up in town and carry plenty of water. Be prepared to spend the night if you break down or get stuck.

    Long way from nowhere

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Written Dec 18, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This oneway road that is access under the railroad tracks. Looks like it has not changed from the horse and buggy days. You can see the other traffic thru the tunnel. You stop ofcourse and wait your turn to access the tunnel. This one is located on the way to the El Garces Hotel/Train Depot. We exited Interstate 40 north bound when we saw the little brown historical sign for El Garces. From there it was a little confusing. This oneway was located on N. K Street. & Front St.

    Very decorative! Take your time!
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  • Needles Hotels

    5 Hotels in Needles

Needles Off The Beaten Path

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Written Dec 18, 2008

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    Route 66 joins the Interstate at Park Moabi and heads west towards Needles. The original route is a few miles down I-40 take the Five-Mile Station Road exit to get back on Route 66 and enter Needles on Front Street. This is where you will see one of the original attractions. El Garces Hotel/Santa Fe Depot!

    Here are some great resources to find out more about Route 66:

    Barstow, CA
    Route 66 Mother Road Museum
    Located in the Historic Harvey House
    681 N. First Ave.
    Barstow, CA 92311
    760-255-1890
    Hours: Friday - Sunday
    11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Mojave River Valley Museum
    270 E. Virginia Way
    Barstow, California 92311
    (760) 256-5452

    Exit I-15 at Barstow Road. Go north one block.
    Open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Admission is free

    Focus is on local and regional history of the Mojave Desert. Some wonderful displays and exhibits.

    Victorville, CA
    California Route 66 Museum
    "Where the Trails Meet"
    16825 D Street
    Victorville, CA 92393-2151
    (760) 951-0436
    Hours: Thursday thru Monday
    10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

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Needles Favorites

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 18, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: These are a wealth of information for any tourist/visitor. This buildling may not look like much, but does such a service for the city. Do not ever be afraid to seek out any cities chamber of commerce. Lots of info available here.

    P.O. Box 705 Needles, CA. 92363
    (760)326-2050

    Needles Chamber of Commerce

    Exit from Interstate 40 exit onto J Street turn left and then make a right onto West Broadway and then turn left onto G Street.

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  • emilesc's Profile Photo

    by emilesc Updated Jun 30, 2005

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    Favorite thing: I don't know much about Needles other than the fact that it's the California gateway town on Historic Route 66 and, most importantly, it's the hometown of Snoopy's brother, Spike.

    My friends and I were on our way to the Grand Canyon, and we stopped in Needles to fill up the tank and to find the perfect photo op. I was hoping to find a "Welcome to Needles" sign (certainly in the realm of possibility) or a Needles Tourist Center (okay, less so) in front of which I could pose my Spike plushie. After seeking in vain for such a sign, I was ready to settle for a postcard. After being sent to Basha's and Burkes (I know I'm butchering the spelling of these stores) and finding postcards for every town in the vincinity *except* Needles, I was ready to give up. Until I spotted the Needles Transit sign. "Stop the car!" I begged my friend who was driving. "We can put an end to this now!"

    Fondest memory: Don't ask me why a town that doesn't even rate its own postcard has a transit system. And judging from the cracked sign, my guess is it doesn't get much use (and frankly I can't imagine anyone being willing to breathe the furnace-like air in Needles long enough to wait for a bus). But it said Needles, and that was good enough for this Snoopy fan.

    If you want to do your own photo op, the bus stop sign is close to the entrance to Burkes: 1080 East Broadway, Needles, CA 92363.

    I have to say, though, this town is missing an opportunity by not capitalizing on or at least making reference to the Peanuts connection. I was expecting to find at *least* one Spike doll leaning against a plush cactus in a store, but... nothing. And as Route 66 continues to fade into nostalgia, I think more young people will come to have heard of Needles solely through the comic. I don't know if they would need permission from the Shulz estate, but someone certainly should take the initiative to find out.

    [Note: feel free to read my intro to Needles for more background.]

    Spike in his hometown, Needles
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