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Small Kansas Town Inspired the Disney Movie “Cars”

Some tourist spots are a little over-hyped for what they are, but sometimes you find a diamond in the rough. Way down in the southeast corner of Kansas, Route 66 curves through the state for a quick bit. We all know how important Route 66 was to the Disney movie Cars, and this small town in Kansas inspired a big part of that movie.

Welcome to Galena, Kansas, where you’ll find a town full of friendly people that you’ll see is just as charming as can be.

What many people don’t know, however, is that this town was charming enough that it inspired the whole fictional place of Radiator Springs in the Disney movie Cars.

Inside the town, the main stop to make is at Cars on the Route, a restaurant and retro gas station attraction that is also the home of these very recognizable characters.

Lightning McQueen, Mater, Red, and sometimes even Doc Hudson show up for people to take photos with and feel like they’re part of the movie.

The character Mater was inspired by an old L-170 truck that used to sit out front, which looks plenty friendly even without the buck teeth and voice of Larry the Cable Guy.

Next time you’re thinking of sightseeing with the family, remember Galena, Kansas is waiting with bright colored characters and plenty of small-town hospitality.

Galena, a lead-mining town incorporated in 1877, is located in Cherokee County on the Missouri border, not far from Joplin and Baxter Springs. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,085.



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