Explore It

One Mile
At A Time

Route 66

Route 66 defined a remarkable era in our nation's history - and it lives on today in Illinois' Route 66's many roadside attractions, museums, restaurants - and the shining ribbon of blacktop we call The Mother Road.

Explore It

One Mile
At A Time

Route 66

Route 66 defined a remarkable era in our nation's history - and it lives on today in Illinois' Route 66's many roadside attractions, museums, restaurants - and the shining ribbon of blacktop we call The Mother Road.

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New Photos From Route 66
Atlanta, IL
Becky's Barn - Auburn, IL
Benld, IL
Braidwood, IL
Carlinville, IL
Chain of Rocks Bridge
Chicago
Cicero, IL
Darien, IL
Gillespie, IL
Girard, IL
Joliet, IL
Lexington, IL
Lincoln, IL
Litchfield, IL
McCook, IL
Mt Olive, IL
Nilwood, IL
Springfield, IL 1
Shea's Gas Station Museum
Downtown Springfield, IL
Staunton, IL
Virden, IL
Williamsville, IL
Berwyn, IL
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Videos From The Road
Illinois Route 66 Stories Video
Illinois Route 66 Stories Video
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NMWZaljwEJA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yB7Ejshof1c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Dell Rhea Chicken Basket, Willowbrook
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Dell Rhea Chicken Basket, Willowbrook
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aXFVofQLp0Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Strufe / Arrow Motel, Dwight
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Strufe / Arrow Motel, Dwight
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jjo8Xha6K7Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attraction Stories: Sky View Drive-In, Litchfield
Illinois Route 66 Attraction Stories: Sky View Drive-In, Litchfield
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HCmo_ptnTu0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Chester Henry - Retired State Trooper
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Chester Henry - Retired State Trooper
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SmxJQs8wJA0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Jubelt's Restaurant and Bakery, Litchfield
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Jubelt's Restaurant and Bakery, Litchfield
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wtyC9jWWci8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/49OObDEIQXQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Lou Mitchell's, Chicago
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Lou Mitchell's, Chicago
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IgNAs6-fKuk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Knight's Action Park and Caribbean Water Adventure, Springfield
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Knight's Action Park and Caribbean Water Adventure, Springfield
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QuIOoRnuOcM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Henry's Ra66it Ranch, Staunton
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Henry's Ra66it Ranch, Staunton
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/j5elg_Rs-OA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Doc's Soda Fountain, Girard
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Doc's Soda Fountain, Girard
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/v4wI3TX5IJM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ambler-Becker Texaco Station, Dwight
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ambler-Becker Texaco Station, Dwight
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dBYY2Ze05x0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ariston Cafe, Litchfield
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ariston Cafe, Litchfield
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KCHtBOHvPA4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Shea's Gas Station Museum, Springfield
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Shea's Gas Station Museum, Springfield
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/swPIsXfb1Hk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Route 66 Stories: Betty Estes - Illinois Route 66
Route 66 Stories: Betty Estes - Illinois Route 66
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AqpgZTqjumY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Jim Jones - Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Jim Jones - Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Wmt795wJVVw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Route 66 Stories, Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant / Museum, Broadwell
Route 66 Stories, Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant / Museum, Broadwell
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/37vFO00mCqE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66
Illinois Route 66
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hgWeEz269yw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
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The Three Alignments
The "original" Route 66 alignment in Illinois signifies a turning point in transportation history as the emphasis of long distance travel shifts from a fixed rail system to a traveler driven navigation. Illinois was the first state to boast having Route 66 paved from end to end. It is during this time period that the Mother Road was most often referred to as " The Hard Road."
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The concept of the "bypass" was first implemented on Route 66 during this era. Transportation infrastructure is well underway at this point in history as well and traveler expectations have risen, resulting in gas stations, motels, and formalized rest areas.
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This era encompasses the "Golden Age" of Route 66 where America's car culture took hold. Drive-in theaters, Drive-in restaurants, and motels were born and developed along the Mother Road during this period.
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Featured Attraction
Sugar Creek Covered Bridge
, IL
This historic 1880 bridge was built by Thomas Black. It spans 60 feet across Sugar Creek. The bridge was restored in 1965 and is open to foot traffic. A quaint park adjacent to the bridge and creek is an ideal place for a picnic.
featured story from the mother road
Investigating the Futuro House
Submitted By: John Roberts
Having moved from Missouri to Michigan in 1976, I'd driven Old 66/I55 many times over the years, but since moving to California, the trip has become a biannual jaunt more or less following Route 66.
Upcoming Events
Annie Leibovitz Pilgrimage
Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore
History Comes Alive
Logan County Fair
McLean County Fair
4th Annual Downhome Music, Beer & Art Festival
2014 Powerlight Abe Lincoln Supercruise & Car Show Spectacular
Illinois State Fair
Super Saturdays at the Illinois State Museum: Sharktacular
2014 Geico Hot Bike Tour
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival
Braidwood Historical Society 3rd Annual Car Show at the Depot
Central States Thresherman's Reunion
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
The Mill on 66 Annual Cruise-In
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
44th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
Macoupin County Historical Society Fall Festival
Braidwood Route 66 Cruisin' 2014
13th Annual International Mother Road Festival
Carlinville Christmas Market
Annie Leibovitz Pilgrimage
Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore
History Comes Alive
Logan County Fair
McLean County Fair
4th Annual Downhome Music, Beer & Art Festival
2014 Powerlight Abe Lincoln Supercruise & Car Show Spectacular
Illinois State Fair
Super Saturdays at the Illinois State Museum: Sharktacular
2014 Geico Hot Bike Tour
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival
Braidwood Historical Society 3rd Annual Car Show at the Depot
Central States Thresherman's Reunion
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
The Mill on 66 Annual Cruise-In
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
44th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
Macoupin County Historical Society Fall Festival
Braidwood Route 66 Cruisin' 2014
13th Annual International Mother Road Festival
Carlinville Christmas Market
2/7/14 - 8/31/14
Springfield
3/4/14 - 11/15/14
Springfield
6/2/14 - 8/24/14
Springfield
7/27/14 - 8/3/14
Lincoln
7/30/14 - 8/3/14
Bloomington
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
8/7/14 - 8/17/14
Springfield
8/9/14
Springfield
8/18/14 - 8/19/14
Springfield
8/22/14 - 8/24/14
Lincoln
8/23/14
Braidwood
8/28/14 - 9/1/14
Pontiac
9/5/14 - 9/6/14
Berwyn
9/13/14
Lincoln
9/18/14 - 9/21/14
Dwight
9/19/14 - 9/21/14
Lincoln
9/20/14 - 9/21/14
Carlinville
9/20/14
Braidwood
9/26/14 - 9/28/14
Springfield
12/5/14
Carlinville
2/7/14 - 8/31/14
Springfield
3/4/14 - 11/15/14
Springfield
6/2/14 - 8/24/14
Springfield
7/27/14 - 8/3/14
Lincoln
7/30/14 - 8/3/14
Bloomington
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
8/7/14 - 8/17/14
Springfield
8/9/14
Springfield
8/18/14 - 8/19/14
Springfield
8/22/14 - 8/24/14
Lincoln
8/23/14
Braidwood
8/28/14 - 9/1/14
Pontiac
9/5/14 - 9/6/14
Berwyn
9/13/14
Lincoln
9/18/14 - 9/21/14
Dwight
9/19/14 - 9/21/14
Lincoln
9/20/14 - 9/21/14
Carlinville
9/20/14
Braidwood
9/26/14 - 9/28/14
Springfield
12/5/14
Carlinville
Unlike her staged, carefully lit portraits for magazines and advertising clients, photographs in this exhibition were taken simply because Leibovitz was moved by the subject.
A ninety minute ten block walking tour presented by Garret Moffett, that uses the Lincoln sites as the scene for the strange and bizarre history surrounding Lincoln’s life and death.
Don’t miss these Living History Programs daily at Lincoln historic site locations and throughout downtown Springfield.

Long noted as “Illinois Cleanest and Best County Fair”. Featuring country stars Brushville and Thomas Rhett on Saturday, August 2nd.

A nice traditional fair, featuring a queen pageant, livestock judging, carnival and a grandstand performance by country singer Tracy Lawrence.
The event will feature all local, original live bands (4 stages - constant music), with all gate proceeds directly benefiting the artists. There will be local food vendors, 100 different craft beers, as well as a kids area for the little ones.
On Friday, join in the fun for a 7:00 PM cruise to Knight's Action Park and enjoy a cruise-in movie night featuring Back to the Future and a replica Delorean. Saturday features the car show spectacular.
You get everything you can possibly imagine when you attend the Illinois State Fair in Springfield this August, including top-notch performers at the grandstand shows, including Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Steely Dan, Boston, Florida Georgia Line and many others!
Join the fun at Super Saturday for the kick off of Discovery Channel’s popular Shark Week on August 9. Learn through play about spectacular sharks from ancient Illinois and beyond. If you're hooked on "Sharknado", you'll need to see this event!
Springfield is an integral part of day 3 of this 5 day motorcycle tour of the Midwest. In downtown Springfield, there will be a bike build-off, stunt shows, hot bikes on display and more.
Enjoy the beautiful hot air balloon launches beginning Friday through Saturday evening, followed by the balloon glow at dusk. Enjoy a carnival, festival food and live music. The Fine Art Fair features over 70 juried artists, and the event also includes the KCBS Barbeque competition and much more.
Visit the Car Show at the Historic Train Depot Museum in Braidwood. Fun, Food, Music & Dash Plaques to first 75 cars!
This Labor Day Weekend, come out and experience activities that include rock crushing, threshing, sheep shearing, tractor pulls and a variety of country music shows.
The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is the area’s best and biggest car show. Held annually on the first weekend after Labor Day, the Car Show takes visitors on a stroll through 500+ vintage and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles along with live music, automobile flamethrowing and a cacklefest of dragsters that will thrill spectators!
Join us from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for a car cruise-in with great classic cars, food, music, door prizes and a 50/50 drawing. The event is co-sponsored by the Railsplitter Antique Auto Club.
Enjoy pie baking and pie eating contests, hypnosis/magician, Jr. Karaoke contest, Live Country Music, Live Dixieland Band, All Star Jam Band, Hairbanger's Ball, Basset Waddle parade and more.
This long-running festival was developed from Abraham Lincoln's early days when he split logs into fence rails to keep animals in their respective farms, and now has developed into a national competition.
In mid-September the Macoupin County Historical Society again offers a festival at the Anderson Mansion. The grounds are filled with vendors and live music, arts and crafts, antique machinery and homemade food and much more.
Bring the family out to the Braidwood Cruisin' - free admission for spectators! Enjoy the classic cars, great music from a local DJ, and check out new Giant Elvis at the Polk-a-Dot Drive-In!
Over 1,000 cool cars and 80,000 spectators will roll into the heart of Springfield’s historic downtown for a weekend of family fun in the sun and non-stop live music and entertainment!
The Carlinville Christmas Market takes place on the first full weekend in December - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Market has retained its earlier romance by presenting bright, white tents lined with the arts and crafts of talented artisans, food vendors, trolley tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, costumed carolers and street performers, children's activities, and other holiday attractions.
Unlike her staged, carefully lit portraits for magazines and advertising clients, photographs in this exhibition were taken simply because Leibovitz was moved by the subject.
A ninety minute ten block walking tour presented by Garret Moffett, that uses the Lincoln sites as the scene for the strange and bizarre history surrounding Lincoln’s life and death.
Don’t miss these Living History Programs daily at Lincoln historic site locations and throughout downtown Springfield.

Long noted as “Illinois Cleanest and Best County Fair”. Featuring country stars Brushville and Thomas Rhett on Saturday, August 2nd.

A nice traditional fair, featuring a queen pageant, livestock judging, carnival and a grandstand performance by country singer Tracy Lawrence.
The event will feature all local, original live bands (4 stages - constant music), with all gate proceeds directly benefiting the artists. There will be local food vendors, 100 different craft beers, as well as a kids area for the little ones.
On Friday, join in the fun for a 7:00 PM cruise to Knight's Action Park and enjoy a cruise-in movie night featuring Back to the Future and a replica Delorean. Saturday features the car show spectacular.
You get everything you can possibly imagine when you attend the Illinois State Fair in Springfield this August, including top-notch performers at the grandstand shows, including Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Steely Dan, Boston, Florida Georgia Line and many others!
Join the fun at Super Saturday for the kick off of Discovery Channel’s popular Shark Week on August 9. Learn through play about spectacular sharks from ancient Illinois and beyond. If you're hooked on "Sharknado", you'll need to see this event!
Springfield is an integral part of day 3 of this 5 day motorcycle tour of the Midwest. In downtown Springfield, there will be a bike build-off, stunt shows, hot bikes on display and more.
Enjoy the beautiful hot air balloon launches beginning Friday through Saturday evening, followed by the balloon glow at dusk. Enjoy a carnival, festival food and live music. The Fine Art Fair features over 70 juried artists, and the event also includes the KCBS Barbeque competition and much more.
Visit the Car Show at the Historic Train Depot Museum in Braidwood. Fun, Food, Music & Dash Plaques to first 75 cars!
This Labor Day Weekend, come out and experience activities that include rock crushing, threshing, sheep shearing, tractor pulls and a variety of country music shows.
The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is the area’s best and biggest car show. Held annually on the first weekend after Labor Day, the Car Show takes visitors on a stroll through 500+ vintage and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles along with live music, automobile flamethrowing and a cacklefest of dragsters that will thrill spectators!
Join us from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for a car cruise-in with great classic cars, food, music, door prizes and a 50/50 drawing. The event is co-sponsored by the Railsplitter Antique Auto Club.
Enjoy pie baking and pie eating contests, hypnosis/magician, Jr. Karaoke contest, Live Country Music, Live Dixieland Band, All Star Jam Band, Hairbanger's Ball, Basset Waddle parade and more.
This long-running festival was developed from Abraham Lincoln's early days when he split logs into fence rails to keep animals in their respective farms, and now has developed into a national competition.
In mid-September the Macoupin County Historical Society again offers a festival at the Anderson Mansion. The grounds are filled with vendors and live music, arts and crafts, antique machinery and homemade food and much more.
Bring the family out to the Braidwood Cruisin' - free admission for spectators! Enjoy the classic cars, great music from a local DJ, and check out new Giant Elvis at the Polk-a-Dot Drive-In!
Over 1,000 cool cars and 80,000 spectators will roll into the heart of Springfield’s historic downtown for a weekend of family fun in the sun and non-stop live music and entertainment!
The Carlinville Christmas Market takes place on the first full weekend in December - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Market has retained its earlier romance by presenting bright, white tents lined with the arts and crafts of talented artisans, food vendors, trolley tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, costumed carolers and street performers, children's activities, and other holiday attractions.
Annie Leibovitz Pilgrimage
2/7/14 - 8/31/14
Springfield
Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore
3/4/14 - 11/15/14
Springfield
History Comes Alive
6/2/14 - 8/24/14
Springfield
Logan County Fair
7/27/14 - 8/3/14
Lincoln
McLean County Fair
7/30/14 - 8/3/14
Bloomington
4th Annual Downhome Music, Beer & Art Festival
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
2014 Powerlight Abe Lincoln Supercruise & Car Show Spectacular
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
Illinois State Fair
8/7/14 - 8/17/14
Springfield
Super Saturdays at the Illinois State Museum: Sharktacular
8/9/14
Springfield
2014 Geico Hot Bike Tour
8/18/14 - 8/19/14
Springfield
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival
8/22/14 - 8/24/14
Lincoln
Braidwood Historical Society 3rd Annual Car Show at the Depot
8/23/14
Braidwood
Central States Thresherman's Reunion
8/28/14 - 9/1/14
Pontiac
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
9/5/14 - 9/6/14
Berwyn
The Mill on 66 Annual Cruise-In
9/13/14
Lincoln
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
9/18/14 - 9/21/14
Dwight
44th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
9/19/14 - 9/21/14
Lincoln
Macoupin County Historical Society Fall Festival
9/20/14 - 9/21/14
Carlinville
Braidwood Route 66 Cruisin' 2014
9/20/14
Braidwood
13th Annual International Mother Road Festival
9/26/14 - 9/28/14
Springfield
Carlinville Christmas Market
12/5/14
Carlinville
Annie Leibovitz Pilgrimage
2/7/14 - 8/31/14
Springfield
Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore
3/4/14 - 11/15/14
Springfield
History Comes Alive
6/2/14 - 8/24/14
Springfield
Logan County Fair
7/27/14 - 8/3/14
Lincoln
McLean County Fair
7/30/14 - 8/3/14
Bloomington
4th Annual Downhome Music, Beer & Art Festival
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
2014 Powerlight Abe Lincoln Supercruise & Car Show Spectacular
8/1/14 - 8/2/14
Springfield
Illinois State Fair
8/7/14 - 8/17/14
Springfield
Super Saturdays at the Illinois State Museum: Sharktacular
8/9/14
Springfield
2014 Geico Hot Bike Tour
8/18/14 - 8/19/14
Springfield
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival
8/22/14 - 8/24/14
Lincoln
Braidwood Historical Society 3rd Annual Car Show at the Depot
8/23/14
Braidwood
Central States Thresherman's Reunion
8/28/14 - 9/1/14
Pontiac
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
9/5/14 - 9/6/14
Berwyn
The Mill on 66 Annual Cruise-In
9/13/14
Lincoln
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
9/18/14 - 9/21/14
Dwight
44th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
9/19/14 - 9/21/14
Lincoln
Macoupin County Historical Society Fall Festival
9/20/14 - 9/21/14
Carlinville
Braidwood Route 66 Cruisin' 2014
9/20/14
Braidwood
13th Annual International Mother Road Festival
9/26/14 - 9/28/14
Springfield
Carlinville Christmas Market
12/5/14
Carlinville
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LATEST NEWS FROM ROUTE 66
Route 66 Road Trip Lets Oklahoma Students Document Mother Road's Changes
Jun 21, 2013
By: SuperUser Account
KINGMAN - When 19 students and two professors from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., descended on Kingman recently, they were looking for something specific.
Ontario Picks Up the Pieces of Route 66 Rendezvous
Jun 21, 2013
By: SuperUser Account
On Wednesday, the city of Ontario, Calif., confirmed what was reported in April — it will host the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion classic-car show on Sept. 20-22.
Newly-elected 2013 Members of the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame
Jun 20, 2013
By: SuperUser Account
The Route 66 Association of Illinois is proud to announce the newly-elected 2013 members of the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame.