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
National Trust For Historic Preservation Route 66 Tour 7/3-7/5/2018
National Trust For Historic Preservation Route 66 Tour 7/3-7/5/2018
2018 Red Carpet Corridor
2018 Red Carpet Corridor
Ryburn Place at Sprague Super Service Grand Opening 8-12-17
Ryburn Place at Sprague Super Service Grand Opening 8-12-17
2017 Lincoln's Festival on Route 66
2017 Lincoln's Festival on Route 66
2017 Rock 'n Rods on 66 Festival
2017 Rock 'n Rods on 66 Festival
2017 World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival
2017 World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival
2017 Blue Carpet Corridor
2017 Blue Carpet Corridor
2017 Niehaus Cycle Sales Customer Appreciation Days
2017 Niehaus Cycle Sales Customer Appreciation Days
2017 Red Carpet Corridor
2017 Red Carpet Corridor
Railsplitter Antique Auto Club Car Show Lincoln IL 8-28-16
Railsplitter Antique Auto Club Car Show Lincoln IL 8-28-16
Berwyn Rt 66 Car Show 8-27-16
Berwyn Rt 66 Car Show 8-27-16
Lincoln Home National Park Service 100th Anniversary 8-25-16
Lincoln Home National Park Service 100th Anniversary 8-25-16
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Vietnam Wall Ceremony 8-25-16
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Vietnam Wall Ceremony 8-25-16
McLean IL Walldog Mural Festival 8-20-16
McLean IL Walldog Mural Festival 8-20-16
2016 Blue Carpet Corridor
2016 Blue Carpet Corridor
Downtown Bloomington Car Cruise-In 6-5-2016
Downtown Bloomington Car Cruise-In 6-5-2016
Logan County Arts Route 66 Exhibit Opening 6-2-16
Logan County Arts Route 66 Exhibit Opening 6-2-16
Bandit Run Pontiac IL 6-1-16
Bandit Run Pontiac IL 6-1-16
Rialto Square Theatre 90th Anniversary Celebration 5-24-16
Rialto Square Theatre 90th Anniversary Celebration 5-24-16
3rd Fridays Inaugural Event Lincoln IL 5-20-16
3rd Fridays Inaugural Event Lincoln IL 5-20-16
Niehaus Cycle Sales Customer Appreciation Days 5-14-16
Niehaus Cycle Sales Customer Appreciation Days 5-14-16
2016 Red Carpet Corridor
2016 Red Carpet Corridor
Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center First Anniversary 4-25-16
Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center First Anniversary 4-25-16
Dwight IL Route 66 90th Birthday Celebration 4-21-16
Dwight IL Route 66 90th Birthday Celebration 4-21-16
Miles of Possibility Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
Miles of Possibility Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
45th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival 2015
45th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival 2015
Elkhart Fall Festival 10-10-15
Elkhart Fall Festival 10-10-15
2015 International Mother Road Festival
2015 International Mother Road Festival
Illinois State Fair Media Day 8-6-15
Illinois State Fair Media Day 8-6-15
Bloomington Car Show 6-6-15
Bloomington Car Show 6-6-15
International Mother Road Festival Springfield IL 9/26-9/28/14
International Mother Road Festival Springfield IL 9/26-9/28/14
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show 9-6-14
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show 9-6-14
Berwyn, IL
Berwyn, IL
17th Annual World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival
17th Annual World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival
Inaugural 2015 Blue Carpet Corridor 6-13 to 6-14
Inaugural 2015 Blue Carpet Corridor 6-13 to 6-14
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Videos From The Road
2018 Guardian Angel Basset Rescue Basset Waddle
2018 Guardian Angel Basset Rescue Basset Waddle
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/052L1pjPsqk" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>
Eagle Injured in 2017 Successfully Released Back Into Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield, IL - 1/20/18
Eagle Injured in 2017 Successfully Released Back Into Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield, IL - 1/20/18
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1M6ofF_HIZ8" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>
Josiah Keller performs Star Spangled Banner at The Mill on 66 Motorcycle Show 9-17-16
Josiah Keller performs Star Spangled Banner at The Mill on 66 Motorcycle Show 9-17-16
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-PG9l9RMvto" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Route 66 Motorcycle Plate Legislation 8/20/16
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Route 66 Motorcycle Plate Legislation 8/20/16
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_vxaGbTMifM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
45th Annual National Railsplitting Contest - Lincoln IL
45th Annual National Railsplitting Contest - Lincoln IL
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HEmd9fnmc5w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
2014 International Mother Road Festival City Nights Cruise
2014 International Mother Road Festival City Nights Cruise
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wjC2MkEbA5o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Whispering Joe @ 2014 International Mother Road Festival
Whispering Joe @ 2014 International Mother Road Festival
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2ZdOj1nbW2w" 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>
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 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>
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The Three Alignments
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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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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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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Featured Attractions
Rusty Star Marketplace & Route 66 Welcome Center
Divernon, IL
Discover a unique and charming marketplace with 80 small business shoppes under one roof. You will be pleasantly surprised at our fabulous lobby displays that change with the seasons and the holidays! Rusty Star Marketplace offers a wide variety of merchandise; antique, vintage, new, all displayed nicely in room settings, and for the ladies - jewelry, purses, clothing and accessories. Something for everyone!
The Tropics Restaurant Neon Sign
Lincoln, IL
The Tropics Restaurant Neon Sign is located at the original location of the famous Route 66 neon sign, which is now at the McDonald’s restaurant in Lincoln. It was recently restored by Ace Sign Company through the efforts of the Tropics Legacy Campaign, which included a grant from the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.
Maldaner's Restaurant & Catering Since 1884
Springfield, IL
Established in 1884, Maldaner's Restaurant and Catering is one of Springfield's finest restaurants. The Oldest Restaurant on Route 66 now offers the experience of literally "Eating on 66", with outside patio seating including at the parklet, where you get to dine on the actual Mother Road pavement in historic downtown Springfield! This is truly a unique 66 experience. If you have visited The Old State Capitol, Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana-Thomas House or the State Capitol, you can imagine the wonderful celebrations held at Maldaner's from the turn of the last century to the present day. Maldaner's has been located on Historic Route 66 since the road began!
Motorheads Bar & Grill
Springfield, IL
Get ready Route 66...Motorheads is now fired up and serving customers! Over 18 different beers, 4 wines and 4 cocktails are on tap. The old Stuckey's Restaurant is being transformed into a bar and grill with video gaming, as well as a museum of Springfield, Route 66 and Car Racing artifacts. The museum contains a substantial portion of the former Shea's Gas Station museum collection. Several television screens in the bar area will feature car racing events. 
featured stories from the road
Seeing Pink and Saying “Cheese”

Along Route 66, near I-55's mile marker 37, is a land of giants and colossal pink elephants, giant ice cream cones and gingerbread gazebos, spaceships and other-worldly possessions. These collectibles sit outside the Pink Elephant Antique Mall. Since 2005, this yard art has enticed interstate travelers to stop for a closer look. Owner Dave Hammond traveled all over the country to salvage these oddities and bring them home to the front yard of I-55. Why? Because he likes to see people smile... 

A Celtic Cross for Remembrance In Funk’s Grove
In Funk’s Grove, the Funk family cemetery held a secret for almost 150 years. A large grave holds the remains of about fifty unidentified Irishmen who probably died from cholera while laying the railroad tracks that run parallel to Route 66 and modern I-55. In 1847, the Alton & Sangamon Railroad (later named Chicago & Alton) began laying tracks from St. Louis to Springfield. By 1853, those tracks had reached Bloomington. Most of the men and boys who labored to make this road for the “iron horse” were from Ireland...
The Land of OZ on Route 66

Travelers on Route 66 remind me of that timeless story of Dorothy and Toto as they set out on their Adventures to see what lied upon the horizon.  How ironic that a little girl buried on a Route 66 Cemetery would inspire such a story.  Dorothy Louise Gage the niece of L. Frank Baum who wrote the book, "The Wonderful Wizard of OZ" passed away before she was 6 months old. Her death would inspire him to name his main character in a book he was writing Dorothy.  The impact of his books and later a Movie would inspire generations to come.

Upcoming Events
Artist Rex Parker exhibits works highlighting the designs of Frederic Goudy: The Titan of Type
Bingo! The Winning Musical - Dinner Theater
Santa 5k and 1-Mile Stroll
Trunk-or-Treat
Museum of History Día de los Muertos Celebration Like None Other
‘Spooktacular’ - Ghostly Fun at ALPLM
4th Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference
Doris Kearns Goodwin on Leadership
Two Faces of Illinois’ History
Gilding Class at the Eagle
Artist Rex Parker exhibits works highlighting the designs of Frederic Goudy: The Titan of Type
Bingo! The Winning Musical - Dinner Theater
Santa 5k and 1-Mile Stroll
Trunk-or-Treat
Museum of History Día de los Muertos Celebration Like None Other
‘Spooktacular’ - Ghostly Fun at ALPLM
4th Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference
Doris Kearns Goodwin on Leadership
Two Faces of Illinois’ History
Gilding Class at the Eagle
10/13/18 - 11/24/18
Bloomington-Normal
10/19/18 - 10/28/18
Pontiac
10/20/18
Joliet
10/20/18
Joliet
10/20/18
Bloomington-Normal
10/20/18
Springfield
10/25/18 - 10/28/18
Carlinville
10/29/18
Springfield
11/2/18
Elkhart
11/9/18 - 11/10/18
Pontiac
10/13/18 - 11/24/18
Bloomington-Normal
10/19/18 - 10/28/18
Pontiac
10/20/18
Joliet
10/20/18
Joliet
10/20/18
Bloomington-Normal
10/20/18
Springfield
10/25/18 - 10/28/18
Carlinville
10/29/18
Springfield
11/2/18
Elkhart
11/9/18 - 11/10/18
Pontiac
A new exhibit featuring thirty posters highlighting the type styles of Bloomington-born designer, Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947), will open Saturday, October 13 at the Museum and run through November 24. Goudy was one of America’s most prolific designers of metal type, having designed over 100 typefaces during his career.
Vermillion Players is excited to present the first show of the dinner theater season: Bingo! The Winning Musical, a splashy musical comedy with big heart. It is about a group of die-hard bingo fans who won't let anything stand in the way of their weekly game. In between number calling, strange rituals, and fierce competitions, love blossoms and old friends reunite.
This year’s event will feature a competitive, timed and scored 5K race as well as a leisurely 1-mile stroll with participants of all ages and ability levels including families, strollers and wheelchairs. Gates will open at 8 a.m., and race time is scheduled for 9 a.m. CT.
Families and race fans are invited to load up their trunks with candy and put their little ones in full costume before heading to the second annual Trunk-or-Treat fundraising event at Chicagoland Speedway on October 20 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

For just a $10 donation per car, children can navigate from car to car through Chicagoland Speedway’s Champion’s Park to collect candy as they would door-to-door on Halloween. The proceeds will benefit Chicagoland Speedway’s charitable entity, Racing Advocates for Community Enrichment (R.A.C.E.).
Join the McLean County Museum of History for a Día de los Muertos celebration like none other. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a beautiful and colorful Mexican tradition wherein the living celebrate their loved ones who have passed away. It is traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2, but this year, we are celebrating early and big with a special event! We hope you will join us for this special celebration of community and family.

Creepy characters will take over the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Oct. 20 for the annual “Spooktacular Evening with Abe,” a night of games, music and costumes to welcome the Halloween season.

Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau is proud to announce the 4th Annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference in Carlinville, Illinois, Thursday-Sunday, October 25-28, 2018. Additional sponsors of the event are Carlinville Tourism, Macoupin County, Blackburn College, the City of Gillespie, Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition, and Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will welcome renowned author Doris Kearns Goodwin on Oct. 29 for a discussion of her latest book, “Leadership in Turbulent Times.” Her appearance, presented by the ALPLM and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, benefits the foundation’s campaign to give rare Lincoln items, such as the president’s hat and gloves, a permanent home at the presidential library.
Sparks will fly in this recreation of a dramatic debate between our Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards and Potawatomi Chief Gomo on Friday, November 2nd at The Wild Hare Cafe. Doors open at 5pm with dinner starting at 5:30. Dinner will consist of Beef or Chicken Pasties Pies served with baked squash, sweet corn and rolls as well as stewed apples topped with whipped cream or ice cream topped with chocolate sauce. The program will be held not far from the place where Edward’s Trace crosses through town.
Join gilder Barrie Lynn Bryant, Trustee of the Society of Gilders and one of the artists who gilded the proscenium arch in our very own Eagle Performing Arts and Conference Center as he returns to the Eagle to teach simple and cost effective ways to gild. The class, titled Simple, Versatile, and Accessible Gilding, is November 9 and 10.
A new exhibit featuring thirty posters highlighting the type styles of Bloomington-born designer, Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947), will open Saturday, October 13 at the Museum and run through November 24. Goudy was one of America’s most prolific designers of metal type, having designed over 100 typefaces during his career.
Vermillion Players is excited to present the first show of the dinner theater season: Bingo! The Winning Musical, a splashy musical comedy with big heart. It is about a group of die-hard bingo fans who won't let anything stand in the way of their weekly game. In between number calling, strange rituals, and fierce competitions, love blossoms and old friends reunite.
This year’s event will feature a competitive, timed and scored 5K race as well as a leisurely 1-mile stroll with participants of all ages and ability levels including families, strollers and wheelchairs. Gates will open at 8 a.m., and race time is scheduled for 9 a.m. CT.
Families and race fans are invited to load up their trunks with candy and put their little ones in full costume before heading to the second annual Trunk-or-Treat fundraising event at Chicagoland Speedway on October 20 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

For just a $10 donation per car, children can navigate from car to car through Chicagoland Speedway’s Champion’s Park to collect candy as they would door-to-door on Halloween. The proceeds will benefit Chicagoland Speedway’s charitable entity, Racing Advocates for Community Enrichment (R.A.C.E.).
Join the McLean County Museum of History for a Día de los Muertos celebration like none other. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a beautiful and colorful Mexican tradition wherein the living celebrate their loved ones who have passed away. It is traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2, but this year, we are celebrating early and big with a special event! We hope you will join us for this special celebration of community and family.

Creepy characters will take over the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Oct. 20 for the annual “Spooktacular Evening with Abe,” a night of games, music and costumes to welcome the Halloween season.

Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau is proud to announce the 4th Annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference in Carlinville, Illinois, Thursday-Sunday, October 25-28, 2018. Additional sponsors of the event are Carlinville Tourism, Macoupin County, Blackburn College, the City of Gillespie, Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition, and Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will welcome renowned author Doris Kearns Goodwin on Oct. 29 for a discussion of her latest book, “Leadership in Turbulent Times.” Her appearance, presented by the ALPLM and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, benefits the foundation’s campaign to give rare Lincoln items, such as the president’s hat and gloves, a permanent home at the presidential library.
Sparks will fly in this recreation of a dramatic debate between our Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards and Potawatomi Chief Gomo on Friday, November 2nd at The Wild Hare Cafe. Doors open at 5pm with dinner starting at 5:30. Dinner will consist of Beef or Chicken Pasties Pies served with baked squash, sweet corn and rolls as well as stewed apples topped with whipped cream or ice cream topped with chocolate sauce. The program will be held not far from the place where Edward’s Trace crosses through town.
Join gilder Barrie Lynn Bryant, Trustee of the Society of Gilders and one of the artists who gilded the proscenium arch in our very own Eagle Performing Arts and Conference Center as he returns to the Eagle to teach simple and cost effective ways to gild. The class, titled Simple, Versatile, and Accessible Gilding, is November 9 and 10.
Artist Rex Parker exhibits works highlighting the designs of Frederic Goudy: The Titan of Type
10/13/18 - 11/24/18
Bloomington-Normal
Bingo! The Winning Musical - Dinner Theater
10/19/18 - 10/28/18
Pontiac
Santa 5k and 1-Mile Stroll
10/20/18
Joliet
Trunk-or-Treat
10/20/18
Joliet
Museum of History Día de los Muertos Celebration Like None Other
10/20/18
Bloomington-Normal
‘Spooktacular’ - Ghostly Fun at ALPLM
10/20/18
Springfield
4th Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference
10/25/18 - 10/28/18
Carlinville
Doris Kearns Goodwin on Leadership
10/29/18
Springfield
Two Faces of Illinois’ History
11/2/18
Elkhart
Gilding Class at the Eagle
11/9/18 - 11/10/18
Pontiac
Artist Rex Parker exhibits works highlighting the designs of Frederic Goudy: The Titan of Type
10/13/18 - 11/24/18
Bloomington-Normal
Bingo! The Winning Musical - Dinner Theater
10/19/18 - 10/28/18
Pontiac
Santa 5k and 1-Mile Stroll
10/20/18
Joliet
Trunk-or-Treat
10/20/18
Joliet
Museum of History Día de los Muertos Celebration Like None Other
10/20/18
Bloomington-Normal
‘Spooktacular’ - Ghostly Fun at ALPLM
10/20/18
Springfield
4th Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference
10/25/18 - 10/28/18
Carlinville
Doris Kearns Goodwin on Leadership
10/29/18
Springfield
Two Faces of Illinois’ History
11/2/18
Elkhart
Gilding Class at the Eagle
11/9/18 - 11/10/18
Pontiac
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LATEST NEWS FROM ROUTE 66
36 on 66 – Abe’s Carmelcorn Shoppe Begins a Year of Celebration
Oct 09, 2018

Earlier this year, during the winter months, Abe’s Carmelcorn Shoppe, located at 117 N. Kickapoo Street in Historic Downtown Lincoln, Illinois, underwent a major renovation to the interior of the building. The result was stunning – new flooring and lighting accented by classic wood fixtures. In addition, the floor space was increased by 500 square feet to accommodate the unique shopping experience that features a cutting-edge selection of merchandise designed to make memories of a lifetime.

Rising From the Ashes on Route 66
Sep 06, 2018
The Parkview Food & Pub, better known as the Parkview Inn, in Bloomington, Illinois, is on a mission to reopen after a it caught fire awhile back and virtually destroyed the historic establishment. The Parkview sits on a 1930 to 1940 alignment of Route 66 at 1003 S. Morris Ave. The Parkview has been around since 1928, and is Bloomington's oldest restaurant that has remained on the same site. This means it is only a few years newer than the very beginnings of Route 66.
McLean County Museum Hires New Executive Director
Mar 27, 2018
Adam Lovell, of Reedsville Wisconsin, has been named the new Executive Director at the McLean County Museum of History. Lovell has over 18 years’ experience in museum operations.  Most recently, he spent two years as Assistant Director and Curator at the Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and eight years as Curator of Collections at the Detroit Historical Society in Detroit Michigan.
Eagle injured in April to be released at Lake Lou Yaeger
Jan 12, 2018
Last April, at Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield, IL, a female Bald Eagle was injured, in what was viewed as a territorial fight with a male Bald Eagle. While the male Bald Eagle did not survive, thankfully the female Bald Eagle was able to be transported to the Treehouse Wildlife Rescue Center in Dow, IL to recover from her injuries. The female bald Eagle has made a full recovery and will be released back to her native territory at Lake Lou Yaeger. The release is scheduled for Saturday, January 20th and the public is invited to attend.