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.

prev
next
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
prev
next
prev
next
prev
next
Close
Videos From The Road
I AM RT 66 Interview with Jim Livingston. Uncut & Unfettered
I AM RT 66 Interview with Jim Livingston. Uncut & Unfettered
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RMpHvNdpglE" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Gemini Giant Lighting Ceremony -The Launching Pad 6/15/19
Gemini Giant Lighting Ceremony -The Launching Pad 6/15/19
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FHwHms1jj4o" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Memories Video Compilation
Illinois Route 66 Memories Video Compilation
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q2H_fLPyl0E" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Sorrento's Pizzeria 50th Anniversary Interview with Tony Curcuru
Sorrento's Pizzeria 50th Anniversary Interview with Tony Curcuru
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H3Me_oLLjd0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Ariston Cafe Neon Sign Relighting Ceremony 5/4/19
Ariston Cafe Neon Sign Relighting Ceremony 5/4/19
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MCXLTef5xUM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Gemini Giant/Launching Pad Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Gemini Giant/Launching Pad Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OXU-r5huu1U" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Abraham Lincoln Letter to Kersey Fell Public Unveiling 2/1/19
Abraham Lincoln Letter to Kersey Fell Public Unveiling 2/1/19
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DQysdMkb3qw" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Foggy Frosty Morning Drive - Route 66 Lincoln to Springfield, IL
Foggy Frosty Morning Drive - Route 66 Lincoln to Springfield, IL
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4mNXDk8V7DM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
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>
prev
next
Close
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.
···
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.
···
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."
···
Featured Attractions
O’Brien Tire & Auto Care
Granite City, IL
There isn’t a road as historic or as memorable in the U.S. as Route 66. From Chicago to California, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of driving it at least part of the way, you know of all the photo-worthy attractions, both historic and quirky. Among them is the famous giant tire standing in front of the oldest auto repair shop on the route.
Cafe Billiards
Lincoln, IL

Cafe Billiards bar & grill features a beautiful outdoor beer garden, live music, DJ's, stand-up comedy, a large pool hall, video gaming and plenty of seating for dining in. Cafe Billiards is perfect for private parties and receptions, birthday parties and social gatherings.

Pasfield House Inn
Springfield, IL
Designated a Springfield Landmark, the 1896 Georgian-style residence is a remarkably preserved architectural treasure that has a most distinctive antebellum flair, and is within easy walking distance of the State Capitol and downtown Springfield.
Sangamo Brewing
Chatham, IL
Sangamo Brewing is now open and located in the former Fat Willy's Bar in downtown Chatham. The Brew Pub Bar & Restaurant will feature a selection of craft beers from Sangamo Brewing and other local brewers. The Bar is a living history museum of Breweriana - beer advertisements and collectibles. Sangamo Brewing will focus on historic downstate and central Illinois brewing history. The menu features straight-forward, simple "comfort" food that satisfies those who want to eat. The Beer Garden will offer outside grilling along with a stage for music and viewing sporting events. Beer Garden and special event services will be available. 
Thrift Avenue's Estate Warehouse
Lexington, IL
Thrift Avenue's Estate Warehouse is open Sunday & Monday from 10am-6pm, and is located only 1/2 mile apart from the Thrift Avenue main location in Lexington. At the new estate warehouse location and the Main Street location, you will find merchandise galore...pick up unique & hilarious gifts, Route 66 souvenirs & apparel, Collectibles, Furniture, Antiques, home décor, handcrafted, rustic, vintage, primitive, architectural salvage, Dixie Belle Paint retailer, jewelry, Black Crow Candle Co, Route 66 bottled soda (7 flavors), preowned, new, refinished, and more. New inventory is consistently being added. Broad price range to include any budget. Some merchandise is consigned. Welcoming, bright, clean, and friendly.
featured stories from the road
Carlinville Plaza Sign Installation 5-1-2020 - Carlinville, IL on Route 66!

On the north end of Carlinville sits a shopping center that was built in 1977; it was the first of its kind in Macoupin County. The Carlinville Plaza is set between historic Route 66 on the west and the Route 66 bike route on the east. South of the plaza is the largest community of Standard Addition Sears Homes, which helped name the world’s first Sears Home Little Free Library. The Little Free Library will feature books about Carlinville and Route 66 and is located next to the Carlinville Plaza Cafe and Coffee Shop.

Two Illinois Route 66 Drive-In Movie Theaters Now Opening!

The Route 66 Drive in Theater in Springfield, and Skyview Drive-In in Litchfield are reopening this first week of May, with both venues showing movies starting Friday May 8th! Purchase Tickets: www.route66-drivein.com & www.litchfieldskyview.com.

U-Haul on Route 66
U-Haul has been around for a very long time and crosses path with Route 66 many times. Brian a 19 year veteran of U-Haul and an enthusiastic historian himself , shared a very simple business model handed down from their CEO: "Find out what people need / like and do more of it." That statement sure belongs to The Miles of Possibilities on Route 66 philosophy. That coupled with their mission to buy older buildings ( Many with beloved history in the community) and re-purpose them as U-Haul facilities makes them very special. They have two in Bloomington and both are on Route 66. One was Tom’s Parkway Foods another was Eiseners. Both buildings have tributes to each of these businesses with in the community. Brian shared their truck logos which speak of travels to different destinations and a chance for customers to have their picture on one of their trucks.
Upcoming Events
Route 66 Drive In "The Call of the Wild" & "1917"
Old Capitol Farmers Market
Sky View Drive-In "Despicable Me"
2020 Litchfield Pickers Market
Chicagoland 400
NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Litchfield Pickers Market - Updated Schedule
Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 - Cancelled
D'Arcy Route 66 Classic
50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
Route 66 Drive In "The Call of the Wild" & "1917"
Old Capitol Farmers Market
Sky View Drive-In "Despicable Me"
2020 Litchfield Pickers Market
Chicagoland 400
NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Litchfield Pickers Market - Updated Schedule
Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 - Cancelled
D'Arcy Route 66 Classic
50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
5/15/20 - 5/31/20
5/16/20 - 10/31/20
Springfield
5/29/20 - 5/30/20
Litchfield
6/14/20
Litchfield
6/21/20
Joliet
7/9/20 - 7/12/20
Joliet
7/12/20 - 10/11/20
Litchfield
7/18/20 - 7/19/20
Bloomington-Normal
8/15/20
Joliet
9/19/20 - 9/20/20
Lincoln
5/15/20 - 5/31/20
5/16/20 - 10/31/20
Springfield
5/29/20 - 5/30/20
Litchfield
6/14/20
Litchfield
6/21/20
Joliet
7/9/20 - 7/12/20
Joliet
7/12/20 - 10/11/20
Litchfield
7/18/20 - 7/19/20
Bloomington-Normal
8/15/20
Joliet
9/19/20 - 9/20/20
Lincoln
Route 66 Drive In is open 7 nights a week beginning May 8, 2020! "The Call of the Wild" & "1917" are playing starting Friday, May 15, 2020. Tickets will be pre-sold through the website. The capacity will be at 50% and guest will be required to park in every other spot.
The 21st summer season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market starts Saturday, May 16 and takes place every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am – 1 pm through October 31, 2020. Farmers Markets are considered an Essential Service during COVID-19.
May 29/30 is Despicable Me at the Skyview! Gates open Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8:30pm.
The City of Litchfield and the Litchfield Tourism Office is postponing the grand opening of the Litchfield Pickers Market until June 14, 2020. The Litchfield Pickers Market is the largest open air market in the region, specializing in all items prior to 1980. These items include: vintage, antique, collectible, and upcycled items. 
Chicagoland’s NASCAR Cup Series race, originally set for June 21 at the 1.5-mile oval, has been reassigned to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on May 17th, which will be the first live race since the series was halted March 13th by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The world's greatest drag racers light up The World's Premier Drag Racing Facility. See stars like John Force, Jack Beckman, Brittany Force and Steve Torrence take to the track! Please not this is the revised date for this event for 2020!
The City of Litchfield and the Litchfield Tourism Office is postponing the grand opening of the Litchfield Pickers Market until July 12, 2020. Per the advice of the Federal Government to extend the social distancing guidelines, vendor and public safety is the number one priority at these events. We appreciate the support our patrons have given us throughout the years and we look forward to bringing you an epic market on July 12. Stay well. Keep calm and pick on!
(Bloomington-Normal) In the interest of the safety of our community, volunteers, partners, and organizers, in light of the continued COVID-19 situation regionally and nationally, it is with heavy hearts that the Board of Directors for Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 (LF66) announce the cancellation of the July 18, 2020 annual festival.
Route 66 Raceway welcomes the return of the D'Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic on August 15, 2020. While in its ninth year, the event has recently been reimagined and loaded with an unprecedented level of content that will not only pay homage to early drag racing and hot rod culture but will present a quarter-mile blast down memory lane for any historical enthusiast.

The 50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will be held Saturday/Sunday September 19 & 20 at locations in Lincoln, Illinois, all of which are located on Historic Route 66 – Postville Courthouse State Historic Site, Postville Park, VFW and The Mill Museum. The event is a celebration of the pioneer days that influenced Abraham Lincoln’s early life, including his time as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit.

Route 66 Drive In is open 7 nights a week beginning May 8, 2020! "The Call of the Wild" & "1917" are playing starting Friday, May 15, 2020. Tickets will be pre-sold through the website. The capacity will be at 50% and guest will be required to park in every other spot.
The 21st summer season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market starts Saturday, May 16 and takes place every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am – 1 pm through October 31, 2020. Farmers Markets are considered an Essential Service during COVID-19.
May 29/30 is Despicable Me at the Skyview! Gates open Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8:30pm.
The City of Litchfield and the Litchfield Tourism Office is postponing the grand opening of the Litchfield Pickers Market until June 14, 2020. The Litchfield Pickers Market is the largest open air market in the region, specializing in all items prior to 1980. These items include: vintage, antique, collectible, and upcycled items. 
Chicagoland’s NASCAR Cup Series race, originally set for June 21 at the 1.5-mile oval, has been reassigned to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on May 17th, which will be the first live race since the series was halted March 13th by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The world's greatest drag racers light up The World's Premier Drag Racing Facility. See stars like John Force, Jack Beckman, Brittany Force and Steve Torrence take to the track! Please not this is the revised date for this event for 2020!
The City of Litchfield and the Litchfield Tourism Office is postponing the grand opening of the Litchfield Pickers Market until July 12, 2020. Per the advice of the Federal Government to extend the social distancing guidelines, vendor and public safety is the number one priority at these events. We appreciate the support our patrons have given us throughout the years and we look forward to bringing you an epic market on July 12. Stay well. Keep calm and pick on!
(Bloomington-Normal) In the interest of the safety of our community, volunteers, partners, and organizers, in light of the continued COVID-19 situation regionally and nationally, it is with heavy hearts that the Board of Directors for Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 (LF66) announce the cancellation of the July 18, 2020 annual festival.
Route 66 Raceway welcomes the return of the D'Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic on August 15, 2020. While in its ninth year, the event has recently been reimagined and loaded with an unprecedented level of content that will not only pay homage to early drag racing and hot rod culture but will present a quarter-mile blast down memory lane for any historical enthusiast.

The 50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will be held Saturday/Sunday September 19 & 20 at locations in Lincoln, Illinois, all of which are located on Historic Route 66 – Postville Courthouse State Historic Site, Postville Park, VFW and The Mill Museum. The event is a celebration of the pioneer days that influenced Abraham Lincoln’s early life, including his time as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit.

Route 66 Drive In "The Call of the Wild" & "1917"
5/15/20 - 5/31/20
Old Capitol Farmers Market
5/16/20 - 10/31/20
Springfield
Sky View Drive-In "Despicable Me"
5/29/20 - 5/30/20
Litchfield
2020 Litchfield Pickers Market
6/14/20
Litchfield
Chicagoland 400
6/21/20
Joliet
NHRA Route 66 Nationals
7/9/20 - 7/12/20
Joliet
Litchfield Pickers Market - Updated Schedule
7/12/20 - 10/11/20
Litchfield
Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 - Cancelled
7/18/20 - 7/19/20
Bloomington-Normal
D'Arcy Route 66 Classic
8/15/20
Joliet
50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
9/19/20 - 9/20/20
Lincoln
Route 66 Drive In "The Call of the Wild" & "1917"
5/15/20 - 5/31/20
Old Capitol Farmers Market
5/16/20 - 10/31/20
Springfield
Sky View Drive-In "Despicable Me"
5/29/20 - 5/30/20
Litchfield
2020 Litchfield Pickers Market
6/14/20
Litchfield
Chicagoland 400
6/21/20
Joliet
NHRA Route 66 Nationals
7/9/20 - 7/12/20
Joliet
Litchfield Pickers Market - Updated Schedule
7/12/20 - 10/11/20
Litchfield
Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 - Cancelled
7/18/20 - 7/19/20
Bloomington-Normal
D'Arcy Route 66 Classic
8/15/20
Joliet
50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
9/19/20 - 9/20/20
Lincoln
prev
next
LATEST NEWS FROM ROUTE 66
McLean County Museum of History Wins 2020 AASLH Award of Excellence
May 18, 2020
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced that the McLean County Museum of History is the recipient of an Award of Excellence for the Extending Excellence Campaign. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 75th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
Coronavirus Resources
Apr 17, 2020

This page is dedicated to Coronavirus Resources for Illinois and Illinois Route 66 for the travelers and the communities.

McLean County Museum of History Expands Outreach while Shelter in Place Continues
Mar 27, 2020
As the spread of COVID-19 became a reality, following the recommendations of health officials the Museum responded by closing our doors to the public the week of March 14. Since then the staff has been meeting regularly, using the Zoom App, and only essential staff have been working in short shifts on site to ensure facilities are sound and the archives and collections remain safe. The staff continues to communicate with members and community partners concerning event and programming rescheduling and cancellations.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Announces New Executive Director
Mar 11, 2020
The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Casey Wichmann as the organization’s Executive Director. Wichmann brings to the Byway a wealth of knowledge and an extensive background in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She brings more than a decade of non-profit experience to the organization including work with the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield and most recently, the state-wide Illinois Association of Park Districts. An experienced Director of Marketing and Development, Wichmann also brings years of experience in event planning, financial and human resource management, fundraising, grant writing and strategic planning to the Byway. Wichmann is a 1998 graduate of Western Illinois University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Unveils New Route 66 Display at State of Illinois Stratton Office Building in Springfield
Feb 21, 2020
On February 18, 2020, a new Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway display was unveiled at a ceremony at the State of Illinois Stratton Office Building in Springfield, Illinois. The display features thematic sections of the current Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway visitor guide. Over 125 attractions, businesses and tourism partners are represented in the display. Highlights include museums, iconic restaurants, giant statues, breweries, neon signs and downtown districts along Illinois Route 66. Prominently featured is a copy of “The Green Book”, which was an essential guide for African American safe travel during the Jim Crow era. Also included is an example of the Illinois Route 66 specialty license plate, which is available for cars, light trucks and motorcycles in the state.