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
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>
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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
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. 
Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum
Pontiac, IL
Illinois Route 66 Museum & Hall of Fame Has Reopened! The State of Illinois has entered Phase 4: Revitalization of the COVID-19 plan. That means that the museum has opened their doors to the public, with some modifications and conditions. According to these guidelines, museums may operate public-facing areas of their establishments at no more than 25% of occupancy at any given time. We must all continue to social distance, frequently wash our hands and cover our faces to maintain progress in overcoming COVID-19. We hope you'll cooperate with the safety practices that are in place so that all museum visitors can enjoy a healthy and enjoyable experience. Hours of operation: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 7 days a week through the end of the year.
Old Joliet Prison (Collins Street Prison)
Joliet, IL
The Old Joliet Prison has hosted some of the most infamous criminals around, including Leopold, Loeb, Speck, Gacy and Nelson. They’ve also hosted Joliet “Jake” Blues (The Blues Brothers), Michael Burrows (Prison Break) and John Lyshitski (Let’s Go to Prison). Now, it’s your turn. Take a guided tour of the historic site, which operated from 1858-2002, and get a glimpse of life on the other side.
Historic Brick Road
Auburn, IL
This 1.4 mile section of hand-lain brick road was completed between 1931-1932, and curves through corn fields near Auburn. The road was originally Portland cement. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
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
2020 Virtual Evergreen Cemetery Walk
Carlinville Merchant's Night & Nightmare on Broad Street
2020 Virtual Evergreen Cemetery Walk
Carlinville Merchant's Night & Nightmare on Broad Street
10/3/20 - 11/2/20
Bloomington-Normal
10/29/20
Carlinville
10/3/20 - 11/2/20
Bloomington-Normal
10/29/20
Carlinville
Following a milestone 25th anniversary, the McLean County Museum of History, Illinois Voices Theatre, and Evergreen Memorial Cemetery are excited to announce that the 26th annual Evergreen Cemetery Walk will be reimagined for online enjoyment this coming Fall 2020.
Merchant's Night 2020 is going ahead as normal, Thursday, October 29th, 5:00-7:00pm. As a part of Merchant's Night, Imagine Rural Arts will be hosting their annual Carve It Up! pumpkin carving event on the square beginning at 4:00pm.
Following a milestone 25th anniversary, the McLean County Museum of History, Illinois Voices Theatre, and Evergreen Memorial Cemetery are excited to announce that the 26th annual Evergreen Cemetery Walk will be reimagined for online enjoyment this coming Fall 2020.
Merchant's Night 2020 is going ahead as normal, Thursday, October 29th, 5:00-7:00pm. As a part of Merchant's Night, Imagine Rural Arts will be hosting their annual Carve It Up! pumpkin carving event on the square beginning at 4:00pm.
2020 Virtual Evergreen Cemetery Walk
10/3/20 - 11/2/20
Bloomington-Normal
Carlinville Merchant's Night & Nightmare on Broad Street
10/29/20
Carlinville
2020 Virtual Evergreen Cemetery Walk
10/3/20 - 11/2/20
Bloomington-Normal
Carlinville Merchant's Night & Nightmare on Broad Street
10/29/20
Carlinville
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LATEST NEWS FROM ROUTE 66
Seasonal Changes At Lake Lou Yaeger
Aug 31, 2020
To ensure guests have the most up to date information about Lake Lou Yaeger Recreational Area in Litchfield, Illinois. The Litchfield Tourism Office has compiled a list of the seasonal changes for the park. There is still time left to make the most of your summer! On behalf of the Litchfield Tourism Office we thank all of you who visited us this year. Have a Yaeger Day when you Visit Litchfield Illinois!
Rt. 66 Motorheads Bar Grill & Museum World's Largest Route 66 Shield Dedication 8-14-20
Aug 17, 2020
Springfield, Illinois appears to be in the record books, as of Friday August 14, 2020, with the dedication of the World's Largest Route 66 shield at Route 66 Motorheads Bar, Grill & Museum. The facility already has amassed and amazing Route 66 and Springfield-related collection, and the museum complements a busy bar and grill that is housed in a former Stuckey's Restaurant building.
Mother Road Festival Cancelled for 2020
Jun 26, 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and within the guidelines of the Restore Illinois’ Phased Reopening Plan, the Board of Directors for Illinois Route 66 Events, Inc. has announced that the 2020 International Route 66 Mother Road Festival, scheduled for September 25-27, will be cancelled for this year.
Illinois to Reopen Museums, Indoor & Outdoor Activities on Friday June 26
Jun 25, 2020
On Friday, June 26th, many more tourism-related businesses will be allowed to re-open as they follow Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines (please refer to https://dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois/restore-illinois-phase-4/ for the official information).
Homestead Tourist Information Center is back in operation
Jun 16, 2020

One of the State of Illinois Tourist Information Centers (TIC) has now been reopened to the traveling public. These information centers are located on major interstates throughout the state. The first to reopen is Homestead Tourist Information Center located at I-55 Northbound at Hamel, IL. We hope to have more news soon on the other TIC re-openings in Illinois.

Stay 2 Get 1 Leisure Travel Incentive
Jun 10, 2020
Stay 2 nights get 1 night free, leisure travel incentive program developed to attract visitors in an effort to rebuild hospitality and tourism industry in Springfield. The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, in conjunction with select Springfield Hotel & Lodging Association members have come together to offer travelers an incentive to make Springfield their destination of choice this summer for leisure road trips. Knowing the significance and critical role tourism plays in our community, and the customer sentiment to travel by car, stay close to home, and travel to areas that are not densely populated, this incentive is to feature our community as the perfect place for summer travel.
Litchfield Getaway Package
May 28, 2020
Treat yourself! We know that you are antsy to get out of your house, explore, relax, and have some fun. Therefore, the Litchfield Tourism Office put together a safe Litchfield Getaway Package for you. This package is complete with HOTEL DISCOUNTS and OTHER PROMOTIONS! Now you can take a vacation, have some fun, and stay safe! Have a great time when you visit Litchfield, Illinois. Details of the promotion can be found below or at this website: https://visitlitchfield.com/litchfield-getaway-package/
Illinois to Reopen Restaurants, Bars, Retail & Outdoor Activities on Friday May 29th
May 26, 2020
On Friday, May 29th, many tourism-related businesses will be allowed to re-open as they follow Illinois Phase 3 Guidelines (please refer to https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/RestoreILP3.aspx for the official information).
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.