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
International Mother Road Festival Springfield IL 9/26-9/28/14
Mill Car Cruise-In Lincoln IL 9/13/14
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show 9-6-14
Williamsville, IL
Virden, IL
Staunton, IL
Downtown Springfield, IL
Shea's Gas Station Museum
Springfield, IL 1
Nilwood, IL
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Videos From The Road
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>
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: 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>
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 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 Stories: Doc's Soda Fountain, Girard
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Doc's Soda Fountain, Girard
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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 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>
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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 Attraction
Charlie Parker's Diner
Springfield, IL
Charlie Parker's Diner has been serving up breakfast and lunch to locals and travelers alike in a Quonset hut since the early 1990's. The favorite eatery has won numerous awards and received regional and national press for their great food and outstanding service, including being featured by Guy Fieri on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
featured story from the mother road
The Cow in the Corn Sculpture - Lincoln, IL

A collaboration from two Lincoln, Illinois artists has produced a 22’ tall x 25’ wide sculpture located in down town Lincoln on the corner of Pulaski and Sangamon streets. Moses Pinkerton and Jason Hoffman of Logan County Arts erected the large steel sculpture with the help of heavy equipment in a downtown area park on July 20th of 2014. The “66” part of the sculpture was “originally loops there for nostrils”, but the 66 that emerged in the design was “an added kicker in promoting the idea to the city (of Lincoln),” according to Pinkerton.

Upcoming Events
The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Re-enactment
9th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
Lenore Weiss Memorial & Standard Oil Gas Station Car Show
2015 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour
Inaugural Blue Carpet Corridor Festival
Illinois State Fair
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
14th Annual International Mother Road Festival
Miles of Possibility - The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Re-enactment
9th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
Lenore Weiss Memorial & Standard Oil Gas Station Car Show
2015 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour
Inaugural Blue Carpet Corridor Festival
Illinois State Fair
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
14th Annual International Mother Road Festival
Miles of Possibility - The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
5/1/15 - 5/3/15
Springfield
5/2/15 - 5/3/15
Joliet
5/23/15
Odell
6/12/15 - 6/14/15
Berwyn
6/13/15 - 6/14/15
Chatham
8/13/15 - 8/23/15
Springfield
9/4/15 - 9/5/15
Berwyn
9/25/15 - 9/27/15
Springfield
10/29/15 - 10/30/15
Edwardsville
5/1/15 - 5/3/15
Springfield
5/2/15 - 5/3/15
Joliet
5/23/15
Odell
6/12/15 - 6/14/15
Berwyn
6/13/15 - 6/14/15
Chatham
8/13/15 - 8/23/15
Springfield
9/4/15 - 9/5/15
Berwyn
9/25/15 - 9/27/15
Springfield
10/29/15 - 10/30/15
Edwardsville
For the first time since 1865, re-enactors, period carriages, visitors and dignitaries will convene in Springfield, Illinois, to pay tribute to our 16th President with many events and the historic and solemn re-creation of the funeral procession to Oak Ridge Cemetery. There will also be a host of events beginning in February and leading up to the anniversary weekend, including noted speakers, symposiums, encampments, performances and church services.
The 9th Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival traverses 13 Communities from Joliet to Towanda along a 90-mile stretch of Old Route 66 that collectively celebrates the Mother Road. Each town puts together its own events for the weekend, making for a great shopping and sight-seeing experience. Gather the family and take a trip down memory lane. Towns include Joliet, Elwood, Wilmington, Braidwood, Godley, Braceville, Gardner, Dwight, Odell, Pontiac, Chenoa, Lexington and Towanda.

On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, there is a very special event in Odell for a very special person, the late Lenore Weiss. John & Lenore Weiss, as a couple, served the Route 66 community for years as preservationists and ambassadors, and John continues to play a vital role in preserving and promoting Route to this day. This great event, which features a car show, will honor Lenore and all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

The 2015 Motor Tour, Miners, Mobsters and the Mother Road, is traveling north to south this year and will be starting in Berwyn. The tour will also be making stops during the new Blue Carpet Corridor event. This will be the 26th year for the Route 66 Association of Illinois event.

The first-ever Blue Carpet Corridor Festival is Fri-Sun, June 13-14, 2015, featuring 18 towns with a shared history of miners, mobsters and the Mother Road. Enjoy three days of fun and surprises! Participating communities include Chatham, Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie, Litchfield, Mt. Olive, Benld, Staunton, Livingston, Hamel, Edwwardsville, Glen Carbon, Troy and Collinsville.
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 Sammy Hagar, Justin Moore, Rascal Flatts, Hank Williams Jr. and many others!
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! For more info call 708-788-8100.
Over 1,000 cool cars and 80,000 spectators will roll into the heart of Springfield’s historic downtown September 25-27, 2015 for a weekend of family fun in the sun and non-stop live music and entertainment! Come celebrate the golden age of Route 66…the cars, the music, the food, the friends - all brought together along Illinois’ Route 66.
"Miles of Possibility: The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference" will be held in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Thursday-Saturday, October 29-31. Sponsored by the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition and hosted by the City of Edwardsville, the primary venue for the conference is the beautifully-restored historic Wildey Theatre on N. Main Street, just two blocks off Edwardsville's Route 66. Conference sessions will include presentations, panel discussions, and workshops by nationally and internationally known experts on Route 66, history, preservation, and marketing.
For the first time since 1865, re-enactors, period carriages, visitors and dignitaries will convene in Springfield, Illinois, to pay tribute to our 16th President with many events and the historic and solemn re-creation of the funeral procession to Oak Ridge Cemetery. There will also be a host of events beginning in February and leading up to the anniversary weekend, including noted speakers, symposiums, encampments, performances and church services.
The 9th Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival traverses 13 Communities from Joliet to Towanda along a 90-mile stretch of Old Route 66 that collectively celebrates the Mother Road. Each town puts together its own events for the weekend, making for a great shopping and sight-seeing experience. Gather the family and take a trip down memory lane. Towns include Joliet, Elwood, Wilmington, Braidwood, Godley, Braceville, Gardner, Dwight, Odell, Pontiac, Chenoa, Lexington and Towanda.

On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, there is a very special event in Odell for a very special person, the late Lenore Weiss. John & Lenore Weiss, as a couple, served the Route 66 community for years as preservationists and ambassadors, and John continues to play a vital role in preserving and promoting Route to this day. This great event, which features a car show, will honor Lenore and all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

The 2015 Motor Tour, Miners, Mobsters and the Mother Road, is traveling north to south this year and will be starting in Berwyn. The tour will also be making stops during the new Blue Carpet Corridor event. This will be the 26th year for the Route 66 Association of Illinois event.

The first-ever Blue Carpet Corridor Festival is Fri-Sun, June 13-14, 2015, featuring 18 towns with a shared history of miners, mobsters and the Mother Road. Enjoy three days of fun and surprises! Participating communities include Chatham, Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie, Litchfield, Mt. Olive, Benld, Staunton, Livingston, Hamel, Edwwardsville, Glen Carbon, Troy and Collinsville.
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 Sammy Hagar, Justin Moore, Rascal Flatts, Hank Williams Jr. and many others!
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! For more info call 708-788-8100.
Over 1,000 cool cars and 80,000 spectators will roll into the heart of Springfield’s historic downtown September 25-27, 2015 for a weekend of family fun in the sun and non-stop live music and entertainment! Come celebrate the golden age of Route 66…the cars, the music, the food, the friends - all brought together along Illinois’ Route 66.
"Miles of Possibility: The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference" will be held in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Thursday-Saturday, October 29-31. Sponsored by the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition and hosted by the City of Edwardsville, the primary venue for the conference is the beautifully-restored historic Wildey Theatre on N. Main Street, just two blocks off Edwardsville's Route 66. Conference sessions will include presentations, panel discussions, and workshops by nationally and internationally known experts on Route 66, history, preservation, and marketing.
The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Re-enactment
5/1/15 - 5/3/15
Springfield
9th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
5/2/15 - 5/3/15
Joliet
Lenore Weiss Memorial & Standard Oil Gas Station Car Show
5/23/15
Odell
2015 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour
6/12/15 - 6/14/15
Berwyn
Inaugural Blue Carpet Corridor Festival
6/13/15 - 6/14/15
Chatham
Illinois State Fair
8/13/15 - 8/23/15
Springfield
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
9/4/15 - 9/5/15
Berwyn
14th Annual International Mother Road Festival
9/25/15 - 9/27/15
Springfield
Miles of Possibility - The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
10/29/15 - 10/30/15
Edwardsville
The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Re-enactment
5/1/15 - 5/3/15
Springfield
9th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
5/2/15 - 5/3/15
Joliet
Lenore Weiss Memorial & Standard Oil Gas Station Car Show
5/23/15
Odell
2015 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour
6/12/15 - 6/14/15
Berwyn
Inaugural Blue Carpet Corridor Festival
6/13/15 - 6/14/15
Chatham
Illinois State Fair
8/13/15 - 8/23/15
Springfield
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
9/4/15 - 9/5/15
Berwyn
14th Annual International Mother Road Festival
9/25/15 - 9/27/15
Springfield
Miles of Possibility - The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
10/29/15 - 10/30/15
Edwardsville
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LATEST NEWS FROM ROUTE 66
Inaugural Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Weekend Festival Rolls Out June 13-14
Apr 24, 2015
The first annual Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor weekend festival - “Miners, Mobsters, and the Mother Road” - will be held Saturday-Sunday, June 13-14. The Blue Carpet Corridor, from Chatham down to Collinsville, is a unique section of Route 66 characterized not only by its Mother Road charm, but also its rich mining history and colorful mobster lore. Route 66 is known for its quirky attractions, roadside hospitality, and family fun. And on the second weekend in June, the blue carpet will be rolled out to welcome thousands of travelers all along the Blue Carpet Corridor. The event highlights 19 communities on historic Route 66 including Chatham, Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie, Benld, Staunton, Hamel, Edwardsville, Litchfield, Mt. Olive, Williamson, Livingston, Glen Carbon, Troy, and Collinsville.
"Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center Grand Opening
Apr 21, 2015
Join the McLean County Museum of History in downtown Bloomington for this free public event on Saturday, April 25th from 10:00am to 4:00pm, to celebrate the new Visitors Center and Gift Shop, and to acknowledge their partners and supporters of this new venture. The day will include tours, family entertainment, music by Wagon Load A Trouble, giveaways, refreshments and more. This event is free and open to the public.
Red Carpet Corridor Festival Plans in Progress
Mar 24, 2015
The 9th annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival will run May 2 & 3, 2015.  This festival takes place along a 90-mile stretch of historic Route 66 – starting in Joliet in the north and ending at Towanda, Illinois in the south.  Along that length of America’s Main Street, there will be scheduled events both days of the festival.  Each of the 13 communities along the Mother Road will stage special activities for young and old alike.  There will be bake sales, flea markets, car shows, history displays and presentations, contests, dances, live music, great food, and fun for everyone. You can examine the full slate of events by visiting the Red Carpet Corridor’s webpage at www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org.
Miles of Possibility - The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
Mar 20, 2015
"Miles of Possibility: The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference" will be held in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Thursday-Saturday, October 29-31. Sponsored by the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition and hosted by the City of Edwardsville, the primary venue for the conference is the beautifully-restored historic Wildey Theatre on N. Main Street, just two blocks off Edwardsville's Route 66.  Conference sessions will include presentations, panel discussions, and workshops by nationally and internationally known experts on Route 66, history, preservation, and marketing. The complete conference schedule, as well as online registration, will be offered, beginning on or about April 1, on the conference webpage, www.bluecarpetcorridor.org/rt66conference.
Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative
Feb 09, 2015

In November 2013, organizational leaders and representative stakeholders of Route 66 met at "The Road Ahead" strategic roundtable in Anaheim, California. Sponsored by the World Monument Fund/American Express, their purpose was to discuss a vision and strategies for developing a national framework for collaboration along the Road.


Blue Dog Inn is Latest of Five Restaurants in Route 66 Communities to Receive a Delicious Destination Award
Feb 06, 2015

The Blue Dog Inn in Lincoln is latest of five Route 66 restaurants to receive an "Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination" award from the Illinois Office of Tourism. The award is designated to restaurants that are "beloved destinations for visitors and locals alike," according to press information from the agency.

Located in the Historic District of Lincoln Illinois, the Blue Dog Inn was opened by Susie Fuher in 1979.  Primarily a pub at opening, it evolved over a period of time into a full service restaurant with an extensive menu becoming well known for the Horseshoes and Coney Dogs.