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
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Route 66 Stories, Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant / Museum, Broadwell
Route 66 Stories, Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant / Museum, Broadwell
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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
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Route 66 Stories: Betty Estes - Illinois Route 66
Route 66 Stories: Betty Estes - Illinois Route 66
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Illinois Route 66 Stories: Shea's Gas Station Museum, Springfield
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Shea's Gas Station Museum, Springfield
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Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ariston Cafe, Litchfield
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ariston Cafe, Litchfield
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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
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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
Selfies on 66 Suggestions for William Shatner on his Route 66 Road Trip
Canadian newspaper "The Prince George Citizen" announced recently that William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on Star Trek and a police officer on T.J. Hooker, will be traveling Route 66 this summer on a futuristic custom motorcycle manufactured by Rivet. Shatner's Twitter feed pegs the dates as during the week of June 23-June 30. The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway would like to suggest a few appropriate Selfies on 66 for Mr. Shatner to take and enter in our Selfieson66.com campaign! We certainly feel the most logical selfie (and hopefully Spock would have agreed), would be a Shatner Selfie with yet another famous space traveler - the Gemini Giant in Wilmington!
Upcoming Events
Bloomington Route 66 Cruise-In
2015 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour
Inaugural Blue Carpet Corridor Festival
Illinois State Fair
2nd Annual Get Your 6.6 on Route 66
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
14th Annual International Mother Road Festival
Miles of Possibility - The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
Bloomington Route 66 Cruise-In
2015 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour
Inaugural Blue Carpet Corridor Festival
Illinois State Fair
2nd Annual Get Your 6.6 on Route 66
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
14th Annual International Mother Road Festival
Miles of Possibility - The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
6/6/15
Bloomington-Normal
6/12/15 - 6/14/15
Berwyn
6/13/15 - 6/14/15
Chatham
8/13/15 - 8/23/15
Springfield
8/15/15
McLean
8/29/15
Berwyn
9/25/15 - 9/27/15
Springfield
10/29/15 - 10/30/15
Edwardsville
6/6/15
Bloomington-Normal
6/12/15 - 6/14/15
Berwyn
6/13/15 - 6/14/15
Chatham
8/13/15 - 8/23/15
Springfield
8/15/15
McLean
8/29/15
Berwyn
9/25/15 - 9/27/15
Springfield
10/29/15 - 10/30/15
Edwardsville
The Bloomington Route 66 Cruise-In is held on Old Route 66 in downtown Bloomington. The event entrance is at Market & Center Streets. Features Antique, Classic, New, Cars, Trucks and Motorcycles. Dash plaques will be awarded, plus food and music for the crowd.
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!
Get Your 6.6 on Route 66! Calling all running, walking, Route 66, and local history enthusiasts - come out Saturday, August 15, when CORE of McLean, holds a 6.6k (4.1-mile) run/walk to benefit the community of McLean, IL.
The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is the area's best and biggest car show born from the rich automotive heritage of Berwyn's Historic Route 66. Berwyn's show takes visitors on a stroll through 500+ vintage and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles. Highlights include live music, automobile flamethrowing and a cacklefest of dragsters that will thrill spectators! Plan to make your trip to Route 66 a weekend getaway.
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 Bloomington Route 66 Cruise-In is held on Old Route 66 in downtown Bloomington. The event entrance is at Market & Center Streets. Features Antique, Classic, New, Cars, Trucks and Motorcycles. Dash plaques will be awarded, plus food and music for the crowd.
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!
Get Your 6.6 on Route 66! Calling all running, walking, Route 66, and local history enthusiasts - come out Saturday, August 15, when CORE of McLean, holds a 6.6k (4.1-mile) run/walk to benefit the community of McLean, IL.
The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is the area's best and biggest car show born from the rich automotive heritage of Berwyn's Historic Route 66. Berwyn's show takes visitors on a stroll through 500+ vintage and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles. Highlights include live music, automobile flamethrowing and a cacklefest of dragsters that will thrill spectators! Plan to make your trip to Route 66 a weekend getaway.
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.
Bloomington Route 66 Cruise-In
6/6/15
Bloomington-Normal
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
2nd Annual Get Your 6.6 on Route 66
8/15/15
McLean
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
8/29/15
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
Bloomington Route 66 Cruise-In
6/6/15
Bloomington-Normal
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
2nd Annual Get Your 6.6 on Route 66
8/15/15
McLean
2015 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
8/29/15
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
Sputnik Orbit Comes Full Circle
May 20, 2015

At what seems to have been the speed of space travel, the iconic Sputnik from the Bel-Aire Motel in Springfield, IL has been saved and restored by Ace Sign Company, and was unveiled Tuesday, May 19th at the dedication of the sign museum at the company's new location at 2540 South First Street in Springfield.

Joe Bringuet from Ace Sign Company was around back when the sign was purchased by the Bel-Aire from a California company, and the motel then hired Ace Sign to install it. Joe recalls that this was somewhere around 1963 to 1965. The sputniks were sold around the country to motels and restaurants primarily, according to Bringuet. They were designed to look like the Soviet Sputnik space satellite. This was the first satellite to orbit the Earth, launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957.

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Launches Selfies on 66 Campaign
May 05, 2015

Out exploring Route 66 in Illinois? Take a selfie! Be creative and capture yourself and friends at Illinois Route 66 landmarks or even more out-of-the-way harder to find sites along the road. Take your "selfie" and post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #MyIL66. Each month, the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway will select three photos to be highlighted on their social media outlets, and the photo with the most likes/comments/shares will win an Illinois Route 66 license plate and baseball hat! But it gets better...once per year, the Byway will let voters choose from the 12 monthly winners, and the photo that gets the most likes/comments/shares will win the grand prize: a basket full of Illinois Route 66 memorabilia, gift certificates, and more!

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.
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.