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
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>
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>
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
Nana’s Hidden Attic
Litchfield, IL
Nana’s Hidden Attic is located at Exit 60 off Interstate 55, and has over 16 thousand square feet containing over 80 individual booths. The merchandise ranges from antiques to vintage, as well as collectible and specialty merchandise.
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!
Kelly's on 66
Lexington, IL
Kelly's on Route 66 is now open and serving Pizza, Pasta, Sandwiches, Salads & Desserts! This family-friendly restaurant is located in the historic building that was home to Skelley's Service Station and Toby's Mesa Cafe. Featuring homemade pizza and homemade pies and cakes all made from scratch, as well as the occasional "blue plate special". Wine and beer are also served. Check out all the interesting artifacts that are part of the decor! Open 11am-8pm Tues-Thurs, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat and 11am-6pm Sundays.
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices/Official Springfield Visitor Center
Springfield, IL
The city of Springfield has opened a new Visitors Center on the first floor of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office across from the Old State Capitol. Stop by to find all the information you need to help create your legendary experience in Springfield. While the upper floors remain closed to tours, visitors can tour an exhibit of the law office on the first floor as well as the U.S. Post Office, located in the building from 1841-1849.
featured stories from the road
Munsters on Route 66

In pure Route 66 fashion a newer Business, "Midwest Classics on 66" in Wilmington, Illinois on Route 66, Had an Incredible Event on Sunday 10-28-18. There was Great Food, Music from "Rosie and the Rivets," a Costume contest, the museum of classic cars, and the main event being Butch Patrick aka Eddie Munster of the TV series the Munsters. Butch Patrick even brought his Munster Coach and the Dragula coffin dragster. Lots of Photo Ops and autograph signing by Butch who is truly a Down to Earth Celebrity!

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...
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... 

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
2ND ANNUAL SKY VIEW DRIVE-IN SCAVENGER HUNT
Litchfield Pickers Market
World Circus Day
13th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
Mother Jones - May Day Celebration
Mother Jones in Heaven Play
Old Rugged Barn Presents: Celebrate Momz Craft Show
5th Annual Blue Carpet Corridor Festival - Miners, Mobsters & the Mother Road
2019 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour & Hall of Fame Banquet
22nd Annual Edwardsville Route 66 Festival & Car Cruise-In
2ND ANNUAL SKY VIEW DRIVE-IN SCAVENGER HUNT
Litchfield Pickers Market
World Circus Day
13th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
Mother Jones - May Day Celebration
Mother Jones in Heaven Play
Old Rugged Barn Presents: Celebrate Momz Craft Show
5th Annual Blue Carpet Corridor Festival - Miners, Mobsters & the Mother Road
2019 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour & Hall of Fame Banquet
22nd Annual Edwardsville Route 66 Festival & Car Cruise-In
4/5/19 - 9/8/19
Litchfield
4/14/19 - 10/13/19
Litchfield
4/20/19
Bloomington-Normal
5/4/19
Joliet
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
5/11/19
Towanda
5/18/19 - 5/19/19
Chatham
6/7/19 - 6/9/19
Lincoln
6/8/19
Edwardsville
4/5/19 - 9/8/19
Litchfield
4/14/19 - 10/13/19
Litchfield
4/20/19
Bloomington-Normal
5/4/19
Joliet
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
5/11/19
Towanda
5/18/19 - 5/19/19
Chatham
6/7/19 - 6/9/19
Lincoln
6/8/19
Edwardsville
Following the very successful first Sky View Scavenger Hunt last year, owners Mindy & Nick Pastrovich and Debbie & Mike Pastrovich are back with treasures and discounts for movies that will be hidden throughout the central to southern portions of Route 66. The Sky View Scavenger Hunt involves finding a limited-edition magnet that will be hidden at famous Route 66 locations. Once found, these magnets are to be turned in at the participating business for a special gift and two free tickets to any movie at the Sky View, including the popular Throwback Series of Sunday movies from April through September.

The Litchfield Pickers Market will return, for its fifth year, every second Sunday of the month from April to October, with the exact 2019 market dates being: April 14, May 12, June 9, July14, August 11, September 8, and October 13. Mark your calendar NOW and plan to visit downtown Litchfield, Illinois between 9 AM to 3 PM. This year is going to be a great one!

McLean County has been home to a variety of industries throughout its history. One such industry, one which members of this very community may not know about, was that of producing aerialists and circus performers. For more than 80 years, spanning the 1870s until the 1950s, countless numbers of individuals left their mark on history. This year, on World Circus Day, we will celebrate that legacy.

The 13th 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 that Saturday, 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.

You’re Invited to the Annual May Day Celebration at Union Miners Cemetery, presented by Friends of the Mother Jones Museum, City of Mt. Olive & Union Miners Cemetery Board. Featuring: March of the Descendants of the Women’s Auxiliary of Progressive Miners. Also, "Mother Jones in Heaven," a one-act play, presented at the Winery at Shale Lake. Music by Wildflower Conspiracy.

The Mother Jones Museum at Mount Olive presents a production of the acclaimed play "Mother Jones in Heaven", a musical by Sy Kahn. $10 admission. RSVP is required. Open seating. The Sunday performance will follow the Mother Jones Museum May Day celebration at noon at the Union Miner’s Cemetery.

May 11, 2019 will be the first public event at The Old Rugged Barn for the season. There will be 40+ booths in barn on main floor and loft. Outdoor spaces will also be available under the pavilion. This is Mothers' Day weekend and your host Jo Morrison thought moms might like something fun.

Route 66 enthusiasts and car club members will be motoring on the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Saturday-Sunday, May 18-19, to celebrate the famous “Main Street of America” on the Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition's fourth annual festival weekend. From Chatham south to Collinsville on several historic alignments of Route 66, fourteen communities will be highlighting the Miners, Mobsters, and Mother Road history of this section of Route 66.

The 2019 Motor Tour is traveling north to south this year, with the Hall of Fame banquet at the American Legion in Lincoln. Banquet in Lincoln prepared by Kurt Wendlandt, cook at Lincoln College.
Come get your kicks at this year’s Route 66 Festival! Happening on Saturday, June 8 at City Park, this annual festival is celebrating its 22nd year. The Edwardsville Route 66 Festival has a 10K Race beginning at 8:00 a.m. with activities continuing throughout the day. Other family-friendly fun includes a classic car cruise and car show, family fun zone with bounce houses and a rock wall, bike ride, food vendors, local artists, wine and beer tent and more!
Following the very successful first Sky View Scavenger Hunt last year, owners Mindy & Nick Pastrovich and Debbie & Mike Pastrovich are back with treasures and discounts for movies that will be hidden throughout the central to southern portions of Route 66. The Sky View Scavenger Hunt involves finding a limited-edition magnet that will be hidden at famous Route 66 locations. Once found, these magnets are to be turned in at the participating business for a special gift and two free tickets to any movie at the Sky View, including the popular Throwback Series of Sunday movies from April through September.

The Litchfield Pickers Market will return, for its fifth year, every second Sunday of the month from April to October, with the exact 2019 market dates being: April 14, May 12, June 9, July14, August 11, September 8, and October 13. Mark your calendar NOW and plan to visit downtown Litchfield, Illinois between 9 AM to 3 PM. This year is going to be a great one!

McLean County has been home to a variety of industries throughout its history. One such industry, one which members of this very community may not know about, was that of producing aerialists and circus performers. For more than 80 years, spanning the 1870s until the 1950s, countless numbers of individuals left their mark on history. This year, on World Circus Day, we will celebrate that legacy.

The 13th 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 that Saturday, 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.

You’re Invited to the Annual May Day Celebration at Union Miners Cemetery, presented by Friends of the Mother Jones Museum, City of Mt. Olive & Union Miners Cemetery Board. Featuring: March of the Descendants of the Women’s Auxiliary of Progressive Miners. Also, "Mother Jones in Heaven," a one-act play, presented at the Winery at Shale Lake. Music by Wildflower Conspiracy.

The Mother Jones Museum at Mount Olive presents a production of the acclaimed play "Mother Jones in Heaven", a musical by Sy Kahn. $10 admission. RSVP is required. Open seating. The Sunday performance will follow the Mother Jones Museum May Day celebration at noon at the Union Miner’s Cemetery.

May 11, 2019 will be the first public event at The Old Rugged Barn for the season. There will be 40+ booths in barn on main floor and loft. Outdoor spaces will also be available under the pavilion. This is Mothers' Day weekend and your host Jo Morrison thought moms might like something fun.

Route 66 enthusiasts and car club members will be motoring on the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Saturday-Sunday, May 18-19, to celebrate the famous “Main Street of America” on the Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition's fourth annual festival weekend. From Chatham south to Collinsville on several historic alignments of Route 66, fourteen communities will be highlighting the Miners, Mobsters, and Mother Road history of this section of Route 66.

The 2019 Motor Tour is traveling north to south this year, with the Hall of Fame banquet at the American Legion in Lincoln. Banquet in Lincoln prepared by Kurt Wendlandt, cook at Lincoln College.
Come get your kicks at this year’s Route 66 Festival! Happening on Saturday, June 8 at City Park, this annual festival is celebrating its 22nd year. The Edwardsville Route 66 Festival has a 10K Race beginning at 8:00 a.m. with activities continuing throughout the day. Other family-friendly fun includes a classic car cruise and car show, family fun zone with bounce houses and a rock wall, bike ride, food vendors, local artists, wine and beer tent and more!
2ND ANNUAL SKY VIEW DRIVE-IN SCAVENGER HUNT
4/5/19 - 9/8/19
Litchfield
Litchfield Pickers Market
4/14/19 - 10/13/19
Litchfield
World Circus Day
4/20/19
Bloomington-Normal
13th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
5/4/19
Joliet
Mother Jones - May Day Celebration
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
Mother Jones in Heaven Play
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
Old Rugged Barn Presents: Celebrate Momz Craft Show
5/11/19
Towanda
5th Annual Blue Carpet Corridor Festival - Miners, Mobsters & the Mother Road
5/18/19 - 5/19/19
Chatham
2019 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour & Hall of Fame Banquet
6/7/19 - 6/9/19
Lincoln
22nd Annual Edwardsville Route 66 Festival & Car Cruise-In
6/8/19
Edwardsville
2ND ANNUAL SKY VIEW DRIVE-IN SCAVENGER HUNT
4/5/19 - 9/8/19
Litchfield
Litchfield Pickers Market
4/14/19 - 10/13/19
Litchfield
World Circus Day
4/20/19
Bloomington-Normal
13th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival
5/4/19
Joliet
Mother Jones - May Day Celebration
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
Mother Jones in Heaven Play
5/5/19
Mt. Olive
Old Rugged Barn Presents: Celebrate Momz Craft Show
5/11/19
Towanda
5th Annual Blue Carpet Corridor Festival - Miners, Mobsters & the Mother Road
5/18/19 - 5/19/19
Chatham
2019 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour & Hall of Fame Banquet
6/7/19 - 6/9/19
Lincoln
22nd Annual Edwardsville Route 66 Festival & Car Cruise-In
6/8/19
Edwardsville
prev
next
LATEST NEWS FROM ROUTE 66
2019 Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership Annual Board Meeting
Mar 11, 2019
The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership held its third Annual Board of Directors Meeting February 22-23, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Highlights of the meeting included an update on efforts to designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail, the 2019 budget, a new partnership policy, reports from working groups and task forces, and the election of the 2019 Board Officers.
Iconic Sonrise Doughnut Sign Acquired by Springfield's Convention & Visitors Bureau
Dec 14, 2018
The City of Springfield’s Convention and Visitors Bureau announced today (12/14/18) the city is the new owner of the iconic Route 66 Sonrise Doughnut sign. In partnership with Ace Sign Company who assisted the city in navigating the bidding process, the Convention & Visitors Bureau purchased the complete sign to retain its historic value for $22,000.
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.