Route 66 Illinois

The Ultimate Road Trip: Rediscovering Historic Route 66 in Illinois

Get ready for a journey that turns back the clock, dives right into the heart of the USA, and uncovers the Midwest’s hidden treasures. Rediscovering Illinois’s historic Route 66 is a dream road trip. You’ll follow in pioneers’ steps, feel the charm of old roadside stops, and see history in the American landscape.

Illinois’s Route 66 goes through beautiful landscapes, small towns, and big cities. It shows a patchwork of American culture. From Chicago’s skyscrapers to Santa Monica Pier, this road means a lot to travelers and history fans.

Ready for a true American adventure? Keep reading to find out about the landmarks, gems, and stories waiting on Route 66 in Illinois.

Key Takeaways:

  • Historic Route 66 in Illinois offers a unique road trip experience that captures the essence of Americana and showcases the rich history of the United States.
  • Explore iconic landmarks, such as the Pontiac Mural in Pontiac and the Texaco Gas Station in Dwight, that serve as a testament to the importance of Route 66 in American culture.
  • Discover hidden gems in small towns along the route, experiencing the charm and hospitality of Main Street America.
  • Immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes of Illinois, from farmlands to bustling cities, as you make your way through this historic highway.
  • End your journey at the famous Santa Monica Pier, where you can celebrate the culmination of your road trip and bask in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

Route 66 Landmarks in Illinois: Must-See Stops on the Road Trip

Route 66 in Illinois is packed with cool landmarks and roadside attractions. It really shows what this famous road is all about. Get ready for a journey through time, full of nostalgia and tales from the past, as you visit these spots.

1. Chicago

Your adventure on Route 66 starts in Chicago, a lively city. Here, you’ll find the highway’s start point. Stop for a photo at Pontiac Mural in Pontiac. It’s an awesome way to remember your trip.

2. Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum

Learn all about Route 66’s past at the Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac. They have artifacts and displays that show the road’s importance to American culture. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves history.

3. Texaco Gas Station

Visit the Texaco Gas Station in Dwight to see a piece of Route 66 history. This well-kept gas station is a time machine. It takes you back to the road’s golden days.

4. Auburn Brick Road

Drive on the original brick road in Auburn to feel the early days of Route 66. It’s a unique trip back in time. The road captures the true adventure of this highway.

5. Sky View Drive-In

Step into the past at the Sky View Drive-In in Litchfield. Watch a movie under the night sky. It’s a classic Route 66 experience.

6. World’s Largest Catsup Bottle®

Visit the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle® in Collinsville. It’s a fun, quirky stop on Route 66. This giant bottle shows the cool and odd things you’ll find on the road.

7. Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

End your Illinois Route 66 trip at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. This bridge offers beautiful river views. It also marks Route 66’s end in Illinois.

These Route 66 stops in Illinois are not just about sights. They’re rich in history, culture, and adventure. Dive into the journey and discover amazing landmarks. Make your Route 66 trip unforgettable.

Exploring Small Towns and Hidden Gems on Route 66

Route 66 Illinois

Traveling Route 66 Illinois lets you explore small towns. You can find hidden gems that feel like real Main Street America. These towns show the past and culture of the Midwest.

Quirky Landmarks and Vibrant Character

Along Route 66, don’t miss the small towns. Each one is charming in its unique way. They have quirky sights that highlight the locals’ creativity.

“Route 66 allows you to experience the heart of America through its small towns. From the giant statue of Paul Bunyan in Atlanta to the Muffler Men scattered along the route, there is always something interesting to discover.”

– Local resident

For example, Pontiac is famous for its Route 66 ties. The town is full of colorful murals depicting highway history. These murals show the town’s strength and community pride.

Dwight is another town to visit. It has a historic Texaco Gas Station. This spot is a time machine to the era of great road trips.

Heritage and Tradition

Aside from famous stops, Route 66 towns are rich in tradition. Enjoy classics at local diners or festivals. These places give a real feel for the Midwest.

Collinsville has the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle®. It shows the town’s special love for ketchup and its heritage.

Spending time at the Route 66 Museum or in small towns is a treat. There are many hidden gems on Route 66 waiting to be found.

TownAttraction/Hidden Gem
Tucumcari, New MexicoNeon sign collection
Seligman, ArizonaPreserved historic buildings
Atlanta, IllinoisGiant statue of Paul Bunyan
Pontiac, IllinoisRoute 66 Mural
Dwight, IllinoisHistoric Texaco Gas Station
Collinsville, IllinoisWorld’s Largest Catsup Bottle®


Exploring Route 66 in Illinois is like stepping through time and into the heart of America. You’ll journey from the peaceful farms in Atlanta to the lively Chicago. This route is a treasure trove of historic landmarks that highlight the nation’s diverse culture and rich history.

Traveling through Illinois, you’ll catch the bug for adventure. As you dive into the Route 66 story, whether a fan of history or craving a thrilling road trip, it’s an experience that stays with you forever.

In Illinois, each stop offers its own magic. From the incredible murals in Pontiac to the old-school diners and fun roadside sights. You’ll also feel at home in the friendly small towns, welcomed by their historic charm.

Make your way along Route 66 in Illinois for an unforgettable look at the U.S.’s past. This immersive journey is about more than just the road. It’s a chance to deeply connect with America. Uncover its tales, enjoy the classic vibes, and fill your days with adventure, creating stories that last a lifetime.


What is Route 66?

Route 66, known as the Main Street of America, is a historic U.S. highway. It goes from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. This route is famous for its cultural and historical value in the U.S. highway system.

Is Route 66 still drivable?

While it’s not an official highway anymore, much of Route 66 is still drivable. In Illinois, for example, you can cover a big part of its historic path. This lets you feel the charm of the Mother Road.

What are some must-see landmarks along Route 66 in Illinois?

Along Illinois’ Route 66, you must see the Pontiac Mural and the Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum. Also, check out the historic Texaco Gas Station in Dwight. Don’t miss the original brick road in Auburn and the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle® in Collinsville.

Can I drive Route 66 in Illinois in one day?

It’s possible to drive the Illinois part of Route 66 in a day. But, it’s better to take your time. Explore its many landmarks and enjoy the unique history and vibe of this iconic American route.

Are there any small towns to visit along Route 66 in Illinois?

Yes, Route 66 in Illinois is dotted with charming small towns. Notable ones include Pontiac, Dwight, Auburn, Litchfield, and Collinsville. These places really capture the heart of Main Street America. You’ll find unique attractions and friendly faces there.

Are there places to eat along Route 66 in Illinois?

Yes, there are many food spots to enjoy along Illinois’ Route 66. You’ll come across classic diners and cozy cafes. They serve everything from American comfort food to regional dishes. You’ll definitely find something tasty to eat.

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