Illinois 66

A diagonal cut across connect Chicago to St. Louis, most of Route 66 in Illinois is a rural ride. Despite the urban ends, much of its almost 436-mile trek pass along the flatlands and small towns with wide open vistas. Plan eight hours to drive the Illinois section (or two – three days with stops).

Springfield, IL is the only state capitol along 66, (if you don’t count Santa Fe, NM on an alternate route) and has preserved its sections of Route 66. Most of the small towns play up their Route 66 roots, and have at least one true landmark. East St. Louis isn’t the most scenic, although once you cross the Mississippi, it does improve.

Designated as a National Scenic Byway on September 22, 2005.

Illinois 66 Associations

Route 66 Association of Illinois

Illinois 66

 

Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup (not syrup) – a Route 66 delicacy

Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup (not syrup) – a Route 66 delicacy

Not exactly road food in the meal sense – hey – sirup is still food! Starting in 1824, the Funk family-owned business has been producing maple “sirup” for over 180 years.

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The King of Condiments on Route 66

The King of Condiments on Route 66

There’s a certain amount of civic pride that can be squeezed out of something like this, and the folks of Collinsville have definitely done so.

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Final rest at the Poor Farm

Final rest at the Poor Farm

Completely surrounded by farm fields, the cemetery was part of the Almshouse, built by Livingston County in 1859 to provide a home for people who were poor, mentally or physically ill. From 1877 to 1934 residents that had no money were buried here. Recently, the cemetery was restored and includes a marker along Old Route 66.

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Keepers of the Clock at the Atlanta Museum

Keepers of the Clock at the Atlanta Museum

Atlanta Public Library, Museum and Clock Tower 100 SE Race St Atlanta, IL (217) 648-2112 Route 66 attraction, Architecture Built in 1908, the octagonal library with a 36- ft clock tower is now a museum on the National Register of Historic Places. The clock tower…

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Route 66 city limits plays out on video

Route 66 city limits plays out on video

Although the music doesn’t really work with the imagery, and they “went backwards” from LA to Chicago, this is a fun representation of all (or at least most) of the city limit signs you will encounter all along route 66.     (Thanks to Ron…

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Meet one of the “Illinois 66 Giants”

Meet one of the “Illinois 66 Giants”

Lauterbach Tire’s Muffler Man 1569 Wabash Ave Jerome, IL 217-546-2600 website Muffler man This patriotic behemoth standing guard at Lauterbach Tire is one of the “Illinois 66 Giants” – 3 muffler men – the Gemini Giant, the Lauterbach Giant, and the Hot Dog Muffler Man….

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Arguably, the best fried chicken on Route 66

Arguably, the best fried chicken on Route 66

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket 645 Joliet Road Willowbrook, IL 630-325-0780 Website Great road food (as seen on TV), Chicken dinner, American Fried chicken has been being served here since the 1930s. The restaurant was an ideal stopping place for Route 66 travelers coming from or…

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27 Essential Apps for Your Next Road Trip

27 Essential Apps for Your Next Road Trip

It’s that time of the year to start thinking about summer vacations. Whether you are going to be sticking close to home, or planning a big road trip across country, here are 27 apps you should have on your phone before you leave town. Of…

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Rub Lincoln’s nose for good luck!

Rub Lincoln’s nose for good luck!

Lincoln’s Lucky Nose 1441 Monument Ave Springfield, IL (OK, it’s the day after Lincoln’s birthday, but the party goes on …) Legend has it that if you rub his nose, you will have good luck. Who knows? (just a slight side trip off of Route…

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Rabbit, Rabbit at Henry’s Ra66it Ranch

Rabbit, Rabbit at Henry’s Ra66it Ranch

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch 1107 Historic Old Route 66 Staunton, IL 618 635-5655 website Petroliana All kinds of rabbits! Perfect for the first day of the month! Cars and bunnies are both found at this Route 66 spot. Check out the car ‘henge of VW Rabbits…

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