Route 66 Illinois

Route 66 in Illinois

(source  National Park Service)

Miles: 300 (approx.)

In the national lore surrounding Route 66, the roadway had a distinctly east-to-west directional movement. The eastern terminus of the the storied road was at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, and from this starting point, Route 66 began its sweeping, arced path through numerous Illinois towns, eventually arriving in Missouri before continuing on its way to Santa Monica, California.

The 1931 AAA Guide indicated that the state had 294.5 miles of Route 66, however this changed as the road underwent three major realignments through the years. Cultivated fields and pastures, occasionally separated by hedgerows, line many of the rural road sections for as far as the eye can see. The road, fields, and sky meet at the horizon, bounded by an endless stream of railroad tracks, telephone poles, and grain elevators.


Since 1989, the Route 66 Association of Illinois has been working to preserve and promote Route 66 Illinois, including establishment of the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame. In 2005, the Illinois Route 66 stretch of highway received National Scenic Byway status. The National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program has awarded more than 23 cost-share grants to assist properties including the Palm’s Grill in Atlanta, the Standard Oil Station in Odell, Amblers Texaco Station in Dwight, and Soulsby Service Station in Mount Olive.

Pontiac, Illinois visitors center and museum.

Pontiac, Illinois visitors center and museum.

Source City of Springfield, Illinois

Birthplace of Route 66

Springfield is officially recognized as the birthplace of what became known as the iconic "Mother Road." It was on April 30, 1926 at the Colonial Hotel via telegram that Springfield businessman John T. Woodruff and Oklahoma businessman Cy Avery first proposed U.S. 66 as the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway.

Route 66 meandered across the city from Kearney to Glenstone to St. Louis Street, through Park Central Square to Olive and College streets, then headed west along what is now Chestnut Expressway.

Route 66 Illinois Weather

Illinois Route 66




Route 66 Illinois is the start of Route 66 from East to West. Travel all of Historic Route 66.

Chicago has the unique distinction of having the historic "Begin" - beginning sign of Route 66 to start your journey 2,488 miles to Los Angeles.




Route 66 crosses 8 states. The Mother Road has many iconic stops on the 2,488 miles.

30 April 1926

Springfield, Illinois is officially recognized as the birthplace of the "main Street of America" - Route 66.

Illinois held the first completely paved section of Route 66.




Scenes like this on Historic Route 66 are unique advertising displays for travelers.

A 19 foot tall statue of Paul Bunyon holding a hot dog. This famous Route 66 icon was originally located in front of Bunyon's restaurant in Cicero is now a photo op in Atlanta




Pontiac, Illinois has displays showcasing the history of "Main Street America" on Route 66 USA

Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum exhibits the portraits of all those who contributed to the construction of the legendary road. The "Corridor of Glory" of Route 66 is a real honor for the awardees.




The Ariston Cafe is a popular local Route 66 diner and favorite tourist stop.

Visit the Hall of Fame sites located along Route 66. Drive through Litchfield and experience the nostallgic three miles of original "Mother Road".




Rock & Roll on Route 66 is the main Route 66 theme.

Illinois Rock & Roll Museum in Joliet, Illinois. Musicians from Rockford to Chicago, Champaign to downstate Illinois have played an integral part of the music scene.

Illinois Rock & Roll Museum

Joliet, Illinois

Plan your route 66 vacation in the USA to see the Illinois Rock 7 Roll Museum in Joliet, Illinois.

 Illinois has a rich musical heritage that  has influenced rock and roll artists across the globe. Musicians from  Rockford to Chicago, Champaign to downstate Illinois have played an  integral part of the music scene for decades creating music that  transcends many genres. 

U.S. Department of Transportation

"Route 66 was featured in John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath and the 1940 motion picture, which features the Joad family traveling west on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California and finding the road crowded with other migrants."

Live weather Chicago, Illinois

 Chicago - Beginning of Route 66 Roadtrip.

 EarthCam welcomes you to Chicago, The Windy City! Located at the Field Museum of Natural History,  this live camera offers many views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Shore  Drive, the Museum Campus, and the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan.  Locate the Willis Tower -- the second tallest building in the United  States -- among the other architectural glories and gleaming towers of  downtown! 

Contact Us

Send a message if you would like to be featured on "Route 66 Experience"