A nostalgic trip through Americana

A nostalgic trip through Americana

Learn about this historic highway and why Route 66 is an American treasure worth preserving.

Another Exciting Motor Tour!

Another Exciting Motor Tour!

Our 2014, "Making Memories" Motor Tour, commemorating our 25th Anniversary, was a fun celebration of the Mother Road, with some new and exciting activities and stops for participants to enjoy. Read and see it here!



Please join our association's efforts to preserve, promote, educate and enjoy Route 66 in Illinois.

The Route 66 Association of Illinois

The Route 66 Association of Illinois

Our mission is to preserve, educate, promote and enjoy Route 66 in Illinois

Illinois Attractions & Towns

Illinois Attractions & Towns

Visit these attractions and towns along Route 66 in Illinois for a nostalgic family fun!

Here are some helpful and informative sources to help you along your Route 66 journey. We've assembled a collection of web sites and information that are sure to add to your knowledge and appreciation of the Mother Road.

Web Links
Historic Maps
Town Along The Road
Sign up for our Day Tripper email announcements
View the Day Tripper Archives

Preservation is one of our core missions. With our motto of 'we work for food' our members paint, build, repair, clean, and fight to preserve all that is Route 66.

What is Preservation?
Hall of Fame Inductees
Our Museum
Preservation Projects and Announcements

Association Events

Fall Quarterly Meeting October 18, 2015 - 10:00am

"Get Your Kicks" on the New Route 66 Archives and Research Website!

Our thanks to Robert Warren, Illinois State Museum for providing this information about this helpful resource for everyone interested in Route 66.

Do you have an interest in Route 66, the legendary American highway and tourist mecca? Are you looking for photos, maps, postcards, or descriptions of historic Route 66? Wondering where you can find information on old motels, gas stations, restaurants, or other businesses that served travelers on the Mother Road long ago? Visit the new Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration (Route 66 ARC) website. You'll discover a tremendous variety of historical collections and web resources extending along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles.

ARC screenshot-mod.jpg

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Launches “Selfies On 66” Campaign!

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.


Seeking Photos of Your Route 66 License Plates!

Hey there, roadies! Editor Gina here asking a favor. Please share photos of your Route 66-themed license plates with us here at the Route 66 Association of Illinois. I know how proud you are to announce your Route 66 enthusiasm, so I'm cooking up an idea to show them off to a very appreciative audience! I can give you photo credit if you'd like or if you prefer to remain anonymous, I'll be happy to honor your preference.

Here's one submitted by Josh Friedrich:

JF license plate -mod.jpg

Please email your photos to gina@writeytidy.com.

Thank you in advance for your submissions!

Gilding Arts Museum Now Open in Pontiac, IL

Pontiac’s latest museum celebrated its opening on the weekend of May 2 -3, 2015. The Museum of the Gilding Arts, located at 217 North Mill St, promises to be an eye-catching addition to Pontiac’s variety of attractions. At 9:00 AM, when the doors were opened to the public for the first time, it was the culmination of more than four years of planning. According to Pontiac Tourism Director, Ellie Alexander, “The Gilders’ museum is stunning, educational, and absolutely unique in the world.”

Pontiac Museum Complex Adds Three New Attractions

Our thanks to Pontiac, IL Tourism Director, Ellie Alexander, for providing the following information.

The Pontiac Museum Complex, located in the Old City Hall and Fire Station on Howard St, saw the opening of three new attractions during the Red Carpet Corridor Festival, May 2 and 3, 2015. After months of planning, construction, and installation, the Walldog Mural and Sign Art Museum will reopen in the complex, having vacated its previous home at 217 N. Mill Street to make room for the new Museum of the Gilding Arts.

Route 66 Neon Park Planned for St. Robert, MO

Our thanks to Jim Thole for supplying the following news from our Route 66 neighbor, Missouri.

The Pulaski County Route 66 Preservation organization is excited to announce its plan to develop “Route 66 Neon Park” within the City of St. Robert in George M Reed Roadside Park, which is located in a wide median area between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Route 66. The Route 66 Neon Park will be the first of its kind to be developed along the 2,448 miles of the Mother Road which runs from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA, and will feature restored, orphaned Route 66 neon signs in an outdoor park-like setting with corresponding story boards to inform the public about the history of each sign.

The Last Days of the Bel Aire Manor in Springfield

Friend of the Association, Keith Sculle, has been watching and photographing the final days of the Bel Aire Manor. Here's a photo taken April 7, 20215 that Keith says helps give depth to the once vibrant business, now in sad decline.

Bel Aire .jpg

Vendor Market at The Mill on 66 in Lincoln IL

The historic Mill in Lincoln, IL, located at 738 S. Washington, will be welcoming a variety of vendors taking part in monthly weekend flea markets during the tourist season, beginning on the second Saturday of April and running through October, from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Spaces are still available for $10 to $15 dollars for the day and throughout the season.


Hooker Cut

By Brian L. Alexander

Several years ago Fran and I decided to go on a Route 66 road tour sponsored by The Route 66 Association of Missouri the weekend after Labor Day. Up until that time we had never been farther west on Route 66 than Cuba Missouri. Missouri’s scenery and topography is entirely different than Illinois’ landscape. Illinois being “The Prairie State” is for the most part flat, with large farms growing corn and soybeans, as far as the eye can see. Route 66 in Missouri was built on the Ozark Plateau making it have steep hills and sharp curves.

Blue Carpet Corridor Will Hold Inaugural Event June 13-14, 2015

Our thanks to Cheryl Jett for providing the following press release to share with you:

BCC logo-mod.jpgYou are invited to visit the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor - from Chatham to Collinsville - on Saturday - Sunday, June 13 – 14, for a weekend of family fun. The Blue Carpet Corridor includes the 18 communities of Chatham, Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie, Benld, Staunton, Hamel, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Litchfield, Mt. Olive, Livingston, Troy, and Collinsville on three historic alignments of Route 66.

Events and activities in the various communities will include car and tractor shows, community-wide yard sales, children's activities, petting zoo, live entertainment, historical tours and presentations, unveiling of two new Walldogs murals, a rib cookoff, a Wingfest, car wash, special museum and historic site open hours, and much, much more! Food vendors and photo ops will be plentiful! Also, on Saturday, June 14, visitors can enjoy several annual festivals, including the American Legion Fest in Chatham, the Route 66 Festival in Edwardsville, and Downtown Days Festival in Troy.

Got Content?

EditorWe welcome your Route 66 news, stories, photos and events for publication in our newsletter or on our web site!

Submit it here

Send us your change of address to:
110 W Howard St
Pontiac, IL, 61764
or use our handy contact form

Learning to use our calendar puts the fun and adventure of Route 66 at your fingertips. It's easy to discover the when, what and where of events along the road.

Here's How!

Historic Maps

Highway GuideWatch Route 66 evolve into The Mother Road  with maps and highway guides from 1917-1992 courtesty of the official Illinois Digital Archives.