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Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Rendleman Orchards Farm Market
Tree ripened peaches & nectarines from July - August, and apples from September - December. This farm market is open 7 days a week with seasonal produce, preserves, pickles and other specialty food items and gifts.
Amtrak Train Day
All aboard at Alton's Amtrak Train Day! Meet fellow train enthusiasts and learn about train safety, and the excitement of train travel! Scale models of trains will be displayed. All children will receive a free conductor's hat and train-related coloring books. Refreshments will be available. There will also be a drawing for 2-roundtrip Amtrak tickets to Chicago. Winner will be drawn at the end of the event. You must attend the event to register for the drawing. For more information, call (800) 258-6645.
Paul Bunyon Hotdog Statue
Standing 19 feet tall and clutching a giant hot dog, this Paul Bunyon statue, not “bunyan” purposely spelled with an “o”, is one of Route 66’s mythic Muffler Man Statues. A few of these giants still proudly grace the roadsides of historic Route 66. This one is located in Atlanta, just across the street from the Palms Grill Café, which features fine fare from The Mother Road’s golden age.
The Palms Grill Café
The Palms Grill Cafe was a well-known restaurant during the heyday of Route 66. Recently the cafe was revitalized and reopened, and is serving up delicious nostalgia from the fabled Route 66 era. The Palm’s Grill Café has been baking pies and feeding hungry travelers and residents for decades. Their pies are so delicious they've even won a few state pie competitions. Saddle up to the counter or take a seat at a table; either way, the pie and coffee with the community atmosphere is enough to make any first-timer feel like a regular. Conveniently located right across the street is the towering Bunyon’s Statue, another one of Route 66’s famous Muffler Man Statues.
Clocktower in Atlanta
Located next to the Atlanta Public Library and Museum the clock tower was added in the 70s. The clock itself is the original 1909 hand-would clock from the Atlanta High School.
J.H. Hawes Elevator
In the heart of our nation's cornbelt, just a block off Historic Rt. 66, you can discover your connection to Illinois' rich grain producing, storing, and shipping history by visiting the J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum.
Atlanta Public Library and Museum
Located across from Route 66 Park in historic downtown Atlanta, Illinois, the Atlanta Public Library is a hub of community activity and an attraction for tourists who are making the Route 66 pilgrimage. Throughout the year, the Library offers a wide range of programs for children, teens and adults. From reading, arts, and crafts activities for children to outdoor family programming, adult book clubs, writing workshops, programs for seniors, informational programs, and special events, the Library has something for everyone. Built in 1908, this octagon-shaped building is one of the few of its kind in the state. The museum in the basement of the library houses pieces of local history. The library and museum are both on the National Register of Historic Places.
Original Brick Road
This beautiful 1.4 mile long piece of restored hand-laid brick road is a segment of 66 done in 1931 and placed over a concrete roadbed. Route 66 at its best.
Doggie Diner Drive In
Classic fun food, cruise nights, neon lights and service with a smile. Situated on the historic Illinois Lincoln Highway, Route 30 next to Phillips Park Golf Course & Mastodon Visitors Center and the Illinois Lincoln Highway gazebo.
Gene's Dairy Delight
Locally owned and operated since 1971, Gene's takes pride in their homemade novelties. Famous for their soft served cones and the Avalanche. This has always been a favorite family stop on Route 66!
Looking for Lincoln Audio Tour
This CD-based audio tour presents President Lincoln as a returning visitor, talking about the places he visited and their meaning to him. Whether you drive the route or enjoy the tour from your favorite armchair, the audio tour is a special and novel way to learn about the history of Lincoln and the role Bloomington-Normal played in his life. The CD can be purchased at the McLean County Museum of History
The Yarn Studio
Visit our shop in downtown Casey and your creative spirit will soar. The newly renovated space provides a relaxed atmosphere for browsing. Our supplies include items for knit, crochet, spinning, and weaving. Many items are sold exclusively through independent retailers. We strive to help the beginner as well as motivated advanced knitter. Home to the World's Largest Knitting Needles and Crochet Hook.
World's Largest Golf Tee
The World's Largest Golf Tee measures 30ft and 3/4" and weighs 6,659 lbs! It is constructed of yellow pine boards and over 60 gallons of glue and 120 pounds of screws. This is a site you don't want to miss!
World's Largest Knitting Needles and Crochet Hook
The World's Largest Knitting Needles and Crochet Hook are located inside The Yarn Studio in downtown Casey, Illinois. In order to make it in to the Guinness Book of World Records shop owner, Jeanette Huisinga, had to knit and crochet a 10X10 square with the largest tools. Knitting Needles are 13ft .75in and 25 pounds each. Crochet Hook measures at 6ft. 1.5in and weight is 9lbs.
McDonald's #1 Store Museum
This museum is a replica of the first McDonald's restaurant opened by Ray Kroc on April 15, 1955. View an array of memorabilia, from the original kitchen equipment to the 1950s classic cars parked on site.
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
Built in 1927, Old Chain of Rocks was the fifth bridge to cross the Mississippi River, which shortened the distance between St. Louis, Missouri, and Edwardsville, Illinois by 15 miles.
Effingham County Courthouse
The courthouse was built in 1871 after Effingham was named the county seat. The courhouse retains a pristine exterior and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also features a museum inside. The museum displays two rooms devoted to the military, which gets changed throughout the year. It also has a room dedicated to the railroads in Effingham County. The Effingham County Courthouse is open Tuesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Two-Cell Jail in Gardner
The historic Two-Cell Jail was built in 1906. It has been restored by the community and holds a strong presence near Gardner's downtown area. Visitors are now encouraged to "go behind bars" and have their own photo taken.
A 20th century Kankakee streetcar was moved to Gardner in 1932 to serve as a diner. In 1937, the streetcar became a cottage and playhouse. It was moved behind the Riviera in 1955 and is still there today. It was restored ty the Route 66 Association of Illinois and inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame in 2001.
Two-Story Outhouse at Gays
Arguably one of the most famous outhouses left on the planet is located in the town of Gays, IL, located just five minutes from Mattoon. The existence of outhouses in general are rare, but certainly a two-story version is a unique oddity that the small rural community of 300 has capitalized on for quite some time. Stop by anytime for this great photo opportunity!
Doc’s Soda Fountain
Located on historic Route 66, this was originally a pharmacy built in the 1880’s. The soda fountain was added to the business in the 1950’s. Stop in for an old-fashioned treat or ice-cream. Doc’s is also open for lunch and dinner.
Weezy’s Route 66 Bar and Grill
The restaurant is known for charbroiled burgers, homemade pies and hearty breakfasts, particularly biscuits and gravy made with fresh sausage from locally produced hogs. The decor follows a diner theme with a black-and-white checkered floor and red vinyl seat cushions on chrome booths, tables and chairs. Walls are lined with vintage signs, photos of old vehicles and other Route 66 memorabilia and even has an outdoor patio.
Dairy Joy Drive-In
Situated on the historic Lincoln Highway Dairy Joy is much more than an old-fashioned ice cream parlor or hamburger joint. Dairy Joy is a unique one-of-a-kind classic American restaurant. With inside seating, an outside patio, and a walk-up window, Dairy Joy has been a favorite community gathering place for more than 50 years, where appetites are quickly satisfied and memories are formed and perpetuated.