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This clean-shaven statue of young Mr. Lincoln stands in front of the Illinois Exhibits building at Gate 1 of the State Fair Grounds. He is about 30 feet tall, a thin, gawky pre-grow-a-beard Abe. He holds an ax almost in Muffler Man configuration -- the statue is named "The Rail Splitter" -- and dates from 1968, when he was sculpted by Carl W. Rinnus, a Springfield native.
This circa 1940s Texaco station was once a thriving service station but now serves as a Route 66 welcome center. The station is listed on the National Register of Historice Places and has been awarded fundng through the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program to be restored to look like it did in the 1940s.
The Ariston Cafe was founded by Pete Adam, a Greek immigrant, in Carlinville, Illinois in 1924. The original cafe was located on Route 4, the predecessor of Historic Route 66. In 1929, the Cafe was relocated to Litchfield, Illinois and moved into its present location on Route 66 in 1935. Since 1966, Pete’s son Nick and wife, Deme, continue to offer the traditional service expected of a family-owned and operated restaurant. The cafe is believed to be one of the oldest restaurants on Route 66 and has been inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame and is placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Exhibits focused on Abraham Lincoln, Route 66, and other aspects of Atlanta’s history are featured. The Museum’s Local History Resource Center provides extensive genealogy materials accessible to the public. Housed in a beautifully restored 1867 building, the Atlanta Museum presents both permanent and new, rotating exhibits. Open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sundays.
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.
The fascinating history of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts comes to life in the Behind the Curtain historic tour program. Led by a group of specially trained docents, you'll not only see the beautiful neo-Classical interior design of the BCPA, but also learn all about the many technical and patron service updates achieved in the building's significant renovation. You won't want to miss this surprising, fascinating, and fun-filled look at one of Bloomington's historic and most thriving buildings. Bring your stories, your questions, and, above all, your curiosity. Behind the Curtain tours are one hour in length and can accommodate a wide variety of group sizes.
Boasting an eclectic collection of Route 66 artifacts, aerial photos and historic signs, the RT 66 Museum is a great beginning for your journey. Open weekdays 9am to 5pm. No charge for admission.
The City of Berwyn has placed four exhibits on Ogden Avenue to educate travelers, tourists, and residents about Berwyn's heritage as one of the first eastern suburban communities along Historic Route 66. Berwyn's four exhibits feature the origin of the Ogden corridor and its early history, its first auto-oriented "fast food" restaurants, and its automobile-based economy and car culture. Visit our Information Kiosk for more information!
The Best Western hotel offers the best in amenities, customer service, and accommodations at an affordable rate. Located about 20 miles from Chicago and located on Old Route 66. Convenient access to I-55 brings them to the favorite Chicago area attractions. Hot breakfast buffet is complimentary along with High-Speed WiFi.
Visitors can enjoy a dazzling music, light and water show at the Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain, one of the largest fountains in the world. Located at Columbus Drive, shows runs from dusk to 11pm every hour and lasts for 20 minutes. Operates April through mid-October.
Cheesecake by James is the best tasting cheesecake in the world as it is known for it's natural ingredients with a unique delicious rich lite taste!
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.
The main source for information about McLean County’s historic and modern attractions in the Bloomington-Normal area is the "Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center. Located in Downtown Bloomington, the Visitors Center provides information on all of the wonderful attractions, events, dining and lodging available in McLean County. Their exhibits highlight two types of heritage tourism that is integral to Central Illinois: Historic Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln. The gift shop is filled with local products, memorabilia and more!
Located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington on Historic Route 66, the Cruisin with Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center exhibits cover stories about dining, lodging and travel, which were experienced by both Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 travelers. These are supplemented by local items, books, cards, maps and more!
The Chicken Basket in Willowbrook opened in the summer of 1946 on Historic Illinois Route 66. Dell Rhea’s chicken has been bringing visitors from around the world on a regular basis for years.
Established in 1928 at the intersection of U.S. Route 66 and Route 136 in McLean, Illinois, Dixie Truckers Home is the oldest truck stop in America. It is still in operation today and although it has been restored after a fire in 1965 the original signs are still in place.
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.
The Market is open from 7:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday morning from May through October. Located on the historic downtown square, the Farmers’ Market is managed by the Downtown Bloomington Association. Not only does the market give customers a colorful venue to buy locally grown farm products, it also puts them in touch with local artisans of prepared goods and fine arts, musicians, and community organizations. The Downtown Bloomington Association Farmers’ Market is a producer-only market offering a wide array of farm products — including vegetables, fruits, cheeses, pork, beef, free-range poultry and eggs, flowers, plants, herbs, and more grown and produced by the individual selling these items! The market features different musical performances each week. Cooking demos are offered regularly, and the Kids’ Zone has sponsors that offer weekly hands-on activities for all ages.
Edinger’s Filling Station is a casual dining restaurant in downtown Pontiac. Open for lunch and breakfast, the Edingers pride themselves on serving delicious, homemade food in an inviting atmosphere with friendly service.
The Funk family business of producing pure maple sirup began in Funks Grove in 1824, and business has been going strong ever since. Guided tours of the grounds are offered during the sirup-making season that showcase the Funk family process. Tours for groups of up to 30 must be arranged in advance and depend upon weather conditions. Funks Pure Maple Sirup can be purchased at the store, along with Route 66 memorabilia and other Funks products.
The Gemini Giant is a landmark statue on U.S. Route 66. The 30 foot tall statue is named after the Gemini space program and holds a silver "rocket ship" in his hands, while sporting an astronaut's space helmet that looks more like a welding mask.
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!
This quirky must-see Route 66 attraction, information center and souvenir gift shop is home to rabbits of all kinds, bunny and VW, as well as Mother Road memorabilia.
In the summer of 2013, a collective of artists, called the Walldogs, came to Kewanee, IL to paint 15 historic murals depicting the long history and heritage of the city. These paintings can be found on many downtown facades, as well as at the Amtrak Station that brings new people to the area, every day. About this mural: Kewanee was founded in May of 1854, when the Military Tract Railroad was routed to the north of Wethersfield. The town founders were from Wethersfield Township to the south, Sylvester Blish, Ralph Tenney, Henry Little and Sullivan Howard, plus Nelson Lay from Wisconsin. Colonel Berrian, civil engineer who supervised the laying of the track through this area, was asked to choose a name and he decided on “Kewanee,” a Winnebago Indian word for “prairie chicken.” In 1921, Wethersfield’s 2,000 people asked to be annexed to Kewanee with its 16,000. That 18,000 would turn out to be Kewanee’s peak population.