Ready to get your kicks on Route 66? Every great road trip along the Mother Road starts here: the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois.
Route 66 was established in 1926, and, for many years, served as the premiere drive for anyone taking a western bound migration. Running from Chicago to Los Angeles the road spanned 2,448 through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
The road was decommissioned in 1985 but parts of the route are still drivable today and many original attractions, motels, and diners remain operating across the country. Road trippers from around the world still feel the call to follow the nostalgic path and many of those travelers start here, in downtown Chicago, at the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign.
There are actually three Route 66 start signs to visit: one that is high up on a stop light post on the northwest corner of Adams and Michigan, across from the Art Institute of Chicago; one mid block on the other side of the street in front of a Panda Express; and another with a more artistic take in a small park at the corner of Adams and Wabash.
Whether you stop for a pre-road trip selfie at one or all three, it’s definitely a rite of passage. After taking a few photos head a bit down the road for an iconic breakfast and the world’s best coffee at Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant, then start the rest of your epic journey to see the best attractions on Illinois Route 66 and beyond.
Historic Route 66 Begin Sign
Address: 78-98 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603
Cost: Free to See
Hours: Always Visible