If you’re looking for classic roadside attractions, iconic diners, informative museums, and nostalgic nod to the past, a road trip on Route 66 in Illinois offers everything you’re looking for. Pull over at any and all of the stops on this complete list of Illinois Route 66 Attractions and start planning your road trip on the Mother Road today.
Historic U.S. Route 66 (AKA US 66, the Will Rogers Highway, Main Street of America, and the Mother Road) was established on November 11, 1926. It was the primary road that travelers took while moving west during the dust bowl. Covering around 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 took travelers through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Although Route 66 was removed from the United States Highway System in 1985, it is still a popular road trip route for travelers looking for a sense of nostalgia.
Around 300 of the road’s stretch run through Illinois. At every turn you’ll find something new and fun to see. Whether it’s a piece of original road, a classic diner, a weird roadside attraction, or an informative museum, Illinois Route 66 attractions abound on the Mother Road. Look for official roadside attraction signs, interpretive statues, wayside exhibits, experience hubs and more to learn more along the way.
Explore below to find a complete list of Illinois Route 66 attractions to add to your Route 66 in Illinois itinerary. Want just the highlights? Find the top 10 Illinois Route 66 Attractions. Planning to drive the entire length of Route 66? Check out our list of Route 66 Must See Stops in every state of the route.
Route 66 in Illinois: a complete list of Illinois Route 66 Attractions
Route 66 Begins Sign
78-98 E Adams St, Chicago, IL
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.
565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL
Lou Mitchell’s opened in 1923 and its location at the start of Route 66 made it a quintessential stop before traveling the Mother Road. Pancakes, waffles, and skillets are offered alongside the “world’s best” coffee, homemade bread, pastries, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
6031 W. Ogden Ave., Cicero, IL
Henry’s Drive-In has served fast-food fare to hungry travelers since the 1950s. The drive-in’s menu is what you’d expect from a Chicago-area hot dog stand: Italian beef sandwiches, Italian sausage sandwiches, combo Italian beef Italian sausage sandwiches. But the star menu item is a Chicago-style hot dog wrapped up with fries, “it’s a meal in itself.”
Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket
645 Joliet Rd, Willowbrook, IL
Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket is an iconic Route 66 restaurant in Illinois. In Willowbrook, just off the famous route, and present day Interstate 55 (I-55) , this chicken joint has been serving up chicken since the 1930s.
Route 66 Park
920 N Broadway St, Joliet, IL
Joliet Route 66 Park is a small roadside park with big ties to the Mother Road. Stretch your legs and check out the vintage gas pump, informative signs, giant Route 66 shield, and views of the Old Joliet Prison.
Rich & Creamy
920 N Broadway St, Joliet, IL
Rich & Creamy is a little ice cream shop in Joliet, Illinois originally opened as Creamy Delight in the 1970s. The building itself was built in 1965 and served as an office before it became a place to get soft serve. Look for the giant ice cream cone and Blues Brothers statues on the roof.
Dick’s on 66 – Dick’s Towing
911 N Broadway St, Joliet, IL
Whether you need a car towed or want to see some vintage cars, this Route 66 roadside attraction is for you. Dick’s on 66 in Joliet, Illinois (AKA Dick’s Towing) features old cars on their roof and a slice of the Mother Road at a real Joliet business.
Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center
204 N Ottawa St, Joliet, IL
Located at the historic intersection of Route 66 and Lincoln Highway, the Joliet Area Historical Museum has kiosks, displays, Blues Brothers statues, and even a selfie station.
Old Joliet Prison
1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL
Joliet Correctional Center was a prison that operated from from 1858 to 2002. It is well known as a filming location for The Blues Brothers movie, Jake Blues is released from here at the beginning of the movie. Tours are available.
Route 66-Lincoln Highway marker
N Chicago St & E Cass St, Joliet, IL
Joliet, Illinois boasts the intersection of two historic roads — Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway. A 7-foot-tall marker marks the spot.
Route 66 Food N Fuel
2401 S Chicago St, Joliet, IL
Food N Fuel is an all day spot for food and fuel. The Route 66 location features a Bluesmobile on a pole.
The Gemini Giant Muffler Man
810 E Baltimore St, Wilmington, IL
The Gemini Giant is a 28-foot tall muffler man who stands outside the Launching Pad restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois. He weighs in at a whopping 438 pounds: not counting his base of the giant 8-foot rocket he holds in his hands!
Wilmington Sinclair Dino on a Roof
205 E Baltimore St #201, Wilmington, IL
In 1963 a Sinclair service station opened on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois. The business of course had one of the company’s signature mascots: a bright green fiberglass brontosaurus (now known as an Apatosaurus) statue. A new tire shop at that location pays homage to its past with a Sinclair dino on its roof.
Polk-a-Dot Drive In
222 N Front St, Braidwood, IL
The Polk-a-Dot Drive In has been feeding hungry travelers since 1956. With a full menu of hamburgers, chicken, hot dogs, ice cream, milkshakes, and their famous chili cheese fries, there is something to order for everyone. Outside you can take your photo with a slew of your favorite celebrities. Life-sized statues of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, James Dean, the Blues Brothers and Betty Boop line up for selfies.
140 N Front St, Braidwood, IL
The artful animals at the Braidwood Zoo are the work of the late Jack Barker, a metal folk artist who specialized in sculptures made from scrap metal and shredded plastic. After the artist passed away in 2012 his collected works were auctioned off and some Braidwood businesses came together to purchase this small collection.
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station
W Waupansie St, Dwight, IL
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station (AKA the Ambler-Becker Station, Vernon’s Texaco Station, and Becker’s Marathon Gas Station) was built by Jack Shore in 1933 along historic Route 66 in the Village of Dwight. For, appropriately, 66 years it lived on and eventually became the longest operating service station on The Mother Road.
Historic Standard Oil Gasoline Station
400 S West St, Odell, IL
The Standard Oil Filling Station in Odell, Illinois was built in 1932 by Patrick O’Donnell. Built a few years after Route 66 was routed through town, it was a popular spot for fueling vehicles on the Mother Road.
Meramec Caverns Barn
Meramec Caverns in Sullivan, Missouri is known for having billboard advertisements far and wide. At one point in time barns across the route were painted with advertisements for the famed attraction. Few are left today, and this is the only surviving spot in Illinois.
Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum
110 W Howard St, Pontiac, IL
The Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, Illinois tells the story of the Mother Road from inception to present day with thousands of artifacts, memorabilia, articles, and more. Stop in to learn about all of the famed stops, places, and people who have been inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame.
Giant Route 66 Shield Mural
110 W Howard St, Pontiac, IL
The first, the biggest, and the most well-known Route 66 mural in Pontiac, Illinois, and perhaps on the entire Route, is the Route 66 Shield Mural. Painted by Diaz Sign Art in 2006 on the exterior wall of the Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum (next to the vintage Wishing Well Motel sign), it’s a quintessential stop for Route 66 photos in Pontiac.
There are more than 20 works of public art painted across the historic downtown that give Pontiac the moniker, Route 66 Mural City.
Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum
205 N Mill St, Pontiac, IL
A museum featuring antique and classic cars, automotive artifacts, old highway maps and sales brochures, and other Pontiac and Oakland related items.
Route 66 Memory Lane
Parade Rd, Lexington, IL
Take a trip down memory lane in Lexington, Illinois. Route 66 Memory Lane, that is. An original 1-mile stretch of Route 66 has been restored and turned into an interpretive trail complete with original pavement and vintage billboards and signs for Burma Shave, Nehi, and more.
Sprague’s Super Service Station
305 Pine St, Normal, IL
Sprague’s Super Service Station opened in 1931. The two-story Tudor Revival building was constructed by William Sprague and housed a gas station, a garage, a café, and two second-floor apartments.
Carl’s Ice Cream Muffler Man
1700 W College Ave, Normal, IL
The Carl’s Ice Cream Muffler Man is a “soda jerk” style muffler man that stands outside of Carl’s Ice Cream. The 15-foot tall version of the classic muffler man roadside attraction is a newer addition made by Virginia fiberglass artist Mark Cline.
Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center
200 N Main St, Bloomington, IL
Cruisin’ With Lincoln on 66 is a Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln themed visitors center and gift shop. Stop in to learn more about Bloomington-Normal’s historical connection to both Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln through an interpretive exhibit.
Gene’s Dairy Delight
1019 S Main St, Bloomington, IL
This locally owned ice cream spot has been serving up soft serve since 1971.
Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
Funks Grove Township, IL
The Funk family has been producing Maple sirup in Illinois since 1824. In season, guided tours of the sirup-making process are offered and maple sirup, maple cream, cookbooks, and Route 66 memorabilia are offered for sale
Dixie Truckers Home
315 Dixie Rd suite c, McLean, IL
The Dixie Travel Plaza (AKA Dixie Truck Stop and Dixie Trucker’s Home) is a travel plaza located in McLean, Illinois. It was established in 1928 by J.P. Walters and John Geske as a small sandwich stand in a truck mechanic’s garage.
Gas Station Muffler Man Head
102 Empire St, Atlanta, IL
A new display in Atlanta celebrates the town’s famed attractions. Tucked inside a Shell truck station in a hallway that offers rest rooms and an entrance to the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, is a mural that depicts the Palms Grill, the smiley water tower, a Route 66 shield emblem, and the phrase, “Welcoming the World with a Smile!” A bright red display case in front of the artwork brings the mural to life with an authentic, full-sized, muffler man head.
Paul Bunyon Muffler Man with a Hot Dog
103 SW Arch St, Atlanta, IL
In 1966 a muffler man was erected in Cicero, Illinois at a hot dog and burger restaurant named Bunyon’s hot dog stand. Due to that this giant hot dog muffler man is known locally as “The Bunyon Giant.” In 2002 the Cicero restaurant closed but the legacy of the hot-dog wielding giant muffler man lives on when he was relocated to Route 66 park in Atlanta.
Palms Grill Café
110 SW Arch St, Atlanta, IL
Opened in 1934, the Palms Grill Café served up home-cooked meals, BINGO games, and weekly dances. The Grill closed in the late 1960s but has been reopened under new management many times through the years. At the time of writing the cafe is closed.
Several hand-painted advertising murals in Atlanta can be found around Atlanta including ones for J.M. Judy & Sons grocery store, Reisch Brewing Co., Palms Grill Cafe, and “Midway on the Mother Road.”
J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum
199-293 SW 2nd St, Atlanta, IL
The J. H. Hawes Elevator is a historic grain elevator that was built in 1903 along the Illinois Midland Railroad. It is the only fully restored wooden grain elevator in Illinois.
Giant Abraham Lincoln Statue on the World’s Largest Covered Wagon
1750 5th St, Lincoln, IL
The Railsplitter Covered Wagon and giant Lincoln statue is 40-feet long, 12-feet wide and 25-feet tall. The big wagon is made of oak and steel and weighs five tons. It is officially recognized as being the world’s largest by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Lincoln Watermelon Monument
101 N Chicago St, Lincoln, IL
On August 27, 1853 Abraham Lincoln christened the town named after him with a watermelon. The town commemorates this historic day with a metal watermelon.
Cows in the Corn Sculpture
S Sangamon S, Lincoln, IL
Cows in the Corn is a 22-foot tall, 25-foot wide sculpture depicting the face of a cow between two stalks of corn with a “66” for a nose. It was created by Moses Pinkerton and the Hoffman School of Sculpture.
Pig Hip Sign
100-198 N Frontage Rd, Broadwell, IL
Ernie Edwards ran the Pig Hip restaurant in Broadwell, Illinois, a popular Route 66 stop, from 1937 to 1991. The shop was known for pig hip sandwiches topped with a special sauce and made from fresh ham claimed to come only from the left hip of the pig. At the site of the former restaurant you can find a stone marker that tells the story of the restaurant and a restored Pig Hip sign.
Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb
1500 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL
In Springfield, Illinois you can visit the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site which serves as the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their four sons (Edward, William, and Thomas). Outside there is a big bust of Lincoln – be sure to rub his nose for good luck!
Abraham Lincoln The Railsplitter Statue
801 Sangamon Avenue, Springfield, IL
The Abe Lincoln railsplitter statue is a ax-wielding clean-shaven top-hat-less fiberglass statue of a young Abraham Lincoln. The 30-foot tall roadside attraction stands tall at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
1569 Wabash Ave, Springfield, IL
This fiberglass giant has stood in the parking lot outside Lauterbach Tire & Auto Service in Springfield, Illinois since 1978. While the Lauterbach Giant now looks perfectly fine, he had earlier undergone some tragedy: he lost his head when a tornado flew through town in 2006.
Cozy Dog Drive In
2935 S 6th St, Springfield, IL
Get a taste of history at this Route 66 institution: Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois. Cozy Dog doesn’t sell corn dogs, they sell Cozy Dogs. Yes, their signature item is a battered and fried hot dog on a stick, but they make it clear that Cozy Dogs preceded the modern corn dog and are superior in quality and taste to your normal cornmeal dipped fair dog.
Pink Elephant with Martini
2777 S 6th St, Springfield, IL
This giant bubblegum pink elephant holds an oversized martini glass topped with a bright red cherry in his trunk. “Pinky” originally was located at a restaurant near Paris, Illinois. But in, 1972, Bob Kent Sr. (a businessman and Shriners Club member who traveled often for work) saw the roadside attraction and fell in love. It has resided in Springfield ever since.
The Chili Parlor
820 S 9th St, Springfield, IL
The Chili Parlor has been serving some of the best chili on Route 66 since 1945.
Original Route 66 Brick Road
Snell at S Curran Rd, Auburn, IL
Drive on a scenic 1.4 mile stretch of 1931 restored hand-laid brick road.
Doc’s Soda Fountain
133 S 2nd St, Girard, IL
Doc’s has served as a pharmacy, general store, soda fountain, museum, and Route 66 icon since 1884. In 1929 the soda fountain was added. Stop by for some 1950s nostalgia, a cheeseburgers or grilled cheese sandwich, and a float, shake, or phosphate.
Our Lady of the Highways
22353 W Frontage Rd, Raymond, IL
The Our Lady of the Highway shrine is a 12-foot tall Carrara marble statue of the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Lourdes).. On the base a plaque reads, “Mary, Loving Mother of Jesus, protect us on the highway.” The religious sculpture serves as an icon that watches over travelers, provides guidance, and protects those traveling on the Mother Road.
Litchfield Greetings Mural
423 N. State Street, Litchfield, IL
Visit the Greetings from Litchfield, Illinois postcard-style mural on your Route 66 road trip. A project of Greetings Tour, a national art project that seeks to add postcard-style murals across the country.
413 Old Rte 66 N, Litchfield, IL
One of the oldest restaurants on Route 66. The Ariston Cafe opened in 1924 and offers an eclectic menu of American, Southern, Italian, and Greek fare.
Skyview Drive-In Theater
1500 Old Rte 66 N, Litchfield, IL
A retro 1950s drive-in movie theater that offers weekend double features and a snack bar.
Soulsby Service Station
710 W 1st S St, Mt Olive, IL
Soulsby Service Station in Mount Olive, Illinois is a historic gas station that served Route 66 travelers for decades. In fact this site is one of the oldest and longest running service stations on all of Route 66 and the oldest usable service station on the highway in Illinois.
Henry’s Rabbit Ranch
1107 Historic Old Rte 66, Staunton, IL
Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is a Route 66 visitor center and souvenir shop with a particular pedigree. The theme here, if you couldn’t guess, is rabbits. There are often dozens of real rabbits hopping around, a line up of VW Rabbits, and there’s even a big fiberglass jackrabbit beckoning visitors to hop on for that perfect Route 66 Instagram moment.
Pink Elephant Antique Mall
908 Veterans Memorial Dr, Livingston, IL
We’ve all heard of pink elephants on parade. But this location not only features a giant pink elephant but also a parade of one more giant thing after the next. At the Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston, Illinois you can find their famous big pink elephant and also so many more Illinois Route 66 attractions.
Route 66 Creamery
1 S Old Rte 66, Hamel, IL
A classic roadside stand serving chili, cheese dogs, steak burgers and fries, an, of course, old-fashioned ice-cream and ice cream creations.
World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
800 S Morrison Ave, Collinsville, IL
Unfortunately there is no ketchup in this 170-foot tall catsup bottle, instead the structure serves as a water tower for Collinsville, Illinois — original home of the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S. Suppiger who bottled Brooks catsup. The Collinsville catsup bottle water tower was completed in 1949.
201 E Chain of Rocks Rd, Granite City, IL
Luna Cafe opened in 1924, two years before Route 66 debuted. It was known as a hangout for Al Capone.
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
4205-4207 Chain of Rocks Rd, Granite City, IL
This Missouri Route 66 attraction was once an essential part of the cross-country journey, taking travelers from Illinois, across the Mississippi river, and into Missouri (or vice versa). While you can no longer drive the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, it’s still worth a trip to walk (or bike) across and admire.