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!

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!



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

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

Events Along The Road

Car Show at Odell Gas Station 05/27/2017 - 10:00am
Motor Tour 2017: Road Trip! 06/09/2017 (All day)
Drive’n the Dixie 06/17/2017 - 11:30pm
Rock & Rods on Route 66 07/14/2017 (All day)
Catfish Days, Wilmington, IL 07/22/2017 (All day)

Association Events

Motor Tour 2017: Road Trip! June 9, 2017 (All day)
Association Picnic 2017 August 13, 2017 - 12:00pm
Fall Quarterly Meeting October 15, 2017 - 10:00am
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Andy Granatelli, Hall of Famer and Auto Racing Figure, Dies

We are sad to report that Andy Granatelli, a major auto racing figure and CEO of STP passed away on December 29, 2013 at the age of 90 of congestive heart failure.

Mr Granatelli was inducted into our Association Hall of Fame in 2003. On that occasion, then-president of the Route 66Association of Illinois, Tom Teague wrote the following, which was printed in the Summer, 2003 issue of The 66 News, our quarterly, members-only newsletter. The original follows and is transcribed for easier reading below:

2003 Route 66 News AG.png

Andy Granatelli

Nominated by Tom Teague

Former Mayor of Odell, Ed Seal, Has Passed Away

Our thanks to Preservation Chairman, John Weiss, for passing along the following information:

Ed Seal, past mayor of Odell, IL and an active preservation member has passed away. If it wasn't for all the efforts of Ed when he was mayor of Odell, the station project may not have been possible. The Route 66 Association Preservation Committee is very thankful for all that he has done.

Services for Ed will be held at the Duffy Funeral Home in Odell at 315 E. Vermillion on Saturday, January 18th from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Burial will follow at the Odell Union Cemetery. For information call 815-998-2143.

Motor Tour 2014: Our 25th!

Our 25th Annual Motor Tour is coming June 13 - 15, 2014 (Father’s Day weekend)! We’re looking forward to an extra-special celebration along Route 66.


This year, the tour starts south and will include an opportunity to cross the historic Chain of Rocks Bridge at the beginning of the tour!

Wondering what a Motor Tour is? Read a complete description in, So What Is a Motor Tour Anyway? We’re sure you’ll be inspired to join us for family fun and nostalgia along our Illinois section of America's Main Street, where Route 66 begins!

We hope you’ll save the dates and join us for a fun weekend touring the Mother Road! Plans are being made and details decided by our Motor Tour committee as we speak. Further updates and your chance to register to participate are coming soon.

Join Our Association - Get a Gift!

Due to its extreme popularity, our membership special has been extended through the summer! Read on for all the details about membership in our Association, membership options and your gift for joining.

Your membership dollars make our preservation efforts possible!

For as little as $20, you can become an Individual member of our Association.

Members receive our quarterly publication, The 66 News, for their reading enjoyment, a decal, laminated membership card and our undying thanks for helping us to further our Association's mission to preserve, promote, educate and enjoy Route 66 in Illinois.

There are lots of things you can do with $20 a year but can any of them go as far as we can stretch them to help preserve Route 66 treasures?

Palms Grill Café Manager Steps Down

The following press released was provided by Bill Thomas of the Atlanta Public Library.

Ronda McBride, current manager of The Palms Grill Café, has announced that due to her ongoing battle with cancer, her last day of operating The Grill will be Friday, October 25, 2013. Ronda began operating the Palms Grill Cafe this past May, but due to the seriousness of her illness, now needs to focus her attention on her health.

Route 66 International Festival in Joplin, Missouri

By Marcia Gascho

Several months ago, we heard that Joplin would be hosting the 2013 Route 66 International Festival on August 1-3. It had never been held in Missouri before. It was close enough for a long weekend trip so we decided to go! We made hotel reservations and I signed up for the Festival e-mail list. It was exciting to read about new events that were being announced. I was especially happy to hear that the Road Crew band would be performing. I love their Route 66 music.

Motor Tour 2013 Highlights: The Friedrich Family

By Josh Friedrich

2 Just off 66 2.JPGThe Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour kickoff celebration took place in Plainfield at "Just Off 66." This place is AWESOME! The walls are covered in vintage signage and vibrant neon lights. There were classic arcade machines and tons of 50s and 60s era artifacts from the heyday of Route 66. Cool classic cars sat outside and even a Red Radio Flyer Wagon convertible car for us to enjoy while eating our dinner. Charlie couldn't stay away from his best bud, Marty Blitstein, and helped out at the registration table. After a great evening with our fellow roadies, it was time to head to the hotel for a much-needed nights rest.

After a quick continental breakfast, we headed over to the Berwyn Historical Museum. While there, be sure to charge up at the E-car charging station out front. The place was packed with people and we missed out on getting the goodie bag by a few minutes. I liked the Route 66 history represented, especially the stuff about The Spindle art piece. We posed for the group photo, hopefully I didn't blink or have a goofy look on my face. After that we waited patiently for a spot to open up so we could join the caravan out of town, with an official police escort. We meandered our way past the Steak-N-Egger and onward to Saban's for a good view of the fenced-off section of Route 66 near the Vulcan Quarry that is unsafe to drive on due to mining and erosion near the road.

Getting Our “Kicks” on Route 66: A Route 66 Trip Spanning 13 Years

Born and raised on the north side of Chicago we are two friends from the same neighborhood who share many childhood memories. After graduation from high school, we were college roommates. Of the many adventures we shared across the decades, college road trips, affectionately referred to as “Born Frees,” were particularly memorable. Attending Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, we would drive to various college campuses on weekends during the school year to find adventure (really looking for girls!). One summer during our college years we traveled round trip by car from Chicago to San Francisco on what we referred to as the “Western Born Free." As older adults (born in 1949 and 1950) we wanted to take another memorable “Born Free” and decided to become “Route 66 Roadies." The “Mother Road” certainly did not disappoint. We wanted to share our adventure with newsletter readers.

Mark & Bruce Chicago.pngIt took 13 years to complete our 2500-mile Route 66 adventure. We first set out on our “Mother Road” adventure in the second week of July 2000 when we traveled from Chicago (beginning in front of Lou Mitchell’s restaurant) and ended our first phase of our trip in Joplin Missouri. Two years later we flew into Joplin to begin the second phase which ended in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Due to some health challenges, it would be more than a decade until we were able to complete the final phase of our travels on Route 66. This past June (2013) we booked a flight from Chicago to Albuquerque to begin the final phase of our trip through New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Concluding our adventure at the Santa Monica Pier, we went on to meet up with our wives in the Los Angeles area.

During the three phases, we traversed Interstates and parts of the original road through seven states with the aid of three revisions of Tom Snyder’s Route 66 Traveler’s Guide and Companion.

To record our travels, we made our own documentary video entitled, “The Mother Road: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow." Armed with a video camera and an external microphone for the first two phases of our trip and our iPhones for the final phase, we interviewed many along the “Mother Road." Typical questions for those interviewed included “What is your connection to the Mother Road and how long have you had this connection?” “Do you have any childhood memories of Route 66?” “Can you tell us of any interesting visitors or celebrities that you have seen along Route 66?" “What changes, if any, over the years in have you seen in the Road?” What do you anticipate for the future along the Road?"

“WRT66” On the Air!

The antique radio station on the second floor of the museum was recently activated.This marks the first time that it was actually used to broadcast a live radio show. The award winning WRLR 98.3 radio station from Round Lake Heights, Illinois joined up with a UK “Fabulous 50s” station,Forest FM 92.3, who were touring and broadcasting live along Route 66 in Illinois.

Preservation - radio station 2.png

"Get Your Kicks on Route 66" Car Show Update

Thanks so much to our Preservation Chairman, John Weiss, for the following update:

On May 1, 2013 there was a, “Get your Kicks on Route 66,” car show in downtown Pontiac, IL. This event generated over $800.00 for local cancer programs.

Also during this time, two trees, complete with plaques, were dedicated in the historic town square to the memories of Betty Estes and Lenore Weiss.

Read the whole story of the: "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" Car Show celebrates dedication to the Mother Road.

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.