Standing Up for Illinois - Office of Lt Governor Pat Quinn


Route 66 Tour

Get your kicks on Rt. 66! Built in 1926 and stretching nearly 2,500 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles, this “mother road” crosses eight states, beginning in Illinois and ending in California. Route 66 was at one time the only paved transcontinental road across the country. Thousands of returning soldiers from World War II used Rt. 66 to embark on new journeys, heading west to start new lives. During the height of Rt.66 many roadside businesses opened, some of which can still be seen along the route today.

In Illinois, Rt. 66 covers almost 400 miles, providing travelers and tourists panoramic views and historical insight. A 2-3 day trip allows Rt. 66 enthusiasts enough time to enjoy the road’s many unique attributes along the way.

Embark on your historic Illinois Rt. 66 Main Street tour in west suburban Berwyn.  The first of 8 Main Street stops, Berwyn offers a wide selection of shops, restaurants, sites and events. Locally, Rt. 66 is also Ogden Avenue (Rt. 34).  Each year Berwyn hosts their annual Rt. 66 Car Show on Ogden Avenue.  The show is considered one of the largest in Illinois.    

Continue on your Rt. 66 “America’s Main Street” tour by traveling to the far southwest suburb of Plainfield. The town is located 40 miles from Chicago and accessible via I-55.

Plainfield is the only place in America where historic Rt. 66 and Rt. 30 (Lincoln Highway) join together and travel a short distance. Take a picture of the Historic Road Alignment sign on the southwest corner of Rt. 66/Rt.30 and Lockport Street.

From Plainfield travel south to the Main Street town of Dwight and stop in at the “Old Route 66 Family Restaurant” and enjoy large portions of food in a Rt. 66 themed setting. Take a picture of the restaurant’s Rt. 66 mural on the outside wall. Another good eating establishment with Rt. 66 roots is Feddersen’s Pizza Garage, located on the historic route just down from the family restaurant.

Feddersen’s was formerly an Oldsmobile car dealership during the late 1930’s. The main showroom of the dealership has been converted into the dining area. Enjoy old license plates displayed as décor inside the restaurant. If you saved enough room, try their pizza and chicken – delicious!

Continue down historic Rt. 66 into the Main Street town of Pontiac. Make sure you stop by the “Rt. 66 Museum and Hall of Fame”. Lt. Governor Pat Quinn visited the museum on his September tour to promote the historical significance and preservation of Rt. 66.

The museum provides Rt. 66 artifacts, pictures and literature capturing years of adventure on the old route. It contains hundreds of donated items spanning 78 years of nostalgia, including a local restaurant that donated historic photos of the original route.

The museum was built inside a refurbished firehouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The outside of the museum has two white garage doors reflecting the ambiance of the firehouse. Before you leave the museum make sure to pick-up a Rt. 66 souvenir and sign the guest book! For daily hours please call (815) 844-5847.

As you travel south on Rt. 66 from Pontiac, you’ll enter the Main Street town of Bloomington. Get out and stretch those legs at the McLean County Museum of History (200 North Main Street). Otherwise known as the old McLean County Courthouse, it depicts the lives of county residents and provides library and genealogy resources for the community. Just outside the museum you will find a sculpted statue of Abraham Lincoln. The statue was made for the city’s Sesquicentennial celebration in 2000.

Allow enough time to visit the David Davis Mansion which is a state historic site and offers a look at 19th Century lifestyles of the powerful and wealthy. At one time United States Supreme Court Justice David Davis lived at the mansion.

The next leg of your Rt. 66 journey takes you further south to the Main Street town of Lincoln. Cruise up to the “Tropics” restaurant on the corner of Woodlawn and Lincoln Parkway. The Tropics was a Rt. 66 staple during the 1950’s. The original restaurant sign still stands with its signature neon palm tree. Route 66 runs through historic downtown Lincoln but a spur route can take you through the west side of town.

A stop at the “Cozy Dog Drive-In” at the state capital and Main Street town of Springfield is required if you are traveling Rt. 66. Look for the towering Cozy Drive-In sign off 6th Street. The famous hot dog on a stick, commonly called a corn dog started here. Although the original Cozy Drive-In was torn down eight years ago, a new building went up next door on the grounds of the old Abe Lincoln Motel. There are many Rt. 66 photo albums for you to browse through at the Cozy so sit down, have a dog on a stick, and revel at the historic pictures!

The Rt. 66 Association of Illinois plans an annual tour each year – traveling down the historic route in Illinois and making stops at various towns. For additional information, log on to http://www.il66assoc.org.

Each year Springfield is the host of the “International Rt. 66 Mother Road Festival”. If you are planning a Rt. 66 tour the last weekend in September, make sure to visit the Mother Road Festival which includes a number of activities and events like the City Nights Parade, Route 66 Dance Party and Route 66 Authors & Expo. Their website is http://www.route66fest.com.

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Illinois Main Street Calendar


Danville  
07/25/2008 6:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m.
Summer Sounds Concert Series - Temple Plaza in Downtown Danville
Temple Plaza in Downtown Danville
Join us for the fifth of six concerts for the Downtown Danville Summer Sounds Concert Series. All concerts are free and open to the public. Beverages and food available for purchase. For more info, please visit www.summersounds.org and www.downtowndanville.org.
info@downtowndanville.org
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Woodstock  
07/25/2008 6:00 p.m.
Woodstock Sidewalk Sale Days - Throughout Woodstock
Throughout Woodstock
Shop throughout Woodstock for special sales and bargains.
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