In this section you'll find the various recommendations made by members of the Driving Route 66 community.

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Route 66 Hotel and Conference Centre, Springfield

Route 66 Hotel and Conference Centre, Springfield

Upon arrival at the Route 66 Hotel the first thing that strikes you is the beautiful neon and wonderfully decorated lobby. There’s no chance that you’ll ever forget you’re in a Route 66 motel as the walls are plastered with all manner of memorabilia and artwork! The hotel was actually the first Holiday Inn on… Read More

CarlinVilla Motel, Carlinville

CarlinVilla Motel, Carlinville

If you’re looking for a motel that’s clean, homely and doesn’t cost the earth, then this is the place for you. Spend the day cruising up one alignment of Route 66 and then u-turn to come back down another to the CarlinVilla Motel. Located in a quiet area the CarlinVilla will give you a chance… Read More

Homestyle Inn & Suites, Springfield

Homestyle Inn & Suites, Springfield

The Homestyle Inn & Suites is a reasonably priced motel situated just a few blocks from the State Capital building and Lincoln Library. The main draw to this hotel was the price and location; inexpensive and central to downtown. It’s ideally located if you want to make an early start to check out Lincoln’s home and… Read More

Inn at Lincoln Park, Chicago

Inn at Lincoln Park, Chicago

If you’re looking for somewhere to rest your head before embarking on your road trip then you could do far worse than The Inn at Lincoln Park. It’s a cosy hotel just a short bus/taxi ride from the center of Chicago and is a great location for a spot of sightseeing. The front desk is… Read More

Smiley face water tower, Atlanta

Smiley face water tower, Atlanta

Atlanta, Illinois, is home to one of the happiest sights you could hope to pass on your Route 66 roadtrip – the smiley face water tower – one of the largest smiley faces you’ll ever see! Back in 2003 the town of Atlanta turned 150 years old, and as part of the 150th birthday celebration… Read More

The Joliet Route 66 Diner, Illinois

The Joliet Route 66 Diner, Illinois

The Joliet Route 66 Diner is a great retro diner featuring wall signs from the 50’s and 60’s, offering a traditional diner breakfast and lunch menu. Located within walking distance of the Joliet Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, the diner boasts a wide range of dishes including Mexican, crab, Florentine or country Benedicts for… Read More

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, Willowbrook

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, Willowbrook

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, Illinois, started life as a simple sandwich counter in a gas station on Route 66. In 1946, following the purchase of the building next door, it was up-scaled to it’s current form and has been boasting excellent food and service to Route 66 travelers ever since. This iconic restaurant… Read More

Drury Inn & Suites, Springfield

Drury Inn & Suites, Springfield

The Drury Inn & Suites in Springfield, Illinois, is not your traditional Route 66 accommodation by any means, but this hotel comes highly rated and provides weary travelers with many creature comforts. Although slightly further outside the downtown area than other hotels, this hotel offers a pool and hot-tub, free internet access, free breakfast, and free… Read More

Lou Mitchell’s, Chicago, Illinois

Lou Mitchell’s, Chicago, Illinois

Lou Mitchell’s restaurant has earned it’s nickname “the first stop on the Mother Road” due it’s huge popularity with Route 66 roadies. Many folks stop at Lou Mitchell’s for a good breakfast and a caffeine injection prior to heading off on their Route 66 adventure. The restaurant is known for it’s quality food and generous… Read More

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, Staunton, Illinois

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, Staunton, Illinois

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is a Route 66 tourist centre that is based in a replica old gas station with rusted pumps all around, surrounded by dozens of Volkswagen Rabbits in various states of dilapidation. When you enter the centre you find about a dozen rabbits – of the live kind – living amid the Route 66… Read More

The Ariston Café, Litchfield, Illinois

The Ariston Café, Litchfield, Illinois

The Ariston Café was founded by Pete Adam, a Greek immigrant, in 1924 and has now been placed on the National Registry of Historic places. The Ariston Café is believed to be the oldest café on Route 66 and holds a spot in the Route 66 Hall of Fame. A family-run restaurant, the staff are friendly and genuinely interested in… Read More

The Vrooman Mansion, Illinois

The Vrooman Mansion, Illinois

The Vrooman Mansion is a bed & breakfast inn, located in the heart of Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. “We stayed in this B&B for our first overnight stopover on the recommendation of a friend, and we were not disappointed. It was old, quaint and absolutely stunning.” “The owners, Dana & Pam, have put a lot of love… Read More

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier is a 1000m-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It’s attractions include sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, an IMAX theatre, restaurants, shops and fairground rides such as 150-foot-tall Ferris Wheel. The pier has fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday nights during the summer, and Friday and Saturday nights during the fall. www.navypier.com   Read More

360 Chicago, Chicago

360 Chicago, Chicago

360 Chicago (formerly The John Hancock Observatory) is a 100-floor (344m) skyscraper in the commercial district of Chicago. 360 Chicago’s 94th floor observation deck displays exhibits about the city of Chicago while maps explain the view in each direction. A special meshed-in area allows visitors to feel the winds 1,030 feet (314m) above ground level.… Read More

Launching Pad Drive-In & Gemini Giant, Wilmington

Launching Pad Drive-In & Gemini Giant, Wilmington

Situated in the small town of Wilmington, the launching Pad Drive-In has been feeding Route 66 travelers since it first opened it’s doors in 1960. The colourful interior has had a recent makeover courtesy of new owners Tully and Holly and makes the diner an inviting stop between Chicago and Springfield. Recent posts on social… Read More

Odell Station, Odell

Odell Station, Odell

This Standard Oil gas station opened in 1932 and stopped serving gas in the mid 1960’s. Subsequently a body shop it finally closed it’s doors in 1975. It’s since been lovingly restored by the Illinois Route 66 Association and their Preservation Committee, and is now staffed by volunteers happy to welcome Route 66 travellers. It… Read More

Bunyon Giant, Atlanta

Bunyon Giant, Atlanta

The second of the Illinois “brothers”, the Bunyon giant – like the Gemini Giant before him – was also one of the original “muffler men” used to promote auto service. These days the Bunyon Giant has swapped his exhaust for a huge hot-dog as for many years he stood outside “Bunyon’s” restaurant in Cicero, Illinois. In 2003,… Read More

Abraham Lincoln’s Home, Springfield

Abraham Lincoln’s Home, Springfield

The house, purchased by Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln in 1844, was the only home that Lincoln ever owned. Located at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets, the house contains twelve rooms spread over two floors. During the time he lived here, Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846,… Read More

Lincoln’s Tomb, Springfield

Lincoln’s Tomb, Springfield

Lincoln’s tomb is situated in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield. In 1960 the Tomb was designated a National Historic Landmark and automatically featured on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior consists of highly polished marble trimmed with bronze and features statues and excerpts from Lincoln’s most memorable speeches. The 117 foot tomb is… Read More

Illinois State Capitol building, Springfield

Illinois State Capitol building, Springfield

Springfield is a pilgrimage site for anyone wanting to celebrate the life of Abraham Lincoln. Aside from the location of his home and tomb Springfield is also the site of the State Capitol building with no small thanks to Abraham Lincoln. It’s a beautiful  building found in the heart of Springfield; entry to the state… Read More

Lauterbach Giant, Springfield

Lauterbach Giant, Springfield

This gent is the last of the three Illinois “brothers” and sits proudly at the entrance to the Lauterbach’s Tire and Auto Service on the north side of Wabash Street. In 2006 he was sadly decapitated by a twister but thankfully now, due to some macabre bolts in his chest, stands proud once more!   Read More

Cozy Dog Drive-In, Springfield

Cozy Dog Drive-In, Springfield

The Cozy Dog Drive-In is the home of the one and only “Cozy Dog.” The Cozy Dog is a delicious hot dog on a stick that is found nation-wide at many county and state fairs and is a speciality of this Drive-In. The restaurant features Route 66 memorabilia and it also features a gift shop… Read More

Country Classic Cars, Staunton

Country Classic Cars, Staunton

Country Classic Cars started as a weekend hobby for a Midwest farmer. When a piece of land along Interstate 55, just off the path of Historic Route 66, became available, Country Classic Cars acquired the land for not only a large display of classic cars and trucks, but also a garage/service area, inside showroom, and… Read More

Becky’s Barn, Auburn

Becky’s Barn, Auburn

Located on the only brick Route 66 alignment in Illinois, Becky’s Barn sells antiques as well as vintage merchandise. They also carry Route 66 Soda, Amish jams & jellies, Rat Fink & Route 66 collectibles, and a small collection of road signs. Their snack shop and information centre offers weary travellers a place to rest… Read More

Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac

Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac

“A few years back I was at a family get together in Pontiac. I was amazed to see at the Route 66 museum there is a huge route 66 painting on the back wall. One of the things where you park your car, family, etc… for a good photo opportunity. The museum has a ton… Read More

HI Chicago Summer Hostel, Chicago

HI Chicago Summer Hostel, Chicago

A cheap and cheerful way of seeing Chicago prior to undertaking Route 66, this hostel is situated in the heart of downtown Chicago. “This is probably one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in – clean, friendly, good atmosphere and awesome location. I’d recommend it over the other Chicago Hostels – it’s a little more pricey but… Read More

The State House Inn, Springfield

The State House Inn, Springfield

A very popular downtown hotel. “We took a three week trip to the US: New York to Chicago followed by a road trip along part of Route 66, up the Mississippi and back to Chicago.” “The State House felt new but is furnished with 60’s style tables and chairs – very apt for the Route… Read More