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 media indicate a huge renovation after being empty for quite some time. On the south side of the diner is the Gemini Giant – a huge fibreglass astronaut and one of the 3 “brothers” of Route 66 in Illinois. If you’re travelling east to west he’ll be one of the first unique landmarks you’ll encounter driving Route 66.

Supporting the Launching Pad, one of the most iconic stops in the first leg of your east to west journey, is essential. Stop by, grab a bit to eat, and soak up the atmosphere - it's out of this world!


2 comments on “Launching Pad Drive-In & Gemini Giant, Wilmington”

  1. Gemini Giant is now gaurding an unused diner.. Sadly it seems tourist activity has dropped in recent years due to increasing gas prices. These small towns are hurting. I believe if it wasn't for Braidwood Nuclear facility these towns would disappear.

    1. That's sad. I've plan on taking each of our three kids on a Route 66 road trip during the summer following their 15th birthday. I have a few more years before the oldest is of age, and I wonder how many places will disappear before then...

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Steve Bellamy

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