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Where to start in the great city of Chicago? The start of the Mother Road, the hub of the Midwest, and the third largest city in the country, Chicago is just teeming with activity and attractions for residents, frequent visitors, and first timers alike. Set on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, the Windy City features unmatched attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago, The Bean, and the famed Willis Tower.
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Explore the Shedd Aquarium and the Navy Pier, or check out the stunning Chicago Water Tower. Venture through Lincoln Park Zoo or Grant Park, or check out festivities like the Chicago Blues Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago, and the Chicago Marathon. Attention super fans! You obviously need to see Wrigley Field (MLB's Chicago Cubs), U.S. Cellular Field (MLB's White Sox.), Soldier Field (NFL's Chicago Bears), and United Center (NBA's Chicago Bulls). Once you’ve seen Chicago – or as much of it as you could – start your adventure down Route 66 with a photo of the "Begin Route 66 Sign" along East Adams Street.
As Illinois' fourth largest city, Joliet is a major stop along our tour of Route 66 in Illinois. Known as the City of Steel, City of Stone, and City of Champions, Joliet is also a city of attractions when it comes to Mother Road enthusiasts. Route 66 Welcome Center and the Route 66 Experience – a must for road trippers. ther attractions in Joliet include the iconic Rialto Square Theatre (former stomping grounds of Al Capone), the Louis Joliet Mall, and the Chicagoland Speedway or Route 66 Raceway – in case you want to watch someone else drive for a while. You can even see the Joliet Prison – film site of 1980's The Blues Brothers.
As we continue our tour of Route 66 in central Illinois, we come to the “Namesake City” of President Lincoln. Their big claim to fame? Lincoln was named for ole Honest Abe before he was even president! It's like they knew. Lincoln is a great for a road trip. Check out the Lincoln Park District, get a picture of the iconic Logan County Courthouse, and even visit the World's Largest Rail-splitter Covered Wagon – a must-see, classic, Route 66 photo op right in front of the Best Western Lincoln Inn.
Another participant of the annual Illinois Rt. 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival, Pontiac has been around since 1837, and was the film site for 1984's Grandview, U.S.A. Pontiac is a proud host of northern Illinois Route 66 attractions like the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum and the Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum & Resource Center – featuring exhibits like "Life in the 1940s" and the "Michael Campanelli Route 66 Photo Journey." Not only the "Home of President Abraham Lincoln" but also the capital of Illinois, Springfield practically showers its visitors in attractions – especially if you ride into town on Route 66. Book your stay today!
Read more about this historic road as it passes through the following states