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Experience Route 66 in Missouri with Best Western® Hotels & Resorts!
Known famously as the "Birthplace of Route 66", Springfield is the second largest city on your Historic Route 66 Missouri journey, and features a wealth of must-see attractions as well.
Approaching downtown Springfield via Route 66, you pass the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque and then the Gillioz Theatre. Built in 1926, the Gillioz has a seating capacity of 1,130 and still plays movies and plays with local talent. The Mosque is a building of handsome arabesque design along Route 66 in downtown Springfield and is owned by the Shriners.
The downtown square in Springfield, which Route 66 frames, holds a number of restaurants, offices, and bars. Not to mention, it was also the site of the Davis Tutt-Wild Bill Hickok shootout in 1865.
As you cross the mighty Mississippi River on Interstate 270 into eastern Missouri, you have two true Route 66 options – to go through St. Louis or around it.
Founded in 1764, St. Louis is the 16th largest city in the nation, and must-see stop along your Route 66 journey. Known as the Gateway to the West, the Lou is a great place for brewery tours at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery – brew-spot of world-famous Budweiser Beer, and sight-seeing adventures around Forest Park.
It's quite the sports town, too, featuring pro teams like the NHL's St. Louis Blues, and venues like the Gateway International Raceway across the river in Madison, Illinois. The Blues play at the Scottrade Center while larger sporting events are hosted at the Edward Jones Dome.
Even with all the excitement taking place throughout the year, its baseball that envelops the city's sporting affections most of all. In fact, the residents of St. Louis pride themselves on being some of the best fans in baseball in the world, as they cheer on the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium each and every summer.
In Joplin, Route 66 is known as Madison Street until it eventually becomes Range Line Road. The original Route 66 turns west at 7th Street and heads into downtown Joplin.
If you're ready for a bite to eat, check any number of nearby Joplin eateries on 7th St. Sultan of Smoke, for instance, was voted the best BBQ restaurant on Route 66 in a recent poll. Not far from there, 66 Sports Bar & Restaurant scores points with both locals and travelers.
Joplin's west side features Schifferdecker Park, first established as Electric Park back in 1909. By the 1950s, a full-on amusement park was operating at Schifferdecker Park, complete with a merry-go-round, train rides and a Ferris wheel. Today, those rides are long gone but the park remains a major attraction.
Rolla, pronounced "RAWL-uh", is a fun-filled college town and the next stop along your Route 66 journey through eastern Missouri.
As you roll into Rolla, take note of the Missouri University of Science & Technology, perhaps the town's most well-known attraction, right along U.S. Highway 63. Moreover, the railroad (traditionally known by its colloquial name, the "Frisco"), today's I-44, and of course Historic Route 66, all help to make Rolla a center for transportation, as well as science and technology.
Right along Route 66, which couples with U.S. Highway 63 throughout town, you'll notice a circular shaped series of granite stones. You may also notice it looks like a mini Stonehenge – and that's just what it is. The sun dances through it each day, with the angles helping the sunlight to hit the stones like a sundial.
Experience the scenic side of Rolla at the Mark Twain National Forest, easily accessed from Rolla along Route 66. It's the only national forest in Missouri, offering hundreds of miles of streams, trails, and other wilderness areas.
Read more about this historic road as it passes through the following states