If you’re looking for a fun escape and a unique getaway, look no further than The First Hundred Miles of Route 66 in Illinois. Stretching from the suburbs of Chicago to Pontiac, this part of the Prairie State offers a unique way to experience a piece of our country’s history!
Take a ride on Route 66! Perhaps one of the most recognizable roads in the world, this road originates in Illinois and has been around since 1926. Travelers will want to be sure to make a stop in Romeoville where you can see a storied section of the road and perhaps dine at White Fence Farm, a family-owned restaurant and a local icon since the 1920s.
There are dozens of great restaurants on the first 100 miles of Route 66, so you will need to make sure to leave ample time for frequent pit stops and taste tests! Fan favorites include Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, located in Willowbrook, which has been serving up its famous chicken since 1946.
For a sweet treat, try Rich & Creamy, an ice cream shop that is truly a blast from the past, reminiscent of the many similar establishments that used to dot Route 66. An adjoining park, Route 66 Park, displays a number of public works of art celebrating Joliet’s rich arts and culture scene.
In Joliet, MyGrain Brewing Company honors the people that built the historic town many years ago and is a kid-friendly restaurant just a few blocks from the Des Plaines River. Joliet is also the home to must see stops, The Old Joliet Prison (filming location of The Blues Brothers and Prison Break) and the historic Rialto Square Theatre (filming location of Empire and The Big Leap), which was also established in 1926.
There is also the iconic Launching Pad restaurant in Wilmington, a modern interpretation of the original restaurant which opened in the 1950s, complete with a larger-than-life figure that sits outside known as the Gemini Giant, which is the perfect photo opportunity.
For a true taste of nostalgia, you must not miss the Polk-A-Dot Drive-In located in Braidwood. This 1950s style diner will delight the whole crew, with a slew of outdoor statues by the parking lot resembling movie stars and celebrities like Elvis Presley and Betty Boop – not to mention the delicious burgers and shakes.
The Old Log Cabin in Pontiac is another well-known restaurant serving up three meals a day. If you stop by, be sure to try the pies that are made from scratch, you will not be sorry! Sticking with the tradition of many family-owned restaurants on the Route, Old Route 66 Family Restaurant in Dwight offers home-cooked meals from recipes that have been passed down for generations.
For a true taste of a simpler time, a trip to down Route 66 and the Heritage Corridor will not disappoint. From great food to roadside attractions and sites, the entire family is sure to be entertained.