Beyond The First Hundred Miles: More Famous Photo-Ops Along Route 66 – Shaw Local

2022-09-10 03:39:29 By : Ms. fenglian Ao

The First Hundred Miles of Route 66 is just the start of a legendary road trip across the great state of Illinois. Join us as we explore some of the other famous photo ops, roadside relics and must-see attractions that await you farther along the Mother Road. Here we highlight some of the fun stops you’ll find between Springfield and Edwardsville.

The towering fiberglass statue greets visitors passing by Lauterbach Auto Service. Located just off the Mother Road in Springfield, the statue originally clutched an oversized muffler, but has since been modified to hold an American flag. The famous roadside attraction, one of the classic Muffler Men fiberglass titans, is similar in design to Wilmington’s retro-futuristic Gemini Giant. These molded fiberglass advertising giants, named after the mufflers the original statues held in their hands, have become a staple of Americana since their invention in the early 1960s by boatbuilder Steve Dashew and his International Fiberglass company. While thousands of these Goliath figures were scattered across the country, few Muffler Men remain. The Lauterbach Giant lost its head during a 2006 tornado, but was expertly repaired by the service station staff – ensuring the giant will be a fixture of Route 66 for years to come.

At Snell and South Curran roads, Auburn

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Auburn’s beautiful 1.4-mile-long stretch of restored, hand-laid brick road is one of the few destinations along the Mother Road where you can experience what travel was like in the 1930s. Originally completed in 1931, this stretch of road has been updated to lie on a concrete roadbed, making for a smoother – but characteristically bumpy – ride that simulates the early days of Route 66 travel. The can’t miss photo-op, set against beautiful rolling country hills, is about 20 minutes outside downtown Springfield.

Keeping the spirit of classic Route 66 roadside attractions alive, Henry’s Rabbit Ranch in Staunton is part gift shop, part folk art environment and completely devoted to celebrating the Mother Road and its history. Founded in the 1990s, the quirky stop offers highway and trucking memorabilia, a collection of VW Rabbit cars half buried in the dirt (a tribute to Amarillo, Texas’s iconic Cadillac Ranch) and dozens of real rabbits you can visit with. You’ll find a wide selection of Route 66 gifts and collectible items, along with some useful road trip planning and tourist material. Appointments are required to tour the Rabbit Ranch, so be sure to call 618-635-5655 in advance of your visit.

Housed in an old high school building, the Pink Elephant Antique Mall is packed floor to ceiling with unique finds from more than 50 eclectic antique dealers. Known for the eye-catching collections of roadside and throwback memorabilia, it includes a restored Uniroyal Gal statue (the female counterpart to the Muffler Men), a life-sized fiberglass elephant and one of the very few original 1960s Futuro “UFO” houses in the nation. Beyond all these fun photo-ops, you’ll find a full-service diner on site, serving up burgers, nachos, sandwiches and other refreshments. Next door, in a Twistee Treat-style building (novelty architecture shaped like an oversized ice cream cone), you’ll find plenty of delicious ice cream, candy and fudge offerings.

Hop in your car and experience the unmatched nostalgia of Route 66. The First One Hundred Miles of the iconic Mother Road is lined with throwback diners, fascinating museums and some of the most popular tourist spots along this acclaimed route. Head to and follow Route 66 - Illinois on Facebook to start planning your trip.

Copyright © 2022 Shaw Local News Network

Copyright © 2022 Shaw Local News Network