Historic U.S. Route 66 in Lebanon

Greetings from scenic Missouri on Route 66

"The Mother Road" was established on November 11, 1926, and ultimately stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Starting in Chicago, westbound travelers traversed a series of towns in Illinois before arriving in St. Louis.

Heading westbound in Missouri, the route traveled through these cites and towns:

Historic U.S. Route 66 Byway in Missouri
Historic U.S. Route 66 Byway in Missouri

Route 66 across Missouri stretched 317 miles and connected a variety of large cities and small towns, traversing rolling hills and valleys.

The Mother Road followed much of the Kickapoo, or Osage, Trail, an Indian trail that later became the Old Wire Road.

Like other Route 66 segments, the actual alignment varied over the years as engineering improvements were constructed.

We've driven much of Route 66, including multiple segments across Missouri, and visits to Lebanon.

Lebanon Missouri Background

A popular stop on Route 66 today is the town of Lebanon, situated roughly half-way between St. Louis and Joplin. It features numerous Route 66 attractions and other things to do, and offers a large variety of overnight lodging options for travelers. It is county seat of Laclede County.

Founded on the site of the Wyota Indian village, Lebanon began developing around the time Laclede County was established in 1849.

In the late 1920s, Route 66 was born and followed that same path the Indians had marked, running through Lebanon’s south side. Archways proclaiming “Lebanon – Drive In – Our Town, Your Town” were placed over roads leading into town off of the Mother Road.

Route 66 served Lebanon and Laclede County from 1926 until December 4, 1957. Now I-44 follows roughly the same path as Route 66.

Lebanon Missouri Today

Today Lebanon is an energetic, thriving town of over 14,000 residents. Lebanon has continued to thrive as a small community, catering to travelers along the edge of the Ozarks. A number of these travelers come to the area because of Lebanon’s storied connection with Route 66 and its proximity to Bennett Spring State Park.

In addition to Route 66 attractions such as the Route 66 Museum, a number of other places are popular with residents and visitors, including these:

  • Atchley Park
  • Fallen Warriors & American Veterans Memorial
  • Themed after the route in which it's located on, Boswell Park is home to 3 larger than life murals depicting facts and historical details about Laclede County's section of the Mother Road. 
  • Boswell Park Aquatic Center
  • Gunter Farms
  • Ozark Visions
  • Bennett Spring State Park Hatchery & Nature Center

Map showing the approximate location of Lebanon on Historic Route 66 in Missouri
Map showing the approximate location of Lebanon on Historic Route 66 in Missouri

Laclede County Missouri ... surrounding Lebanon
Laclede County Missouri ... surrounding Lebanon on Historic Route 66

Route 66 Museum in Lebanon

Shown here is the Route 66 Museum located in the Laclede County Library in Lebanon, Missouri. The museum features a large-scale display of an old Texaco gas station as well as displays of vintage motel rooms and diners.

It also features a large display of Route 66 maps and collectibles. Admission is free to the museum, located at 915 S. Jefferson Avenue.
Route 66 Museum in Lebanon
Route 66 Museum and Library in Lebanon, Missouri

Texaco gas station display inside the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon
Texaco gas station display inside the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon, Missouri

Read about other attractions and things to do at the Visit Lebanon Website

Sign at the famous Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon
Directional sign at the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri
Neon at night at the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon
Neon sign at the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri

Route 66 mural with a 1957 Chevrolet, in Lebanon, Missouri ... "Drive our town"
Route 66 mural with a 1957 Chevrolet, in Lebanon, Missouri ... "Drive our town"

Lodging Options in Lebanon


Lebanon offers Route 66 travelers a wide variety of lodging options including Hampton Inn, Munger Moss Motel, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Super 8 and others ...

Lebanon, Missouri hotels, traveler reviews and reservations

Listing and reviews of over 45 restaurants in Lebanon

Attractions and things to do in Lebanon

Travel Guide for Lebanon


More Information and Resources about Lebanon


Visit Lebanon Missouri - Official Tourism Website


City of Lebanon


Lebanon Chamber of Commerce


Weather Conditions at Lebanon: Weather Underground


Route 66 Association of Missouri


Interactive Map of Lebanon, Missouri

Earlier Times: Vintage Views along Route 66 in Lebanon

Earlier times on Route 66: Rock Court Motel in Lebanon, Missouri


We have included below a sampling of our collection of vintage travel postcards dealing with Lebanon and Route 66.

What was Route 66 like in its earlier years, as visitors drove around and through Lebanon? What did all the service stations, motels and public buildings look like when they were new?

What did the traveling public experience on the Mother Road? We wonder such things when we travel Route 66 today.

Those earlier times in the 1930s, 40s and 50s were not always captured on film. But the use of colorful postcards was common in those decades.

These portray the historic road in its prime and help us to visualize, and appreciate, "earlier times" as we drive Route 66 today around Lebanon.

Nelson Tavern
Nelson Tavern in Lebanon, Missouri
Nelson Hotel
The Nelson Hotel in Lebanon, Missouri
Forest Manor Motel
Forest Manor Motel in Lebanon, Missouri
Union Bus Depot
Union Bus Depot in Lebanon, Missouri
Munger Moss Motel
Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri
Nelson Dream Village
Nelson Dream Village in Lebanon, Missouri
US Route 66 Bridge
US Route 66 Bridge over the Gasconade River between Lebanon and Waynesville, Missouri
Cloverleaf Motel
Cloverleaf Motel in Lebanon, Missouri
Satellite Cafe
Satellite Cafe in Lebanon, Missouri

Driving more
of Route 66 in Missouri?

From St. Louis to Joplin Across Missouri

Route 66 Road Trip across Missouri from St. Louis to Joplin