|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, with several visits to Springfield.
Springfield’s emergence as the Birthplace of Route 66 began in the 1920s when the federal government first mandated the construction of a national highway system. A placard on the east side of Park Central Square commemorates Springfield’s subsequent 1992 designation as the official birthplace of Route 66.
One of the first stops to make in Springfield for any Route 66 fan is the Route 66 Visitor Center, a primary source of information for any Mother Road adventurer. The center offers maps, driving directions and regional highlights that help visitors discover the top things to see and do in the Springfield area and some historical tidbits. Opened in Springfield just north of Route 66 on North Mulroy Road in December of 2023 is the first Buc-ee's in Missouri.
One of the last remaining original stretches of Route 66 is at Glenstone Avenue and Kearney Street. Now the site of a Route 66-themed Kum & Go Fresh Market, the paved road is still accessible to motorists.
| Approximate location of Historic Route 66 showing the location of Springfield, Missouri
Click the map for an interactive version
The Birthplace of Route 66
|This website has no affiliation or connection with the listed hotel properties. Listings from TripAdvisor are provided as a starting point in your hotel research. It is always recommended that travelers do their own research and make informed decisions about the hotels they book.
Classic Lodging in Springfield
Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven
Themed rooms celebrate the history of this Route 66 motel with nostalgic decor. Eight original sandstone cottages were built in 1938, 12 years after Route 66 was established in Springfield. Today, Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven features updated accommodations that honor the past while pampering travelers with modern amenities. Guest rooms feature free high-speed Internet, cable TVs, DVD players, coffee makers, refrigerators and microwaves.
203 S Glenstone Avenue ... Phone 417.866.1963
Rockwood Motor Court
In 1929, Rockwood Court was built on Route 66 and Deverne Ruckman began operating it as a tourist camp. All six cabins, as well as the filling station, café, and remaining single car garage, are original to the property.
Today, the property remains in operation and further restoration. The gas station will take on the look of a filling station again and become the tenth overnight rental unit with a gas station theme.
2200 W College Street ... Phone 417.827.2992
Springfield Route 66 Visitor Center
Springfield, Missouri, Route 66 Visitor Center, at 815 E. St. Louis Street
"66" Hubcap Sculpture in Springfield, Missouri
Museum on the Square in Springfield
With one of the largest Route 66 timelines and maps in the country, this gallery is a must-see for any Americana enthusiast.
Hop into the turquoise blue '57 Chevy Bel Air convertible at the John T. Woodruff Theater and learn about the Springfieldian who helped give Route 66 its name.
The History Museum on the Square is located at 154 Park Central Square on Historic U.S. Route 66 in the heart of downtown Springfield, Missouri.
Historic Fox Theatre
The Historic Fox Theatre in Springfield ... popular with ALL Route 66 visitors ... like this one!
Located at 157 Park Central Square ... read more at the Historic Fox Theatre website
Route 66 Car Museum
Route 66 Car Museum in Springfield is dedicated to showcasing and preserving some of the most quintessential and beautiful automobiles in history.
The museum is open 9 to 5 every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving. It takes anywhere from one to two hours to tour the museum with over 70 cars in its collection. It is located at 1634 W College St, Springfield, MO 65806
Chef Muffler Man
This 25-foot tall "Muffler Man" carries a spatula and meat fork, and wears a chef's hat.
Located at the Route 66 Food Truck Park, 1530 E St Louis Street in Springfield
The Original Steak n Shake
The original Steak n Shake was built in 1962 in Springfield and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. It is located at 1158 E. St. Louis Street in Springfield.
The Original Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, got his start in 1972 by selling fishing tackle out of the back of his father’s store in Springfield. Johnny pioneered the concept of destination retail and created an outdoor gear enterprise that is one of the most beloved and well-recognized brands in North America. Today, Bass Pro Shops has nearly 200 retail stores and marine centers across North America.
The shops in Springfield contain almost 500,000 square feet dedicated to the beauty of the outdoors. Waterfalls, aquariums, firing range, TRACKER® boat showroom, Hemingway’s Blue Water Café and more. Shop from a large selection of outdoor gear and visit the Museum and Archery Hall of Fame.
Visit the store at 1935 S. Campbell Avenue, Springfield, MO 65807
|The Route 66 Festival
More Information and Resources about Springfield
We have included below a sampling of our collection of vintage travel postcards dealing with Springfield and Route 66.
What was Route 66 like in its earlier years, as visitors drove through and around Springfield? 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 Springfield.
|Baldridge Motor Court
|Rock Village Court
|Sunshine Motor Courts
|Harman's Southern Cottage
|Lamplighter Motor Hotel
|Manhattan Dinner House
|Colonial Motor Lodge
|New Haven Courts
|Rest Haven Court