Historic U.S. Route 66 in Springfield

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, 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.

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
Map showing the approximate location of Historic Route 66 including the city of Springfield, Missouri

The Birthplace of Route 66

The Birthplace of Route 66 sign in Springfield, Missouri The Birthplace of Route 66 sign in Springfield, Missouri

Springfield Route 66 Visitor Center

Springfield, Missouri, Route 66 Visitor Center, at 815 E. St. Louis Street
Route 66 Visitor Center in Springfield
Springfield, Missouri, Route 66 Visitor Center

"66" Hubcap Sculpture in Springfield, Missouri"66" Hubcap Sculpture in Springfield, Missouri

Red Corvette at the Springfield, Missouri, Route 66 Information  Center
Greetings from Springfield, Missouri mural


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.

Route 66 Exhibit at the History Museum on the Square in Springfield

History Museum on the Square
History Museum on the Square in Springfield, Missouri
Route 66 Exhibit at the Museum
Museum on the Square in Springfield, Missouri ... Route 66 Exhibit

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
The Historic Fox Theatre in Springfield, Missouri ... popular with all Route 66 travelers, like Marilyn!

 

 

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

Route 66 Car Museum Website

Sign at the Route 66 Car Museum in Springfield, Missouri
Exterior of the Route 66 Car Museum in Springfield, Missouri Antique car on display at  the Route 66 Car Museum in Springfield, Missouri

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.

Sign at the original Steak n Shake in Springfield, Missouri ... On Route 66 since 1962

Sign at the original Steak n Shake in Springfield, Missouri The original Steak n Shake, in Springfield, Missouri

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

Website of the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Springfield, Missouri Water tower at Uranus, Missouri on Route 66

 

Other Attractions in Springfield

The Route 66 Festival
The Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Missouri
Pythian Castle
Pythian Castle in Springfield, Missouri

 

Lodging, Dining and Attractions in Springfield

TripAdvisor

Springfield, Missouri Hotel Directory, Traveler Reviews and Reservations

Springfield, Missouri Restaurants

Springfield, Missouri Attractions and Things to Do

 

The Route66RoadTrip website has no connection with any of the hotels and motels listed ... they are provided as a starting point in your research and selection on where to stay on Route 66 on your next road trip.


Classic Lodging in Springfield

The Rail Haven Motel

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

website of the Rail Haven Motel at BW

The Best Western Rail Haven Motel in Springfield, Missouri, on Historic Route 66

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

website of the Rockwood Motor Court

Rockwood Motor Court in Springfield, Missouri

 

More Information and Resources about Springfield

Route 66 Visitor Center in Springfield

 

City of Springfield

 

Springfield-Branson National Airport

 

Springfield Art Museum

 

Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

 

Downtown Springfield

 

Dickerson Park Zoo

 

Historic C Street

Interactive Map of Springfield, Missouri

 

Earlier Times: Vintage Views along Route 66 in Springfield

Earlier times on Route 66 in Missouri: South Winds Motor Court in Springfield, Missouri

 

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
Baldridge Motor Court on U.S. Highway 66 in Springfield, Missouri
Rock Village Court
Rock Village Court, Highway 66, Springfield, Missouri
Sunshine Motor Courts
Sunshine Motor Courts in Springfield, Missouri
Harman's Southern Cottage
Harman's Southern Cottage in Springfield, Missouri
Lamplighter Motor Hotel
Lamplighter Motor Hotel in Springfield, Missouri
Manhattan Dinner House
Manhattan Dinner House in Springfield, Missouri
Colonial Motor Lodge
Colonial Motor Lodge and Colonial Dinner House in Springfield, Missouri
Hillbilly Court
Hillbilly  Court in Springfield, Missouri on West Hiway 66
New Haven Courts
New Haven Courts in Springfield, Missouri
Satellite Motel
Satellite Motel in Springfield, Missouri
Rest Haven Court
Rest Haven Court in Springfield, Missouri
Colonial Hotel
The Colonial Hotel in Springfield, Missouri

Continuing West
on the Next Route 66 Segment?

Route 66 Across Kansas

Route 66 Road Trip across Kansas
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