To find the original “Historic 66 Begin” sign, travelers can head to the southern side of Adams Street and look west toward Wabash Avenue. The “End Historic Route 66” sign can be found at the intersection of Jackson and Michigan avenues.
There are 23 murals in Pontiac, including the Route 66 shield on the back of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum. Roadtrippers can grab a mural guide at the museum or follow the red painted footprints for a walking tour.
The Lauterbach Giant is a giant fiberglass statue towering over the parking lot of Lauterbach Auto Service in Springfield. The “muffler man” has been around since 1978. He used to hold a tire but now clutches an American flag. In 2006, his head had to be replaced when a tornado took it off.
The Chain of Rocks Bridge, constructed in 1929, sits 60 feet above the Mississippi River and links Madison with St. Louis. The mile-long historic structure is popular with motorists and cyclists. The bridge got its name from a 17-mile series of rocky rapids called the Chain of Rocks that made the river difficult to navigate.
World’s Largest Catsup Bottle (Collinsville, Illinois)
Drivers can find the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle a little south of downtown Collinsville. The 170-foot-tall historic water tower was completed in 1949 for the Brooks Foods plant, which is no longer open. If it didn’t have water in it, it could hold 640,000 bottles worth of catsup (or ketchup, as the tomato-based condiment is commonly called today).
Drivers will have to get out of their car to fully enjoy the fuzzy friends at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, though appointments are necessary to get a complete tour. Visitors can also get a glimpse of VW Rabbits and pick up some Route 66 gifts and memorabilia.