Route 66 in Missouri
The late Nat King Cole sang it well, "get your kicks on Route
His words would become the catch phrase for motorists traveling back and forth between
Chicago and the Pacific Coast looking to experience the spirit of Route 66.
Established in 1926,
Route 66 covers 2,448 miles and eight states—Missouri claims more than 280 miles of the route.
Our journey begins in the “gateway to the West,” St. Louis, where the first stop takes
travelers to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge,
Route 66’s original Mississippi River crossing.
This mile-long bridge is open each weekend from April through November as a hiking and biking trail.
While in St. Louis travelers can also visit the famous Gateway Arch
, where they can take a ride to
the top for a panoramic view 630-feet high above the Mississippi.
Hungry? Travelers can stop for lunch at the Route 66 Café at the St. Louis Union Station.
Visitors can top off lunch with a “concrete” milkshake at
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
, a landmark custard stand along the original Route 66, and a St. Louis
institution since 1927.
After lunch, travelers can visit the Museum of Transportation where more than 300
vehicles are on display including locomotives, streetcars and of course, automobiles. While at the
museum, visitors can see a unit of the notorious Coral Court Motel
, a noted Route 66 art decolovers’
hideaway, which is being reconstructed at the museum.
Children will enjoy a visit to Purina Farms, where they can interact with farm animals in a
charming barnyard setting.
The grounds feature a Victorian-style “cattery” filled with purring felines
and demonstrations on sheep-shearing, cow milking and caring for household pets.
Just outside of St. Louis in Eureka, travelers will find the Route 66 State Park. The 409-
acre park includes picnic areas, trails and future access to the Meramec River. The park also features
exhibits, which chronicle the history of Route 66.
Travelers can also tour the Meramec Caverns
located in Stanton.
The famous, five-story high cavern has enticed visitors since 1933 and was also
the hideout of Jesse James.