Tour! Springfield, Missouri is the birthplace of Route 66 – Life-style – Aurora Advertiser – Aurora, MO
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We’ve all heard of historic Route 66, which stretches from Chicago to Santa Monica, California. The street opened on November 11, 1926 and offers today’s travelers a fun and interesting journey through time.
We pick a place to spend some time on Route 66 and head to Springfield, Missouri, where the Motel Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven (Elvis slept here) and “the birthplace of Route 66” is: A telegram was sent from the Colonial Hotel in 1926 stating that the street would be called Route 66. The hotel is no longer there, but there is a marker on the spot.
In Springfield, Route 66 travelers will find many historic, unique, and scenic spots along the freeway. The best place to start your trip is at the Springfield Visitor Center and learn about the many activities and attractions. It’s well marked with a large Route 66 sign on East St. Louis Street, the old Route 66.
One of the most famous places is the Route 66 Rail Haven Motel. It opened in 1938 and continues to offer visitors a warm welcome and a unique stay. This is where Elvis Presley spent the night after a performance at another historic landmark, the Shrine Mosque. The motel is a real step into the past: I entered the Elvis room and immediately felt the atmosphere. From the pink Cadillac bed to the hot tub and memorabilia, it was reminiscent of the king. The motel also has a “Wild Bill” Hickock room. He was involved in a shootout in the town square. The room features memorabilia and a Wild West theme with velvet upholstered chairs and a copper tub.
The classic Route 66 motel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and not just because Elvis slept there. The motel has vintage cars, gas pumps, and other Route 66-themed items.
I found it clean and safe and they followed all COVID-19 protocols. Ask the front desk for a list of things to do along Route 66 as there is a good one.
The Gillioz Theater in Park Central Square is also on the list of historic places. It’s a Spanish-style theater that Route 66 travelers often stopped at.
The history museum is also on Route 66. I really enjoyed this unique museum showing the history of Route 66. Try to overtake Wild Bill Hickok, learn what it was like during the Civil War, or ride the trolley time machine. The interactive displays and other items throughout the museum make it very kid-friendly and fun for all ages. I found COVID-19 logs in place.
In Park Central Square to the right of the fountain, visitors can find information about the official birthplace of US Highway 66. On the southeast corner is a marker where Wild Bill was shot in 1865 for a gambling guilt.
Reds Giant Hamburg has a 66-year history. It opened shortly after World War II and is said to be the first drive-through restaurant in the United States. It closed in 1984, but the classic 1950s diner made a comeback in 2019. This Reds is in a different location, but along Route 66, greasy hamburger seekers will find the original sign and information about the popular Springfield Burger and Fry Place.
These items are just a sample of what to do along Route 66 in Springfield. You can also visit the Calaboose Old Town Jail, the Rock Fountain Court Historic District, and the Route 66 Car Museum.
Your adventures may not be the same as in the 1960-64 TV crime drama Route 66, but a day or two or more will have a fun adventure for you.
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