other great Route 66 Stops

Relive the heyday of Route 66 as you journey down Missouri's 280-mile stretch of the Mother Road, now Interstate 44. From St. Louis to Joplin, experience a genuine slice of Americana with stops at vintage cafes, historic motels and quirky roadside attractions.

Begin in St. Louis where Route 66 landmarks will give you a chance to cross the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, indulge in a sinfully delicious frozen concrete at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard Stand, and step back in time at the Museum of Transportation.

Next, head west through Pacific and Gray Summit on the way to Stanton, home of the world famous Meramec Caverns. Opened in 1935 by Lester Dill, the "creator" of the bumper sticker, Meramec Caverns became the best-known tourist attraction on Route 66 during the 50s and 60s. Meramec Caverns signs along Route 66 were almost as numerous as the old Burma-Shave signs.

Travel through Bourbon to Cuba and visit the Wagon Wheel Motel, a classic Route 66 landmark that began as the Wagon Wheel Cabins in 1934.

Take in the town of St. James and stop for lunch at Johnnie's Bar, a cafe turned bus terminal turned dining establishment. Continue through the college town of Rolla, then to Hooker, home of the Hooker Cut, the deepest rock cut along Route 66 and a favorite photo for postcards in the 1940s.

Stop at Devil's Elbow, home to the Big Piney River and its scenic bluffs, Sheldon's Market (which doubles as the Devil's Elbow Post Office), The Elbow Inn and BBQ Pit, (which originally opened in 1929), and last but not least, the old 1923 steel truss bridge across the river. Visit St. Robert and Fort Leonard Wood while you are in the area.

Lebanon attracts Route 66 aficionados from all over looking for traces of the original roadbed and is home to the Munger Moss Motel. There since 1946, its famous neon sign still beckons weary motorists. Lebanon also boasts Wrink's Market, where Glenn Wrinkle has been greeting guests for more than 50 years.

Springfield is home to a vintage collection of original Route 66 motels like the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven and the Kentwood Arms Hotel. Many Springfield sites such as the restored Gillioz Theatre and Landers Theatre are on the National Register of Historic Places.

The historic town of Carthage is the next stop. One of the first concrete-paved portions of Missouri's highway system was the stretch of road just west of Carthage laid in 1920. Along the roadway today you will find the 1939 Boots Motel, which once welcomed Clark Gable as a guest. While in Carthage, take in a flick at the meticulously restored 66 Drive-In Theatre.

Continue to Webb City and be sure to stop by the Bradbury Bishop Deli - a '40s/'50s style deli, just a block off old Route 66 that still hosts cruise nights each month during spring and summer.

On your way through Joplin, stop at the Joplin Museum Complex which features a Route 66 display and tells the story of Joplin's history.

So pack your Brylcreem, your stretch pants and your travel size License Plate Bingo Game and get ready for a swell time as you hit the open road on America's most famous highway.

Reprinted with Permission by the Missouri Division of Tourism - VisitMo.com

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© Jesse James Wax Museum
© Jesse James Wax Museum
© Jesse James Wax Museum
© Jesse James Wax Museum

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Jesse James Wax Museum
I-44 - Exit 230
Stanton, MO 63079
(573) 927-5233
E-mail: info@jessejameswaxmuseum.com
Jesse James Wax Museum.
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