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Route 66 - Northern Illinois

Road Trip

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flickr/Larry Myhre
145.2 miles: 4 hours, 3 minutes
You may hear the rumble of high-speed traffic running parallel on Interstate 55, but what will strike you most as you drive along nostalgic Route 66 in northern Illinois is its pulse that remains on the Mother Road. Maybe it’s because this is the segment of the road that was paved from end to end—or that its fans created a project to highlight the road’s history.
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Drive trips stop
Bloomington to Wilmington
83.2 miles: 1 hours, 57 minutes
As you leave Bloomington on the flat, two-lane road dotted with occasional farmhouses, you’ll pass towns like Towanda, which still hosts an annual Boy Scout pancake breakfast. Stop at “Wayside Exhibits” and “Experience Hubs” that can be found in Bloomington, Wilmington and the towns of Pontiac and Dwight to learn more about the stories behind the road.
Drive trips stop
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Wilmington to Chicago
62.0 miles: 2 hours, 5 minutes
You’ll soon start to leave the rural towns behind and break into suburban Chicagoland. Though the road is often marked SR 53, attractions like the Route 66 Raceway remind you of the road’s origin. By now, the two-lane thoroughfare has become a divided highway, and before you know it, greenways give way to the train yard near Ogden Avenue and the busy city.