Skip to main content
Header image

Route 66 - Central Missouri

107.3 miles: 2 hours, 57 minutes

Missouri license plates bear the apt nickname the “Show Me State” on this stretch of Route 66, which cuts through the heart of the Ozarks. Pretty natural scenery—rock bluffs, streams and lush valleys—is interrupted by small towns with hard-to-forget names like Bourbon and Cuba. Mom-and-pop motor courts and other vintage sites lure motorists off the historic Mother Road.



St. Robert to Rolla

28.3 miles: 0 hours, 45 minutes

An engineering triumph in its day, a 94-foot-deep cut in Hooker Hill resulted in a new four-lane section of Route 66 in 1942. Sadly, the realignment bypassed the Devil’s Elbow area, named after a perilous curve in the Big Piney River. Take a detour for breathtaking scenic views and timeworn landmarks, then continue eastward through a portion of Mark Twain National Forest.


Rolla to Sullivan

56.1 miles: 1 hours, 32 minutes

Courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism

Departing Rolla, you’ll skirt the eastern edge of Missouri University of Science and Technology, attended by nearly 9,000 students. The next community down the line, St. James, shelters several wineries. Cuba, about midway between Rolla and Sullivan, boasts 12 murals; viewable from the road, they depict larger-than-life subjects like Amelia Earhart and Bette Davis.


Sullivan to St. Clair

22.9 miles: 0 hours, 40 minutes


Stop and enjoy such recreational activities as canoeing and fishing or “get your kicks” at campy attractions highlighting Missouri’s most famous gunslinger, Jesse James. Formerly motels, aging buildings from Route 66’s heyday dot the tract as you approach St. Clair. Once there, snap a pic of the city's twin water towers stamped with the gag labels “Hot” and “Cold.”

Recommended Stops


Travel Like an Expert with AAA and Trip Canvas

Get Ideas from the Pros

As one of the largest travel agencies in North America, we have a wealth of recommendations to share! Browse our articles and videos for inspiration, or dive right in with preplanned AAA Road Trips, cruises and vacation tours.

Build and Research Your Options

Save and organize every aspect of your trip including cruises, hotels, activities, transportation and more. Book hotels confidently using our AAA Diamond Designations and verified reviews.

Book Everything in One Place

From cruises to day tours, buy all parts of your vacation in one transaction, or work with our nationwide network of AAA Travel Agents to secure the trip of your dreams!