Some people call it "the Mother Road" or "America's Main Street." It is the road that inspired Disney's Cars and appeared in Thelma and Louise. More than anything, this historic highway reminds road trippers of a golden era when people when through life at a slower pace. They used their creativity to create quirky gas stations, restaurants, and hotels. Today, these creations contrast with the one-size-fits-all box stores and filling stations. Here are some of the sights worth seeing on Route 66:

13 Gemini Giant, Wilmington, Illinois

The Gemini Giant, named for the space program, stands 30 ft. tall. The owners of the nearby Launching Pad Restaurant installed this huge spaceman in the '60s. They wanted to attract more business. Now, the figure has become an icon of Route 66.

  • Location: S East St., Wilmington

12 Ambler's Texaco Station, Dwight, Illinois

Ambler's Texaco Station is a visitor's center in a historic gas station. Before its restoration, it dispensed fuel for 66 years. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Location: Intersection of Old US Route 66 and Illinois Route 17

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11 Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac, Illinois

There's no charge to enter the Route 66 Association of Illinois. Visitors will see murals and memorabilia. The workers are helpful and knowledgeable about Route 66.

  • Location: 110 W Howard St, Pontiac
  • Hours: every day 10 am - 4 pm

10 Chain of Rocks Bridge, St. Louis, Missouri

The old Chain of Rocks Bridge is only open for pedestrians and people on bikes. Motorists on Route 66 will cross the Mississippi on the New Chain of Rocks Bridge and go slightly out of their way to see the place where travelers used to drive across the Ol' Muddy. This Bridge is notable because halfway through it bends at a 22-degree angle and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Location: 10820 Riverview Dr, St. Louis

9 66 Drive-In Theater, Carthage, Missouri

This theater first opened in 1949. Today, it still shows movies on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in the summer months from April on.

  • Location: 17231 Old 66 Boulevard, Carthage
  • Admission Price: $8 (cash only)
  • Hours: gates open at 7:30 pm and showtime is at 8:45 pm

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8 Route 66 Mural Park, Joplin, Missouri

Travelers will see two gorgeous tile murals and a parked red sports car. It's the perfect place to snap a few selfies in front of the work of artists Chris Aukerman and Jon White.

  • Location: Near the intersection of 7th Street and Main Street, Joplin

7 Cars On The Route, Galena, Kansas

Cars On The Route is a restored gas station, formerly called Four Women On The Route. It is the home of Tow Tater, the original inspiration for Tow Mater from Disney's Cars.

  • Location: 119 North Main Street, Galena
  • Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 10 am - 4 pm, Sunday 1 pm - 3 pm

6 East Galena's Historic District, Galena, Kansas

Long before the US named Route 66, Galena was home to a stretch of road that connected Kansas's mines lead sulfite to industrial areas where manufacturers processed it. The stretch of road that includes Galena's Main Street later became part of the Mother Road. It is the oldest alignment along Route 66. Galena's downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Location: Main Street, Galena

5 Rainbow Curve Bridge, Baxter Springs, Kansas

This single-span concrete Marsh arch bridge is the only one of its kind remaining on Route 66. Engineer James Barney Marsh designed and oversaw the construction. Over his lifetime he built more than 50 bridges and several, like this one, are on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Location: SE Beasley Rd, Baxter Springs

4 Allen's Conoco Hole in the Wall, Commerce, Oklahoma

Once a gas station, Allen's is now a museum and gift shop. It is most notable because its first owner built it out from the brick wall of the last building in town, thus its name, "Hole in the Wall."

  • Location: 101 South Main Street, Commerce

3 Ribbon Road, Miami, Oklahoma

Funds were short when Oklahoma started construction on a road that would connect Miami to Afton in the 1920s. Instead of building half the mileage, they decided to go with half the width. That's how this nine-foot-wide stretch of pavement was born.

  • Location: E 140 Rd, Miami

2 Pryor Creek Bridge, Chelsea, Oklahoma

This truss bridge was part of the original alignment of Route 66 and carried traffic across Pryor creek from 1926 to 1932. Now visitors can walk or bike on it.

  • Location: Follow E 1st Street until it becomes S4260 Rd

1 Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park, Chelsea, Oklahoma

Ed Galloway was a folk artist. After retiring in 1937, he began building carved concrete constructions. Native American art-inspired Galloway's unique towers. The property also includes a museum that houses fiddles carved by this sculptor and woodworker. The park does not charge admission.

  • Location: Oklahoma State Highway 28A, 3.5 miles east of Route 66
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday 11 am - 3 pm, Sunday 12:30 pm - 4 pm

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