The Journey starts in Illinois at E Adams Street and N Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Illinois is the 5th most populated state in America. Its reach landscape hosts an abundance of wildlife and displays views of valleys, forests, grasslands and marshes. Diversity of landscape provides an excellent playground for water activities, fishing, mountain biking, wild life watching and much more. Just in Chicago, you will find breathtaking views of Michigan Lake front, beaches, lush parks and preserves. Living close to nature also means sharing territories with wild animals. It is not unheard of bears feeding on people’s garbage, or coyotes roaming parks, alleys, yards, and even crossing streets in busy traffic, looking both ways, just like human.

Roadside Attractions

Joliet Race Track

  • Route 66 Raceway: Location – Joliet. Motorsports drag and dirt track facility located in Joliet, Illinois. Several drag racing events including the National Hot Rod Association are still hosted at the strip.
  • Ambler’s Texaco Station: Location – Dwight. The longest operating gas station along Route 66. It dispensed fuel for 66 continuous years until 1999.
  • Hall of Fame: Location – Pontiac. Museum of thousands of artefacts and memorabilia related to Route 66.
  • Bunyons Statue: Location – Atlanta Illinois. Fibreglass advertising giant created during the 1960s by International Fibreglass of Venice.
  • World’s Largest Covered Wagon: Location – Lincoln. 12.2 m (40 ft) long, 3.65 m (12 ft) wide and 7.6 m (25 ft) tall. Wagon was hand built out of Illinois oak and steel to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Route 66.
  • Chain of Rocks Bridge: Location – St. Luis. Significant landmark for travellers driving on Route 66. Bridge spans the Mississippi River on the north edge of St. Louis, Missouri.

Outdoor Destinations

Pere Marquette State Park

  • Chain O’ Lakes State Park: Distance – 60 miles, 1 h 30 min from Chicago. Located in the heart of Illinois, it contains the largest concentration of natural lakes. 6,500 acres of water and 488 miles of shoreline on the Chain, makes the Chain O’Lakes State Park a water wonderland.  Attractions – Fishing, Hunting, Hiking, Swimming, Boating, Water Sports.
  • Starved Rock State Park: Distance – 50 miles, 1 h 10 min from Pontiac, Illinois. Set on 2,630 acres and characterized by the numerous canyons formed by glacial melt-water and stream erosion, the park is best known for its fascinating rock formations and the fun of outdoor adventure. Attractions – Caverns, Camping, Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding, Boating & Fishing.
  • Pere Marquette State Park: (Native American Heritage Park).  Distance – 45 miles, 1 h from St. Luis, Illinois. The exceptional beauty of its fall colours and ability to watch wintering bald eagle, make this place a nature-lover’s paradise. In addition to the spectacular views, visitors can take advantage of a variety of year-round recreational opportunities, including horseback riding, camping and hunting.  Attractions – Mountain-Biking, Fishing, Camping, Mississippi Cruises, Horseback Riding.
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site:  (Native American Heritage Park).  Distance – 12 miles, 20 min from St. Luis, Illinois. Cahokia Mounds are pre-Columbian remains of one the most sophisticated prehistoric civilization north of Mexico. 30 meters high satellite mound centres, numerous outlying hamlets and villages show an example of a complex chiefdom society. Attractions – Camping, Biking, Horseback Riding.
  • Horseshoe Lake State Park:  (Native American Heritage Park). Distance – 15 miles, 25 min from St. Luis, Illinois. Horseshoe Lake State Park has been inhabited by various American Indian groups and is also known as Bird Watching Paradise. It is approximately 2,960 acres and is situated in a low flood plain that goes along the Mississippi River all the way to the Kentucky border. Horseshoe Lake is also the second largest natural lake in Illinois covering approx. 970 hectares of the park land. Attractions – Fishing, Hunting, Camping, Horseback Riding, Bird Watching.
  • Shawnee National Forest:  Distance – 150 miles, 3 h from St. Luis, Illinois. It covers almost 1300 miles of land of unforgettable wildlife viewing, amazing photo opportunities, and trails for hiking that can be one quarter mile up to 165 miles long, give or take. If you enjoy woodlands and wildlife, this place is definitely one to visit. Attractions – Hiking, Wild Life Viewing, Fishing, Hunting, Camping, Horseback Riding, Mountain-Biking.


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