Are you looking for the real America? To get out of the fast lane of fast food and fast times and into the real heartland of the United States? Get on Route 66, The Mother Road, as it is called, which young men took from the Midwest to discover the glitz and glamour of southern California.
Route 66 begins in Chicago, at Grant Park, near the Michigan lakeshore and in Illinois, runs all the way to Missouri. Al Capone and other rumrunners kept the road busy after it became the first fully paved highway in Illinois in the early 1920s.
When the old Route 66 road signs came down in 1977, bake sales, auctions, festivals, and other truly American events held by locals raised money to buy new ones. Even though it was intended to be replaced completely by a new interstate, Route 66 sustained.
Today, it is America’s Main Street through small towns and villages, dotted with wonderful classic restaurants, motels, diners, and all the other great places travelers have visited for decades.
As the song reminds us: “If you plan to motor west, travel my way, take the highway that’s the best. It winds from Chicago to L.A, more than two thousand miles all the way. Get your kicks on Route 66!”