Historic Route 66 Begin Sign

Chicago, Illinois

IllinoisRoadside Attraction

Every great Route 66 road trip starts here: the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois.

Established in 1926, Route 66, otherwise known as “The Mother Road,” has long served as the ultimate path for anyone taking a great American road trip. Running from Chicago to Los Angeles the road spanned 2,448 through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985 but parts of the route are still drivable today. Many original roadside attractions, classic motels, and vintage diners still operate across the path, some more maintained or renovated than others.

Road trippers from around the world still feel the call to follow the path of the ultimate American road trip and, for many, this Route 66 attraction is a must: the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

You can actually find three Route 66 start signs in downtown Chicago: one on a post above the stoplight at the northwest corner of Adams and Michigan Avenue (right across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago), one across the street in the middle of the block on Adams (probably the most-stopped and photographed), and another, often covered in stickers, at the small park at the corner of Adams and Wabash, underneath the el.

Last modified: April 22, 2024
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Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois - Route 66 Road Trip Attraction

Historic Route 66 Begin Sign

5 based on 1 reviews

Address:
78-98 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603

Hours:
Visible 24/7

Cost:
Free

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Photos of the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois

Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois - Route 66 Road Trip Attraction
Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois - Route 66 Road Trip Attraction
Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois - Route 66 Road Trip Attraction
Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois - Route 66 Road Trip Attraction
Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois - Route 66 Road Trip Attraction
Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois - Route 66 Road Trip Attraction

Know Before You Go

To make the most of your visit to the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign in Chicago, Illinois, here are some things to know before you go.

  • There are three different Begin Route 66 Signs to look for: one at the northwest corner of Adams and Michigan Avenue, one on Adams (between Michigan Avenue and Wabash), and one on the corner of Adams and Wabash.
  • Find the End Route 66 sign at 98-66 E Jackson Blvd.
  • Street parking is limited and can be expensive, try to walk from your downtown Chicago hotel or take public transportation.
  • The sign is facing East, so for the best selfies visit in the first half of the day to not be backlit!

Where to Stay Near the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign

Complete your travel itinerary and get a good night’s rest at the beginning or end of your journey with a stay at one of these downtown Chicago hotels near Route 66.

Congress Plaza Hotel

Located near the start of Route 66, the Congress Plaza Hotel has been in operation since 1893 and is a welcoming stay for the beginning of your journey on the Mother Road.

Freehand Chicago

Located in the River North neighborhood, just one mile from the beginning of Route 66, Freehand Chicago is a hip hotel featuring unique designs, a fun atmosphere, and happy hour specials at the on-site bar, Broken Shaker. Freehand is housed in a 1927 building that originally operated as the Devonshire Hotel.

Palmer House Hilton

Located just steps from Route 66, Palmer House Hilton is a luxurious historic hotel with all the modern conveniences you could desire alongside award-winning services. Palmer House was built in 1925 and was the city’s first hotel with elevators, electric light bulbs, and telephones in the guest rooms. The French neo-classical influences of the design give this landmark its distinctive charm.

Enhance your visit to Chicago with a tour! Whether you love history, architecture, or family-friendly adventures, there are plenty of options for everyone.

Attractions Near The Historic Route 66 Begin Sign

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