Where to Stay: The Best Route 66 Motels in Illinois

Last updated on April 21st, 2024 at 04:14 pm

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Roadside attractions, classic diners, informative museums. No matter what fills your Illinois road trip itinerary there is one type of attraction that every Route 66 traveler must add to their list: accommodation. After a long day on the road everyone needs a good place to get a good night’s rest. Whether you’re looking for an AirBNB, a chain hotel, or a classic vintage motel, when you’re looking for where to stay on Route 66 in Illinois, you’re probably looking for the best Route 66 motels in Illinois.

While many states on The Mother Road boast a plethora of iconic Route 66 motels with equally iconic neon signs, Illinois doesn’t have many quintessential places to stay. Yes, there are plenty of historic hotels in Chicago and Springfield and many other accommodations of all sorts in towns across the way, but you don’t start seeing true Route 66 hotels until you get to Missouri.

For someone on an aggressive timeline, making fewer stops and sticking more closely to the highway, you might not even need to find Route 66 accommodations in Illinois after Chicago. I’ve even driven the 511 miles from Chicago to Springfield, Missouri in one day before myself, though I would recommend taking a little (or, actually, a lot) more time with your journey, if time allows.

And, if you are taking more time with your road trip (as you definitely should), you’ll probably be looking for at least a couple of the Route 66 motels in Illinois to spend the night at.

Below we’ve compiled a directory of Illinois accommodations, including some of the best motels in the state. There’s a mix of motels, hotels, and B&Bs to spend a night at on your road trip.

Should you book your Illinois Route 66 motel or hotel in advance? That answer depends on a few factors. Traveling in the prime summer months, during a holiday, or during certain festivals or events means hotels are more likely to book up well in advance. In the colder winter months when not as many people are road tripping Route 66, you’ll have better luck just showing up. If you are set on traveling by the seat of your pants and want ultimate freedom in where you go and when to go, and are willing to risk the possibility of lit up “No Vacancy” signs, you can definitely wing it and try your luck. But, if you prefer to travel on a schedule or have your heart set on staying at a certain hotel or motel, book your accommodation ahead!

Peruse the options, check out the reviews, and book ahead to be sure they have a bed waiting for you!

The Best Route 66 Motels in Illinois

Please note: We have not personally stayed at every one of these properties, and ownership, prices, amenities, and policies can change at any time. Read reviews before booking to find the Illinois Route 66 accommodations that fit your budget and needs!

Route 66 Hotels in Chicago

Chicago is the start (or end) of a full Route 66 journey. If you’re driving the entire route, you’ll start your journey at the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign at the corner of Adams Street and Michigan Avenue and continue west until you reach Los Angeles, California. If you’re beginning your Route 66 road trip in Chicago, you’ll probably need a place to spend a night or two.

While there aren’t many specific Route 66 hotels in Chicago, there are a lot of hotels with a history as long as the road. For a special start, book a room at one of these downtown hotels with a past.

Downtown Chicago hotels can be pricy, and they do not include parking (which is also pretty pricy). If you’re road tripping on a budget you might want to forgo spending the first night in Chicago and wait until you’re out of the city to find more budget-friendly accommodations with free parking lots.

But if you want to kick off your road trip with a night, or even a week, exploring Chicago, add one of these Chicago Route 66 hotels to your travel itinerary.

The Blackstone

636 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Opened in 1910, The Blackstone was once known as “The Hotel of Presidents,” having hosted several heads of state (including Teddy Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter), along with a slew of celebrities, like the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Rudolph Valentino, and Al Capone. The historic landmark and architectural wonder has been renovated to appease the contemporary traveler and offers 335 accommodations

W Chicago

172 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603

W Chicago is a contemporary Chicago hotel with a historic beginning. The Beaux-Arts building was commissioned in the 1920s to serve as a private club for businessmen. After the Great Depression the building was converted into a hotel. In 2001 W Hotels renovated the historic building bringing back its art deco charm and ornate decor that pay homage to its past.

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.

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.

The Gwen

521 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611

The Gwen is a luxury hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago with a historic facade crafted by sculptress Gwen Lux in 1928. The property offers two on-site restaurants, a rooftop terrace, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and modern rooms with large flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, and custom décor inspired by signature sculptures.

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.

Want more Chicago Route 66 hotels?
Explore more here and peruse reviews.

Route 66 Motels in Springfield, Illinois

Beside Chicago, one of the most popular places to spend the night on Route 66 in Illinois is Springfield. It’s a little more than the midway point between Chicago and St. Louis, so it makes a good place to stay for one night or more.

There are so many attractions to explore in Springfield, the capitol of Illinois, that you might want to add an extra day to take in everything, especially the Abraham Lincoln monuments, memorials, and roadside attractions.

Springfield is also home to the Illinois State Fair, so if a stop for Cozy Dogs, carnival rides, and butter cows is on your agenda, a Springfield Route 66 hotel should be too.

Here are some of the best Route 66 hotels in Springfield, Illinois: find one to add to your travel itinerary.

State House Inn

101 E Adams St, Springfield, IL 62701

State House Inn, a landmark hotel in Springfield, Illinois, features a business center, gym, ironing service, and complimentary breakfast with a convenient location directly across the street from the Illinois State Capitol. Book a stay in one of the two themed Presidential Suites: the Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd.

Inn at 835

835 S 2nd St, Springfield, IL 62704

Located near the Illinois State Capital and numerous Lincoln Historical sites, Inn at 835 offers 11 guest rooms, plus two additional suites in the Bell House. Accommodations include private baths with plush towels, hand-milled French soaps, soft linens, antique furnishings, flat screen TVs, and WiFi.

Route 66 Hotel & Conference Center

625 E St Joseph St, Springfield, IL 62703

The Route 66 Hotel in Springfield, Illinois was originally the first Holiday Inn located on Route 66. Now the locally owned accommodation serves as a hotel, conference center, and gaming center with a Route 66 theme.

Want more Springfield Route 66 hotels? Explore more here and peruse reviews.

More Route 66 Motels in Illinois

Of course, there are more Route 66 motels and hotels in Illinois than just those in Chicago and Springfield. With around 301 miles of the road to explore, you can find accommodations just about anywhere you want to pull over for the night. Explore hotels in some of the most popular cities on Illinois Route 66 and see some favorites below.

Illinois Route 66 Hotels and Motels by City

Cindy Lyn Motel

5029 West Ogden Ave, Cicero, IL 60804

If you’re driving Route 66 in Illinois you’ll probably be spending your first (or last) night in Chicago. But if you’re looking for something outside of the city, Cindy Lyn Motel is a solid choice. The Cindy Lyn Motel opened on Route 66 in 1960 and has been known as the “last motel before the city” for more than 50 years.

Braidwood Motel

120 N Washington St, Braidwood, IL 60408

Braidwood Motel is a budget-friendly Route 66 motel that is located convenient to several of the best Illinois roadside attractions and diners, like the Polk-a-Dot Drive In and Braidwood Zoo.

Super 8 by Wyndham Dwight

14 E Northbrook Dr, Dwight, IL 60420

If you’re stretching your Route 66 itinerary and are looking to spend the night between Chicago and Springfield, the Super 8 by Wyndham Dwight is a solid choice. Conveniently located off I-55 and close to Historic Route 66, this newly renovated property and pet-friendly hotel offers free WiFi and free breakfast just minutes from this roadside attraction.

Vrooman Mansion Bed and Breakfast

701 E Taylor St, Bloomington, IL 61701

Vrooman Mansion Bed and Breakfast is located off Route 66 in the heart of Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. The Vrooman Mansion is a historical 1869 estate, with seven suites to choose from, all with private baths and access to beautiful common areas like the library, parlor, sitting rooms, and manicured grounds.

Hotel Lincoln Inn

1750 5th St, Lincoln, IL 62656

Hotel Lincoln Inn is right off Route 66 and close to the Lincoln Speedway in Lincoln, Illinois. The hotel features an exercise room, outdoor pool and guest rooms with free WiFi and cable TV.

Carlin Villa Motel

18891 State Rte 4, Carlinville, IL 62626

Carlin Villa Motel offers home style charm in a country setting in Carlinville. Guests can enjoy air conditioning, free wifi, parking, and a complimentary coffee and pasty breakfast.

Country Inn Cafe & Motel

536 Veterans Memorial Dr, Livingston, IL 62058

Get a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast at the Country Inn Café & Motel. The family-friendly accommodation offers free parking and a complimentary breakfast at the on-site cafe.

Plan Your Route 66 Road Trip

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Last modified: April 21, 2024
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