Sunday, November 26, 2017

Route 66 Visitor Center in Dwight, Illinois

Earlier this year my dad relocated to central Illinois to live with my sister. It's been a hard adjustment. I'm a big Daddy's girl and with him living just five minutes away before the move, we would often get together for lunch - and usually talk baseball since we are both huge Chicago Cubs fans.

We both immediately missed our lunch dates and so we've been getting together about once a month. Dwight is about the halfway point from my home in Chicago's south suburbs and his place in Mackinaw, which is between Peoria and Bloomington. 

For out last couple of lunch outings, we met at the Old Route 66 Family Diner, which is at exit 217 right off of I-55. Across the street from the diner is the Route 66 Visitor Center.

The visitor center is located in a historic 1933 Texaco filling station that has been identified as the longest operating gas station along Route 66. It was in business for 66 continuous years until 1999. After major restoration work, it reopened as a visitor center in 2007. In 2001 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

I stopped by in early November when it closed for the season, so I wasn't able to see the interior. There is an exterior audio recording that can be played to hear the history of the station when it isn't open. There's also a very cool retro billboard outside the building and there's a charging station for electric vehicles.

The Old Route 66 Family Restaurant is just across the street and offers typical diner cuisine - sandwiches, dinners, soups, pies and more. The soups I've had were really good as were the sandwiches. It's located at 105 S. Old Route 66 in Dwight. Find out more at Route66Restaurant.com.


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