On and Around Route 66

The Mother Road

Historic Route 66 got its name in Springfield, Mo., and more than 300 miles of this iconic route runs through Missouri. If we could host you for a week, we’d show you all off-the-beaten path nooks and crannies of our portion, but instead we’ll just have to tease you with this abbreviated tour … and entice you to come back again.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Key Destinations/Attractions

Tour Details:

  • Tour departs Branson at 2:30pm (CT) on Thursday, March 9, 2017 (Driving participants)
  • Tour begins in Springfield at 4:00pm (CT) on Thursday, March 9, 2017 (Flying participants)
  • Tour ends in Branson on Sunday, March 12, 2017
  • Cities include: St. James, Lebanon, Springfield, Carthage and Joplin

Thursday, March 9, 2017

  • Arrivals in Branson/Springfield
  • Dinner and optional evening entertainment

Friday, March 10, 2017

St. James, Missouri
  • Tour St. James Winery and Public House Brew Company
Lebanon, Missouri
  • Route 66 Museum - Take a self-guided tour of this museum, which features recreations of a 1950s gas station and a classic diner, along with displays of antique cars, a collection of Route 66 books, magazines and videos. It’s the perfect place to add a history lesson to your Route 66 trip.
  • Munger Moss Motel - Originally opened in 1946 and serving as a living homage to the legends and history of Route 66, this simple family-run motel with bright neon signage is on the old highway
Springfield, Missouri
  • Springfield has direct ties to the Mother Road, and had it not been for a group of the city’s business leaders, the road stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles may well have been called Route 60 or Route 62. A telegram sent from Springfield to the Bureau of Public Roads in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 1926, proposed the name change to Route 66, and the rest is history.
  • History Museum on the Square, Rt. 66 exhibit

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Carthage, Missouri
  • Tour the Square - Built in 1894-95, this Romanesque Revival building is constructed of Carthage stone and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Jasper County Courthouse is said to be the second-most-photographed building in the state of Missouri.
  • Red Oak II  - Red Oak II is the creation of Missouri artist Lowell Davis. Take a trip to yesteryear and stroll along the gravel path to view the recreation of an early 20th century village, featuring a general store, church, one room schoolhouse, town hall, a 1920s cottage, Phillips 66 gasoline station, Marshall’s Office and much more
  • Driving Tour
    The Boots Court – This motel, an Art Deco-Streamline Modern building, was built in 1939 by Arthur Boots, and still carries his name today.
    Route 66 Drive-in is an historic drive-in theater along U.S. Route 66 in Carthage. The theater opened on September 22, 1949.
Joplin, Missouri
Driving tour of Historic Route 66 and Murals
  • Murals at City Hall - Joplin at the Turn of the Century, 1896-1906 is Thomas Hart Benton's only autobiographical work. Dedicated on Joplin's 100th birthday in 1973, this piece was Benton’s final signed mural.
  • Evolution of a Mural, located on the mezzanine of City Hall, accompanies the display and documents the development of Benton's thought process. As one of Benton’s few remaining maquettes known to exist, it includes his rough sketches of a monumental work in progress.
  • Route 66 - Joplin, Missouri, artist Anthony Benton Gude, the grandson of Thomas Hart Benton, reflects on Joplin during the mid-20th century focusing on Route 66 and its relevance to the vitality of Main Street. Route 66 Mural Park Two large tile murals: Cruisin’ into Joplin and The American Ribbon. The park also features a mock 1964 red Corvette that makes a whimsical photo backdrop for Route 66 tourists.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Springfield, Missouri
  • Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield - Wilson's Creek was the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, and the site of the death of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in action. The costly Southern victory on August 10, 1861, focused national attention on the war in Missouri. Wilson’s Creek NB commemorates and interprets the battle within the context of the war in the Trans-Mississippi West.
  • Wonders of Wildlife -  One of the largest, most immersive conservation attractions in the world, scheduled to open later this year. Adjacent to the flagship Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, this is an experience you’ll never forget.
  • Return to Branson