New selfie stop revs up Route 66 Welcome Center

Joliet Area Historical Museum features fascinating exhibits and Route 66 souvenirs

Kick off your road trip along The First Hundred Miles of Route 66 by paying a visit to Joliet’s brand new 3D photo-op honoring the historic Mother Road. The larger-than-life, 6-foot-tall numbers and shield-inspired photo frame are directly in front of the Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center.

The selfie stop is a convenient place to pull off the road, stretch your legs and capture an Instagram-worthy photo for everyone following your travels. When you post your picture, be sure to use #tfhm66 for a chance to have your photo featured on The First Hundred Miles official Instagram and Facebook pages.

The 1926-1939 alignment of Route 66 ran right through the heart of downtown Joliet, where it famously intersected the Lincoln Highway. Learn about these mighty early highway systems, and how they impacted the history and culture of the city, at the Joliet Area Historical Museum and official Route 66 Welcome Center. The community museum was founded in 2002 “to promote awareness, understanding and preservation of the Joliet area’s diverse history,” and it delivers on that promise.

Get up close and personal with artifacts from the Mother Road and other riveting threads of Joliet history inside the building that once housed the Ottawa Street Episcopal Methodist Church, a grand example of the city’s neoclassic architecture.

Today, the building hosts a variety of themed selfie spots and exhibits dedicated to the significance of both Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway, along with a stunning two-story Apollo 11 exhibit featuring a Lunar Lander simulator, life-size replicas of Blues Brothers characters Jake and Elwood Blues, a replica I&M Canal lock, a turn-of-the-last-century streetscape and an Old Joliet Prison guard tower, just to name a few of the Museum and Welcome Center’s signature displays. It’s a must-visit destination.

The eclectic stop has something for everyone on your road trip. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop and load up on Route 66 and The First Hundred Miles themed memorabilia for your friends and family.

The museum is at 204 N. Ottawa St. in Joliet. For more information, call 815-723-5201. Currently, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.