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"A great place to slow down and look around"

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Pacific is located on the 1932 to 1950s Route 66 alignment in eastern Missouri. It has plenty of stops and sights for your road trip:

Sights and Attractions in Pacific

Visit Pacific MO during your Route 66 road trip.

Route 66, the "1926-32" Alignment into St. Louis
< West - Gray Summit ¦ Wildwood ¦ Ballwin ¦ Manchester ¦ Des Peres ¦ Kirkwood ¦ Rock Hill ¦ Brentwood ¦ Maplewood - East >

Bypass Route 66 Around St. Louis
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Villa Ridge ¦ Gray Summit ¦ Allenton

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Route 66 by the sandstone bluffs

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About Pacific Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 466 ft (142 m). Population 7,002 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Pacific is a town located on the northwestern tip of Franklin County, on the 1932-1977 alignment of Route 66 in the central-eastern Missouri.

Historic Red Cedar Inn, Route 66 in Pacific Missouri

log cabin with gable roof, the Historic Red Cedar Inn on Route 66 in Pacific Missouri
Historic Red Cedar Inn on Route 66 in Pacific, Missouri.

History of Pacific

For a general history of the area (Franklin County) visit our St. Clair History. First settled in 1820, a covered bridge was built over the Meramec River in 1838, south of where present Pacific is located (destroyed by a flood in 1895).

It was platted in 1852 and named "Franklin" after the county, but there already was a town with that name in Howard County so it changed to Pacific when it incorporated in 1859. Post office opened in 1854. During the Civil War, Confederate troops led by Gen. Price fought and lost against Union forces, and had to retreat (1864).

The Name: Pacific

After the Missouri-Pacific Railroad or MoPac which was one of the first railroads in the United States west of the Mississippi River, laying its tracks in 1851 and reaching Kansas City in 1865. Its original goal was to reach the Pacific Ocean, hence its name.

The town thrived on silica mining and it was also a main stop on both the "Frisco" railroad (towards Springfield) and the MoPac.

The new alignment for Route 66 was built through Pacific and in 1933 the paved highway linked it with St. Louis in the East and Villa Ridge in the West. Route 50 was realigned on the original 1926-32 alignment of Route 66. And many cafes, motels and gas stations opened in town to cater to the travelers. advertisement

Your Hotel in Pacific, Missouri

There are several accommodation options and motels in Pacific.

> > Book your Hotel in Pacific

More Lodging near Pacific along Route 66

You can find more hotels and motels in other towns on Route 66 close to Pacific; click on any of the following links to check out the accommodation options in each town.

Hotels to the west in MO, KS and OK

Accommodation to the east in Missouri

Hotels further East, in Illinois

Find a room here, in Pacific

>> Check out the RV campground in Pacific

Weather in Pacific

Route 66 in Pacific MO; location map

Location of Pacific on U.S. Hwy. 66

Pacific has well defined seasons, because it combines wet continental and humid subtropical climates. The winter (Jan), the average high is around 39°F (4°C) and the aveage low is a freezing 21.8°F (-5.7°C). The summer (Jul) average high is 88°F (31°C) with an average low of 68°F (20°C). Rainfall averages 43 in. (1.092 mm) yearly and takes place during some 90 days each year. There are around 205 sunny days yearly. Snowfall is around 12.8 in. (32.5 cm), which falls from Dec. to Mar.

Tornado risk

Pacific is located in Missouri's "Tornado Alley" and Franklin County is struck by some 7 tornados every year. Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.

Map of Route 66 in Pacific

map from 1924 black and white with roads near St. Louis

1924 Auto Trails Map. Credits.
Click image to enlarge

The first alignment (1926 to 1932) of Route 66 went along the "State Road to Jefferson City" and didn't go through Pacific. The thumbnail map (click on it to enlarge) shows the "Auto Trails" in this region in 1924. These trails were roads that cars could drive along relatively safely in the days when mud, pot holes and river fords complicated driving. See Pacific on a secondary highway in the middle of the map.

The map below, published in 1931, shows Pacific when Route 66 went through Grays Summit. The highway would be rerouted through Pacific in 1932.

Map 1931 showing US66 into St. Louis

1931 Roadmap showing Route 66 near St. Louis MO
A 1931 Map showing Route 66 in St. Louis area, Missouri See large map
1933 Map of Route 66 from Villa Ridge to St. Louis MO

1933 Map of Route 66 from Villa Ridge to St. Louis. click for full size map

The highway was realigned through Pacific, Eureka into St. Louis in 1932 (see image, click for large size map) but by the early 1940s Route 66 was congested and the heavy traffic made it unsafe.
Rittenhouse mentions in 1946: "From here (Gray Summit) into St. Louis, US 66 has three or more lanes." It was upgraded to a new four-lane divided dual carriageway highway which replaced the old US 66 in the mid 1950s.

Map of US66 into Pacific

West of Allenton to Pacific: map Allenton-Pacific and onwards: map Pacific-Gray Summit.

The Route 66 alignment in Pacific

Visit our pages with old maps and plenty of information about US 66's alignments.

Route 66 Sights in Pacific

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Landmarks and Places to See

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Pacific

The WPA travel guide "Missouri, a guide to the "Show Me" state" published in 1941 mentions the origin of its name, and the importance of silica mining to the local economy.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse in his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" published in 1946 also mentioned it:

Pacific... gas; garage; stores.) At the eastern edge of town is the Pioneer Silica Products Co. mine, typical of the mines here which produce silica for glassware Rittenhouse (1946)

He also wrote that one mile east of Pacific, Rittenhouse mentions "Historical Marker beside the highway" marking the point where the Confederate Army reached in 1864, at the foot of "a very high bluff with a SCENIC OVERLOOK at its summit... parking space at the foot of bluff." The marker has been relocated to Blackburn Park.

Route 66 Road Trip through Pacific

Begin you tour on the eastern side of Pacific along Old Route 66 which now is BL-44. The first landmark is 1.3 miles west of I-44's Exit 261 in Allenton. To your right, on the north side of the highway, a classic 1940s motel:

Al-Pac Motel

At 18652 Historic Rte 66, Pacific. Location map.
Dating back to 1942, the motel's main building has changed: the gable roof section in the front has gone but the two story wing in the back has survived. It advertised itself as "The Alpac home of Good food on Highway 66 3 miles east of Pacific, MO - Jean and Fred Miller". In the 1950s it acquired an attractive arrow-shaped sign with white letters on a red background, but now its gone. Below are some images from the 1940s, 70s and nowadays; the same forward facing cross gable two-story structure appears in all three images:

Al-Pac Motel in the 1940s

1940s car and motel with woods behind it
1940s view of Al-Pac Motel on Route 66. Credits

Al-Pac Motel in the 1970s

motel with red angular neon sign and 1970s car parked
1970s view of Al-Pac Motel on Route 66 in Pacific, Missouri.
two-floor gable roof building next to route 66
Former Al-Pac Motel nowadays, Route 66. Pacific, Missouri. Click for Street view

Former Gas Station

oblong box 2 bay concrete blox 1950s gas station, hill with forest in the background

Former gas station, US 66 Pacific. Click for Street view

Just 0.15 mi. west, to your right is a concrete block building with two service bays on the north side of the road, it looks like a former garage and service station; It appears in this 1958 aerial photo. Also notice in the aerial picture, the arc-shaped set of cabins to the east of the gas station, now gone, it was replaced by the yard of a contracting company.
Head west and the highway will curve becoming E Osage St. as it meets the Meramec River. Here, to your right, in eastern Pacific, on the north side of the road is the Historic Red Cedar, 1.8 mi. west of Al-Pac:

Red Cedar Inn

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

At 1047 East Osage St. It was owned and operated by two brothers, James and "Bill" Smith. They had been bootleggers, selling their own moonshine liquor, and they opened the Red Cedar Inn just when Prohibition ended in 1933. It served plenty of booze.
They added a restaurant in 1935. And also sold Mobil Gas; it is Pictured above at the top of this page, and below:

gable roof, log-cabin sytle single story building facing Route 66
Former Red Cedar Inn nowadays, Route 66. Pacific, Missouri. Click for Street view

Dutch Wehrle from Eureka built it with peeled cedar posts from the Smith's farm in Villa Ridge, with wide white chinking between them the idea was to create an atmosphere of Missouri pioneer days. The bricks were made in Pacific.
James Smith Jr. and his wife, and then his son (grandson of the original owner) ran it until 1972, when it closed until 1987, but closed again in 2005, permanently.

Next to it, 360 feet away, also on your right is the parking lot for those who want to walk up to Jensen Point Overlook on the sandstone bluff:

Jensen Point

small building on the top of a cliff overlooking the highway, seen from Route 66 below

Jensen Point and Route 66 Pacific. Click for Street view

This Scenic Overlook is a small limestone building with a hipped pyramidal roof. It sits on the top of a bluff overlooking Route 66 and Pacific (red arrow in the image). It can be reached by two paths coming from the paved parking lot next to the highway at the base of th hill. Stone steps lead to it. It closed in 1991 and was acquired by the city of Pacific in 2014, restored and reopened to the public in 2016.

Built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps it was part of the Henry Shaw Gardenway, a beautification project of the National Park Service and the Missouri State Highway Commission; the only remnants of the Gardenway are this overlook, and the Allenton Bus Shelter, now in Gray Summit. This overlook was dedicated to Lars Peter Jenen (1867-1941) the first president of the Henry Shaw Gardenway Association and manger of the Shaw Arboretum.

Sandstone Bluffs in Pacific Missouri

Sandstone bluff in Pacific Missouri

Sandstone Bluff in Pacific, Route 66, Missouri. Click for street view

Ahead the road runs next to the bluffs and the river with a winding course, passes the mine and mineral silos of the "US Silica Co"
Sand Mountain is the most prominent element in the local topography. The front of the cliff was sheared away by the Missoury Highway Department in the early 1920s and widened in 1932 to make space for Route 66.

They consist of St. Peter sandstone capped by Joachim dolomite. This is ancient sand (455 to 459 million years old) formed in the shallow water of a Paleozoic sea. The cliffs have been tunnelled with mines -unsafe to go inside though- to obtain sand (silica) for glass making. Mining continues on the northeast side of town (U.S. Silica Company started mining here in 1924) in open pit mine which yields 98.8% whole grain silica sand used in flat glass, glass containers and in many other industrial uses.

Beacon Court Motel

Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Head west past the mine and to your right is a classic motel site. It Started as "Beacon Court" in 1946, it closed in 1980, it was demolished and only the sign survives, at this car wash. It advertised as "16 Modern, Inviting, Tastefully Decorated Cottages... Automatic Hot Water Heat, FREE Television... Restaurant next Door."

several cabins with gravel driveway, wooded hill in the background, Route 66 in the foreground and the neon sign
Vintage Postcard Beacon motel. Route 66. Pacific, Missouri. Credits

Beacon Motel Neon Sign

The eye-catching neon sign (red arrow in postcard above) was built on an old windmill tower obtained from a farm. It had a flashing light ("beacon") on its top and a vertical layout with yellow letters on a blue backgroung with its name. It was restored in 2018 and now stands at the car wash & pet wash.

vertical neon sign with word "Beacon" in yellow letters on blue squares

Neon sign of the old Beacon Motel, Route 66, Pacific Missouri. Click image for street view

vertical neon sign with word "Beacon" lit up at dusk

Lit Beacon Neon sign, Route 66, Pacific Missouri. Credits

Gas Station

The town starts here, head straight for 0.3 mi., and to your left is an Old service station on the SW corner of Neosho St. and E. Osage St. This is a stone building with a gabled roof and a canopy projecting over the area where the pumps once stood.
There is a single service bay in the box-shaped addition behind it, facing Neosho St. It seems to date back to the 1940 and was listed by the 1993 Missouri Route 66 Survey. Now it is an insurance broker office.

gable roof, gable canopy, stone block home-like gas station with lawn and treees
Gas station from the 1940s. Route 66. Pacific, Missouri. Click for street view

Former DJ's Cafe - Monroe Diner

Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Continue west for 0.1 mi. and on your right is a Classic Diner at 409 E Osage. It has had many names over the years. It began after World War II as a false-front permastone facing surplus Quonset hut housing a the Miller's (Betty and Jerry) laundomat store. Quonset huts were prefabricted semicircular structures with corrugated sheet steel walls and roof; they were first built by the US Navy in Quonset Rhode Island in 1941 during WWII.

In the early 1960s it was Norbert Funke's photography studio. Then it was DJ's Cafe, named after its owners Delisa and Joyce (1993), it served as Monroe Diner and after 2013 as Dawn and Joseph Vinson's Down South Café now it is Chef Amelia's Graze Catering.

side view Quonset hut with stone facade and Route 66

View of former Monroe Diner in Pacific Missouri, Click for street view

Quonset hut with stone facade and roadside attraction sign

Graze catering, US66 Pacific Missouri. Credits

Another Gas station

red brick flat roof former gas station now tire shop

Another old Route 66 filling station, Pacific MO, Click for St. view

Don't miss the gas station to your left at 116 E Osage, now it is Bay's Tire Service. It has a red-brick facade, and a walled in service bay to the left. The old gas pump island is there, without its pumps.

Bluffs and Route 66 in western Pacific

Continue your trip, and after 0.4 mi. the bluffs approach the road to your right. The original highway from Pacific to Gray Summit crossed the railroad in Pacific and ran south of it and of Brush Creek westwards. When the new Route 66 alignment was defined it was built in the narrow strip between the existing homes and the bluffs. The images show the same spot, and the same house (red arrow) over the years, with Route 66 running in front of it, at the foot of the cliff:>/p>

Before Route 66 was built here, there was a short gravel surfaced street

gravel street at the foot of a bluff, home to the right gable roof in a black and white photo from 1930
Homes, sandstone bluffs and the spot where future Route 66 would run. Pacific, Missouri in 1930. Credits

A paved Route 66 in the mid 1930s

gable roof brick home on the right, white bluffs with vegetation behind in it, Route 66 running at the foot of cliff and home, a black and white photo mid 1930s
Homes and sandstone bluffs overlooking Route 66 in the mid 1930s. Pacific, Missouri. Credits

Historic Route 66 nowadays

gable roof brick home on the right, white bluffs with vegetation behind in it, Route 66 running at the foot of cliff and home, a color view in 2021
Same building, same bluffs overlooking Route 66 nowadays. Pacific, Missouri. Click for street view

Blackburn Park

Historic Marker

Just ahead, the highway runs along the foot of the bluff, and you can visit a park right on the top of the bluff: take a right on N 2nd St. and drive behind it (Map with directions). Free admission and parking. Open year round. It has a Civil War Replica Canon and a good view of the town from the top of the bluff as well as "The Battle of Pacific - Missouri's Civil War" marker (mentioned by Rittenhouse) next to the cannon.
Return to Route 66, at the foot of the bluff is a small park, Adam's Garden. Below is the Park with the cave in the bluff face, seen in the 1950s and now:

bluff with hole in it rises over Route 66 running at its foot, car, black and white picture c.1950s

Bluff at Blackburn Park c 1950s. Credits

bluff with hole in it rises over Route 66 running at its foot, car nowadays

Blackburn park nowadays, Pacific Missouri, Click for street view

Cave Cafe and Filling Station

Across the highway, facing Adam's Garden, at 304 W. Osage. This old Route 66 café was named after the caves dug into the bluffs to extract silica, and it faces a large cave. It was built ca. 1928 by Jim Dailey; and it was owned by Ralph Martin from 1943 onwards. The Ozark Rock building had a two bay service area and garage on the left, four pumps of Gulf gasoline in front of it and the office and cafe to the right.
Later it became Dittmer Motor, Landmark Motor Company and Cave Station and there was a motel next door, which has gone.

black and white 1950s postcard Stone building, Gulf gas sign and gas pumps

Vintage postcard Cave Cafe in Pacific Missouri. Credits

Stone building, formerly cafe and gas station

Former US66 Cave Cafe in Pacific Missouri nowadays. Click for St. view

Long Gone stops

West of this point nothing remains of the old Route 66 buildings, but we will mention some of them:

black and white aerial photo motel and cafe and US66 in front

Butler's Cafe? and motel on US 66 Pacific MO
Click image to enlarge

  • Ok Motel. On the west side of the Mobil gas station (1815 W Osage) was the "OK Motel" where in 1981 Michael Snyder, a high school student, stabbed the 63-year-old motel owner, Mittie Morris to death.
  • Brouster Cabins. On the SW corner of Lamar Parkway and W. Osage, was Benjamin Brouster's tourist cabins, gas station, and farm produce stall.
  • Butlers Cafe (?) and Motel (unnamed). Almost reaching Gray Summit, to your left at 2960 W Ossage (now Mid Coast Performance) the building on the left (see red arrow thumbnail) looks like the also razed Buttler Cafe and Station.

This leg of your Route 66 road trip ends here, drive west into Gray Summit to keep on enjoying the Mother Road! advertisement

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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat
Architectural - Historic Survey of Route 66 in Missouri and Detailed Survey, Maura Johnson. 1993
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66

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