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Route 66

St. Louis

Missouri Flag

Gateway to the West

St. Louis, is the Gateway to the West and the access to the second state crossed by Route 66 on its westerly course: Missouri. Visit Saint Louis and enjoy its classic Route 66 sights which we list below:

St. Louis Missouri

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
< Southwest     Kirkwood ¦ Creve Coeur ¦ Maryland Heights ¦ Bridgeton ¦ Hazelwood ¦ Mitchell ¦ Edwardsville ¦ Hamel     Northeast >

The Main Alignment of Route 66 at St. Louis

< Head West
Fenton ¦ Sunset Hills ¦ Marlborough

 

About St. Louis, Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

St. Louis is a city and a port in Missouri. It was founded by the French in their colony of Louisiana in the XVIII Century on the western bank of the Mississippi River. Its population in 2010 was 319,294 making it the 58th-most populous U.S. city. The St. Louis metropolitan area includes the city as well as nearby areas in Missouri and Illinois; has a population of 2,905,893; which is the largest in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States.

Hotels in St. Louis

> > Book your accommodation in town St. Louis

More Lodging near St. Louis along Route 66

More motels and Hotels close to Saint Louis and Route 66

Hotels, Westwards in Missouri

Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation

Hotels further East, in Illinois

Map of Route 66 through St. Louis Missouri

Display St. Louis Route 66 Map


  Click Map will appear below
 

Below is the color key for Route 66’s alignment in St. Louis:

Pale Blue: Historic Route 66.
Red line or gaps in alignment, is I-55, where it overlaps the old alignment.
Blue, Green, Pink, Yellow, Violet show different courses taken by US 66.
Brown is the Bypass US-66.
Orange: the 1926-32 aligment through St. Louis, read below for all the alignments through the city.
Black: missing segments.
Visit Route 66 through St. Louis for all the alignments through the city.

Google Maps. Terms. Nicolas Mollet, CC BY SA 3.0 License

Route 66's alignment in Missouri: the Historic Route 66 through St. Louis

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Missouri

Historic U.S. highway 66, "Route 66" has been designated as an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Missouri.

Click on the following link for a Full description of Route 66 across the state of Missouri.

Visit this page: St. Louis Route 66's alignments (they are shown in the Map above)

Route 66 Sights in St. Louis

Landmarks and Places to See

Visit Forest Park, enjoy a beer at one of its famous breweries, visit the top of the Gateway Arch.

For car lovers: Tour a collection of rare and vintage motorcycles at the Moto Museum, or explore the history, mechanics and design of the cart and buggy, planes, trains or anything else with wheels at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. If you want to get behind the wheel don't miss Pole Position Raceway for some world-class indoor carting action. And if you are visiting in the late winter, be sure to stop by the St. Louis Auto Show and Boat Show at America's Center.

St. Louis is a major center of Roman Catholicism in America; the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is home of the world's largest mosaic installation.

The St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States.

Safety Tip - Crime rate

See the Route 66 sights during daytime and then move on to stay in accommodation outside the city. St. Louis has a very high crime rate and travelers don't feel safe to spend the night here.

The North Side of the city lost jobs during the recdession so you may encounter people who are potential drug users. Use common sense. Park in a covered garage if you can, Nevertheless you can park on the street in the town but only do so if visiting for a few hours and during daylight hours.

The Route 66 alignments and their landmarks

City 66 from Chain of Rocks to downtown

Chain of Rocks Bridge

Chain of Rocks Bridge. Historic Site.

From the Chain of Rocks Bridge which was built in 1929 and closed to traffic in 1968 (though it re-opened to bikes and pedestrians in 1999), head south.

This is the Map marking the point where your southbound journey into St. Louis begins. Take Riverview Drive.

Chain of Rocks Bridge

It is a 5-span Subdivided Warren Through Truss with Verticals and three spans at each end that are Warren Through Truss Approaches.

The road runs next to the North Riverfront Park, in a semi-urban area. You can catch glimpses of the Mississippi River to your left. Take a left along North Broadway.

Ahead, to your left is an old service station:

Vintage Gas Station

8624 N Broadway

Its office is curved in a streamline Moderne style see image below.

former service station

A former gas station. Click for street view

Old gas station

An Old Service Station, click image for street view

Continue south, and ahead, to your left is another ancient gas station, pictured above:

Yet another old Gas Station

8420 N Broadway

Abandoned, it has a two door garage, no canopy or pumps. Boarded office.

Continue south. After the railroad underpass, take a right into Busche Park along Cavalry Ave. and at W. Florissant Ave. turn left at the southern tip of the Park, after the overpass at I-70 at Taylor is a gas station:

Taylor Gas

4457 W Florissiant Ave

This is an ice-box shaped gas station (pictured)

Old Gas station at Taylor

Another vintage gas station. Click for street view

There is another Gas Station at 3733 W Florissiant Ave, to your right (Street View).

Continue westbound into the city and at Salisbury St. (Map showing the place).

1926 Alignment

See map, it is marked in Orange. It took the following alignment, (from east to west) starting in Granite City, Illinois: this first US 66 headed southwest along Madison Ave. through Granite City and then along Broadway, it crossed the Mississippi River from Venice, Illinois along what nowadays is the McKinley Bridge into St. Louis. The old road link with the bridge has been modified and cut by a realignment of 4th St. and the grade crossing was replaced by an underpass to the north, this segment that can't bee driven is shown in Black in the map.

McKinley Bridge

This bridge dates back to 1910, and the railroad used it until 1910. It carried US 66 as from 1926 and closed to traffic from 2001 to 2007. It has three spans with 18 panel Pennsylvania Petit Through Truss. You can still use it, it is open.

Then the 1926 US 66 alignment bypassed the downtown area, heading west along Salisbury St., crossing what would be the later alignment at W. Florissiant Ave. and continuing west (further down we will follow this alignment).

Into the downtown district

A few blocks ahead the 1940s alignment took a left along Herbert St. and a right along N. 13th Street. Ahead, take a left along St. Louis Ave. and on the second block's NW corner, to your right is:

Crown Candy Kitchen

1401 St Louis Ave, St. Louis

Crown Candy Kitchen

Crown Candy Kitchen, St. Louis. Click for street view

In an original 1900s red-brick building, it serves housemade chocolates plus the classic American lunch and dinner menus. It was opened in 1913 by Harry Karandzieff and his best friend Pete Jugaloff. It is St. Louis' oldest Soda Fountain.

Return to your previous course south along N 13th St. At its junction with N Tucker Blvd. ahead to the south you can see the Gageway Arch, ahead in the distance.

Gateway Arch

It is a monument shaped as a weighted catenary arch that is 630 feet high (192 m). It is lined with stainless steel. It is the Tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.

Designed in 1947 it was built between 1963 and 1965 and cost roughly $196 million in 2017 dollars.

Tucker Blvd. and Market St. this is the former City US 66 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri

City Route 66 in St. Louis Missouri
City Route 66 in St. Louis, Missouri. Old Courthouse (was begun in 1839 and finished in 1862) and Gateway Arch in the background. Click to enlarge image

End of the City 66 alignment

At its intersection with Washington Ave. the City 66 met the main alignment of US 66 that reached this point via Illinois and two bridges across the Mississippi:

Main US 66 - 1954

In Violet in the map. On the Illinois sie of the river, the 4-lane highway split into two to allow traffic to cross the Mississippi River using two bridges: Veterans Memorial Bridge to the north and Eads Bridge to the south; both were toll bridges. Present I-55 has cut off one of those access routes (Black in the map).

Veterans or MLK Bridge

Built in 1957 and restored in 1987 it now has two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane. The steel bridge is a Cantilevered Subdivided Warren Through Truss with a 2-span Warren Deck Truss approach. It is open so you can drive across it.

Once across the river, the traffic headed west along Washington Ave. and met the City 66 which ended here. From this point westwards, US 66 continued as shown in the map in Pale Blue.

This is the end of your itinerary.

Westbound on City 66

From N Tucker and Washington head south (westbound) along the former and at Choteau Ave. you will meet the Secont City 66 from Illinois:

Second City 66 from Illinois

Present view of the old US 66 Municipal Bridge in St. Louis

Present view of the old US 66 Municipal Bridge in St. Louis. Click image for Street View

This branch (shown in Green in the map split from the other Illinois alignment and then crossed the Mississippi into Missouri alongside the railway on the "Municipal Bridge" (which was toll free) whose elevated viduct (shown below) ended at S 7th St. in St. Louis (these viaducts and bridge are now cut off -since 1981, and are shown in Black in the map).

From here US 66 went down Chouteau Ave. (shown in Blue) to meet the other westbound "US 66" alignment.

Two blocks east of Tucker, on the SE corner is what used to be A Classic Diner:

Eat-Rite Diner

622 Chouteau Ave.

The famous diner built in 1908, proclaimed "Eat-Rite or Don't Eat at All" It got its name in 1940 catering to drivers along the Municipal Bridge.

Old Eat-Rite Diner St. Louis, Missouri

Old Eat-Rite Diner  in St. Louis Missouri
Old Eat-Rite Diner, St. Louis, Missouri, click for street view

Continue west along Historic 66 cross I-55 and follow Gravois Ave. (MO-30), ahead, to your right is a Gas Station:

Service Station

3115 Gravois

This cottage style building with a gabled canopy over the pumps is now a car dealer (Capital Auto). It is pictured below.

former gas station St. Louis

Capital Auto, click to enlarge

former Marty filing station

Marty Filling Station, click to enlarge

Ahead, to your right is another service station.

Marty Filing station

3315 Gravois

What now is J & B Auto & Tire Center used to be the Robert Marty Filling Station it is on the NW corner of Utah and Gravois, a cottage-style service station.

Aead on the next block, two gas stations face each other: one, to your right with two bays and a glass office (Street View). Facing it, on the opposite side of Gravois is a former cottage style gas station now a Auto dealership, see its street view too.

Neon Sign in St. Louis

Neon Sign click for street view

At 4017 Gravois Ave, to your right, just before the junction with Chippewa, is a great Neon Sign, it is pictured below.

Ahead, at Chippewa take a right along Historic Route 66

Underpass on Chippewa

Chippewa just W. of Gravois Jct.

Built in 1936 as a railroad underpass it had a now closed pedestrian underpass, and is still operational. See its Street View

Keep westbound at Sulphur Ave., to your right, standing on the NW corner, all alone is a former restaurant:

Bauer’s Ranch House

5805 Chippewa St. Saint Louis

The old Restaurant building is stil standing, the postcard below shows it has changed little (the portion facing US 66 has changed). It dates back to the early 1940s when it was known as "Telthorsts Restaurant".

Bauer’s Ranch House postrcard

Bauer’s Ranch House postcard, click image to enlarge

Bauer’s Ranch House now

Bauer’s Ranch House today, click image for street view

Keep westbound. The road curves 45° to the SW.

To your right is a classic donut shop;

Donuts Drive In

6525 Chippewa St. Saint Louis

The neon sign is amazing and they are supposed to be the best donuts on Route 66. They are still using some of the original family recipes from the early 1950s in their chocolate Long John and cinnamon rolls.

donuts-drive-in in St. Louis, Missouri

donuts-drive-in in St. Louis Missouri
donuts-drive-in, St. Louis, Missouri, click for street view

Keep westbound, just ahead, to your left is the iconic Frozen Custrd shop:

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

6726 Chippewa, St. Louis

Ted Drewes Sr., who was a renown tennis player who opened his first Frozen Custard store in 1929 in Florida, it was followed by another three, of which the last survives till this day. It opened in 1941. The 1993 Survey of Route 66 in Missouri listed it as the SS.001.

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis Missouri
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, St. Louis, Missouri, click for street view

End of this itinerary

Ahead the road leaves the City of St. Louis entering Shrewsbyry and then Marlborough, this is the end of the alignment in St. Louis, but head west to find more attractions like the Classic Motels in Marlborough.

The 1926 Alignment

Above we mentioned the point where the City 66 and the 1926 alignments crossed each other. The first route through the city, laid down in 1926 didn't go through the center of the city, instead it headed west until it was realigned in 1933 to the southeast and went through the downtown district. This is its main attractions:

Take a right along Salisbury and then Natural Bridge Ave. just ahead, at Glasgow turn left to see a vintage gas station:

Texaco

old Texaco station

Old Texaco gas station, click image for street view

Glasgow & Herbert

It is a "Denver-style" Texaco station now in bad shape, it has a cottage style gabled roof.

Head back to Natural Bridge Ave., takea right along N Grand Blvd, and a left along Delmar Blvd. (this section is interrupted by a Highschool nowadays -so the gap is shown in Black), then south along N. Sarah St., and west along Lindell Blvd, running along the north side of Forest Park. At the western tip of the park the old highway turns right.

Head south along S. Skinker Blvd. and then at the corner of McCausland Ave where you will take a right, westwards along Manchester Rd. there is an example of Americana and Kitsch:

Giant Sign

World's Largest Amoco Sign

This used to be a Standard Oil gas station, and it sported a gigantic sign promoting the Red Crown Gasoline. The original sign built in 1932 lasted until 1959, when it was taken down.

It was replaced by another mammoth sign, the Standard sign, which despite having changed brands, is stil standing, now over the Stevenson’s Hi-Pointe Service & Wash.

The original Red Crown sign was built so that it could be seen from the Red Feather Expressway (now I-64). In the late 1990s, BP took over Amoco but even though the service station sells BP gasoline, the sign still reads "AMOCO".

Standard Sign 1961 view in St. Louis, Missouri

Standard Sign 1961 view in St. Louis Missouri
Standard Sign 1961. www.66postcards.com, St. Louis, Missouri, click to enlarge

Same sign but the word "Standard" has been changed for "Amoco":

Amoco Sign today in St. Louis, Missouri

Amoco Sign today in St. Louis Missouri
Amoco Sign today. St. Louis, Missouri, click for street view

Little survives from the 1926 to 1932 Route 66 building, but just before the alignment reaches Manchester Rd.to your left is a real US 66 gas station:

Dodson Service Station

Dodson gas station

Dodson gas station, building and sign marked by yellow arrow. Click for street view

2198 McCausland Ave.

Listed as SS.004 by the 1993 Route 66 survey, it is a cottage style building and the sign is still there, at the norther side of the property.

Take a right on Manchester and you will leave St. Louis city limits, entering Maplewood where, just ahead is the Ozark Trail Garage.

This is the End of this itinerary but you can head west along Manchester Rd., continuing all the way (now it is MO-100) through Manchester and Ballwin and onwards to Gray Summit where this alignment meets the later alignment of Route 66 (built in 1932).

Sources

Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.