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St. Louis

As you cross the mighty Mississippi River on Interstate 270 into eastern Missouri, you have two true Route 66 options – to go through St. Louis or around it.

To go around St. Louis, simply follow I-270 west to Lindbergh Boulevard. Then, take Lindbergh south all the way to Interstate 44 where you'll re-join the original Route 66

To venture through St. Louis – which we highly recommend – take exit I-270 at Riverview Drive and follow Riverview south to Broadway for several miles before getting on Interstate 70 east towards downtown St. Louis.

From I-70's downtown exits, head west to Tucker Boulevard, then down Gravois to Chippewa Street. Follow Chippewa St. until you reach Lindbergh Boulevard and I-44, where the bypass joins in.

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Founded in 1764, St. Louis is the 16th largest city in the nation, and must-see stop along your Route 66 journey. Known as the Gateway to the West, the Lou is a great place for brewery tours at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery – brew-spot of world-famous Budweiser Beer, and sight seeing adventures around Forest Park.

It's quite the sports town, too, featuring pro teams like the NHL's St. Louis Blues, and venues like the Gateway International Raceway across the river in Madison, Illinois. The Blues play at the Scottrade Center while larger sporting events are hosted at the Edward Jones Dome.

Even with all the excitement taking place throughout the year, it's baseball that envelops the city's sporting affections most of all. In fact, the residents of St. Louis pride themselves on being some of the best fans in baseball in the world, as they cheer on the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium each and every summer.

While crossing the Mississippi River along I-270, Riverfront Drive brings you down through parkland. From Riverside, connect to Broadway and follow it past Bellefontaine Cemetery to connect with eastbound I-70, which will bring you downtown.

The must-see Missouri attraction here is the iconic Gateway Arch. This 630-foot high, 630-foot wide stainless steel structure dominates the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, commemorating the nearby site where Lewis and Clark began their historic journey west.

Laclede's Landing, a multi-block district of cobblestone streets, vintage brick, and cast-iron buildings developed between 1850 and 1900, is a short walk from the Jefferson Memorial. And after decades of disrepair, the area has reemerged as a hotspot for restaurants, bars, shops, and nightlife.

Plan your visit accordingly – every Labor Day weekend, the Big Muddy Blues Festival takes place at the landing. The Festival is free each year hosting local and national blues acts. Previous performers include Bo Diddley, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Ike Turner, and Fontella Bass.

Several bridges connect St. Louis with points east, but the Eads Bridge deserves special mention. An engineering marvel when it opened in 1874, the Eads Bridge was the longest bridge in the world, the first bridge to use steel and cantilevered construction, and the first to carry railroad traffic across the Mississippi without the need for a ferry or to affect river traffic.

Route 66 follows I-270 to U.S. 67 south, near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. When you begin heading south on U.S. 67, you'll head under runway tunnels before emerging near the airport and/or using the Route 66 Bypass. Only a few Route 66 landmarks of note are located along this stretch – including the First Missouri State Capitol & Courthouse and the Museum of Transportation.

Entering Kirkwood, you transition into more of a residential area versus the commercial and shopping districts in Creve Coeur. The Magic House is one of St. Louis' premiere children's museums, offering indoor and outdoor exhibits and plenty to see and do.

When you pass the Magic House, you're approaching Missouri Highway 366. The whole kit 'n caboodle merges right on to I-44 about one mile later, crossing today's main St. Louis bypass and the Meramec River, and heads into the outer suburbs of St. Louis and the rest of Missouri. This stretch of Route 66, which is today's I-44 and U.S. 50, is quite scenic.

Best Western PLUS The Charles Hotel
1425 South Fifth Street,
St. Charles, Missouri 63301
(636) 946-6936
Best Western St. Louis Inn
6224 Heimos Industrial Park Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63129-6300
(314) 416-7639
Best Western Kirkwood Inn
1200 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7225
(314) 821-3950
 
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